Apostle Paul

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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In how many ways it is prohibited to kill? And when is it a must?

Thoughts regarding the fifth commandment

 

1. In how many ways it is prohibited to kill? A lot of people consider that it is quite clearly understood what the fifth commandment prohibits. You shall not murder! There is not a shorter and clearer commandment existing at all. Though we can start thinking thoroughly what the object of the sentence is. WHAT shall we not murder? Only and exclusively people or animals either? Plants either? And what about those who do not kill anything by their hands specifically but they just consume too much and by this they kill the entire Earth??? Jesus teaches us that the one who is angry with his fellow commits murder, too (Matthew 5:21-22; 1John 3:15). It is possible to kill with words (James 3; Matthew 15:18-19). Rejection of love is such a murder which kills the soul slowly on the long run. Judging other people, excommunication, ignoring, pitying and mocking look all can kill. It is not less evil to kill little by little silently than to commit a bloody deed. (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

2. Whom do we kill when we are unable to forgive? Rancor and hurt are also murders because they break the love chain that connects the whole creation into the intimate love of the Holy Trinity. We kill the Lamb, the Lamb of God, Jesus Himself when we are unable to accept and forward the love avalanche that is outpoured from Jesus onto us. But with this we kill ourselves, too, because we expel ourselves from Eternal Life. In the presence of Jesus there is no room for lack of forgiveness. Inability to forgive builds such a lump in us that prevents Jesus to heal us deep down in our souls. (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

3. What do we have to kill? Many people conclude the lesson from the previous section that a good Christian is gentle, placid and unable to hurt even a fly. This is a big mistake. It does exist towards what the Christian man has to be merciless and has to be a murderer. This is his own self without Jesus. "For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the Spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live." (Romans 8:13) The soul of Jesus does not tolerate co-tenancy in our hearts. Jesus waking in us expels the remaining part of our former souls that resists Him with the whip. Let’s allow it to happen! Moreover, we should not only let it happen but we should wait for it and help it to happen. That is how the Kingdom of God becomes created in us (Lucas 17:21). (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

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Difference between a duty and serving others

Lenten thoughts about the benefits of self-sacrifice

 

1. Why isn’t it enough if we carry out our duties well? Man is a social being. One of the primary benefits of a community is the division of labor. Sharing work results in duties. Why isn’t it enough though if we carry out all duties well? A task-oriented life is operated by an “external control”. A task-centered man never reaches the wonderful level of self-motivation that invents new solutions again and again Task-centered man is always anxious. He cannot decide whether he completed the task well enough or not. A task-centered life is a trap. It is a trap because it closes us into our own egos and it is a trap because it closes us into the often limited community defined by ourselves. (If you would like to read more about this, please, read my essay here.)

 

2. The power of serving others. In what way does serving others differ from a duty? Serving others is not controlled externally but it is arisen from Christ living in us and it returns there, too. The essence of serving others is to open our most important inner self, the love of Christ living in us, to others. Serving others is unselfish, gives vision and makes us unbelievably creative. Serving others is a huge power because it empowers our lives by the largest power of the Universe, the love of God, and passes this immense love to everyone and everything around us. (If you would like to read more about this, please, read my essay here.)

 

3. Self-sacrifice as the Door of Totality. What do we need to be able to serve others? Our own power is not enough for that. It is enough only for carrying out our duties. For the service we have to find Jesus living in us. It is not an easy task. We have to break the hardened shell of our own egos to see what is behind it. It is worth doing that. To break our egos is the most important event of our lives because behind it the Door opens which is not anything else but Jesus Himself who leads us to the love of God (John 10:9). (If you would like to read more about this, please, read my essay here.)

 

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What is a good decision?

Thoughts about the power of conscience

1. In how many ways can we make a wrong decision? One of the worst decisions is non-decision. One type of non-decision is to follow the crowd, when the majority (without considering the situation) copies the behavior of the „neighbor”, the „influencer X” – uncritically. A hasty decision almost always focuses on the short term objectives. Following the long term objectives is much more important than that. (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

2. What can help us make a good decision? For making a good decision it is important to estimate whether I am in an appropriate state of mind. A very useful example is that of the rabbit. The rabbit EITHER listens OR runs. It does NOT do both at the same time. A good decision needs time. I have good news: time is subjective. If we can create silence in ourselves, our inner time expands and a moment becomes "a thousand years". For making a good decision it is important to control our emotions, since only "indifference" which is free of unsettled inclinations may lead us to good decisions. The most important compass of a good decision is our conscience, which is the reflection of Totality living in ourselves. (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

3. Good decisions made at the right time and at the right place. We rarely recognize that we are in a life-changing situation. So it is worth paying attention to the surprising situations VERY carefully. In these cases we have to stop and think. For the most important decisions of our lives we have to leave our own viewpoints and have to rise high (Saint Ignatius, Spiritual Exercises, 184 to 187). If we have accepted Totality with a humble heart, we will see ourselves as God sees us. If we succeed to leave all the earthly affections behind that we ourselves have been in our everyday lives, then we can feel God’s intentions and will with us. In such cases those miraculously new paths that cannot be imagined by a human mind are to be revealed in our lives that link us together with Totality, bring us our real freedom and lead us to good decisions made at the right time and at the right place. (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

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The touch of Totality

Advent thoughts about the knowledge of God

 

 

1. A life distancing itself from Totality will not be fulfilled. Man is an animal especially sensitized for novelties. This leads to insatiability, anxiety and a need to increase our possessions. A life without knowing Totality remains unfulfilled and restless. That is why the attempts to fulfill such a life will never end. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. Having a life, which thinks that it "knows" Totality is a trap. The history of mankind is full of such attempts which wanted to possess Totality. Making an idol, creating dependence and attempts to "get to know" Totality were all ways to achieve possession. If we think that we got to know Totality, we squeeze Totality into the narrow conceptual framework that we have been able to create. This is a trap. With all this I do not want to say – by far – that the efforts to increase our knowledge on God would be harmful. However, we must see that the more complicated way we describe God, the more far away we get from the fulfilling, infinite simplicity of God’s permanence, totality and magnificent Silence. The "theology of glory" based solely on the compliance with the law is not only a trap because it places the law above Christ and God and its compliance creates pride and presumptuousness in us, but also because it puts ourselves above God, too, by the fact that it presumes that Totality is likely to be fully known. To strive for the knowledge of Totality is a trap. There is only one way to "know" Totality: if we dedicate ourselves to it – entirely. If we become open to the call of Totality: Totality will embrace us. IT IS what has been made available by Jesus’s incarnation and sacrifice of the Cross. IT IS what we celebrate at every feast, and at Christmas, too. IT IS what we are preparing for during Advent. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. On the way to the touch of Totality. To become open for the call of Totality can be a consequence of a moment. Accepting Totality is very often a long process of an entire life that will only be fulfilled by seeing the Kingdom of God "face to face". Real life starts when man can see Christ. Real life becomes fulfilled at the moment of seeing Christ. Starting from this moment, this moment becomes a part of our life forever. I wish all my Readers that this year’s Advent would give more openness for all of You to embrace Totality. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

 

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What is the mechanism of effective learning in life?

Thoughts about the strength of spiritual retreats

1. Alternating good and bad periods are needed for learning in nature. During the past centuries mankind increasingly identified the idea of good with wealth. However, escaping from the bad is a wrong strategy because hardships coming from time to time are necessary to slow down, to stop, and to think about that from all that we have collected what are the few ones worth taking forward. It is important from time to time to deprive ourselves from the comfort and from the unbelievable information input in which we have lived before and go to "meditate in the wild". Spiritual retreats are very good forms of this. It is crucial to help our fellow human beings, who live their lives continuously in poor and bad times letting them to overcome this situation. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. Alternating good and bad periods are also important in the development of our souls. In nature learning may only proceed by the alterations of resource-rich and resource-poor periods. Alternating good and bad periods play a very important role in soul development, too. Alterations of good and bad are required that a nation, a church, an anything, which is valuable in the long term, may be formed. Thus the consecutive emotional "ups" and "downs" of sermons and spiritual retreats reflect exactly the same Knowledge which appears in the whole nature, and which is the most efficient way to obtain new experiences. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 


3. What is the result of the learning process? There is an increase in the complexity, response-range and information content of the system, which learns. In other words: those who may learn from the ups and downs of life become wiser. Still in other words: the soul, which successfully passed some spiritual exercises gets closer to God. God is the Totality of knowledge. If we think about this, we may recognize that the three processes described here, are, in essence, exactly the same. Nature seeks after and heads to the place from where it was born: God’s Totality. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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How does the space of our lives look like – in its Totality?

Contemplation about the Trinity – part one

 

 

 

1. Why do not we see the Totality of the space of our life? As mankind gained more and more knowledge since consuming the “first apple”, we understand the details of the world (the space of our lives) better and better. However by getting a more precise understanding of the details we hid ourselves into these details more and more and, in parallel, we have lost our feeling of Totality. Totality, i.e. not only the existing world but the Totality of all the possibly existing worlds, the whole possibility-space, the Totality of the space of our lives cannot be understood remaining in our creature-status, because our cognitive capacity is limited. (If you want to know more about this, please read my post here.)

 

2. How does the Totality of the space of our lives look like? In my last three essays before the summer holiday in July-August sum up a few points about the nature of Totality, God, i.e. Trinity as the trinity of space/kingdom, power/truth and glory/love. At first I  summarize a few (fragmentary) thoughts about God’s infinitely large space. The infinitely large space of God is not only including the entire Creation and Universe but it also opens a gate to feel Totality as a gift of God’s look on us, as well as opening Himself in Christ and the Holy Spirit for us. (If you want to know more about the character of God’s infinitely large space, please read my post here.)

 

3. How can we experience the Totality of the space of our lives? As much as we get rid of our creature’s existence, we will be capable of adopting the Creator. However, by getting rid of our “creature existence” we will not become empty! Not only because we get to know Totality, meaning such an enormously joyful experience that we have never had before, but because at the same time we are filled with the energy and love that will pass this experience to others, too. (If you want to know more about this joyful process, please read my post here.)

 

 

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Joy, personal growth and love: the character of humility as a state of life

How does humility differ from honor, obedience and humiliation?

 

1. How does humility differ from humiliation? Humility is not a behavior or "commitment" but a state of life, which is not affecting the value or rank of the ego. Recognizing humility as a state of life is the Copernican Revolution of the Spirit. At this point the Spirit realizes that not the ego is in the center of the world but Totality. With this the Spirit escapes from the prison of the ego and, observing Totality, it starts admiring its wealth and its possibilities surpassing countless times what the ego can perceive. Thus humility does not make us poorer, but richer. (If you are interested to know how, please read the post here.)

 

 

2. How does humility differ from honor and obedience? Humility is the state of openness to honor and obedience. Humility may create honor and obedience, but in a much wider and more creative way as honor and obedience would do themselves. Humility does not develop servility but gives strength and freedom.  (If you are interested to know how, please read the post here.)

 

 

3. Joy, personal growth and love: the character of humility as a state of life. In the state of humility the Spirit lives in a flow of joy. Talent is not restricted by humility. On the contrary, humility enables a faster development of talent. Humility creates the highest level of love: agape. (If you are interested to know how, read the post here.)

 

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