LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART
AMERICA OF MY HEART
Orthodox Christian Mission Trip to Mexico
COMING HOME – ORTHODOXY
Saint Ignatius (110 A.D.)
“For when ye are desirous to do well, God is also ready to assist you.”
Saint Justin Martyr (150 A.D.)
“But lest some suppose, from what has been said by us, that we say that whatever happens, happens by a fatal necessity, because it is foretold as known beforehand, this too we explain. We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, and chastisements, and good rewards, are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions. Since if it be not so, but all things happen by fate, neither is anything at all in our own power. For if it be fated that this man, e.g., be good, and this other evil, neither is the former meritorious nor the latter to be blamed. And again, unless the human race have the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions, of whatever kind they be. But that it is by free choice they both walk uprightly and stumble, we thus demonstrate. We see the same man making a transition to opposite things. Now, if it had been fated that he were to be either good or bad, he could never have been capable of both the opposites, nor of so many transitions. But not even would some be good and others bad, since we thus make fate the cause of evil, and exhibit her as acting in opposition to herself; or that which has been already stated would seem to be true, that neither virtue nor vice is anything, but that things are only reckoned good or evil by opinion; which, as the true word shows, is the greatest impiety and wickedness. But this we assert is inevitable fate, that they who choose the good have worthy rewards, and they who choose the opposite have their merited awards. For not like other things, as trees and quadrupeds, which cannot act by choice, did God make man: for neither would he be worthy of reward or praise did he not of himself choose the good, but were created for this end; nor, if he were evil, would he be worthy of punishment, not being evil of himself, but being able to be nothing else than what he was made.”
Tatian (160 A.D.)
“How, then, shall I admit this nativity according to Fate, when I see such managers of Fate? I do not wish to be a king; I am not anxious to be rich; I decline military command; I detest fornication; I am not impelled by an insatiable love of gain to go to sea; I do not contend for chaplets; I am free from a mad thirst for fame; I despise death; I am superior to every kind of disease; grief does not consume my soul. Am I a slave, I endure servitude. Am I free, I do not make a vaunt of my good birth. I see that the same sun is for all, and one death for all, whether they live in pleasure or destitution. The rich man sows, and the poor man partakes of the same sowing. The wealthiest die, and beggars have the same limits to their life. The rich lack many things, and are Continue reading “Free will”
HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY
St John Chrysostom on Grace and Free Will
A lecture delivered by David Bradshaw,
Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky,
at the parish of St John Chrysostom Orthodox Church,
House Springs, Missouri, September 29, 2007,
on the occasion of the 1600th Anniversary of St John’s repose.
HOLY ARCHANGELS MONASTERY
HOUSE SPRINGS, MISSOURI, USA
Few questions in theology bear as directly on the lives of ordinary believers as does that of the relationship between grace and free will. As Christians, we know that we are to seek to please God and obey His commandments; yet we also believe that He helps us in such a way that to think that we have pleased Him, through our own unaided efforts, would be an act of pride. Already there is, if not outright contradiction, at least considerable tension between these two beliefs. The tension grows worse when we also take into account the conviction, firmly rooted in Scripture, that salvation is in some sense the result of divine election. Our Lord states in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, “all that the Father giveth me shall come to me” (6:37), and a few verses later, “no man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (6:44).1 Taking these two statements together, it would seem that to be called by the Father is both a necessary and sufficient condition for coming to Christ (which here is tantamount to salvation). Yet in the same chapter Christ also exhorts his audience as if the choice were theirs. He urges them, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life” (6:27), and, when they ask him what they must do to work the works of God, he replies, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (6:29). Apparently, although to be chosen by God is both necessary and sufficient for salvation, that does not exclude the necessity of our own choice, and indeed of our “labouring.” This is very confusing. It seems both that the will of the Father is the sole cause of our salvation, and that we too are, in some sense, a cause.
There are here two different but related questions. First is that of how our efforts to please God can be consistent with the fact that we are totally dependent upon His aid. Second is that of how salvation can be both determined by God’s choice and dependent on our free response. As regards the second question, Scripture adds the further complication that God’s election has in some sense been fixed from all eternity. St. Paul writes in his Continue reading “St John Chrysostom on Grace and Free Will”
Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994)
ATHENS OF MY HEART
Saint New Martyr Jose Munoz-Cortez
from Chile & Canada who martyred in Athens, Greece (+1997)
& the miracle Hawaii’s Icon of Holy Virgin Mary
Grave of St Martyr Jose (Joseph) Muñoz-Cortes
in Holy Trinity cemetery, Jordanville, N. York, USA
SAINTS OF MY HEART
Saint Jose (Joseph) Muñoz-Cortes (13 May 1948, Santiago, Chile – 30/31 October 1997, Athens, Greece) was an Orthodox man, the keeper of the Iveron Icon of Montreal (Hawaii’s miracle Icon).
Jose was born in Chile into a pious Roman Catholic family of Spanish descent. He was a boy of twelve when he became acquainted with Archbishop Leontius (Filippovich) and Continue reading “Saint New Martyr Jose Munoz-Cortez from Chile & Canada who martyred in Athens, Greece (+1997) & the miracle Hawaii’s Icon of Holy Virgin Mary”
ARMENIA OF MY HEART
Sant Blas de Sebaste, Armenia (+316)
3 & 11 de febrero
Sant Blas de Sebaste estió un medico y bispe de Sebaste (l’actual Sivas) en Armenia en o sieglo IV.
Fació una vida d’ermitán en una espelunga d’a selva d’Argeus, que esdevenió a suya seu bispal.
Seguntes a tradición, Blas de Sebaste yera conoixito por o suyo don de curación miraglosa pa presonas y animals.