Thoughts on Thought and Action
By Michael Haldas, August 4, 2016
“As we think in our hearts, or inner beings, so we are. The raw material of our actions is what we take into our minds and allow to settle in our hearts…The body cannot be defiled without the consent of the mind.” (Foundation Study Bible, Matthew 15:18, Holy Virgin Martyr Lucy)
“Be on guard at all times so that you do not listen to any bad thoughts. Strive to push them away from the moment they appear, because once you have accepted them, they will turn into words and deeds.” (Elder Sergei of Vanves)
“Do not treat your conscience with contempt, for it always advises you to do what is best. It sets before you the will of God and the angels; it frees you from the secret defilements of the heart; and when you depart this life it grants you the gift of intimacy with God.” (St. Maximos the Confessor)
“True prayer brings down the grace of God on the one who prays, it fills his mind and heart with grace, and it prevents the mind from flirting with all sorts of harmful thoughts and inclinations.” (St. Anthony)
“God wants us to have healthy thoughts and motives, not just healthy bodies.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 15:16-20)
Thoughts on Ministering and Ministry
By Michael Haldas, August 5, 2016
“Today I am reminded that ministry to others on the path of salvation is ineffective or even damaging, if the “minister” has neglected to minister to his or her own self. Because service to others on this path is about sharing a lived experience, rather than teaching a set of abstract principles. Today let me take up my cross, once again, and tend to “the log” that is in my own eye, so that, if necessary, I can share the experience with someone else in the same predicament.” (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)
“Recognizing and confronting sin in ourselves and in our leaders is as much a part of the ministry of the body as baptizing, preaching, and teaching.” (Jan Winebrenner and Debra Frazier)
“The key to ministry is sensitivity: sensing the condition of each person and offering the appropriate remedy for each situation. You can’t effectively help until you know the problem. You can’t apply the medicine until you know where the wound is.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Thessalonians 5:14)
“Strive to love others! God can ignite our love for the unlovable, showing us how to extend care to the hateful, to give even when we are being used, and to go that extra mile (see Mt 5:41). Such love may seem impossible to our fleshly mind, but God mercifully equips us to extend Christ’s ministry without wavering or becoming discouraged by abuses we encounter.” (Dynamis 8/13/2014)
“The Ministry of the Church belongs to all her members. Being the Body of Christ, Clergy and Laity together have the responsibility to minister/serve the people of God.” (Very Reverend Sebastian Skordallos)
~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.