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"In the beginning" the Holy Trinity created the world (heaven and earth) "out of nothing" (ex nihilo) and not out of preexistent matter. The world is a production of God's free will, goodness, wisdom, love and omnipotence. God did not create the world in order to satisfy some need of His. Rather he created it without compulsion and without force in order that it might enjoy His blessings and share in His goodness. God then brought all things into being out of nothing, creating both the visible and the invisible.” (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese)

“When God sent Jesus Christ, He did so as one who saves by persuasion, not compulsion, for compulsion is no attribute of God.” (The Letter to Diognetus)

“ ‘Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled’ (Luke 14:23). The command in the parable which at times is badly misunderstood, "...compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.", only bespeaks of the great love that God has for all of us, and that He is willing to do everything to save His creation. To this we must add the words of Saint Paul, "The love of Christ controls us" (2 Corinthians 5:14). In the Kingdom of God there is only one compulsion and that is the compulsion of His unceasing Love for us.” (Father George C. Massouras)

“The sacrifices of the law…did not involve expressions of free will…Good should be loved for its own sake, not pursued under the compulsion of established penalties.” (St. Hilary of Poitiers, St. Gregory the Great)

“If we are feeling joyless spiritually and our spiritual practices – going Church, reading the Bible, praying, fasting – feel like forced labor, we need to ask ourselves are we doing these things because consciously or unconsciously we think we are appeasing God and thus doing them under some sort of inner compulsion? If so, we need to find our way back to that peaceful place where we are doing these things that please God out of love and they are simply an outward expression of that love.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

#TheLettertoDiognetus #FatherGeorgeCMassouras #StHilaryofPoiters #StGregorytheGreat #SacramentalLivingBlog #GreekOrthodoxArchdiocese

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