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Latter-day Fathers

Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain

Gerontissa Gabrielia

Elder Germanos of Stavrovouni

Stories from the Desert Fathers

On Good and Evil

On Lasciviousness

On Avarice

On Repetance

On Prayer

On Fasting

On Labour

On Confession

On Matrimony

On Holy Communion

Gerontikon of
Mt. Athos

Elder Joseph the Hesychast and the teaching of mental prayer which flowed
from his letters

Prayer of the heart for the Faithfull Living in the world

With the Fathers

On the Necessity of Constant Prayer for all Christians

Hermas: The Shepherd

First Vision

Second Vision

Third Vision

Fourth Vision

Fifth Vision

First Commandment


Third Commandment

Forth Commandment

Fifth Commandment

Sixth Commandment


Eighth Commandment

Ninth Commandment

Tenth Commandment



First Similitude

Second Similitude

Third Similitude

Forth Similitude

Fifth Similitude

Sixth Similitude

Seventh Similitude

Eighth Similitude

Ninth Similitude

Tenth Similitude

St. John Chrysostom - Homily on the passage <Father if it be possible...>

Symeon of
Thessaloniki -
All should pray in the
name of Jesus Christ

Basil of Caesarea - Letter 234 to Amphilochius

Basil of Caesarea - On the Holy Spirit 66-68

The Martyrdom of St. Polycarp

St. John Chrysostom Instructions to Catechumens

First Instruction (1)

First Instruction (2)

First Instruction (3)

First Instruction (4)

First Instruction (5)

Second Instruction (1)

Second Instruction (2)

Second Instruction (3)

Second Instruction (4)

Second Instruction (5)

St. John Chrysostom Three homilees concering the power
of demons


Homily 1

Homily 2



Abba Theodoros of Fermi

Abba Theodoros of Fermi said :

"The person who remains steadfast in repentance, is not bound to any commandment."

Abba Isaac of Thebes

Abba Isaac of Thebes once visited a commune, and , upon seeing a brother committing a sin, reproached him. When he departed to the desert, an angel of the Lord came to him, and stood at the entrance of his hut, saying :

"I shall not allow you to enter."

He then beseeched him :

"What have I done ?"

And the angel replied :

"God has sent me, with the instruction to ‘say to him, where do you command that I place the soul of the sinful brother whom you judged ?' "

He then immediately repented, and said :

"I have sinned, forgive me."

And the angel said :

"Rise up, God has forgiven you. From now on, take care not to judge anyone before He has judged him."

Abba Poemen

Abba Poemen said :

"If a man should sin, and then deny it, by saying "I did not sin", do not check him, for you may deter his good will.

If however you say to him "don't be distressed, my brother, but in future be more careful", you raise his soul, towards repentance.

Abba Dorotheos

Abba Dorotheos used to say that it is impossible for someone who adheres to his own opinions and thoughts, to become submissive, or to conform to whatever is best for his neighbour.

Antonios the Great

Through His Word, God created the various species of animals for the needs of man; others for sustenance, others to serve him; man was created to look upon the animals and their works in admiration, and to give thanks to God.

Man must therefore be very careful, that he does not perish as dumb animals do, without seeing and feeling God.

Man must furthermore understand that God is almighty and that nothing exists, which has not been of His will, and who is able to do anything; that He created - and creates - whatever He wishes, from nothing, through His word, in order to save mankind.

For people who comprehend it, death is immortality; however, for the foolish who do not comprehend, it is death; but this death we should not fear.

The loss of one's soul, that is to say, ignorance of God, is the real misfortune for the soul, and it is this, that we should be afraid of.

Saint Kassianos the Roman

Last of all spoke the blessed Antonios : "Everything that you have said is both necessary and beneficial, for those who seek God and who wish to approach Him. But we are not permitted to give these virtues first place; we have seen many who tortured themselves with fasting and night-vigils and who departed to the desert, and practiced such disdain for possessions, to the point of depriving themselves even of their daily sustenance, and who achieved such charity, that whatever they possessed was not enough to give; only to become a pitiful sight, by having thus fallen from virtue, and sliding into malice.

What, then, made them lose the straight path ? Nothing more - as I believe and judge - other than their lack of the gift of discernment. This gift teaches a person not to exaggerate anything, and to follow the royal (middle) path; it will not cause him to be harmed from the right-hand side by uncontrolled abstinence, nor from the left-hand side by being drawn into indifference and flabbiness.

To the soul, discernment is an eye and a lamp, as the Gospel says : "the eye is the lamp of the body : if your eye is clear, your entire body will be brightened; if your eye is darkened, your entire body becomes dark."

And it is truly so. Because discernment checks all of our thoughts and actions, and it perceives and isolates whatever is evil and displeasing to God, and thus expels all misconception.

This can also be seen in the narrations of the Bible. For instance, Saul, to whom God first entrusted Israel, did not have that discerning eye, hence his thought was darkened, and could not discern that it was God's wish that he should obey holy Samuel's commands, rather than to offer sacrifice. And while he believed that his actions pleased God, it was exactly for these actions that he was expelled from the kingdom. This would not have happened to him, if he had acquired within him the light of discernment.

The Apostle also named discernment "sun", when he said "let not the sun set on your anger".

And it is also referred to as government of our lives, according to the script : "whomsoever does not have government, shall fall like the leaves".

And the Scripture refers to it as awareness , and it teaches us to do nothing without it, so that even the spiritual wine - which elates a man's heart - may not be partaken of, without discretion, as in the saying "drink wine with awareness", and also "whomsoever does not always act with awareness, resembles a city in ruins, without walls".

Wisdom and understanding and prudence are attributed to awareness, without which, we are unable to build our inner home, or gather spiritual wealth, as was said "a home is built with wisdom, and is raised with prudence, and its storerooms are filled with riches, through prudence."

It has also been referred to as solid sustenance, for those who have trained their senses with ascetic labours, and by habit are able to discern good and evil.

It is therefore obvious that, without the gift of discernment, no virtue can be created, or maintained unchanging to the end;

discernment gives birth to, and protects, all virtues.

Saint Mark the Ascete

There is the uneventful and beneficial crushing of the heart which leads it to piety, and there is the abnormal and harmful kind, which perverts it.

Do not seek the fulfilment of this law (of freedom) in human virtues; no-one becomes perfect through these (virtues);

One's perfection can only be found within the Cross of Christ.

He that has ceased to sin and is already repenting, check him no longer.

And if you say that you are checking him according to God's will,

first reveal your own sins .

Painful events bestow remembrance of God to the wise man and likewise anguish, to him that has forgotten God.

Man counsels his neighbour, according to the knowledge which the latter possesses;

God acts within him that listens, according to the faith he possesses.

When you perceive that your thought urges you to desire human glory, be assured that it is preparing you for humiliation.

Whomsoever we clearly observe to be sinning and not repenting, and is without suffering to his day of death, you must know that God's judgement of him will be merciless.

If you sin, do not be annoyed by the act, but by the inclination.

If the mind had not preceded, the body would not have followed.

Let us say that the most despicable vices are twelve;

if you voluntarily embrace a single one of them, it will supplement the other eleven.

Conscience is a book which originates from within our nature. Whoever actually studies it, receives God's help.

One is not abstinent, if nurtured by ponderings.

For even if they are beneficial, they are not more beneficial than hope.

No-one is as guileless and charitable as God. However, to a person who does not repent, He too will not offer any forgiveness.

Many of us feel regret for our sins, yet, we accept their causes with all our heart.

Esychius the Elder

A proper teacher for both the body and the soul is the constant remembrance of death; we should bypass everything else that intervenes, and incessantly bring to mind our death, the bed in which we shall lay during our dying breath, and all the rest.

We should utilize the three parts of our soul justly, and in accordance with the nature which God bestowed upon them. Anger, we should direct towards our sinful self and the devil. The Scripture says "Be angry at sin : this means, be angry with yourselves and with the devil, so that you may not sin before God". Our desire, we should direct towards God and virtue. Our mind, should be placed to guard the other two parts of the soul with knowledge and wisdom; to give them directions, to counsel them, to administer punishments and to reign over them, just as a king reigns over his subjects; then, the logic which we have inside us will govern the other two parts in accordance with God's will, even though vices may rise up against it; We should therefore ensure that our logic overpowers all vices, because, as James - the brother of Christ - said, "he that does not err with his logic is a perfect man, and he has the power to master even his entire body". Indeed, it is true that everything illegal and sinful is enacted when all three parts of the soul collaborate; likewise, every virtue and justice is attributed to the same three.

Saint Neilos the Ascete

Blessed is the Monk who looks upon every person as God, immediately after God.

Saint Makarios the Egyptian

Most people seek to gain the kingdom without labours and sweat; and while they admire the holy men and covet their honour and their charismas, they do not desire to participate in the pains and tribulations which they undergo. Everyone desires the kingdom, including whores and taxmen and every other man : it is for this reason that temptations and trials exist : so that it may become evident just how many truly loved their Lord, to have rightly earned the kingdom of heaven.

Saint Simeon the New Theologian

Let no-one deceive us with hollow words, and neither let us deceive ourselves : unless we acquire the gift of mourning and weeping, inside us cannot be found either repentance or true reform, nor the fear of God in our hearts, nor have we convicted ourselves, nor can our soul feel the coming judgement and the eternal torment.

Because, if we did convict ourselves and acquired all these things and lived inside them, tears would also inevitably come to us. Without tears, neither can our heart's rigidity be softened, nor our soul acquire spiritual humility, and ourselves manage to become humble. And he that has not become humble, cannot be joined with the Holy Spirit. And he that has not been purified in order to be joined with it, will never acquire the theory and the knowledge of God, nor is he worthy of secretly learning the virtues of humility. 

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