Saint Basil Quotes | Quotes by Saint Basil

1He 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.

2Truly unexpected tidings make both ears tingle.

3You 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.

4We should even go beyond doing what is required in order to avoid scandal.

5We 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.

6No 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.

7We need not only read Sacred Scripture, but learn it as well and grow up in it. Realize that nothing is written in Scripture unnecessarily. Not to read Sacred Scripture is a great evil.

8It 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.

9As 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.

10You 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 Quotes

11Just 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.

12He who sows courtesy reaps friendship.

13Does not the gratitude of the dog put to shame any man who is ungrateful to his benefactors?

14Any 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.

15If 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.

16In 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.

17Drunkenness, the ruin of reason, the destruction of strength, premature old age, momentary death.

18Troubles are usually the brooms and shovels that smooth the road to a good man's fortune.

19Who is the covetous man? One for whom plenty is not enough.

20Good masters teach good doctrine, but that taught by evil masters is wholly evil.

Saint Basil Quotes

21What 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.

22Therefore, 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

23We often find comfort in telling what is painful in actual experience.

24There 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.

25... 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).

26Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away the hunger.

27Our 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'

28They who sow courtesy reap friendship, and they who plant kindness gather love.

29If you begin to guard wealth it will not be yours. But if you begin to distribute it, you will not lose it.

30Now, 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 Quotes

31Science which is acquired unwillingly, soon disappears; that which is instilled into the mind in a pleasant and agreeable manner, is more lasting.

32Strive 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.

33I 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.

34What 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.

35O 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.

36All 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.

37The steam of meat darkens the light of the spirit...One hardly can have virtue when one enjoys meat meals and feasts.

38Persecution 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.

39She 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.

40Men 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 Quotes

41First 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.

42A 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.

43Do 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.

44The 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.

45There is nothing unpremeditated, nothing neglected by God. His unsleeping eye beholds all things.

46Among 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.

47When 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.

48Resolve to treat the things in your possession as belonging to others.

49Human 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.

50If someone has repented once of a sin, and again does the same sin, this is a sign that he has not been cleansed of the causes of the sin, wherefrom, as from a root, the shoots spring forth again.

Saint Basil Quotes

51It is right to submit to a higher authority whenever a command of God would be violated.

52Let sleep itself be an exercise in piety, for such as our life and conduct have been, so also of necessity will be our dreams.

53God 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.

54Lust hath these three companions: the first, blindness of understanding; the second, hardness of heart; the third, want of grace.

55We must always be on guard lest, under the pretext of keeping one commandment, we be found breaking another.

56When 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.

57[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.

58When 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?

59Do not, as is usually the case, thrust the care of the common weal upon your neighbor; then, as each one in his own thoughts makes light of the matter, all find to their surprise that they have drawn upon themselves by their neglect a personal misfortune.

60If 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.