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Relationships with Others

“On this basis, the prime concern of the Church is respect for and protection of the human person as the distinctive feature of human existence. The person isn’t an individual. An individual is to be understood as a unit, isolated in itself. A person is an identity, a particular presence, which emerges from his or her relationships with other people. It’s been said that the secret of the personhood is free relationships with others and the practical recognition of each person’s differences in a loving relationship with other people. These relationships aren’t a luxury for us, but a necessity, if we’re to be a real person, unique and irreplaceable, a free being and identity. It’s not possible for a person to live alone.” (Angelos Alekopoulos)

“Prayer is a time and place where other people can’t bother us. This is how we usually handle it. And this is precisely where the trap lies: in transforming our prayer into something impractical, utopian, outside the daily changes in our life and, in particular, outside our relationships with others. It’s precisely this danger that Christ points out: the transformation of our living communion with God within our everyday reality into a religious practice cut off  from life. But he doesn’t restrict himself to pointing out the danger. He also shows us how to avoid it: by seeking forgiveness from those we’ve hurt, from those we’ve distressed, from those we’ve cut off from communion with us because of our hostility. Communion with God is proper and effective only after we’ve restored communion with other people, without asking whether they’re the ones to blame. Otherwise our prayer’s just a Pharisaical, religious form…” (Professor Vasileios Stoyiannos)

“I think that it is important for us to remember that God wishes that we all strive for and in fact experience both peacefulness and quietude in the course of our daily lives. He wants our thoughts to be calm and undisturbed, that we be free of every feeling of animosity, and that our relationships with others be characterized by qualities of kindness and deference.” (Fr. Andrew Demotses)

“Identifying the hidden or disenfranchised losses in our lives and working through them fully enables us to gain more insight into ourselves, which makes us a healthier person in every way. It removes obstacles in our relationship with God, improves our relationships with others, and makes more room for the peace of God. It allows joy to take hold in our hearts, enables us to live in the present moment, and perhaps most importantly, it helps us to forgive.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)

“Our relationships with others reflect the state of our souls. If we have peace in our hearts, we will relate to others in peace. But if anger, worry, or confusion churn in our hearts, we will project this turmoil on others…despite the Bible affirmation that we are created in the image and likeness of God, we don't seem to appreciate that God loves us for who we are as real people (our “ordinary” selves). Instead we seem to reject our birthright at times. We move through the world feeling bad about ourselves (because of our mistakes and sins), and we forget about God's deep love—a love that should be the solid basis of a self-esteem which would enable us to form sound relationships with others.” (Fr. Basil, Robert J. Wicks)


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