Fascination with wickedness obscures what is good, and roving desire perverts the innocent mind.
Wisdom of Solomon 4:12

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Life and Death - pt2

The Gospel of John; 3:17-21 (ca. 70 AD)

"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  "For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  "But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."

St John the Theologian and Apostle

The Philokalia, Sayings of St Anthony #29 (ca 310 AD)

He who does not know how to distinguish what is good from what is evil cannot judge who is good and who is evil.  He who knows God is good. If one is not good, he knows nothing about God and never will know; for goodness is the way to God.

St. Anthony the Great
Orthodox Pre-communion Prayer (ca. 500 AD)

I believe, O Lord, and I confess that Thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Who camest into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first. I believe also that this is truly Thine own pure Body, and that this is truly Thine own precious Blood. Therefore I pray Thee: have mercy upon me and forgive my transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, of knowledge and of ignorance. And make me worthy to partake without condemnation of Thy most pure Mysteries, for the remission of my sins, and unto life everlasting. Amen.

 An Introduction to the Synaxarion  (20th century)

 Until the coming of the Lord Christ into our terrestrial world, we men really knew only about death and death knew about us. Everything human was penetrated, captured, and conquered by death. Death was closer to us than we ourselves and more real than we ourselves, and more powerful, incomparably more powerful than every man individually and all men together. Earth was a dreadful prison of death, and we people were the helpless slaves of death.

 Only with the God-man Christ "life was manifested"; "eternal life" appeared to us hopeless mortals, the wretched slaves of death. And that "eternal life" we men have "seen with our eyes and handled with our hands," and we Christians "make manifest eternal life" to all. For living in union with the Lord Christ, we live eternal life even here on earth. We know from personal experience that Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life. And for this did He come into the world: to show us the true God and eternal life in Him.

 Genuine and true love for man consists of this, only of this: that God sent His Only-Begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him and through Him live eternal life. Therefore, he who has the Son of God has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life —he is completely in death. Life in the one true God and Lord Jesus Christ is really our only true life because it is wholly eternal and completely stronger than death. Can a life which is infected by death and which ends in death really be called life? Just as honey is not honey when it is mixed with a poison which gradually turns all the honey into poison, so a life which ends in death is not life.

St. Justin Popovich

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