**Quotes from Modern Orthodox Elders

Elder St Paisios on Gaining Treasure… “…what do you really want, appreciation from Christ or from other people? Don’t you get a greater blessing from recognition by Christ? How does it help you to have the attention of people? If people now recognize the good you have done, then expect to hear in the next life: Thou in thy lifetime received thy good things. We must rejoice when others do not acknowledge our efforts and do not repay us, because then these efforts will be taken into account by God, and He will repay us with an eternal reward. Since there is divine reward, we should try to put aside some drachmas in God’s Treasury. We should accept injustice as a great blessing, because it’s a way of saving towards a heavenly blessing.” ~ ‘Spiritual Struggle’

Prayer:  Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.


Elder St Paisios on Avoiding Judgement… “Man is a mystery! Every time, then, that you are asked to pass judgment on something or someone, you must stop and think, “Is this judgment a divine judgment or is it filled with passion?” That is to say, is our judgment disinterested, or is it self-serving? You should not trust yourselves or your judgment. When we judge others, we are full of egoism. I am often asked to assess a situation and give my opinion, and I end up doing it out of obligation, against my will. I may be giving a selfless and impartial opinion, but when later I go to pray, the sweetness that I usually feel is not present. This is not because my conscience bothers me over something. It is, rather, because I have passed judgment on human terms. Now imagine how one would feel if the judgment was wrong or if it was filled with justifications or based on human standards! Judgment is a very serious matter. The right to judge is God’s alone. How awesome is His judgment! Those who are in a position to judge others may have good intentions, but that is not what matters. The important thing is the outcome of their judgment, (how it affects people).” – ‘With Pain and Love’

Prayer:  Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: have mercy upon us. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: have mercy upon us. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, grant us peace.
*Agnus Dei


St. Nikolai Velimirovich on Man’s Nature… “If some say that man has to live according to nature, we ask – which nature? According to the initial, sinless nature of paradise, the way that God created man? Or is it according to that other, sick, humiliated nature, polluted by demons, defaced by vice and deadened by passions? Because God did not create man the way He created the rest of nature, but in a particular manner. And above all, He gave him authority over all of nature. Thus, man is clearly exempt from all other physical nature – the nature of fish, birds, beasts, and has been elevated above all zoologies and monkey-business. Christ came to renew that initial nature of man. And only he who lives according to that renewed nature, lives according to human nature indeed. Zoology is below the footstool of Anthropology. A man renewed by Christ lives by the renewed nature, with a renewed mind, heart and will. All three of these planting beds in the soul of such a man are watered by the Holy Spirit so that each one can equally receive the Trinitarian love from heaven which surpasses all reason. This is why the Apostles speak of “the new man” in the likeness of Christ. Therefore, the same Apostle says, “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5: 17).” – ‘Missionary Letters Vol 2’

Prayer:  O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance. Grant victory over their enemies to Orthodox Christians, and protect Thy people with Thy Cross.


“It often seems to us that God is silent. Or even more precisely, that God is absent. Often we seek God and want Him to do something, but He does not do anything, allowing events to develop as they would develop, this development can be dramatic and tragic for us, we can be shaken by injustice, sorrow, but despite that, God is silent. He does not interfere and does nothing. Naturally, a protest can start boiling in a person, as if they would like to say to God: “Why are You not doing anything? Why aren’t You acting? Why don’t You interfere and stop this, all this injustice, because You see it, and it is against Your law?” However, God is silent. God always acted like that. God did His work in silence. He appeared in the world, but at the same time as if absent in what is happening in this world, and not only in the personal life of a person, but even in the life of the Church. When we read lives of the saints, in particular, lives of martyrs of the first centuries of Christianity (as well as of our time), we see the following. There were Christians who were persecuted, who suffered martyrdom, paying with their blood for their faith in Christ. There were periods when it seemed that the Church was about to collapse, that the enemies of the Church had reached the apogee of their power, strength and glory, and the Church was falling to the very bottom of powerlessness and humiliation. Someone would say, “Why does not God intervene, why do heretics triumph? Why do things go so well with the enemies of the Church, and there is nothing good with us, and instead of good, we are going from worse to worse?”… God acts like this in our lives. Why? Because He wants to change our way of thinking, He wants us to turn on repentance, a change of mind (metanoia) and of the very way we think, so that we move away from the worldly way of thinking, and enter God’s way of thinking, which is sacrifice, love, and kenosis (emptying oneself) for another person. Let us think and observe that the Lord Himself in His earthly life did this when He was taken, given into the hands of men, and humbled Himself in the most humiliating way.” (Metropolitan Athanasius of Limassol,

Prayer:  O my God relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.
*Act of Hope


Elder St. Porphyrios on Becoming ‘Worthy’ to Pray… “Our prayers are not heard because we are not worthy. You must become worthy in order to pray. We are not worthy because we do not love our neighbour as our self. Christ says so Himself: ‘If you bring your gift to the altar and there you remember that your brother holds something against you, leave there your gift before the altar and go first be reconciled with your brother and then come and offer your gift’. Go first to be reconciled with your brother and receive forgiveness in order to become worthy. If that is not done, you will be unable to pray. If you are not worthy, you can do nothing. Once you have set in order all your unsettled business and prepared yourself, then go and offer your gift. Those who desire and crave to belong to Christ and who abandon themselves to the will of God become worthy. It’s a great thing, all- important, to have no will. The slave has no will of his own. And it is possible for us to have no will of our own in a very simple manner: through love for Christ and the keeping of His commandments.” – ‘Wounded by Love’

Prayer:  O my God I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all-good and worthy of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.
*Act of Contrition


Fr Jonathan Tobias on the ‘End Times’… “The Orthodox Church has no single dogmatic, mandatory doctrinal statement about the End Times, other than “… and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, and His Kingdom shall have no end.” There have been, indeed, a lot of Patristic teaching about the End Times that goes into more detail than that — but these specific interpretations are not at the level of Orthodox dogma. But the End Times passages in the Fathers and in the Bible describe clearly that, to be sure, there is a constant struggle with the spirit of the Antichrist in this here and now. We live in the interval between Pentecost and the Last Day. At times, the work of this evil power will seem overwhelming. Some times, we struggle with the Antichrist in our own familiar communities, even in our own consciousness. Many times, there has been persecution inflicted from the outside, resulting in unimaginable suffering and martyrdom. There has never been a “Rapture,” because the Body of Christ is called to suffer with humanity and the world, not to cravenly escape from its travail. But there has always been the constant spiritual Presence of Jesus Christ — the gift of Pentecost. Through it all, the Holy Tradition of Orthodoxy witnesses and celebrates the even greater power of the Body of Christ. Christ is reigning at the Right Hand of God the Father, and even now the Father is delivering the Kingdom — realizing the glory of Christ through the Holy Spirit — to His Son: “Sit and My Right Hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool” (St Peter in Acts 2.34-35, quoting Psalm 109.1 LXX). The New Jerusalem is even now descending (Revelation 21.2), and the Kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4.17 and about four other places). It is our part, as the Church, to cooperate with God in receiving the actual landing of the beautiful city — a “landing” that will be accomplished at the Last Day. If a person is overcome by dread, and becomes despairing of the End Times — whether they are Christian or secular — then they have not been thinking about the Last Day in an Orthodox healthy way. The Last Day fills us with hope: if there is no hope, then we must have been tuning into the wrong station…” – ‘Second Terrace’ blog *

Prayer:  O my God I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. (Act of Charity)