Christ

The essence of faith

Thoughts about the center of our lives

Dear Reader,

This post is currently the last in this series. Due to the extremely large amount of duties, which reached me in my life in parallel, I had to suspend the blog. Many thanks for reading my essays so far! If you are a new visitor, please have a look to the 58 essays published here between 2017 and 2020. Wishing you safe times and a New Normality after the 2020 corona virus pandemic,

Peter Csermely

 


1. What we mistakenly believe about faith. Faith is not a task. Faith does not have any advantage or objective. We do not believe to be rewarded. Faith is not a barter trade. „I believe in You, my Lord, and You take care of my salvation in return.” Faith is not a refuge that is used by people only when getting into a big trouble. We do not pray because we want to reach something that otherwise cannot be reached but… We do not go to a congregation because it helps us spiritually or because that’s how we can live an honest life but… (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. How to put the essence of faith in words? „Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not.” (Hebrews 11:1) As Calvin pointed out, this sentence, which almost alone „defines” faith in the Bible, naturally cannot give a complete description about the nature of faith. At the same time it provides us with three very important clues: that of hope, trust and confidence. The one who believes, trusts in things hoped for and is convinced of the meaning of life, his own place in the world, his love relation with Jesus, his future, the good order of his life and death despite of that he cannot see all this with his own eyes. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 


3. Faith as a subjective confession. For me faith is accepting mercy. Faith and its deepening are continuous events in our lives. Faith is a state of being. In the 18th-19th century’s France St. John Vianney was famous for that the line of those whose complaints and grievances he heard snaked in front of his church from morning to evening. He owed a lot to an old peasant who did nothing but only sitting in his church for days. Then he went to the old man: "May I ask you what you are doing here?” "I am not doing anything, I am just sitting here and looking at Christ. And He is looking at me.” For me this story (about contemplation which leads us to action) is somehow the essence of faith. (If you would like to know more about this, 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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About the nature of Glory

Contemplation about the Trinity – concluding part

 

1. Our human concept of glory. For us glory is the measure of our own value. A recognition given by others giving us integrity, stability, happiness and harmony. In its earthy meaning, glory is such a power for which you do not have to fight again and again. Our longing desire for glory may accompany us as an insatiable and burning feeling through a whole unsatisfied, and (according to our measures) inglorious life.  (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. The real nature of Glory. The Glory of God is the exact opposite of glory considered in its earthy meaning: it is the light and love flowing out of Him to those who become part of the community of God. With His Glory, God does not receive but gives. However, God does not overspread us with His Glory according to our merits but because it is the very nature of His existence. By pouring out His Glory on us, God gives US integrity, stability, happiness and harmony if we are open to a connection with Him. The human soul, accepting the Glory of God does not only absorb it (as the devil does) but becomes alive and begins to reflect the Glory of God through its entire life. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. The Glory of the Trinity. Glory radiates from God. However, the flow of Glory and its power (that changes those human souls, which are open to become connected with God and Christ) are very important characteristics of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit may be the part of the Trinity that is the least possible to be characterized using human words. On one hand, the drift of the Holy Spirit may be so obvious and overwhelming that man getting quite far away of his previous self may take plenty of actions one after the other he could never ever imagine before. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit works in us in the silence of every day, too. Thus the Holy Spirit is the "direct representation" of the Glory of God for the souls that have not become united with Totality yet, whom it resurrects in Christ and enables to live a life reflecting the Glory of God. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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About the nature of power

Contemplation about the Trinity – part two

 

1. Our human concept about power. The human interpretation of power means the control of other people, which guarantees my own freedom. Who has power owns such a situation or resources that have created and legitimate his power. Western civilization’s notion of power is actionist thinking in the short term. This approach fails when wants to control systems beyond a certain level of complexity like the whole Earth. (Those who want to read more about this please read my essay here.)

 

2. The true nature of power. God’s omnipotence makes the definition of any situations or sources that „would legitimate” his power useless. God’s freedom does not depend on our acts. Totality, which exists out of time cannot be “actionist”, and short term thinking is excluded from his actions. The essence of God’s power is the creation and showing of the Direction guiding the world to good in the infinitely large space of God. Therefore God’s power is not about God (God’s freedom, God’s safety, or about anything else characterizing God). God’s power is one of His greatest gifts for the world in order to maintain the order of the universe. Thus the essence of God’s power is Mercy, the Providence enabling our life and making it good. (Those who want to read more about this please read my essay here.)

 

3. The power of the Trinity. Power is the indivisible characteristic of the Trinity’s Totality. At the same time, the direction guiding the world to good is the Path, the Truth and the Life that have been embodied by Jesus on Earth for the Father’s will and glory, and whose power over us was assigned to Jesus by the Father. The space of Jesus overlaps in many ways with that of the Father: it is huge, total, overwhelming and peaceful. At the same time the space of Jesus is personal, knowing man’s life, joy and suffers by experience, understanding us deeply by seeing us, and radiating his love personally over us. The space of Jesus can also be quite concrete, immensely explicit, very hard and unequivocal even for the human mind when it shows us the Direction, the Truth, and the only right Path. This concrete and very specific appearance of Jesus’ space „interprets” for man the will/power of the Father and his totality, peace and glory. The power of Jesus is expressed for the ones knowing him by the irresistible strength of the necessity to follow him. (Those who want 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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The seven deadly temptations of mankind

How can we avoid our self-destroying traps?

1. What can be called a temptation of mankind? How can mankind „desire but not yet commit” a wrong act? (If you want to know the answer to these questions, please read the post here.)

 


2. The seven deadly temptations of mankind: 1. overconsumption; 2. inequality; 3. expansion of physical and 4. virtual environment; 5. expansion of cognitive capacities; 6. expansion of biological capacities and 7. discovery of new energy sources. What phenomena could be behind these temptations? Three examples: Identification of our wellbeing with the fulfillment of our needs; the monkey-troop effect and simplistic interpretation of probabilities. (If you want to know more about these, read the post here.)

 


3. How can we avoid the self-destroying traps preying upon us? The joy of inner growth. Mankind’s deadly temptations cannot be avoided by expanding the ego’s possibilities but only by expanding the ego itself by the experience of our inner Totality. This can be helped by the formation of a "global mind". The question is whether (without the active help of Providence) we may realize the urgency of change enough... (If you want to know the answer to these questions, read the post here. I am inviting the Reader to post disagreements with and extensions of my thoughts. You may also send your thoughts to csermelyblog@gmail.com.)

 

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Why and how has forgiveness enormous strength?

Forgiveness as the crucial step of our salvation and rebirth

1. Forgiveness rebuilds our damaged love-relations. Judgments, unforgiveness and revenge destroy love-relations around us and isolate us. Forgiveness releases us from the captivity of our egos and makes us able to find and create relationships with more and more new values and contents. Forgiveness restores the love-relation between the injurer, the aggrieved and the Father. With this forgiveness gives salvation and rebirth. (If you want to know, how forgiveness to ourselves relates to this, please read the post here.)

 

2. Forgiveness has enormous strength. Forgiveness is like a ticking bomb that we have placed in the center of the person’s conscience who had hurt us. It is only a question of time when it will blow up and repair him. A lot of people think that forgiveness disarms us and makes us defenseless. On the contrary: forgiveness surrounds us with the flow and armor of love and makes us invulnerable. (If you want to know how, please read the post here.)

 

3. Forgiveness as both the prerequisite and consequence of Christ's three virtues, humility, purity and poorness. All these virtues can be developed after we have forgiven to others. However, these virtues make any further forgiveness unnecessary, since they protect us from harm. (If you want to know how, please read the post here.)

 

 

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Poorness as the highest stage of richness

Good Friday/Easter thoughts about Totality

 

1. Poorness as Christ’s virtue consummating humility and purity. In the current, customer-centric centuries poorness is a highly non-popular virtue. It is very difficult to accept that each and every of our properties is an additional bond to Earth that does not enrich but restrains us. Poorness is not a lack of possessions but a gain of unlimited freedom. The three Christian virtues: humility, purity and poorness are the three stages of the spirit’s path leading to Totality (God). How are the virtue-trinity of humility, purity and poorness related to the cardinal virtues of justice-temperance-fortitude-prudence and to the theological virtues of faith-hope-love? How are the virtue-trinity of humility, purity, and poorness related to the essence of God? (If you want to know more about this, please read the post here.)

 

2. Totality of Christ’s Way. The totality of the virtues of humility, purity and poorness is revealed in Christ’s mission, too. During His life and mission Christ overwrote everything that was human in Him. By this Christ became a bridge, a stretched ladder of love connecting the believers, the church and the Father. (If you want to know more about this, please read the post here – preferably on Good Friday or Great Saturday.)

 

3. Poorness as the highest stage of richness. With humility we have been opened for Mercy. In purity we have become transparent. In poorness we have left behind everything that in the form of bonds, possession-gummy-glues or unsettled insistences would have prevented us to unite with Totality. All this is not an exceptional status for a few people. The love of the Father dwells in all of our spirits. Christ is a "stumblingstone" (Romans 9:32). We do not come up against Christ Only, if we are within Him and so: go along with Him on His Way. But this also connects us into the omnipotent stream of love in which we become united with the Father, Christ, their Holy Spirit, as well as everyone and everything who has understood and experienced this. This is the mystery of Easter and Eternal Life. Christ has risen! Hallelujah! Amen. (If you want to know more about this, please read the post here – preferably on Easter Sunday.)

 

 

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