Orthodox Thought for the Day


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Desiring God's blessings without effort

Just as the blessings promised by God are unutterably great, so their acquisition requires much hardship and toil undertaken with hope and faith.  This is clear from Christ’s words, He who does not hate father and mother, brothers and sisters, wife and children, and even his own soul, cannot be a disciple of Mine, Luke 14:26.  Most people are so lacking in intelligence as to want to attain the great and inconceivable blessing of the Kingdom of God, and to inherit eternal life and reign with Christ forever, while living according to their own desires, or rather, according to him who sows within them clearly noxious vanities. 

Some might question the meaning of Bible verse Luke 14:26 above.  My understanding has always been that the expression is used to indicate the  intensity of devotion one should have toward God in comparison with earthly kinship.  This verse does not refer to literal hating of family members.     

St. Kyril wrote thus, “Some perchance may say, Lord, dost Thou despise the laws of natural affection?  Shall we then make those enemies who are members of the same household?  This is not what the Savior means.  It is plain by what He said that He permits us to love, but not more than we do Him.  For He demands for Himself our chief affection and that very justly.  For the love of God in those who are perfect in mind has something in it superior both to the honor due to parents and to the natural affection felt for children…”

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