'Those pursuing the spiritual way must always keep the mind free from agitation in order that the intellect, as it discriminates among the thoughts that pass through the mind, may store in the treasuries of its memory those thoughts which are good and have been sent by God, while casting out those which are evil and come from the devil. When the sea is calm, fishermen can scan its depths and therefore hardly any creature moving in the water escapes their notice. But when the sea is disturbed by the winds, it hides beneath its turbid and agitated waves what it was happy to reveal when it was smiling and calm; and then the fishermen's skill and cunning prove vain. The same thing happens with the contemplative power of the intellect, especially when it is unjust anger which disturbs the depths of the soul.'
St. Diadochos of Photiki
'Be gentle and kind with every one, and severe with yourself.'
St. Teresa of Jesus
'That you may have pleasure in everything, seek your own pleasure in nothing. That you may know everything, seek to know nothing. That you may possess all things, seek to possess nothing. That you may be everything, seek to be nothing. . . Desire to be empty and poor for Christ's sake. This state must be embraced with a perfect heart and you must really want it. If your heart is truly engaged in these efforts you shall speedily attain to great joy and consolation. Be continually careful and earnest in imitating Christ in everything, making your life conform to His.'
St. John of the Cross
'Let us so live that we may be admitted with profit to frequent and even daily Communion; in a word, let us perfect ourselves in order to receive Communion worthily and let us live with a constant view to Communion.'
St. Peter Julian Eymard
'What shall we then do, my brethren? Do you not see that God is angered? He can no longer bear with us. The Lord is angry. Do you not behold the scourges of God increasing every day? Our sins increase, says St. John Chrysostom, and our scourges increase likewise. God, my brethren, is wrathful: but with all his anger he has commanded me to say, what he formerly commanded to be said by the prophet Zachary: And thou shall say to them, Thus says the Lord of Hosts: Turn to Me says the Lord of Hosts, and I will turn to you says the Lord of Hosts. Sinners, says the Lord, you have turned your backs upon me, and therefore have constrained me to deprive you of my grace. Do not oblige me to drive you forever from my face, and punish you in hell without hope of pardon. Have done with it: abandon sin, be converted to me, and I promise to pardon you all your offences, and once more to embrace you as my children.'
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
'Without temptation, no one can be saved. . . Whoever has not experienced temptation cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.'
St. Anthony of Egypt
'Since the Old Testament is a symbol of the practice of the virtues, it brings the body's activity into harmony with that of the intellect. Since the New Testament confers contemplation and spiritual knowledge, it illumines with divine intellections and gifts of grace the intellect that cleaves to it mystically. The Old Testament supplies the man of spiritual knowledge with the qualities of virtue; the New Testament endows the man practicing the virtues with the principles of true knowledge.'
St. Maximos the Confessor