IT CAN BE TAKEN FROM US, AS WELL…

11-08-2012 Sublinieri

A kind of meditation on The Gospel of the evil vine-dressers applied to the realities of our days:

 

Father Raphael, you said that in our lands, orthodoxy is little understood and lived; could you make us more aware of this fact?

Father Raphael: I am glad you asked me this question. What happened to me in The West, happened to others there, too, when we were missing the things we were once taking for granted, and so, we started searching, and by searching we found more than we were expecting.  In my case, when I say that I lived orthodoxy as it being the nature of man itself, this meant that “more than I had been looking for”.  I was asking God within my heart: Lord, why would orthodoxy be truer or wiser or deeper, or whatever else, than the Protestantism that I had discovered? — the way that I was understanding it at the time. And, God showed me that orthodoxy wasn’t wiser, or truer, it was the nature of man. That’s why it’s more than anything. Any religion, any departure (from the truth), any ideal represents a man who is trying to find himself, and orthodoxy is that which man is looking for.

In our lands, it’s now happening what was once happening with the Jews of The Old Testament. Having been made aware by divine Revelation that they were the chosen people, they started using it as excuse for their pride. 

What was the first word of the voice of The Word of God, meaning John the Baptist?  The troparion calls him the voice of The Word, the voice from the desert – “do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones”. The equivalent of these words is applicable to all of orthodoxy in its lands of origin; here, in Russia, in Greece, I’ve seen the same things. Paradoxically, what has happened throughout history, or in The Old Testament, is happening today,  also.

Through the many departures (from the truth) in The West and Abroad, man is searching for himself, and he finds himself a little and he loses himself a little, yet, the awareness of what orthodoxy truly is will be more powerful where it is missing, where man is searching, not here, where it can be found everywhere, where there are priests in every corner, and, if you want to confess, you have a place to go. Yes! All is at hand, but we take it for granted, and because of that we lose it, we use it as an excuse for our sin; the sin of indifference, of carelessness, of the pride that we are this and that since we are chosen by God.

I tell you that from all the lands that I’ve seen, there is not one that doesn’t think it is the center of the world. There are tens of centers of the world, one of which, of course, will be… myself and my people. This is how we find an excuse for this kind of sin, this is how God’s own people crucified Him and lost Him together with their tradition. Apostle Paul would have anathematized himself just so his people would have returned to the truth, but they haven’t, even until today. My spiritual father would say: we are orthodox, but we cannot pride ourselves in being orthodox, we must be humble because we are orthodox. Orthodoxy is kept in humility.

(From the conference Fasting and forgiveness — an orthodox destiny and vocation”, April 2002, Alba-Iulia, Romania)

– Intreaga conferinta AUDIO – aici

– Versiunea in limba romana a articolului: SE POATE LUA SI DE LA NOI…


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ORTHODOXY IN ENGLISH, Parintele Rafail Noica

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  1. Pingback: Should I go a priest or a psychologist?” FATHER RAPHAEL NOICA`S APPEAL TO CHRISTIAN ORTHODOX PRIESTS -
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