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Faith and Modernity

“Real faith doesn’t depend on report or information but on personal experience. ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good’ says the Psalmist. ‘Come and see’, says Philip to Nathaniel. Unless you see God in your life, say the Fathers of the Church, don’t expect to see Him after you die. It’s here that our spiritual receptors are tuned to receive God and to perceive the riches of His kingdom. People today, in particular, have closed down their spiritual receptors and have nothing at all to do with spiritual reality. By and large, nothing surprises them anymore, nothing in their everyday lives, because they’ve computerized their lives and turned them into mind-numbing routine.” (George Mantzaridis)

“We focus on minor things and miss important things with our selective hearing. Our spiritual hearing loss takes a heavy toll on our lives. Our spiritual deafness is caused by our lack of focus and purpose. We are so easily captured by the frivolous and the temporary. We avoid anything that might wake us up from our distractions, with all the strength we can muster. We avoid the confrontational moments of our Faith, knowing that if we really listen, our lives will experience holy disruption.” (Fr. Barnabas Powell)

“One of the blind spots of modernity is to imagine ourselves to be in a non-religious, secularized world. I describe it as a blind spot inasmuch as the modern mind-set is itself thoroughly religious in its make-up. No medieval theologian had a “theory of everything” anywhere as complete as the mind of modernity. The modern world is not “disenchanted” so much as it has a “modern enchantment.” We have faith in market forces, medicine, government, democracy, technology, algorithms, and the march of progress. We think we know the meaning of history. The human mind is not compatible with “disenchantment.” It is, and always has been, an enchanted space.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Though our secular society believes in the unseen forces of “dark matter,” “black holes,” and the “solar wind,” it denies the invisible spiritual forces that Scripture and Holy Tradition assume. But if we are faithful to the Word of Life, we will live in a three-dimensional world, a world that includes angelic and demonic powers as well as earthly rulers and authorities…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.” (Fr. Basil)

“Faith and science need not and ought not to spar over whether a divine power is at work creating, sustaining and planning the future of the universe. Pure science will not deal with topics transcending their arena of operations. It suffices to state that under certain controlled conditions of temperature, pressure, content and mass, the following results occur, from which are described as axioms and then laws. We rejoice in the beauty and wonders that the Hubble and other spacecrafts photograph, and we anticipate results of creation’s origin if indeed the atom smashers at Geneva and elsewhere provide. But to think that science will be able to prove or disprove the existence of God is out of the question. A deity whose existence can be discovered or defined by human reason is no God at all.” (Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky)


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