"Love that has its cause in created things is like a small lamp fed with olive oil, whereby its light is sustained; or it is like a torrent that surges with rain-water, whose flow ceases when there is no water to sustain it. But love whose cause is God is a deep welling spring; its flow is never checked, for God alone is the source of love whose waters are unfailing."

Saint Isaac the Syrian

"As oil feeds the flame of a lamp, so mercy feeds knowledge in the soul. The key to divine gifts is given to the heart by love of neighbor; and in proportion to the heart’s freedom to the bonds of the body, the door of knowledge opens before it. The soul’s passage from one world to another is the reception of insight. How beautiful and praiseworthy is the love of neighbor, if only its cares do not distract us from the love of God! How sweet is conversation with our spiritual brothers, if only together we can preserve our conversation with God! It is good, therefore, to undertake such things in so far as due measure permits, that is, so long as this does not serve as a cause for us to fall away from our hidden work — discipline and unceasing converse with God."

Saint Isaac the Syrian

"Especially among Christians in positions of wealth and power, the idea of reading the Gospels and keeping Jesus’ commandments as stated therein has been replaced by a curious process of logic. According to this process, people first declare themselves to be followers of Christ, and then they assume that whatever they say or do merits the adjective ‘Christian.’"

Wendell Berry

"When we attain to love, we attain to God."

Isaac the Syrian

"The tree of life is the love of God from which Adam fell away, and thereafter he saw joy no longer, and he toiled and labored in the land of thorns. Even though they make their way in righteousness, those who are bereft of the love of God eat in their work the bread of sweat, which the first-created man was commanded to eat after his fall. Until we find love, our labor is in the land of thorns, and in the midst of thorns we both sow and reap, even if our seed is the seed of righteousness, and in every hour we are pricked by the thorns, and however much we render ourselves righteous, we live by the sweat of our brow."

Isaac the Syrian

"Do not be angry with me that I tell you the truth. You have never sought out humility with your whole soul. But if you wish, enter into its realm, and you will see how it disperses your wickedness. For in proportion to your humility you are given patience in your woes; and in proportion to your patience the burden of your afflictions is made lighter and you will find consolation; in proportion to your consolation, your love of God increases; and in proportion to your love, your joy in the Holy Spirit is magnified."

Isaac the Syrian

"We are told that God and man are exemplars of each other. Man’s ability to become Christlike through love for God’s sake is correlative with God’s becoming man through compassion for man’s sake. And man’s manifestation of the virtues of the God who is by nature invisible is correlative with the degree to which his intellect is seized by God and imbued with spiritual knowledge."

Maximos the Confessor

"

I once asked the Bishop of Geneva what one must do to obtain perfection. “You must love God with all your heart,” he answered, “and your neighbor as yourself.”


“I did not ask wherein perfection lies,” I rejoined, “but how to attain it.” “Charity,” he said again, “that is both the means and the end, the only way by which we can reach that perfection which is, after all, but Charity itself… Just as the soul is the life of the body, so charity is the life of the soul.”


“I know all that,” I said. “But I want to know how one is to love God with all one’s heart and one’s neighbor as oneself.”


But again he answered, “We must love God with all our hearts, and our neighbor as ourselves.”


“I am no further than I was,” I replied. “Tell me how to acquire such love.”


“The best way, the shortest and easiest way of loving God is to love him wholly and heartily!”


He would give no other answer. At last, however, the Bishop said, “There are many besides you who want me to tell them of methods and systems and secret ways of becoming perfect, and I can only tell them that the sole secret is a hearty love of God, and the only way of attaining that love is by loving. You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so you learn to love God and man by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves. If you want to love God, go on loving Him more and more. Begin as a mere apprentice, and the very power of love will lead you on to become a master in the art. Those who have made most progress will continually press on, never believing themselves to have reached their end; for charity should go on increasing until we draw our last breath.”

"

A conversation between the Bishop of Belley and the Bishop of Geneva (Francis de Sales)

"Each man’s knowledge is genuine to the extent that it is confirmed by gentleness, humility and love."

The Philokalia

"The Old Testament makes the body obedient to the intelligence and raises it towards the soul by means of the virtues, preventing the intellect from being dragged down towards the body. The New Testament fires the intellect with love and unites it to God."

Maximos the Confessor