All Saints

Yesterday, on the Orthodox calendar, was the commemoration of All Saints. This is the day set aside to commemorate all of those people whom God has chosen as saints. I was reminded that we humans do not make saints, God does that, we commemorate them. We can learn much from the saints and we should read their lives as they are imitators of Jesus Christ.
This past week I was involved in a conversation about the teachings of the Orthodox Church on certain moral issues. I will not discuss the moral issues as that is not the point of this post. With that said the conversation turned to at first a respectful disagreement then got downright nasty. The final comment from the other person in the discussion was that the Orthodox Church needs to change if it is going to survive. Well that’s it right there.
My response was that I would rather see my Church close then to compromise on the faith that she has taught for more than 2,000 years. I would rather see it closed then compromise the faith that countless people died defending or were jailed for speaking. You see the Church in Romania, of which we are a spiritual child of, was not well liked in many circles by the authorities under Communism.
One of my predecessors here was jailed for 18 years for speaking out in Romania about what the Government was doing. He was told to stop preaching and he refused so he was sent to one of the worst prisons in Romania. After 18 years he was released and he came to America to my little Church here in Southbridge. He did not compromise his faith and neither will I.
Yes, many of our positions are not popular or politically correct, well neither was Jesus. Love everyone yes, but Jesus always pointed out when someone was not living the life they were supposed too. Call it judgement if you like, but correcting someones behavior with love is not judgement but the Christian thing to do.
I am a priest in the Orthodox Church and I make no apologies for what the Church teaches. I preach the faith that has been handed down to me from the Apostles and has survived far worse than low numbers. I am not concerned about numbers, my goal is quality not quantity.
Many of the saints gave their lives for the Church. I would dishonor their memories if I dared to compromise on what she teaches.


  1. Father – I had such a conversation at coffee hour yesterday. I imagine that the topic of your conversation and the topic of mine were, in fact, different, although I am disinclined to mention the subject we discussed as well. What struck me is that for us moral issues can not be discussed as discrete topics. Issues of (eg) sex, gender, etc, quickly leap to issues of Sacramental and/or Trinitarian Theology. I remember one discussion of a pretty common topic that quickly became, "If that is the case than Jesus is not the Second person of the Trinity."

    In discussing morality, qua morals, it is often easier to claim a black and white discourse. In relating all such topics, Orthodoxly, to the Trinity and the Holy Mysteries, the obligation becomes not one of discerning "new truth" or defending "old truth" but one of remaining in loving communion; of relating all truth claims (new and old) to the only Truth there is (Jesus).

    It's a curious quality of our "orthoparadoxy".

  2. You'd be amazed by how much of this I agree with.

    It seems the only thing we are not in agreement about is our opinions concerning Axios. I am 100% sure, as a facet of my Very Real Faith in the Lord, that I am worthy. You think otherwise, and it breaks my heart.

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