God

What can we learn from our current miseries?

Lenten thoughts about the benefits of slowing down and longsuffering

 

1. Why do not we want to (why cannot we) tolerate longsuffering in this century? Not so long ago, there was a large rush all around the world... We have forgotten even that how to prepare for something. The problem with this was that we never arrived where we were. Because we never know where we are. Because we never let ourselves have enough time to realize where we will be... The moment became unimportant. There will be a new, another moment instead. Only the lack of tolerating unchanging things was bigger than the hunger for changes. "It is unbearable if we have to bear anything!"– we thought. Mankind lived in the illusion of omnipotence. This was a blindfolded road to the abyss. Then the crisis came. Corona virus appeared... I think that mankind learns now a very painful, very awful, but for our long-term survival very important lesson today. We should learn from this. We need to find the path to inner growth in these weeks of coerced silence. Please do not return back to rush even when these weeks will be over. This is the way how we can save the Earth, our home. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. Longsuffering as a part of wisdom. Inner peace and wisdom can only be reached with the ability of distancing ourselves from our desires. For that we have to become trained at longsuffering. Now we are gaining the very important skill of longsuffering... Lent of the church calendar became a coerced-Lent... Please do observe that we may only prevent individual tragedies with a community longsuffering. Those local communities which were not ready to follow the new rules of life, had many more infections than those which were able to slow themselves down. This slow-down will be (hopefully) over in a few months. Let us build up during this time ourselves in a different, in a better way! (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. Longsuffering: God’s exceptional mercy. The driving force of longsuffering is love that "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things" (1Corinthians 13:7). Let me repeat my previous sentence here: we may only prevent individual tragedies with a community longsuffering. We do see now why love is the driving force of longsuffering, do not we? We may only save those who are the fragile members of our community with the longsuffering of the whole community. We did not receive corona virus as a punishment. However, it is our education which proceeds right now. Let us observe that despite the sad tragedies this education comes with much love. Let’s feel the love flowing on us even amidst our current misery and we will be given the grace of inner peace with it, too. With this love and inner peace let us start re-building our communities. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 


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When does the right time come?

Thoughts about when there is a gap in time, and when time falls into place

 

 

1. What problems do we have with our own times? We are struggling with time intensely. We would do anything to make it pass more quickly – and we would do anything to stop it going so fast. Time has speeded up by our century. There is not enough of it for anything really. From the masters, we have turned to slaves of running minutes. Some of us are living in the past, while others are running after their desired future. There is one thing in our lives missing: "now". We can live even a whole life without experiencing one single moment really. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. How can time be controlled? Time is not an enemy but a friend. Of course, we have to change to gain the friendship of time. We have to accept what happens to us. Patiently and attentively. It is how a moment can become eternity, it is how rush can become timelessness, and it is how little can be – enough. When this essay is published, Lent has just begun. What if we vow a time-Lent this year? What if we see what it is like to do less – but to do it more deeply? (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. When does time fall into place? Time becomes complete when we can feel what God’s time like. We can be real masters of time if we do not experience it from our own viewpoint but if we ask God for His. What does this mean in our everyday lives? It is not the right time for something when we think we have to do it. It is time for something when the time comes when it has to be done. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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How is innovation created in the society networks – and in the Church?

Thoughts about our innovation-poor times and love networks

 

1. Why do we live in innovation-poor times? What do you mean by innovation-poor times??? Artificial intelligence overtakes the human brain right now. It is predicted by a lot of people that singularity, the times of innovation spinning up to endless speed is almost here. The problem is not the quantity of innovation. The problem is the direction of innovation which has got fatally lost. There are almost no collective reflections about the possibilities of inwards growth, about the survival chances of a "post-disaster humanity" or about the methods of preparing for that. Any of these would be real innovations. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. How is innovation created in society networks? Where can the sources of real innovation hide? Definitely not where there is "rush". The core of society networks repeats those "innovative ideas" over and over that have received confirmation in the big communication echo-chambers again and again. Dense network connectedness results in group conformity. In every complex system (from proteins through cells to brain) innovation arrives from the edge of the system, from the periphery. Real innovation does not increase our current comfort but it removes us from our comfort zones. Ideas that are born in remote places should not be looked for according to which ones are "useful", "cheap", "comfortable", "able to create big markets", etc., but according to which ones force us to make a much more radical change of our lifestyle than any others do. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. Why are love networks important in innovation? How can we let the periphery’s very much disliked ideas, which extrude us from our comfort zones, into the center of the social public opinion? For that it is not enough to loosen the rigid, hierarchical social structures anymore – which has always been enough so far during the history of the humanity because mankind has not ever faced that it has devastated the whole planet successfully on which it should be living. We have to become Earth-conform humans. This is the real revolution. We must not look at the world with our own eyes any longer. We have to look at the Earth with the eyes of God the Creator, the Good Shepherd – considering all its parts as treasures. For this we need love. LOTS of love. The time has come when prophets do not have to be stoned but have to be loved. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

4. How is innovation created in the Church? A technological system that is fundamentally gone sideways cannot be fixed with innovations derived from the same technology. This is the time when "Humanity 2.0" is needed. There has already been Somebody who made this possible with His crucifixion. Almost exactly two thousand years ago... That is why the Church becomes vital in the revival that leads us to our new, Earth-conform selves. For the Church will be able to help sufficiently in this revival, it has to renew itself, too. Where can the sources of revival come from within the Church? First from the love network. And there is a huge difference here which is the essence: the real love network is not the love network that is there among people. The inexhaustible source of the real love network is God’s love and the strength of the Holy Trinity’s loving relationship. The Church being in its right place grows out from this and passes this on with the strength of the Holy Trinity. What can help the Church in all this, except for the essence of the essence, mercy? It is exactly the periphery which this whole essay is about. Both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis think agreeing that the Church can be renewed by its periphery. Pope Benedict speaks about the strength of the small, creative, lightning Christian communities. Pope Francis emphasizes the flourishing example of the Southern Hemisphere’s Church. Both are the periphery from where Jesus Christ’s real innovation can break into the center – and at the same time into our souls’ center, too. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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When does the Word of God gets to its proper place and when is it not?

Thoughts about the power of the Word of God in our lives

 

1. When is the Word of God not in its proper place? The Word of God is not in its proper place if we read the Losung’s Biblical verses for the day as a 'horoscope' or, looking for the answer for one of our specific questions, we open the Bible at random and we literally interpret the first Word we see, thinking that "this is what God tells us today". We cannot really feel the Word’s strength in case we have never read the whole Bible. We cannot be open for the Word’s content if we do not place ourselves in the presence of God, in the space of God, in the gracious love of Jesus and in the strength of the Holy Spirit before we start reading. We cannot fully accept the Word of God if we read it only. We have to listen to it, too. Let’s get in the habit of reading the Words of God loud out instead of just reading it. Let’s listen to the Word of God at church services, in the community of the believers. The preacher, the emotions of the many human souls, the elements of the liturgy, singing and praying will create different opportunities of acceptance and openness than the solitude. Let’s give more chances for the Word of God to resonate in ourselves and to find Its place! Let's realize that we give a chance to ourselves with all these because God has given His Word to find its place in this world and in our lives. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. When does the Word of God find its proper place in our lives and in our souls? King Solomon’s following parable beautifully shows us how does the Word of God look like in its appropriate place: "To speak a word in due time, is like apples of gold on beds of silver." (Proverbs 25:11) A nice apple is about a quarter liter. A quarter liter gold weighs eleven pounds. Why is the Word of God so heavy? The Word is God’s manifestation in the world. All Words focus Totality in themselves. The Word carries God’s creative power. This creative power is unlimited: it can even fold the sky as a vesture (Hebrews 1:12). The Word of God is like a stone. But not any kind of stone! The Word is exactly the stone that God has placed in the middle of the world: it is the Cornerstone, the Word made flesh. The Cornerstone, Jesus Christ, is the stumblingstone (Romans 9:32). When does the Word of God gets to its proper place? When it has arrived in the middle of our hearts – on beds of silver. The beds of silver: is the Holy Spirit itself. If we are open to the Holy Spirit when accepting the Word – it gets to the place where God has intended to place it, where Jesus lives: into our hearts. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. What is the Word of God reaching its place capable of? The Word starting from God has arrived to our hearts, which have been purified for accepting the Word, by the Holy Spirit with the mercy of Jesus’ sacrifice. The Word of God got to its place – at last. Can we be satisfied with this? We cannot! If we have accepted the Word, we have to let it work in us. The Word will do what it says (see: Isaias 55:11). Maybe it takes years – but it surely will do. But something more happens. The Word does not have a rest in us: we have to pass it to others. Where will the Word be at its proper place? In our brothers’ hearts! The Word has found its place at last: it has become our common treasure. Is it the end of the Word’s journey? No, it isn’t! Not yet! What is the Word capable of after finding its place? "That word above all earthly powers -- No thanks to them -- abideth." (Martin Luther: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God) The Word is the sign of our Creator and Father and our Redeemer in this world, which stands as a rock we all can surely build our houses on. The house built on the Word is the House of our Father in which we all can find realm forever. The Word leads us back here, into the Father’s House through Jesus Christ, the Door (John 10:9a). This is how the Word returns to the place it has started from: to the Father. But not empty but with all of us, together with all sheep of our Lord – Forever and ever. Hallelujah! Amen.  (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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What is the essence of following Jesus and being a disciple of Him?

A comparison of three books on discipleship written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Rowan Williams and Pope Francis

 

1. A description of being a disciple by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. 1) Following Jesus provides and demands a changed life that undertakes the despised suffering in Christ for Christ. There is no cheap mercy. "Only the believer is obedient – only the obedient believes." 2) A half-Jesus cannot be accepted. Following Jesus is not following or interpreting rules but it is a total reliance with absolute confidence on that Christ, our Lord depicts Himself in us. We can find the Father in praying through Jesus. The Holy Trinity itself has harbored in Christians. At this point we do not interpret and live our lives from our viewpoints any more but in Christ for Christ. Discipleship (nevertheless) is the totality of freedom and joy. 3) Although it is the decision of each individual to follow Jesus but it cannot be kept away from the community of the disciples and the church. 4) Following Jesus separates us from the world ("There is not an own road leading from man to man. ... Christ stands between us as an obstacle. The only road to neighbors leads through Him"), but at the same time it links us to all people in the universality of love. 5) Following Jesus is not that broad way in which the crowd go. That is why, with the spreading strength of our whole lives spent in Jesus, we have to witness about our Lord at all times until He comes again. The intensity of the lines of "The Cost of Discipleship" makes it obvious that the writer does not present an intellectual or literary feat but his own, innermost self transformed in Christ – together with all its consequences. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. A description of being disciples by Rowan Williams. What were the most important statements of the book "Being disciples" to me? 1.) Discipleship is such a state of being in which you are silent and listening all the time; you just let Jesus’ act (and indirectly the Father’s act) happen by you. For we can hear God, silence is needed. It is in God’s hands who I am. We are the objects of eternal enjoyment. 2) The essence of discipleship is a fusion with the Holy Trinity’s life. Believing is faith that the truth is able to possess me and it keeps me even if I myself cannot hold on any longer. Discipleship is growth and joy. 3) The disciple is together with those (the poor and the excluded of the world), whom Jesus would like to accompany. We have to be such places where people are given time and space to meet the eternal love. Saints create joy around themselves and show the world in a new light. Others recognize in their presence that God is working in the world. You can see God in them instead of themselves.(If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. A description of being disciples by Pope Francis. What were the most significant statements of Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation "Rejoice and Be Glad" to me? 1) Holiness means that we are dying and resurrecting together with Christ continuously; its measure is determined by how large Christ’s counterpart is in us. Let the Holy Spirit transform you allowing this to happen. It is not life that has a mission, but life is the mission itself. In holiness you arrive to the point where you become the one whom the Father meant you to be when He created you. Dependence on Him is liberation from slavery. Being Christian is a joy in the Holy Spirit. 2) A trustful prayer is the answer of the heart opening to God calling Him „thou”, in which all words end allowing the Lord’s sweet voice to become audible in the silence. In this silence, in the Spirit’s light you can recognize the paths of holiness that are shown by the Lord. Otherwise our decisions are just "decorations" that, instead of implementing the Gospel in our lives, hide and strangle it. 3) Holiness does not mean that our eyes sparkle in an anticipated ecstasy. If we really start with observing Christ, we have to recognize Him on those people’s (the poor’s and the sufferers’) faces whom He wanted to identify with. Mercy is the vault that supports the church’s life. Humility can take roots in the heart only through experiencing indignity. 4) Nobody is redeemed alone, isolated, one by one. Keeping an eye on the net of human relationships, God attracts us to Himself. The community of believers is for creating the divine space in which the resurrected Lord’s mysterious presence can be experienced. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

4. A comparison of the three descriptions of discipleship. The three descriptions of discipleship contain a numerous significant similarities. There is a twofold reason for the high level of matches. On the one hand the three books contain the description of discipleship’s realization and do not deal with the dogmatically founded reasons of discipleship. On the other hand all three authors are theologists of the cross and not the glory regarding their personalities and attitudes. Jesus depicted in us (though He is depicted differently in everyone) is the same Jesus according to the essence of these three witnesses’ wordings. Though we are all blind and touch the very different parts of the elephant, still the very same elephant has to appear from the fragmented pictures as our life experiences are put together. Beside my own inner certainty of this, it has been a pleasure to experience a "common certainty" during reading and comparing these three excellent books. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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What is real wisdom?

New Year’s thoughts about following the harmony of the world

 

1. What are the things that are not identical with wisdom? At the start of the new year many people think about what wise decisions they would make along the year. A lot of people identify cleverness or knowledge with wisdom. A lot of people think that it is wise if I surpass my own thoughts and decisions. Affirmation of denial of any of my previous behaviors revolves around me. A lot of people follow another person who thought to be wiser than them and they think that they have found wisdom by doing so. If everyone goes to the same direction then the community will never find any new ways ever... (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. How can wisdom be approached? The key idea of the ancient wisdom was the golden mean that is refraining from the extremes. If everyone goes right then the wise man goes left. Because it is the appropriate weighting then. The way to wisdom means to experience the diversity of Totality more and more deeply and to be able to choose smartly among the lot of colors. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. What is real wisdom? The threshold of real wisdom is when we can sense our human limits. We have to accommodate Totality to be wise. If we enter the love community of the Trinity, we are given such a viewpoint by God that can see through the whole Totality at once. THIS is real wisdom. Wisdom is everywhere – where we do not look for it with our human existence that is closed in itself. It calls after us. I wish all my Readers for the New Year to hear the call of wisdom. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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What is the only appropriate wish?

Christmas thoughts with regards to the ninth and the tenth commandments

 

1. What are the things we should not wish? Christmas and New Year’s Eve are the times of wishes. We should not only ask from Jesus but we should give something to Him! Similarly: at New Year’s Day a lot of us formulate wishes related to their own lives. Perhaps this year we should vow that we will not vow anything? The ninth and the tenth commandments are not about that we should not covet a house, a wife or anything else that belong to someone else but they warn us that the earthly wishes and greed, the "I want to furnish the world as I have planned it" are all already rebellions against the will of God. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. How is a real wish formulated in us? A lesson of my pilgrimage at the Holy Land. Those wishes that are not ours are often formulated in a quite specific way. Here I show you an example from my pilgrimage at the Holy Land. Jesus gave me a wish there. How may this "usually" happen? Very typically: "in pieces". We are too small to accept Jesus’ wishes in one piece. That is why He trains us gradually. He makes us to feel only one tiny bit of His wish. Then He shows another bit. Then the third one. And finally: He shows the whole picture together. It is only then (which may be months or years later!) when we understand what happened to us and why. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. What is the only appropriate wish? After all of these what can I wish my Readers for Christmas? To be able to say with all your hearts: "Thy will be done!" Believe me, my dear Reader, if you can say this from the bottom of your heart, from that moment on – grace will come to you. Every day will be a new blessing for you. But not only for you. For all the people who will be around you. Because at the very moment you will say "Thy will be done!" Christ will be born within you. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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What is the essence of sincerity?

Thoughts with regard to the eighth commandment

 

1. Who is my neighbor and what is false testimony? How much easier the eighth commandment ("Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour!") would be if the words "your neighbor" were not there or there were "your friend" there instead. Jesus’ illustration about the Good Samaritan (Lucas 10:25) teaches us that the network of love around us and the acts of mercy recognizing the need determine the idea of "neighbor". God has no respect of persons being not partial (Deuteronomy 10:17; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11). We should not be either. False speech is harmful by far not only on court. Our nowadays "post-reality" society has made it an awfully common practice that if something is told with a media-magnified voice becomes true – whether or not reality is diametrically the opposite of it. Faithful word is not only right but pure, too. Silence can also be false witness. The real point of the eighth commandment is not prohibition either but persuasion. I should spread the truth and stand for it: I should not be silent when truth is violated. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. How can we be sincere? A lot of people identify sincerity with truthfulness. The profound content of sincerity is to be honest with God. When somebody speaks sincerely, he speaks about the essence instead of unimportant things. Sincerity does not necessarily mean to be talkative. (In fact real sincerity speaks little because it focuses on the essence.) A Carthusian monk who has taken a vow of silence can also strongly show the essence of his existence through his life, metacommunications and writings. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. What is real sincerity? The essence of sincerity is our relations to the harmony of the created world of God. If we accept the harmony of the created order of God, we get into the love stream coming from the Holy Trinity. Whether we hear the call of Jesus to love is the only really important decision of our lives. It belongs to real sincerity that we forward the love to others that we have received. It is the essence of our existence to participate in the love chain. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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What is the opposite of theft?

Thoughts with regard to the seventh commandment

 

1. What can we steal? By far it is not only an object, which may become other people’s property to be stolen. According to its original interpretation the seventh commandment referred to kidnapping. God has given people the freedom of choice even at the cost that we turn against Him and kill His only begotten son. We should not expropriate the freedom of any person. Trust can also be stolen. All kinds of manipulation, illicit profit or fraud are thefts. Greediness and prodigality are also theft because they limit other people’s prosperity. As we destroy the Earth now, we steal from our descendants. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. What is the opposite of theft? The opposite of theft is not the pledge of "I will not steal from now on". We do not steal the opportunity from others only – if we create it for them. As in the case of every commandment, including the seventh about theft, the point is not what I DO NOT do, but what I do. The lazy non-action is day theft. The real opposite of theft is not self-restraint or refraining from the sin of theft but generosity, providing advantages to others and increasing others’ self-confidence and self-esteem. Only a life of dedicated service is free of theft. You do not take away only if you give. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. When do I not steal from God? Life is a zero-sum game only in case we do not believe that God still goes on creating and He overwhelms us with His love stream in every moment. This inexhaustible source provides the extra love in the world that can be forwarded again and again. Our lives become complete if they are connected to the love network of the Holy Trinity. If we close inside the love falling on us and we do not forward it, we steal from God. One of the criteria of canonization in the Christian Church is that the candidate should radiate joy around him. We are all able to radiate joy around us because this joy comes from the infinite love reaching us. Forwarding God’s love what makes our joy complete, too. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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How can we remain faithful?

Thoughts concerning the sixth commandment

 

1. In how many ways can we commit fornication? When we have to speak about our sins, we very easily switch to a language that we believe washes those sins sin-free. I bring three examples for this "re-contextualization", which is extremely dangerous. I show on the Biblical example of the rape of Tamar that fornication is an unfortunately good example of that the fall in most of the cases happens step by step when stages follow each other very easily. Devil slinks away fast if he encounters a closed door. Though it is getting easier to him if we have already made the first, the second or the umpteenth "careless" step towards sin. (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

2. How can we remain faithful? Fornication is interpreted by the Bible much more extensively than sexuality. Fornication (in an extended sense) is an opposition to the harmony of the created order of God. The real essence of fornication is not betraying our spouse or our previous date but betraying God. To avoid fornication (sexually or generally) our only chance is if we let the Holy Trinity’s love community spread on us. (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

3. Purity as a state of life. Purity is cleanness, i.e. it is not the inverse of getting impure but the measure of the closeness to God. Escaping from fornication is not a result of a continuous fight against the evil but accepting the good. Fornication cannot step into the neighborhood of God. The one who already knows the Totality of God’s love will not desire anything better or more. He will realize that Totality is total: there is no bigger totality than Totality. There is no bigger love than God’s love. It is impossible that someone commits fornication who has already been lost in the love of God. (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

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