Martin Luther

How a word becomes a Word of God?

End-of-year thoughts about the power of God’s Word

 

1. In how many ways the words of the Bible can be interpreted? Hermeneutics that examines the interpretations of a text is a quite diverse field of science. All of us carry the imprints of our own previous experiences and interpret everything we come across in this "life experience context". All these are incredibly honorable efforts to reveal the hidden correlations of a text and the billion versions of its interpretations. However if we apply these methods only in a "sterile" way, we would miss the Essence of understanding the Bible. Only our minds have been working, not our hearts. We have not become shaken. Jesus has been missed from the text – thus the conversation with God has also been missed. (For further details, please read my last essay before the summer break here.)

 

2. What helps to recognize the Word of God? We take the Bible either literally or seriously. I prefer old texts because these provide us much more to think about due to their "incomprehensibility" than today’s "ready-made" translations giving obvious interpretations. If we read the Biblical texts in their original languages, in Hebrew and in ancient Greek, we may realize that all these antique languages offer a wide range of possible interpretations. All this pulls us out of that interpretation frame which sticks our understanding to our own "life experience contexts". If we do not read or listen to the Word being open to the surprisingly new Vision of God then our souls remain closed for the truth. (For further details, please read my last essay before the summer break here.)

 

3. How a word becomes a Word of God? If we would like to accept the lines of the Bible not as a text but as a Word of God then we have to get ourselves out of our comfort zones. Most of the time God does not want to take us where we are just going. A word becomes a Word of God only if we are not alone when we accept it. Without the presence of the Holy Spirit and the presence and mercy of Jesus we do not get to recognize the will of the Father during reading the Bible. The act of studying the Bible in a community becomes important here. Preaching is not simply another one of the many interpretations, because the Word of God is not proclaimed by the minister but by the Holy Spirit through the minister. Preaching, songs and prayers of the sermon are the Silence of the Spirit in which the Word of God is revealed. "The Word will do what it states" (Péter Grendorf, my minister has recently said). Yes, the Word will be still working days and years after it was said. This is how the working of the Holy Spirit forms the image of Christ in us and shows us the Kingdom of God already in our lives on earth. (For further details, please read my last essay before the summer break here.)

 

 

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Cross and glory

Good Friday/Easter thoughts about the totality of salvation

 

1. Good Friday: The Path of the Cross – understandings and misunderstandings. Christ’s Cross stands in the center of Christian faith, in the middle of our hearts. Still: we are unable to understand the scandal of the Cross. Human thought is very much limited and simplifying. We think: If something is that majestic like Jesus, it cannot be humiliated. When we feel that "something is wrong" with the serial scandals of Jesus we actually feel that there is something wrong with ourselves because we are still not able to stand in front of Jesus and look at the beautiful Totality of His Face, Cross and judgment. With everything. With anything. With Him. (If you would like to read about this more, please, read my Good Friday essay published here.)

 

2. Holy Saturday: The beauty of the Silence of mourning. It is silence on Holy Saturday. Is this silence frightful? Is it the silence of the absence of Jesus? No, it is not! It is the silence of hope, expectation and our internal communion with Jesus. The Silence of the Holy Saturday is the Silence of God’s Totality and Purity reflected in Jesus. Good Friday is the occasion to face ourselves, while Holy Saturday is the time for immerse in ourselves. Let’s feel as we approach the core of our existence: the power of the resurrection’s Gospel that rewrites everything. (If you would like to read about this more, please, read my Good Friday essay published here.)

 

3. Easter: The Glory of resurrection. According to the Greek Orthodox thinking Christ suffers for us on the Cross in every moment. Let us experience this as the inconceivable pain of the Father above the Cross, the suffering of Christ on the Cross and the heartbreaking pain of Holy Mary under the Cross are becoming unified. Let us experience the dignity of that the Father does not stamp the Creation but opens the direct Path to Himself as the tapestry of the Sanctuary of the Jerusalem Church is ripped apart (Matthew 27:51a). The covenant is made once and for all: the Father has become the Father of us all to whom we all can turn to – by Jesus and for Jesus – in a first name basis. Let us experience the beauty of resurrection! Let our hearts also resurrect from their dead and let them revive, live a new life that is Eternal! Let us ask for it together with the psalmist: "One thing I have asked of the Lord, this will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. That I may see the delight of the Lord, and may visit his temple." (Psalms 26:4). Our prayer in the Psalms has been fulfilled: the fact of resurrection is unchangeable, irrevocable and eternal. Hallelujah! Amen. (If you would like to read about this more, please, read my Good Friday essay published here.)

 

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How can the real freedom be attained?

Thoughts about the benefits of good ties

1. Freedom as a goal of life. Consumer society casts an amazing wasteful millions of free choices on us every day. The ideologies of the past few decades have extended the right and possibility of free choice on almost all questions of life and death. Man’s freedom has got to be the largest ever for the 21st century. How much this freedom can be still grown? Is it beneficial for us that our freedom has become ’total’? Is the extreme freedom we enjoy today real or does it just look like it? (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

 

2. Limits of free will. Why is freedom given to us without life experience harmful? What are the decisions of mankind, where it has no free will? What are the consequences that a significant part of our freedom is a freedom realized at the cost of limiting others' freedom? Man’s free will is a tameless creature out of control. Its first manifestation was the devouring of the forbidden fruit which was followed by the expulsion from Paradise. The punishment of God is exactly the same as the modern Daddy. When God punishes us, all He does is let the man’s own "free" will work. We cannot receive any bigger punishment ever than this... (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

3. How can the real freedom be attained? Man cannot live freely because he turns his freedom against himself, his fellow human beings and the nature nurturing him. What is the solution? The solution is the third wish in the Lord's Prayer: "let Your will be done". God is the only one from whom we receive not slavery but such freedom in return of our freedom that cannot be imagined by the human mind, cannot be comprehended, either experienced. Having God’s freedom also means two more little bonuses. The first and most important bonus is God’s endless love that smooths all the wrinkles that our own wasted lives have drawn onto us. The second bonus is that we do Good following God’s Path. We increase the light, love and life around the world – instead of decreasing them. We increase the purity of the world – instead of polluting it. At last: we increase the unity and order of the world – instead of tearing apart and scatter what was born as a Whole. We have our choice. THIS single and most important choice of our lives is our real freedom. (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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The power of prayer

Thoughts about the forms of our connection with God

 

 

 

1. Lives in which prayer does not “fit in”. Here I describe the monologue of two people. One of them is extremely poor, the other is extremely rich. The end of the two monologues are the same: I have my own problems. Leave me alone with worlds I do not even know anything about. This world has already overwhelmed me. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

 

2. Prayers to ourselves. A prayer for a lot of people is a... a.) monologue; b.) relief; c.) complaint; d.) solution; e.) obligation, role; f.) salvation. „Even a badly told prayer is much better than a prayer not told.” (Saint Teresa of Ávila) (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. The thousand faces of the genuine prayer: The blissful paths leading us to God. A real prayer searches for the Giver, not the gift. The genuine prayer is Silence listening to the totality of God living within us. A real prayer is not about us. It asks for and awaits the love, truth and will of God to the center of our hearts. In a real prayer we make ourselves silent in order to let God fill us. A real prayer does not decrease but increases our freedom explosively. Only in full knowledge of our pitifulness and indignity we can accept the mercy that delivers us from our pitifulness and indignity. A real prayer has a thousand faces. A real prayer – is our lives themselves as a whole. A real prayer does not live in time. A real prayer opens the gate of Paradise again and places the re-creating hands of God into our lives. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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What is the ultimate rebirth and how can we help others' rebirth?

Thoughts about conversion

1. Our self-made paths to rebirth. Psychology has diagnosed a number of life phases that can be characterized by fast transformations. They all offer occasions of rebirth. However, we should note that there is no inexhaustible energy behind these honorable efforts. So our rebirth (either self-made or helped by others) remains hopelessly bound to Earth. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. The touch of Totality as the start of ultimate rebirth. Thoughts about conversion. The Totality of rebirth requires the touch of God, the acceptance and experience of love of Jesus that transforms our whole lives. This is that inexhaustible energy that provides strength for everything. Conversion is the maximum satisfaction of the most comprehensive sense of mankind's loss and deprivation. Conversion is experiencing the infinity, permanency and faithful love of God. The essence of conversion is not a unique experience but a process of immersing in humility and emptying our own egos, in which man becomes the property of God. Many conversions remain only virtual. Gospels show beautiful examples what are the essential characteristics of conversion and how many different ways it may happen. The protagonist of conversion is God (and not the converted person). That is why conversion is not a matter of will. Conversion is by far not a "free ticket" to eternal life.  That is why the word "daily" in the daily conversion of Martin Luther becomes extremely important. There is no justification without conversion. At the same time conversion is not the "result", not the "end" of mercy providing justification, but the path itself going there. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. How can we help others' rebirth? The reborn man is charged with new and new energy continuously by his strengthening contact with God. He must pass this energy to other people. The preacher has to see people in the same way as God does: from inside. A man spreading the Gospel helps a love-bridge be built between Jesus and the other person. So he is never allowed to build a wall between himself and the other person but he shares the inexhaustible love of Totality with others. He does not speak "from inside" to outside but with enormous humility he recognizes as the image of Christ becomes visible in the other person, and he makes the other person to notice this in himself.

 

„watching it from the viewpoint of resurrection we may understand
that placing the body into the grave, it is not a cold depth of a hole for us any more,
but the image of Christ’s opened side,
a meeting of our fragile humanity with the endless love.
Because the grave has become the gate of Paradise since Christ was lying there.”

(Peregrin Kálmán OFM)

 

(If you would like to read more about this, read my essay here on Reformation Day, October 31st, All Saint's Day, November 1st and All Souls' Day, November 2nd.)

 

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What are the best qualities of a good leader?

Thoughts about a life spent to serve others in love

1. The trap of a self-centered life. It is a great experience of development when a child realizes that he is able to live his life alone. From one will comes the next, and from the next will comes another. In the big rush to grow this willpower bigger and bigger this giant will never thinks about what is the broader aim of what it actually wants. The time will come when man gets tired. He still wants something but he is not able to fulfill all his wills any more. Midlife-crisis sets in. Our poor fellow realizes that he has become alone in the big rush. He has reached his limits: he has burnt himself out. A lot of people finish their lives here. Old age comes but it is only a prolonged agony of a man falling apart. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. What are the best qualities of a good leader? The strength of service. It is possible to break out from the circles of the "self-made man" that closes himself inside himself, and after reaching our full potential we can discover the world’s "deep dimension" again. The key to the discovery of the world is: the strength of service. God wants to use us all for awaken the good in others. The good can spread only by the power of example. The only example that really reaches and affects the other person is the one that we serve this other person unselfishly with. A good leader listens and serves. A good leader deliberates, and tries to shepherd the community assigned to him towards the golden mean always supporting what the majority of the community do NOT want, moreover, what is not even needed just then. A good leader is decisive, responsible, peaceful, humble and knows when to resign. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. How can we change the life of our environment to happiness? Fulfillment in a life spent to serve others in love. What is service? Service is passing the love to others, which was given to us by God. If we became open to accept the love of God, it is impossible to keep it in ourselves. This is how to serve others in love becomes a way of living. This is how we become love-sources in the life of all people around us. Thus, a good leader is the love-source of his environment. This is THE best quality of a good leader. (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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