According to G K Chesterton, the religious education of a child begins not when his dad speaks with him about God, but when his mom teaches him to be thankful for a tasty cake she has baked. A living sense of gratitude is the driving force of faith, like a clockwork spring.
Many are bored with hearing the Word of God and only want to hear the word of the world. They read and listen to their political extremist talk show hosts and web pages. They have filled their heads and hearts with demonic thoughts – “the word of the world” – and that is why they behave like the violent and destructive demons of the Gospel.
Though the Israelites witnessed what God was doing, they didn’t fully comprehend it. They saw the events but didn’t understand the significance of the events. They saw things happening but didn’t fully realize it was God’s own hand bringing things about. They didn’t see God in the events.
Today we hear the story of the rich man and Lazarus. It is a story that ought to make us stand back and take account of our lives and see whether or not we are on the right path. Why should we do this? Because Jesus our Lord offers us a reality that we in the modern world do not really accept.
Why does one person become a saint and another choose a different way? Why does one person seek goodness, beauty, truth and life while another runs towards evil things and death? Why do some people live their lives toward God and others spend their lives running from Him?
The reality of the Kingdom of Heaven begins when we stop calculating, doing statistics, playing number and word games, analyzing, dividing, and dissecting. The life of the Church begins when we enter into a deeper experience that unites us together.
They rejected the success of imperial Rome and the “Roman Peace” based in worldly power and might. They understood the ways of the world could be more efficient but they believed the means must be consistent with the end rather than that the ends justified the means.
Every grace that the bishop receives, he receives primarily because he is an Orthodox bishop and because his Orthodox faith is true. He does not receive grace because his works are glorious, his thoughts are good, and his testimonies are great.