“At our birth, we set out on two journeys in life: the biological, here on earth, and the one which leads to heaven. We start off on these two parallel courses which we follow whether we want to or not…The first journey has a specific end at some moment in time which we don’t know, but God alone, our Maker, does. The second is everlasting and leads to eternity. From childhood we’re provided for the first path by our parents and teachers, in order that we may tread it as painl
“The deep calling of our lives is to find the fulfillment of our potential as those created in the divine image to become like Him in holiness. The God-Man has fulfilled this vocation and made it possible for all to share personally in His restoration and fulfillment of the human person. That is why our calling is nothing short of becoming ‘perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect’ (Matt. 5:48)…Holiness transcends the values of tolerance, social justice, and brotherh
“There is a generalized sense in our culture…that with the eclipse of the transcendent, something may have been lost…Divested of the transcendent, this world is invested with ultimacy and meaning in ways that couldn’t have been imagined before.” (James K.A. Smith) “It seems thousands of years removed from us, but it was not so very long ago that life was marked out by religious feasts. Although everyone went to church, not everyone, of course, knew the exact contents of each
“The gospel is the report of the victory of God achieved by Jesus Christ over the hostile spiritual powers arrayed against humanity…The true gospel, the story of Christ’s victory, begins with Yahweh, God the Son, descending from the glory He shared with the Father eternally (John 17:5) to be made man. The incarnate Son of God then waged war against the hostile spiritual powers oppressing humanity, against the power of sin, and against death itself. Arising victorious, He asce
“…God calls us in unanticipated ways to cooperate with His gracious purposes for bringing salvation to the world… God uses our cooperation to accomplish His gracious purposes in the world. That was certainly the case in the Old Testament: Abraham, Moses, David, and countless others responded to God’s initiative, and He worked through them, despite their many failings. And through the free response of a teenaged Palestinian Jewish girl came the Messiah in Whom the ancient prom
“Paul not only urges us to pray, but he teaches us how we should do it. He writes that we should offer our petitions and supplications to God with intensity…Paul is saying that prayer must be vigorous. We might say that for Paul, effective prayer requires intense exertion. It takes a strong effort that overcomes all obstacles…Paul goes on to identify three characteristics of forceful prayer. First, it is vigilant. That is, it is awake, alert, and on guard against diversions.
“Life in the home is in the Lord; the family is a little church and is to live in the baptismal and eucharistic life of the Church. Duties are reciprocal, everyone having the same standing before the same Master. All authority is for the sake of loving service (all authority is humbling) and all submission is to God (all submission is glorious)…The family is a spiritual unit: if one member is a Christian, the whole family is set apart by God's grace.” (Orthodox Study Bible, E
“As we live in this life, we are constantly tempted towards the divisions that threaten us. We see the world as “them and us.” These believe; these don’t. These care; these don’t. These behave; these don’t, and so on. The divisions are frequently quite insignificant. These divisions are primarily the symptoms of our failure to love. The people surrounding Christ were consistently scandalized by His persistent comfort and ease with those identified as “sinners.” No doubt, many
“…our goal is not to make the world into paradise, but rather to prevent it from becoming hell. Each of us can work to make holiness present in our lives – which means not so much becoming morally perfect as it means allowing Christ into our hearts and homes so that each of us is transformed by the Gospel commandments. We do not need to be sinless, but we do need to be repentant to have Christ in our lives. The Kingdom of God is not established on earth through governments, l
“Once, the monk John the Short told the desert father Poeman that he had asked the Lord to take away his passions. John said that the Lord answered his prayer, and he was at peace: the warfare between flesh and spirit in his heart was over. Poeman replied, “Go and ask the Lord to stir up in you a new battle against the passions. Fighting against temptation is good for the soul.” When the passions attacked John once more, he did not pray for the end of the fight against them.