Monday, September 14, 2009

Wholeness & Contemporary Orthodox Christian Dilemma

Very often, born in to a family of Orthodox Christians from India, We are not taught to live and grow in life of the Church. When the realization hits us straight on of our ignorance , we run delusional ,confused not knowing where to turn and go through a hurt filled life affected by trauma that the Church has fallen short and is lacking.

Yes we have fallen short, but it is not the Church .It is merely us not taking the time to seek the depth of our faith and see how the fathers have lived this life in the Church for the last two millennia and not trusting God is present in our own times and who remains who He is to St. Paul as this God Who is able to make all grace abound towards you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things ,may have an abundance for every good work.

This article was shared by Fr. John Brian and I pray that by posting it here would encourage another person who read it not to lose heart and go through the trauma I have had to go through and make me to follow this through in my life. Please pray for me and Let us seek Him who is God as members of the Church by earnestly crying out - "Lord Have Mercy"

Bishop Kallistos Ware
Excerpts from an interviewed in Parabola Magazine, February 1985

In the Orthodox spiritual tradition we often use the word “heart.” By heart we mean not just the emotions or feelings but the deep center, the true self. Our aim is to discover the place of the heart, to unite the brain with its knowledge to the heart; and in the heart also feeling is found. Our aim, then, is to integrate them on the level of the deep heart. And the body is also involved in this, because the body is not a piece of clothing but out integral self. The body plays its part through ascetic effort, by which I don’t mean just self-denial, but self-control. It plays its part through symbolic actions. There are ways also in which the rhythms of the body, the rhythm of the breathing, for example, can be used in prayer and meditation. The body is not just a piece of matter to be ignored, and still less something evil to be hated. The body is an aspect of our self, which we are to live to the full.

The whole person is not just a self-contained, self-centered unity. The whole person is a person who is on the one side open to God, and on the other side open to other human persons. The human being without God is not truly human. We were created to enter into a relationship with God, to be in dialogue with Him, and if that relationship is not present something essential is lacking from our personhood. Equally, we are created to relate to other human persons. It has been said that there is no true man unless there are two men entering into communication with one another. The isolated individual is not a real person. A real person is one who lives in and for others. And the more personal relationships we form with others, the more truly we realize ourselves as persons. This idea of openness to God, openness to other persons, could be summed up under the word “love.” We become truly personal by loving God and by loving other humans. By love I don’t mean merely an emotional feeling, but a fundamental attitude. In its deepest sense, love is the life, the energy, of God Himself in us.

For me, as an Orthodox Christian, the journey towards wholeness involves prayer, in the sense of personal, private prayer, standing in silence before God; but also in the sense of communal prayer, sharing in the services of the Church, sharing in the Sacraments. It involves, beyond prayer, joining in all the other practices of the Church; in fasting, in the reading of Holy Scripture. Is it possible to grow without these things? God is very generous. Man people who have no religious practice do grow in self-understanding, do show creative love towards others. They are open to their fellow humans. And there are many people who are open towards God who do not belong to any particular church. I do not wish to judge them. I accept the authenticity and integrity of their inner life. Yet, I believe that in its fullness, the growth of the human person towards wholeness is intended by God to take place within church life.

"A Little Spiritual Help" is for
Also on Facebook

Sponsored by Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Parish
621 N. Sherman Avenue, Suite B3
Madison, Wisconsin 53704
Sundays 9:30am ~ 608.242.4244

No comments: