God and Us

By Fr. Rafail Noica

What God would like for man to do is to be a humble receiver of Him. For the reason why the Lord commands us, among other things, to be humble, is to allow Him – the Almighty God – to humble Himself before us. Didn’t Christ say that “you call me a master and a teacher – and that I am – but I have washed your feet… and I have thus given you an example of how you should treat each other”?

…Now isn’t that philokalic? Isn’t that godly humbleness philokalic? What about God’s humbleness, when, as He makes man, Adam, in His image and likeness – so much so, so truly a god, that when it comes to Adam’s freedom, the Almighty Himself steps back…? That is the frightening thing, to man: the fact that God – and most of all, this God that one so often calls out to and appears to be nowhere, like calling into thin air, and does not hear one – this God, who, when He made man in His image and likeness, did it so thoroughly – well, even He respects in man that element of likeness to Him, which is man’s freedom.     

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Do Animals Have A Soul?

By Cornel Dragoş

If I say there are other creatures of God, [what I mean is that] some are less wonderful than the soul, and others are like the soul. An animal’s soul, for example, is less wonderful than a man’s soul, and that of an angel is just as wonderful: yet nothing is better than the soul itself. And if at a certain instance, none of these is better, that is the consequence of the sin that that soul has committed and has nothing to do with its nature. However, sin will not pull man down to the point where an animal’s soul would be preferred over the former’s one or even compared with it.”

These surprising words by St. Augustin point out the greatness of human soul compared to that of the non-speaking beings. Yet, what kind of soul do animals have? A nuanced answer by the Holy Fathers in what follows herein…

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