Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Mark of Orthodoxy

Photios Kontoglou writes:
"The mark of Orthodoxy is simplicity of heart which brings faith."
I couldn't agree more. I've been very sick for two years. My illness has at time striped away everything external, leaving me alone with myself. Everything superfluous has slipped away. My faith has been tried to my very core, and I've been left searching for essentials. Academic learning has been of no use to me, nor have learned books. I've found consolation above all in the reading of the New Testament which, in its simplicity, more than any other book places us face to face with Christ. I've rediscovered a simple and real piety that had gotten lost underneath my sophistication. I've learned to keep it simple, as the cliche goes, and it indeed has led to a faith that book learning never could.


Anonymous said...

I am a fool, so I don't know what I'm talking about, but it seems to me that part of that simplicity comes from knowing the limits of self to meet even the most rudimentary matters of import. I am finding myself slowly (because I love them) discarding all my hard-crafted skills and wisdom. I find them worse than useless, a distraction even.

When I just do what I should as I've been told and as I can about what is in front of me... simplicity springs forth from dependency. There is no other way.

protov said...

"Alas! today theologians have ended up being 'disputers of this world'. Men who are concerned with religion write piles of books, big and important, filled with so-called 'theological learning' which, owing to its method of inquiry into religious matters, is nothing else than worldly knowledge that the Apostle Paul calls 'vain deceit' and 'cunning deception'. The Holy Gospel, which is simplicity itself, is dissected, examined, and dismembered according to systems of philosophy, of 'vain deceit'. Confusion, complexity, theories which confuse man, 'foolish searchings and genealogies and legalistic battles', mud which clouds the clear water springing up unto eternal life, all these things are written in the name of Him Who came into the world to save the lost seep - the man of vain knowledge - from the burden of his sinful mind, crying: 'Come unto Me all ye who are heavy laden with foolish and purposeless wisdom'. Piles of papers are written in the name of Christ and His Gospel, which the simplest heart experiences; while those who write these innumerable books have been wandering around in the maze and the darkness of their own wisdom, far from the Christ they have forgotten, engulfed by the vanities of their own intellects. Their heart no longer feel the breath of God; they are deadened and dried up by their self-conceited wisdom for which men honor them".
From the Prologue to "Against false union" by Alexander Kalomiros.