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Genuine

“ ‘For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt’ (Mark 9:49).  Being seasoned with fire means being tested to see if one's faith and works are genuine.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Mark 9:49)


“…Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” The question Paul poses in [2 Cor 13] verse 5 is an appropriate challenge for us as Christians. Just as Saint Paul urges the Corinthians to “examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith” (vs. 5), let us likewise “test [ourselves]” (vs. 5). The issue of “Christ within” is the litmus test of our genuine commitment to Christ. Saint Paul would have us examine whether Christ is truly within us. Is an inner voice motivating me in Christ? Let us test this voice to see if it belongs to the Lord who was crucified in weakness, but now lives by the power of God. Who is the governing Truth in my life?...Truly, natural and genuine love is the measure of authentic Christianity. Such love always indicates the way of our life in Christ.” (Dynamis 9/22/2021, 9/6/2021)


“In order for our faith to be genuine, we must express it in everyday life. We must act according to our faith and prove it by the goodness and power of God acting in our lives. This does not mean that we “tempt God” or “put God to the test” by doing foolish and unnecessary things just for the sake of seeing if God will participate in our foolishness. But it does mean that if we live by faith in our pursuit of righteousness, we can demonstrate the fact that God will be with us, helping and guiding us in every way. For faith to grow and become stronger, it must be used. Each person should live according to the measure of faith which he has, however small, weak and imperfect it might be. By acting according to one’s faith, trust in God and the certitude of God’s presence is given, and with the help of God many things which were never before imagined become possible.” (Fr. Thomas Hopko)


“Occasionally God grants us the joy and simplicity of heart to pray easily and to believe without crippling doubt. For most of us, those moments are rare, and for long periods in our life they can be non-existent. God often keeps silent and leaves us in a state of spiritual solitude. Genuine faith, though, is grounded in the certainty that His absence is merely our perception of things, our short-sightedness, our stiff-necked blindness. More saints than we can imagine have spent years treading through a spiritual desert, feeling alone and abandoned. What makes people truly holy is not a perpetual inner state of joy, peace, hope and faith. It is caring for the needy when they themselves feel spiritually abandoned.” (Fr. John Breck)


“The one out of control and subject to his or her passions, even for a split instant, is not really free—he is a victim helpless to hold his emotions in check. He may think of himself as expressing his true feelings and in that way being a true personality, but the release of an impulse is a suppression of true personality. Who we are and who we are becoming are known but to God. Note the “white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it” (Revelation 2:17). Only “him who overcomes” will come to realize his true personality. And that will happen when the person keeps himself or herself genuinely open to the Creator despite all that happens to him through a lifetime of constant challenges.” (Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky)


“If God is not a monad but rather a triune community of being whose ecstatic communion brings into existence creatures to love, and if humankind is created in God’s very own image and likeness, then genuine virtue is an unselfish service of love toward others…We are to “owe no one anything except to love one another” (Rom 13:8), for then genuine holiness will flourish among us all.” (Vigen Guroian, Dynamis 11/6/2018)


“In the struggle to attain virtue and God’s grace, we often meet with an obstacle in the form of a lack of strength. We may fail to love others, to have sufficient faith in Christ, or to give generously. First and foremost, we need to cooperate with God so our efforts succeed (2 Corinthians 8:8). When we cooperate with Him, we discover the true roots of faith, genuine love, and liberal giving. It is the grace of God, not our own capacities, that helps us to manifest a life pleasing to the Lord, for He works through our words and deeds so long as we trust in Him. Knowing that God’s graces come to us when we love the Lord…Genuine truth translates into loving acts.” (Dynamis 8/20/2018, OCPM 10/20/015)


“People must see Christ at work in us, even if that is not what consciously is going through their minds. It’s to our benefit too if we just live the Gospel and don’t think about it as such because the more it is a genuine part of us, the more we are truly humble and thus Christ-like and the more we will draw people to God through our unconscious example…Serving others for the glory of God. This is the genuine expression of humility; this is true greatness as the Savior defined it.” (Sacramental Living, C. J. Mahaney)


“Rahab the harlot was counted as righteous before God for one reason: namely, her hospitality, a demonstration of her genuine faith. But she received no praise for the rest of her behavior. Similarly, the publican was counted as righteous because of his humility, though he received no testimony for anything else. Therefore, one should not fall into despair over failures and shortcomings before God, but demonstrate in some way a genuine repentance and faith.” (St. Gregory the Theologian)


“Occasionally God grants us the joy and simplicity of heart to pray easily and to believe without crippling doubt. For most of us, those moments are rare, and for long periods in our life they can be non-existent. God often keeps silent and leaves us in a state of spiritual solitude. Genuine faith, though, is grounded in the certainty that His absence is merely our perception of things, our short-sightedness, our stiff-necked blindness. More saints than we can imagine have spent years treading through a spiritual desert, feeling alone and abandoned. What makes people truly holy is not a perpetual inner state of joy, peace, hope and faith.” (Fr. John Breck)


#VigenGuroian #Dynamis #OCPM #SacramentalLiving #CJMahaney #StGregorytheTheologian #OrthodoxStudyBible #Dynamis #FrThomasHopko #FrJohnBreck #FrVladimirBerzonsky


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