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15 Quotations of Spiritual Guidance by St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite


1. God is the perfect good that we must love; sin is the utter evil that we must abhor and disdain. God is the immeasurable ocean of perfection, while sin is the abyss of evil. God is the goodness infinitely higher than all goodness; sin is the evil infinitely worse than all evil.

2. Wake up, O brother, be vigilant and seek to abstain from every kind of sin that defiles you. Upon partaking of the most pure Sacraments, say to yourself, “Now I am the house of God. How can I let myself to convert into the den of sin?”

3. Beloved brother, think about the love that God shows to you in the gift of the Holy Communion. It is in this Sacrament that his love reaches the apex of its perfection. Saint John the Evangelist states that Jesus having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. (John 13: 1). A furnace is known by its heat; similarly, the Lord’s love is known by the Sacrament of the Divine Eucharist.

4. We must love God more than anyone else because it is in him that the plenitude of all virtues—beauty, wisdom, might, holiness, majesty, goodness, infiniteness, life, peace, liberty, glory, justice, and salvation—abounds. All these are not God but they are God’s qualities.

5. The true sacrifice is almsgiving, doing all kinds of good, and cutting off passions.

6. When a pious and virtuous soul does not purify itself from minor sins, they do a lot of damage because if they remain in the soul for too long, it starts to pay attention to them; hence, chastity of virtue and the fragrance of the Divine grace withdraw from it, and it becomes extremely difficult for such a soul to achieve perfection.

7. The vocation of a Christian is that of a warrior. Regardless of how tempting worldly pleasures might appear, they can’t overcome a Christian warrior.

8. Faith is the power that dwells in the mind and the will of a human being. One’s mind is kindled by the heavenly light and stores the truths revealed to it by the Lord. Likewise, one’s will is moved by God to do everything that is true and is guided by the mind. When one’s faith is powerless, one’s mind can’t grasp God’s mysteries, while the will doesn’t want to love them even before the mind comprehends them.

9. You might ask: is it a sin to sleep peacefully, eat and drink well, and have fun? This is a question that you justify yourself with because, although it isn’t a sin, it encourages you to sin. It prevents you from tasting spiritual gifts from God.

10. It is hard to describe how pride devastates one’s soul. Consider this: the worst evil in this world is sin; the greatest good is Divine grace. Pride is the root of all evil. It opposes God’s grace and does us immense harm. It is the worst of mortal sins because it leads one to commit all other sins.

11. Christ and pride cannot coexist in one’s heart: where there is pride, there is no Christ, and vice versa.

12. O wretched man, do you want to know what you really are like? Consider this: Prophet Isaiah says that the nations are as a drop of a bucket before God (Is. 40: 15). Now divide that drop into the number of all people, dead and living and those who will live after we die, and see how tiny each of us is. You are that tiny particle of a drop of a bucket. Your powers are as negligible as you are. You are nothing, and your power is zero. You’ve solved this problem, now be proud of yourself, if you can. If you continue to think high of yourself even after that, behold: you’re very close to failure…

13. Persevere in this life so as not to hear the dreadful words of Christ, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things (Luke 16:25). Understand at last that the Heavenly Kingdom is achieved by those who exert themselves, as the Lord said, The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force (Matthew 11:12), and not by those who sit idle and comfortable.

14. While we are alive, we can turn our lives into the time of repentance and cling to the merciful Lord who is always ready to forgive us and grant us everlasting bliss in his paradise, even though we often forget about our sins.

15. Do not praise yourself and do not seek to be the first. Do not attempt to look better than others because that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God (Luke 16:15). Remember that the Lord can tolerate any of your sins except pride. Bring to mind the mockery, the insults, and the disgrace that Jesus Christ endured on the Cross. It will help you to humble yourself down.

From Homilies by St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite
Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds

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