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Friday, July 19, 2019

         

      “Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, ‘Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.’ But he answered them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.’” (Mt 12: 38-41)

       Here’s the thing about divine “signs”: They are sometimes “given,” as God sees fit, but they should not be sought or demanded. A similar thing can be observed about...

Monday, July 15, 2019

           

         

         Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all that He has done for you; Who is gracious unto all your iniquites, Who heals all your infirmities; Who redeems your life from corruption; Who crowns you with mercy and compassion; Who fulfils your desire with/in good things (Τὸν ἐμπιπλῶντα ἐν ἀγαθοῖς τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν σου / исполняющаго во благих желание твое) …” (Ps 102/103: 1-5a, Septuagint-translation)

          Most of the time, most of us carry around “desire” in our hearts, because as human beings we are lacking, in and of ourselves. We are meant to be “completed” or “fulfilled” through communion with our Creator, and thr...

Friday, April 20, 2018

     “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” (Mt 7: 6)

     What does our Lord mean here, 1. by “what is holy” and by our “pearls,” and 2. Who are the “dogs” and “swine” before whom we are not to offer these? 

     1. The “holy” and the “pearls” in us are our God-like and God-given gifts, like love, faith, wisdom, desire (both spiritual and physical), beauty (both spiritual and physical), creativity, compassion, etc. 2. The “dogs” and “swine” on whom we might be tempted to waste our God-given gifts and energies are not other people, because we are never to regard other people as “dogs” or “swine.” They are the evil spirits that may entangle us in sinful obsess...

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be (ἁγιασθήτω, sanctified) thy name…” (Mt 6: 9)

Is “hallowed be thy name” a request? No. It is a proclamation. We are saying, Let Your name (i.e. You Yourself), God, be recognized and embraced, by us, as “holy.” We are not asking for God’s “name” or God to be made holy, because He already is that.

God is in fact the very Source of “holiness,” and we need to recognize and affirm that, again and again, in order to participate in His holiness, rather than seek betterment or divinization (“theosis”) from within ourselves. We do not become “like God” by doing things our own way, without Him, as the serpent suggested to us in the garden (Gen 3: 5). We recognize that it is only He, and His way, that can make us as we are meant to be, “like Him,” and that is “...

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were no people but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.” (1 Pet 2: 9-10)

Once we were “no people” at all, St. Peter says to us rather outrageously. Why not? Because we were God-less, and left to our own devices, we were fragmented, both within ourselves and amongst ourselves. Of course we can build “nations” and imagine any one of them to be “a chosen race,” but our own “nation-building” efforts, when based on ourselves and our self-proclaimed “chosenness” and not God’s, tend to breed division and divisiveness. It is only God, the One Creator, Wh...

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