Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person – the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.
Metropolitan of Pisidia Sotirios
Our Lord Jesus Christ has revealed many wonderful truths, which until then were unknown. Many of these concern our relations with other people, either inside our homes or outside in society. Perhaps there is difficulty in remembering everything one has to observe in dealing with other people. For this reason, Jesus, as a wise Teacher, has today given us a Life Rule, named for its great value, “The Golden Rule.” What does this Rule say?
“And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise” (Luke 6:31). Words that are simple, easy, understandable, short and something everyone can remember.
In the Old Testament, we read: “What you yourself hate, do not do to anyone” (Tobit 4:15). There have been ancient philosophers who have taught the same thing: Do not do to another what you do not want done to you. It is the negative view of the subject. Jesus speaks of something higher and more precious; You do to others what you want them to do to you. For example, if you see a poor person who has no food and his children are hungry, think: If you were in their place, you would want someone to help you. So, do something to help them, so they do not die of hunger! Can you not give them some food? Move, act among those you know, and make a team effort to find a way to help the situation.
What often happens, though, is this: If this person in need is a relative or a friend, someone we love, then we are interested in helping in every way. For others, however, we are indifferent, because we do not feel any love towards them. We consider them strangers. This is what the Lord is correcting when He tells us: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them” (verse 32). What is more, we also hear “love your enemies” (verse 35). The Lord wants us to love not only those unrelated to us and outside of our personal circle of family and friends, but also our enemies. This is the basic difference between the Christian and non-Christian. The non-Christian will not love his enemy; he will apply “an eye for an eye” if he does not do something worse, and “hate your enemy” (Matthew 5:38 and 43). But the Christian is called upon to apply Christ’s new command of love, which no one has ever imagined: To love the whole world without distinction as to whether he is a friend or an enemy; whether he loves or hates you. And not just a sentimental show of words, but actual works: “do good,” even to enemies!
Of course, being this way towards those who are troubled is not at all easy. This God-like model is given to us by Jesus: “He is kind to the unthankful and evil people.” If we imitate God in love, Jesus said, “your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High” (verse 35).
If we could, my brothers and sisters, imagine how the practical love for all people will raise us to such a high position. If we do that, we will certainly do our best to deserve this greatest honor, to become children of the Most High God! Is there anything higher? It is worth making every effort, and the method we use will be simple: Applying the Golden Rule. If there is an issue with another person and their actions, let us ask our conscience: If I was in their position, what would I want another person to do for me? The answer will soon come, and we have to do exactly what our conscience tells us. This depends of course, on our conscience being healthy, good, and enlightened by the Holy Spirit.
My beloved brothers and sisters, let us base our lives everyday on the Golden Rule of our Lord, to deserve to be recognized by God the Father as His children.
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OCN has partnered with Pemptousia. A Contemporary post-modern man does not understand what man is. Through its presence in the internet world, Pemptousia, with its spirit of respect for beauty that characterizes it, wishes to contribute to the presentation of a better meaning of life for man, to the search for the ontological dimension of man, and to the awareness of the unfathomable mystery of man who is always in Christ in the process of becoming, of man who is in the image of divine beauty. And the beauty of man springs from the beauty of the Triune God. In the end, “beauty will save the world”.