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Elder Ephraim: “a mood for prayer”

6 February 2016


Elder Ephraim of Philotheou edited

“… We must prepare ourselves for it. We must enclose ourselves within cells at the appointed time. We must make an effort to reflect on something related to prayer; for example our sins or the fact that time is passing and we are not doing anything or that death and the tribunal await us and so on. After this sort of impoverished and brief meditation immediately a mood for prayer comes.”
– Elder Ephraim of Arizona, in Counsels from the Holy Mountain

“Rejoice, O impassable gate of the Lord!”

5 February 2016



“Rejoice, O impassable gate of the Lord! Rejoice, O wall and protection of those who run to thee! Rejoice, O unshakable refuge! Rejoice, O Virgin Mother of thy God and Creator! Cease not praying for those who praise thee and worship thy Son.”

– Hymn to the Theotokos

Christopher Dawson: “There has never been an age in which Christianity attained so complete a cultural expression as in the thirteenth century.”

5 February 2016

Philipp Veit


“There has never been an age in which Christianity attained so complete a cultural expression as in the thirteenth century. Europe has seen no greater Christian hero than St. Francis, no greater Christian philosopher than St. Thomas, no greater Christian poet than Dante, perhaps even no greater Christian ruler than St. Louis. I do not maintain that the general level of religious life was higher than at other times or that the state of the Church was healthier, still less that the scandals were rarer or moral evils less obvious. What one can assert is that in the Middle Ages more than at other periods in the life of our civilization the European culture and the Christian religion were in a state of communion: the highest expressions of medieval culture, whether in art, in literature or in philosophy, were religious, and the greatest representatives of medieval religion were also the leaders of medieval culture. This is not, of course, an inevitable state of things. It may even be argued that the dualism of religion and culture that existed under the Roman Empire, and more or less generally in modern times, is the normal condition of Christianity. Nevertheless, the other alternative, that of a cooperation and collaboration between religion and culture, is undoubtedly a more ideal system, and from this point of view the medieval achievement remains unsurpassed by any other age.”
– Christopher Dawson, in Medieval Essays

Elder Porphyrios: “It is not good to pray about or think about the specific passion”

4 February 2016


“Nor should you pray “Oh God free me from my anger, my sorrow, etc.”. It is not good to pray about or think about the specific passion; something happens in our soul and we become even more enmeshed in this passion. Attack your passion head on and you’ll see how strongly it will entwine you, angry you, and you will not be able to do anything.”

– Elder Porphyrios, in Wounded by Love

William Jennings Bryan: “Science is a magnificent material force, but it is not a teacher of morals.”

4 February 2016

William Jennings Bryan.jpg

“Science is a magnificent material force, but it is not a teacher of morals. It can perfect machinery, but it adds no moral restraints to protect society from the misuse of the machine. It can also build gigantic intellectual ships, but it constructs no moral rudders for the control of storm-tossed human vessels. It not only fails to supply the spiritual element needed, but some of its unproven hypotheses rob the slip of its compass and thus endanger its cargo.”

– William Jennings Bryan


Macarius of Egypt: “fight Satan”

3 February 2016


“The most important work that a spiritual wrestler can do, is to enter within the heart, there to fight Satan; to hate and repel the thoughts that he inspires and to wage war upon him.”

– St Macarius of Egypt

Wilhelm II: “Adversity teaches us to pray.”

3 February 2016


Wilhelm II




“Das Gebet ist der goldene Schlüssel zur Schatzkammer unseres Gottes. – Gott der Herr hat in jedes Menschenherz die Gebetsglocke hineingehängt. Doch im Sonnenschein und Glück des Lebens, wie oft hängt sie still und stumm. Wenn aber der Sturmwind der Not hervorbricht, dann hebt sie an zu klingen. Not lehrt beten.”

“Prayer is the golden key to the vault of our God. – God the Lord has hung the prayer-bell in every man’s heart. But in sunshine and happiness how often it hangs still and dumb. But
when the stormy winds of distress break forth then it begins to ring.  Adversity teaches us to pray.”

– Wilhelm II (1859-1941), Last German Emperor and Prussian King from 1888 to 1918


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