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“According to our modern idea of individualism everyone has his own ideas. Each one of us has his own opinion. And most likely these differing outlooks will not agree. Thus, our media is more interested in uncovering our disagreements with one another than our agreements…“Many people today are tired of the squabbles of our polarized society and want unity. But few will give up their favorite opinions to get it…What a different spirit is found in today’s reading of 1 Peter 2:21-3:9. In this passage, the apostle concludes various practical instructions with a summary of how we should regard one another. He writes, “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous…” (1 Peter 3:8).” (Fr. Basil)

“This sense that correct opinions being what makes a person authentic and true is enabled by so much of our life now being led not in the 3D world where suffering and death happen, where compassion and love also happen, and where the ordinary work of being human happens, but in the “virtual” world where everything is image and word detached from their solid realities. It is a place where propaganda is felt far more real than persecution and indeed where wrong opinion is the real persecution and every kind of sin. Thus, “feeling safe” is about being safe from words, not being safe from attacks on one’s body and livelihood.” (Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick)

“Honest doubters,” sincere inquirers, earnest seekers after God and truth, groping their way amid the darkness of involuntary misapprehensions, how few they are at any time! How much more numerous the contented slaves of opinion, Christian or non-Christian, according to the accidents of birth and education!” (Alexander Balmain Bruce)

“We live in a world that cannot exist unless we are all governed by our passions…Everything within our daily lives, indeed, a major portion of our opinions and thoughts are all the result of the reign of our passions. This has become such a dominant force in our lives that it is accurate to say that we imagine our passions to actually constitute our identity. That is a lie. The popular meme runs, “Follow your passion!” as if we were ever doing anything else. In many cases, this is a mantra that will do little more than offer justification for immoral choices…Our passions justify nothing. We become like those whose sad excuse for their actions was, “I was just following orders.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“The more his own righteousness grows before his eyes, the smaller grows divine justification — given in abundance to those who repent. This, in turn, weakens and eventually destroys the feeling of repentance completely. With the diminishing of this sense of repentance, all spiritual progress is stunted. But if it is destroyed, the person is hurled off the path of salvation to the path of self-opinion and self-deception. He is bereft of the holy love for God and for his neighbor…” (St. Ignatii Brianchaninov)


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