is Christianity? This is a perennial question about which there
are many divergent views among Christians themselves, which also
explains the variety of ecclesial bodies within the Christian
fold. Broadly speaking, they fall in three major groups: Orthodox,
Roman Catholic and Protestant. Although these three divisions
came into being during the second millenium of Christian history,
their origins can be traced to the very beginnings of Christianity
and to the New Testament itself. For instance, the Synoptic Gospels
(Matthew, Mark and Luke) are understood to interpret the major
event of the Christian Faith, Jesus the Christ, within the context
claim is made that these Gospels teach that He provides history
with the true knowledge of how human beings should live in order
to find fulfillment as social beings. In this view, Jesus is an
enlightened teacher and a better philosopher in comparison to
other great luminaries in history. He provides humankind with
better information about God and human nature. The key word here
is information, for by following His teaching, humankind would
finally realize the real homonoia, universal concord and social
harmony. This is what humanity has been seeking through what the
Greeks called Padeia, the education of humanity as beings
endowed with reason. But this effort seemed to many to be an illusive
dream and by the time of the rise of Christianity, philosophy
which was thought to bring about homonoia, the universal accord,
was not capable of being able to realize this ideal.
in the minds of many people who dreamed of homonoia, the appearance
of Christianity seemed to be capable of achieving what ancient
philosophy had failed to do and they pursued its realization by
espousing the new religion. This "philosophical" view of the Faith
became dominant in the Western Latin tradition of Christianity
(i.e., Roman Catholic and Protestant). The aim of this new Christian
Society was to change history by realizing the dream of ancient
homonoia. This was to be achieved through bringing humanity in
conformity to the will of God so that His reign might supplant
that of Caesar. But this was not the only tradition of the Christian
Faith. Along with the Synoptic tradition of Christianity and the
interpretation of Christianity as our Divine information, there
also stands the tradition of the Gospel of Saint John, as well
as the writings of Saint Paul, which explicitly state that the
Messiah Jesus is not just a bearer of Divine information, but
of Divine Revelation. Jesus, the Christ, does not only inform
us about God. He reveals God. This is not a matter of quibbling
with words. Divine information and Divine Revelation are not the
latter does not so much aim at changing history but seeks to transform
human beings. In other words, human beings are not educated to
create a better social order, but are instead incorporated into
the Divine life. According to the Johannine and Pauline traditions,
Jesus the Messiah came into history and not out of history. He
came from the bosom of the Father in order to help human beings
return to their Father from whom they have alienated themselves.
In this vision of Christianity, God acts directly upon each human
person, and not through intermediaries. According to Christianity
as Divine information, intermediaries are necessary to the process
of educating humankind for the Christian social order. According
to John and Paul, God is directly raising sons and daughters to
inherit the Kingdom prepared "before the foundation of the world"
(Jn 17:24). There is no question here of a new enlightened society
as a center of Divine concern but rather an issue of the hagios,
the saint. The saint is born "not of blood nor of the will of
the flesh, but of God" (Jn 1:13). God reveals Himself to the saints
directly through the Holy Spirit who is God's own unveiling of
Himself to His children as their Creator and Savior.
a consequence of God's disclosure, there comes into being the
communion of the Redeemed, i.e., the saints who are the Church,
not as an organization but as the Divine-human organ, the mystical
Body of Christ. Therefore, the Church is not so much an "observed"
reality but is a spiritually discerned reality. This is important
to remember because the Church thus understood is not dependent
on the ambiguities and predicaments of the world but on the mercy
of God, This is also the meaning of the words of Jesus: "Be of
good cheer, I have overcome the world" (Jn 16:33). In other words,
the Church is the Divine Creation in which God indwells in His
saints. The saints are God's own "household" with whom, in the
words of the Medieval Byzantine writer Nicolas Cabasilas (14th
century), "God shares His Kingdom, not as His servants but as
His own family" (Life in Christ). In this vision of Christianity,
the Church is essentially a communion rather than a community
of like-minded people, for it is this communion (i.e., the bond
of love between God in Christ and His saints) that makes the Church
as a visible social organ possible. In this view of the Church,
primacy belongs to the saints as God's anointed friends and not
to the cleros, who are only servants of God's people.
point is clearly underlined by the authors in the sixth chapter
of this book. Structures and "principalities" in the Church exist
for the sake of the saints and not the other way around as the
proponents of the militant Church affirm. God's Kingdom, though
not as yet universally acknowledged, is universally revealed.
There is a beautiful passage in the last chapter of this book
which bears witness to this: "Through Christ, God has entered
into history, that is, into time and space. Henceforth, there
is not a single place or moment which is not filled with His Presence."
The two interpretations of Christianity continue to coexist
in the Church. The Church of Christ the Teacher may be called
the Church militant. It believes itself in duty bound to bring
Christ's Kingdom upon earth. Its monuments are great ecclesiastical
establishments, such as bureaucracies, educational enterprises,
missionary and social agencies. Its leaders are Christ's vicars
and deputies, as if Christ were absent from His Church. Here the
Church is the visible presence meant to counteract the power of
this world with its own power. A good Christian in this understanding
of the Church, therefore, is one who loyally supports the ecclesiastical
militant Church competes with the powers of the world for influence
in the world. Its philosophers are theologians and canon lawyers,
the guardians of its discipline. Its founding father is Saint
Cyprian (died 258) who argued that the unity of the Church is
based on the Episcopate holding the common profession of Faith.
As a former Roman magistrate, he simply transposed the Roman law
which undergirded the Empire into the idea of Christian Faith
where bishops did the same for the Church. With Cyprian, the clergy
became the new magistrates of the Church as the New Society. The
Gospel simply became the New Law which was renamed the Divine
Law. The fathers of the Church are its great legislators, Leo
the First (fifth century), Gregory the Great (died 604) and Innocent
III (died 1216), all were bishops of Rome. The objective, visible
elements of this Church's life are the true marks of its Christianity.
The subjective and inner elements are to be avoided or condemned
as being suspect of heresy! Alongside this Church of law and order
there stands the Church of the Divine Revelation. Its center is
not institutional but sacramental. Its patron Saint is Saint Ignatius
of Antioch (martyred in 115). According to this vision of Christianity,
the Kingdom of God and the union with God is its true aspiration,
but this Kingdom does not come by "observation" (Lk 20:18). It
is not an outward show but an inner invitation known through experience
which is the intimation of the presence of the Holy Spirit in
the lives of the believers.
agenda of the followers of this path is a journey through askesis
(total surrender) in order to enter more fully into the life of
Christ according to Saint Paul's saying: "It is no longer I who
live, but Christ lives in me" (Ga 2:20). The pathfinders of the
Way are the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, confessors,
and ascetics. This vision of Christianity centers on the person
of Christ as the Axis around which their whole life revolves.
They profess the Faith as taught by the Orthodox Catholic Church
through the ages, but they understand that Faith not as information
or doctrine to be learned, but as a way of life to be lived. They
believe Christianity to be the Revelation of God, i.e. the unveiling
of the divine which unites the believer in Christ with God so
that the believers may live in God and God in them. This revelation
must be appropriated in order to become an inner illumination.
Among Western Christians, this path has been followed by the great
saints and mystics, but its true home has been chiefly the Orthodox
Church for which this understanding of Christianity has been normative.
This is witnessed to by the fact that to the Orthodox the only
fully recognized theologians have been Saint John, the Fourth
Evangelist, Gregory Nanziansus, one of the great Fathers of the
Church (d. 390) and Saint Symeon the New Theologian, the great
Medieval mystic (d. 1022). All three have made such an indelible
impact on Orthodox Christianity that their vision is its authentic
form, so much so that if ever the Orthodox Church should depart
from it, it would lose its soul and become the salt that has lost
its flavor, as Jesus said, and therefore become worthless for
is not surprising that Western Christians are discovering this
Orthodox Christianity of the Holy Spirit and becoming her children.
Among these are the authors of this book, Father Alphonse Goettmann
of the Orthodox Church of France and his wife Rachel. Inspired
by gratitude to God for vouchsafing to them the understanding
of this inner vision of Christianity, they present in the following
pages an eloquent interpretation of this way of transformation
which I venture to say will be an eye opener to every reader who
is seeking to enter into communion with God through Christ, the
Revealer. The authors make available in this book their own discovery
of Christianity as the tradition which bears witness to the New
Covenant which God has written on the hearts of believers. Human
beings will no longer need to teach each other about God, for
He will reveal Himself in their hearts (Jeremiah 31). The translator,
Theodore J. Nottingham, has given to the French text such English
idiom that one meets the authors as honored members of both the
English-speaking community and of the Christian spiritual community
from whose experience they write so eloquently. Sola Dei Gratia!
B. Ashanin, PH.D. (Glasgow)
Theodore J. Nottingham
the following pages, readers will find themselves in the light
of the Christian spiritual experience that exploded into the world
two millennia ago. Early Christianity called for a vivid personal
transformation among its adherents. A new way of being was found,
one characterized by a self-transcending and all consuming love.
Spiritual reality was unveiled as union with the Christ—the Anointed
One who himself was at one with the unfathomable I AM of creation.
union regenerated individual personalities thoroughly and completely.
The wisdom of the early teachers, preserved in the spiritual traditions
of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, were amazingly insightful and
pragmatic. These early Church Fathers were informed by the light
of vaster awareness and vaster love. They called it the indwelling
of the uncreated. The authors of this book, Alphonse and Rachel
Goettmann, are living examples of the power of illumination available
through these ancient traditions.
is found an utterly self-transcending love, that merger with the
divine goodness which compels human beings to loving participation
in the world. Here is encountered the warmth of souls on fire
and their awareness of the presence of the living God in every
moment. The reader is presented with the tools for this radical
transformation. Surely, no one should be surprised by the seemingly
rigorous asceticism required for such an ultimate, all-inclusive
task. But we are all invited to discover the joy that is liberated
through a certain discipline of living. It is not so much a matter
of harsh physical control as it is a rechanneling of one's attention
and commitments in daily life. All seekers of spiritual awakening
will find in this book instructions to guide them into their own
inner furnace. There the new person is forged, made aware of his
or her true nature, and alive in God's love.
Alphonse and Rachel Goettmann
a secret yearning, we human beings are today sensing that we are
made for a joy and fullness of life completely different from
the artificial paradise offered in myriad ways by our society.
Tired of theories, promises which never come through, and religious
teachings based merely on morality and good conduct, we have turned
toward the distant East.
this has only led us into traditions which are not our own. Returning
from this search, or having never undertaken it, we are now bombarded
by endless propositions which all pretend to have the answer to
our fundamental questions: how to live happily, and deeper still,
how not to die. There are more and more persons now turning to
Christianity, often after having rejected it. But then they find
themselves faced with another question: can we overstep centuries
of historical deviation and truly rediscover the Christ and the
tradition of the apostles? The answer to this fundamental question
is already lived by many of our contemporaries. Christianity reveals
itself to them in the power it held for the first Christians,
not as a system or a religion with its structures and bureaucracies,
but as a concrete Path of transformation. The "Come and follow
Me" of Christ resonates today as it did yesterday and they become
disciples of the Master whom they follow intoxicated with joy.
This joy was not promised for "another world" only, or in some
"afterlife," but here and now! Christ resurrected means that He
is alive now, and no joy can be greater than an encounter with
is not a cold intellectual adherence to truths which must be believed,
but an experience of fire which divinizes us when we come in contact
with this burning Presence. "Come and see" (John 1:39) says the
Christ to all who seek, for "I am the Way" (John 14:6). The Way
is therefore both Himself and the path of reaching the goal. It
is actual physical experience, or it does not take place. God,
who takes the path of the body to experience humanity, shows us
clearly that it is through the body that we must experience God.
This is the very logic of incarnation! In this book, we will consider
the fundamental practices of the Christian experience. They are
backed by two thousand years of history and a sea of witnesses
who, down through the ages, have journeyed on this path that has
led them to the summits of wisdom and holiness. The difficulty
in the presentation of these "methods" is their inevitable and
artificial juxtaposition when they only find their internal and
organic coherence in the living Tradition.
are all held together as in a living organism; each element comes
at a particular stage in a life that gravitates around its axis:
the Christ. That is why we will use a method which will make it
possible for the reader not to remain on the exterior as a spectator:
the repetition of key ideas. This is a teaching in the form of
a spiral, an "eating of the word" where, as in liturgical chants
and the experiential method of Scripture, we become that which
we "eat" continually, we "are" what we have just read rather than
merely "knowing" it. Each chapter is a new approach to the unique
Reality. Rather that addressing the intellect, it speaks to the
heart. If a particular passage strikes us, we must then have the
courage to stop the reading. The Ancient Ones said: when a text
suddenly "speaks," it is the Spirit Himself who speaks to us,
beyond concepts, through an experience which can become vivifying.
The important thing is to stop reading, or we risk missing this
visit from Being. Our joy is to listen.
this contemplative attitude is manifested the work of life within
us, revealing its very mystery to the one who listens deeply.
The person who lets himself be touched in his center sees the
center of life, its goal: the place where all things become new
and transform us. A text therefore begins to live and to act when
it finds a heart which beats in unison with it. This reading is
then itself a way: that of the spiral which slowly penetrates
into the depths and leads us from one level of consciousness to
another. This path is not knowing but being; the maturity which
is a rebirth in our very core, there where the word is Presence
beyond all reading.
CALL OF SILENCE
world has forgotten silence. Yet it is in silence that the world
has its origin and its end. God is also silence and, since we
are in His image, the depth of our being is silence. This explains
the rise of anguish and fear of death at the heart of the noise
which reigns in the cities and now reaches the most distant countryside
and the last corners of our forests. Technology in its varied
forms never ceases to invade everything and slows down for nothing.
Tormented by the unconquerable yearning for our original silence,
people of our time are beginning to escape into the deserts, in
the retreats of monasteries or in exotic vacations, the symbols
of a lost world. Faced with this general asphyxiation, it is important
to have these breaths of fresh air in order to survive in the
short term. But in the long term, we must learn to live fully
in each moment and not only during certain spiritual experiences.
desert is our own being and our heart is a monastic cell, for
the beyond is within our depths. There, in the very midst of the
noise, is found plenitude. Yet in order to take this path, we
must first learn about it. This requires an education in both
humanity and God who meet each other only in the common language
of silence. There is an alphabet and a grammar of silence. If
we study it, if we daily spell out its reality, its mystery awakens
within us and immerses us in its presence. There is a culture
of silence: it is a manner of being which is acquired through
practice. The aim is to make efforts which eventually lead to
a permanent state. We first "do" exercises, then we become exercise;
we say prayers but we must eventually become prayer; we go to
the liturgy but our whole being is called to become liturgical
and daily life is meant to be a celebration; we seek to experience
God, but in doing so we ourselves become gods! That is why Saint
Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1833) says: "No spiritual exercise is
as good as that of silence." The role of the Tradition and of
the Church is to constantly immerse us into this wisdom and give
us the means to accomplish it.
SILENCE OF THE PASSIONS
first of all the means is the clear gaze upon oneself which allows
us to discern the opposite of inner silence and its great obstacle:
the noisy tumult of the passions. When we are cut off from God,
we do not live in our spirit, where silence dwells, but in our
soul (our psyche), which is in duality. Instead of living through
God, of seeing everything in His light and with His eyes, the
soul sees and lives through itself in an autonomous way. This
is the false self, non-being which no longer feeling the unique
inner desire for God, feeds the multiple external desires born
from this separation.
seek to satisfy this absolute thirst in the relative (the material),
and attach ourselves infinitely to the finite. Soon, all relationships
are falsified: with oneself, with others, with God, with the whole
of creation. This profound denaturation engenders in us a predisposition
to misdirected faith, through which we always seek to make things
other then what they are so that they may satisfy in every moment
our appetite for pleasure, power, and arbitrary impulse. Our existence
is fractured and pushes us endlessly into internal contradictions.
Where does our pleasure come from and where is it going? This
is the realm of asceticism, its primary focus and the very location
where conversion occurs.
is a watchfulness of every internal and external movement. Nothing
is possible, no accomplishment, no happiness, no peace, as long
as desire is turned in upon itself, egocentric and greedy! The
Fathers unanimously agree that no spiritual path and no prayer
is feasible without battle with these passionate desires; love
itself can only be born when the self renounces its position of
absolute autonomy. Confronted with the multiplicity of our desires,
the most important step is for each of us to discover our greatest
weakness. It is impossible to do battle on all fronts, but it
is vital to struggle with one issue at a time. Christ proposes
a method which allows us to discover it: what is my primary inclination
where my preferences and aspirations are ceaselessly directed?
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matt.
6:21) Everyone has their Isaac, their unique attachment which
they are invited to sacrifice. There is no liberation nor wisdom
without silencing that which cries the loudest within us.
A FOUNDATIONAL EXPERIENCE
is the radical means to cut the "wings of desire." It clears the
boards and abruptly places us before the evidence of our inclinations.
No longer nourishing them from the outside, we become the subject
of an ancient revelation within: all our desires are but noise
and lies; in reality, we are hungry not for bread but for God.
Here fasting reveals its deep mystery: ultimately, all of our
desires are inhabited by the unique desire for God. Fasting exposes
this desire and when we come off the fast, the conscious satisfaction
of any desire becomes in this light a communion with God. That
is why the meal is always a eucharist, a communion with the Creator
through the creatures who are on the table, for the whole world
is the table of a universal banquet offered to humanity in order
to assimilate God.
if we do not do it with this intention, we fall into passions.
The state of hunger shows us in what dependence we usually live.
If we choose to commune with God through terrestrial foods, we
become free and independent and the little ephemeral pleasures
become eucharistic joy. We open ourselves through fasting to the
life of the spirit, to continual thanksgiving, for everything
is a gift of God. That is why fasting never occurs without prayer.
The alliance of the two not only chases out the most resistant
demons, but leads to a profound transformation of the entire person.
We need to rediscover the weekly twenty-four hour fasting of the
first Christians, from Thursday night to Friday night; also the
fasting of Advent and Lent, along with those which are in rhythm
with the feasts and the seasons. And let us not forget that the
time saved during meals belongs to prayer, and the money saved
belongs to the poor. "Fasting-Prayer-Alms" is the inseparable
triad which restores the body, the soul and the spirit.
THE FUNDAMENTAL ATTITUDE OF THE DISCIPLE
is at the heart of his fast of forty days that the Christ gives
us the secret of this reversal: "Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Mt 4:4).
This is the fundamental habit of the disciple: listening. His
whole being is an ear because is whole being is obedience (from
the Latin ob-audire: to listen). "Hear, O Israel!" is the underlying
framework of the whole Bible through which God both gives Himself
and provides the method for opening ourselves to this gift. Indeed,
the one who has truly practiced listening knows to what extent
he is at that moment disconnected from all parasites, for everything
is stilled, even distraction and multiple thoughts.
the same time he is plunged into an absymal silence which brings
him in touch with the mystery of a Presence. It is for this reason
that hearing is the most exercised sense on the path of transformation.
Listening should be permanent since God speaks to us in each moment
through the events, encounters and all that occurs within or outside
of us. But to recognize His voice on the outside, we must first
learn to recognize it within: this is the act of listening to
the Word in the Bible. There it is announced by the prophets and
is incarnated in Jesus Christ. In contemplating Jesus, in letting
ourselves be penetrated by His presence and His word, we are little
by little penetrated by the ways of God.
entire Bible is a real presence of Christ. It is not an ancient
text to be read with the intellect but a matter of receiving the
Word in communion: the Word assimilates us and we assimilate it.
As Origen (2nd century) observed, the reading of the Bible is
not added to life, but transforms daily life which becomes the
place where the Word speaks ceaselessly. Listening is therefore
an exercise of constant vigilance where the right attitude is
to commune with the present moment, to become one with that which
is here and now because it expresses the will of God; and what
God wants is always that which is best for us. Since "everything
is grace," even that which is contrary to our wishes, we can "give
thanks in all times and places!" This incessant listening to life
creates within and around us a prodigious silence—a backdrop of
peace, joy and love. This is a continual revelation of God.
A LOVE STORY
meditation is the indispensable axis of a life which seeks to
reach the depths of understanding. It is the commandment of Christ:
"When you pray, go into your room and shut your door" (Mt 6:6)
and the whole Tradition is filled with this interior consciousness.
Along with the Tradition, we take the word "meditation" not in
the medieval meaning of reflecting on a religious theme, but in
its etymological sense: itari in medio, to be led toward the center,
the center being the human heart, the throne of God. Saint Macarius
(fifth century) stated that "the heart is the deepest body in
the body." We inevitably pray with our body, since it is there,
but we do it poorly and with a lack of consciousness. God has
taken a body to experience humanity and by living fully in our
body, we can experience God!
body is therefore a dazzling path, a sacrament of the One who
incarnated Himself in it. We hardly dare to believe the words
of Saint John Chrysostom (fourth century): "My body is truly,
effectively that of Christ, and not only through faith"; nevertheless,
this is the very realism of the eucharist. Gregory Palamas (fourteenth
century) cries out: "Flesh of my flesh!"
must first learn to sit in silence and complete immobility, knowing
how to rest corporally in oneself and in God: simply being here,
conscious of one's body, feeling it from within, inhabiting it.
Breathing will then lead us to the silence of Being, for nothing
is more intimate to God and to us than breath. My whole being
breathes, I am breathed in . . . Feel this consciously, let yourself
be seized by it. Especially, do not breathe voluntarily, let it
occur by itself. At each inhalation "God breathes into my nostrils
the breath of life" (Gen 2:7), at each exhalation we open ourselves
to this Presence, we relax our tensions and surrender ourselves
like the clay in the hands of the potter.
is with all His love that God breathes me in. I receive Him with
gratitude and remain in this reciprocity of breath where everything
is receptivity and gift, in the very image of that which occurs
at the heart of the Divine Trinity. Nothing comes out of reflection,
especially not God, for everything is in experiential and conscious
feeling where, as the Fathers say, the "sensation of the Divine"
PRAYER OF JESUS
is not easy to come out of the multiple and unify oneself around
an axis. That is why the Tradition recognizes in the "Prayer of
Jesus" one of the greatest means to achieve this. Simple and accessible
to everyone, it is repeated as a mantra, either in meditative
sitting or in all times and places, inserting itself into the
fabric of our daily life: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have
mercy upon me, a sinner." The repetition is done slowly, in peace,
without seeking emotion, but with love and adoration. To say each
word facilitates from the beginning the union of the intellect
with the heart. There are nevertheless great stages which must
be gone through over years of practice, from the repetition of
the prayer on the lips to the setting ablaze of the heart through
grace. Before beginning the invocation, it is important to ask
the help of the Holy Spirit, for "no one can say that Jesus is
Lord except by the Holy Spirit." (1 Cor 12:3).
the ground of this Prayer is the ecclesial life with its sacraments
and asceticism. Outside of them it cannot take root, anymore than
a flower which is torn out of its soil. It is indeed a profession
of faith, far beyond an incomprehensible mantra. It engages the
whole of our being and structures its depths. The power of the
Name is such that it provokes the real Presence of Christ. His
Presence penetrates us, fills us, imbibes us, just as the oil
stain silently expands on paper to render it transparent. The
Person of Jesus literally fades onto us and modifies us in our
smallest detail. By repeating the Name, He ultimately enters into
us. His manners, His reactions, His thoughts become ours through
a sort of osmosis. Little by little, our life finds itself radically
changed. We become resurrected ones, and nothing of our daily
life escapes this new orientation. It is as though everything
is magnetized by this Name which progressively beats to the rhythm
of our heart.
THAT WE MIGHT BECOME GOD
incredible transformation is a eucharist. As the bread and wine,
which are our extended body, become the body and blood of Christ,
so is it for the one who prays. It is there, in the liturgy, that
all prayer finds both its continual source and the summit of its
expression. For it is not a matter of participating once in a
while in a liturgy, but rather that our whole being become liturgical
and our daily life a celebration, a cosmic liturgy of which we
are the priest through all that we do. From this alone will come
a new humanity—the Body of Christ—and the transfiguration of the
the incandescent hearth of this universal eucharist will always
remain the human heart. When the deacon sings at the beginning
of a certain liturgy: "Rise, let us be attentive, in silence!"
it is to tear us away from the spirit of the world and the wrong
motives of its ideology that makes of us the measure of all things
and leads us to believe that happiness is only found in economics,
politics, or psychology. The world was not created to be exploited
and delivered over to everyone's whims, where humanity finds itself
reduced to the slavery we know so well. The liturgy initiates
us into another knowledge: human beings are priests, standing
at the center of creation which we receive from the hands of God
and which we offer to Him in thanksgiving. The world is therefore
the primal matter for the eucharist, which transforms our life
in each moment into a life in God. Everything is made in order
to commune with God, and work itself is a sacrament. Since nothing
has life without God, everything receives meaning or value from
offering it to Him in love.
is our daily food, our uninterrupted eucharist, the sacrament
of our Joy. For God did not create the universe out of need, but
so that His creatures could participate in His joy.