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“The world’s characterized by noise, bustle, cares and not insignificant problems. You can’t see everything. It’s impossible to know everything….The news in the media, access to the internet, and so on, coverage of everything, without human error, through AI, all lead you to the depressing conclusion that ‘the earth is shedding blood and tears’. Was it not ever thus? Yes, but people didn’t know. They knew what was going on in the neighborhood and a little further beyond. Gradually, horizons opened, they saw the world as a ‘neighborhood’ and realized that pain is spread all over the earth. Christians, people who want to live as Christ did, live in this world and share its direction. They know that, indeed, there are many and varied problems. But those who experience God’s grace, with humble prayer, repentance and observation of Christ’s commandments- particularly that of loving everybody- aren’t overcome by despair, don’t feel that a blackness of the heart is weighing them down. The feeling of hope and certainty that the last word in our life isn’t an illusion and doesn’t belong to the devil, to pain and all the negatives, but belongs to Christ, who conquered death. It’s experience of His presence, which brings peace and joy.” (Fr. Andreas Agathokleous)

“In the swirling milieu of today’s world, sensible people try to grab onto something that will hold them fast against the tides that sweep them along. But like those who try to hang onto a pole or branch in a tsunami, they finally lose their grip and are plunged into the surging water. The wise eventually realize that nothing in this world is constant, fixed, or certain. Therefore, there is no possibility that we will find something we can depend on as long as we look for it on this earth. Consequently, we would be doomed to constant cycles of despair except for one thing, something that this world seems to forget. There is a higher reality beyond this swirling universe. There is the eternal God “with whom there is no shadow of turning” (James 1:17).” (Fr. Basil)

“The more people devote themselves to the concerns of this life, the more they’re anchored in the things of this world and forget their more profound needs. But when, for whatever reason, their deeper spiritual disquiet is aroused and they recognize that there is an answer to the forgotten and often rejected existential question in their hearts, they then forget their everyday needs and reject their worldly cares.” (George Mantzaridis)

“Joy is absent among people today, despite all the ways we have of relaxing. So many people today suffer from depression. The faithful, however, reach that magnificent point of rejoicing in their sufferings (Col. 1:24). This is a strange thing to say, which, if it didn’t come from Saint Paul, would be considered an absurdity or even, why not, an unnatural state of mind. But for the faithful, even the Apostle of the Gentiles ‘rejoicing in hope’ (Rom. 12:12) becomes reality. People of hope continue to sing hymns to God, even if the ground under their feet is quaking. Like an nightingale which continues to sing, even if the branch it’s sitting on snaps, because it still has its wings. The faithful have the wings of hope. People of hope ‘acquire wings like an eagle, run without becoming faint, and walk without becoming weary’ (Is. 40:31). Those who place their hope in God are never wrong to do so and never sink into despair. Because they have wings of hope And ‘hope does not put to shame’ (Rom. 5:5). The source of the hope of the faithful is the living God. The unshakeable rock.” (Metropolitan of Pisidia Sotirios)

“It really helps to have hit rock bottom at some point in your life, to cry out to God in despair, and to have recovered and know it was because of Him. People like that are beacons of His light and grace to others who need patient and loving support to not fall into despair due their woes and/or the world’s woes.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“The term world is used in several distinct ways in Scripture. In some cases, it refers to all that is glorious, beautiful, and redeemable in God's creation (John 3:16). Other times, it refers to that which is finite in contrast to that which is eternal (John 11:9; John 18:36). In still other instances…it indicates all that is in rebellion against God (see also John 8:23).” (Orthodox Study Bible, John 15:18-25)

“A Christian is one who, wherever he looks, finds Christ and rejoices in Him. This joy transforms all his human plans and projects, decisions and actions, making all his mission [vocation] the sacrament of the world’s return to Him who is the life of the world." (Father Alexander Schmemann)

"Christians renounce the world by living for something other than the world…Christians transform the world by living for Christ." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou, Sacramental Living)

“A faithful relationship to God changes our relationship to the world…our actions as a community and our attitudes…either reveal Christ to the world, or obscure His presence.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 12:2, Dynamis 7/12/2015)

"If the monastery is the arena for the spiritual training (ascesis) of the monk, then the home, the family, the workplace, the busy urban street are the arenas for those in the world." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

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