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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




When you are in church, receiving the holy sacraments of Christ, do not go outside without having achieved perfect peace. Stay in place, and do not leave before the sacrament has been completed. Imagine you are in heaven, together with the Holy Angels, waiting to meet God and to receive Him into your heart. Prepare yourself for Holy Communion, with much fear and terror, so that you do not partake of the holy Powers as someone unworthy of them.


If you love imperishability and immortality, then come honorably and piously and with faith, to the life-giving and imperishable sacraments, with a fervent desire even to migrate from this world, because your faith has made you whole;

if you are afraid of death, then you have not been joined with Christ through love, even though you were given the honour of sacrificing Him with your own hands and taking His flesh;

if you loved Him, you would have hurried away, to wherever your loved one is, and not give the slightest consideration to your life and your flesh.

As a certain saint once said, the body of the Logos of God which had ascended does not descend to be sacrificed during divine Service; it is the very bread and wine which are transformed into body and blood of Christ, through the ritual which is enacted by those who have been blessed with holy priesthood; the bread and wine undergo this transformation, through the power and condescension of the Holy Spirit.

The bread is not transformed into a body other than that of our Lord, but into the very same body, and it offers eternal life, and cannot be deteriorated. How pure and holy must a priest therefore be, who touches the body of God ! And how acknowledged must he be, who connects God and people, and whose collaborators are the Most Immaculate Mother of God, all the hosts of heavenly Angels and all the saints ? I should imagine he would have the same familiarity with God, as do the Angels or the Archangels, just as he similarly has their dignitary rank.

Take note, Pisinius, that the noble gifts which will soon be sanctified, remain uncovered on the holy altar following the Symbol of Faith, as if somehow beseeching God for the salvation of those who are offering them; as if they are calling out to Him that resides in the heavens, in indescribable voices. But He that observes them, does not remain indifferent; He looks upon them, and attends, and remembers His voluntary incarnation for the sake of all sinners, His indescribable condescension and His Slaughter, for the sake of mankind. Because He did not grant us redemption and salvation with His passion as if we were just; He showed mercy to His adversaries, and He called them back, unto Him.

When we gather together in church, during the Service which we enact, the first entrance generally denotes our God's first presence, and especially the return of those who, with His help, and together with Him, enter from faithlessness into faith, and from malice into virtue, and from ignorance into knowledge.

The texts that are read after the first entrance, generally denote the wills and desires of God, in accordance with which, everyone must be educated and live by, and especially the teachings and progress of those who believed; the stolid dedication of practical people to virtue;

it is virtue that makes them comply with the holy commandments and thus enables them to face the devil's traps courageously and bravely, and to escape from all hostile actions; for those who are gnostics, it means acquiring the power of theory; with this power, they amass as much as possible the spiritual reasons behind perceptible things, and the Lord's providence for these, thus reaching the truth unerringly.

The divine music of the hymns signifies the divine pleasure that is born in the souls of everyone; from it, they draw secret power so that they forget past labours of virtue, and charge headlong with renewed strength into the remaining holy and divine labours.

The Holy Testament generally constitutes a symbol of the termination of this life; it especially signifies to the faithful the absolute annihilation of the ancient deception. For practical people, it signifies the deadening and ending of carnal law and beliefs; for gnostics, it signifies concentrating and relating the many and various reasons to the one reason which binds and determines everything, since they will have fulfilled and terminated their detailed and diverse research of nature.

The descent of the High Priest from the throne and the isolation of the neophytes generally signifies the descent from heaven and second coming of the mighty God and Saviour Jesus Christ, the judgement of sinners and saints, and the just reward to each one, according to his worth; it especially signifies to the faithful the perfect knowledge through the power of faith; the knowledge which God the Word provides with His invisible presence, with which every hesitation and doubt about faith is driven out, just as the neophyte is removed. To the practical, it signifies absolute apathy, for the sake of which, all passionate and unenlightened ideas abandon the soul. to the gnostic, it signifies the science which connects everything that they have learned, and thanks to which, all images of material things are driven out of the soul.

The closing of the doors, the entrance of the holy sacraments, the divine embrace and the delivery of the Creed generally signify the transience of perceptible things, the revelation of intellectual things, the new teaching of the divine mystery of our salvation, the union of everyone with everyone, with ourselves, and with God, in love, peace and common faith, and finally it signifies the thanks for the means of our salvation; they especially signify for the faithful their improvement through the transition from simple faith to teaching, to initiation, to unanimity and piety which spring from the dogma.

The closing of doors signifies the first, the entrance of the holy sacraments signifies the second, the embrace signifies the third, the delivery of the Creed signifies the fourth.

To the practical, these all signify the transition from act to theory (through initiation which cleanses the mind of all sensations), and the actions that will draw them away from the flesh and the world, and likewise, to take them from the letter of the commandments, to the essence of the commandments. They furthermore denote the familiarity and the union of the commandments themselves, according to their own special reason, just as it is observed with the powers of the soul, and finally, they denote the proper way of praying theologically to God. To the gnostics, they signify the transition from the observation of nature to the perfect and simple knowledge of the intellectual, no longer attempting to grasp the divine, inexpressible reason by means of a certain sensation, or through physical phenomena. Finally, they signify the union of the soul with its various powers, as well as the simplicity with which the mind can singly grasp the reason of providence.

During the Thrice Holy, the endless sanctifying glorification of the holy angels generally signifies the equivalent coexistence and progress and consonance of the powers of heaven and earth in the glorification during the future lifetime which will come in the same way and simultaneously, when, during the resurrection the people's bodies will be redeemed of mortality and will cease to burden the soul with their deterioration, themselves becoming heavy; for they shall become imperishable, they shall acquire the strength and the ability to welcome the divine presence; it especially signifies to the faithful the theological competition with angels in faith; for the practical, a glorious life which shall not be lesser than the angelic life, as much as this is possible for humans, and also denotes skill in theological hymnology. For the gnostics, it signifies knowledge of God, and hymns and praises the same as the angels, as much as this is possible for humans.

The blessed invocation of almighty God and Father, and the delivery of "One Holy" and all else that follows, and the communion of the holy and life-giving sacraments signify the overall adoption of all worthy people which God shall grant us by His benevolence; the union and the familiarity and affinity to God, and thus, theosis for those who are saved. God alone shall be everything, to all.

To those who through virtue and their knowledge shall have the gift of brightness, the Creator will shine upon them His supreme beauty.

You may call faithful those who are introduced into the faith; virtuous those who progress, and gnostics those who are perfect, otherwise, servants and wage-earners and sons, the three classes of those who may be saved. The young in faith are servants, because they obey the Lord's commandments out of fear for punishment, and thus willingly execute everything that is entrusted to them. The wage-earners are thus called, because, in their desire to acquire the bounty that has been promised, they patiently carry the weight and the heat of the day, (that is to say, the ingrained and necessary oppression of this present lifetime which was brought by the cardinal sin), and also withstand those temptations which are inevitable for those seeking virtue. Wage-earners are also called those, who wisely decide on their own to trade a life for a life - the present one for the future one.

Sons are those who do not fear punishment, nor desire any reward, but who never depart from God, because the tendency and the disposition of their soul is permanently focused on goodness.

Just as the son who was told : ""My child, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours".

We too can become this, with the grace of God, and to the extent that we each deserve; that which God is, and that we believe He is, from His nature and His position.

Saint Makarios the Egyptian

These phenomena, I tell you so that you may know, are the imprints and the shadows of hidden truths. The temple which we see, symbolizes the temple of the heart, the priest symbolizes the true priest, which is the grace of God, and is is thus with everything.

Therefore, inside this visible church, if the appropriate verses and psalms are not read, and the entire service does not take place according to the rules of the church, the priest cannot proceed with the holy Sacrament of the body and blood of Christ; and then, even if the entire service takes place according to the rules, but the priest does not offer secret thanks for the offering and the communion of the body of Christ, then neither the ecclesiastic institution has been fulfilled, nor is the worship of the Sacrament completed.

This is exactly how you should perceive the acts of a Christian, I tell you, because, even if we are successful in fasting and night-vigils and psalm-singing and every other exercise and virtue, if they all these are done without the secret intervention of the Spirit in the sacrificial altar of our heart, and likewise for any sensation and spiritual comfort, then the entire series of excercises remains incomplete and almost futile, if one does not feel secretly in his heart the exaltation of the Spirit.

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