Loss of Meaning

15th October, 2018


Fr Emmanuel

Never take it for granted when you walk into the Orthodox Church.  You enter into a special and holy place.  All that you hear and see and feel are not of human innovation but divine inspiration. Such inspiration and enlightenment that through the ages the holy traditions have evolved to allow us to witness and become direct participants of the truth through the Divine Liturgy, the Sacraments and other services of our most Holy Church.  What we witness is the truth of Christ.  We see this truth in the icons, in the words we hear at the services drawn from the New and the Old Testaments, we hear the Gospel and Epistles as they were written by the Apostles.  In this wonderful place of prayer we are surrounded by angels.

All that is laid before us and we experience has real meaning.  The Church is steeped in a living holy tradition, a fountain of living water.

There is the Nicene Creed- the statement of our belief set by the holy fathers of the Church in the first and second Ecumenical Councils in 325AD and 381AD.  The wording of the Creed is unchanged even to the present day.

We should not take the Orthodox Church for granted.  In her is embodied the full truth of the Holy Gospels and Christ’s love for us leading to our salvation through our cooperation with His Divine Will.

It saddens me greatly, even to the point of despair, when I hear and see what is happening with the broken branches of Christianity that have long since dispensed with this holy and heavenly Orthodox tradition.  The passage of time has allowed them to believe that their human innovations and interpretations are acceptable and appropriate practices of the faith.  How misguided are they for they have lost all sight of the Canons which were written by the holy fathers as inspired by the Holy Spirit to guide the faithful on matters of truth, faith and worship.  And these Canons did not simply come to the holy fathers in a flash but through long and arduous debate, fasting and prayer to recognise and excise those heresies that had emerged through human innovation.  The holy fathers prayed continuously and toiled unceasingly for guidance on every issue relating to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Those broken branches lie in  ignorance of the history, holy traditions and Canons of the Church.  In their ignorance they now repeat the mistakes which led to the serious heresies of yesteryear.    Such is the level of their ignorance that it is now a self-perpetuating process for serving the interests of people (anthropocentric) rather than to search for the truth to serve and glorify God.

Such spirituality, if we can call it that, is indistinguishable from the activities of earthly organisations or institutions.  Such wordly traditions rob humanity of the mysteries of God and knowledge of the inner life.  Such secular activities are devoid of any mysticism and have the effect of misleading people away from the ultimate goal of every person, Theosis (union with God).

‘ The life of the Saints have been buried and forgotten and hardly ever spoken of… ‘

Spiritual disorder then becomes a feature that permeates every aspect of worship, the practice of the faith and beliefs, though this spiritual disorder is well disguised by its counterfeit worldly order and sense of human organisation and tradition.  Pop songs replace the Psalms and Chants, speeches, eulogies and sermons celebrate humanity which replace the beautiful words of the Apostles and the Saints whose life example taught us how to truly glorify God.  The life of the Saints have been buried and forgotten and hardly ever spoken of.  All these have been replaced by honouring the lives of men for their worldly achievements rather than for Glorifying God.

But as St Paul said to the Thessalonians ”we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.  For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness – God is our witness.   Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others…” (1Thess.2:4-6)

Fr Emmanuel

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Fr Emmanuel

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59 Carr st, West Perth