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Theosis. Lossky, Vladimir Church. Aim of Life Acquisition of the Holy Spirit

Aim of Life. To become the image of God. Anthony of Sourozh

We must choose to become the image of God

Creativeness, however, is something more complex than the ability to call out new forms, to shape one's surroundings or even to determine to a certain extent...our destiny. It begins with the ability to change — to change intentionally. Creativeness begins with the ability a being has...to become what he is not yet, to start at the point at which he was created and then grow into a fullness that he did not possess before: from image to likeness, if you will — having begun to be, as it were, a reflection, to become the reality itself; having begun to be in the image of the invisible Creator, to become the image of God incarnate.

…And this process is a creative process. It is not an organic one; it is not something that must develop inevitably; it is something that we must choose and that we must achieve with the grace of God.

Time and again we ask ourselves what is the aim of the Christian life: what can we do to be true Christians? A simple, but very realistic reply is to say “Fulfil all the commandments, and you will be a Christian”.

…the commandments which Christ left us are not drilling orders. In the commandments He reveals to us what we should do if our heart were pure, if we communed with God, if we were true to ourselves. …it is not simply by doing things that this is achieved, but by becoming the kind of person for whom these things are their true nature; in other words, by willing to be the true, undistorted image of Christ.

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
Protecting Veil of the Mother of God
Sunday 14 October 1990

To understand Christ's thought, heart

Question: For the Orthodox Christian and the Orthodox Christian path, what is the ideal goal or result for a human being?

Metropolitan Anthony: I think I would answer in a way that may sound very stupid: to become a real human being. Because habitually we are not real human beings, we are human animals. We develop our intellect, we have our emotions, we have a wavering will. This is not real harmony. This is not wholeness. The perfect wholeness to us is the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The aim of the Christian life is to become disciples, people who learn from Him, not only obedient in the sense of being well drilled but obedient in the sense of being able to listen deeply, to understand His thought, His heart, and to grow into the full measure of our humanity, which is His humanity.

Active self-abandonment to God

Man's aim, the end and vocation set before him, is that through and beyond his own union with God, he should make this transcendent yet ever-present God (who enfolds and penetrates all, in whom we live and move and have our being, but who remains unknown to the world, unknowable indeed from without) interior and immanent in man and through man in the world; united with his creature indissolubly, though without confusion, distinct yet not alien, still himself, still personal, still God—yet closer to the soul than breathing itself...

Thus, as he embarks on his course, the Christian must make his peace with God, with his own conscience, with men and things; relinquish all care about himself, firmly purpose to forget himself, not to know himself, to kill in himself all greed, even for spiritual things, in order to know nothing but God alone...

Henceforward the worshipper must free himself from the bondage of the world by unconditional obedience — joyful, total, humble, and immediate; he must in all simplicity seek God, without hiding any of his wretchedness, without founding any hope on himself, in this active self-abandonment to God which is the spirit of watchfulness in humility, in veneration, with a sincere will to be converted, ready to die rather than give up the search.

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