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Friday, June 1, 2018

     “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist/retaliate the evil (person) (μὴ ἀντιστῆναι τῷ πονηρῷ). If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” (Mt 5: 38-39)

     Yikes! What a difficult passage! I mean, are we just to let ourselves be slapped around, if we are, for example, victims of domestic violence? But let me note what the Lord is forbidding us to do here, and what He is not forbidding us to do. 

     He is forbidding us, in a private confrontation with a human “evil-doer,“ to “resist/retaliate“ (against) this human being, by “evil-doing“ the same thing ourselves, because He wants to protect us, when we are victimized, from turning into our oppressors. But He is not forb...

Thursday, March 29, 2018

     “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things. Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: ‘They have struck me, but I was not hurt; they have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?’ Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them; For their heart devises violen...

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Lk 11: 9-13)

I was recently asked whether the “success” of our prayers depends upon our “righteousness.” No, as the Lord explains above. “Success” in prayer, as Christ understands it, is reception of the Holy Spirit, i.e., commun...

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

”The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Lk 6: 45)

So I must see to it that I’m not hoarding “evil treasure” in my heart. What is that? For one thing, it’s resentments, toward certain people, toward certain institutions, toward myself, and toward God. When left unhealed, or buried deep in my heart, resentments lead me to feel and to speak ill about certain people and things as they are, from an abundance of ingratitude, self-centeredness, and other “evil treasure” they bring with them into my heart.

But let me not be discouraged, if my “mouth” has thus exposed some “evil treasure” in my heart. Today let me start replacing it with “good treasure,” like g...

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is simple/single (ἁπλοῦς, i.e., not mixed, not complex), your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is evil (πονηρὸς), your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Mt 6:22-23)

An “evil” eye or perspective is devoid of God’s simplicity, or His stabilizing, ever-merciful perspective. When I spend too much time with my own thoughts and without prayer, I tend to get overwhelmed by my own “overthinking” of things. Or I misuse my thinking capacities (the “lamp” of my body) to speculate about the future or past, in pointless “what ifs.”

In faith and through faith, I find that my most hopelessly-complicated situations become simple, when I just walk through them as I am calle...

Thursday, May 12, 2016

For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true (ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἀλήθειαν) comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.” (Jn 3: 16...

Friday, January 29, 2016

 

…And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that their deeds may be clearly seen, for they have been done in God.” (Jn 3: 19-21)

 

Yes, indeed. It is by doing what is “true” that I come to the Light, and so come to love the Light rather than darkness. The Light is God Himself, the Creator, so I receive creative energy by moving toward Him, however small and however slow my steps may be.

 

It is not an immense effort on my part, to do the next right thing, rather than avoiding it. But such daily, small steps are ever-regenerating, ever-new, b...

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