From: Mother Gabriel, The Ascetic of Love, by Sister Gabriel, publisher www.toperivoli.gr
1. Any place may become a place of Resurrection, if the Humility of Christ becomes the way of our life.
2. You may sleep, as long as you are in a state of watchfulness.
3. There are some who stay awake for a few, and some who stay awake for all.
4. Orthodox spirituality is knowledge acquired through suffering rather than through learning.
5. Do not wish for many things, whether they are within or out of reach. Instead, take care to sanctify the little you have.
6. To learn how to love God: this is the one and only Education.
7. There is nothing cheaper than money.
8. Better Hell in this world than in the other.
9. It is not what we say, but what we live. It is not what we do, but what we are.
10. I put on the Rasson (Monastic habit) and do not speak unless I am asked. The Rasson speaks.
11. If you have love for all the world, the whole world is beautiful.
12. Someone said that a Christian is he who purifies love and sanctifies work.
15. Our purpose should be to have the Paraclete* in our heart, even when we have the... Parasite in our head.
16. We become a reflection of Heaven by saying: 'Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven'.
17. He who loves is not aware of it, as he is not aware of his own breathing.
18. When doors are open in Heaven, they are also open on Earth.
19. When the mind is not distracted by worldly matters and remains united to God, then even the 'Good day' that we say becomes a blessing.
20. By saying 'no' and by refusing, we forfeit our purpose.
21. We must not 'exist' in the presence of the other person, who is God's 'image and likeness'.
22. In the early steps of our life we need the presence of someone we love. As we advance, the One, God, fills us with His Love and Joy so much that we no longer need anyone. The soul does this at the beginning because she does not know yet Whom she loves, and thinks it is this or that person.
23. Many times what God expects from us is the intention rather than the act itself. Our readiness to follow His Commandment is enough for Him.
24. Jesus Christ gave us the golden mean: both alone and with others.
25. When God created us, He gave us Life and breathed His Spirit into us. This Spirit is Love. When love deserts us, we become as dead as corpses. We are not alive any more.
26. A Christian must have reverence for the Mystery of Existence in everyone and everything.
27. To reach the state of non-existence, love and love and love until you identify yourself completely with the Other One, whoever this may be at the time. Then, at the end of the day you may ask yourself: Is there anything I want? No. Is there anything I wish 'No. Is there anything I lack' No... So, that's it!
28. The spiritually advanced person is the one who has reached a state of "non-existence" and has deeply understood that whatever happens to him is either because God Wills it or because God Permits it.
29. True inner progress begins only when a person stops reading anything but the Gospel. It is only then that, united with God through the Jesus Prayer, he can hear God's Will.
30. Never wish for anything but the Will of God and accept with love any trials that may come your way.
31. Never identify a person with the wrong way in which he is treating you, but see Christ in his heart.
32. Never ask: "Why has this happened to me" 'When you see somebody suffering from gangrene or cancer or blindness, never say: "Why has this happened to him"' Instead, pray God to grant you the vision of the other shore... Then, like the Angels, you will be able to see things as they really are: Everything in God's plan. EVERYTHING.
33. A wise man said: If you are to live only for yourself, it would have been better if you had not been born.
36. A person's most vulnerable spot is found in much talking and discussing.
37. To be meek is to wish never to have a guilty conscience.
38. When thoughts of passing judgement on another person cross your mind, pray God to take them away at once, so that you may love this person as He does. Then God will help you see your own faults. If Christ were visible, could you have such thoughts?
39. If you do not like somebody, think that you see Christ in that person. Then, you would not even dare utter a word of criticism.
40. We must love people and accept them in our hearts as God presents them to us. It has been thus ordained by the Lord Himself and by the Orthodox Tradition.
41. No one should become the servant of another man. We are only servants of God. 'For ye are bought with a price', says the Apostle (1Cor.6:20). Therefore, there should be no servility in human relations.
42. What we say remains in Eternity.
43. Only when you are perfected in Love can you reach the state of Dispassion (Apatheia).
44. Only those who act without true love face adversities.
45.The faculty of judgement (Krisis) comes naturally to man. Criticism (Katakrisis) and reproval spring from malice. Discernment (Diakrisis) is a gift from God and we should pray for it. It is essential to our protection and progress.
46. The life of the Church extends beyond moral discipline and religious duty. It is the transcendence of Morality to Spirituality.
47. An irresolute person does not participate in life.
48. When we must be helped, God will send someone to us. We are all fellow-travellers.
49. The voice of God is silence.
50. Whoever lives in the Past is like a dead man.Whoever lives in the Future in his imagination is naive, because the Future belongs to God. The Joy of Christ is found only in the Present, in the Eternal Present of God.
51. Our destination is to worship God and love our fellow-men.
52. We find happiness and peace only by living according to God's Commandments.
53. The most essential act of Philanthropy is to speak well of our fellow-men.
54. I could not get worried, even if I tried. When we worry it is as if we say to God: "I do not agree. You don't do things right". Besides, this is sheer ingratitude.
55. To speak in the presence of Beauty is superfluous. It disturbs its harmony.
56. Through the invocation of the name of Christ, we batter our Ego.
57. It is the oil-lamp of our soul that must be always lighted, burning forever.
58. We are the first to feel the joy we give to others.
59. Better a prayer of the lips than no prayer at all.
60. Let God intervene between you and your purpose, instead of letting your purpose intervene between you and God.
61. The agony of dying is the effort made by the soul to free herself and run towards the Lord.
62. Correspondence is the only way that combines solitude and company.
63. Miracle is the normal course of events according to God's Will. What we call a Miracle is only what is natural to God.
65. If we meet with an adversity, let us not ask who is to blame. Because the blame is only ours. We shall find the reason if we ask for it in our Prayer: perhaps we have not loved enough, or we have disobeyed another Commandment, or we have mishandled the situation, or we have moved faster than we should, or we have relied on the wrong person.
66. When we lose something, let us say: 'In this manner, Lord, deliver me also from any evil thought I may have for my neighbour'.
67. Anxiety is for those who have no Faith.
68. Love is only on the Cross.
69. Human relationships become difficult when the "I" stands above the "You".
70. God loves your enemies as much as He loves you.
71. Do you want to Pray? Prepare yourself to meet the Lord in secret.
72. By God's Permission some people become instruments of the Power of Darkness for our own testing and progress.
73. You must not get upset, because a restless heart drives away all Help.
74. If one can live in the world and yet not mix with it - just as the oil and water do not mix in the oil-lamp - then he can live in God. He is in this world but not of this world.
75. We are all vessels, sometimes of Light and sometimes of Darkness.
76. Keep your mouth shut in the hour of crisis, when a problem is acute. Do not say anything, because you may regret it a thousand times. Instead, tell it to the Angels so that they may place it at the Lord's Feet, and pray the Lord for an Angel of Peace to calm your soul.
77. Sometimes people ask for your advice or instruction, so that they may put the "blame" on you afterwards if things go wrong. Quite probably though, whatever you say will be ignored, in which case it will all be a waste of trouble.
78. When the 'I' breaks and becomes 'You' and the 'You' also breaks so that they may both become 'He', then we all become 'His'.
79. If you ever feel fear in your heart, close your eyes and say the Jesus Prayer: 'Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon me'...
80. Only when we are still, do we give the Angels an opportunity to do something.
81. Do what you must do, and God will do what He must do.
82. When you feel a fluttering in your heart, a deep yearning for something, this will come true after a lapse of time determined by God.
83. We ourselves cannot get rid of any of our faults. He takes them away from us, one by one.
84. We should ask God everyday to break our will and make it His, so that we may become as He wants us to be.
85. We must not 'surrender' to His Will. This is what soldiers do. We, who are His Children, must offer Him our own will along with all our being - in whatever pitiful state we may be - and tell him: "Lord, take all my faults and imperfections and set them right."
86. The Grace of God comes when we raise our hand. It is Faith that draws God's Grace to us. God is 'pouring down' His Grace, but where is the hand reaching out to receive it? Instead, we are wearing hats or carrying umbrellas...
87. If a foreigner speaks evil of Greece and the Orthodox Faith, do not identify the man with his words. Still, never speak to him about such significant events like the discovery of Holy Relics and other miraculous things that happen here.
88. You must not talk about persons who are absent.
89. We live in Vanity, and believe that this is life. How pitiable we are!
90. O Lord! Forgive us if we sometimes walk in pride, like little cockerels that think they are great.
91. Poor human beings! We consider the perishable as Immortal and the Immortal as non-existant.
92. Poor onion! It also offers what it can.
93. How beautiful is the 'Mystery', the 'Sacrament' of Tomorrow!
94. A person takes his lesson only once. If he does not learn the first time, it means that there is something wrong in his subconscious which prevents him from doing so.
95. The Lord said: Whoever wants something, believing, he will receive - As long as the request is in accordance with God's Commandments, that is to say, with Love.
96. Do not deny others the crumbs falling off your table from the Bread of Life which is given to you whole by the Lord. So many hunger and thirst for Love, like Lazarus who fed on the crumbs falling off the table of the rich man.
97. We have no right not to reflect the Light of the Lord. Nothing should be left in the shade, 'under the meal-tub'.
98. Everything has two sides, like a two-edged knife. What creates today, destroys tomorrow. 'Let him understand, he who may understand'.
99. Some of the sailors on a ship may quarrel and fight each other, but the ship sails on and reaches its destination. The same is true of the Church, because Christ Himself is at the helm.
100. If you knew that you are not Here, you would be There.