The Burning Bush on the Mountain of God

Moses and the Burning Bush
 
Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here am I.” (Ex. 3:1-4, RSVCE)
 
“Moses, in the Egyptian desert, was looking after the flocks of his father-in-law Jethro. Wending his way across the desert he came to Horeb, ‘the mountain of God’. And it was there that the angel of the Lord, or rather the Lord God Himself in the shape of an angel, appeared to him in the midst of flames of fire. The flames were blazing out of a bush. Yet the bush was not consumed or destroyed. Moses was overcome with amazement. He decided to turn aside, to deviate from his intended course, so as to gain a closer view of ‘this great site’ and to see ‘why the bush is not burnt’.

“Moses turned aside from his original path. He felt that the marvel of the Burning Bush warranted making a stop; he was moved with desire to contemplate it and ponder deeply on it. He accepted without question this sudden, extraordinary, divine event. And it was because he did not hesitate to change his direction towards the Burning Bush that God was able to call to him. ‘And when the Lord saw that [Moses] turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the Bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.’

“All this applies just as much to us today as it did to Moses. If during the course of our lives we hurry along without stopping, without even a glance toward the Burning Bush (which nevertheless continues its blazing along the whole of our way…), we shall miss the opportunity God desires. If on the contrary, we do not hesitate to leave aside for a time the flocks of Jethro – our daily cares – the Lord will call to us from the midst of the bush. He will call to each one of us by a name that is our own.” (The Burning Bush by Archimandrite Lev Gillet. © 1976 by The Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius)

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Wisdom for Free and Untroubled Prayer

Staretz Saint Silouan of Mount Athos“Many people like to read good books, and this is right, but it is best of all to pray; while he who reads newspapers or bad books destines his soul to go hungry—hungry because the food of the soul and her true satisfaction are in God. He who would pray freely and untroubled must keep himself in ignorance of the news in newspapers, nor should he read mean books or be curious to know the details of other people’s lives. All these things fill the mind with thoughts that stain, and when one would try to sort them out they further entangle and weary. Now in God are life, joy, gladness, and the Lord loves us ineffably, and this love is made known by the Holy Spirit.”   (Startez Silouan, Wisdom from Mount Athos, pg. 83, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press)

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Sums Up All Righteousness

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? And Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets (Matt. 22:36-40).”

Justin Martyr, Jesus Sums of RighteousnessJustin Martyr: “For God sets before every race of mankind that which is always and universally just, as well as all righteousness. Every race knows that adultery, and fornication, and homicide, and such things (Matt. 15:18-19; Mark 7:20-22, 10:19; Ex. 20:12-17; Deut. 5:16-21) are sinful; and though they all commit such practices, they still do not escape from the knowledge that they act unrighteously whenever they do so, except for those who are possessed with an unclean spirit and who have been debased by education, by wicked customs, by sinful institutions, and who have lost, or rather quenched and buried their natural conscience. For we may see that such persons are unwilling to submit to the same things which they inflict upon others, and reproach each other with hostile consciences for the acts which they perpetrate.

“Consequently, I think that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ spoke well when He summed up all righteousness and piety  in two commandments. They are these: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul and mind, and with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself (Mark 12:30-31, Matt. 22:37-39, Luke 10:27, Deut. 6:5).” For the man who loves God with all his heart and with all his strength, being filled with a God-fearing mind, will reverence no other god (Ex. 20:2-6, Deut. 5:6-11, Matt. 4:10, Luke 4:8)…. And the man who loves his neighbor as himself will wish for him the same good things that he wishes for himself, for no man will wish evil things for himself. Accordingly, he who loves his neighbor would pray and labor that his neighbor may be possessed of the same benefits as himself…. Therefore, since all righteousness is divided into two branches in so far as it regards God and men; whoever, says the Scripture, loves the Lord God with all the heart and all the strength, and his neighbor as himself, would be truly a righteous man.” (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho Ch. 92, 132-135 A.D. Scripture references added for all who want to read these truths directly from the written and living Word of God.)

+ Justin Martyr, Pray for us +

The Word of Truth is Free

Jesus said…“If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (Jn 8:31, 32)

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Justin Martyr, Saint Justin MartyJustin Martyr:  “The word of truth is free, and carries its own authority, refusing to fall under any skillful argument or the scrutiny of its hearers. It is believed for its own nobility, and for the confidence due to Him who sends it. Now the word of truth is sent from God; therefore the freedom claimed by the truth is not arrogant. For being sent with authority, it is not fitting that authority be required to produce proof of what is said; since there is no proof beyond itself, which is God.

God, the Father of the universe, who is the perfect intelligence, is the truth. And the Word, being His Son, came to us, having put on flesh, revealing both Himself and the Father, giving to us in Himself resurrection from the dead, and eternal life afterwards. And this is Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. He, therefore, is Himself both the faith and the proof of Himself and of all things. Therefore, those who follow Him, and know Him, having faith in Him as their proof, shall rest in Him. But since the adversary does not cease to resist many, and uses many and various arts to ensnare them, that he may seduce the faithful from their faith, and that he may prevent the faithless from believing, it seems to me necessary that we also, being armed with the invulnerable doctrines of the faith, do battle against him in behalf of the weak.”  (Justin Martyr (100-165). Excerpts from Fragments of his lost work on the Resurrection)

+ Justin Martyr, pray for us +