A Thorny Hug

Protopresbyter Georgios Dorbarakis

 

The Christian life is to be judged entirely on our attitude to other people. The welcome we give others, how we find room for them, is indicative, or otherwise, of our good apprenticeship. Because, according to his own revelation, Christ and other people are one and the same: ‘Inasmuch as you’ve done this to one of them… you’ve done it to me’.

So the kind of embrace we offer, its quality and ambience should be the same as if we were welcoming Christ himself. What Christian would fail to prepare to the best of their ability so that he who is considered the captain of our faith and our God would feel at ease and comfortable? So that Christ could avail himself of the best our household has to offer.

But, unfortunately, what do we, his faithful followers do in most instances? We welcome guests and hug them but attack them with thorns, knives and broken glass. We welcome them by wounding them grievously, making them bleed from gaping wounds. How? Through the judgmentalism we keep handy, not only on our lips but, even more so, in our heart. When Christ calls upon us not to judge others (in essence himself), it’s in order to accept and welcome them in our heart without wounding them. If we want to be his, he takes away the knife and the thorns. Because he tells us that judgment is his and it doesn’t do for us to try and usurp him. In other words, we shouldn’t play at being gods. If you judge and gossip about other people and condemn them, you’re setting yourself up as God, and you’re suffering from the problem of latent pride and repugnant delusion.

There’s only one instance when he told us we’re at liberty to judge: when our judgment is just and not superficial. To put it differently, when our judgment is full of love for the other person. In that case we can judge, because we’ll be like a protective umbrella stretched out over them and they’ll be safe in the security of a maternal embrace. ‘My judgment is just because I do not seek my own will, but that of the Father who sent me’.

Source: pemptousia.com

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    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.


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Pemptousia Partnership

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.

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