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.
Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia
Whatever our good self does, let it not be known to the bad self. ‘Do not let your left hand know what your right is doing’. The left is our opposite self which, if it gets wind of what’s happening, will ruin everything. The opposite side is our bad self. Our self in Christ is young, but our other self’s old. It’s an art to stop the old self from finding out. It’s an art and needs the Grace of God.
There are a few secrets. The Gospel tells us we have to forestall certain things that hinder us in our struggle.
For instance, you want to experience joy from God. What’s the secret here? You may believe in it and beg for it and say ‘There’s no way God won’t give me it’. But He doesn’t. The reason is you yourselves. It’s not that God doesn’t want to give it, but the secret is your own simplicity and gentleness.
Where there’s no simplicity and you say: ‘I’ll do this and God will give me that’, it doesn’t work.
Do everything simply and gently. Don’t do anything for gain. Don’t say: ‘I’ll do that, so as to get that result’. Just do it quietly, without even thinking. Pray simply and don’t imagine in your soul what God will give you. Don’t fantasize. Don’t have a conversation with yourself about it. When you say the Jesus Prayer, just do so gently and simply, with no thought other than the Prayer.
Let your heart be simple, not devious and insincere; pure, not cunning and selfish. Everyone seeks out a simple and good soul, they find solace there, they approach without fear, without suspicion. And that soul itself lives with inner peace, it has good relations with everyone and with the whole of creation.
Good people don’t have wicked thoughts and they attract the Grace of God. It’s simplicity and gentleness above all that attract the Grace of God. These are the conditions for God to come and ‘find a dwelling-place’.
Holy Scripture is quite clear as regards simplicity: ‘Love righteousness, you judges of the earth; think of the Lord in goodness and in simplicity of heart seek him’. (Wisdom of Solomon 1, 1).
Simplicity and goodness.
This is everything, if you want to acquire Divine Grace. How many secrets there are in Holy Scripture! ‘A perverse soul’ is one that is itself badly-formed and which engineers evil. Divine Wisdom neither enters not takes possession of such a soul. Where there’s corruption and duplicity, the Grace of God doesn’t enter.
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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”.