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.'
Section 5 of sayings from the book, 'The Ancient Fathers of the Desert.'
Section 4 of sayings from the book, 'The Ancient Fathers of the Desert.'
Third section of sayings from the book, 'The Ancient Fathers of the Desert.'
Section 2 of sayings from the book, 'The Ancient Fathers of the Desert.'
First section of sayings from the book, 'The Ancient Fathers of the Desert.'
As Eastern Orthodoxy grows among English-speaking peoples, Western Christians are becoming increasingly familiar with Christianity�s oldest tradition, with the Church which claims to bring to modernity the very spirit and essence of the Apostolic Church. Yet this familiarity, as flattering as it might be to a venerable faith which has seen the ancient witness of millions upon millions of its children fade into social and historical obscurity in the West, is fraught with danger. For, paradoxically, the growth of Eastern Orthodoxy is occurring at a time when Orthodox spirituality is at a particular low. A vast majority of the Church struggles in Eastern Europe under the yoke of political persecution. In many places the simple discus�sion of Orthodoxy is perilous. Monasticism, often characterized by Eastern Fathers as the barometer by which Orthodox spiritual health is measured, is engaged in what appears to be a losing battle with contemporary social ideals and morality. Some of the most popular Orthodox theologians are tainted in their teachings by Western thought and by a non-Orthodox mentality. And with overwhelming sadness, we have seen, in the last several decades, the passing of many of the spiritual giants (Elder Philotheos Zervakos of Greece and Archimandrite Justin Popovich of Serbia, among others) who have been our living links to Orthodoxy�s healthier spiritual past.