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Spiritual Life

“I have often thought that, in many ways, the spiritual life comes down simply to remembering the things that we know — and yet so often forget. As a spiritual father, it frequently seems to me that my role consists not so much in teaching others something new as in reminding them of the truths they already know, and which they need at that particular moment to bear in mind. Nor am I alone in this way of thinking…But our modern culture looks at life much differently. It teaches us to prioritize — above nearly all else — the acquisition of new information and the invention of new ideas. We are obsessed with both knowledge and novelty, and subconsciously ascribe to them an unrivaled and well-nigh supernatural ability to overcome all our problems and to assuage all our woes. The new is always better than the old, and if there is anything we cannot do it is only because we do not yet know how. Ironically, we are like the ancient gnostics who believed that salvation is to be found chiefly in knowledge; we are like the ancient Athenians who “spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21). And in the ascendant cult of scientistic progress, there is precious little room for remembering.” (Hieromonk Gabriel)


“One who prays is a true theologian,”…[this] perfectly encapsulates the acute awareness that one cannot truly know God through book learning or the application of the intellect. Human reason fails because growth in knowledge of God is possible only through growth in holiness, and one does not acquire holiness through study but through prayer. Academic learning and study are important and beneficial in the pursuit of theological truth, but they never substitute for the spiritual life.” (Dr. Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou)

“…there is a point at which knowledge, even when perfectly true, may not commend us to God. There is a great amount of scientific and intellectual knowledge that is true, but doesn’t help us know God or how to live a godly, loving life. This knowledge may tell us everything about the empirical world, and yet tell us nothing about the spiritual life. Some church fathers thought this “worldly” knowledge is what the Genesis story of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is about. It is a worldly knowledge that is not connected to the love of God, which is what Adam and Eve learned. Knowledge not connected to God’s love is dangerous, even deadly.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)


“…many of us would prefer to read about the spiritual life rather than live it…In the spiritual life, theory must always be practiced. We must be diligent in working at the divine commandments and remain as energetic as possible in obeying Christ.” (Robert J. Wicks, Dynamis 5/6/2018)


“Genuine life, true and real life in perfection and abundance, is found only in the Church of Christ. People who are not formally in the Church are living truly and genuinely only to the extent that they follow the law of God “written on their hearts” by the Spirit of God in creation (Rom 1.12–16), which is the same law clearly revealed and given in Christ and the Church. And those people who are formally members of the Church are living truly and genuinely only to the extent that they actually live the life of the Church. For the sad fact exists that one may be formally a member of the Church and still live according to the law of the flesh, the law of sin and death, and not of Christ. The spiritual life, therefore, consists in actually living the life of the Church.” (Fr. Thomas Hopko)


#HieromonkGabriel #DrEugeniaScarvelisConstantinou #FrTedBobosh #RobertJWicks #Dynamis #FrThomasHopko


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