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“It takes the spiritual gift of discernment to recognize the difference between what comes from our own ego and what comes from the Spirit of Christ. What originates in our ego comes from our own pride. But we receive what is of Christ. We can only accept it with humility and gratitude as a gift…humility will realize that whatever wisdom, knowledge, spiritual gifts, and blessings it has, it has received.” (Fr. Basil)

“Saint Paul urges us to be careful not to detach the forms of faith from heartfelt worship. “Pharisaism” can overtake us as readily as it did pious Jews in the first century. Simply claiming to know God’s will… and identifying ourselves as members of the faithful is not enough (see Rom 2:17-18)! A total, lived conversion to Christ is required. If we lay claim to this holy faith that rejects stealing, adultery, and other sinful deeds, we must avoid dallying with such evils even in our minds – let alone practicing them (vss. 19-24)! Having received Christ, we humble ourselves before Him and enter into the struggle for purity of heart, by God’s grace…He is the sole source of all true blessings that can be known, received, and enjoyed in every aspect of this life…His blessings come upon us and find us…” (Dynamis 6/25/2021, 7/16/2019)

“Those men who received power from God never used that power as if it were their own but referred the power to Him from whom they received it; for the power itself could never have any force except through the name of Him who gave it. And so both the apostles and all the servants of God never did anything in their own name but in the name and invocation of Christ. For the power itself derived its force from the same source as its origin, and it could not be given through the instrumentality of the ministers, unless it had come from the Author.” (St. John Cassian)

“There is a “clash of narratives” as Christ stands before Pontius Pilate. Pilate imagines that the Roman Imperium is the true narrative and defining story of the world. He threatens Christ, “Don’t you know I have the power to kill you or to release you?” For Christ, the Roman Imperium is but a passing moment within the salvific providence of God. “You would have no power over me were it not given to you from above.” This same clash of narratives occurs day-by-day in our own lives, though we rarely notice. We hear the dominant cultural narrative announce its importance and power. Our response is anxiety and concern flows from the fact that we believe its claims to be true. Imagine Pontius Pilate’s shock at being told that he would have “no power” over Jesus had it not been given to him by God (“from above”). It is Christ’s complete dismissal of the Roman narrative. The martyrs of the early Church lived in the same dismissal. Their faith was the full acceptance of the narrative we have received from God in Christ. Christ’s death and resurrection is the final word of God on the outcome of human history. In Christ, history comes to an end, and we won. That quiet assurance eventually led to the complete failure of Rome’s claims. The danger resurfaces, however, as converted empires, and their secularized children, begin to assert new narratives that seek to replace the gospel of the Kingdom of God with the bastardized gospel of progress and human perfection.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Whoever has love receives other gifts as well. Whoever does not have love loses even the gifts he appeared to have received.” (St. Gregory the Great)

“Christ offers light to every person, but the world and even many of His own refuse to receive Him; thus, they can neither know nor recognize Him. Those who accept Him have His light.” (Orthodox Study Bible, John 1:9-11)

“Often blessings cannot be received unless we go through the trial of waiting.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 40:1-3)

“When we become captivated by material needs in this present life, we lose our freedom to receive the limitless help of the Holy Spirit. By stripping us of our dependence on material things before we can work with others, the Lord encourages us to rely on the Spirit’s provision (Luke 9:3).” (Dynamis 11/8/2014)

"Stripped of everything we recognise as vital to life the human heart has a capacity to still receive the blessing of God’s touch. It is we who are rich who build material fortresses around our hearts and shut out the possibility of union with Him." (Father Spyridon Baily)

“God reveals Himself when we are open to receiving Him.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

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