Tag Archives: Conscience

St. John the Wonderworker: Tradition about the Wise Thief

Icon Wise Thief[The Wise Thief’s] whole life had been one of theft and crime. But evidently his conscience had not died, and in the depths of his hearth something good remained. Tradition even hold that he was that very thief who, during Christ’s flight into Egypt, took pity on the beautiful Baby and forbade his accomplices to kill Him when they attacked the holy family. Did he perhaps recall the face of that Child when he looked upon the face of the One hanging next to him on the Cross?Book Man of God St John Maximovitch

+ St. John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, “Why the Wise Thief Was Pardoned,” Man of God: Saint John of Shanghai & San Francisco

St. Ambrose Milan: But nothing causes such exceeding grief as when anyone, lying under the captivity of sin . . .

Icon of St. Ambrose of Milan“But nothing causes such exceeding grief as when anyone, lying under the captivity of sin, calls to mind from where he has fallen, because he turned aside to carnal and earthly things, instead of directing his mind in the beautiful ways of the knowledge of God. So you find Adam concealing himself, when he knew that God was present and wishing to be hidden when called by God with that voice which wounded the soul of him yourself? Why are you concealed? Why do you avoid Him Whom you once longed to see? A guilty conscience is so burdensome that it punishes itself without a judge, and wishes for covering, and yet is bare before God.”

+ St. Ambrose Milan, Concerning Repentance, Book II

St. Isaac the Syrian: The fact that a man slips into accidental sins . . .

Icon of St. Isaac the Syrian“The fact that a man slips into accidental sins demonstrates the weakness of his nature; for to our profit God has permitted our nature to be susceptible to sinful occurrences. For He has not thought it good to make the soul superior to these occurrences before the second regeneration. It is profitable for the soul to be susceptible to accidental sins because this pricks the conscience. To persist in them is, however, audacious and shameful.”

+ St. Isaac the Syrian, The Ascetical Homilies of St. Isaac the Syrian, Homily 6, “That to Our Profit God Has Permitted the Soul to Be Susceptible to Accidents, and on Ascetical Activities”

St. Maximos the Confessor: . . . I shall sooner agree to die than to apostatize in any way from the true Faith and thereby suffer torments of conscience.

Icon of St. Maximos the ConfessorWhen all the people in Babylon were worshiping the golden idol, the Three Holy Children did not condemn anyone to perdition. They did not concern themselves with the doings of others, but took care only for themselves, lest they should fall away from true piety. In precisely the same way, when Daniel was cast into the lion’s den, he did not condemn any of those who, fulfilling the law of Darius, did not wish to pray to God, but he kept in mind his own duty, and desired rather to die than to sin against his conscience by transgressing the Law of God. God forbid that I should condemn anyone or say that I alone am being saved! However, I shall sooner agree to die than to apostatize in any way from the true Faith and thereby suffer torments of conscience.

+ St. Maximos the Confessor, The Life of Our Holy Father St. Maximus the Confessor (Boston: Holy Transfiguration, 1982)

Canon of St. Andrew: There has never been a sin or act or vice in life that I have not committed . . .

Icon of St. Andrew of CreteThere has never been a sin or act or vice in life that I have
not committed, O Savior. I have sinned in mind, word and
choice, in purpose, will and action, as no one else has ever
done.

Therefore I am condemned, wretch that I am, therefore I am
doomed by my own conscience, than which there is nothing
in the world more rigorous. O my Judge and Redeemer Who
knowest my heart, spare and deliver and save me, Thy servant.

+ The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, Mon 4.4
Text of the Canon

St. Mark the Ascetic: Rain cannot fall without a cloud . . .

Icon of St. Mark the Ascetic“Rain cannot fall without a cloud, and we cannot please God without a good conscience.”

— St. Mark the Ascetic