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Wickedness

“…St. Paul refers to the “human condition”... He states, “you… were once were alienated and enemies [of God] in your mind by wicked works…” (Colossians 1:21). Paul is saying that the ailment of humankind is more than misunderstanding, neglect, petty errors , or minor misdeeds. No, its result is wickedness. This fundamental state of the relationship of human persons with God is alienation. This separation from God the Creator…comes from an entrenched enmity. The word for such antagonism in Greek connotes the sense of hateful hostility…” (Fr. Basil)


“...each man goes to everlasting punishment or salvation according to the value of his actions. For if all men knew this, no one would choose wickedness even for a little, knowing that he goes to the everlasting punishment of fire; but would by all means restrain himself, and adorn himself with virtue, that he might obtain the good gifts of God, and escape the punishments….As all our wickedness consists in turning away from our Creator, so all our goodness consists in uniting ourselves with Him.” (St. Justin Martyr, St. Alphonsus)


“The significance of evil thoughts is twofold. First, they work corruption within us. Then sins results, often bringing the terrible consequences of our wicked deeds. The most grave consequence of our evil thoughts and actions is that divine judgment can befall us…We pay a heavy price for evil thoughts and passions. Like worms, they infest our hearts and souls…There is a great spiritual battle that is being waged in the human heart. It is the battle of the true, the noble, the just, the pure, the lovely, the good report, the virtues, and the praiseworthy, all of which have true being and are upheld by the hand of God, versus the lies, the fears, the imagined danger, the ugly and the dark, all of which ultimately have no substance and will pass away like the wind. This battle is the true struggle of our time. These adversaries are the “spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places” that St. Paul describes in Ephesians 6.” (Dynamis 3/2/2022, Father Stephen Freeman)


“The heart-stirrings of a good man are good; those of a wicked person are wicked; but everyone must learn how to combat intrusive thoughts, and turn the bad into good. This is the mark of the soul that is well versed. How does this come about, you will ask? Here is the way of it: just as a man knows when he is cold or when he feels hot, so does the man who has experienced the Holy Spirit know when grace is in his soul, or when evil spirits approach. The Lord gives the soul understanding to recognize His coming, and love Him and do His will. In the same way the soul recognizes thoughts which proceed from the enemy, not by their outward form but by their effect on her [the soul]. This is knowledge born of experience; and the man with no experience is easily duped by the enemy.” (St. Silouan)


“One should not think of the spiritual life of the Church as some particularly special kind of “religious life” different from life itself as we have received it in our creation by God. There are not “two lives,” one “natural” and one “religious.” There is only one life that is real, genuine and true. It is life with God, the life of the Church. Any other life is not life at all: it is the way of death. What differentiates the life of the Church from the life of “this world,” also called life “according to the flesh,” is only evil and sin. Everything positive is created life, which God has called “good . . . very good,” is what is saved and sanctified in the life of the Church. Only falsehood and wickedness are excluded, certainly not creation itself…How can we save our days from evil? Paul says that we can deliver our days from wickedness by “walking circumspectly” (Ephesians 5:15), that is, by living each day “carefully “and “diligently”…in the light of the Spirit.” (Fr. Basil, Fr. Thomas Hopko)


#FrBasil #StJustinMartyr #StAlphonsus #Dynamis #FatherStephenFreeman #StSilouan #FrThomasHopko


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