Quote / unquote

“What is the use of fasting from fowl and fishes if we eat our own brothers?”

— St. John Chrysostom

“Tell me, what greater service do silver encrusted couches and tables or ivory inlaid beds and chairs provide than their simpler counterparts? Yet for their sake the rich do not respond to the poor, not though thousands should come to their door crying with pitiable voices. Indeed, you refuse to give anything, insisting that it is impossible to supply the needs of those who beg of you. You profess this to be true with your tongue, but your hand gives you the lie; silently, your hand bears witness to the falsehood, flashing as it does with the jewels from your rings. How many could you have delivered from want with but a single ring from your finger? How many households fallen into destitution might you have raised? In just one of your closets there are enough clothes to cover a hundred people shivering with cold. You showed not mercy; it will not be shown to you. You opened not your house; you will be expelled from the Kingdom. You gave not your bread; you will not receive eternal life.”

— St. Basil, “To the Rich”

“If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.”

— St. Augustine

“Take no man’s life, whether he be innocent or guilty, for nothing is more precious than the human soul.”

— Law Code of Vladimir Monomakh, Great Prince of Kievan Rus’

“It is not the self-critical who reveals his humility (for does not everyone have somehow to put up with himself?). Rather it is the man who continues to love the person who has criticized him.”

— St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 22: On Vainglory

“Do not call God just, for His justice is not manifest in the things concerning you. And if David calls Him just and upright, His Son revealed to us that He is good and kind. ‘He is good’, He says ‘to the evil and to the impious.’ How can you call God just when you come across the Scriptural passage on the wage given to the workers? … How can a man call God just when he comes across the passage on the prodigal son who wasted his wealth with riotous living, how for the compunction alone which he showed, the father ran and fell upon his neck and gave him authority over all his wealth? Where, then, is God’s justice, for while we are sinners Christ died for us!”

— St. Isaac of Syria, Ascetical Homilies, 51

“The root of war is fear.”

— Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

“Prayer destroys the disease of fear.”

— St John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, 21.7