why not be utterly changed into Fire?

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They want victory and good news. U.S. Christianity is a market form of Christianity, for the most part. It’s all about identifying with a winner. That is why on Easter Sunday the churches are full but Good Friday they are empty. People will show up when the winner pops us. But don’t tell me about the main protagonist being treated like a political prisoner by the Roman Empire. Don’t tell me about a senseless death based on injustice. And certainly don’t tell me about the Saturday in which echoing Nietzsche, ‘God is dead.’

- Cornel West (via letlovemeetlove)

We must take care not to refer all the merits of the saints to the Lord in such a way as to ascribe nothing but what is evil and perverse to human nature, in doing which we are confuted by the evidence of the most wise Solomon, or rather of the Lord himself, whose words these are; for when the building of the temple was finished and he was praying, he spoke as follows: ‘and David my father would have built a house to the name of the Lord God of Israel: and the Lord said to David my father: Whereas thou hast thought in thine heart to build a house to my name, thou hast done well in having this same thing in thy mind.’ This thought and purpose of King David, are we to call it good and from God or bad and from man? For if the thought was good and from God, why did He by whom it was inspired refuse that it should be carried into effect? But if it is bad and from man, why is it praised by the Lord?

- St John Cassian, Third Conference of the Abbot Chaeremon (via christianwritings)

(Source: yuri-rimsky)

Mark Driscoll’s assumption that pacifists are pansies is historically naïve, theologically horrendous, and shows that Mark’s been more influenced by the worldview of those who put Jesus on the cross rather than the One who hung on it.

-

David Fitch

Well, damn.

(via gospelofthekingdom)

As an Orthodox, how do you reconcile the Jesus Prayer with Jesus' admonition against vain repetitions of prayers in Matthew 6:7?

Anonymous

christianwritings:

desertmanian:

Before I became Orthodox I remember asking the very same question when I first learned about the Jesus Prayer. From the outside, the Jesus prayer may seem overly simplistic or a vain repetition but I assure you, it is not. Like many aspects of Orthodox Christianity, the Jesus Prayer is a part of Holy Tradition that is best understood in context of the life of The Church. That being said, lets examine the passage you asked about and then we’ll examine the Jesus Prayer in relation to that passage in scripture:

Matthew 6:7-8: “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

So the above passage warns against vain or empty repetitions as we pray. The reason given for this warning is that we should not be like Pagans and think that the more we say the prayer the more God will hear us. We are told that God knows what we need and so it’s not our vain repetitions that cause Him to hear us. So keep in mind that the problem isn’t repetition or diligence in prayer, the problem is when such things are vain and with the thought that it’s our many words that cause God to hear us.

That being said, while the Jesus Prayer is a repetition of a prayer, if it is practiced in accordance with the traditional teaching concerning it, it is not vain or empty at all. Nor is the purpose of the Jesus prayer to win reward from God because of how much or little you pray it.

The purpose of the Jesus prayer is to teach the person praying it to stay their heart on God and to teach them to constantly be mindful of their utter reliance upon God. It is a means of teaching our own heart to constantly be relying upon God and to pray unceasingly and at all times. While the Jesus Prayer is a short phrase, it is not empty in intention or theological content. For Orthodox Christians it is a deep expression of our lifelong pursuit of union with God. Please let me explain:

The Jesus Prayer is typically this phrase:

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me the sinner."

Now let us examine what an Orthodox person is intending to express when praying this short prayer:

1. “Lord Jesus Christ” is an expression of trust and utter reliance upon The Holy Spirit. The scripture teaches that no one can say Jesus is Lord except by The Holy Spirit(1 Corinthians 12:3)

2. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God” is a confession of Christ’s deity when He is acknowledged as Lord and Son of God. It is also a confession of the Holy Trinity because to acknowledge Christ as Lord and Son, acknowledges that His Father is God along with relying upon the person of The Holy Spirit to confess Christ as Lord in faith. So The Jesus prayer is a Trinitarian prayer to the Triune God.

3. “Have mercy upon me the sinner” expresses a penitent heart that acknowledges that we deserve nothing from God and that it is only be God’s mercy that salvation is available to us. Saying “the sinner” is an expression of humility as if we are the only sinner and chief of sinners.

Keeping all of the above in mind you can see that for an Orthodox Christian, the Jesus prayer is not a vain or empty phrase, but a short prayer that is intended to remind ourselves constantly of who our God is and that we as sinners must always rely on God and trust in Christ at all times and approach the LORD with humility by The Holy Spirit.

When Orthodox people practice the Jesus prayer it should not be done vainly thinking that they will receive more from God depending upon how much they say it. That is not the purpose or intention of the Jesus Prayer.

The Purpose of the Jesus prayer is to train our mind and heart to constantly be stayed upon God with the proper attitude. The Prayer is short so that it can be employed easily anywhere and at all times and is easy to remember. The significance is that with practice, the human heart can acquire a firm and constant prayerful attitude in the heart towards God so that we can learn to pray unceasingly and continually.

So, to recap, the Jesus prayer while repetitious does not violate the warning in Matthew because when practiced properly it is not vain. Rather, it is intended to be a mindful, short prayer, that is easily remembered with the intention to constantly stay the mind and heart of the believer on God.

I hope this is helpful to you, anon.

Grace and peace.

“Prayer in church is important. The best thoughts and feelings come in church, yes, and the enemy attacks more violently in church, but with the sign of the Cross and the Jesus Prayer, you drive him away. It is good to stand in some dark corner in church and to pray to God. “Let us lift up our hearts!” the priest exclaims, but our mind often creeps along the ground, thinking about indecent things. Fight against this.”

-St Barsanuphius of Optina

Rebirth begins in baptism, but attains maturity in the last steps of spiritual progress, when everything in a person has been sacrificed to God, and he becomes completely renewed in the image of his Creator. He becomes God’s son in spirit, on account of the manifest likeness of God in him.

- St Theophan the Recluse, “Psalm 118, a Commentary”, Verse 3, page 17 (via christianwritings)

Reblog if it’s okay to invade your ask box.

hamishwatson:

yes hello 911 i’m being forced into adulthood and i don’t like it send help

If I ever meet the Pope

orthodoxdude24:

image

desertmanian:

There’s not any women my age that go to my parish but even if there was i think… how am I going to introduce myself… “hi, I’m an awkward convert… i like Church history… you look very pretty in your head covering… here’s a peace of blessed bread… would you like to talk at coffee hour?… I’ve been reading St. Silouan and I’m trying to remodel my home and I’m really hoping you find that interesting because besides that and fantastical literature reading I really don’t have a lot on my plate right now :D” 

If I met you irl..... I'd prob just laugh and touch your beard a lot. And make lame jokes.

That’s basically our relationship now, sans the beard touching.

Inbox me a “If I met you in real life….”

(Source: asian)

Useful Linux Commands

theophilus1979:

​Here is a list of the most common commands that you will probably find useful. The commands and descriptions are all separated by “=”, so don’t include the = sign in the commands

The most important one which will make your life MUCH easier is:

sudo apt-get install <enter a programme name here>

This finds the most up to date repository for you, and installs the latest version of the software. No…

View On WordPress

One of my favorite:

alias claer=”clear”

There are lots of variations on that for other common misspellings, but I think I’ve used ‘claer’ instead of ‘clear’ far more than any other mistake. Also, if you’re going back and forth between Windows and Linux a lot, it might not be a bad idea to make ‘cls’ an alias of ‘clear’, and maybe do the same for ‘ls’/’dir’.

desertmanian:

meadowsclothedwithfaith:

desertmanian:

meadowsclothedwithfaith:

Where did the dog with the reading glasses go

probably to the library.

NO IT WASNT SUPPOSED TO BE A JOKE I just want the picture

then go to the library and ask him to pose for a photo, i’m sure he’s still there heehee… i’m just trying to help :D

WHEN YOUR PRIEST ASKS IF YOU KNOW HOW TO CHANT

goa-youngadults:

image

Memory Eternal Robin Williams

URGENT PLEASE PRAY FOR MY MOM

guidedbylove:

My mother is missing and I could sure use some prayers.  She left a strange suicidal message on her voice mail.  Please pray that the Lord will comfort her and talk her out of it.  We don’t know where she is.  Please prayer warriors pray.