Sharing Orthodoxy in a Post-Christian Age
By Abbot Tryphon, December 27, 2019
If we wish to share the truth of the Orthodox Faith, and Christ Who is her head, we must give witness to the love of Christ by loving everyone. Without Christ, Orthodoxy is just another religion, devoid of the power to transform and deify the human heart. Without Christ the Church is nothing but a human institution, no different than a political party.
For the Church to be herself, Christ must be visible in the love of her bishops and priests. Christ must be seen in the love of her people, and the charity and kindness that is displayed by all who call themselves Orthodox.
Without Christ our world is devoid of hope, and for others to know Christ, they must be able to see Him in us. The light of Christ must shine forth through the love of His Church and be made manifest in the works of His people. Without this love there is only darkness upon the face of the earth, and the world will remain without hope.
Others cannot know they need Christ if they do not see Him in us. They do not know this Christ fills hearts and transforms lives if they do not see transformation in us. If we are fearful, angry, judgmental, arrogant or aloof, the world will see nothing in our Orthodox Christian faith worthy seeking.
If others do not see in us a forgiving heart, how will they know there is forgiveness in Christ? If others do not see in us a heart filled with joy, how will they know they need the very Christ whom we proclaim as our Lord and Savior? If others see in us a judgmental, narrow minded, unhappy person, why would they be drawn to the Orthodoxy we claim is the true faith?
Christ empowers us to change the hearts and minds of others by the example of our allowing Christ to change us. In the words of Saint Seraphim of Sarov, if we “acquire a humble and contrite heart, a thousand around us will be saved”.
With love in Christ,
~Abbot Tryphon, The Morning Offering, https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/morningoffering/2019/12/sharing-orthodoxy-2/.
Hospital of the Soul
The Church is the hospital where we can find healing
By Abbot Tryphon, December 30, 2019
Our Orthodox Faith defines sin as an illness that is in need of healing, not as a crime that requires punishment. The Church is a hospital for the soul whose therapists (priests) first sought therapy and then became the therapists. As a healing institution the Church is the place for broken souls.
We come before Christ as tarnished images, far from that which God intended. Yet this very Creator God is patient and loving, quick to forgive. Our God invites us to holiness, to be made whole. His grace is sufficient to lift us up out of our mire and into the heights of a joy and gladness that is meant to be eternal. We need only to humble ourselves and ask for help and the Kingdom is ours.
Heaven and hell are not about location, but about relationship. All that is needed is our responsive word, followed by action. We say yes to God’s invitation while seeking out the therapy that is ours within the life of the Church.
Wholeness (holiness) is ours through this relationship with Christ, Who’s redemptive act upon the Cross, together with His having conquered death by death, delivers us from the depths of estrangement. We are lifted up to God, having been made whole, and eternal communion with God is our destiny.
With love in Christ,
~Abbot Tryphon, The Morning Offering, https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/morningoffering/2019/12/hospital-of-the-soul/.