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Darkness

“The spiritual life consists in moving from light (that which we can readily see, experience, know, namely: creation) to darkness (the unknown, the transcendent, the Creator).  “... we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). At the crucifixion, the darkness over the whole land was the people being given an experience of God. On the cross, God was nailed. Jesus is revealed as the King of Glory on the Cross, for any who were willing to see…The darkness which came over the land at Christ’s crucifixion was there to reveal God to all: God nailed to the cross, pouring out His life for the salvation of the world.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)


“Instead of being discouraged by the darkness within us, we must take it as a sign that we remain in need of further healing from the Lord. We must humbly trust that, if we remain on this path, He will make us “a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts…Even as we stumble and fall, we must continue to do so with abiding trust in His mercy for blind sinners such as ourselves. For though we do not yet have the eyes to see it, that is how our gracious Lord will make us radiant with holy light for our salvation and that of the entire world.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters) 


“… when Christ quotes the opening of Psalm 22 [Psalm 21], “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?,” He is expressing the theological meaning of the entire psalm: even though I suffer unjustly, nevertheless, God is justified. So at the moment of his deepest darkness, Christ isn’t blaming the Father, but rather exonerating Him.” (Timothy G. Patitsas, Fr. Michael Merson) 


“In deepest Darkness, we often “see the Light” while, by contrast, In brightest light, we often become blind…Many times in life, as we said, we can see that opposites can be naturally joined or reconciled…Darkness and light are opposites. But there can come a light so bright, that it blinds you–this light is the ultimate darkness, in a way. Or there can come a darkness so deep that only within it can you trace the light from the very faintest stars; the darkness opens your eyes, in a way.” (Timothy G. Patitsas)


“Instead of thinking as darkness as apart from God, what about darkness that is part of God as in under His control. Not that He causes what we traditionally think of as darkness, but uses it and that it serves His purpose. Is such a thing possible? St. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:6. “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” So perhaps darkness is something, when we encounter it and face it with faith, hope, and love, which I know is very difficult, is also a place where we can encounter God and know He is still in control within the darkness and bringing us through it” (Sacramental Living Ministries)


“Evil is a mutation, a parasite, an interloper. It is an ancient Darkness that fears and despises the Light. At war with the good, it is an immensely powerful force in human life and human societies…A veil of darkness – the fire of the worldly spirit – surrounds the heart preventing . . . the soul from praying, believing, and loving the Lord as it desires to do…we must look to Christ to contend with the dark forces of evil that otherwise would overpower us. Of all the visible and invisible forces that surround us, only He has won the victory over them. Therefore, we must put our faith in Him as our champion in our fight against the rulers and powers of darkness. And all that we do should be done in His Name.” (Joseph Loconte, Saint Makarios of Egypt, Fr. Basil)


“ ‘Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons’ (Luke 8:1-2)… In the Scriptures, the number seven often symbolizes totality and completeness, indicating that Mary called Magdalene had been thoroughly given over to darkness before her healing…yet she was healed and became ‘equal to the apostles.’ This shows that any of us can be healed of our personal darkness no matter how great it is and what we can become. We just need to turn to Christ.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 8:2, Sacramental Living Ministries)


“What prevents people from uniting themselves to Christ as King and God? Evagrios the Solitary observes that “...illusion results from the passion of self-esteem...” The self-assured have no place for the Son of Man “...to lay His head” (Lk. 9:58). Self-reliant hearts are fully ready to abandon the grace of God and fall into darkness (Rom. 1:21).” (Dynamis 7/20/2020)


“Every founder of a new organization recruits followers for himself with the promise of good fruits and many pleasures but deliberately remains silent about the hardships and labors which lead to those fruits and pleasures. Our Lord Jesus is the only one Who spoke the whole truth to His followers, both the bitter and the sweet side of the truth. He did not promise fruits without service, nor glory without suffering, nor ultimate rest without the thorny path, nor victory without struggle, nor pleasure without bitterness, nor the kingdom without tears and self-denial. Although our Lord counted the many difficulties which would befall His followers, in the end He does not abandon them without comfort. He gives meaning to their sufferings and does not leave them in darkness.” (St. Nikolai Velimirovich)


“The warning Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you [John 12:35] operates on at least two different levels: (1) To the Jewish people in Jerusalem to whom Jesus spoke, the warning was a reminder that there was only a little time left for them to accept him as their Messiah. (2) To those later individuals to whom the Fourth Gospel was written, and to every person since, the words of Jesus are also a warning: There is a finite, limited time in which each individual has opportunity to respond to the Light of the world (i.e., Jesus); after that comes darkness. One’s response to the Light decisively determines one’s judgment for eternity.”…He who speaks is the Light of the world. He also is the Way, and we are groping to find our way to Him. The eye that the Lord Jesus heals is the sightless eye of our hearts and souls. He restores us by opening the eyes of our spirits. To all who know that they are in darkness, He gives the uncreated light of eternity.” (NET Bible, John 12:35, Dynamis 9/24/2020)


“ ‘Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons’ (Luke 8:1-2)… In the Scriptures, the number seven often symbolizes totality and completeness, indicating that Mary called Magdalene had been thoroughly given over to darkness before her healing.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 8:2)

“Throughout Scripture, we find this pattern of radical change repeating itself. When the Holy Trinity intervenes in human life and history, nothing remains the same. In Saint Paul’s case, a man once caught up in the darkness of hatred and self-righteousness found his soul illumined, and God made an apostle of him. Immediately after his baptism, however, Saint Paul withdrew into Arabia, avoiding the centers of Christian activity and teaching. He had come face to face with the Lord Jesus by the will of God the Father, in the power of the Holy Spirit. He needed time to assimilate what had transpired inside him in a single moment on the highway.” (Dynamis 12/30/2018)

“The Bible never counsels indifference to the forces of darkness, only resistance, but it supports no illusions that we can defeat them ourselves. Christianity does not agree with the optimistic thinkers who say, “We can fix things if we try hard enough.” Nor does it agree with the pessimists who see only a dystopian future. The message of Christianity is, instead, “Things really are this bad, and we can’t heal or save ourselves. Things really are this dark—nevertheless, there is hope.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“No matter how dark things seem or feel, there is always hope. This hope is not a fool’s hope or wishful thinking. It is real. We see in the Bible people who were completely given over to darkness and despair being completely healed. Some of them even became saints. This hope is not a concept, nor can it be achieved through human effort alone. It is a person and can be realized only through union. The person of Christ is the uncreated light (John 14:6) in which no darkness is possible. It is through heartfelt prayer and persistence in seeking union with Him through all of the means the Church give us that we invite His light into our life to dispel our personnel darkness. It may take time and we may have many stumbles. We may even feel like the darkness will never end, but we have the promise of hope and His assurance that He is with us.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“The Gospel of Jesus Christ reveals an amazing God to our bewildered hearts, for He is ever offering light and love to us in place of the darkness of human thought.” (Dynamis 6/27/2019)

“…just because you have Christ, just because you repent, and even though you may experience God’s kingdom frequently that does not mean there won’t be difficult days or dark times. With Christ though, those dark times never defeat the Light that is Christ.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“The dark moments of our life will last only as long as is necessary for God to accomplish His purpose in us.” (Charles Stanley)

“Jesus doesn’t allow us to solve our own or other people’s problems through blame. The challenge He poses is to discern in the midst of our darkness the light of God. In Jesus’ vision, everything, even the greatest tragedy, can become an occasion in which God’s works can be revealed.” (Father John Zeyack)

“The emphasis on light in darkness comes from the Christian belief that the world’s hope comes from outside of it....the world is a dark place, and we will never find our way or see reality unless Jesus is our Light.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“When we go through times of darkness and difficulty, it sometimes seems that God is not giving us what we need. However, God is far wiser than we can ever be, and He never withholds what is good from us. When it seems that He does, we must assume that what we want would not actually be a good thing for us to have.” (Foundation Study Bible, Psalms 84:11)


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