Tag Archives: quote

Christianity & Islam: Different Gods, Different Religious Universes 

To proclaim that Christians and Muslims have the same God, and to hold to that, believing thereby that one has brought the debate to its term, denotes only a superficial approach. Their Gods do not partake in the same discourse, do not put forward the same values, do not propose for humanity the same destiny and do not concern themselves with the same manner of political and legal organization in human society. The comparative reading of the Gospel and the Koran by itself demonstrates that the two universes are unalike. From Christ, who refuses to punish the adulterous woman by stoning, one turns to see Mohammed ordaining, in the same circumstances, the putting to death of the unfaithful woman. One cannot follow Jesus and Mohammed.

SourceSylvain Gouguenheim’s “Aristote au Mont Saint-Michel: Les racines grecques de l’Europe Chrétienne” reviewed by Thomas F. Bertonneau

Samuel Gregg on Regensburg Revisited

Regensburg Revisited: Ten Years Later, A West Still in Denial Irrationality not only manifests itself in violence but also in an inability to apply authentic reason to the many pressing challenges of our age. Dr. Samuel Gregg

Source: Catholic World Report

On Not Creating Clones

“A fundamental principle in my spiritual life is that it must be original and authentic. I am not an image of any one of the saints, no matter how great they matta_el_maskine8amay be. Instead, I take from them what benefits my life in order to maintain the beautiful image in which God created me. If I were to imitate a certain persona, I would depart from God’s purpose for me. The only thing for a relationship with Christ is to be honest and truthful.”
Fr. Matta El Meskeen, Summary of a Conversation with Dom Emmanuel Lanne, O.S.B (1976).

So much of popular Orthodox “spirituality” seems to be about creating clones, replicas and duplicates of some artificial ideal, often negatively defined or supposedly created by mechanistic actions. We are each called to be who we were created – uniquely, individually – to be. We are distinctly different members of the one Body as St Paul reminds us (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). If I, as a foot, strive to be changed into an eye, or resent being a foot on the assumption that an eye has higher status, I betray the unique nature of my creation. A body composed entirely of eyes, or of feet, is not a functioning body.

The spiritual life of the Hermit is not superior – only different – to the spiritual life of the wife or husband, mother or father. The vocation of the Priest is not better than – only different to – the vocation of the carpenter or the physician or the lawyer or the street-cleaner.

A square red peg hammered into a round hole surrounded by small pieces of the peg. Hammer in the background. On a white background

Each one of us is called upon to discern the Divine Purpose in our individual and different lives, and to avoid struggling to force those lives into rigid molds constructed by and for someone else. The only way in which a “square peg” can be made to fit into a “round hole” is by doing violence to the very nature of the “square peg”.

Source: Citydesert

St. Paisios on marital strife and complementarity

From the blog Orthognosia

Elder Paisios said:

A man came to my cottage once, telling me how depressed he was, because of the disputes he had with his wife. However, I didn’t find any serious problem. He frowned because of something, and his wife frowned about something else, so they couldn’t join together. In this case a little “furnishing” was necessary. As an example, we can take unfurnished planks. One has a knot in one place, the other one has a knot on another place, and if you try to put them together, an empty space will appear between. But, if you equalize and furnish one of the planks on one side, and the same is done with the other plank with the same furnishing tool, they quickly fit with each other, and there is no empty space between. (Elder Paisios considered that the married couple should have one common spiritual father, who will help them in the reconciliation of their disputes.)

Some men say: “I am not compatible to my wife, we are totally different characters! Why does God make such strange things? Couldn’t God harmonize the married partners, so their characters be the same or similar, and so that they could live in spiritual togetherness?”

I tell them: “Don’t you understand that God’s harmony lies in the different characters? Different characters harmonize each other. God save you from being the same characters! Imagine that both of you have the same character, what would happen if both of you grew angry: you would destroy your house. Or, if both of you would be gentle and inactive, both would start sleeping on each others feet! If both of you would be stingy, you would be similar and you would agree among each other, but both of you would go to hell. If both of you would be squanderers, would you be able to save your house? No. You would demolish your house, and your children would end up on the street.

If one has a bad temper, and marries one with a bad temper, they will be the same or similar, won’t they? But, they would kill each other in only one day!

God created so that the gentle and nice partner is to marry someone different, give him help, because it might be he always has had good will, but there was no one to help him, since he was born.”

Even little differences in our characters may help the partners to form a harmonic family, because they supplement each other. You need an accelerator pedal to move your car forward, but still you need the brake pedal to stop when needed. If there would be a car with only a brake pedal, it would stay in one place for good. If there would be a gear-box but no brakes, the car wouldn’t stop.

Do you know what I once told a couple? “You do not fit with each other, because you fit too much with each other!” Both were oversensitive. Something would happen in the house. He was a bit confused saying: “Oh, what will happen to poor us?” Then she would say the same: “Oh, what will happen to poor us?” They were helping each other to fall more quickly in desperation. Couldn’t she, in opposition, calm down her husband saying: “Wait, it’s not so terrible what happened to us.” I have noticed this in many marriages.

And, in the education of their children, when different characters, the partners are always helping each other to give the right education to their children. The one says: “Let’s give the kids a bit more freedom”, and the other one brakes a bit. If both are strict, they will lose the children. But also, if both are too liberal, they will again lose them. When different, they are able to keep their children in balance.

What I want to say is that everything in marriage is necessary. Of course, we must take care not to over cross the borders, but we must have in mind that every person may help the other; people are here to help each other.

h/t: byztex.blogspot.com | Friday, July 31, 2015