After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY


A Complete Conversion

Fr. Seraphim Rose wrote of himself in the third person:

Not too many years ago [this was written 1978] the Abbess of a convent of the Russian Orthodox Church, a woman of righteous life, was delivering a sermon in the convent church on the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God. With tears she entreated her nuns and the pilgrims who had come for the feast to accept entirely and wholeheartedly what the Church hands down to us, taking such pains to preserve this tradition sacredly all these centuries -- and not to choose for oneself what is "important" and what is "dispensible"; for by thinking oneself wiser than the tradition, one may end up by losing the tradition. Thus, when the Church tells us in her hymns and icons that the Apostles were miraculously gathered together from the ends of the earth in order to be present at the repose and burial of the Mother of God, we as Orthodox Christians are not free to deny this or to reinterpret it, but must believe as the Church hands down to us, with simplicity of heart.

A young Western convert who learned Russian was present when this sermon was delivered. He himself had thought about this very subject, having seen icons in the traditional iconographic style depicting the Apostles being transported on clouds to behold the Dormition of the Theotokos; and he had asked himself the question: are we actually to understand this "literally," as a miraculous event, or is it only a "poetic" way of expressing the coming together of the Apostles for this event ... or perhaps even an imaginative or "ideal" depiction of an event that never occurred in fact?  (Such, indeed, are some of the questions with which "Orthodox theologians" occupy themselves in our days.)  The words of the righteous Abbess therefore struck him to the heart, and he understood that there was something deeper to the reception of Orthodoxy than what our own mind and feelings tell us.  In that instant the tradition was being handed down to him, not from books but from a living vessel which contained it; and it had to be received, not with mind and feeling only, but above all with the heart, which in this way began to receive its deeper training in Orthodoxy.

1 comment:

Joanna said...

The heart that Fr. Seraphim refers to is NOT the "heart" meant by the charismatics when they say, "the Lord put it in my heart..." or "letting Jesus speak to your heart," etc. That charismatic "heart" is just Satan playing with their imagination and emotions, all they receive is a supernatural sensuous experience.

Fr. Seraphim wrote to a person preparing for baptism:

"Don't have a hypocritical attitude. By this I don't mean to give up up your intellect and discernment, but rather to place them in obedience to a 'believing heart' [heart meaning not mere 'feeling,' but something much deeper – the organ that knows God]."

I see a big difference between the disbelief of Orthodox charismatics and the disbelief of the Orthodox evolutionists. The Orthodox evolutionists have an issue with Genesis. They seek to reinterpret Genesis, they don't accept the literal interpretation of 7 – 24 hour days. We are not required by the Church to believe in this.

But Orthodox charismatics have an issue with God: the Holy Spirit, one of the Trinity. They don't just seek to reinterpret the Holy Spirit. They want to supplant it with a false spirit that they found somewhere outside the Church. This is forbidden by the Church.

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