And so said Abba Isidor Pilusiot:

- Many people, granted, want virtue, but are reluctant to follow the path that leads to it; while others do not even know that there is virtue. The former, therefore, we need to convince to reject listlessness, whereas the latter we need to teach that virtue is indeed virtue .

- From Conferences



 “There is no fear in love But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We worship him because he first worshiped us. If someone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is indeed a liar. Because one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, God, Whom he has not seen, how can he love? And this commandment we have from Him, that he who loves God must love his brother too. Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God, is born of God, and everyone who loves their parent loves the child born from that parent. By this, we understand that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments. For His commandments are not burdensome, for everyone who is born of God overcomes the world and this is the victory that overcomes the world” (1 Jn. 4 , 18-21, 5, 1-4 ): faith, hope, meekness, longsuffering, fasting, praying in warm tears, and most of all this angelic beauty, meek-minded obedience and love for which has come down to us the Son of God, and to this adding and guilelessness. “ Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature” (1 Cor. 14:20 ) .

- St. Sava , Hilandar Typicon




Let everyone serve to the body by his own forces and let him always make sure to help another, whether by teaching, by feeding his brother’s heart with the word of God, by offering solace in time of mourning, by giving a hand to help and serve. Simply let each according to his own powers have unity with others. Because the more united with thy neighbor, more united with God.

And to get a better understanding , I will give you an example from the Fathers. Imagine a circle on the ground, a round cross-section that is made by rotating of calipers... Understand well what I say. Assume that the circle is – the world, and the very centre of the circle is – God. The lines, however, leading from the circle to the centre are the roads, or human lives. And so, if the saintly come into the inside of the circle, trying to get closer to God, the more, in proportion to the entry, they become closer to God and each other. And that much closer to God as they are closer to each other and that much closer they are to each other as they are closer to God. Understand the same for distancing. Who moves away from God and returns to the exterior, it is obvious that, in proportion to the distance from the centre, he is distant from others. Conversely, as much as he moves away from others, that much he moves away from God.

Such is the nature of love. That much as we are outside and we love not God, that much is each of us away from our neighbour. By the same token, how much we love God, and how we approach Him with love, that much we unite with our neighbours. Conversely, how much we unite with our neighbour, that much we are united with God .

- From the Morals of Abba Dorotheos




Hear thus kings and understand; learn, judges of the ends of the earth;

Remember, you who rule the many, you who pride over many nations :

The Lord has given your power and mastery comes from the Ona Above! He will examine your works and explore your thoughts.


– Wisdom of Solomon (6, 1-3),
portion of reading of Old Testament passages (parimies)
in Theodosius’ service to St. Simeon




A monk is a man who keeps only the commandments and words of God, at any time, at any place, in any endeavour. Being a monk means constantly force nature and tirelessly watch over one’s senses. The monk has a dedicated body, cleaned mouth and enlightened mind. The monk has too painful a soul, constantly preoccupied with the memory of the death, whether awake or asleep. Separation from the world is the deliberate hatred of what people around the world praise, and denial of nature in order to accomplish that which is supernatural.

All those who are ready to discard that which belongs to this life, certainly were driven by a desire for a future Kingdom, or by an abundance of sins, or perhaps, the love of God. If they followed none of these objectives, then their abandonment of the world is nonsense. Only, in this case too, our good Judge expects to see what will be the end of their life’s journey...

Those who begin this feat, to set up a secure foundation, need to give up everything, to despise everything, to ridicule, to reject everything. A firm, triple and three-tiered foundation consists of: innocence, fasting and chastity. All children in Christ shall begin with these virtues, taking as an example the actual children: in children, there is not a shred of evil. In them no-one will ever find wickedness, nor insatiable hunger, nor a voracious belly, nor a lustful body...

A man who renounced the world driven by fear resembles a lit up incense, which first gives out a scent and then finishes in smoke. The one, however, who did it for the reward, is reminiscent of a millstone that is always uniformly rotating. Nevertheless, a man who leaves the world for divine love acquires fire right at the beginning. He is, on the other hand, as if he is an amber thrown into a forest, in a blink of an eye he grows into a huge blaze.


– from The Ladder, St. John of the Ladder




Abba Anthony said:

- The time will come when men will be mindless, and every time when they see someone sensible they will rise up against him, saying, “ You are mindless”, because he is not like them.


-          From Conferences





It happened once in a monastic skete that some monk fell into sin, and after the congress had gathered, they sent for Abba Moses. But he did not want to come, so the presbyter sent a message to him, saying:

- Come forth, because the people are waiting for you.

And so he gets up and sets forth. Then he takes a punctured basket, fills it with sand and takes it with him. And the brothers who went out to meet him, when he arrived asked:

- What is that, father?

And the old man replied,

- My sins are behind me and they seep away and I do not see them; yet I have come to judge about another person’s sins.

And they, having heard this, said nothing to that brother and forgave him.


- From Conferences (a collection of wisdom of the Desert Fathers)



Walk forthright with your feet, and rectify your paths. Do not sway neither left nor right, because the roads to the right are known only by God, and those to the left are unkempt.  While you learn what is forthright, and may your path be in peace.

Before death, Simeon gives spiritual advice to his son Sava, from the Life of St. Simeon.





„“he who wants to be elder, let him be under all and servant of all”;


„if you are not innocent like children, you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven“.

And again:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for yours is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

" Blessed are the meek here , because there they will be heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are the hungry and thirsty here, because there they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful here, because there they will be pardoned. Blessed are the pure in heart, they will always see God.”

- Evangelical spiritual guidance chosen by St Simeon,

from the Life of St Simeon by Saint Sava





“Holy Trinity, our God, I praise Thee and bless Thee, and pray to Thee, and imagine Thee, and here for the third time I give my blessing to my heirs. Lord Almighty, God of our Fathers: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the righteous seed! Save them and strengthen them in the country which I ruled, and the aid of the Holy Theotokos, and my prayers, though sinful, be with them now and forever. And I give them this ancient commandment: love one another! But if one of them departs from what I told them and left them, let the wrath of God swallow him and his descendants.”

– Last message of Simeon to the Serbs, from the Life of St Simeon.



No closeness or reciprocity does not exceed the closeness of the soul with God and God with the soul. God created various matter: the sky and earth, the sun, the moon, water, fertile trees, various species of animals. However, in neither of them, He does not rest. All matter is in his power, and yet not in a single thing He has not made a throne nor has he entered into communion. He only had the good will to man, stepping into communion with him and resting in him. Do you see what the relationship is of God to man and man to God?

As God created the heavens and the earth for habitat of man, so he created the body and soul of man for His habitat, i.e for Him to move and to rest in man’s body as in His home, and that His beloved soul, created in his image, be a beautiful bride to Him.

High is the dignity of man. See what the heavens and the earth are like, the sun and the moon, and yet the Lord did not deigned to commit to them, but only to man. Therefore,  man is more valuable of all substances. I dare say – not only of visible, but also of the invisible, i.e of spirits who serve. Because of Archangel Michael nor of Archangel Gabriel God did not say: Let us make him in the image and in our likeness (Gen. 1:26), but in the mental nature man, that is, in his immortal soul.

- From The Morals of St. Macarius





 When he was dying, Abba Benjamin told his children:

- To be saved, you do this: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks for everything”.

- From Conferences (a collection of wisdom of the Desert Fathers)





Yes, my beloved children, what is more reliable and fairer than the words that Christ alone attests and confirms with truth? What is better than this: not taste death forever? Because only the untasting of death is already far from si , because with the tasting of sin death entered all mankind until Christ. For this tasted death He, who is sinless and immortal after his first birth from the Father, but he tasted for us, and suffered, so that with our faith in Him we taste immortality, as the prophet said: “Taste and see that the Lord is good”. It is therefore a good Lord and just and faithful to all His words, and all his works are done in faith. Therefore, my god-loved children, we who love him should perform acts of faith in Christ Jesus our Lord , who we have received from Him eternal faith, such a gift – that we ever die!

- From Žiča Sermon of St. Sava of the true faith





Oh you two chosen by God, holy and wonderful, God-bearing and most holy fathers Simeon and Sava, who are now standing together before the Holy Trinity shone brightly with His light, and watch on us from above, do not forget to take good care of us, your people.

Do not remember the evil which we enraged God, do not be ashamed of our uncleanness with which we sin before Him and because of we stand far from Him. But as child-loving fathers, bathed with repentance from them, adopt us clean unto Him, and always give us gifts of goodness that you extolled from Him. Save us with your prayers from the invasion of the wretched and every desecration!

We know that with the filth of lawlessness of our deeds we cause much suffering to you and make you feeble. But do not leave, do not push away, to do not cast aside as out of kin, for we are your inheritance and through you we share the destiny from God and we do not withhold your numerous effort and sweat for us.


– Theodosius, Prayer to Saints Simeon and Sava



They spoke that Abba Gelasius had a book bound in leather, valued at eighteen ducats: he had, in fact, the entire Old and New Testament transcribed. And it was also in the church, so that each of the brothers, if they wanted, could read it. One foreign brother came to visit the old man, and as he saw the book he wanted it for himself, and after stealing it, he escaped. And the old man, although he noticed it, did not give himself chase to catch him. After this, that brother went into the city and attempted to sell the book, and having found someone who was about to buy it, asked for the price of sixteen ducats. And the buyer said unto him:

- Let me, first, review it, and then I will give you the money.

He gave him the book and, having taken it, the buyer brought it to Abba Gelasius for review, telling him the price that the seller asked. And the old man said to him:

- Buy it because it is a good book and worth as much as you are asked to buy it.

Having returned, the man told the seller otherwise, and not as the old man said:

- Here, I showed it to Abba Gelasius, and he said to me that it is too much and that the book is not worth as much as you asked for it.

And the seller, when he heard this, said,

- The old man had nothing more to say? He replied:

- He did not. Then the other man said:

- I do not want to sell it.

And then, moved , he came in front of the old man, making gifts and asking him to take the book back. But the old man did not want to accept it. Then his brother said:

If you do not take it, I will not have peace. And the old man said:

-          If the case is that you won’t have peace, then I’ll take it.

And so the brother remained there until his repose, having great spiritual benefit from this old mam’s proceedings.

– from Conferences



Abba Isaac spoke thus: “when I was younger, I was living near Abba Chronius, and he never told me to serve him with something, even though he was old and trembling, but he got up himself and brought forth the pitcher to me and to others that were likes me. I also lived by Abba Theodore of Ferma, he too never told me to do something, but he set up the table himself, saying:

- Brother, if you want, come and eat.

And I would say:

- Abba, I came to you so that I gained some spiritual benefit, and why you never tell me to do something ?

But the old man would always remain silent. I go and tell this to the elders. And the elders, coming to him, said to him:

Abba, our brother came to your saintliness for spiritual benefit, why do not you order him that he should do something ?

And the old man says to them:

- Am I a hoarier so I can command him? I certainly will not tell him anything, but if he so wishes, let him do what I do. Since then, I would always beat the old man to whatever he was supposed to do. And everything he did, he did in silence. And this has taught me to do my work in silence.

- from Conferences



One monk who was wronged by another brother, came to Abba Sisois to complain and he says:

- One of my brothers had done me wrong and I want pay back to him.

But the old man began to pray to him:

- No, my son, better leave vengeance to God.

The first brother spoke,

- I will not rest until I get my vengeance.

And the old man said:

- Let us pray, brother.

And having stood up as the old man said:

- God, it is not necessary to take care of us anymore, because we are avenge ourselves by ourselves.

The monk, when he heard this, fell at the feet of the old man, saying,

- I will not be in conflict with my brother, forgive me, Abba.


- From Conferences (a collection of wisdom of the Desert Fathers)



There came a monk to Abba Pimen and said,

- Abba, I have many thoughts and I am in danger from them.

The old man takes him out to the wind and he says:

- Spread your arms and hold the winds. And he said:

- I cannot do it.

And the old man retorts:

- If you cannot do this, then you cannot prevent thoughts to come, but it is up to you to confront them.

- From Conferences

They spoke about how Abba John the Dwarf once said to one older brother:

- I would like to be carefree , carefree as angels who continually praise God. Then, taking off his cloak, he set out into the desert, and having spent a week there, came back to his brother. And as soon as he knocked on the door, brother addressed him even before he opened :

- Who are you ?

And he said :

- I am John, your brother.

He said to him :

- John has become an angel and is no longer among people. And he cried to him, saying :

- It is I.

But his brother did not open the door but left him to lament until the morning .

Then he opened and said :

- You are man, again you have the need to work in order to be fed.

And he made a metany and said :

- Forgive me.


– From Conferences

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