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Contentment

“The word “contentment” combines two Greek words that together mean “self-sufficiency”... It refers to a state where nothing else is needed. Paul teaches this attitude when he says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8).”…One of the ironies of our age is that gratitude is “in” right now, yet contentment seems to be in short supply. The self-help sections of all major bookstores now contain books about “gratitude power,” detailing how an attitude of thankfulness can help a person’s health, happiness, and friendships. But rarely is gratitude connected to its natural correlate: contentment. At the heart of our society’s chronic discontent is a deficit of contentment with ourselves.” (Fr. Basil, Robin Phillips)


“content. The word literally means “self-sufficient...true sufficiency is found in the strength of Christ….Adults considering the Christian faith for the first time will have life experiences that take them way past the ability to be as innocent as children. Jesus does not ask us to put aside our experiences, but He does require a change of attitude: adult self-sufficiency must recognize its need for the sovereign God…(Foundation Study Bible, Philippians 4:11, Life Application Study Bible, Mark 15)


The word “contentment” (autarkia) was popular among the Stoic philosophers for expressing the virtue of self-sufficiency. However, Saint Paul knows that his sufficiency has its source in the Lord who fills him with strength. He knows he is not self-sufficient, but able to manage his present state only because of the power that God places in His faithful ones, regardless of whether they are in dire straits or well-furnished with life’s necessities.” (Dynamis 10/15/2018)


“The irony of self-sufficiency is that it is never just about the isolated self. It is always about self in relation first to God and then to others. There is no contentment is self alone apart from the love of God and loving and being loved by others. We only can experience true contentment relationally and achieve self-sufficiency through union with God and mutual dependency on others. Any other notion of self-sufficiency is delusional and will not result in any lasting or true contentment.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)


“Human beings can never be separate, self-enclosed or self-sufficient entities. Their existence is verified in the relationships that they have with one another, with nature and ultimately with God. Thus, a person is not an individual but an open and ecstatic reality, refers to significant others for his or her existence. One becomes a person in self-transcendence, the movement of freedom toward communion. The future of humanity depends on the quality of relationships that give existence to our being as persons. It is only in relationships of love that we can embrace the totality of the world, and attain the fullness of our humanity. It is that fullness that allows diversity and difference in a uniting world that God loves sustains and desires to partake of His glory.” (Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Clapsis)


“Contentment is a form of faith. It trusts that the Providence of God will not fail us. From the moments of our conception and birth to our passing from this life to the next, the source of everything we have is God. And if we do not let our desires surpass our needs, we will have enough. We will possess all that is sufficient for the fulfillment of God’s good will for us. Such faith is fundamental to the Gospel of Christ. He promised, “Therefore do not worry saying ‘what shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things” (Matthew 6:31-32).” (Fr. Basil)


“St. Paul tells us…that we should aspire to lead a quiet life in peace. The picture he gives of a simple life, working with one's hands, is not one that, at least in our modern era, would go naturally with 'aspiration'. In the face of a culture that aspires to fame, to wealth, to renown, to vanity and personal glory, we are called by God to humbly aspire to just the contrary, to contentment with what we have, and living a small, quiet life. Do you prayerfully seek to be content with the life and the things that you have, or are you always pursuing more? When you get something that you've worked for, are you thankful, or do you immediately move on to chasing after the next thing? Do you find happiness in your faith in Christ, or do you continually think that you'll be happy once you have some other job, or living situation, or amount of money in the bank?” (Father Stephen De Young)


“One of the ironies of our age is that gratitude is “in” right now, yet contentment seems to be in short supply. The self-help sections of all major bookstores now contain books about “gratitude power,” detailing how an attitude of thankfulness can help a person’s health, happiness, and friendships. But rarely is gratitude connected to its natural correlate: contentment. At the heart of our society’s chronic discontent is a deficit of contentment with ourselves. When we are going through difficulties—especially when we experience loneliness, rejection, heartache, and vulnerability—it can be tempting to compare ourselves to others and then conceive freedom in terms of being a different person than who we are…without even consciously realizing it, we begin to conceive the self as the enemy, the source of the world’s cruelty to us.” (Robin Phillips)


“Contentment is only elusive because we seek it wrongly. If I am missing something and I look in all the places it is not, I will never find it. It’s really that simple. If I seek contentment in anything other than Christ, I will never find it. I may find a form of contentment for a while but it won’t be lasting. Only Christ can provide contentment that isn’t situationally based. It is an extension of His good and perfect peace that we can share in and have contentment within all the ups and downs in life and within our own imperfections. Tragedy and suffering may wound us deeply and disrupt our contentment, but we can find our way back to His contentment, even if it takes a long time, because He is always there.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)


“When you find Christ, you are satisfied, you desire nothing else, you find peace. You become a different person. You live everywhere, wherever Christ is. You live in the stars, in infinity, in heaven, with the angels, with the saints on earth, with people, with animals, with everyone and everything. When there is love for Christ, loneliness disappears. You are peaceable, joyous, full…Christ is in all your thoughts, in all your actions. You have grace, and you can endure everything for Christ.” (St. Porphyrios)


“The word “contentment” combines two Greek words that together mean “self-sufficiency”... It refers to a state where nothing else is needed. Paul teaches this attitude when he says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8).”…“One of the ironies of our age is that gratitude is “in” right now, yet contentment seems to be in short supply. The self-help sections of all major bookstores now contain books about “gratitude power,” detailing how an attitude of thankfulness can help a person’s health, happiness, and friendships. But rarely is gratitude connected to its natural correlate: contentment. At the heart of our society’s chronic discontent is a deficit of contentment with ourselves.” (Fr. Basil, Robin Phillips)


“In his book The Progress Paradox, the economist Gregg Easterbrook offered an interesting explanation about why we complain so much. Easterbrook observed that as our lives have collectively become more prosperous, our expectations have risen, resulting in more things to be unhappy about. Our comforts provide an endless array of new things to disappoint and frustrate us. When progress occurs on a ­culture-wide level, not only do our expectations go up, but the baseline for normality rises to such an extent that it becomes easy to begin overlooking how blessed we are in terms of commonplace realities…But if we have food and clothing, with these let us be content” (1 Tim. 6:8).8 The Lord is always showering His gifts on us, but often those gifts come to us disguised in the humdrum blessings of ordinary life.” (Robin Phillips)


“So we have all made pleasure and contentment in whatever form we pursue them our highest good, whether that is the perverse satisfaction of controlling, condemning, or harming someone or as subtle as simply putting our own preferences before the needs of others or what we know God wants us to do. The problem is that to be true to ourselves in that way is really to be false to ourselves. It is really to live out the lie that we are nothing but pleasure and satisfaction-seeking individuals…We have a way out of that kind of existence, however, because Christ is the Second Adam who as the God-Man makes us participants in His divinized humanity. He heals, blesses, and restores us as unique persons in His image and likeness to the point that we become participants in His divine nature by grace.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)


“The world is full of unfairness and inequalities. And to make matters worse, every human being has an insatiable desire for more of something: more money, more authority, more freedom, more whatever. To be clear, I’m all for doing what can be done in love to remove inequalities; but St. Paul teaches us that contentment is not a matter of what we have or don’t have. Contentment is a matter of heart, and inequalities are only overcome through humility and love, not through taking and hating. No one likes this message though, the message of the Cross. It’s just foolishness to the world.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)


“We will only find happiness and contentment when we accept and return His love. To do so is as much in our nature as swimming is in the nature of the duck. Real joy and happiness can come only when we are clear in understanding these principles. We cannot be content to live like chickens on the sidelines, nor can we be content when we deny our nature and serve anything other than God and His people…I believe that there can be no real happiness, joy or contentment without fulfilling our humanity, made in God’s image, by serving the Father and His people. This is the royal priesthood of Christ that the Word became incarnate to create. The royal priesthood is simply our God-given nature. To be a Christian is to bring God to man and man to God.” (Bishop John)


“There is a popular heresy abroad today which states that if a little is good, more is better. Following this dictum creates a life which is never fulfilling. Even while you are engaged in one rich experience, you are looking about for another. There is no contentment because future plans are always intruding on the present.” (Robert A. Johnson)

“True contentment begins as a holy discontentment, a longing planted in our hearts by God Himself." (Marsha Crockett)

“Discontentment can be a gift if you recognize it for what it is. God is calling all of us to Himself and often recognizing the call begins with some sort of discontentment about some aspect of our lives. Discontentment can be the spark that lights the flame that eventually makes us on fire for God; or it can be the spark that lights the flame that leads us to seek increasing fulfillment in all of the wrong things until we consume ourselves in self desire.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“Knowledge of the disposition of the heart is the fruit of nepsis (vigilance) and watchfulness, consistently counseled by the spiritual fathers. Once again, true repentance points toward the future...a tolerant society is not necessarily a just one. Men may smile at their neighbors without loving them and decline to judge their fellow citizens’ beliefs out of a broader indifference to their fate. An ego that’s never wounded, never trammeled or traduced—and that’s taught to regard its deepest impulses as the promptings of the divine spirit—can easily turn out to be an ego that never learns sympathy, compassion, or real wisdom. And when contentment becomes an end unto itself, the way that human contents express themselves can look an awful lot like vanity and decadence.” (Ross Douthat)

“… there are many people who never attain that much-to-be-desired state of mind called peace and contentment. What is to be done about it? What is the way to find a genuine peace and contentment in life? I have noted that those who have found the most abiding peace and contentment acquired it through religious faith. The amazing thing about these people is that even in the presence of adversity and hardship, they have managed to preserve within their hearts a deep joy and unquenchable delight in living. When you live close to God, believing He watches over you and guides you, and when you earnestly try to do His will, you will get a deep, profound conviction that “Whatever happens, happens for the best.” You have no fear nor anxiety, no petulance with incorrigible conditions, no deep, dark pessimism about the future. You simply have a sublime and trusting faith that in His own way, if you do your part earnestly in sincerity, God will take care of you.” (Rev. Fr. Michael Baroudy)

“People today are turning to diverting mystical movements and drugs to get beyond themselves in search of inner satisfaction and contentment. The actions of today's society clearly reflect the lack of spiritual values, and indicate the need to return to the true concepts of Christianity.” (Rev. George Mastrantonis)

“Often the desire for more or better possessions is really a longing to fill an empty place in a person’s life. To what are you drawn when you feel empty inside? How can you find true contentment? The answer lies in your perspective, your priorities, and your source of power.” (Life Application Study Bible, Philippians 4:12-13)

“Christ said it was difficult for ‘the rich’ to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, referring, no doubt, to ‘riches’ in the ordinary sense. But I think it really covers riches in every sense—good fortune, health, popularity, and all the things one wants to have. All these things tend—just as money tends—to make you feel independent of God, because if you have them you are happy already and contented in this life." (C. S. Lewis)

“content. The word literally means “self-sufficient...true sufficiency is found in the strength of Christ.” (Foundation Study Bible, Philippians 4:11)

“…a life in Christ, can turn defeat into victory; anguish and frustration into healing; resentment into understanding; unhappiness into contentment, and irreconcilable differences into an opportunity for growth and the increased oneness…” (Rev. Fr. Charles Joanides, PH.D., LMFT)


#RevGeorgeMastrantonis #CSLewis #RevFrCharlesJoanides #RobertAJohnson #MarshaCrockett #SacramentalLivingMinistries #RossDouthat #RevFrMichaelBaroudy #FrBasil #RobinPhillips #FrPhilipLeMasters #FrMichaelGillis #BishopJohn #FatherStephenDeYoung #StPorphyrios #FoundationStudyBible #LifeApplicationStudyBible #Dynamis #SacramentalLivingMinistries #RevDrEmmanuelClapsis

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