Seek First

by abbamoses

If there is one overarching debasement of the Christian vision in our days, it is the loss of a constant gaze upon the future life of man in the Kingdom… While the Christian may often acknowledge the Kingdom, may even speak of its attainment and its nature, how rarely today does an orientation of all life and living around and toward the Kingdom actually manifest itself, even among the baptized. Rather, the Kingdom of God is often taken as a kind of “backdrop” by which one can give a Christian flavor to the present. “I shall do such-and-such now, because such an act is loving, and the Kingdom of God is a kingdom of love.” Or, “I shall seek this good now, rather than that, because God’s Kingdom focuses on such aims.” It is not that there is no nobility in such reflections (certainly, they are better than a view which takes no account at all of the Kingdom); but the Christian life demands more than this. Christ does not say, “When you consider this life, remember the Kingdom and so let it inform what you seek.” Rather, He commands: Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Only after He has given this sole and primary focus to Christian endeavor, does He add: and all these things will be added unto you.

— Archimandrite Irenei, The Beginning of a Life of Prayer pp.23-24

Archimandrite Irenei’s book is short but intense. Available from St. Herman Press. Emphasis added.