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The modern man and faith in God.
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they (the Apostles) were all together in one place.” (Prax. 2.1).
“When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all gathered together with unity in the same place.”
The modern man sees faith as a construct of those who fear death, those who do not want to manage their own freedom so as not to make mistakes that will cost them in the perspective of eternal life, by those who need to refer to a supreme Power and authority, in order to be comforted for the trials of life, but also to be guided about what to decide. Man wants to have an invisible help that vindicates his choices or directs them towards success, pleasure, happiness.
In this perception, modern man opposes individual responsibility for life.
I don’t need God or religion.
I can have my life in my hands, win or lose based on my own gifts, based on my own choices. I don’t want anyone controlling me. I can judge what is right and what is wrong based on laws and rules that I define them personally. I don’t want anyone to say no to fulfilling my wishes, as long as I don’t hurt the other, especially since I don’t take their life away from them.
I’m not afraid of death, because I don’t believe in eternity.
I know it’s inevitable. So let me spend as best I can in this life and then , nothing.
The Church’s faith in the Triune God is incomprehensible to the modern man.
When we do not want a father, whom we have identified with the help, but also control of our lives, why should we believe in a Heavenly Father, whom we shape within ourselves, and as the image and likeness of our father on earth?
If we don’t need earthly, father, why commit to hevenly ?
When we do not want as the main value of our lives the love that is sacrifice, abdication of the priority of ourself, emptying, sharing, forgiveness, new beginning in the relationship with each other, when we do not see ourselves in relation, but in the light of ourselves, why should we believe in the Son of God, who hired our nature, united it with His and reached as far as Hades , until death, to emerge victorious and lead us to resurrection, because of His love?
When we want everything to be interpreted with reason, water to be water, wine to be wine, bread to be bread, oil to be oil, how to believe in the Holy Spirit, that is to say to the sound that becomes fiery language, which gives fullness of inspiration, knowledge, truth, that makes us live the mystery of the change of matter into holy water , in a divine society, in oil that heals and at the same time gives us not only power, but makes us unite God and join His body which is the Church, without erase time and decay, but without defeating?
Is the Church’s faith in the soul incomprehensible to the modern man as a gift of God, as a living breath of the Spirit that does not simply allow us to move, to live, to communicate, to create, even to tear down, to sin, to be wrong, but gives us the opportunity to remember our true homeland which is heaven, the images of God? To be able to leave the mind-feeling-desire shape and go into the cleansing-lighting-theosis shape, that is, to find through our grace and our own little effort the reason for our existence?
For modern man the soul is the expression of the human brain, from which everything is produced, and stops existing when the body of man counts his livelihood. The soul must be well, that is to say, give the complex man signs that nothing can threaten his well-being, neither his experiences, nor others, nor his fears, but only one priority exists: “himself”.
It is incomprehensible that the faith that his soul was given to be able to relate, to march towards God and fellow man with himself not as a center, but as a principle for sharing, for offering, for exit, for emptiness. That the second does not negate the first, but puts it in the perspective of companionship. Our self is worth it, but it is fulfilled when it is excommunicated by its limits through love. And this is not possible through the power of the ego, but through the relationship with God that becomes communion with the other persons.
This is what we live in the Church through the presence of the Holy Spirit, which always grants all. And comes the Spirit when people feel the need to be in the same place, but also with the mood of the heart open to grace. Let’s put our egos down to us. Give what we can to each other. From the smile and the material offering, from the tear for the pain of the other and to the sins of all of us, to prayer, support, presence. We are here, in the Church, we are receptive to the grace of God, receptive to the presence of the Holy Spirit which always grants and leads us to holiness, through His grace, which come to our existence as a gift that transforms us.
“You have not abandoned my soul in Hades, nor you do not give your osios of corruption. You gave me the ways of life, pay with euphoria after your face” (Psalm 15, 8-11).
“You will not abandon my soul to Hades, nor will you let your saint know the decay. You showed me the way to life. You’ll fill me with euphoria when I’m near you.”
This is the message of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of faith, in the life of the Church, in our lives. That everything is grace. It’s holyness. It’s hope. That living in the modern world, we consent, but we don’t surrender. We understand, but we do not exhaust who we are and what we want to be in the time present. And we know and trust in our soul that you are God. Even if they reject us. Even if they think we’re drunk.
“I have promoted the Lord before me forever, that on my right I am to be safe. That is why my heart was thieving and my tongue was thieving, so my body camped out in hope” (Psalm 15, 7-9).
“I see the Lord always in front of me, He is on my right to protect me. That’s why my heart rejoices and my tongue sings. And when my body goes to the grave, it will have hope of companionship.”
The saints have always spoken of their sinfulness. They were disturbed by the reputation, which had been gained and the enmorsies, which the secularists expressed for their face. Saint Paisios said: “When the Saints said that they were sinners, they believed it. Their spiritual eyes had become microscopes and they saw their slightest faults as big.”
What the secularists choose and claim is denied by the saints. It’s the extreme opposition. Two different roads, starting from different points and also ending at different points. The Saints proceeded humbly, feeling their sinfulness, in the worldly hide their sinfulness and project their untrue virtues.
f. Dionisios Tampakis
Photos taken with meteocharilaou camera
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