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Life (Life is Christ)

“Great changes occur continually in every aspect of our lives – physical, social, and spiritual. Most are beyond our control, for they begin and end with God. The first task of a servant of Christ is to “look unto the Lord our God, until He take pity on us” (Ps 122:2). We are to discern what God wills and how He is calling us to act. Such watchfulness must be continual. Otherwise, the heart may be wounded and our birth in the new life in Christ will be disrupted, injured, or possibly stillborn…The foremost aspect of new life in Christ is the healing of our hearts, wills, and minds. As these are healed, we draw fresh vigor from the firm and certain health given by the Holy Spirit. “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God,” Saint Paul advises us. “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col 3:1-2).” (Dynamis 4/2/2021, 5/7/2023)


“The faith we hold, our love for one another, our good works, our knowledge of the truth, and our holiness before God all depend on the foundation that God builds in our souls…all our growth in the New Life of Christ must be rooted in the work of God in our hearts.” (Fr. Basil)


“Within our dead life, through holy baptism we’ve been granted the new life in Christ. After baptism, the Christian life becomes the struggle to make the ‘potential’ into ‘action’. A struggle for our regenerated new life of Christ bestowed upon us to triumph and to transform every element of our dead and former self. This struggle is the cross…When it [Christianity] tells you to feed the hungry it does not give you lessons in cookery. When it tells you to read the Scriptures it does not give you lessons in Hebrew and Greek, or even in English grammar. It was never intended to replace or supersede the ordinary human arts and sciences: it is rather a director which will set them all to the right jobs, and a source of energy which will give them all new life, if only they will put themselves at its disposal.” (Archimandrite Georgios Kapsanis, C.S. Lewis)


“When the stench of death threatens to transform everything around us into a charnel-house, isn’t the bourgeoning of the hope of a new life, without pain, without sorrow and without the fear of death a fundamental reason for being grateful to God? Immersion in ourselves, Pharisaical self-sufficiency and seemingly dynamic self-confidence, all bear the stamp of the threat of death. Opening our heart to God is our response to His infinite gifts, the gift of life which He’s generously offered us. It’s our ‘Thank you’ to Him. It’s an expression of thanks which should certainly be accompanied by behaviour appropriate to such a divine gift. In the Gospel narrative, the expression of thanks to Jesus came from a Samaritan, a foreigner, who was disdained by pure Jews. The pain of sickness united the ten lepers; at the end of the account, the gratitude of one, the Samaritan, drew the praise of Christ and His recognition of that man’s faith.” (Ioannis Karavidopoulos)


“The Samaritan woman’s heart was transformed by the energy of the Lord’s presence and His word. In her amazement, she forgot her corrupt life and started to theologize. Her mind opened and she obeyed the revelation of new life that resonated powerfully in her heart. She understood that this saving power was not morality but theology, the true knowledge of God that orients man’s life and inspires him to define his path aright. In her question about the place where God is worshipped, Christ responds in line with her intuition, thus gradually revealing higher truths, that through the grace of the Holy Spirit from now on worship would take place in temples not made by hands and that the heart of man would be built up into a tabernacle of the God of Jacob.” (Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou)


“The “works” that a Christian does, are properly done in union with Christ, such that the works are not those of an individual, but of our common life with and in Christ. When we fast, it is Christ who fasts in us. When we pray, it is Christ who prays in us. When we give alms it is Christ who gives alms in us. And we should understand that Christ-in-us longs to fast. Christ-in-us longs to pray. Christ-in-us longs to show mercy. The disciplines of the Church are not a prescription for behaving ourselves or a map of moral perfection. Rather, the commandments of Christ (as manifest in the life of the Church) are themselves a description, an icon of Christ Himself.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“Union with God is not something that needs to be acquired but realized…Union with God is not something we acquire by a technique but the grounding truth of our lives that engenders the very search for God…“The mind’s obsessive running in tight circles generates and sustains the anguish that forms the mental cage in which we live much of our lives—or what we take to be our lives. This cage can be comfortable enough; that dog wagged its tail all day long. But the long-term effects on humans can still be pretty damaging. It makes us believe we are separate from God. God then becomes an object somewhere over there in the distance and as much in need of appeasement as praise. This tyrant-god is generated by the illusion of separateness and requires us to live in a mental prison (however lavishly furnished). It makes us believe that we are alone, shameful, stupid, afraid, unloveable. We believe this lie, and our life becomes a cocktail party of posturing masquerade in order to hide the anxiety and ignorance of who we truly are.” (Martin Laird)


“Christ is joy, the true light, happiness. Christ is our hope. Our relation to Christ is love, eros, passion, enthusiasm, longing for the divine. Christ is everything. He is our love. He is the object of our desire. This passionate longing for Christ is a love that cannot be taken away. This is where joy flows from.” (St. Prophyrios)


 “The good news of the Bible is that in Christ we are journeying toward ultimate wholeness, integration, and well-being. We are becoming more fully what we were made to be, to the benefit of all creation…We often measure the health of our relationship with Christ by how close we feel to Him…We must never forget that sometimes it is when Christ feels the furthest away that He is actually closest to us.” (Makoto Fujimura, Robin Phillips)


“There are three stages on the spiritual path: the purgative, the illuminative and finally the mystical, through which we are perfected. The first pertains to beginners, the second to those in the intermediate state and the third to the perfect. It is though these three consecutive stages that we ascend, growing in stature according to Christ and attaining…the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ' (Eph 4: 13).” (Holy Nikitas Stithatos)


“He is not God of the dead but of the living (Matthew 22:32). Jesus’ point was that if God could identify himself as God of the three old patriarchs, then they must still be alive when God spoke to Moses; and so they must be raised….Life is Christ. The one who has hope in Him is always alive, both now and forever…” (NET Bible, Matthew 22:32, Marius Victorinus)


“This is eternal life [John 17:3]. The author [John] here defines eternal life for the readers… It is not just unending life in the sense of prolonged duration. Rather it is a quality of life, with its quality derived from a relationship with God. Having eternal life is here defined as being in relationship with the Father, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom the Father sent…Jesus has fully revealed what God is like, with Jesus’ statement in 10:10 that he has come that people might have life, and have it abundantly. These two purposes are really one, according to 17:3, because (abundant) eternal life is defined as knowing (being in relationship with) the Father and the Son. The only way to gain this eternal life, that is, to obtain this knowledge of the Father, is through the Son (cf. 14:6). Although some have pointed to the use of know (γινώσκω, ginōskō) here as evidence of Gnostic influence in the Fourth Gospel, there is a crucial difference: For John this knowledge is not intellectual, but relational. It involves being in relationship.” (NET Bible, John 17:3)


“In the New Testament epistles, we find little mention of the “kingdom.” The apostles focus their message on Christ. This shift occurs because the Lord Jesus is the kingdom of God, wherever He reigns is the realm of life. He is Life, for “everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life” (Jn 6:40).” (Dynamis 9/4/2020)


“The world is passing away, but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17)… Do we realize that…we are suspended between our life in eternity with Christ and our life here on earth? How then shall we live here in this world when what we should love is for the Eternal God?...“…the saints, while they lived, were dead. For living in the body, they did not live according to [for] the flesh”…As long as God wills it, we will live here on earth in this fleshly body. Nevertheless, we can live for our eternal life in heaven. We can “seek those things which are above, where Christ, sitting at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1)… eternal life begins in the present rather than in the world to come.” (Fr. Basil, St. Isaac the Syrian, NET Bible, John 8:51)


“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 if it is His will that we remain here to love those who need us.” (Fr. Basil)


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