Ignatius Brianchaninov

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Brothers! Let us study the all-powerful and life-giving commandments of our great God, Creator, and Redeemer. Let us learn them assiduously, by word and by life. They are read in the holy Gospels, but they are known only as much as they are done in actual fact.
All the saints assiduously avoided distraction. Constantly, or at the very least as often as possible, they concentrated their thoughts within themselves, paying attention to every movement of the mind and heart, directing these according to the commands of the Gospels.
Do not content yourself with unproductive reading of the Gospels; strive to fulfill its commandments, read it with deeds. This is the book of life, and one must read it with one's life.

Saint Ignatius (Dmitry Alexandrovich Brianchaninov, Дмитрий Александрович Брянчанинов, 1807–1867) was a bishop and theologian of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Quotes[edit]

The Field[edit]

as translated by Nicholas Kotar (Holy Trinity Publications, The Printshop of St Job of Pochaev, Jordanville, New York: 2016)
  • Self-love is a twisted love for one's self. This love is insane and fallen. He who is full of self-love, passionate for fleeting pleasure, for sinful indulgence, is an enemy of himself. He is a self-murderer. Thinking to love himself and pamper himself, he ends up hating and destroying himself eternally.
    • p. 13
  • Indulging sinful and vain desires always leads to obsession with them, and after the obsession comes slavery, which is death to everything spiritual. Those who allowed themselves to follow their desires and carnal mind became obsessed with them, enslaved by them, forgot God and eternity, and waster their earthly lives pointlessly, dying an eternal death.
    • p. 15
  • Earthly wealth does not belong to us, as those who have never thought about this erroneously believe. Otherwise, it always and forever would remain in our possession. But it changes hands constantly, thereby proving that it is given only for us to watch over temporarily.
    • p. 16
  • Wealth belongs to God; man is only the temporary caretaker. A faithful caretaker will follow exactly the wishes of the one who has entrusted the wealth to him. And we, temporarily ruling over the wealth given to us, must rule over it according to the will of God. Let us not use it as a means of indulging our desires and passions, as a resource for eternal perdition. Let us use it for the good of mankind, which lives in need and suffering.
    • p. 16
  • Let us not foolishly waste our abilities of soul and body; let us not bring them as a sacrifice to the vain and fading world.
    • p. 19
  • When you read the Gospels, do not seek enjoyment, do not search for exalted feelings, do not try to find brilliant thoughts. Seek instead to perfectly see holy Truth.
    • p. 22
  • Do not content yourself with unproductive reading of the Gospels; strive to fulfill its commandments, read it with deeds. This is the book of life, and one must read it with one's life.
    • p. 22
  • Consider how wise and careful you must be. Do not gamble with your eternal fate.
    • p. 22
  • Try to integrate the Gospel into your mind and heart so that your mind will in a manner of speaking, swim in it, live in it. Then your every action will truly become evangelical.
    • p. 23
  • Conversation and acquaintance with a saint will impart sanctity.
    • "On Reading the Holy Fathers" p. 26
  • Do you want to belong in heaven and to its society; do you want to be a sharer of its blessedness? From this moment, begin to spend your time with the saints. When you leave your mortal body, they will accept you as their own, as an acquaintance, as a friend.
    • "On Reading the Holy Fathers" p. 26
  • As someone who is in one mind and heart with the Holy Fathers, you will be saved.
    • "On Reading the Holy Fathers" p. 26
  • The books of the Holy Fathers, according to the words of one of their number, are like a mirror—the soul who looks at them often and with attention will be able to see its deficiencies.
    • "On Reading the Holy Fathers" p. 27
  • The truth of the scribes and Pharisees contented itself with studying the letter of the Law of God without any corresponding study of the life according to the Law, so instead they led a life contrary to God's Law. As a result of their superficial knowledge, those who limit themselves to studying the letter of the Law fall into pride and conceit.
    • p. 34
  • Do not waste time trying to determine who is right and who is wrong, you or your neighbor. Instead, try to accuse yourself and preserve peace with your neighbor through your humility.
    • p. 35
  • The only mind that is healthy is the one that wholly and completely follows the teaching of Christ.
    • p. 37
  • The Lord came to the earth to save sinners, and so he expects an inevitable admission of sinfulness from every person; judging one's neighbor is a rejection of this acknowledgement.
    • p. 38
  • Brothers! Let us study the all-powerful and life-giving commandments of our great God, Creator, and Redeemer. Let us learn them assiduously, by word and by life. They are read in the holy Gospels, but they are known only as much as they are done in actual fact.
    • p. 42
  • The fall has become so assimilated to the essence of all mankind that rejection of the fall has become tantamount to rejection of our very life.
    • p. 52
  • Despair is a mortal sin; it is the rejection of an active, living faith in Christ.
    • p. 57
  • All the saints assiduously avoided distraction. Constantly, or at the very least as often as possible, they concentrated their thoughts within themselves, paying attention to every movement of the mind and heart, directing these according to the commands of the Gospels.
    • p. 61
  • Those who desire to learn attentiveness must reject all empty activity in their lives.
    • p. 62
  • Our helmsman, the mind, sometimes loses his way and takes our whole life along with him down the wrong path.
    • p. 68
  • Our heart distracts us when it inclines to the fulfillment of its own fallen desires, when it leaves the path of God's will.
    • p. 68
  • The world pushes us off course because it serves vanity and death and tries to force everyone else to serve its fallen masters, sometimes with kind words, sometimes with outright persecution..
    • p. 68
  • The light of Christ's teaching is heavy and intolerable for the sons of the world. They run from it into their dark, soundless pits—into distraction, into various earthly pastimes, into carnal pleasures. There, in their moral darkness, they live their earthly life with no spiritual, eternal goals.
    • p. 69
  • Even in Eden, the mind tried to acquire knowledge without wisdom and attentiveness, and the knowledge proved to be lethal!
    • p. 71
  • The prince of this world tries to keep us in constant diversion, darkening us through the pleasures of the body!
    • p. 72
  • Let us guard our senses, not allowing them to be the channel for sin to enter into the cell of the soul.
    • p. 74
  • Being offended at the sins of others is a serious spiritual disease.
    • p. 76
  • The spiritual harvest requires a heart that is harrowed by repentance, softened by compunction, and irrigated by tears.
    • p. 80
  • A desire fulfilled is a desire that will return with twice the demands.
    • p. 103
  • It is harder to fool the conscience than the mind.

    The conscience is capable of fighting long and hard against the mind deluded by its love of sin.

    • p. 106
  • Guard your conscience. Do not forget that you are the image and likeness of God, that you are obliged to present this image in purity and holiness to God himself.

    Woe to you if God will not recognize His image, will not find in it any similarity with Himself! He will utter the dreadful words: "I do not know you."

    • p. 108
  • He who has felt spiritual love will only despise carnal love, seeing it for the unsightly parody of love that it is.
    • p. 124
  • If you think that you love God, but in your heart lives an unpleasant disposition toward even one person, you are grievously self-deluded.
    • p. 126
  • Do you want to learn to love God? Separate yourself from any word, deed, thought and feeling forbidden by the Gospels.
    • p. 128

External links[edit]

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