Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What is a God-Pleasing LIfe?

It all begins with faith. As the Scripture says, "Faith without works is dead."  Our faith brings grace which in turn strengthens faith. This faith then leads us to live a virtuous life, doing what God has commanded us to do.  The challenge for living a God-pleasing life is to do what God commands out of faith with attention to the moment. 

Saint Theophan says,
Thus each step, each word, even each movement and glance, everything may direct one to walk in God's will and, consequently, to move each moment towards the ultimate goal.
Our life when doing God's will is one were everything we do is done with an awareness of God.  It involves a heightened consciousness filled with attention to the moment.  It is not about fixing all the wrongs of the world, but living the commandments to their fulness in each little thing we do.  When we do this we make our part of the world and those we influence directly a little better.

Saint Theophan says,
 If each one of us did what was possible to do for whoever was standing right in front of our eyes, instead of goggling at the community of mankind, that all people, in aggregate, would at each moment be doing that which is needed by those in need, and, by satisfying their needs would establish the welfare of all mankind, which is made up of haves and have-nots, the weak and the strong. But those who keep thoughts of the welfare of all mankind inattentively let slip by that which is in front of their eyes. Because they do not have the opportunity perform a general work, and they let slip by the opportunity to perform a particular work, they accomplish nothing towards the main purpose of life.
And what is the purpose of life?  It is to prepare for the life after death in God's kingdom.

Saint Theophan says,
All troubles come from mental outlook that is too broad. It is better to humbly cast your eyes down toward your feet, and to figure out which step to take where. This is the truest path.
Orthodox Way of Life

Reference: The Spiritual Life, pp 91-94 

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