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Granted (Take for)

“As sinners, we take our fallenness for granted. In our encounters with other human beings, we live as if this is a normal state. Our sinfulness affects our receptivity to others and restrains our openness and our very willingness to reach out to others. Only because the image of our Creator is found within us do we have sufficient vitality to even form relationships or to give and receive love.” (Dynamis 6/28/2023)

“Today’s reading [Hebrews 12:25-26, 13:22-25] addresses the temptation to count on our standing with God. We take God’s grace for granted. We presume on God’s mercy. We adopt a casual attitude toward sacred things. The teaching of our reading against spiritual sloppiness comes in two parts: first, the surpassing worth of the heavenly city to which the Lord has invited us; and second, the peril of losing that inheritance by our heedlessness of the Word of God and our disregard for the direction of the Spirit. The apostle gives us two words to avoid the spiritual laxity that can creep up on us over time: reverence and godly fear (Hebrews 12:28).” (Fr. Basil)

“That was the case for the nine lepers who did not return to give thanks for their healing from leprosy [Luke 18:18-27]…Since they were cleansed of leprosy as they went, they got what they wanted from the Lord and moved on with their lives from there. They took the tremendous blessing they had received, which had transformed their lives completely, for granted…they were concerned only with fulfilling their own desires. Their spiritual blindness was such that they saw no further than getting what they wanted for their own bodies. It is easy for us to become just like them when we fail to appreciate the great profundity of God’s blessings in our lives. His gracious divine energies permeate all reality, and we are guilty of self-centered ingratitude whenever we do not offer any dimension of our life back to Him.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“During his imprisonment by the Nazis, Viktor Frankl found that suffering enabled him and the other prisoners to understand what was truly important in life, and thus to be grateful for things they would otherwise take for granted. Conditions of extreme deprivation and cruelty enabled the prisoners to turn little things—such as a colorful sunset or memories of loved ones—into occasions of profound gratitude. As Frankl observed when reflecting on his time in the camps,

“We were grateful for the smallest of mercies.” (Robin Phillips)

“There are plenty of things in life that we take for granted, without feeling any obligation to anyone else for these everyday gifts. Our self-sufficiency and self-confidence leave no room for gratitude to God, our Benefactor. It’s difficult for our lips to say ‘Thank you’, while it’s very easy, almost spontaneous, to express cries of entreaty for help in times of need. And this is where something absolutely typical occurs: once the time of need has passed, we don’t just forget our moment of frailty and feel embarrassed about it, but, with a show of bombast, we even try to counterbalance the weakness we showed. This is an entirely human stance and reveals how trapped we are within the defensive walls of our egotistical thinking regarding the self. And yet, the saving love of God surrounds us on a daily basis. Christ’s Cross isn’t merely the culmination of a series of redemptive actions that God has performed for us, His creatures, but it’s also the beginning of the boundless gifts He showers upon humankind.” (Ioannis Karavidopoulos)


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