1. If we make every effort to avoid death of the body, still more should it be our endeavor to avoid death of the soul. There is no obstacle for a man who wants to be saved other than negligence and laziness of soul.
2. Men are often called intelligent wrongly. Intelligent men are not those who are erudite in the sayings and books of the wise men of old, but those who have an intelligent soul and can discriminate between good and evil. They avoid what is sinful and harms the soul; and with deep gratitude to God they resolutely adhere by dint of practice to what is good and benefits the soul. These men alone should truly be called intelligent.
3. One should not say that it is impossible to reach a virtuous life; but one should say that it is not easy. Nor do those who have reached it find it easy to maintain. Those who are devout and whose intellect enjoys the love of God participate in the life of virtue; the ordinary intellect, however, is worldly and wavering, producing both good and evil thoughts, because it is changeful by nature and directed towards material things. But the intellect that enjoys the love of God punishes the evil which arises spontaneously because of man’s laziness.
4. Whoever has not experienced temptation cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Without temptations no-one can be saved.
5. What is slander? It is every sort of wicked word we would dare not speak in front of the person whom we are complaining about.
6. This is the great work of man: always to take the blame for his own sins before God and to expect temptation to his last breath.
7. Do not have a single thing to do with schismatics and absolutely nothing with heretics . . . As you know I myself have avoided them due to their Christ hating and heterodox heresy.
8. The devil is afraid of us when we pray and make sacrifices. He is also afraid when we are humble and good. He is especially afraid when we love Jesus very much. He runs away when we make the Sign of the Cross.
9. One who knows oneself, knows God: and one who knows God is worthy to worship Him as is right. Therefore, my beloveds in the Lord, know yourselves.
10. Always have the fear of God before your eyes. Remember Him who gives death and lives. Hate the world and all that is in it. Hate the peace that comes from the flesh. Renounce this life, so that you may be alive to God.
11. Learn to love humility, for it will cover all your sins. All sins are repulsive before God, but the most repulsive of all is pride of the heart. Do not consider yourself learned and wise; otherwise, all your efforts will be destroyed, and your boat will reach the harbor empty. If you have great authority, do not threaten anyone with death. Know that, according to nature, you too are susceptible to death, and that every soul sheds its body as its final garment.
12. A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.
13. He who neglects the Son throws stones at the Father as well. For the Son Himself speaks of God in the Gospels that he who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father.
14. As long as it [the human soul] is engulfed by winter of evil, she is barren and impossible to compare with others, remains dead and barren. But when it receives the Divine and understandable in the spiritual sense rain of verbal teaching, then the cold of evil ends: it discards the nasty clothes of many passions, warming itself with the word, and when it comes to life from Divine moisture and spiritual warmth, it brings forth fruit, according to God’s word: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
15. The Holy Trinity teaches angels, angels teach people, and we teach those who are behind us.