Watchfulness

“Be careful. Watch out for your Soul! Turn your thoughts away from what will soon pass away and turn them towards what is Eternal. Here you will find the happiness that your Soul seeks, what your heart thirsts for.”

Saint John Maximovitch

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“Let us always guard our tongue; not that it should always be silent, but that it should speak at the proper time.”

Saint John Chrysostom

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“Watch your heart during all your life – examine it, listen to it, and see what prevents its union with the Most Blessed Lord. Let this be for you the science of all sciences, and with God’s help you will easily observe what estranges you from God, and what draws you towards Him and unites you to Him.”

Saint John of Kronstadt

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“Evil walks with small steps. If it were to come all at once, we would not be deceived.”

Saint Paisios the Athonite

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“Be ruled by God and rule over your senses; and, being on a higher level, do not give authority to what is inferior to you.”

Saint Thalassios the Libyan

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“Why do you increase your bonds? Take hold of your life before your light grows dark and you seek help and do not find it.”

Saint Isaac the Syrian

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“We should so train ourselves that the mind, as it were, swims in the law of the Lord by which we must guide and rule our life.”

Saint Seraphim of Sarov

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“The devil does not hunt after those who are lost; he hunts after those who are aware, those who are close to God. He takes from them trust in God and begins to afflict them with self-assurance, logic, thinking, criticism. Therefore we should not trust our logical minds.”

Saint Paisios the Athonite

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“Compel yourselves; say the Prayer; stop idle talk; close your mouths to criticism; place doors and locks against unnecessary words. Time passes and does not come back, and woe to us if time goes by without spiritual profit.”

Elder Ephraim of Arizona

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“Do not test out your mind on seductive and impure thoughts imagining you will not be overcome by them. No one is immune.”

Saint Isaac the Syrian

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“The Loving Lord is here: how can I let even a shadow of evil enter into my heart?”

Saint John of Kronstadt

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“Evidently we are not yet perfect, but at least we desire to be so, and this is the beginning of our Salvation. For from this desire we shall come in God’s company both into the combat and through the combat.”

Saint Dorotheos of Gaza

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“Grant me the heart of Jesus, around which darkness waited in vain to enter, but never could.”

Saint Nikolai Velimivorich

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“And he who wants more Grace, must prepare himself better for temptations.”

Saint Seraphim of Sarov

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“The heart can change several times in one moment to good or evil, to faith or unbelief, to simplicity or cunning, to love or hatred, to benevolence or envy, to generosity or avarice, to chastity of fornication. O, what inconstancy! O, how many dangers! O, how sober and watchful we must be!”

Saint John of Kronstadt

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“Pride deprives us of God’s help, making us over-reliant on ourselves and arrogant towards other people.”

Saint Thalassios the Libyan

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“Children, I beseech you to correct your hearts and thoughts, so that you may be pleasing to God. Consider that although we may reckon ourselves to be righteous and frequently succeed in deceiving men, we can conceal nothing from God.”

Saint Nicholas Archbishop of Myra

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“The person engaged in Spiritual warfare exercises self-control in all things.”

Saint Philotheos of Sinai

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“The Soul must be constantly ready and alert and always in contact with the Spiritual headquarters, that is, God. Only then it will feel secure, full of hope and joy.”

Saint Paisios the Athonite

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“Every tribulation reveals the state of our will.”

Saint Mark the Ascetic

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“A sign of Spiritual life is the immersion of a person within himself and the hidden workings within his heart.”

Saint Seraphim of Sarov

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“Pride makes us forget our sins, for the remembrance of them leads to humility.”

Saint John Climacus

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“You know, of course, that your whole purpose at the moment is to change yourself inwardly. And so, corresponding to these inward changes and obeying the impulse that comes from them, external things must be changed as well.”

Saint Theophan the Recluse

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“This is the great work of man: always to take the blame for his own sins before God, and to expect temptation to his last breath.”

Saint Anthony the Great

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“Just as our Lord is solicitous about our Salvation, so too the murderer of men, the devil, strives to lead a man into despair… Judas the betrayer was fainthearted and unskilled in battle, and so the enemy, seeing his despair, attacked him and forced him to hang himself; but Peter, a firm rock, when he fell into great sin, like one skilled in battle did not despair nor lose heart, but shed bitter tears from a burning heart, and the enemy, seeing these tears, his eyes scorched as by fire, fled far from him wailing in pain.”

Saint Seraphim of Sarov

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“No matter what provokes it, anger blinds the Soul’s eyes, preventing it from seeing the Son of Righteousness.”

Saint John Cassian

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“Destroy within you the devil’s rule over you; destroy all his influence over you; acquire Spiritual freedom. The foundation for your struggle is the Grace of Holy Baptism; your weapon is the Prayer of Jesus.”

Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov

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“Grace always precedes a temptation, as if to notify you saying, ‘Prepare yourself and lock your doors.'”

Saint Joseph the Hesychast

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“The devil is like a lion, hiding in ambush. He secretly sets out nets of unclean and unHoly thoughts. So, it is necessary to break them off as soon as we notice them, by means of pious reflection and Prayer.”

Saint Seraphim of Sarov

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“When someone who has hidden, unconfessed sins hears a Spiritual word, he feels pain somewhere in his body. Divine Grace also reveals his state to him in this way, and if he wishes, he can escape from this Spiritual misfortune.”

Saint Sophrony of Essex

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“The demons cunningly withdraw for a time in the hope that we will cease to guard out heart, thinking we have now attained peace; then they suddenly attack our unhappy Soul and seize it like a sparrow. Gaining possession of it, they drag it down mercilessly into all kinds of sin, worse than those which we have already committed and for which we have asked forgiveness. Let us stand, therefore, with fear of God and keep guard over our heart, practicing the Virtues which check the wickedness of our enemies.”

Saint Isaiah the Solitary

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“What is the Spiritual Battle? Well, the Soul is a garden divided into two parts. On one half are planted thorny bushes, and on the other half, flowers. We also have a water pump with two taps and two channels. The one guides the water to the thorns and the other to the flowers. I always have the choice to open one or the other tap. I leave the thorns without water and they dry up; I water the flowers and they blossom.”

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

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“The conscience is a true teacher, and whoever listens to it will not stumble.”

Saint Thalassios the Libyan

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“Who ever thinks about the multitude of his own sins in his heart never wants to make the sins of others a topic of conversation.”

Saint Gennadios of Constantinople

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“We must keep in mind that whatever we do, openly or in secret, we do in the presence of our Guardian Angel.”

Saint Nikolai Velimirovich

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“Remember the fall of the mighty, and be humble in your virtues. Recollect the grievous transgressions of those who of old trespassed and repented, and the sublimity and honour of which afterwards they were deemed worthy, and take courage in your repentance.”

Saint Isaac the Syrian

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“One of the ancients spoke wisely and simply about thoughts. Judge thoughts, he said, before the judgement seat of the heart, to discern whether they are ours or those of our enemy. Place those which are good and properly our own in the inmost shrine of the Soul, keeping them in this inviolable treasury. But chastise hostile thoughts with the whip of the intelligence and banish them, giving them no place, no abode within the bounds of your Soul. Or, to speak more fittingly, slay them completely with the sword of Prayer and Divine meditation, so that when the robbers have been destroyed, their chief may take flight. For, so he says, a man who examines his thoughts strictly is one who also truly loves the Commandments.”

Saint Theodoros the Great Ascetic

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“No Christian believing rightly in God should ever be off his guard. He should always be on the look-out for temptation, so that when it comes he will not be surprised or disturbed, but will gladly endure the toil and affliction it causes…”

Ilias the Presbyter

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“As with the appearance of light, darkness retreats; so, at the fragrance of humility all anger and bitterness vanishes.”

Saint John Climacus

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“…do not sin… by carefully guarding the Divine Image in us and our supernal dignity.”

Saint Symeon the New Theologian

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“At around their thirty-fifth year, that is half-way through our Earthly life, people have a great struggle to remain true to themselves. At that age, many of them don’t remain virtuous, but go astray and follow the path of their desires.”

Saint Seraphim of Sarov

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“Do not allow any evil habit to master you. While it is yet young, pluck the evil root out of your heart, so it doesn’t fasten on and strike root.”

Saint John of Damascus

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“If you bear your weakness constantly in mind, you will not overstep the bounds of caution.”

Saint Isaac the Syrian

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“You should carry the Prayer Rope, so that you might not forget the Prayer, which should work internally, within the heart. When of course you exit your cell, you should remember that the enemy is ready to fight you. Thus, imitate the good soldier, who exits the barracks always with his automatic weapon ‘at hand’. The Prayer Rope has a great power, and is the weapon of the Monk, and its knots are bullets, which [when fired at the feet of the demons] make their sandals dance.”

Saint Paisios the Athonite

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“If someone wants to sin, he sins; if he does not, he doesn’t.”

Elder Cleopa of Romania

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“Hell can’t be made attractive, so the devil makes attractive the road that leads there.”

Saint Basil the Great

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“The mind feeds the Soul, and whatever good or bad thing it sees or hears it passes on to the heart, which is the centre of the Spiritual and physical powers of man.”

Saint Joseph the Hesychast

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“When a person accepts anything Godly, then he rejoices in his heart, but when he has accepted anything devilish, then he becomes tormented.”

Saint Seraphim of Sarov

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“It is one thing to be delivered from bad thoughts, and another to be freed from the passions. Often people are delivered from thoughts, when they do not have before their eyes those things which produce passion. But the passions for them remain hidden in the Soul, and when the things appear again the passions are revealed. Therefore it is necessary to guard the mind when these things appear, and to know toward which things you have a passion.”

Saint Maximus the Confessor

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“A wise man is one who pays attention to himself and is quick to separate himself from all defilement.”

Saint Thalassios the Libyan

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“Yet you are not the sole author of the evil, but there is also another most wicked prompter, the devil. He indeed suggests, but does not get the mastery by force over those who do not consent.”

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem

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“Man stands at the crossroads between righteousness and sin, and chooses whichever path he wishes. But after that the path which he has chosen to follow, and the guides assigned to it, whether Angels and Saints or demons and sinners, will lead him to the end of it, even if he has no wish to go there.”

Saint Peter of Damascus

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“When you have a bad dream, never examine what you saw, how you saw it, or whether you’re guilty or how much you may be at fault. The evil one, having failed to tempt you during the daytime, comes to you at night.”

Saint Paisios the Athonite

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“We do well if we don’t comply with sinful thoughts, which come from the devil. Because the evil spirit is able to exercise effective influence only over impassioned people. If you’re without passions, he can try to get at you only from afar.”

Saint Seraphim of Sarov

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“It does not lie within our power to decide wether or not the passions are going to harass and attack the Soul. But it does lie within our power to prevent impassioned thoughts from lingering within us and arousing the passions to action.”

Saint Theodoros the Great Ascetic

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A Spiritual child asked Saint Paisios the Athonite

“‘Geronda, why do temptations often occur on Feast Days?’┬áSaint Paisios replied: ‘Don’t you know? On Holy Feast Days, Jesus Christ, Panagia and the Saints are most joyful, treating us with Blessings and other Spiritual gifts. If parents offer treats when their children celebrate their Nameday why shouldn’t the Saints also offer us treats? In fact, the joy they give is very powerful and very beneficial to our Souls. Knowing this, the devil creates temptations in order to deprive people of these Divine gifts and prevent them from rejoicing and benefiting from these Feast Days. And you can see sometimes when a family is preparing for Holy Communion on a feast day, the evil one will cause them to argue for some reason, and they end up not receiving Holy Communion, but also not going to Church. The devil will so entangle things that they are deprived of all Divine help.'”

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