How is it that my soul loves impurity? – Apophthegmata Patrum


A brother asked an elder, “How is it that my soul loves impurity?” The elder said to him, “The soul desires the passions, but it is the Spirit of God who takes it in hand. We should weep over our own sins and impurities. Did you notice how the Lord called down to Mary when she stooped down at the sepulcher and wept [cf. Jn 20:1-16]? That is how it will be for the soul.

[Apopthegmata Patrum]

If you hate something, refrain from doing it to others – Apopthegmata Patrum


One of the elders said, “If you hate something, refrain from doing it to somebody else. Do you hate it when somebody speaks ill of you? Then speak no ill of any person. Do you hate it when somebody makes false accusations against you? Then do not accuse anybody falsely. Do you hate it if somebody sets you at naught or insults you or makes off with what is yours or does whatever is like that? Then do nothing of that sort to another. For the person who can keep this saying, it will suffice for his salvation.

[Apophthegmata Patrum]

To be truly merciful – Mar Isaac


If you are truly merciful, do not grieve inwardly when you are unjustly deprived of something you possess, and do not tell others of your loss. Nay rather, let the loss you suffer from others be swallowed up by your own mercy, as the sharp edge of wine is swallowed up by much water.

[Mar Isaac the Syrian, Homily 6, Ascetical Homilies]