Thoughts on Morality and Transformation. Thoughts on the Paradox of Grief for Christians
By Michael Haldas
Thoughts on Morality and Transformation, June 7, 2016
“It’s all about becoming, not being; it’s about transformation of ourselves and our restoration to holiness, not making God keep a bargain with us to give us what we want or expect. This is because each one of us has a different complex of illnesses, and we respond in different ways to the various spiritual, therapeutic regimens available to us in the Church.” (Abbot Tryphon)
“The Church’s term for repentance is the Greek metanoia, which means a change of heart or change of mind. It is to be renewed and transformed inwardly and is both the first step and a continual step in new relationship with God.” (Sacramental Living)
“Living a life of obedience means participating in the likeness of God, a transformative process which will be completed at the resurrection.” (Deacon and Fellow Pilgrim)
“To become a better person…is simply a description of a moral program. Morality has nothing particularly Christian about it. Morality is constituted by whatever agreed upon rules of behavior are desired at any given time. The psychological component of morality is no more than the interior adjustment to a desired behavior: behaving well and enjoying it. The transformation wrought by Christ is the manifestation in this world of the Kingdom of God. In its fullness, it looks like the resurrected Christ Himself. It is the union of heaven and earth, the created and the uncreated. It is a transcendental reality.” (Father Stephen Freeman)
“…if the knowledge of Jesus Christ is transformed into an ideological and moralistic knowledge, it closes the door to others and turns Christianity into a list of requirements. This reduces the message of the Church to yet another worldly political force.” (Abbott Tryphon)
Thoughts on the Paradox of Grief for Christians, June 8, 2016
“We need to honor the bereavement process. Grief is confirmation that the one lost was a person of value. It is the way we honor a well-lived life. In grieving, we follow the example of Jesus, who wept at the grave of his friend Lazarus.” (Abbot Tryphon)
“As Christians, we know and accept that there are horrors in this world due to the pollution of sin that creates conditions of immortality and corruption…. But like Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus, whose understanding is obviously far greater than ours, we weep at tragedies. We weep, in part, because these things were never meant to be. But because of Christ’s sacrifice, crucifixion and resurrection, we have the promise of restoration and new life to look forward too, no matter what happens to us in this life, if we choose God in our hearts.” (Sacramental Living)
“I do “grieve with hope” — I breathe in the life-affirming and spirit filling promise that the reality I am living is not the only reality there is. I lean into the Word of God and trust in, rely on and affirm the victory of Jesus Christ. But I still GRIEVE. I cannot force my heart to ignore the pain and sorrow that has been laid upon it. So I continue to live each day, doing the work that God has left for me to do, but walking a little slower, a little more bowed down. For those of us carrying this burden of grief, the greatest gift is grace and mercy and kindness — we are doing the best we can.” (Melanie DeSimone)
“When someone close to us dies, we need a long period of time to work through our grief. Crying and sharing our feelings with others helps us recover and go on with life. Allow yourself and others the freedom to grieve over the loss of a loved one, and give yourself time enough to complete your grieving process.” (Life Application Study Bible, Genesis 50:1-11)
“I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” (J.R.R. Tolkien)
~Michael Haldas, https://www.ancientfaith.com/contributors/michael_haldas.
Michael Haldas is an author, a religious educator and a speaker. He wrote Sacramental Living: Understanding Christianity as a Way of Life (published by Eastern Christian Publications), a book which he presented special editions of as gifts to Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in private audiences. Michael is also published monthly in Theosis Magazine and he has authored several Orthodox Christian themed articles for various publications. Additionally, he has recorded and contributed to multiple YouTube, DVD and CD educational projects. He teaches adult religious education and high school Sunday school at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George in Bethesda, Maryland and has worked with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Religious Education Department to create educational lessons and materials.