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The Orthodox Way The Orthodox Way by Kallistos Ware
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“In the Christian context, we do not mean by a "mystery" merely that which is baffling and mysterious, an enigma or insoluble problem. A mystery is, on the contrary, something that is revealed for our understanding, but which we never understand exhaustively because it leads into the depth or the darkness of God. The eyes are closed—but they are also opened.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“If I do not feel a sense of joy in God's creation, if I forget to offer the world back to God with thankfulness, I have advanced very little upon the Way. I have not yet learnt to be truly human. For it is only through thanksgiving that I can become myself.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“Love and hatred are not merely subjective feelings, affecting the inward universe of those who experience them, but they are also objective forces, altering the world outside ourselves...if this is true of my love, it is true to an incomparably greater extent of Christ's love. The victory of his suffering love upon the Cross does not merely set me an example, showing me what I myself may achieve if by my own efforts I imitate him. Much more than this, his suffering love has a creative effect upon me, transforming my own heart and will, releasing me from bondage, making me whole, rendering it possible for me to love in a way that would lie altogether beyond my powers, had I not first been loved by him.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“We see that it is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“For the Orthodox tradition, then, Adam's original sin affects the human race in its entirety, and it has consequences both on the physical and the moral level: it, results not only in sickness and physical death, but in moral weakness and paralysis. But does it also imply an inherited guilt? Here Orthodoxy is more guarded. Original sin is not to be interpreted in juridical or quasi-biological terms, as if it were some physical 'taint' of guilt, transmitted through sexual intercourse. This picture, which normally passes for the Augustinian view, is unacceptable to Orthodoxy. The doctrine of original sin means rather that we are born into an environment where it is easy to do evil and hard to do good; easy to hurt others, and hard to heal their wounds; easy to arouse men's suspicions, and hard to win their trust. It means that we are each of us conditioned by the solidarity of the human race in its accumulated wrong-doing and wrong-thinking, and hence wrong-being. And to this accumulation of wrong we have ourselves added by our own deliberate acts of sin. The gulf grows wider and wider. It is here, in the solidarity of the human race, that we find an explanation for the apparent unjustness of the doctrine of original sin. Why, we ask, should the entire human race suffer because of Adam's fall? Why should all be punished because of one man's sin? The answer is that human beings, made in the image of the Trinitarian God, are interdependent and coinherent. No man is an island. We are 'members one of another'(Eph. 4:25), and so any action, performed by any member of the human race, inevitably affects all the other members. Even though we are not, in the strict sense, guilty of the sins of others, yet we are somehow always involved.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“Faith is not the supposition that something might be true, but the assurance that someone is there.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“Christianity is more than a theory about the universe, more than teachings written down on paper; it is a path along which we journey—in the deepest and richest sense, the way of life.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“The culture and educational system of the contemporary West are based almost exclusively upon the training of the reasoning brain and, to a lesser degree, of the aesthetic emotions. Most of us have forgotten that we are not only brain and will, senses and feelings; we are also spirit. Modern man has for the most part lost touch with the truest and highest aspect of himself; and the result of this inward alienation can be seen all too plainly in his restlessness, his lack of identity and his loss of hope.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“Such, then, is our God: unknowable in his essence, yet known in his energies; beyond and above all that we can think or express, yet closer to us than our own heart.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“Our reasoning brain is weak, and our tongue is weaker still”, remarks St Basil the Great. “It is easier to measure the entire sea with a tiny cup than to grasp God's ineffable greatness with the human mind.”10”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“We do not have any genuine knowledge of those whom we hate.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“Pain and evil confront us as a surd. Suffering, our own and that of others, is an experience through which we have to live, not a theoretical problem that we can explain away. If there is an explanation, it is on a level deeper than words. Suffering cannot be “justified”; but it can be used, accepted—and, through this acceptance, transfigured. “The paradox of suffering and evil”, says Nicolas Berdyaev, “is resolved in the experience of compassion and love.”31”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“Joyful thanksgiving, so far from being escapist or sentimental, is on the contrary entirely realistic—but with the realism of one who sees the world in God, as the divine creation.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“In our spiritual vision we are not only to see each thing in sharp relief, standing out in all the brilliance of its specific being, but we are also to see each thing as transparent: in and through each created thing we are to discern the Creator.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“there is no greater force within creation than the free will of beings endowed with self-consciousness and spiritual intellect; and so the misuse of this free will can have altogether terrifying consequences.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“If there is a “problem of evil”, there is also a “problem of good.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“The contemplation of nature has two correlative aspects. First, it means appreciating the “thusness” or “thisness” of particular things, persons and moments. We are to see each stone, each leaf, each blade of grass, each frog, each human face, for what it truly is, in all the distinctness and intensity of its specific being. As the prophet Zechariah warns us, we are not to “despise the day of small things” (4:10). “True mysticism”, says Olivier Clément, “is to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“To know a person is far more than to know facts about that person. To know a person is essentially to love him or her; there can be no true awareness of other persons without mutual love. We do not have any genuine knowledge of those whom we hate.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“All created things are marked with the seal of the Trinity.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“Faith in God, then, is not at all the same as the kind of logical certainty that we attain in Euclidean geometry. God is not the conclusion to a process of reasoning, the solution to a mathematical problem. To believe in God is not to accept the possibility of his existence because it has been “proved” to us by some theoretical argument, but it is to put our trust in One whom we know and love. Faith is not the supposition that something might be true, but the assurance that someone is there.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“All things are permeated and maintained in being by the uncreated energies of God, and so all things are a theophany that mediates his presence (pp. 21-23). At the heart of each thing is its inner principle or logos, implanted within it by the Creator Logos; and so through the logoi we enter into communion with the Logos (p. 33). God is above and beyond all things, yet as Creator he is also within all things—“panentheism”, not pantheism”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“God's Incarnation opens the way to man's deification. To be deified is, more specifically, to be “christified”: the divine likeness that we are called to attain is the likeness of Christ. It is through Jesus the God-man that we men are “ingodded”, “divinized”, made “sharers in the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4).”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“We are not to restrict God's presence in the world to a limited range of “pious” objects and situations, while labelling everything else as “secular”; but we are to see all things as essentially sacred, as a gift from God and a means of communion with him. It does not, however, follow that we are to accept the fallen world on its own terms. This is the unhappy mistake of much “secular Christianity” in the contemporary west. All things are indeed sacred in their true being, according to their innermost essence; but our relationship to God's creation has been distorted by sin, original and personal, and we shall not rediscover this intrinsic sacredness unless our heart is purified. Without self-denial, without ascetic discipline, we cannot affirm the true beauty of the world. That is why there can be no genuine contemplation without repentance.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“Leave the senses and the workings of the intellect, and all that the senses and the intellect can perceive, and all that is not and that is; and through unknowing reach out, so far as this is possible, towards oneness with him who is beyond all being and knowledge. In this way, through an uncompromising, absolute and pure detachment from yourself and from all things, transcending all things and released from all, you will be led upwards towards that radiance of the divine darkness which is beyond all being. Entering the darkness that surpasses understanding, we shall find ourselves brought, not just to brevity of speech, but to perfect silence and unknowing. Emptied of all knowledge, man is joined in the highest part of himself, not with any created thing, nor with himself, nor with another, but with the One who is altogether unknowable; and, in knowing nothing, he knows in a manner that surpasses understanding.17 St Dionysius the Areopagite”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“doctrine of the Incarnation requires nothing less. If Christ had merely assumed unfallen human nature, living out his earthly life in the situation of Adam in Paradise, then he would not have been touched with the feeling of our infirmities, nor would he have been tempted in everything exactly as we are. And in that case he would not be our Saviour.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“For me to be a Spirit-bearer is to realize all the distinctive characteristics in my personality; it is to become truly free, truly myself in my uniqueness.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“He is the principle of order and purpose that permeates all things, drawing them to unity in God, and so making the universe into a “cosmos”, a harmonious and integrated whole. The Creator-Logos has imparted to each created thing its own indwelling logos or inner principle, which makes that thing to be distinctively itself, and which at the same time draws and directs that thing towards God.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“The bodies of our fellow human beings must be treated with more care than our own. Christian love teaches us to give our brethren not only spiritual gifts, but material gifts as well. Even our last shirt, our last piece of bread must be given to them. Personal almsgiving and the most wide-ranging social work are equally justifiable and necessary. The way to God lies through love of other people, and there is no other way. At the Last Judgement I shall not be asked if I was successful in my ascetic exercises or how many prostrations I made in the course of my prayers. I shall be asked, did I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and the prisoners: that is all I shall be asked.23 Mother Maria of Paris”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“It is easier to measure the entire sea with a tiny cup than to grasp God's ineffable greatness with the human mind.”10 But,”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way
“Our human task as craftsmen or manufacturers is to discern this logos dwelling in each thing and to render it manifest; we seek not to dominate but to co-operate.”
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way

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