• Michael Haldas

God's Nature and Our Well-Being

“Why did He not say, ‘Before Abraham was, I was, but I AM [John 8:58]. Christ used this expression, for it signifies continuous Being, removed from all time…He says, ‘Before Abraham was, I AM.’ ‘Before’ indicates past time, ‘I AM” present time. Because divinity does not have past and future time, but always IS, He did not say, ‘I was before Abraham.” Hence it is said to Moses, ‘I am the Being [KJV translates ‘I AM WHO I AM’]. Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel, ‘The Being hath sent me forth to you’[KJV translates ‘I AM hath sent me to you] [Exodus 3:14]. Therefore He existed both before and after Abraham.” (St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory the Great) “If you speak of right and wrong in terms of being, it is generally expressed as either moving towards the path of well-being-eternal-being, or moving away from it, that is, taking a path towards non-being. What does the path of non-being look like? It looks like disintegration, a progressive “falling apart” of existence. The New Testament uses the term phthora (“corruption”) to describe this. Phthora is what happens to a body when it dies. Death, in the New Testament, is often linked to sin (“sin and death”). It is the result of moving away from God, destroying our communion with Him…” (Father Stephen Freeman) “Here are two truths we should ponder, both of which are difficult and will strain our thinking a bit. The first is that God is Being and the second is that God exists in the ever present now outside of time, outside of past and future. Though a bit ‘heady,’ the practical implications of these truths to us are actually simple. First, we should make it our first and most important priority in life to have continuous union with God through prayer and the life of Church; and second, the more we live in the present moment, the more we focus on the ‘what is’ in our life as opposed to the ‘what was’ (dwelling on the past) and the ‘what if’ (worrying about the imagined future), we will acquire the Lord’s peace (John 14:27). Much of our strife in life comes from not understanding and living these truths.” (Sacramental Living Ministries) “Human nature is dynamically charged or magnetized toward God. We are hardwired that way. We have a natural inclination and movement toward our Maker. It is a powerful energy and orienting force that can be misdirected but never completely suppressed or erased. In its ideal state, it is rooted in the present moment and moves freely toward Him without hesitation or reasoning…Despite all of our efforts to control our own reality, the fact is, we are controlled by the thoughts that barrage our minds. Most of us are unconsciously fixated on either the past or the future…we struggle to live in the present reality. We are more comfortable racing back and forth between the past and the present because we unconsciously believe that we can control it through discursive reasoning or inner dialogues.” (Kevin Scherer) “We need to depend on God’s grace to help us wait well in the present because, indeed, the present is all we have. Mark Mallett defines the present moment as “the only point where reality exists.” (Marlena Graves) #StJohnChrysostom #StGregorytheGreat #FatherStephenFreeman #SacramentalLivingMinistries #KevinScherer #MarlenaGraves