In order to be a partaker of the Divine nature, a man must first be freed from himself. That which binds him to himself, to the tyranny and slavery which "self" exacts and demands, must be broken. A man must first be willing to lose himself and all his self-sufficiency before he can ever find his Divine self. He must realize that selfishness is not worth clinging to, for it is a master not worthy of his service. It is the Divine alone that is worthy to be enthroned in his heart as supreme Master of his life. He must believe in the supremacy of righteousness, the desirability of purity, and the power of integrity. He must humbly hold before himself the Holy One, the Christ, and seek to be just like Him through the power of the Holy Spirit, and pursue Him with great zeal. It is only then that many will look upon such a man and desire what he possesses. For he possesses within himself a contentment that can only be found in the unfailing and eternal riches of Christ!
~ Fr. Richard+
2 Peter 1:3-8
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As a man enters into the deeper pools of the Christ-life he enters into the process of self-conquest, it is there that he finds a conquest which is far different than any other conquest he has pursued up to that point. Previously, such a man has endeavored to overcome, transform, and simplify his outward appetites. But now he begins to focus on his interior life. It is one thing to command his emotions, but it becomes another thing entirely to command his inner most thoughts and bring them into submission to Christ. Only then will Christ become the fullness of his thought life, at which point he perceives what is the true substance of an imperishable Principle. He sees that the righteousness for which he has been searching is never-changing and fixed, that it cannot respond with any capitulation or accommodation to men, but that a man must submit to it and obey it. It calls for an unwavering line of conduct apart from all consideration of loss or gain, of reward or punishment. In reality it consists of full and complete self-abandonment to all sins of self-interest, desire, and opinion, upon which he once placed the whole of his identity. Only then can such a man begin to live a blameless life of perfect love towards all. Such a life is spiritually fixed and mature; it is without turning, compromise, or preconceived qualifications, and it exacts a blameless conduct out of the man as he stands among fellow men. It brings forth, without question, a life of peace that is the direct antithesis of a worldly life. In fact, it is then that such a man has overcome the world.
~ Fr. Richard+
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
There comes a time and place along the path of our Christian journey when we arrive at a crossroad and are being forced to make a choice. The choice becomes whether we are willing to lay down our own lives so that we might pick up the burden of another, or to let another suffer while we go about living our daily life pretending that we are not responsible for helping them in the midst of their suffering; that they are somehow the one responsible for their own miserable condition. This is the greatest test of our faith! It is easy to walk past those who suffer, and to turn a blind eye to their suffering. But to look at the suffering of others through the loving and compassionate eyes of Christ means we are being called to die on the cross with Him in order that those who are suffering might live. And if we see Christ Himself in the suffering soul, then we are fulfilling the call of Christ by truly ministering unto Him.
~ Fr. Richard+
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
Priest and Vicar of The Uprising ~ Ancient:Apostolic:Anglican Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Uprising is an Incarnational and Sacramental Anglican mission community seeking the spiritual renewal of our city through the grace, love, truth, and power of Christ.