Latest Thoughts

Recent Blogs

Bliss

“The word used in the Beatitudes is, rather, ‘makarios‘. This Greek term had a long pre-Biblical history. It refers not to a relationship between things but to a state of being marked by happiness or bliss… Recognizing this term is important to understand the argument of St. James’ epistle. He states that the one who hears the Torah and truly keeps it will be blessed (makarios) in all that he does (Jam 1:25). He is not here claiming that if one keeps the commandments perfectly they will have health, wealth, and success. Rather, he is saying that throughout a person’s life, in everything that person does, if they keep the commandments they will experience the peace, joy, and bliss of knowing God regardless of life’s circumstances.” (Father Stephen De Young)


“Prayer is the way to renewal and spiritual life. Prayer is aliveness to God. Prayer is strength, refreshment, and joy. Through the grace of God and our disciplined efforts prayer lifts us up from our isolation to a conscious, loving communion with God in which everything is experienced in a new light. Prayer becomes a personal dialogue with God, a spiritual breathing of the soul, a foretaste of the bliss of God's kingdom.” (GOA Department of Religious Education)


“One of the silliest phrases we use is “ignorance is bliss.” The opposite is true. Truth is bliss and Christ is truth. The more we are united with Christ, and act, think, and speak like Him from our hearts, the more we experience bliss that transcends worldly understanding. “Follow your bliss” is also wrongheaded. No amount of human achievement yields this bliss. It comes only through communion with God. The word Adam means “man” and one of the translations of the word Eden means “bliss.” When man was in unbroken and unstained communion with God, as Adam once was in Eden, he was in bliss. When we devote ourselves to Christ and strive from our hearts to be one with Him, we gain a foretaste of that bliss in this world that we will experience eternally with Him in the Kingdom. This is why it makes no sense to pursue or put anything in this life before Him.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)


“Unfortunately, all too few arrive at bliss. We are let to believe the prevailing assumptions underlying our culture that the purpose of life is to consume, indeed it is the mark of a good citizen, because the economy depends on buying what one does not really need and may never use. It’s the patriotic thing to do. Besides, it gives credence to the myth that one can pursue and eventually overtake happiness with money, as in the caustic remark that the one who dies with the most toys wins. The label “consumer” doesn’t offend us. If that is our belief, life will be little more than getting and spending, exalting then trashing even more idols from the areas of entertainment and athletics to feed the insatiable cravings of an empty life. If this describes who you are, then bliss is not for you. Be content with the pursuit of happiness, even though it continually eludes you.” (Very Rev. Vladimir Berzonsky)


“If, the Christian lives devoutly, justifying his faith in doing good works for the needy, loving his neighbor, obeying God's commandments and practicing them daily, his life will be uplifted by the Spirit of God, and he would be free from all forces of evil. Life was meant to be a blissful state of harmony and peace in the knowledge of and faith in God. This blissful state is what God intended for man, and can be attained only through his constant alertness against evil, for "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom. 12:21); "Therefore, take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand". Ephesians 6:13.” (Rev. George Mastrantonis)


#FatherStephenDeYoung #GOADepartmentofReligiousEducation #SacramentalLivingMinistries #VeryRevVladimirBerzonsky #RevGeorgeMastrantonis


Quote of the Day