Friday, June 20, 2008

Waging War Against Myself

I have waged this war against myself for many years. It was terrible, but now I am disarmed. I am no longer frightened of anything, because love banishes fear. I am disarmed of the need to be right and the need to justify myself by disqualifying others. I am no longer on the defensive, holding onto my riches. I just want to welcome and to share. I don't hold onto my ideas and projects. When we are disarmed and dispossessed of self, when we open our hearts to the God-Man who makes all things new, then he takes away past hurts and reveals a new time where everything is possible.

-- Athenagoras I

Archbishop of North and South America, 1931-1948,
Patriarch of Constantinople, 1948-1972,
and a major architect of the World Council of Churches.
In 1965, with Pope Paul VI, he jointly lifted the anathemas of 1054.


bls said...

This is quite wonderful - and really does, I think, express the beauty and hope of Christian faith. The process of "emptying of self" is primarily bent towards one end: being led into the mind (and heart and soul) of Christ.

And I think that this is what 1 Corinthians 13 is really talking about. Thanks for posting it.

Bryan Owen said...

Thanks for the comments, bls. My brother (who is Greek Orthodox) sent this to me, and I was immediately struck by its beauty and power. I think you're right to compare this to what Paul is talking about in 1 Corinthians 13. It's also an example of what Paul is talking about in Philippians 2:1-11.