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“…the notion of person is to be found only in God and that human personhood is never satisfied with itself until it becomes in this respect an imago Dei [image of God]…This is the greatness and the tragedy of man’s personhood and nothing manifests this more clearly than a consideration of his capacity and incapacity, especially from an ontological point of view. We can see this by considering one of the most important capacities of human personhood, namely creating: man is capable of creating, of bringing things into being.” (Metropolitan John Zizioulas)

“When we do not begin with Beauty, it is all too easy to miss the full complexity of human personhood and thus to diminish and dissect men and women made in the image of God. Truth-first methods can take the soul apart; they cannot put it back together… Christians know all too well from dealing with our own temptations to replace the living God with either the idol of religion or with our perfect ideas about God, that truth-first approaches quickly lead towards eternal death.” (Timothy G. Patitsas)

“Every human is valuable in the eyes of God, even the sinner or unbeliever. As icons of Christ’s descent into Hades show, even Adam and Eve are not forgotten or shunned by God – rather God descends into Hades to restore all humans to a proper relationship with Him. The Bible is the narrative of God’s actions and plans to save humanity – to unite humans to divinity. God values and loves each and every human. God’s concern is not only for the mass of humanity, God also loves each human person. Since the time of the Fathers, Christians have noted that humans are God’s glory.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“…no human person still living is broken beyond repair. The life-giving presence of the image of God is the reason we live; hence, however damaged the person, we can still look them in the eyes and see the image of God. And however damaged I am, any saint can look at me and see an icon of Christ. There is hope for all of us. But looking at people in this way is not easy; it may not come naturally.” (Andrew Williams)

“In offering his life for us, Christ shows us that there is nothing more valuable in this world than a human person – and for that there can be no monetary price. Money is simply a token of human life – energy, time, and labor, all of which are meant to be shared. If we love the token more than human beings, then we value people only for what they can do for us; we reduce them to slaves.” (Fr. Matthew Baker)

“We can speak of “human nature,” but it does not exist as a thing-in-itself. Human nature is only revealed in the uniqueness of a human person.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“The Lord Who rose from the dead in order to make us participants in His eternal life showed mercy throughout His earthly ministry to people who suffered from death and disease in the world as we know it. In doing so, He provided signs of His fulfillment and restoration of the human person in the image and likeness of God. Our ultimate calling is not to suffering and death, but to the blessedness of eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. To respond to that sublime vocation is not, however, an easy thing, for corruption and weakness in all their forms are more deeply rooted within us than we like to recognize. Many of us have become experts in distracting ourselves from facing such uncomfortable truths.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“How do we please God in thought, word, and deed, despite our human frailty? The Lord gave Solomon great wisdom in this matter: the righteous man is “made perfect . . . in a short time” (Wisdom or Solomon 4:13). The Greek word translated as “made perfect” is teleiotheis, which means “to be completed.” Being completed as a human person is a labor of restoration, a process of reassigning thoughts, inclinations, desires, and actions to their rightful place and function. And who does this for us? We look to God, of course, for He can make perfect even “in a short time” (vs. 13). He is ready to complete us if we will work with Him.” (Dynamis 12/9/2022)

“Human capacity and incapacity are revealed only in the way man relates to God and the rest of creation…man emerges as truly man, as a category distinct both from God and the animals, only in relation to God…Looked upon from the angle of personhood, man reveals his creaturehood in a way of difference and not division from God. Only through personhood, which implies communion as well as the integrity of being, can God and man be clearly distinguished from each other, precisely by affirming their distinct identities in communion.” (Metropolitan John Zizioulas)

“In this time of individualism, when so many insist on their own rights without considering others, it is easy to forget what we learn from our reading [Ephesians 2:14-22]. We neglect the communal, corporate, and common nature of the Church. Surely one of the lessons of this time of social turmoil is that we need each other. We depend on one another, not merely to pray for, help, and support one another. But we cannot be the Church on our own without each other. Together with one another, united in Christ, and built upon the foundation of Holy Tradition, we fulfill our calling to be the Church, the temple of the Holy Spirit.” (Fr. Basil)

“The Greek word for “faith” is derived from the thought of being persuaded. “The “faith” is the conviction of the truth of sacred things…This term is a noun and does not refer to the verb of trusting in Christ or God’s grace. Nor does it mean personal belief.  It is not what is imagined or envisioned. Nor is it a body of doctrine, that is, a set of propositions, of definitions, of treatises about God.  It is certain and the common foundation of the truth upon which the life, belief, and practice of the Church and its members are built.” (Fr. Basil)

“The deepest purpose of human existence, the source of life for every Christian, lies in our unwavering faith. We are not called to defend an abstract set of propositions or formulas devised by the Church. We battle for our eternal existence as persons.” (Dynamis 3/9/2021)

“You are what you worship If you are what you love, and your ultimate loves are formed and aimed by your immersion in practices and cultural rituals, then such practices fundamentally shape who you are. At stake here is your very identity, your fundamental allegiances, your core convictions and passions that center both your self-understanding and your way of life. In other words, this contest of cultural practices is a competition for your heart—the center of the human person designed for God.” (James Smith)

“Personhood,” writes Lossky, “is freedom in relation to nature.” Persons enact their own nature. Natures may be what they are (e.g., human, angelic, or divine), but the nature does not determine who these persons are. “A personal being,” Lossky continues, “is capable of loving someone more than his own nature, more than his own life.” Freedom and love are thus the cardinal attributes of personhood…This freedom to enter into loving communion with others, this personhood, is the image of God in human beings…Personhood thrives and is perfected through mutual reciprocity, more still in and through communion.” (Vigen Guroian, Vladimir Lossky)

“We were made for deep communion with God. The closer and deeper our communion is with God, the more our unique personhood is actualized, our true-self emerges." (Father David L. Fontes, PsyD)

“Genetic uniqueness is only the physical part of life, not taking into account the more important reality, which is creation of a spiritual being in which soul and body are thoroughly integrated with each other. We are created in the image and likeness of God. The created being is “personal” not only because it has the capacity to develop into a complete human being, but because at every stage of human existence it bears the image of the personal God. A person is always an image of God, whether that person is an embryo or a terminally ill patient in a coma. If someone were in a coma or had Alzheimer’s disease, would we still consider that being a “person”? Even though that being cannot take care of him/herself? From this perspective there is no difference between a terminally ill “being” and a fetus. Therefore, since we are all made in God’s image and likeness, no matter what stage of existence a “being” is in, one is a “person”. (Fr. John Breck)

“…we should also equate “self” with the person. (The theological term is hypostasis). Every living soul is a person—unique, unrepeatable and beloved of God. As the three divine Persons of the Holy Trinity are never self-isolated, self-absorbed or self-centered, so we realize that that would be a false way of existing. A genuine person is always turned toward another person in a movement of love and communion, as are the three Persons of the Trinity.” (Fr. Stephen Kostoff)

“Bios [physical life or finite life] is the realm of necessity and zoe [spiritual life or eternal life] the realm of transcendental freedom. Natural law defines and gives shape to bios. The virtues constitute zoe; for in the strictest and deepest sense all virtues are spiritual, since virtue is an attribute of personhood, and personhood is the divine image in humankind.” (Vigen Guroian)

“What God gives is never “one size fits all.” Salvation is the healing and fulfillment of a person and cannot be the same from one to another. Although all are formed and shaped “according to the image and likeness of God,” that image and likeness has an infinite variety in its personal expression.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“…an intellectualist model of the human person—one that reduces us to mere intellect—assumes that learning (and hence discipleship) is primarily a matter of depositing ideas and beliefs into mind-containers…the center and seat of the human person is found not in the heady regions of the intellect but in the gut-level regions of the heart.” (James Smith)

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