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Pleasing God

“The fundamental problem is the notion of “works.” It’s the belief that pleasing God is a matter of human effort. The harder one toils, the more one exerts oneself, the greater the chance that God will look with favor on him or her. But what God our Creator wants from us is far greater than works. It is our faith and love. These are matters of a relationship, and a relationship is a state of being…To live “to God” mean that we dedicate our whole being to the Lord, not just certain acts.” “What then establishes this state of our relationship to the Source of Life? It is His grace that in Christ invites us into that state of being. And faithfulness is the state of our response to His mercy. This condition goes far beyond any acts, however, impressive we might think they are. Yet living in faith also produces works of mercy and devotion as its necessary and natural  result.” (Fr. Basil)

“Sometimes people think that a certain “lack of hope” is a Christian virtue. They think that by proclaiming that “all is lost” they please God by their humility and sorrow over sins, their own and those of the world. They think that the more they concentrate on the evils of men, the more they exalt the strength of the wicked, the more they sigh and say, “There is no help for us in God!”, the more righteous and pious they become. But this is all wrong. It has nothing to do with the patient suffering at the hands of the wicked, and the patient struggle against the powers of evil that the righteous must endure, being absolutely certain of their ultimate and total victory in God, the source of their strength and their hope. It is no virtue to feel weak and helpless in the presence of the wicked. It is no virtue to consider oneself totally at the mercy of evil and sin. It is a virtue rather to be always “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation” knowing and believing that the final victory is God’s (Rom 12.12).” (Father Thomas Hopko)

“God is not pleased to see that the unity He wants for His people is shattered, and that His flock is divided into many factions…God is not pleased to see His Church which is called upon to care for all —not caring enough about the poor, those little ones whom He loved, and not treating them as its priority and the priority of its institutions…God is not pleased when He sees us clinging to the letter of things, emptying the letter from spirit and life…Love knows nothing of schisms, love leads no rebellions, love does everything in harmony…Without love nothing is pleasing to God.” (Bishop John, St. Clement of Rome)

“Do what you may, strive as earnestly as you can, live as excellently as you please, make what sacrifices you choose, be as eminent as you can for everything that is lovely and of good repute, yet none of these things can be pleasing to God unless they be mixed with faith.” (Charles Spurgeon)

“Faithfulness which is a foundation that without which "it is impossible to please God." (c.f. Heb 11: 6). The walls are made from the stones of obedience and patience, and with perseverance and courage as the cornerstone of the structure. Humility is the mortar that holds it all together. St. Dorotheos points out that like mortar, humility "…is composed of the earth and lies under the feet of all." To accentuate the extraordinary importance of humility, he goes on to say: "Any virtue existing without humility is no virtue at all." To this however,  must be added discretion, which braces the building so to speak, and the roof of the building will be charity, which “completes the house.” (Fr. George Morelli)


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