Sunday, March 01, 2009

My sentiments exactly

O strange Orthodox Church, so poor and weak, with neither the organization nor the culture of the West, staying afloat as if by a miracle in the face of so many trials, tribulations and struggles; a Church of contrasts, both so traditional and so free, so archaic and so alive, so ritualist and so personally involved, a Church where the priceless pearl of the Gospel is assiduously preserved, sometimes under a layer of dust; a Church which in shadows and silence maintains above all the eternal values of purity, poverty, asceticism, humility and forgiveness; a Church which has often not known how to act, but which can sing of the joy of Pascha like no other.

-Lev Gillet

I agree with this quote because despite the problems that are in the Orthodox Church (ethnocentrism, homophobia), and how foreign it feels to me at times, it is still the Church of Jesus Christ that I am drawn to for my salvation. Fr. John Meyendorff said it was the right church but the wrong people. At times that seems true, although the Church is a hospital for sinners of all stripes. I am very sensitive to people who don't feel a part of "organized religion," any church, or Christianity itself. We must not speak from a tradition of triumphalism (though what we teach is true), but from humility. We show the truth of our creed and communion by the love we show, to each other, and especially to those who believe otherwise. I don't see Christ in everyone I meet, but I should, and I want to.


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