The way of a son is through love

Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov

Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov

Today is the Sunday of Judgment, in which the sober reality of the coming judgment of all creation by God is laid before us liturgically.

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FEAR of torment is the way of a slave, desire of reward in the heavenly kingdom is the way of a hireling, but God’s way is that of a son, through love.

St Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain.

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EXCEPT that sorrow which is endured either for the sake of saving penitence, or for the sake of aiming at perfection, or for the desire of the future, all sorrow and dejection must equally be resisted, as belonging to this world, and being that which “worketh death,” and must be entirely expelled from our hearts like the spirit of fornication and covetousness and anger.

St John Cassian, “Institutes” IX xii (CCEL).

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THE great sin is joylessness.

Elder Paisios the Athonite.

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THE man who chooses to consider God an avenger, presuming that in this manner he bears witness to His justice, accuses Him of being bereft of goodness.

Far be it, that vengeance could ever be found in that Fountain of love and Ocean brimming with goodness! The aim of His design is the correction of men.

St Isaac of Syria.

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GOD did not create us for wrath but for salvation (cf. 1 Thess 5:9), so that we might enjoy His blessings; and we should therefore be thankful and grateful towards our Benefactor.

But our failure to get to know His gifts has made us indolent, and indolence has made us forgetful, with the result that ignorance lords it over us.

St Peter Damascene.

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IN a prayer which the ever-memorable Archimandrite Sophrony [Sakharov] composed he included among others two petitions:

One, that God should prolong the days of his life until he should offer Him true repentance.

The other, that when God should decide to receive him, He should give him foreknowledge of it so that he might be prepared to meet Him.

“Grant me, Lord, to know Thy truth before my departure from this life. Prolong my days until I may offer Thee true repentance. Do not carry me up in the middle of my days, and when it pleases Thee to put an end to my life, let me know before my death, so that my soul may prepare to meet Thee.

“On that day, great and holy for me, be with me, Lord, and grant me the joy of Thy Salvation. Cleanse me from every sin, manifest and hidden, from all lawlessness hidden in me, and count me worthy to offer Thee a good answer before Thy dread Judgement seat. Amen”.

These two requests are my dearest entreaties.
I ask the reader to pray to God for me that they be fulfilled.

Let our unceasing prayer be:

“That we may spend the rest of our days
in peace and repentance, we beseech
Thee, O Lord”.

“For a Christian end of our life,
painless, peaceful and unashamed,
and for a good answer before the
dread judgment-seat of Christ,
we beseech Thee”.

Let the cry be fervent:

“Grant this, O Lord”.

Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, Bishop of Nafpaktos, in “Life After Death” (Epilogue), online at the Monastery of the Birth of the Theotokos.

Selected passages above were taken from this list of Orthodox quotations.

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