On a number of occasions in the ecclesiastical year the Church prays that God will protect humanity from natural catastrophes: earthquakes, storms, famine and floods. But today we see the reverse. On 1st September the day devoted to God's handiwork, the Church implores the Creator to protect nature from calamities of human origin, calamities such as pollution, war, exploitation, waste and secularism.
The purpose of this brief article is to review several authoritative sources of the Byzantine centuries (330-1453) that bear on the origins, development, jurisdictional responsibilities, and authority of today's Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Orthodox Christian Church.
Although the tension between Greek thought and Christian faith has never been absent from the history and experience of Hellenism, a synthesis and a balance was achieved in the fourth century thanks to the intellect of persons like Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory the theologian, Cynesios of Cyrene, Socrates Scholastikos and others who were trained in the Greek classics and the Holy Scriptures. A student of early Christianity soon discovers how often ideas from the wisdom of the ancient Greek compliment rationally some of those in the Gospels and the literature of the New Testament.
The cry for transformation and sanctification corresponds to the deepest longings and desires of the human being. The world as it is, our existence, as it actually is, needs transformation. We cannot be content with things as they are. We must change ourselves and the way things are; but how?
Section 7 of sayings from the book, 'The Ancient Fathers of the Desert.'
Section 6 of sayings from the book, 'The Ancient Fathers of the Desert.'