Quotes by Isaac Of Nineveh

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If God is slow in answering your request, or if you ask but do not promptly receive anything, do not be upset, for you are not wiser than God. more...

Be at peace with your own soul, then heaven and earth will be at peace with you. more...

If zeal had been appropriate for putting humanity right, why did God the Word clothe himself in the body, using gentleness and humility in order to bring the world back to his Father? more...

O Christ, on you the many-eyed cherubim are unable to look because of the glory of your countenance, yet out of your love you accepted spittle on your face. Remove the shame from my face, and grant me to have an unashamed face before you at the time of prayer. more...

Wishing to open my mouth, O brethren, and speak on the exalted theme of humility, I am filled with fear, even as a man who understands that he is about to discourse concerning God with the art of his own words. For humility is the raiment of the Godhead. more...

May your divinity, Lord, take pleasure in me and lead me above the world to be with you. more...

Do not test out your mind on the grounds that you are examining what seductive and impure thoughts look like, imagining that, as you do this, you will not be overcome by them. Even the wise have in this way been thrown into confusion and become infatuated. more...

Conquer evil people by gentle kindness, and make zealous people wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. more...

The man with a heart cannot think about or see creatures without his eyes filling up with tears because of the immense compassion which seizes his heart. more...

If you practice an excellent virtue without perceiving the taste of its aid, do not marvel; for until a man becomes humble, he will not receive a reward for his labor. Recompense is given, not for labor, but for humility. more...

A man who is truly humble is not troubled when he is wronged and he says nothing to justify himself against the injustice, but he accepts slander as truth; he does not attempt to persuade men that he is calumniated, but he begs forgiveness. more...

Behold, for years and generations, the way of God has been leveled by the cross and by death. How is this with thee, that thou seest the afflictions of the way as if they were out of the way? Doest not thou wish to follow the steps of the saints? Or doest thou wish to go a way which is especially for thee, without suffering? the way unto God is a daily cross. No one can ascend unto heaven with comfort, we know where the way of comfort leads. more...

Be persecuted, rather than be a persecutor. Be crucified, rather than be a crucifier. Be treated unjustly, rather than treat anyone unjustly. Be oppressed, rather than be an oppressor. Be gentle rather than zealous. Lay hold of goodness, rather than justice. more...

Be dead in life, and you will not live in death. Let your soul die strenuously, and not live in weakness. Not only those who suffer death for the sake of faith in Christ are martyrs; but also those who die because of their observance of His commandments. more...

Solitude is an ocean with wonderful places hidden in its depths. more...

There is love like a small lamp, which goes out when the oil is consumed; or like a stream which dries up when it doesn't rain. But there is a love that is like a mighty spring gushing up out of the earth; it keeps flowing forever, and is inexhaustible. more...

Humility collects the soul into a single point by the power of silence. A truly humble man has no desire to be known or admired by others, but wishes to plunge from himself into himself, to become nothing, as if he had never been born. When he is completely hidden to himself in himself, he is completely with God more...

Above anything, welcome silence, for it brings fruits that no tongue can speak of, neither can it be explained. more...

Speech is the organ of this present world. Silence is the mystery of the world to come. more...

As a handful of sand thrown into the ocean, so are the sins of all flesh as compared with the mind of God. more...

Just as a strongly flowing fountain is not blocked up by a handful of earth, so the compassion of the Creator is not overcome by the wickedness of his creatures. more...

Someone who bears a grudge while he prays is like a person who sows in the sea and expects to reap a harvest. more...

The man who follows Christ in solitary mourning is greater than he who praises Christ amid the congregation of men. more...

Why do you increase your bonds? Take hold of your life before your light grows dark and you seek help and do not find it. This life has been given to you for repentance; do not waste it in vain pursuits. more...

The soul that loves God has its rest in God and in God alone. In all the paths that men walk in in the world, they do not attain peace until they draw nigh to hope in God. more...

In all things that you find in the Holy Scriptures, seek out the purpose of the words, that you may enter into the depth of the thoughts of the saints and understand them with greater exactness. Do not approach the reading of the Divine Scriptures without prayer and asking the help of God. Consider prayer to be the key to the true understanding of that which is said in the Holy Scriptures. more...

Draw nigh to the righteous, and through them you will draw nigh to God. Communicate with those who possess humility, and you will learn morals from them. A man who follows one who loves God becomes rich in the mysteries of God; but he who follows an unrighteous and proud man gets far away from God, and will be hated by his friends. more...

If you cannot close the mouth of one who reviles his brother, at least avoid conversation with him. more...

Love sinners, but hate their deeds, and do not disdain sinners for their failings, so that you yourself do not fall into the temptation in which they abide... Do not be angry at anyone and do not hate anyone, neither for their faith, nor for their shameful deeds... Do not foster hatred for the sinner, for we are all guilty... Hate his sins, and pray for him, so that you may be made like unto Christ, who had no dislike for sinners, but prayed for them. more...

When you want to direct someone toward the good, first put him at peace bodily and honor him with words of love. For nothing inclines such a man to shame and induces him to cast of his vice and be changed for the better as do bodily goods and honor, which he sees in you. Then, with love tell him a word or two, and do not be inflamed with anger toward him. Do not let him see any cause of enmity toward you. For love does not know how to lose its temper. more...

The prayer of one who does not consider himself a sinner is not accepted by the Lord. more...

If, at the time when the mind is praying it is distracted by any extraneous thought or worry about anything, then this prayer is not called pure. more...

Whoever hates his sins will stop sinning; and whoever confesses them will receive remission. A man can not abandon the habit of sin if he does not first gain enmity toward sin, nor can he receive remission of sin without confession of sin. For the confession of sin is the cause of true humility. more...

The Commandments of God are higher than all the treasures of the earth. Whoever has acquired them has received God within himself. more...

God requires not the doing of the commandments for their own sake, but the correction of the soul, for whose sake He established the commandments. more...

Love is the fruit of prayer ... Patiently abiding in prayer signifies a man's renunciation of himself. Therefore the self-denial of the soul turns into love for God. more...

Let there always be a preponderance of mercy with you, even though you don't feel such mercy in yourself, as God has for the world ... A cruel and merciless heart is never purified. A merciful man is the doctor of his own soul, because as it were a by a strong wind from is heart he drives out the darkness of the passions. more...

If you are truly merciful, then when what is yours is unjustly taken, don't be sad inside, and do not tell of our loss to your neighbor. Let a better loss, inflicted by those who insult you, be absorbed by your mercy. more...

Let them push you, but do not push; Let them crucify you, but do not crucify. Let them insult, but do not insult. Let them slander, but do not slander. Be meek, and do not be zealous in evil. more...

Whoever prematurely begins a work that is above his strength receives nothing, but only brings harm upon himself. more...

If a man does not argue with the thoughts that the enemy secretly sows in us, but by prayer to God uproots conversation with them, this is a sign that his mind has attained wisdom, and that he has found a short path. more...

The Lord bears all the weaknesses of men, but He does not bear a man who is always murmuring, and does not leave Him without chastisement. more...

When you want to make a beginning of a good deed, first prepare for temptations, which will come to you, and don't doubt the truth of that which you do for God. more...

No one can sense his own weakness is at least a small temptation is not allowed to afflict either his body or his soul. Then, comparing his weakness to the help of God, a man comes to know its magnitude. But whoever does not know that he needs God's help, let him make many prayers. Insofar as he multiplies them, in that measure will he be humbled. more...

There is no man who will not be grieved at the time of his chastisement; and there is not man who will not endure a bitter time, when he must drink the poison of temptations. Without them, it is not possible to obtain a strong will. When he has often experienced the help of God in temptations, a man also obtains strong faith. more...

Without temptations, it is not possible to learn the wisdom of the Spirit. It is not possible that Divine love be strengthened in your soul. Before temptations, a man prays to God as a stranger. When temptations are allowed to come by the love of God, and he does not give in to them, then he stands before God as a sincere friend. For in fulfilling the will of God, he has made war on the enemy of God and conquered him. more...

It is impossible to draw near to God without sorrows, without which human righteousness cannot remain unchanged... If you desire virtue, than give yourself to every affliction, for afflictions produce humility. If someone abides in virtue without afflictions, the door of pride is opened to him. more...

Afflictions for God's sake are dearer to Him than any prayer or sacrifice. more...

This life has been given to you for repentance; do not waste it in vain pursuits. more...

The wisdom of the Holy Spirit is much greater than the wisdom of the entire world. Within the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, silence prevails; the wisdom of the world, however, goes astray into idle talk. more...

Do not waste this life in vain pursuits. more...

Whoever can weep over himself for one hour is greater than the one who is able to teach the whole world; whoever recognizes the depth of his own frailty is greater than the one who sees visions of angels. more...

Someone who has actually tasted truth is not contentious for truth. Someone who is considered by people to be zealous for truth has not yet learned what truth is really like; once he has truly learned it, he will cease from zealousness on its behalf. more...


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