by Saint Theophan the Recluse
by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014
I am Thine, save me;
for after Thy statutes have I sought.
When we enter upon the way of the commandments (“for after Thy statutes have I sought”), we enter in a kind of relationship with God, “we become His own”, “I am Thine”; just like when we serve another person.
It’s actually like a reciprocal adoption, a spiritual union.
We become like a new person by God through the Grace of the Holy Spirit. We become “God’s as one born from God”.
“I sought after Thy commandments and became Thine”.
But when we sin, the passions become our new masters, we are their’s.
We are the Lord’s only if we have a pure conscience; if our deeds and thoughts don’t contradict our speech.
Sinners have waited for me to destroy me;
but Thy testimonies have I understood.
Passions in vain laid an ambush against him. The prayer from v.94 has been heard, he was protected by the Lord, and by the commandments that he is following.
These words can be applied to the martyrs.
And to those who pursue a life pleasing to God, within the temptations of the world.
Of all perfection have I seen the outcome;
exceeding spacious is Thy commandment.
Perfection = συντέλεια, completion of a task, or the task itself.
Outcome = πέρας, the limit.
Only Thy commandment has no end.
We are never done with it, we can never be perfect in it, there’s always more to be done with it; as the ultimate level would be complete likeness with God.
Its sphere of influence on everything is unlimited. And “there is nothing else to be done”.
this echoes back to vv.89-91, that “everything in heaven and on earth is obedient to God’s will”.
“He who has begun to walk in the commandments steps onto the boundless spaciousness where the will of God reigns.
…He who lives in accordance with God’s commandments is in harmony with everything, and his favorable relation to everything gives him an unhindered scope of existence and activity.
…From this is follows that the commandments are spacious also because they give breadth and total freedom to the one who fulfills them.”
This whole page is so powerful, and so opposite to the way our modern society understand its so-called freedom. Here we have the real deal!
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Any reflection on these quotes?
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