A simple means of renouncing wealth is to confess that we own nothing, but only have the use of our goods for a short time. The Christian attitude towards wealth in the early centuries threatened the very halls of empire. The gospel has not changed.
Author: Fr. Stephen FREEMAN
Human beings are created for true personal existence. That existence is a relationship with everything around us. But we begin to move towards non-existence when we nurture relationships with lies. See the truth. Speak the truth. Be the truth.
The most revealing thing within human history is the appearing of Jesus Christ in our midst. In this coming-among-us, we see the face of God. That face alone can tell us who we truly are. We can only know ourselves as we see ourselves in Him.
I am often embarrassed by Orthodox failures, just as I am by my own, and for the same reason. However, I believe our failures are uniquely unmasked by the sublime reality of the sacraments, and the perfection of the gift we have been given.
The mystery of our freedom is found in the condescending love of God. The exercise of our freedom, particularly when used for evil ends, inevitably makes God appear weak or non-existent. We rarely consider the fact that it makes Him look like an equal, and an equal who loves us.
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7). But it is the irony of the Cross: Love enduring all things. If you know the Cross and the Love that is crucified there, then the verse likely needs no explanation. Christ is His own exegesis.
The unchurched, non-sacramental evolution of contemporary Christianity follows the track of modern culture’s portrayal of human beings as atomistic individuals. Catholics and Orthodox frequently hear others assert, “I don’t need a priest. I can go straight to God.”
At the core of a narcissistic disorder is shame. Strangely, the ability to bear shame is essential in the experience of God. God does not try to shame us or make us feel bad about ourselves. Shame is simply an objective reality in His presence.
The Christian faith is apocalyptic. It reveals that which is hidden. The Church is the revelation of reality (or it is nothing). To live its life is to live as a revelation of that which is. All of creation agrees with that revelation and utters its yearning “Amen.”
To behold God face-to-face necessarily means that we behold Him without shame. Thus, this experience holds within it the promise of complete forgiveness and healing from the damage of sin.
This is not a slogan for anyone’s political agenda. It is nothing other than the proclamation of the Kingdom of God. It is inaugurated (already) in the hearts and lives of faithful believers, manifest in the lives of the saints. Thousands of souls around us stand weary and hungry for salvation. Acquire the Spirit of Peace.
When couples come to ministers to talk about their marriage ceremonies, ministers think it’s interesting to ask if they love one another. What a stupid question! How would they know? A Christian marriage isn’t about whether you’re in love. Christian marriage is giving you the practice of fidelity over a lifetime in which you can look back upon the marriage and call it love. It is a hard discipline over many years. – Stanley Hauerwas