Showing posts from May, 2008

Slowing Down - Have a lifetime to live

Today, while sitting in class, my hopes and dreams for seminary were renewed. As I listen to my classmates share about their first year MDiv experiences, I am reminded of the reasons I applied for Divinity School in the first place. Ahhhhh. What a sigh of relief to know that my hopes were not necessarily in vain.

I am really enjoying spending time with my CPE classmates thus far and really respect my supervisor. I think I have a lot to learn from him, as well as my peers. I am looking forward to seeing what all God has in store for me this summer. I hope that it is a time of spiritual refreshing and nourishment.

I also realized today some of the changes that have occurred to me this past year. I think the greatest was a shift from thinking that my life could end tomorrow and living every day as if it were my last to believing in and hoping for a lifetime of life and of the possibility of someday being a great-grandmother and dying of old age. That is a huge shift!

The shift has…

Convicting Words Follow:

"The one who seeks after the virtues out of vainglory obviously seeks after knowledge as well out of vainglory. Clearly such a person neither does nor says anything for the sake of improvement but is in all circumstances pursuing the approval of the onlookers of hearers. The passion is detected when some of these people impose censure on his deeds or his words and he is enormously grieved thereby, not because he did not edify, for such was not his purpose, but because of his own disgrace." Maximus the Confessor, The Four Hundred Chapters on Love(3.75)

"To the extent that you pray from your soul for the one who spread scandal about you, God will reveal the truth to those who were told the scandal." Maximus the Confessor, The Four Hundred Chapters on Love (4.89)

Why we desire money...

According to Maximus the Confessor "There are three reasons for the love of money: pleasure-seeking, vainglory, and lack of faith. And more serious than the other two is lack of faith." (3.17)

Maximus continues, "The hedonist loves money because with it he lives in luxary; the vain person because with it he can be praised; the person who lacks faith because he can hide it and keep it while in fear of hunger, or old age, or illness, or exile. He lays his hope on it rather than on God the maker and provider of the whole creation, even of the last and least of living things." (3.18)

He writes more: "There are four kinds of people who acquire money, the three just mentioned and the financial administrator. Obviously only he acquires it for the right reason: so that he might never run short in relieving each one's need." (3.19)

The fallen angel

It finally makes sense! I've never understood why people hold so adamently to the theological position that satan is a fallen angel. But, as I am reading Maximus the Confessor in the context of class discussions about the meaning of suffering and questions about theodicies, I get it! Maximus the Confessor, relying upon the writing of Dionysius, argues that "neither are the demons evil by nature; rather they have become evil through the misuse of their natural faculties." The point being that God only creates good. Here the argument goes that if God is a good god he could not create evil, but it would be important for him to create free will. Thus Satan wouldn't have been created as evil, but rather as good with a free will to choose to go against God's good nature. Thus this angel had to "fall" or choose to "misuse" its "natural faculties" in order to become evil. It makes sense now why it matters so much to people that we view Satan…

How to give...

"The one who imitates God by giving alms knows no difference between evil and good or just and unjust in regard to the needs of the body, but distributes to all without distinction according to their need even if he prefers the virtuous person over the wicked because of his good intention." - Maximus the Confessor, The Four Hundred Chapters on Love, 1.24