Posted By: TonyM
How to Find Eternal Life in Christ? - 02/21/17 01:02 AM
We all know that Christ the Lord promised eternal life to those who follow Him.
....A monk experiences this in his daily prayer routine and contact with the Sacraments.
...A priest perhaps in his ministry of preaching and sanctifying.
What about the layman who has no "rule" no "monastery" and who due to geography cannot pray in a liturgical setting every day?
Roman Catholics say "just fulfill your duties..."
What would Byzantine Catholics or Eastern Orthodox say?
Posted By: Mark R
Re: How to Find Eternal Life in Christ? - 02/21/17 07:54 AM
I don't think Roman Catholics would say "just fulfill your duties". There is more that can be done.
There are instances of in the biography of Fr. Seraphim Rose of new Orthodox Christians living far from a church and managed to gather for prayers at designated times and places while making the occasional trips to a church or Fr. Seraphim's monastery.The advantage Eastern Catholics and Orthodox have is the prayer rule, i.e. daily prayers, fast days, daily liturgically designated scripture readings and reading from the saints' lives of the day, such as in the "Prologue from Ohrid". So, there is plenty for the layperson to do and these activities are not ends in themselves but are meant to inculcate the practice of the Great Commandment. This extends itself outwardly in the practice of charity and behaving virtuously.
There is plenty to do and Roman Catholics can do most of the same things in their own way too.
Posted By: Administrator
Re: How to Find Eternal Life in Christ? - 02/21/17 04:15 PM
I would say follow Christ in your daily life as best as is possible. Yes, keep a prayer rule. But also treat others as if they were Christ. Monks and priests do the same, except they usually have more time to devote to prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
Posted By: theophan
Re: How to Find Eternal Life in Christ? - 02/21/17 07:52 PM
It seems to me that John's advice hits the mark for the layman, living in the world. Our vocation is to show Christ to those around us in each encounter we have with them. We show the Face of Christ by being His living icon: being the first to apologize, the first to offer forgiveness for wrongs, the first to show mercy, the first to respond to the needs of the poor around us. I believe that if I fail to show the Face of Christ to others I have failed twice: first, I have failed Him; second, I have failed my brother in the human family.
There is an exercise I have used that I call "the holy Face." I try to see Christ in the face of each person I encounter and try to discern what it is He wants and needs in that person in that moment; then try my best to fulfill it. Each such action and each such discernment is helped by the grace the Holy Spirit gives, so we are not only not alone, but also not totally on our own so that we can boast of being anything. Remember what the Lord has taught us to say. "When you have done all that you have done, say that I have done nothing except that which I, as Your servant, am first commanded to do. Have mercy on me."
Try Blessed Augustine's rule: Dilige, et quod vis fac! (Love and do what you wish!)
Posted By: TonyM
Re: How to Find Eternal Life in Christ? - 02/25/17 06:56 AM
Thank you to all who replied.