Things exist outside the mind while thoughts about them are put together inside. Therefore, on the mind depends either the proper or improper use of things, for the abuse of things follows on the mistaken use of thoughts.

Saint Maximus the confessor



Without the cross, without struggle, there can be no salvation! This is what true Christianity teaches. The teaching on struggle, on the bearing of the cross, runs like a scarlet thread through all the Sacred Scriptures an all of the history of the Church; the lives of those holy ones who were pleasing to God, the spiritual athletes of Christian piety, clearly bear witness to this.

Archbishop Averky (Taushev) of Jordanville



The spring of all wickedness and of all sin is love for oneself! Love for oneself is the irrational love for the body, and it is the most difficult and most subtle of all the passions that enslave human nature. From love of oneself are born self-pity, the sparing of oneself, self-justification, praise of oneself, self-content, self-opinion, and all the other sins, known and unknown.

Elder Cleopa of romania



Nothing is more frigid than a Christian who is indifferent to the salvation of others. Indeed, I wonder if such a person can be a true Christian. To become a disciple of Christ is to obey his law of love; and obedience to the law brings joy beyond measure and description. Love means to want the best for others, sharing with them the joy of love. 

St John Chrysostom



Human teachings are always reaching out to what is new, growing, developing; and this is natural, for they do not have the truth, but are just seeking it. For us, both the truth and the way to the truth have been defined once and for all. We possess the truth, and all of our efforts are directed toward its assimilation--not its discovery.

Saint Theophan the Recluse



Every passion is a disease of the soul. After all, envy, anger, and stinginess are not physical, but of the soul. People treat a diseased body--even more so is it necessary to treat a diseased soul. No one is made passionless immediately. However, the prayer of a passionate man won't save him. The goal, and the only goal, of our life, consists in uprooting the passions and replacing them with the opposite virtues. It's best of all to begin to struggle this way; although all the passions are inherent in us, some exist to a greater degree and some to a lesser. We must determine which passion is dominant in us and take up arms against it. To carry on a war against all the passions immediately is impossible--they'll suffocate you. Once you've conquered one passion, move on to the uprooting of another. 

Elder Barsanuphius of Optina Monastery