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“…our modern culture believes that relationships with other people are merely psychological phenomena – they are all in our head. There is occasional research to try and establish some notion of extra-psychological relationship (such as ESP), but even that is largely an extension of psychology. But there is an entire realm of human experience that such a belief ignores. And it is an experience that lies at the very heart of classical Christianity. This experience is found in the concept of communion. It refers to a true participation and sharing in the life and actual existence of another. It is not a label for a set of feelings nor a synonym for being close with someone. It is a term that truly means what it says. The Greek is koinonia, a state of “commonality.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“When we think about the events in the Scriptures or events in the various Feasts of the Church, we are not learning about ancient history, we are learning the human story, which is our personal story. The people in those stories are us and we are them. We participate in what they did, and we experience what they experienced. Heaven is no longer some distant, obscure thing, but rather we enter into it in and through the Feasts, the liturgical celebrations, the iconography and the hymns. The ancients have no advantage over us – it is not as if they experienced the events of salvation and all we can do is learn about history or be reminded of the past. We participate in salvation just as they did. The Feasts aren’t there just to inform us, they are there to form us and reform us. “Remembering” a Feast is to participate in its saving events by making it part of our lives and making our lives part of the saving events. We experience our salvation in, through and by the Feasts.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“…we must offer the most broken dimensions of ourselves to Him for healing. Even as He entered fully into the misery of the world as we know it, we must welcome Him into the darkest challenges of our lives. We become more fully our true selves as we participate more fully in His restoration of the human person in God’s image and likeness. Even as He was born into a world enslaved to the fear of the death in order to liberate it, we must become living icons of what happens when people entrust themselves to the God-Man for healing.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“…the faith that God counts for justification is not merely a belief in one’s acquittal. It is a living, growing, and transforming relationship with God the Holy Trinity…The more we grow in grace the more Christ lives in us and we live in Him. And the more we are renewed in our relationship with Christ, the more we participate in our sanctification. That is, we become holy by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us.” (Fr. Basil)

“If the light Christ is the only effective solution to the spiritual and moral darkness in our Church and society, it can only be effective if we remove all barriers that prevent it from streaming into our lives and then fully participate in it. There are, of course, many ways to block the light. One of the most common and insidious ways is quite simply non-participation—being in places where the light is present, but refusing to engage it or allow it to affect us.” (Fr. Edward Rommen)

“The modern fascination with its own mind actually alienates us from what is real and true. We perceive knowledge as thinking – the Fathers perceived knowledge as participation. We know things through communion...knowledge of the only true God is far more than intellectual understanding. It is participation in His divine life and in communion with Him…Christ invites us all to participate in Him…Judas too is invited to the table for the mystical supper, Jesus seeking by all means to save him. His unworthy participation leads to his utter destruction.” (Father Stephen Freeman, Orthodox Study Bible, John 17:3, Luke 22:21-23)

“God’s justice is also one of the divine energies. God is just and is continuously working in His creation in order to bring about and preserve this state of justice. Therefore, for a human person or a human community to live in a way that is in keeping with the justice of the Triune God is to participate in His operation within creation. This participation is transformative and produces a state of blessing. ‘To bless’, as a verb, is then to bring the person or thing blessed into alignment with God and His purposes in creation.” (Father Stephen De Young)

“The holy fathers often remark that the life of heaven and hell begin right here on earth. A true sign that we are on the heavenly path is our regular and frequent participation in the holy services of the Church. Gradually, our lives are transformed. We no longer mark the passing of days and weeks by secular standards but rather enter into the mysteries presented to us in the Church’s rich liturgical calendar. Even the routine of our daily lives can be transformed…Such pious observances keep our routines and problems in proper perspective. Suffering, illness, and difficulties take on a new meaning for us when we are fully engaged in body and spirit in the life of the Church.” (Bishop Thomas (Joseph) and Peter Schweitzer)

“Christians hope for perfection by their participation in God’s holiness. In a secular age, this hope is translated into the expectation that by human effort alone perfection is possible and peace can be achieved. A belief in history and progress replaces a belief in God and providence.” (Vigen Guroian)

“One of the reasons that many people do not take Christianity seriously today is that they do not encounter people who have found healing for their passions. They do not know people who are living witnesses of the Savior’s fulfillment of our humanity. If we reduce the meaning of our …Christian faith to the point that it concerns only what we do for a couple of hours on Sunday, or even to what we do whenever we think we are being especially religious, we will never become radiant icons of Christ’s salvation that draw others to the life of the Kingdom. If our participation in the Body of Christ does not strengthen, heal, and transform us for lives of holiness, then we will not give testimony to what happens when human beings become their true selves through the blessing of our Savior.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“For though mystery, paradox, and contradiction frame something as “unknowable,” they do so for the purpose of knowing. To know is not the equivalent of mastering facts. Knowledge, in the New Testament, is equated with salvation itself (Jn. 17:3). But what kind of knowing is itself salvific? In the simplest terms, it is knowledge as participation.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

"…theology [knowledge of God] is based on a life dedicated to the pursuit of prayer through personal participation in the ascetic, sacramental, and liturgical life of the Church. It is not based on discursive reasoning." (Archimandrite Sergius)

“Christianity is not just holding certain theories about God, it’s not a philosophical system only. Christianity is not a question of moral imitation, of keeping ethical rules. Christianity signifies a direct participation through grace in the life of God…It is not Christ’s “merit” that saves us, but rather our participation in Him.” (Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick)

“Participation in the life of the Church is a prerequisite for bearing fruit to Christ…Many Christians today approach their faith from an individualistic perspective. They view the Church as a convenience store where they can stop by and pick up inspiration.” (Dynamis 8/14/2014)

“Young people need to understand that conversion is a lifelong process, and liturgy facilitates that conversion. We need to help them grasp this liturgical asceticism, or metanoia (conversion), that is, the process by which a baptized person, through regular participation in liturgy, receives the necessary formation to order one’s life habitually such that one comes to know and experience God in one’s life.” (V. Rev. Fr. David J. Randolph)

“Worship, at its heart, is communion with God, a participation in the life of God through offering, thanksgiving, and grateful reception.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“The Church in every generation participates in the life and glory of the Trinity. Christians enjoy two kinds of unity: with God and with one another, the latter being rooted in the former.” (Orthodox Study Bible, John 17:20)

“...the unique and absolute goal of life in Christ is theosis, our union with God, so that man—through his participation in God’s uncreated energy—may become ‘by the Grace of God’ that which God is by nature (without beginning and without end). This is what ‘salvation’ means, in Christianity.” (Protopresbyter George Metallinos)

“By participating in the Sacraments, we grow closer to God and to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This process of deification, or theosis,…takes place not in isolation from others, but within the context of a believing community.” (Rev. Thomas Fitzgerald)

“...we know from our own experiences of repeating the church creeds, saying the Lord’s Prayer, or celebrating ordinances [sacraments] like baptism and the Lord’s Supper, that it is difficult to avoid merely going through the motions. We are often guilty of participating passively and mindlessly..." (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 7:8)

“St. Paul said we all must “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). But we need others to help us. This help comes through our relationship with Christ that is manifested through our participation in worship through Church and our relationships with others.” (Sacramental Living)

“The modern fascination with its own mind actually alienates us from what is real and true. We perceive knowledge as thinking – the Fathers perceived knowledge as participation. We know things through communion.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“St. Paul refers to the different energies of the Holy Spirit as different gifts of grace, stating that they are all energized by one and the same Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:11). The

'manifestation of the Spirit' (1 Corinthians 12:7) is given according to the measure of every man's faith through participation in a particular gift of grace. Thus every believer is receptive to the energy of the Spirit in a way that corresponds to his degree of faith and the state of his soul; and this energy grants him the capacity needed to carry out a particular commandment.” (St. Maximos the Confessor)

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