Helpful Quotes

The Way Walk In It
“Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6.16

Christian Slippery Slope
“Our upbringing and the whole atmosphere of the world we live in make it certain that our main temptation will be that of yielding to winds of doctrine, not that of ignoring them. We are not at all likely to be hidebound; we are very likely to be the slaves of fashion. If one has to choose between reading the new books and reading the old, one must chose the old: not because they are necessarily better but because they contain precisely those truths of which our own age is neglectful. The standard of permanent Christianity must be kept clear in our minds and it is against that standard that we must test all contemporary thought. In fact, we must at all costs not move with the times. We serve One who said ‘Heaven and Earth shall move with the times, but my words shall not move with the times.” C.S.Lewis, “Christian Apologetics”

Called Upward
“Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brethren, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature be thus minded; and if in anything you are otherwise minded, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” Philippians 3.8-16

“The weight of our fragility makes us bend towards realities here below; the fire of your love, O Lord, raises us up and bears us towards realities above. We rise there by means of our heart’s impetus, singing the songs of ascent. We burn with your fire, the fire of your goodness, for it is this that transports us. Where is it that you thus cause us to rise? To the peace of the heavenly Jerusalem. “I rejoiced when I heard them say: Let us go to the house of the Lord” (Ps 122[121].1). Nothing will bring us to it except the desire to remain there for ever. While we are in the body, we journey towards you. Here below we have no abiding city; we are constantly seeking our home in the city to come (Heb 13.14). May your grace guide me, O Lord, into the depths of my heart, there to sing of your love, my King and my God… And as I remember that heavenly Jerusalem my heart will rise up towards it: to Jerusalem my true homeland, Jerusalem my mother (Gal 4.26). You are its King, its light, its defender, its protector, its pastor; you are its unquenchable joy; your goodness is the source of all its inexpressible blessings… You, my God and my divine mercy.” St. Augustine

“Since, then, there was needed a lifting up from death for the whole of our nature, He stretches forth a hand as it were to prostrate humanity, and stooping down to our dead corpse He came so far within the grasp of death as to touch a state of deadness, and then in His own body to bestow on our nature the principle of the resurrection, raising as He did by His power along with Himself the whole human being. For since from no other source than from the concrete lump of our nature had come that flesh, which was the receptacle of the Godhead and in the resurrection was raised up together with that Godhead, therefore just in the same way as, in the instance of this body of ours, the operation of one of the organs of sense is felt at once by the whole system, as one with that member, so also the resurrection principle of this Member, as though the whole of humankind was a single living being, passes through the entire race, being imparted from the Member to the whole by virtue of the continuity and oneness of the nature. What, then, is there beyond the bounds of probability in what this Revelation teaches us; viz. that He Who stands upright stoops to one who has fallen, in order to lift him up from his prostrate condition?” St Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism, 32

My Chief Desire
“My chief desire in all my writings, is to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and make Him beautiful and glorious in the eyes of men; and to promote the increase of repentance, faith, and holiness upon earth.” R.C. Ryle

New Life By The Spirit
“So, then, the Holy Spirit is the river, and the abundant river, which according to the Hebrews flowed from Jesus in the lands, as we have received it prophesied by the mouth of Isaiah (Isaiah 66:12). This is the great river that flows always and never fails. And not only a river, but also one of copious stream and overflowing greatness, as also David said: ‘The stream of the river makes glad the city of God’ (Psalm 46:4). For neither is that city, the heavenly Jerusalem, watered by the channel of any earthly river, but that Holy Spirit, proceeding from the fount of life, by a short draught of whom we are satiated, seems to flow more abundantly among those celestial thrones, dominions and powers, angels and archangels, rushing in the full course of the seven virtues of the Spirit. For if a river rising above its banks overflows, how much more does the Spirit, rising above every creature, when he touches the low-lying fields of our minds, as it were, make glad that heavenly nature of the creatures with the larger fertility of his sanctification. And let it not trouble you that either here it is said ‘rivers’ (John 7:38) or elsewhere ‘seven Spirits,’ (Revelation 5:6) for by the sanctification of these seven gifts of the Spirit, as Isaiah said, is signified the fullness of all virtue; the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and godliness, and the Spirit of the fear of God. One, then is the river, but many the channels of the gifts of the Spirit. This river, then, goes forth from the fount of life.” Ambrose of Milan, 339-397 A.D., On the Holy Spirit 1.16

Descend With The Mind Into The Heart
“So long as the ascetic prays with the mind in the head, he will still be working solely with the resources of the human intellect, and on this level he will never attain to an immediate and personal encounter with God. By the use of the brain, he will at best know about God, but will not know God. For there can be no direct knowledge of God without and exceedingly great love, and such love must come, not from the brain alone, but from the whole man-that is, from the heart. It is necessary, then, for the ascetic to descend from the head into the heart. He is not required to abandon his intellectual powers-reason, too, is a gift of God- but is called to descend with the mind into his heart.” Kallistos Ware

The Heart’s Enlargement
“But in process of time and growth of faith, when the heart has once been enlarged, the way of God’s commandments is run with unspeakable sweetness of love.” St. Benedict of Nursia, The Prologue to the Rule

“The soul must grow and expand, so as to be capable of God. And its largeness is its love, as the Apostle says, “Widen yourselves in love” (2 Cor 6:13). It grows and extends spiritually, not in substance, but in virtue. The greatness of each soul is judged by the measure of love that it has: he who has great love is great, he who has little love is little, while he who has no love at all is nothing.” St. Bernard of Clairvaux

The Circuitous Way
“If you could do it, I suppose, it would be a good idea to live your life in a straight line—starting, say, in the Dark Wood of Error, and proceeding by logical steps through Hell and Purgatory and into Heaven.  Or you could take the King’s Highway past appropriately named dangers, toils, and snares, and finally cross the River of Death and enter the Celestial City.  But that is not the way I have done it, so far.  I am a pilgrim, but my pilgrimage has been wandering and unmarked.  Often what has looked like a straight line to me has been a circle or a doubling back.  I have been in the Dark Wood of Error any number of times.  I have known something of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, but not always in that order.  The names of many snares and dangers have been made known to me, but I have seen them only in looking back.  Often I have not known where I was going until I was already there.  I have had my share of desires and goals, but my life has come to me or I have gone to it mainly by way of mistakes and surprises.  Often I have received better than I have deserved.  Often my fairest hopes have rested on bad mistakes.  I am an ignorant pilgrim, crossing a dark valley.  And yet for a long time, looking back, I have been unable to shake off the feeling that I have been led—make of that what you will.” Wendell Berry, Jaber Crow, p. 133.

 

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