Monday, March 17, 2008

The Cross of Metropolitan Laurus

The late Metropolitan Laurus was a man of deep and abiding humility, a true monk. He never sought power or abused his authority, but submitted himself in obedience to the tasks the Church asked him to fulfill, often at the price of great personal suffering. In his last years he suffered very, very deeply from those who opposed his efforts to restore unity to the Russian Orthodox Church, torn apart by the great upheavals of the twentieth century. He listened attentively to every protest, wept over every lost sheep, and followed what he believed to be God's will.

I vividly recall his brief, impromptu remarks upon having been clothed as Metropolitan in 2001. He based his remarks on John 21:18:
Verily, verily I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
These words exemplify for me Vladyka's profound humility and deeply Christian sense of humor. He will be missed very, very deeply.

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