What is this memory of God? It is the very thing of which Saint Gregory the Theologian said: “It is more important to remember God than to breathe…” Archimandrite Athanasios Mitilinaios
Saint Sophia Cathedral
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What is this memory of God?
It is the very thing of which Saint Gregory the Theologian said:
“It is more important to remember God than to breathe…” Archimandrite Athanasios Mitilinaios
“So the remembrance of God strengthens our belief in His providence and in His guidance.
God is our infallible guide through life…. “
“Since we breathe unceasingly, our remembrance of God must also be unceasing. One can ask, how is this possible? In the real world we have to work, we have to go to school, we have to study, we have to concentrate on so many different tasks on a daily basis; we have to talk, listen, drive, and give our undivided attention to our family members, among other things. This remembrance of God must be planted very deep in the innermost depths of our very existence. The remembrance of God must be in our blood so to speak; in our subconscious….”
“If you (or anyone in your family) struggles to focus on God or to keep your mind on Him in the face of discouraging or distracting thoughts, you need to find a way out of that downward spiral! Here is an idea of one easy-to-make tool which may be helpful to that end. Create a “Godfulness” jar. “What in the world is that?” you may ask? Well, it’s a jar that contains arrow prayers, scriptures, and quotes from Church fathers all aimed at calming and soothing your thoughts by pointing them to God….”
Read more on creating and using a “Godfulness” Jar here (including a resource for starter quotes).
“…This does not mean that we must be reading and talking about God always; we can be involved in our daily affairs without losing sense of the presence of God. We do similar things in other areas of our life. Let’s say that your father happens to be sleeping in one of the rooms of the house, and you must be careful not to wake him up. You will find yourself whispering to your siblings or visiting friends so you will not interrupt your father’s sleep. You don’t need to remind each other at every second that your father is sleeping, you simply have the sense in the back of your mind that your father is home sleeping. Now we’ll use another example: let’s say that you are sleeping on the top bunk bed at camp. Assuming that you twist and turn in your regular bed, you don’t do this while you are sleeping on the top bunk bed. Something inside you is awake. Even though your body is asleep, deep in your subconscious there is this sense, that extra sense that is telling you, don’t twist or don’t turn, you are sleeping on a high place and you cannot move freely. It is this sense that will keep you from falling….”
“…Similarly, the remembrance of God is not something that I must consciously maintain at all times, and keep reminding myself. It is a feeling, a sense that penetrates my inner being. However, of me to acquire this sense, I must exercise and continue to do so for a long time. My friend, if you happen to be a young person of the Sunday School level, this is your opportune time to attempt to acquire this sense, which will keep God constantly in your memory. This is extremely important: the sense that is God is constantly next to you, watching you, protecting you, following you, ready to assist you. This remembrance of God becomes a shield, a protection and a fortress for the practicing Christian. It will protect us from harm, idolatry and sin. Again, when Joseph was tempted, and seduced in a very provocative manner, he called out for this very presence of God. He said, “How can I do this evel deed in the presence of my God and sin against him?” Joseph was saved from a grave sin by keeping the remembrance of God in his daily life….”
A Message from Maria Spanos
I am passionate about our Orthodox Christian faith and seek to help others learn as much as they can about it. My purpose here is to share online resources that help strengthen our relationship with Christ and bind us closer to His Church. I believe they are invaluable in learning about our precious Orthodox Tradition, and are a great aid for teaching family members, friends and others about Orthodoxy. ~Maria
Two of my favorite quotes:
“A true Christian behaves in this life so that it may be a preparation for the future one and not only a life here below. In his actions, he does not think what will be said of him here but of what will be said there in heaven; he represents to himself that he is always in the presence of God, of the angels and all the saints, and remembers that someday they will bear witness of his thoughts, words, and deeds.” — Saint John of Kronstadt
“Of all the holy works, the education of children is the most holy.”
— St. Theophan the Recluse