““The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”(Psalm 14:1). This verse is not so much about principled atheists, but practical atheists, which we all are in those dark moments when we stubbornly follow our own will and passions and eclipse God from our decision-making. Liturgically we use this verse at the 9th Hour on Holy Friday, as Jesus hangs on the Cross surrounded by abusers and abandoned by almost all his friends. In those terrible hours when the disciples turned awa
“What then is the source of contention in human society? The apostle’s penetrating insight discloses that the cause is found in the “desires for pleasure” (James 4:1). But the term that this phrase translates has a broader meaning than this phrase suggests. It refers to sensual gratifications, that is, insatiable lusts (vs. 1). James says that these passions “war in your members” (vs. 4:1). He does not mean that the cravings set different parts of the body against each other.
“Tribalism is found throughout human society. Humans favor their own group however they define it. And they distinguish themselves from other such groupings. Thus, it seems natural to believe that the scope of God’s concern is concentrated on one’s own associations…St. John Chrysostom says that to think that God is partial to one group or another is an insult to God’s glory.” (Fr. Basil) “Despite all the contrary rhetoric, contemporary Americans are not highly individualized:
“St. Paul called “that mindset which was in Christ Jesus,” the phronema Christou (Phil. 2.5).”…Our phronema is our mindset, but mental attitude can never be separated from behavior. Our phronema is revealed by our manner of life. Conversely, the way we choose to live shapes and reinforces our phronema.” (Dr. Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou) “At the end of his letters, the Apostle Paul often provides practical applications for his teachings. He follows this pattern in Romans…Sa
“[Spiritual] Blindness narrows our options. Which of us can say that he sees clearly all that is coming toward him in life? We do the best we can to discern what may happen, surviving where we are, using what we have, making do with what we hear….there is a dimension of life we miss by living outside our hearts. This dimension contains the things of the Spirit, and most of us remain blind in that all-important realm.” (Dynamis 12/28/2020) “Before He restored the man’s sight [
“…we must beware of the hardening of our hearts (Hebrews 3:15). In Greek, the word “harden” refers to “making stubborn” or “unbending...A hardened heart refuses to respond to the Spirit and closes itself off to the truth. It shields itself against the Gospel, lest the mercy and goodness of God penetrate the soul. The source of the hardness of heart can be extreme adversity such as the hunger and thirst of the Children of Israel in the desert. It can come from the disappoin
“It is only in Saint Luke’s account that we read that wonderful verse of the healed demoniac sitting at the feet of Jesus…It is an account that more-or-less assaults our modern sensibilities. The realm and reality of the demonic and the “spiritual warfare” implied by recognizing such a realm and reality opens up our minds and hearts to both the irrational and supra-rational world of the Gospel in which Christ has come to “bind” the “strong man.” This is a fierce battle that