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Spiritual Kinship

Thurs­day. [Rom. 15:17–29; Matt. 12:46–13:3] For whoso­ev­er shall do the will of My Father which is in Heav­en, the same is My broth­er, and sis­ter, and moth­er. By this the Lord gives us to know that the spir­i­tu­al kin­ship which He came to plant and raise up on the earth is not the same as flesh­ly kin­ship; although in the form of its rela­tion­ships, the spiritu?al is the same as the flesh­ly. The spir­i­tu­al also con­tains fathers and moth­ers — they are those who give birth to peo­ple with the word of truth or the gospel, as the apos­tle Paul says. And it con­tains also broth­ers and sis­ters — they are those who are born spir­i­tu­al­ly from one per­son and grow in one spir­it. The con­nec­tion between [spir­i­tu­al] rel­a­tives is found­ed on the action of grace. It is not exter­nal, not superfi?cial, but as deep and alive as the flesh­ly con­nec­tion, only it has its place in anoth­er much high­er and impor­tant sphere. This is why it pre­dom­i­nates over the flesh­ly, and when nec­es­sary, it brings the flesh­ly as a sac­ri­fice to its spir­i­tu­al inter­ests with­out regret, in full cer­tain­ty that this sac­ri­fice is pleas­ing to God and is required by Him.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse