Be dead in life, then you will not live in death – Mar Isaac the Syrian

Image

Be dead in life, then you will not live in death. Let yourself die in integrity, but not live in guiltiness. Not only those who suffer death for the sake of the faith of Christ are martyrs, but also those who die for the sake of keeping his commandments.

[Mar Isaac the Syrian, Ascetical Homilies]

Advertisements

A short summary of the salvation of mankind – St. Athanasius the Apostolic

Image

What was God to do in face of this dehumanising of mankind, this universal hiding of the knowledge of Himself by the wiles of evil spirits? Was He to keep silence before so great a wrong and let men go on being thus deceived and kept in ignorance of Himself? If so, what was the use of having made them in His own Image originally? It would surely have been better for them always to have been brutes, rather than to revert to that condition when once they had shared the nature of the Word. Again, things being as they were, what was the use of their ever having had the knowledge of God? Surely it would have been better for God never to have bestowed it, than that men should subsequently be found unworthy to receive it. Similarly, what possible profit could it be to God Himself, Who made men, if when made they did not worship Him, but regarded others as their makers? This would be tantamount to His having made them for others and not for Himself.

Even an earthly king, though he is only a man, does not allow lands that he has colonized to pass into other hands or to desert to other rulers, but sends letters and friends and even visits them himself to recall them to their allegiance, rather than allow His work to be undone. How much more, then, will God be patient and painstaking with His creatures, that they be not led astray from Him to the service of those that are not, and that all the more because such error means for them sheer ruin, and because it is not right that those who had once shared His Image should be destroyed.

What, then, was God to do? What else could He possibly do, being God, but renew His Image in mankind, so that through it men might once more come to know Him? And how could this be done save by the coming of the very Image Himself, our Savior Jesus Christ? Men could not have done it, for they are only made after the Image; nor could angels have done it, for they are not the images of God. The Word of God came in His own Person, because it was He alone, the Image of the Father Who could recreate man made after the Image.

[St. Athanasius the Great, On the Incarnation of the Word (De Incarnatione Dei Verbi), Chapter 3, 13]

Commentaries from the Prayer of None (Ninth Hour) – The Agpeya, The Coptic Horologion

Image

O, Who tasted death in the flesh in the ninth hour for our sake, we the sinners, put to death our carnal lusts, O Christ, our God, and deliver us. Let my supplication draw close before You, O Lord; according to Your word give me understanding. Let my petition come before Your presence; according to Your word revive me.

Doxa Patri Kai Eiyou Kai Agio Pnevmati – Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O You, who commended the spirit into the hands of the Father as You hung on the cross, in the ninth hour, and guided the thief who was crucified with You into entering the Paradise, do not neglect me, O Good One, nor reject me, I the lost one; but sanctify my soul and enlighten my understanding, and allow me to be a partaker of the grace of You life-giving mysteries. That when I taste of Your benevolences, I offer You praise without lukewarmness, longing for Your splendor above all things, O Christ our Lord, and deliver us.

Ke Nin Kai A Ee Kai Eis Tous E Onas Ton E Onon Amen – Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.

 O You, who was born of the Virgin for our sake, and endured crucifixion, O Good One, and abolished death by Your death and manifested resurrection by Your resurrection, O God, do not turn away from those whom You have created with Your own hands, but manifest, O Good One Your love for mankind. Accept from Your mother an intercession on our behalf. Deliver, O Saviour, a humble people. Do not leave us to the end, and do not forsake us forever. Do not break Your covenant, and do not take away from us Your mercy, for the sake of Abraham Your beloved, Isaac Your servant, and Israel Your saint.

[Commentaries from the Prayer of None (Ninth Hour), The Agpeya, Coptic Horologion (Book of Hours)]

Commentaries from the Prayer of the Veil – The Agpeya, The Coptic Horologion

Image

“Lord, You know the alertness of my enemies, and as for my weakness, You are aware of it, My Creator. Therefore, I hereby place my soul into Your Hands. So cover me with the wings of Your goodness, lest I might sleep till death. Enlighten my eyes by the greatness of Your sayings, and raise me up at all times for Your glorification, for You alone are good and Lover of Mankind.”

Doxa Patri Kai Eiyou Kai Agio Pnevmati – Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Lord, Your Judgement is dreadful; when men shall be rushed, the angels shall stand, the books shall be opened, the deeds shall be revealed, and the thoughts examined. What a Judgement mine will be, I who am entangled by sin! Who will quench the flames of fire about me? Who would enlighten my darkness, besides You, Lord? Have mercy upon me, for You are compassionate to mankind.

Ke Nin Kai A Ee Kai Eis Tous E Onas Ton E Onon Amen – Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.

O Theotokos (Mother of God), because we have put our trust in you, we shall not be put to shame, but shall be saved. And because we have attained your help and intercession, O pure and perfect one, we shall not fear, but shall drive out our enemies and shall disperse them. And, in all, we take your great help to protect us as if with a shield. We ask and entreat you, crying, O Theotokos to save us by your intercessions, and raise us up from the dark sleep, in order to powerfully glorify God Who took flesh from you.

[Commentaries from the Prayer of the Veil, The Agpeya, Coptic Horologion (Book of Hours)]

How to remove habitual sin – Mar Isaac the Syrian

Image

Who hates his sins, abstains from them. He who confesses his faults, receives forgiveness. There is no abstaining from customary sins without acquiring hate, nor receiving of forgiveness without confession of faults. The latter is accompanied by true humility; the former by grief, through shame rising in the heart. So long as we have not advanced to the point of hating blameworthy things, it is not possible to perceive the fetid odour they spread when perpetrated, nor their stinking smell, bearing them, as we do, in ourselves. So long as you have not cast evil away, you know not what shame you will foster, nor what chastisement will rise from it. If you see in others that with which you are charged, then you know the shame with which you are clad. Remove yourself from evil, then you will know. For you inhale the fetid odour as a sweet scent, an d consider the nakedness of your shame as a glorious cover.

[Mar Isaac the Syrian, Ascetical Homilies] 

O God, let me now make a beginning of good – Abba Arsenius the Great

Image

It happened that when Abba Arsenius was sitting in his cell that he was harassed by demons. His servants, on their return, stood outside his cell and heard him praying to God in these words, ‘O God, do not leave me. I have done nothing good in your sight, but according to your goodness, let me now make a beginning of good.’

[Abba Arsenius, Apophthegmata Patrum]