top of page

Latest Thoughts

Recent Blogs

Freedom (as and through Love and Service)

“…Christianity is fundamentally about freedom in Christ….freedom is difficult to discuss or describe, since it does not conform to what the world usually means by the term freedom. It does not mean to be governed by one’s own will or opinion. True freedom is only found in a relationship with God.” (Dr. Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou)


“But such a man uses external freedom only to more severely burden himself with inner slavery. True freedom is the active ability of a man who is not enslaved to sin, who is not pricked by a condemning conscience, to choose the better in the light of God’s truth, and to bring it into actuality with the help of the gracious power of God.” (St. Philaret of Moscow)


“Freedom is an essential part of the imago Dei [image of God], for without it man could not be in any way like God…In the fallen state of existence which is characterized by the dialectic of good and evil, freedom has come to signify the possibility of choice between two things, and thus it has acquired a rather ethical significance. But the primary and true meaning of freedom is to be found in its ontological content…That freedom represents such an ultimate existential possibility is to be seen precisely in the fact that one is free not simply to choose between two things—there is nothing existentially ultimate about that—but to refuse one’s existence: this is the proof of the fact of freedom. Man is thus free to refuse his personhood, that is, the difference between person and nature: he can choose to become a thing…In creating man as a person, God had in mind communion, and freedom was the only way to this…freedom is not a choice among many possibilities but a movement of love (Metropolitan John Zizioulas)


“Paul states that believers are free to “through love serve one another” (Galatians 4:13). The kind of love that Paul refers to here is the “self-giving love” that the cross demonstrates and the faithful share…The term “serve” is derived from the Greek word for “slave”...Accordingly, Paul advises believers to freely put themselves in bondage to one another to serve them, care for them, and fulfill their needs. Indeed, the liberty of Christians is proven by our freedom to love and be loved as God loves us.” (Fr. Basil)


“God gave man free will. There is no question. But He also set a parameter on our freedom, but not our free will. In the Garden of Eden, one tree was off limits. We used our free will to make a choice that resulted in the Fall. In life after the Fall, we still have free will, as well as freedom. However, misuse of our freedom has consequences. If we harm or kill someone, if we do something that society defines as a crime, there are criminal consequences. If we violate one of God’s laws, even though it may not be against man’s law, there is a moral consequence, which is the judgment of God, as well as personal shame. In my years as a priest, I have ministered to many people who have made moral choices that are endorsed by society which have brought them feelings of unbelievable shame, that they carry for years before they finally end up sharing it with me. It is our right to choose all kinds of things, but those things come with consequences—and sometimes those consequences are private suffering and shame.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)


“We look forward to the time when our family can be reunited, and we can settle into a new, balanced routine. Regardless, there is still a need that must be met. Matushka still has patients, the physically suffering, that must be cared for. I have my own spiritual patients, both in the parish and at my base, who likewise find themselves in need of care. Throughout all of this, it is our hope that our children can learn from this experience, understanding that the needs of others come before our wants: to be selfless instead of selfish. To quote the movie, First Knight, “In serving one another, we become free.” (Father Gregory and Matushka Ksenia Bruner)


“The Lord wants us to love each other; this is the essence of freedom—love for God and for your neighbor. This is both freedom and equality…Though we have freedom, we also have a responsibility to help others in their Christian growth. Our first duty is to others, not to ourselves.” (St. Silouan the Athonite, Foundation Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 10:23)


“If we live in but not for the world, then our life in the body can assume a new purpose. Like Paul, we can devote ourselves to the relationships and needs of others. Indeed, we can trust that God will give us life in the body as long as it is His will that we remain here to love those who need us.” (Fr. Basil)


“When we love properly, we love in God; and through God’s love for us, we are inspired to act the same toward others. We recognize the face of God in human beings and are drawn to them because God has loved them even before we were moved to do the same.” (Vigen Guroian)


“To “put on” Christ is to clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (cf. Rom. 13:). And over all of these things we are to “put on” love. It’s like love is the big belt that pulls together the rest of the ensemble.” (James Smith)


コメント


Quote of the Day

News

bottom of page