Monday, April 1, 2019

Our Orthodox philosophy must not become part of some kind of cult or sect, but rather part of our daily life. ( Father Seraphim Rose )

The one thing that can save us is simplicity. It can be ours if in our hearts we pray to God to make us simple; if we just do not think ourselves so wise; if, when it comes to a question like, "Can we paint an icon of God the Father?" we do not come up with a quick answer and say, "Oh, of course it's this way—such-and-such Council said so-and-so, canon number so-and-so." And so either we, "knowing" that we must be right, have to excommunicate everyone else—in which case we have "gone off the deep end"—or else we have to stop and think, "Well, I guess I don't know too much." The more we have this second attitude, the more we will be protected from spiritual dangers.

Accept simply the faith you receive from your fathers. If there is a simple hearted priest near you, give thanks to God. Consider that because you are so complex, "intellectual" and moody, you should be able to learn much from him. The more you grow in Orthodoxy by reading and exposure to Church and contact with Orthodox people, the more you will be able to "feel your way" in the whole realm of Orthodoxy. You will begin to see the wisdom behind things and people you had dismissed before. You will begin to see that even if the people who are the "links" to the past are not consciously "wise," nevertheless, God is guiding the Church. We know that He is with the Church until the end; there is no reason to "go off the deep end," to fall into apostasy and heresy.

If we follow the simple path—distrusting our own wisdom, doing the best that we can, yet realizing that our mind, without warmth of heart, is a very weak tool—then what Kireyevsky talked about will begin to happen: an Orthodox philosophy of life will begin to be formed in us.

We are confronted with the same obstacles Kireyevsky faced, only to an even greater degree. Living in the midst of Western culture, we have to try to assimilate a philosophy and theology which has come from almost 2,000 years ago and has become totally estranged and foreign to the world. Our Orthodox philosophy must not become part of some kind of cult or sect, but rather part of our daily life. By taking one small step at a time and not thinking that in one big leap we are going to get anywhere, we can walk straight into the Kingdom of Heaven—and there is no reason for any of us to fall away from that.

Father Seraphim Rose

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