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“…Chrysostom says that God’s choosing “comes not of any pains, nor of any good works of ours, but of love; and yet not of love alone, but of our virtue also”…As we think of ourselves, the baptized, as God’s “chosen,” we must steer carefully between many hazards: Among these hazards are the predeterminism of “predestination” in the “doctrine of election” and the Western Pelagian view that salvation is the reward for “good works.” Again, we must make our way between the temptation to spiritual complacency and the anxiety of trying to earn the favor of God.” (Fr. Basil)

“St. Paul encourages us to wake up! (Romans 13:11-12)…To “wake up” is to turn off the TV and have a conversation with your spouse and children. To “wake up” may prompt you to hand an apple and a smile to a homeless person. To “wake up” will motivate you to attend Divine Liturgy on time and with full awareness that you are in the presence of God. To “wake up” is to re-examine your life and seek confession and forgiveness. Let us not go through life asleep – falling into habits of laziness and complacency. But let us live intentionally seeking Christ and all that is holy and good. Everyday, we are given the chance to be transformed and made anew.” (Fr. Tom Tsagalakis)

“Spiritual disciplines are not exercises in self-reliance, as though we earn something from God by being diligent in performing them. Instead, they are simply ways of helping us share more fully in the life of Christ as we grow in recognizing our sinfulness and opening ourselves to receive His healing mercy.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“When modern scholars reflect on the sayings of the Lord Jesus, they soon become as divided among themselves as were the Jews who heard those words in the first century. This divergence underscores how far the reasoning of Christ deviates from the norm of our conventional thinking. Even if we are familiar with the Church’s liturgical life and worship on a regular basis, we may find ourselves listening to Christ’s words without reflection. If we merely accept His statements as standard “biblical” language, we overlook the yawning gulf between the world in which we live and what the Lord truly proposes. His words are meant to jar us out of our complacency.” (Dynamis 5/22/2020)

“Life is full of distractions and delusions. Something as simple as the routines of our daily schedules can lull us into missing our God-given purpose. Even the familiarity of “going through the motions” can seduce us into spiritual complacency, which if left unchecked will inevitably suffocate our potential and cause us to miss all that God has for us…It is when life is good enough for us (i.e., comfortable enough) that we start no longer think we need to hope for something beyond this life and our focus is just to tweak our conditions here to improve them and make our existence here more comfortable. Comforts can breed complacency, not just of body, but of mind and heart. The danger of this complacency is that it often blinds us to our true need for the hope in something better that Christ offers us because we consciously, or unconsciously, think and act as if our true need is just merely to improve our situations, not salvation.” (Kasey Van Norman, Sacramental Living Ministries)

#FrBasil #FrTomTsagalakis #FrPhilipLeMasters #Dynamis #KaseyVanNorman #SacramentalLivingMinistries

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