Latest Thoughts

Recent Blogs

Perception

“As Aaron Beck once said, “all emotion is preceded by perception”. This is quote is quite consistent with the ascetical teachings of the church. We would do well to study that simple quote and begin to apply it to our lives. How exactly have we been perceiving all of these events, what meanings have we been assigning to them?  What have we felt as a result of these meanings assigned or perceptions?” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)


“Early in my career as a high school guidance counselor, I had a supervisor who occasionally confided in me. He was stout and had a red face. One day he called me into his office to say he had gone to see his cardiologist, who told him that because he had a history of early heart attacks in his family and his blood pressure was quite high, he must stop drinking alcohol. My supervisor was visibly upset. I asked, “What are you going to do?” He looked at me as if I had asked a totally stupid question. He said, “Of course, I am going to get a different doctor.” Don’t we all have a tendency to deny some parts of reality, as suits our perceptions? Don’t we all find reality too much of a burden to endure, and resort to one or another mental dodge or defensive mechanism?” (Albert S. Rossi, PhD)


“Perspective and enthusiasm go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other. Perspective loosens up our perceptions so as to allow the important issues to take precedence in a world frequently caught up in false agendas. These false agendas blur the line between what is essential (i.e., relationships, peace, love) and what isn’t (i.e., inordinate power, concern with one’s image, competition, accomplishments).” (Robert J. Wicks)


“Noetic perception” is a phrase that describes the ability of the human heart to perceive that which is Divine. As such, it is our capacity for communion with God and the whole of creation. Primarily, what we noetically perceive of creation is its “logicity,” its reflection of the Logos. Without such a perception, we do not see the truth of things. By the same token, without such a perception, we cannot know the truth of our own selves. Of course, goodness and truth are as endangered in the secular world as beauty. A world that cannot see goodness and truth is a world in which distortions and even lies are raised to a place of prominence. In a secular world, money and violence become the primary energies of governance and change.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“Wisdom is twofold. It is Christ Himself, and secondly, it is His words or teachings. His children who incline their ear to Him and His teachings will guard good thinking, which is called perception. Perception is the crown of the virtues.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Proverbs 5:1-6)


“…thankfulness helps deliver us from many of the snares that would stop our progress to the fear of God or the fear of judgement…from the human perspective, all of this preparation through the embrace of self discipline leading to the fear of God leading to a longing for God gets us ready to perceive God. But on the other hand, from the divine perspective, nothing a human being can do forces God’s hand or makes God reveal Himself. When the time is right, when everything is ready, then God comes to us. God comes to us very seldom as a rushing wind or a bright light, but God comes to us most often as a gentle breeze, as an apprehension of some profound beauty resonating deeply in our psyche, in our souls. God comes to us and if we are ready, we perceive Him in some small way, in a way that we can never forget or deny, but almost always in a way that we cannot explain or defend.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)


“So, in every direction and every way, we encounter God’s Divine Energies, His working things together on behalf of all and for all. There is a path towards “seeing” these actions (energies): the practice of continual thanksgiving for all things. It is the giving of thanks that reveals to the heart the hidden work of God. It is a practice that silences the passions and, as an expression of our human energies, unites us with the very Providence for which we give thanks.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“…the more we become like little children, seeing with the eyes of humility, the more we will get a fleeting glimpse of Eden, of who we truly are, or, at least, who we are truly meant to be, as creatures made in the image of God.” (Joseph Pearce)


“Jesus replies to Nathanael, “When you were under the fig tree, I saw you” (John 1:48). This statement linking “seeing” with “knowing” is an example of what the Church Fathers call diorasis, the ability to see into obscure circumstances, to know facts or events inaccessible to others…This kind of “knowledge” comes from the Holy Spirit and is limited to those deemed worthy of such “sight,” who have purified their hearts through deep ascesis (spiri