02 Creation and Divine Filiation


(From www.everystudent.com)

(Taken from http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html)


    Because he clung to me, I shall free him:
    I shall lift him up because he knows my name.
    He will call upon me and for my part, I will hear him:
    I am with him in his time of trouble.
    I shall rescue him and lead him to glory.
    I shall fill him with length of days
    and show him my salvation.
    (Psalm 91:14-16)


    20 ...But thou hast arranged all things by measure and number and weight.
    21 For it is always in thy power to show great strength,
    and who can withstand the might of thy arm?
    22 Because the whole world
    before thee is like a speck that tips the scales,
    and like a drop of morning dew that falls upon the ground.
    23 But thou art merciful to all, for thou canst do all things,
    and thou dost overlook men's sins, that they may repent.
    24 For thou lovest all things that exist,
    and hast loathing for none of the things which thou hast made,
    for thou wouldst not have made anything if thou hadst hated it.
    25 How would anything have endured if thou hadst not willed it?
    Or how would anything not called forth by thee have been preserved?
    26 Thou sparest all things, for they are thine,
    O Lord who lovest the living.
    (Wisdom 11:20-26)

    How rich are the depths of God
    -- how deep his wisdom and knowledge --
    and how impossible to penetrate his motives or understand his methods!
    Who could ever know the mind of the Lord?
    Who could ever be his counsellor?
    Who could ever give him anything or lend him anything?
    All that exists comes from him;
    all is by him and for him.
    To him be glory for ever! Amen.
    (Romans 11:33-36)


    10* "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
    and return not thither but water the earth,
    making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
    11 so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
    but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
    (Isaias 55:10-11)

    For he spoke, and they came into being;
    he commanded, and they were made.
    (Psalm 33:9)

    16 Thine is the day, thine also the night;
    thou hast established the luminaries and the sun.
    17 Thou hast fixed all the bounds of the earth;
    thou hast made summer and winter.
    (Psalm 74:16-17)


    Omnem sollicitudinem vestram proicientes in eum,
    quoniam ipsi cura est de vobis.

    Cast all your anxieties on him,
    for he cares about you.
    (I Peter 5:7)


    O God, your ways are holy:
     what god is as great as our God?
    You are God, you work wonders,
     you made known your strength to your people.
    By your own action you redeemed your people,
     the children of Jacob and of Joseph.
     (Psalm 77)


(How shall we repay the Lord for all his goodness to us?)

What words can adequately describe God's gifts? They are so numerous that they defy enumeration. They are so great that any one of them demands our total gratitude in response.

Yet even though we cannot speak of it worthily, there is one gift which no thoughtful man can pass over in silence. God fashioned man in his own image and likeness; he gave him knowledge of himself; he endowed him with the ability to think which raised him above all living creatures; he permitted him to delight in the unimaginable beauties of paradise, and gave him dominion over everything upon earth.

Then, when man was deceived by the serpent and fell into sin, which led to death and to all the sufferings associated with death, God still did not forsake him. He first gave man the law to help him; he set angels over him to guard him; he sent the prophets to denounce vice and to teach virtue; he restrained man's evil impulses by warnings and roused his desire for virtue by promises. Frequently, by way of warning, God showed him the respective ends of virtue and of vice in the lives of other men. Moreover, when man continued in disobedience even after he had done all this, God did not desert him.

No, we were not abandoned by the goodness of the Lord. Even the insult we offered to our Benefactor by despising his gifts did not destroy his love for us. On the contrary, although we were dead, our Lord Jesus Christ restored us to life again, and in a way even more amazing than the fact itself, for his state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God, but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave.

He bore our infirmities and endured our sorrows. He was wounded for our sake so that by his wounds we might be healed. He redeemed us from the curse by becoming a curse for our sake, and he submitted to the most ignominious death in order to exalt us to the life of glory. Nor was he content merely to summon us back from death to life; he also bestowed on us the dignity of his own divine nature and prepared for us a place of eternal rest where there will be joy so intense as to surpass all human imagination.

How, then, shall we repay the Lord for all his goodness to us? He is so good that he asks no recompense except our love: that is the only payment he desires. To confess my personal feelings, when I reflect on all these blessings I am overcome by a kind of dread and numbness at the very possibility of ceasing to love God and of bringing shame upon Christ because of my lack of recollection and my preoccupation with trivialities.

(From the Detailed Rules for Monks by Saint Basil the Great)

    It is good to praise the Lord,
    and to sing psalms to your name, O Most High,
    to proclaim your mercy in the morning
    and your faithfulness by night;
    on the ten-stringed lyre and the harp,
    with songs upon the lyre.

    For you give me joy, Lord, in your creation:
    I rejoice in the work of your hands.
    How great are your works, O Lord,
    how immeasurably deep your thoughts.
    The fool does not hear,
    the slow-witted do not understand.
    (Psalm 92:2-7)