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They are more worthless than public hangmen; more audacious than all other heretics. To the Gentiles they are much inferior, and stand far apart and separate from them . I have heard from our fathers, and I believe their report to be a faithful one, that long ago, when a persecution arose in the time of Maximian, the grandfather of Constantius, the Gentiles concealed our brethren the Christians, who were sought after, and frequently suffered the loss of their own substance, and had trial of imprisonment, solely that they might not betray the fugitives. They protected those who fled to them for refuge, as they would have done their own persons, and were determined to run all risks on their behalf.
St Athanasius the Great, Historia Arianorum, chapter 64.
The destroyer of men now, as of old, tries in every way to destroy men by his lying, and by various thoughts and desires, and having stolen into the heart in the form of unbelief or any passion, he manifests himself in a manner worthy of him, mostly by impatience and malice, and you see that he is in you; but you will not often at once rid yourself of him, because he usually takes care to close every outlet in your heart by unbelief, obduracy, and others of his brood.
My Life in Christ
Saint John of Kronstadt (via heroinscarlet)

Patristic Commentary on Romans:


14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

Note 202:
Be dead in life in order that thou maycst be free through thy being dead. Be dead to the world in order that thou mayest be free from laws. For none of those who walk in them can perfectly fulfill them in this life. Who is dead in his life, is free while alive, and alive while dead.
Painstaking regarding graceful words is understood by simplicity of heart coming from God.
The soul that perceives a life above bodily life, does not adorn itself for the world. If man has not found the former, he is scarcely able to despise the latter; to despise it utterly is absolutely impossible to him. And he that would try to do so compulsorily, would stir up in himself a great struggle. But if he has found the former kind of life, he can renunciate the latter without a struggle.

St Isaac the Syrian, Homily 46.

We know namely that once the blessed Theophilus, the archbishop of Alexandria, visited him [Abba Arsenius] accompanied by the judge of that place, because they longed for the honour of seeing the saints. As he sat with them he did not comfort them even with a single word such as would have been fitting their high position, although they were very eager to hear his speech.
And when the archbishop tried to bring him to speech, the solitary was silent for a short time, and answered, saying: If I speak to you, will you remember what I say? They promised to do so. Then the solitary said to them: Wherever you hear that Arsenius is, do not come near to that place.
Doest thou see the wonderful way of the man? Doest thou see how he despised the honour of men ? The blessed one knew how to gather the fruits of solitude without a thought to the fact that he was in the presence of the katholikos, the head of the whole church. But he thought thus: I am now dead to the world; what profit will a dead man give the living? He was vituperated for this in a loving way by the blessed Macarius who said to him:
Why doest thou flee from us? The holy solitary made a wonderful praiseworthy apology: God knows that I love you; but I cannot be with God and with men.
St Isaac the Syrian, Homily 41
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