“Everyone knows that a church calls for reverence, for a collecting of thoughts, for deep thinking about God, and for standing in the presence of God, but who fulfils this? People go to church with a desire to pray, to stand in it for a while with warm fervour; but then thoughts begin to wander, and bargaining begins in one’s head even louder than that which the Lord found in the Jerusalem temple.

Why is this so?

Because the way one stands in church is a reflection of one’s entire life. As people live, so do they behave in church. A church influences and somewhat supports spiritual movements; but then the usual course of one’s spiritual constitution takes over.

Therefore if you want your time in church to consist of worthily standing in the face of the Lord, prepare for this in your ordinary life; walk, as much as you can, in a prayerful frame of mind.

This labour will bring you to the point that in church also you will stand reverently all the time. This reverence will inspire you to be reverent in your ordinary life as well. Thus you will walk ever higher and higher. Say, ‘O Lord, help’ —and begin!”

~St. Theophan the Recluse, from Thoughts For Each Day of the Year

(photo via Pinterest)

You must never be afraid, if you are troubled by a flood of thoughts, that the enemy is too strong against you, that his attacks are never ending, that the war will last for your lifetime, and that you cannot avoid incessant downfalls of all kinds. Know that our enemies, with all their wiles, are in the hands of our divine Commander, our Lord Jesus Christ, for Whose honour and glory you are waging war. Since He himself leads you into battle, He will certainly not suffer your enemies to use violence against you and overcome you, if you do not yourself cross over to their side with your will. He will Himself fight for you and will deliver your enemies into your hands, when He wills and as He wills, as it is written: ‘The Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee’ (Deut. 22, 14).

St. Theophan the Recluse

“A rational analysis is not applicable in the realm of faith. It can have place only on its threshold. As an anatomist divides the whole body into its details, but does not see life, so also reason, no matter how much it deliberates, does not comprehend the power of faith.”

~St. Theophan the Recluse

(Photo © dramoor 2015 St. Bartholomew, Duomo, Milan, Italy)

With what fear and trembling must we work our salvation! And how sincerely and zealously must we pray to God: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me (Ps. 50:10)
—  St. Theophan the Recluse


By all accounts the world moves,
and without disdain.
Your boy knows you now, though he walks the topography of space,
I paint the sunset in dirt and gold ink,
A summation
of the wonder
of now
and last we met
You still wait on shores, painting your coral nails
burning leaves
from here, you are the earth
to me.

—  chris herrmann

“You seek the Lord?  Seek, but only within yourself.  He is not far from anyone.  The Lord is near all those who truly call on Him.  Find a place in your heart, and speak there with the Lord.  It is the Lord’s reception room.  Everyone who meets the Lord, meets Him there; He has fixed no other place for meeting souls.”

~St. Theophan the Recluse

The enemy does not have power over the soul; he can only frighten it with illusory terrors. Do not give in.
—  St. Theophan the Recluse