Thoughts on Our Faculty of Reason. Thoughts on Spiritual Blindness
By Michael Haldas
Thoughts on Our Faculty of Reason, June 1, 2016
“… as a human faculty, faith is unlike, but in a way connected to, the act of reasoning, by which we make sense of the world around us. It is an “understanding” of that which is beyond understanding. Just because something is beyond understanding does not make it unreasonable. Like music and art, faith is not opposed to human intellect, but rather makes use of that faculty in order to understand and experience more fully its object.” (Bishop John Michael Botean)
“…before the Fall, Adam in his natural state had a heart illumined by the All-Holy Spirit. Adam’s partaking of the Tree disrupted the natural balance of perception, and his reasoning capacity became the primary faculty of perception. This caused a usurping of the primary faculty of the heart, resulting in confusion and a darkening of perception.” (Archimandrite Sergius)
“Can we do it if God helps us? Yes, but what do we mean when we talk of God helping us? We mean God putting into us a bit of Himself, so to speak. He lends us a little of His reasoning powers and that is how we think: He puts a little of His love into us and that is how we love one another. When you teach a child writing, you hold its hand while it forms the letters: that is, it forms the letters because you are forming them. We love and reason because God loves and reasons and holds our hand while we do it.” (C.S. Lewis)
“To those who are distrustful, who doubt and dispute and use only the faculty of reason and are not open to God, God does not show himself. God does not enter locked souls; He does not force an entrance.” (Elder Porphyrious)
“…worship that is transcendent, otherworldly, and speaks to one’s spirit remains the best apologetic for the Christian faith: more so than reasoned doctrinal arguments and debate…” (Pete Vere)
Thoughts on Spiritual Blindness, June 2, 2016
“Our Lord entered a world burdened by sin, a world marred by strife, war, exploitation, injustice, oppression and spiritual blindness. It was a world that knew very little of the holiness of God. In our contemporary times we live in a very similar environment, but it is also one that is becoming more and more challenging to the life of faith. For some nothing is sacred; nothing is holy. We see an increase of the means and methods of profaning religious faith, language and culture, and the very best qualities and aspirations of life itself for the sake of recognition, fame, and money.” (Archbishop Demetrios of America)
“He [Christ] sees beyond the surface issues of politics and economics, penetrating into matters of heart and soul “that make for your peace.” He sees how sin blinds people, keeping truth “hidden from your eyes.” (Dynamis 12/1/2014)
“Evil desires make the eye less sensitive and blot out the light of Christ’s presence. If you have a hard time seeing God at work in the world and in your life, check your vision. Are any sinful desires blinding you to Christ?” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 11:33-36)
“While any one of us is engaging in destructive behavior, we are incapable of seeing and thinking clearly and fruitfully, and, as such, we are incapable of understanding the nature of our wrongdoing and the causes for its presence and power in our lives. We remain blinded and bound by our actions, which preclude any constructive conversations about them. To talk with an alcoholic who is actively drinking, for example, or with an overeater who is overeating, or a fornicator who is fornicating, is a waste of time and energy that cannot possibly bring fruitful results. The first talking, therefore, and the first goal of counseling, always has to do with actions, not attitudes. It is about behavior, not beliefs.” (Father Thomas Hopko)
“To say that God turns away from the sinful is like saying that the sun hides itself from the blind.” (St. Anthony the Great)
~Michael Haldas, https://www.ancientfaith.com/contributors/michael_haldas.
Michael Haldas is an author, a religious educator and a speaker. He wrote Sacramental Living: Understanding Christianity as a Way of Life (published by Eastern Christian Publications), a book which he presented special editions of as gifts to Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in private audiences. Michael is also published monthly in Theosis Magazine and he has authored several Orthodox Christian themed articles for various publications. Additionally, he has recorded and contributed to multiple YouTube, DVD and CD educational projects. He teaches adult religious education and high school Sunday school at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George in Bethesda, Maryland and has worked with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Religious Education Department to create educational lessons and materials.