Though some solvable issues seem less difficult, even petty at times, they are sometimes better left for the morning when we are rested, collected and calm. With time, comes perspective.
The people of God aren’t judged during the course of their lives, but at the end of them,
The Kingdom of Heaven begins with an inconspicuous event, with a small bit of grace.
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
~ Antoine Saint-Exuprey
“It is easy to misunderstand the meaning of life. God created man for good, and we must thank Him for everything. For food, for sunshine, for water, for being the image of God. We should thank Him for the fact that with every breath we breathe in the grace of God, for the fact that every breath gives us life. It’s totally uncomplicated.”
~ Archprist Valentin Biryukov
How mistaken are those who search for happiness outside of themselves: in foreign countries and travels, in riches and glory, in great possessions and enjoyments, in pleasures and excess, and in empty things, which in the end are bitterness! To build a tower of happiness outside our own heart is like building a house on a spot that continually suffers earthquakes. Happiness is found within ourselves, and blessed is he who has realized this.
Be attentive to your minor falls. If some sin befalls you from inattentiveness, don’t despair, but pull yourself together and kneel before God Who has the power to raise you up. ‘Within ourselves we have deeply rooted weaknesses, passions and flaws, many of which are hereditary. All of this cannot be broken with one sharp movement, or a worrisome and difficult experience, but by patience and perseverance. Remember that the Lord watches over those who endure temptations and sufferings for the sake of His love. So, don’t lose heart and don’t be afraid. Entreat God and don’t lose courage.
~ Saint Nectarios of Aegina
“A person’s a person, no matter how small”
Our Lord says in the Gospel: “For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul. Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Our Lord is telling us that all the treasure of the entire world; all the mansions, all the palaces, all the new cars, all the gold reserves, all the precious stones, all the possessions, all the stored and accumulated wealth of every nation and every land, that could be gathered throughout the entire earth, all of this is worth less than the single human soul of each one of us, and any one of us.
Even the most marginalized, broken and decrepit human being, what the Gospel calls the “poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, the brokenhearted, the captives, the bruised.”(Luke 4, 14) Even someone broken and missing some parts, someone “beaten and left dead at the side of the road”(Luke 10:30), no matter the beauty, no matter the intelligence, no matter the education or the upbringing, no matter the conditions or quality of life, so precious is each human soul, each human being, that comparatively, all the accumulated treasure of the world is worthless.
That is something to consider and live by. The preciousness and esteem that each human person holds in the eyes of God. The love God has for each one of us, and any one of us, and all of us. This is a distinctly Christ-like characteristic, this is a true Christian value. And whenever we try to live by this value, and pass this value on to whomever we are responsible for, or associate with, we enter into the mystery of life drawn a step closer to God.
“Everything is inside us, instincts and all, and are asking for fulfillment. If we don’t fulfill them they will take their revenge, unless we redirect them elsewhere, towards the higher, towards God. You don‘t become holy by hunting down evil. Forget about evil. Look towards Christ and He will save you. Instead of standing outside the door to drive away the enemy, ignore him. Is evil coming this way? Gently let yourself go the other way. Meaning, is evil coming to attack you, give your internal strength to the good, to Christ. Plead: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me”. He knows how to have mercy on you, and in what way. And when you are tilled with good, you won’t turn to evil anymore. You will become good by yourself, with God‘s grace. How can evil find any ground anymore? It disappears! Does a phobia or disappointment get a hold of you? Turn to Christ. Love him in simplicity, with humility, without demands and He will free you. Do not choose negative ways to correct yourselves. You don’t need to be afraid of the devil, or hell, or anything. They create a reaction. I too have a little experience in those things. The point is not to sit, to beat or strain yourselves to improve. The point is to live, to study, to pray, to advance in love, in Christ’s love, in the Church’s love.”
~ Life and Words by Saint Porphyrios
“And a great multitude of people came to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases. And virtue went out of Him and healed them all.”(Luke 6)
“And virtue went out of Him and healed them all. ” This is the true alchemy, not an external process that turned lead into gold, as ancient alchemists once mistakenly believed, but an internal process by which human beings are made whole. This is the true alchemy, this is the true theology, an encounter with God. This is why we were created, this is why we were born. Every human being born is a new encounter with God.
It is essential to understand that the Gospel is addressed to our hearts. God wants our hearts to acquire the special traits that Christ possesses. For the softening of one‘s heart special nourishment is needed that bears the grace of God. When we are in the presence of Christ, He does not make our heads spin with theories. Our minds have become a seething mass of theories, anti-theories, and super-theories. But in the presence of Christ we become familiar with what it means to be a true human being.
In Christ we see the Source of all love, peace, joy gentleness, beauty, meekness, goodness, and all those other “gilts of the Holy Spirit.”(Galatians 5:22) Concentration on these within ourselves: love, peace, joy, gentleness, beauty, meekness, goodness, will subversively and energetically undermine the passions and the sinfulness in us. Remember Christ, think of Him organize your life by the Divine light-filled precepts of the Holy Gospel.
This is the primary work of Christianity. It takes a person who is frail and tilled with passions and weaknesses, laden with small and big sins, and marvelously relines him over time, until one day, it yields a spiritual and heavenly being filled with the love of God, and ready for the future life.