The Justice of Creation


Your judgments are like the great deep, O Lord, You will save men and beasts. (Psalm 36:6)

The notion of justice in Scripture is rather straightforward. It has to do with proper order and balance. The one who has much should not exploit his advantage and oppress the one who has little. In all things, there will be an accounting. And in the accounting, things will be “set right.”

Those who have ignored the proper justice of the world around them will find this accounting to be their undoing. Those who have been deprived through injustice will find this accounting to be their salvation. This theme runs throughout the Scriptures, both Old and New. It is the very core of “righteousness” (“right-setting”). We can extend the theme into our interior life as well: sin is the oppressor and our souls are the oppressed. There is, as well, an extension of this theme into nature itself. Creation requires justice.

It is possible to think about how nature functions. It is always seeking a right-ordering of itself. When something becomes disordered, it becomes unstable and a re-ordering begins to take place. We could describe the various “laws” of nature that have been observed to be expressions of this re-ordering.

In the Old Testament, there were commandments directed to Israel whose intent was towards the right-ordering of nature. Fields had to lie fallow (unplowed and unused) every seven years: the land was not to be exhausted. An ox who was powering a treadmill was not to be muzzled: an animal should not be forbidden to eat the grain it is grinding. The gathering of the harvest was purposefully inefficient: the left-overs in the field belonged to the poor. All of these matters are concerns of justice. Ignoring them was considered wicked and unjust.

The law of the Sabbath year carried a promise of justice. If it was ignored, God would come to the aid of the land and allow it to rest. Israel would be taken captive and removed from the land until its Sabbath rest was fulfilled.

Then the land shall enjoy its Sabbaths as long as it lies desolate, while you are in your enemies’ land; then the land shall rest, and enjoy its Sabbaths. As long as it lies desolate it shall have rest, the rest that it did not have on your Sabbaths when you were dwelling in it. (Lev. 26:34-35).

This was understood to be the mechanism of justice beneath Israel’s captivity in Babylon. That period lasted 70 years, providing 70 Sabbath years to cover Israel’s ignoring of the Sabbath law.

Nothing of this should be dismissed as an oddity of ancient Israel or a matter of Israelite ritual requirements. It is a profound illustration that the justice of God involves the whole of creation. The coming of Christ is not an abolition of such a concern, but its fulfillment. The promise of salvation extends not only to human beings but to all of creation (Romans 8). Prior to the completion of that promise, the justice of God remains at work. Injustice carries consequences.

It is easy to observe that our present relationship to creation is marked by extreme injustice. We maximize efficiency, ever driving towards more extreme biological and chemical measures to force an artificial abundance. That same narrow concern (an injustice) brings the consequence of poisoning our food system and destroying other elements of the ecosystem. These consequences are justice at work. For those consequences will ultimately fall on us. If the land does not receive its proper rest, it drives us out. We suffer as a result.

There is little doubt that the entire planet is engaged in an act of justice. Technology has been used in an unjust manner, seeking to maximize profit (in its largest sense) with little to no concern for the right use of nature. The consequence is the promise of an accounting. God will establish righteousness in creation as well (and we will languish in never-ending arguments).

In our season of fasting, we seek to place ourselves “among the righteous.” Our actions are meant to reflect the justice of God. We eat less. We let the animals rest and stop eating them for a while. We share our abundance with those who have little. We increase our prayer, seeking to reestablish our right place in the presence of God. This is the path of “righteousness, peace and joy” (Ro. 14:17).

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amos 5:24

Oh, it will.



  1. Plenty of food for thought here. I, for one, am grateful salvation includes the animals and the whole of Creation!

  2. For the palace will be forsaken, the populous city deserted; the hill and the watchtower will become dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks;
    until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.

    Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust for ever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. And the forest will utterly go down, and the city will be utterly laid low.

    – Isaiah 32:14 – 19

    I continue to suspect that climate change is God’s righteousness at work.

  3. Father
    I just read an article about Fort McClellan in Alabama in my American Legion magazine. Your post has such import in the situation there. Monsanto and the US Army has extensively polluted the land there with many different toxic and dangerous chemicals (The Fort was the home of the Army Chemical Weapons School and the Army Depot next to it was a storage site for chemical weapons. Monsanto had a large plant there to make the chemicals for the Army.) I have to wonder how many Sabbath Years it will take to purge that land. So many soldiers, their families and their descendants have been severely impacted health wise from being stationed there. It is an example of injustice to the land, the animals and the people.

  4. Learning, among our ilk (scientists) are the ones who have perpetuated the obfuscation of the truth whether it is in climate change or other areas such as pharmaceuticals, food chemicals, farming practices, and what Nicholas shows above and more. I’m a former active chemist and had been paid through the revenue streams of some these industries and I don’t know whether I will ever repent enough for my own complicity. And I’ve also been involved in remediation projects and I know we can’t undo the damage. But I don’t want to give up trying. Sometimes it seems like I’m trying to bale out a sinking ship with a tea cup.

  5. Dee – Be kind to yourself. God loves you and has already forgiven you for your “complicity.”

    As for remediation, with each new day I am more and more convinced that God is King. If the planet is going to be remediated, he will do it.

    I am just afraid that his remediation – his righteousness – is going to look a lot like the remediation of Sodom and Gomorrah.

  6. I am reminded of Wendell Barry’s essay “A Native Hill.” Permit me a longish quote:

    We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. And this has been based on the even flimsier assumption that we could know with any certainty what was good even for us. We have fulfilled the danger of this by making our personal pride and greed the standard of our behavior toward the world — to the incalculable disadvantage of the world and every living thing in it. And now, perhaps very close to too late, our great error has become clear. It is not only our own creativity — our own capacity for life — that is stifled by our arrogant assumption; the creation itself is stifled.

    We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and to learn what is good for it. We must learn to cooperate in its processes, and to yield to its limits. But even more important, we must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it. We must abandon arrogance and stand in awe. We must recover the sense of the majesty of creation, and the ability to be worshipful in its presence. For I do not doubt that it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it.

    Berry, Wendell. The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry (Kindle Locations 668-678).

  7. The promise of salvation extends not only to human beings but to all of creation.

    This never fails to surprise youth that I encounter. I was teaching Orthodox youth at one time and brought up that all Creation will be renewed, not just us. There was a dumbfounded silence in the room and the surprise on their faces was very evident.

    As for remediation, with each new day I am more and more convinced that God is King. If the planet is going to be remediated, he will do it.

    LTBS2016, yes. It’s really yet another thing we need to let go of (as a species)!

    Raphael, that quote by Wendell Barry is gold. Very wonderful!

  8. The second paragraph in Wendell Berry’s writing that Raphael quoted is what I would call the approach of remediation. This is the approach I undertake in my life. But our efforts to change our lives will not undo, make right, the damage that we have done. Only God can do that in His righteousness. I pray for God’s intervention, God willing. But whether or not God does intervene, in the end there will be God’s ‘justice rolling down like waters ‘, as Fr Stephen quotes in the scriptures.

  9. “We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and to learn what is good for it. We must learn to cooperate in its processes, and to yield to its limits. But even more important, we must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it. We must abandon arrogance and stand in awe. We must recover the sense of the majesty of creation, and the ability to be worshipful in its presence. For I do not doubt that it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it.”

    Even if I learn what is good for the world, cooperate in its processes, yield to its limits, stand in awe in the presence of creation and it’s Creator, I still sin against it.

  10. All,
    Of course, like the poor (“whom we have with us always”) so we also have an abused and oppressed creation. Remediation and learning to live rightly with creation (to whatever degree) are much like giving alms. Giving alms doesn’t eradicate poverty – but it is a matter of “doing right.” Of course, if you live wrongly towards the poor long enough, they will likely rise up and destroy you. I am convinced that many of the social problems in our culture are ultimately rooted in how we have treated the poor. But that would take a much longer explanation. Creation – through God’s providence – has come built-in protections. If we poison it – it will kill us. And after we’re dead, it will begin to heal. It’s nasty and brutish, but God has given us the providence of consequences for our salvation, not for our destruction.

  11. Thank you Fr Stephen. I’m grateful for your words, especially the association of remediation and living rightly in the world with giving alms to the poor. This perspective is very helpful.

  12. “God has given us the providence of consequences for our salvation, not for our destruction.”

    What a wonderful expression of the truth. Thank you, Father.

  13. Father Stephen
    Thank you for this post – it resonates so very deeply with much that has been on my mind of late and it was encouraging to see these thoughts expressed

    I’ve been listening a lot to Jordan Peterson of late, and find much that he has to say truly Wise, in that it illuminates Reality. Amongst other things he speaks of Sin in this way ‘twisting the fabric of Reality out of shape’, and as he goes on in another place – ‘without doubt it will and often in this life does snap back into place and slap you across the face. as it realigns itself’

    In this I hear a powerful echo of your idea of the Justice of Creation

    Thank you

  14. I saw a video a woman had made of her small rural property of probably under an acre with a small cottage. Over a period of ten years or so, on very little cash, she turned it back into a permaculture garden. It went from being an ordinary piece of rural property in the middle of monoculture farmland, to being a lushly fruitful Edenic garden, producing bountiful food for woman and beast alike! Granted this was in Ireland where rainfall is not in short supply, but she was corresponding with a woman in Greece who wanted to do something similar in her more arid part of the world as if this was a perfectly realistic goal. I found it inspiring and an example of God’s gracious generosity that He has made the Creation so full of life and so ready to provide its bounty if cultivated and allowed to thrive on its own terms with respect for natural local ecosystems.

  15. Dee, of own efforts alone will just as likely make things worse just in different ways. However, paired with repentance and giving of alms allowing God to give the increase, healing occurs even through time in some way that I cannot articulate.

    The more I repent, the more remediation Christ accomplishes. It is the root I think of the commandment not to judge. I do not even know the degree of remediation He has accomplished on my behalf or has yet to accomplish, let alone what is going on in others lives.
    The sins of the fathers being visited on the sons is not a curse or need not be if we lead our children into repentance.

    This knowledge gives me a deep hope and a desire to be here in this earth despite all the insanity. Glory to God.

  16. “There is little doubt that the entire planet is engaged in an act of justice. Technology has been used in an unjust manner, seeking to maximize profit (in its largest sense) with little to no concern for the right use of nature. The consequence is the promise of an accounting. God will establish righteousness in creation as well (and we will languish in never-ending arguments).”

    What is the right use of nature?

    Is not “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors land a correct use of nature?

    An enemy sows tares into his neighbor’s land to corrupt his maximum profitability from his land.

    Is that a right use of nature?

    Is it not indicative of eating of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil, that all mankind’s actions will likewise follow as producing both good and evil?

    And might not a land flowing with milk and honey suggest maximum profitability is a favorable thing, followed by just being given groves and fields in abundance which they had not planted or tended.

    And the tithe certainly suggest a increase of maximum abundance.

    Hopefully the above is received not as tares.

    Thank-you Fr. Stephen.

  17. If you read the article carefully, the “right use” was aptly describe in terms of balance and justice, the land’s rest. Nature should not be exhausted. Of course our actions are a mix of good and evil. But we can recognize, particularly in its general outline, what constitutes a wasting and exhaustion of nature.

    “Flowing with milk and honey” does not suggest maximum profitability. It simply described as a land that was abundant. I cannot see anything within the tithe that remotely suggests maximum abundance.

    The concept of maximum profitability is itself contrary to the Biblical understanding of justice. Sufficient profitability would be closer to the point.

  18. Michael,
    I believe what you say is true. There was a time when I would have despair with what has and is happening in the world. Since that time when I encountered what I now describe as the icon of the Resurrection, ‘of the Death of Christ trampling down death’ in data, my despair has been turned into Job’s words:

    “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see You. Therefore I depreciate myself, and I waste away. I regard myself as dust and ashes.”

    There was a death of my former life. Now I live a life in Christ. I have had knowledge of the world through chemistry and now a growing knowledge of the world through Christ. The life in Christ does not supplant what skills I have had, or the knowledge I acquired, but appears to turn them to a ‘new field’. I don’t know what Christ will make of these skills. As far as I know, what ultimately becomes of what I do isn’t for me to know, as long as what I do is follow Him. This is very similar to what Fr Stephen has been saying about giving alms. There is a commandment to give alms, and the commandment isn’t contingent on what becomes of the alms I give.

    I love God’s creation. Years ago, I used to work for an analytical company outside of the US. While working there I used my skills on “clean-up projects” applied to a situations very similar to what Nicholas describes above. I wasn’t asked to get involved in the politics, rather I was asked to use my skills for the clean up and that is what I did. In situations like this, it seems to me it would not be appropriate for me to offer alms to a person standing on a street corner, instead of the help I’m able to give. Rather, I would do both. And if the situation would happen now I would pray to Christ, for guidance, for discernment and that my work would fulfill what He asks me.

  19. Fr. Stephen,
    Thank you for your writing ministry and I pray that our good God keep giving you wisdom and encouragement.
    Going way back to the 70’s, I can remember some “prosperity” preachers, of the health and wealth gospel, preaching prosperity, i.e., “money, ” returning to people if they would tithe (and give a good chunk of change to them). They would use passages such as Malachi 3:8ff to bolster their claims, Luke 6:38, and the verse that says,” …may you prosper and be in good health,” I forget the citation. As we know, all scripture can be twisted and contorted to fit into anyone’s personal scheme. And all this dovetails quite nicely with our consumerism.

  20. Dean,
    Sadly, such “prosperity” teaching fails to understand how poisonous such prosperity is to the soul. We’re not created to have such an abundance – it’s literally not good for us.

    I remember a comic book I read as a kid (Superman). In it, there was this planet where the robots had taken over. The humans had everything they needed but were so overweight and weak that they could no longer do anything for themselves. I think there was a children’s movie in the last decade with the same theme.

    It is a sad icon (regardless of how exaggerated) of the dangers we face from our “abundance.” If you have a racehorse, you don’t feed it everything it wants. You feed it what it needs.

    What do we need?

  21. After studying under a Professor with a PhD in Comparative Theology I learned some interesting things about these “Prosperity” preachers. They are actually relying on pagan concepts to construct their theology. They have the Seven Spiritual Laws that even God must obey. The prosperity they preach relies on God being forced by the Law of Sowing and Reaping to reward one for giving to their ministries. As a result, I call this form of “religion” Pagianity.

  22. Forgive, for I aim not to quibble about words, but everything I have heard about godly increase from the Scriptures refers to maximum profitability.

    It means to me the complaint is more against the economics of consumerism which is perpetuated by planned obsolescence. Which seems similar to creating an addiction. Which is every where present or so it seems.

    Maximum profitability need not be married to consumerism.

    As a defense of my previous submission I offer ” Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.”

    Thank-you, It is was thought provoking.

    John D.

  23. John,
    Reading in English one can get that idea but the profit spoken of is not monetary as much as it is spiritual. Consider the wording of a prayer for the servants of God that one is interceding for that ends with the phrase: “and do what is profitable for our souls.” Remember the Scripture that we read in English does not always match precisely the meanings in Greek or Hebrew and the translators who produce our English versions have their own influences in rendering the words into English. Some, as we found out, even add things like Jerome did in translating Tobit. I would sooner prosper in faith than in mammon, for faith last for eternity and mammon runs through the fingers and is gone.

  24. Nicholas,
    Thank you for this important reminder about the effects of the translation and subsequent interpretations. Also I note that it is likely a Protestant doesn’t have Tobit in their bible. May I ask, what did Jerome add? Does the Orthodox Bible translation have the addition, or is it correct regarding the Greek or Hebrew?

  25. In the Greek Septuagint, when Tobit returned his old dog rose up from the house and came to his master and died. Jerome wrote that the dog came out wagged his tail and died. That is a detail from Homer’s Odyssey that is not in Tobit in either Hebrew or Greek. It seems insignificant but Jerome did not view as he did other scripture and felt free to change it. It says volumes about his view of Scripture. In his time in Jerusalem, Jerome was taught Hebrew by the descendants of the Pharisees who had a reduced canon of the Old Testament. Remember Sadducees only accepted the Torah or Pentateuch, the first five Books. The Pharisees accepted more but left out all the books we hear called Deutero Canonical or the Apocrypha. The Essenes and the people not in one of these sects accepted and read the Septuagint which has all our books in the Orthodox Study Bible. The 3rd Council of Carthage established the canon we accept in 397 AD after a year of debate. The Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon reviewed and accepted their decision so it became our Scripture that was the whole of the Septuagint Old Testament and the New Testament that we have.
    It is interesting to note that Hebrew was a forgotten language except for Jewish Scholars as in the Babylonian Captivity they were forced to speak Aramaic and they forgot their language. Most read the Scriptures in Greek as the Lord must have because all the Scripture quotes of his recorded in the NT are from the Septuagint not the Modern Masoretic Text. (There are significant wording and therefore meaning differences between the two.)
    The Reformers inherited the Scriptural prejudices fro the Latin/Western Church based on what Jerome was taught in Jerusalem. The first edition of the King James had the Apocrypha in the back, but it was first left out by printers (cost saving) and banished by an Act of Parliament in 1647 under the Puritan Government called the Westminster Confession. An act of Parliament changed the word of God, interesting.

  26. Your welcome. There’s much more but I must learn to restrain myself or I get stuck in transmit.

  27. Dee and Nicholas,
    Actually, all we can assume by the text of the gospels is that the writers were primarily familiar with the Septuagint. The popular tongue of Galilee was Aramaic – and Peter evidently spoke, whatever he spoke, with a distinct Galilean accent (“I can tell by your speech that you are a Galilean”). That all of the Apostles would have spoken Greek, well or badly, can be assumed because it was the street language in a world that was filled with people from all over. I suspect that Jesus spoke Aramaic sometimes and Greek sometimes, depending on his audience. Linguistically, the people of that time were far more sophisticated than the average modern American.

  28. A good rule, I think, is to eat real food, and local if one can. About 80% of our food nowadays is processed. And I’ve read that about 75 % has sugar added to some extent. When they took fat out of foods, starting about 40 years ago, they had to replace it with something so that it didn’t taste like cardboard…Hello sugar and HFC!
    My challenge with fasting is eating less. That part has always been difficult for me.

  29. Maximum Profitability…..

    “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

    Whether using the KJV or the Septuagint, Maximum Profitability is the operating goal of God’s word about all Creation.

    The desire for maximum profitability is within our DNA and the elements of all which surrounds us.

    It is what is promised to us in, by and with our Great Lent Fasting.

    God is with Us!

  30. John Dunn,

    The modern concept of and drive towards “maximum profitability” is nothing other than an expression of sin. Pure and simple.
    These various quotes you are giving here can only be interpreted in a VERY metaphorical sense as referring to “maximum profitability”. But even so, it is best to avoid it, as it is a term completely having its origin in modernity and can lead to nothing but confusion when trying to use it in the interpretation of Scripture.

  31. I’ll toss in a word from the quite non-Orthodox Peter F Drucker. My big brother is a finance guy, and a big fan, I’ve only read a bit, and one of the better things Drucker articulated was the somewhat odd concept of “profit” as another cost of doing business in the modern world. The outcome of this thinking was an attempt to pull back from profit as the lowest-common-denominator, and treating it as part of a basket of required outcomes like environmental responsibility, worker treatment, and meaningful work. (He was on a pro-NGO kick in this particular book, though the title is lost to my memory.)

    But perhaps this allows us to bring Dunn’s comments back into the fold – *assuming* one is behaving justly, it is irresponsible to willfully operate at a loss, or even to just break even – poor stewardship – ask the man who was given one talent. Nothing wrong with profit. But what do we do with it? We give it back to the master. And note, the man with more talents didn’t hire an army and sack a prosperous village for maximum profitability, bringing his master 100 talents soaked in blood…

    God’s response to the offerings of Cain and Abel remains mysterious to me, but I feel like this discussion is perhaps on the scent of something there, too.

    Thank you, Fr Stephen, for your words.
    In Christ,

  32. Mihai,
    The modern world has a very “binary” view of economics: Capitalism or Marxism. Both are quite modern and suffer from the disease that infects that philosophy. The “marriage” of Christianity to Capitalism (in its modern guise) is among the most damaging things that has ever infected the faith. But, we are often so binary about all of this, that to criticize Capitalism itself is considered an evil (or Marxist) thing.

  33. Fr. Stephen,

    The children’s movie with overweight people and robots serving them was Wall-E by Pixar.

  34. Eric,

    I too have come to appreciate Jordan Peterson lately. He has a lot of good things to say. It’s very interesting how truth finds a way. People like him and Wendell Berry and Joel Salatin and others often don’t a Christian label on it but it is timely truth nonetheless.

  35. Thanks Drew

    I read a good number of authors at the same time – it is wonderful how often their work intersects in a Life Revealing way. Berry I find to be a treasure trove with respect to the sacramental nature of Existence, and Peterson (without these words ever leaving his lips) says the same – in the way he speaks with such authority regarding the tragic nature of our existence and the presence of suffering (in which we work out our Salvation with fear and trembling (again, not his words))

    God is everywhere present and fills all things – Light and Life breaks through the smallest cracks. Nothing will overcome it

    Lenten Blessings

  36. Agata,
    Yellow plastic cheese…ugh!
    I just watched a Utube of 7 different restaurant burgers placed in jars for one month. Most developed terrible looking mold. Guess which brand looked fine after a month, mold-free? Yep…McDonald’s. I’d have to try the experiment myself to check for veracity. However, knowing how processed foods are packed with preservatives, I would not be surprized.
    Says something for eating real food.

  37. Dean,
    Yes…. except real food takes so much time to prepare…!
    It is so much easier to go by the drive through at McDonalds… I have at least 10 different fast food places between work and home (and even more between church and home, if I go to church after work), all the way till just a few blocks away from my doorstep… I cannot tell you how many times I gave in when I should not have, when I promised myself to get home and cook something healthy…

    Take a look at this article, I especially like the first part by Fr. Andrei… What wonderful honest advice and encouragement… It is as if he had a glimpse into my own life and the struggles I face (particularly travelling and fatigue he mentions)….

  38. Who was

    He gave to the farmer the means to increase their harvest to maximum profitability.

    A machine to maximize profitability which feeds the world… applied capitalism in the modern world..

    Tractors needs oil…

    Now we need trucks to speed up harvest…to increase maximum profitability…

    Need more market place. So we build bigger barns…to store harvest to sell apples in the winter….to maximize profitability for those who distribute through sales or charities…

    Need bigger freezer at home (which needs electricity) to store food to enable my home economics achieve maximum profitability.

    Make a packed lunch for work to maximize profitability. But other think I’m just cheap…

    Go to Church, put a dollar in offering to minimize profitability in the work of the Church.

    Meanwhile widow maximizes her investment into the Kingdom of God with a small coin of minimum value.

    She received Maximum Praise from Christ, for he measured the weight and worth differently to again a maximum evaluation of profitability from her meager means of worldly gain..

    Silver and gold have I not….but here, Rise up and Walk for maximum profitability from the Gospel..

    And the Lord added daily to their number..

    At what point is there a principle for a balanced profitability applied to the economics of increase…

    The gates are shut to the foolish Virgins who did not practice maximum vigilance which then required them to leave from keeping vigil and go into the world to *buy* not earn their oil or energy for vigilance (thus reducing their maximum profitability).

    Saints labored all day and gave their maximum profit from their labor away to gain maximum profit from their maximum daily investment into the Kingdom of God.

    “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’.

    Where the measurement of all our works is weighed against the maximum evaluation of profit:

    “You were bought with a price”. By an evaluation which measures a worth greater than the elementary evaluation of gold, silver and precious stones.

    God did not require the soul of the successful businessman who built bigger barns, because he was building bigger barns to maximise his profitability….but his shortsightedness hindered his ability to measure a complete evaluation of gain.

    The gain was not the cause of his blindness… But it could have been his means of cure.

    John D.

  39. John,
    The mistake you make – and you are making one – is to assume “maximum profitability” as the sole measure of an action. That invokes a utilitarian approach to matters – the ends justifying the means. Destroying the environment as a means to make the maximum crop possible is not justified by its profitability. You have taken a single idea, turned it into a principle, and applied it willy-nilly across the board. This is not “rightly dividing the word of truth.” It’s a head-game.

    What you’ve offered in this comment is a bit of a “sermon” in which you have maximized poetic license to make your point. But it’s driven only by the point and not by the Scripture itself, much less an actual engagement with the points made in my article.

    Zeal without understanding yields confusion and spiritual disaster. I think we’ve now beaten the horse long enough.

  40. Yes, the addition of the word “maximum” to everything does not reflect any commandment in the Gospel. The gain of the Rich Fool was indeed the cause of his blindness (his arrogance); it could never be the means of a cure for his spiritual dearth. His greed and his arrogance concerning his “gain” was what labelled him a “rich fool” (as opposed to your label of a “successful businessman”).

  41. Dean…funny, I was going to say the same thing about the processed food lasting forever due to the preservatives. I had an experience with margarine sitting on my counter for 6 months (kitchen was under construction)…it’s appearance didn’t change one iota. Meh!
    Agata…another great link your provided above. There is another link within it to an article about “podvig” that was really good. I like the words the Russians use, and how they do not mince words! (I remember your link to the You Tube video by Fr.
    How do you find the time to attend to all your reading, praying, church and work full time, raising your three teenage boys and running a household?! Certainly God is with you! And I know there are many out there with families that do the same (the article speaks much about this). I am inspired by those who have such responsibilities, and how God gives us the strength to deal with the lives He has given us. As one who has remained single, you would think it would be an easier life. But I have found the absence of a family to be a burden as well. It is interesting. We all need each other though, and that’s the bottom line.

  42. My dearest Paula,
    I am now single too! 🙂
    And two out of three boys are now away in college, so I just have one (1/2 time) and the dog (I feel most guilty neglecting him when I have to leave the house for work, and now even more for the Lenten services or weekend retreats. But somehow he forgives me, he always forgives everything; he is my best teacher of joy and unconditional love).. 🙂
    I have wonderful friends who share their finds, so I just reciprocate when I can… Fr. Andrei is certainly one-of-a-kind…
    This blog and Father Stephen have been a great blessing for my life. And a source for amazing friends. Such as you.. Thank you for all your wonderful comments.
    I planned to stay away today (give silence and restriction on my “idle talk” a better try), but I cannot leave your kind words without a reply… Thank you.

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