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“Your well-being is largely determined by the perspective with which you view your life. The Bible teaches a technique known in modern psychology as cognitive reframing, whereby we consciously interpret difficult circumstances in light of the positive reality we know to be true.” (Robin Phillips)

“Grace is the very life of God. It sustains our world in its existence. It works good despite the best (or worst) of our evil intentions. It mends our brokenness and creates new beginnings over and over again. And it must always be borne in mind when we think about history and the workings of various forces and tendencies. It must be remembered when we feel lost in the various disasters that haunt our personal lives: grace is at work. There are causes and effects that can be analyzed and yet the sums never add up properly. This doesn’t negate the cause and effect of events around us but points to something outside that chain that is persistently working in a single direction – our well-being.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“How many times does the Scripture say that present suffering is nothing compared to eternal salvation? How many times do we see God sending suffering even to His own people in order to bring about their repentance? Yet when actually put to it, we want to think that eternal salvation is really just not as important as present, earthly well-being. But if we are God’s people, we really have to accept that eternal salvation makes present suffering -– including death -– pale by comparison. Ancient peoples were much more ready to accept this axiom than we are, I think, because for them suffering was a given. For us, it’s something we flee at every chance and have a lot of wealth and technology to help us do so.” (Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick)

“… it’s not difficult to see that [people today are] entirely taken up with looking into material things, inventing gadgets and finding ways to satisfy their desires. These desires aren’t aimed at ‘the good’, but rather at affluence. People today are typically finer hunters at stalking prosperity. What we lack is a turn towards our inner self, which would bring us to a metaphysical understanding of our nature as one which has a lack of good….we have a deficiency of the most essential element for the well-being of our spiritual nature. If people today are to escape the quagmire, or rather the chaos, of the nihilism which leads to the facile pursuit of affluence, they’ll have to turn inwards again and discover the metaphysical depth, to find the spur for good, which purifies and saves. That’s when science and technology will be justified, when people will once again experience themselves as a metaphysical awareness…The light of our spirituality will shine again within us.” (Vasileios Tatakis)

“W. H. Auden published his Pulitzer-prize winning poem, “The Age of Anxiety,” in 1947. That title is still an apt description of our time, especially during this present crisis. Psychology Today reports that anxiety levels in America are three times higher now than they were before the Covid-19 pandemic. But anxiety is a product of the human condition and has been a factor of our human experience since the Fall. We are fragile and vulnerable creatures who have built-in survival mechanisms. These systems respond in body, mind, and soul to alarms of threats to our well-being, and we become anxious. In our reading of Proverbs 12:23-13:9, the wise sage of Proverbs makes a seemingly simple observation about pervasive worry: “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad” (NKJV 12). This saying may sound superficial. However, if we reflect on this comment, we can learn from ancient wisdom what anxiety does to the soul and how it is relieved.” (Fr. Basil)

“Why did He not say, ‘Before Abraham was, I was, but I AM [John 8:58]. Christ used this expression, for it signifies continuous Being, removed from all time…He says, ‘Before Abraham was, I AM.’ ‘Before’ indicates past time, ‘I AM” present time. Because divinity does not have past and future time, but always IS, He did not say, ‘I was before Abraham.” Hence it is said to Moses, ‘I am the Being [KJV translates ‘I AM WHO I AM’]. Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel, ‘The Being hath sent me forth to you’[KJV translates ‘I AM hath sent me to you] [Exodus 3:14]. Therefore He existed both before and after Abraham.” (St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory the Great) “If you speak of right and wrong in terms of being, it is generally expressed as either moving towards the path of well-being-eternal-being, or moving away from it, that is, taking a path towards non-being. What does the path of non-being look like? It looks like disintegration, a progressive “falling apart” of existence. The New Testament uses the term phthora (“corruption”) to describe this. Phthora is what happens to a body when it dies. Death, in the New Testament, is often linked to sin (“sin and death”). It is the result of moving away from God, destroying our communion with Him…” (Father Stephen Freeman) “Here are two truths we should ponder, both of which are difficult and will strain our thinking a bit. The first is that God is Being and the second is that God exists in the ever present now outside of time, outside of past and future. Though a bit ‘heady,’ the practical implications of these truths to us are actually simple. First, we should make it our first and most important priority in life to have continuous union with God through prayer and the life of Church; and second, the more we live in the present moment, the more we focus on the ‘what is’ in our life as opposed to the ‘what was’ (dwelling on the past) and the ‘what if’ (worrying about the imagined future), we will acquire the Lord’s peace (John 14:27). Much of our strife in life comes from not understanding and living these truths.” (Sacramental Living Ministries) “Human nature is dynamically charged or magnetized toward God. We are hardwired that way. We have a natural inclination and movement toward our Maker. It is a powerful energy and orienting force that can be misdirected but never completely suppressed or erased. In its ideal state, it is rooted in the present moment and moves freely toward Him without hesitation or reasoning…Despite all of our efforts to control our own reality, the fact is, we are controlled by the thoughts that barrage our minds. Most of us are unconsciously fixated on either the past or the future…we struggle to live in the present reality. We are more comfortable racing back and forth between the past and the present because we unconsciously believe that we can control it through discursive reasoning or inner dialogues.” (Kevin Scherer) “We need to depend on God’s grace to help us wait well in the present because, indeed, the present is all we have. Mark Mallett defines the present moment as “the only point where reality exists.” (Marlena Graves) #StJohnChrysostom #StGregorytheGreat #FatherStephenFreeman #SacramentalLivingMinistries #KevinScherer #MarlenaGraves #RobinPhillips #FrAndrewStephenDamick #VasileiosTatakis #FrBasil


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