Wednesday, June 28, 2017
FOOD FROM SCRIPTURE
Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
FOOD FROM PARENTS IN THE FAITH
"Clothe yourselves with meekness and be renewed in faith—that is, the flesh of the Lord—and in love—that is, the blood of Jesus Christ."
--- St. Ignatius of Antioch, *Trallians* 8
"An all-embracing and intense longing for God binds those who experience it both to God and to one another."
--- St. Thelassios the Libyan
If we truly think of Christ as our source of holiness, we shall refrain from anything wicked or impure in thought or act and thus show ourselves to be worthy bearers of his name. For the quality of holiness is shown not by what we say but by what we do in life.
+ St. Gregory of Nyssa
"An intellect that has acquired spiritual love does not have thoughts unworthy of this love about anyone."
--- St. Thalassios the Libyan
"The one who conceals one's hypocrisy beneath feigned love blesses with the mouth but curses inwardly."
--- St. Thalassios the Libyan
"Head of this Hierarchy is the Fountain of Life, the Essence of Goodness, the one Triad, Cause of things that be, from Which both being and well-being come to things that be, by reason of goodness Of this most supremely Divine blessedness --exalted beyond all, the threefold Monad, the really Being, --the Will, inscrutable to us, but known to Itself, is the rational preservation of beings amongst us and above us; but that (preservation) cannot otherwise take place, except those who are, being saved are being deified."
--- St. Dionysios the Areopagite
"Search your hearts and minds for the spiritual wounds of unforgiveness and fear, which are atheistic and unchristian, and repent of them so that you might be healed by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ."
- Metropolitan Joseph
If God sees that the intellect has entirely submitted to Him and puts its hope in Him alone, He strengthens it, saying: ‘Have no fear Jacob my son, my little Israel’ (Isa. 41:14. LXX),
‘Have no fear: for I have delivered you, I have called you by My name; you are Mine.
If you pass through water, I shall be with you, and the rivers will not drown you.
If you go through fire, you will not be burnt, and the names will not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, who saves you’ (cf. Isa. 43:1-3. LXX).
St Isaiah the Solitary
Whatever we do without prayer and without hope in God turns out afterwards to be harmful and defective.
St Mark the Ascetic
'The person who listens to Christ fills himself with light; and if he imitates Christ, he reclaims himself.'
St. Thalassios the Libyan
Do not say, "This happened by chance, while this came to be of itself." In all that exists there is nothing disorderly, nothing indefinite, nothing without purpose, nothing by chance ... How many hairs are on your head? God will not forget one of them. Do you see how nothing, even the smallest thing, escapes the gaze of God?
+ St. Basil the Great
Scripture, like the Incarnation itself, is a form of the self-emptying of the Logos through which He accommodates Himself to the human need for sensible forms of knowledge.
- Origen of Alexandria, Commentary on the Lord's Prayer
St. Silouan the Athonite - "The Holy Apostle John the Theologian says that the commandments of God are not difficult, but easy (I John, 5:3). But they are only easy because of love, while they are all difficult if there is no love."
Although I will not be delivering them in church, beginning this Sunday I will resume writing sermons and posting them here. In doing so, however, I will be using the Revised Common Lectionary as used in the Episcopal Church as the guide for the Sunday readings, while keeping to the Byzantine Lectionary for feasts and saints. I do this primarily because the RCL has a three-year cycle which results in far more variety of material on which to preach, as well as because it also includes regular readings from the Hebrew Scriptures.
Monday, May 15, 2017
Christ is Risen!
I am currently working on a paper concerning Liberation Theology, in which I will make the argument that not only does the Tradition of the Orthodox Church allow for the development of such a theology, but also that a truly faithful living out of that Tradition along one's path to Theosis necessitates it.
First of all, that Orthodoxy is a profoundly Trinitarian faith means that it is a relational faith, emphasizing that persons are only persons when they are in positive relationships to other persons. Such positive relationships include not only good and right feelings towards others but also good and right actions on behalf of and directed for the advancement of the well-being of others. Secondly, Orthodoxy has always emphasized the essential goodness and positivity of the created things of this world and their use as means by which Christians can progress along the path to salvation and deification eg iconography, the material of the Eucharist, etc. It will be argued that political activism can be understood as a created “thing” of this world and hence also able to be used for religious advancement. It will be argued that, as people are suffering the real and material effects of economic and social injustice, that material means – political activism and its results – must be used for the betterment of their well-being in accordance with Christ’s injunction in St. Matthew’s Gospel.