Saint Basil quotes

  • Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away the hunger.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Rain #Fall #Men

  • Just as a very little fresh water is blown away by a storm of wind and dust, in like manner the good deeds, that we think we do in this life, are overwhelmed by the multitude of evils.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Life #Thinking #Dust

  • The bread which you use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Shoes #Use #Charity

  • He who plants kindness gathers love.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Kindness #Plant

  • The woman who purposely destroys her unborn child is guilty of murder. With us there is no nice enquiry as to its being formed or unformed.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Children #Nice #Enquiry

  • Drunkenness, the ruin of reason, the destruction of strength, premature old age, momentary death.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Age #Reason #Destruction

  • The human being is an animal who has received the vocation to become God.
    -- Saint Basil

    #God #Animal #Vocation

  • Lust hath these three companions: the first, blindness of understanding; the second, hardness of heart; the third, want of grace.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Heart #Lust #Grace

  • They who sow courtesy reap friendship, and they who plant kindness gather love.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Kindness #Plant #Courtesy

  • It is right to submit to a higher authority whenever a command of God would be violated.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Would Be #Saint #Authority

  • Among irrational animals the love of the offspring and of the parents for each other is extraordinary because God, who created them, compensated for the deficiency of reason by the superiority of their senses.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Animal #Parent #Reason

  • To lovers of the truth, nothing can be put before God and hope in Him.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Lovers

  • To Whom does our God say, 'in our image' (Gen. 1:26), to whom if it is not to Him who is 'the brightness of His glory and the express image of His Person' (Heb. 1:3), 'the image of the invisible God' (Col. 1:15)? It is then to His living image, to Him Who has said 'I and My Father are one' (Jn. 10:30), 'He who has seen Me has seen the Father' (Jn. 14:9), that God says, 'Let us make man in our image'.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Christian #Father #Men

  • If one had taken what is necessary to cover one's needs and had left the rest to those who are in need, no one would be rich, no one would be poor, no one would be in need.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Taken #Would Be #Needs

  • ... the more have been your trials, look for a more perfect reward from your just Judge. Do not take your present troubles ill. Do not lose hope. Yet a little while and your Helper will come to you and will not tarry (cf. Hab. 2:3).
    -- Saint Basil

    #Christian #Cfs #Perfect

  • I reckon silence more profitable than speech, for? in the words of the Preacher, 'The words of wise men are heard in quiet' (Eccles. 9:17).
    -- Saint Basil

    #Christian #Wise #Men

  • ... if, to me, to live is Christ (Phil. 1:21), truly my words ought to be about Christ, my every thought and deed ought to depend upon His commandments, and my soul to be fashioned after His.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Christian #Soul #Deeds

  • It is not he who begins well who is perfect. It is he who ends well who is approved in God's sight.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Christian #Sight #Perfect

  • What is the mark of love for your neighbor? Not to seek what is for your own benefit, but what is for the benefit of the one loved, both in body and in soul.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Love #Soul #Benefits

  • When our Lord says, 'I have not spoken of Myself' (Jn. 12:49), and again, 'As the Father said to Me, so I speak' (Jn. 12:50), and 'The word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's Who sent Me' (Jn. 14:24), and in another place, 'As the Father commanded Me, even so I do' (Jn. 14:31), it is not because He lacks deliberate purpose or power of initiative, nor yet because He has to wait for the preconcerted key-note, that He employs language of this kind. His object is to make it plain that His own will is connected in indissoluble union with the Father.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Christian #Father #Keys

  • Everyone looks for the good, therefore everyone looks for God.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Looks #Goodness

  • Beside each believer stands an Angel as protector and shepherd, leading him to life.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Angel #Shepherds #Saint

  • The love of God is not taught. No one has taught us to enjoy the light or to be attached to life more than anything else. And no one has taught us to love the two people who brought us into the world and educated us. Which is all the more reason to believe that we did not learn to love God as a result of outside instruction. In the very nature of every human being has been sown the seed of the ability to love. You and I ought to welcome this seed, cultivate it carefully, nourish it attentively and foster its growth by going to the school of God's commandments with help of His grace.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Love #Believe #School

  • Science which is acquired unwillingly, soon disappears; that which is instilled into the mind in a pleasant and agreeable manner, is more lasting.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Mind #Disappear #Lasting

  • Reprimand and rebuke should be accepted as healing remedies for vice and as conducive to good health. From this it is clear that those who pretend to be tolerant because they wish to flatter---those who thus fail to correct sinners---actually cause them to suffer supreme loss and plot the destruction of that life which is their true life.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Healing #Loss #True Life

  • We should not accept in silence the benefactions of God, but return thanks for them.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Silence #Catholic #Return

  • Do not despise the fish because they are absolutely unable to speak or to reason, but fear lest you may be even more unreasonable than they by resisting the command of the Creator. Listen to the fish, who through their actions all but utter this word: 'We set out on this long journey for the perpetuation of our species.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Journey #Long #May

  • O sinner, be not discouraged, but have recourse to Mary in all you necessities. Call her to your assistance, for such is the divine Will that she should help in every kind of necessity.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Religious #Helping #Kind

  • The bread which you hold back belongs to the hungry; the coat, which you guard in your locked storage-chests, belongs to the naked; the footwear mouldering in your closet belongs to those without shoes. The silver that you keep hidden in a safe place belongs to the one in need. Thus, however many are those whom you could have provided for, so many are those whom you wrong.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Shoes #Coats #Safe

  • All these stupendous objects are daily around us; but because they are constantly exposed to our view, they never affect our minds, so natural is it for us to admire new, rather than grand objects. Therefore the vast multitude of stars which diversify the beauty of this immense body does not call the people together; but when any change happens therein, the eyes of all are fixed upon the heavens.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Stars #Eye #Views

  • I have learned from Jesus Christ Himself what charity is, and how we ought to practise it; for He says: "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye love one another." Never can I, therefore, please myself in the hope that I may obtain the name of a servant of Christ if I possess not a true and unfeigned charity within me.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Jesus #Men #Names

  • If everyone would take only according to his needs and would leave the surplus to the needy, no one would be rich, no one poor, no one in misery.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Humanity #Would Be #Needs

  • Whatever requires an undue amount of thought or trouble or involves a large expenditure of effort and causes our whole life to revolve, as it were, around solicitude for the flesh must be avoided by Christians.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Christian #Effort #Flesh

  • We men are easily prone to sins of thought. Therefore, He who has formed each heart individually, knowing that the impulse received from the intention constitutes the major element in sin, has ordained that purity in the ruling part of our soul be our primary concern.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Heart #Men #Knowing

  • We do not accost a physician as we do any mere nobody; nor a magistrate as we do a private individual. We try to get some advantage from the skill of the one and the position of the other. Walk in the sun, and your shadow will follow you, whether you will or not.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Skills #Shadow #Trying

  • Strive to attain to the greater virtues, but do not neglect the lesser ones. Do not make light of a fall even if it be the most venial of faults; rather, be quick to repair it by repentance, although many others may commit a large number of faults, slight and grievous, and remain unrepentant.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Fall #Numbers #Light

  • No one who is in this world will deny that evils exist. What, then, do we say? That evil is not a living and animated substance, but a condition of the soul which is opposed to virtue and which springs up In the slothful because of their falling away from good.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Spring #Fall #Evil

  • Men whose sense of taste is destroyed by sickness, sometimes think honey sour. A diseased eye does not see many things which do exist, and notes many things which do not exist. The same thing frequently takes place with regard to the force of words, when the critic is inferior to the writer.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Eye #Men #Thinking

  • Liberated from the error of pagan tradition through the benevolence and loving kindness of the good God with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the operation of the Holy Spirit, I was reared from the very beginning by Christian parents. From them I learned even in babyhood the Holy Scriptures which led me to a knowledge of the truth.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Christian #Jesus #Kindness

  • Indulging in unrestrained and immoderate laughter is a sign of intemperance, of a want of control over one's emotions, and of failure to repress the soul's frivolity by a stern use of reason.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Laughter #Soul #Use

  • If men are in a state in which they find it hard to be weaned from their own ways and choose rather to serve the pleasures of the flesh than to serve the Lord, and refuse to accept the Gospel life, there is no common ground between me and them.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Men #Flesh #Way

  • He who confesses magic or sorcery shall do penance for the time of murder, and shall be treated in the same manner as he who convicts himself of this sin.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Magic #Penance #Sorcery

  • God who created us has granted us the faculty of speech that we might disclose the counsels of our hearts to one another and that, since we possess our human nature in common, each of us might share his thoughts with his neighbor, bringing them forth from the secret recesses of the heart as from a treasury.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Heart #Secret #Speech

  • Any one who chooses will set up for a literary critic, though he cannot tell us where he went to school, or how much time was spent in his education, and knows nothing about letters at all.
    -- Saint Basil

    #School #Letters #Critics

  • A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Love #Inspirational #Gratitude

  • If every man took only what was sufficient for his needs, leaving the rest to those in want, there would be no rich and no poor.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Men #Leaving #Charity

  • You can see that a city is prosperous by the wealth of goods for sale in the market. Land too we call prosperous if it bears rich fruit. And so also the soul may be counted prosperous if it is full of good works of every kind.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Land #Cities #Soul

  • We often find comfort in telling what is painful in actual experience.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Pain #Comfort #Painful

  • Therefore, let God inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the Word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth
    -- Saint Basil

    #Letting Go #Favors #Scripture

  • I heard many discourses which were good for the soul, but I could not discover in the case of any one of the teachers that his life was worthy of his words.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Teacher #Soul #Cases

  • [Every disappointment or misfortune can become a blessing in disguise, for which we should be grateful. But only if the hidden blessing is anticipated, expected and searched for will it be found and recognised as such and the most made of it. For example...] Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away hunger.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Disappointment #Rain #Fall

  • When you have become God's in the measure he desires, then he himself will bestow you upon others; unless, to your greater glory, he chooses to keep you all to himself.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Desire #Action #Glory

  • When someone steals a person's clothes, we call him a thief. Should we not also give the same name to the one who could clothe the naked but does not?
    -- Saint Basil

    #Names #Clothes #Giving

  • Let sleep itself be an exercise in piety, for such as our life and conduct have been, so also of necessity will be our dreams.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Dream #Sleep #Exercise

  • We glorify the Holy Ghost together with the Father and the Son, from the conviction that He is not separated from the Divine Nature; for that which is foreign by nature does not share in the same honors.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Father #Son #Honor

  • We must always be on guard lest, under the pretext of keeping one commandment, we be found breaking another.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Christianity #Found #Pretext

  • When someone steals another's clothes, we call them a thief. Should we not give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; the coat unused in your closet belongs to the one who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the one who has no shoes; the money which you hoard up belongs to the poor.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Peace #Names #Shoes

  • Does not the gratitude of the dog put to shame any man who is ungrateful to his benefactors?
    -- Saint Basil

    #Dog #Gratitude #Men

  • Good masters teach good doctrine, but that taught by evil masters is wholly evil.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Evil #Doctrine #Taught

  • There is nothing unpremeditated, nothing neglected by God. His unsleeping eye beholds all things.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Eye #Neglected

  • Do not measure your loss by itself; if you do, it will seem intolerable; but if you will take all human affairs into account you will find that some comfort is to be derived from them.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Inspirational #Courage #Loss

  • Now, if you notice how the swan, putting its neck down into the deep water, brings up food for itself from below, then you will discover the wisdom of the Creator, in that He gave it a neck longer than its feet for this reason, that it might, as if lowering a sort of fishing line, procure the food hidden in the deep water.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Swans #Fishing #Feet

  • As we were baptized, so we profess our belief. As we profess our belief, so also we offer praise. As then baptism has been given us by the Savior, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, so, in accordance with our baptism, we make the confession of the creed, and our doxology in accordance with our creed.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Father #Son #Names

  • First and foremost, the monk should own nothing in this world, but he should have as his possessions solitude of the body, modesty of bearing, a modulated tone of voice, and a well-ordered manner of speech. He should be without anxiety as to his food and drink, and should eat in silence.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Voice #Silence #Anxiety

  • In truth, to know oneself seems to be the hardest of all things. Not only our eye, which observes external objects, does not use the sense of sight upon itself, but even our mind, which contemplates intently another's sin, is slow in the recognition of its own defects.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Eye #Sight #Mind

  • It is impious to say that evil has its origin from God, because naught contrary is produced by the contrary. Life does not generate death, nor is darkness the beginning of light, nor is disease the maker of health, but in the changes of conditions there are transitions from one condition to the contrary.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Light #Evil #Darkness

  • Just as we would have no need of the farmer's labor and toil if we were living amid the delights of paradise, so also we would not require the medical art for relief if we were immune to disease, as was the case, by God's gift, at the time of Creation before the Fall.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Art #Fall #Toil

  • O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, even our brothers, the animals, to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us. We must remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to thee in song, has been a groan of pain. May we realize that they live, not for us alone, but for themselves and for Thee and that they love the sweetness of life.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Song #Brother #Pain

  • Troubles are usually the brooms and shovels that smooth the road to a good man's fortune.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Men #Challenges #Good Man

  • We should even go beyond doing what is required in order to avoid scandal.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Order #Suffering #Scandal

  • If, therefore, there is any grace in the water, it is not from the nature of water but from the Spirit's presence there.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Water #Baptism #Grace

  • The hairsplitting difference between formed and unformed makes no difference to us. Whoever deliberately commits abortion is subject to the penalty for homicide.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Differences #Abortion #Penalties

  • A woman who deliberately destroys a fetus is answerable for murder. And any fine distinction as to its being completely formed or unformed is not admissible amongst us.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Abortion #Fetus #Murder

  • When a sunbeam falls on a transparent substance, the substance itself becomes brilliant, and radiates light from itself. So too Spirit bearing souls, illumined by Him, finally become spiritual themselves, and their grace is sent forth to others. From this comes knowledge of the future, understanding of mysteries, apprehension of hidden things, distribution of wonderful gifts, heavenly citizenship, a place in the choir of angels, endless joy in the presence of God, becoming like God, and, the highest of all desires, becoming God.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Spiritual #Fall #Angel

  • What is the mark of a Christian? That he be purified of all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit in the Blood of Christ, perfecting sanctification in the fear of God and the love of Christ, and that he have no blemish nor spot nor any such thing; that he be holy and blameless and so eat the Body of Christ and drink His Blood; for 'he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgement to himself.' What is the mark of those who eat the Bread and drink the Cup of Christ? That they keep in perpetual remembrance Him who died for us and rose again.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Christian #Blood #Rose

  • Persecution has come upon us, right honorable brethren, and persecution in the severest form. Shepherds are persecuted that their flocks may be scattered. And the worst of all is that those who are being treated ill cannot accept their sufferings in proof of their testimony, nor can the people reverence the athletes as in the army of martyrs, because the name of Christians is applied to the persecutors. The one charge which is now sure to secure severe punishment is the careful keeping of the traditions of the Fathers.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Christian #Father #Athlete

  • There is still time for endurance, time for patience, time for healing, time for change. Have you slipped? Rise up. Have you sinned? Cease. Do not stand among sinners, but leap aside.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Faith #Inspiration #Healing

  • The sun penetrates crystal and makes it more dazzling. In the same way, the sanctifying Spirit indwells in souls and makes them more radiant. They become like so many powerhouses beaming grace and love around them.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Faith #Inspiration #Grace

  • The bread you store up belongs to the hungry; the cloak that lies in your chest belongs to the naked; the gold you have hidden in the ground belongs to the poor.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Lying #Gold #Bread

  • Extirpate two thoughts within thyself: do not consider thyself worthy of anything great, and do not think that any other man is much lower than thou in worthiness. Learn humble mindedness beforehand, which the Lord commanded in word and showed forth in deed. Hence, do not expect obedience from others, but be ready for obedience thyself.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Humble #Humility #Men

  • She who has intentionally destroyed [the fetus] is subject to the penalty corresponding to a homicide. For us, there is no scrutinizing between the formed and unformed [fetus]; here truly justice is made not only for the unborn but also with reference to the person who is attentive only to himself/herself since so many women generally die for this very reason..
    -- Saint Basil

    #Justice #Abortion #Fetus

  • Who is the covetous man? One for whom plenty is not enough.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Men #Enough #Consumerism

  • You have heaven adorned, earth beautified, the sea populated with its own creatures, the air filled with birds which scour it in every direction. Studious listener, think of all these creations which God has drawn out of nothing; . . . recognize everywhere the wisdom of God; never cease to wonder, and, through every creature, to glorify the Creator.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Animal #Thinking #Air

  • What is there astonishing in the death of a mortal? But we are grieved at his dying before his time. Are we sure that this was not his time? We do not know how to pick and choose what is good for our souls, or how to fix the limits of the life of man.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Life #Men #Soul

  • All of us who desire the kingdom of God are, by the Lord's decree, under an equal and rigorous necessity of seeking after the grace of Baptism.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Baptism #Grace #Desire

  • The steam of meat darkens the light of the spirit...One hardly can have virtue when one enjoys meat meals and feasts...
    -- Saint Basil

    #Light #Vegetarianism #Meals

  • What is the benefit of fasting in our body while filling our souls with innumerable evils? He who does not play at dice, but spends his leisure otherwise, what nonsense does he not utter? What absurdities does he not listen to? Leisure without the fear of God is, for those who do not know how to use time, the teacher of wickedness.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Teacher #Play #Evil

  • No Christian ought to think of himself as his own master, but each should rather so think and act as though given by God to be slave to his like minded brethren (cf. I Cor. 9:19)?
    -- Saint Basil

    #Christian #Thinking #Cfs

  • All who call the Holy Ghost a creature we pity, on the ground that, by this utterance, they are falling into the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against Him.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Fall #Utterance #Ghost

  • The Christian ought not to say anything behind his brother's back with the object of calumniating him, for this is slander, even if what is said is true. He ought to turn away from the brother who speaks evil against him?
    -- Saint Basil

    #Christian #Brother #Evil

  • Human life is but of brief duration. 'All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God shall stand forever' (Isa. 40:6, 8). Let us hold fast to the commandment that abides, and despise the unreality that passes away.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Christian #Flower #Forever

  • I cannot persuade myself that without love to others, and without, as far as rests with me, peaceableness toward all, I can be called a worthy servant of Jesus Christ.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Jesus #Christ #Worthy

  • Our Savior was crucified for our sakes that by His death He might give us life and train and attract us all to endurance. To Him I press on, and to the Father and to the Holy Spirit. I strive to be found true, judging myself unworthy of this world's goods; and yet not I because of the world, but the world because of me. Think of all these things in your heart; follow them with zeal; fight, as you have been commanded, for the truth to the death: For Christ was made 'obedient' even 'to death'
    -- Saint Basil

    #Christian #Father #Heart

  • Every evil is a sickness of soul, but virtue offers the cause of its health.
    -- Saint Basil

    #Evil #Soul #Causes