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Sober and Sobriety

“Just as Saint Paul calls us to live in purity, he also calls us to be watchful, for those “who are of the day” should live soberly (1 Thessalonians 5:8). In modern times, any talk of sobriety raises the specter of substance abuse, for this widespread health issue affects marriages, destroys productivity and health, and corrupts every aspect of one’s physical, social, and spiritual life. No doubt addiction and drunkenness were as prevalent in first-century Greco-Roman society as they are today. Yet the Apostle Paul does not focus primarily on this issue per se but assigns a broader meaning to the term sobriety. He stresses our need to be conscious of our ultimate accountability before God. Christian sobriety thus embraces not only the specific problem of substance abuse, but also irresponsibility, loss of direction, and hopelessness.” (Dynamis 12/2/2021)


“The purpose of prayer is not to attain any particular emotional feelings or psychological states. It is not to have visions or hear voices. It is simply to accomplish the will of God in our lives. It is to be able not to sin. To love God with our entire being. To love our neighbor, and even our enemy, as ourselves. To have the Spirit of God in us. To be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ the Son of God by loving obedience to the Father even unto death. In prayer, we are to strive for sobriety, for simplicity and silence, for quiet and calm, for the perfect integration and harmony of body and soul in joyful union with God through Christ by becoming one spirit with the Spirit of God. This is the purpose and goal of prayer: to be one with God in order to do His will.” (Fr. Thomas Hopko) 


“In our prayers, too, modesty is most pleasing and gains us much grace from our God. . . . A noble thing, then, is modesty, which, though giving up its rights, seizing on nothing for itself, laying claim to nothing and in some ways somewhat retiring within the sphere of its own powers, yet is rich in the sight of God, in whose sight no one is rich. Richness is modesty, for it is the portion of God. Paul bids that prayer be offered up with modesty and sobriety.” (St. Ambrose)


“Recovering alcoholics and drug addicts work hard to maintain their sobriety one day at a time for the rest of their lives. When they fall off the wagon, they must get back on it and struggle for sobriety the next day. Most of us confess some version of the same sins whenever we take Confession. As we wrestle with our particular passions, we must not be filled with shame or discouragement about them. Instead, we simply need to recognize them for what they are as we mindfully gain the spiritual strength to direct the desires of our hearts for fulfillment in God. None of us will do that perfectly, which is why we must all open ourselves to Christ’s healing through the holy mystery of Confession on a regular basis. Instead of wallowing in self-pity or condemning anyone else, we must trust in the Lord’s mercy as we put our past failings out of our minds and focus on living one day at a time as those whose nakedness has been covered and whom the Savior has restored in His likeness. We must remember who we are and find our true selves in Him, if we want to avoid the inevitable disintegration of personality and character that comes from slavery to our passions.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)


“In prayer, we are to strive for sobriety, for simplicity and silence, for quiet and calm, for the perfect integration and harmony of body and soul in joyful union with God through Christ by becoming one spirit with the Spirit of God. This is the purpose and goal of prayer: to be one with God in order to do His will. This is the meaning of prayer: union with the Blessed Trinity in adoration, thanksgiving, petition, lamentation and perpetual service.” (OCA Holy Synod of Bishops)


“ [Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ]. be sober. Peter’s concern here is primarily using mentally or spiritually sound judgment.” (Foundation Study Bible, 1 Peter 1:13)

“The rational mind champions argument and judgment (it was always meant to measure, weigh and compare). But the rational mind was never intended to be the seat of the soul. That belongs to the nous. And it is only in the sobriety of noetic comprehension that the truth of the faith yields itself up as the life-giving Word of God. Only the sobriety of noetic perception is able to wield the fiery coal of the Divine revelation in such a way that it heals and doesn’t destroy… Rightness of heart is what a true noetic understanding and sobriety (nepsis) of spirit are about.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“…watchfulness and readiness do not mean a wearisome, spiritless performance of formal and empty obligations. Most certainly it does not mean inactivity and slothfulness. Watchfulness signifies inner stability, soberness, tranquility and joy. It means spiritual alertness, attentiveness and vigilance. Watchfulness is the deep personal resolve to find and do the will of God, embrace every commandment and every virtue, and guard the intellect and heart from evil thoughts and actions. Watchfulness is the intense love of God.” (Rev. Alkiviadis Calivas)

“[St. Paul] calls us to be watchful, for those “who are of the day” should live soberly (1 Thessalonians 5:8). In modern times, any talk of sobriety raises the specter of substance abuse...No doubt addiction and drunkenness were as prevalent in first-century Greco-Roman society as they are today. Yet the Apostle Paul does not focus primarily on this issue per se, but assigns a broader meaning to the term sobriety. He stresses our need to be conscious of our ultimate accountability before God. Christian sobriety thus embraces not only the specific problem of substance abuse, but also irresponsibility, loss of direction, and hopelessness.” (OCPM 11/12/2015)

“A sober life is not only free from drunkenness, but awake to spiritual realities…Sobriety, then, is our antidote to the casual, moment-to-moment indulgence that will strip our life of eternal meaning if we are not careful.” (Foundation Study Bible, 1 Thessalonians 5:8, OCPM 11/12/2015)

“[St. Paul] calls us to be watchful, for those" who are of the day” should live soberly (1 Thessalonians 5:8). In modern times, any talk of sobriety raises the specter of substance abuse...No doubt addiction and drunkenness were as prevalent in first-century Greco-Roman society as they are today. Yet the Apostle Paul does not focus primarily on this issue per se, but assigns a broader meaning to the term sobriety. He stresses our need to be conscious of our ultimate accountability before God. Christian sobriety thus embraces not only the specific problem of substance abuse, but also irresponsibility, loss of direction, and hopelessness.” (OCPM 11/12/2015)

“A sober life is not only free from drunkenness, but awake to spiritual realities.” (Foundation Study Bible, 1 Thessalonians 5:8)

"Sobriety, then, is our antidote to the casual, moment-to-moment indulgence that will strip our life of eternal meaning if we are not careful.” (OCPM 11/12/2015)

“Thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to think is called pride. Thinking less highly of ourselves than we ought to think is false humility. Thinking about ourselves soberly is true humility. The key to reaching this sober state centers on the fact that our sense of worth stems from Christ’s saving action. We are not totally worthless because Christ died for us. Yet narcissistic tendencies in society are strong indicators that we aren’t living soberly.” (Tom Papagiannis, LCSW)

“The purpose of prayer is to be sober-minded and be with God.” (Sacramental Living)


#TomPapagiannisLCSW #SacramentalLiving #OCPM #FoundationStudyBible #FatherStephenFreeman #RevAlkiviadisCalivas #Dynamis #FrThomasHopko #StAmbrose #FrPhilipLeMasters #OCAHolySynodofBishops


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