Monday, July 2, 2012

Wisdom from Metropolitan John, part 1

After Fr. Luke returned from his most recent visit to Albania, his next several daily meditations opened with short quotations from Metropolitan John of Kor├ža. The first three of these quotations are reprinted below. More will follow.


Preaching with Words and Life
People are not impressed by words, because we can say anything but mean nothing. We transmit the Good News through our personal life. People are touched by this. I remember reading about a holy bishop from this region from 200 years ago. There was a Muslim agha, a Turkish lord, who was friends with this bishop, and one day the Muslim decided to become a Christian. The bishop asked him, “Why? I never preached to you about Christ.” To which the agha responded, “Yes, you didn’t preach to me with words, but you preached each day with your life, and from your life I have understood you have the Truth.”

Sanctification through Sacrifice
We have to serve to people with courage regardless of sacrifices. Sacrifices for the sake of Christ will not harm us, but they are the only way to reach him. Sacrifice is not an end, it’s a means. Like the cross, it’s not an end in itself, it’s a means. The end is the resurrection. As Archbishop Anastasios says, “The Resurrection is not an event that happened after the cross, it’s in the cross.” And the sacrifice is the means of sanctification. The meaning of the two words is the same. Sacrifice: sacra (holy) and fic, a form of facere (make). The same meaning is in the word sanctify, sanctificare: sancta (holy) and ficare, another form of facere (make). So in order to sanctify something, we should sacrifice. Sanctification does not happen after but in the sacrifice.

Sharing the Light of Christ
We have to share our faith and the light of Christ with those in darkness. If we really believe in it, we will share it. Unfortunately, the reason why we don’t try is maybe because we don’t believe, because our words are only on our lips and not rooted in our hearts. Someone who has tasted the divine light of God, and has experienced the joy that comes from this light, will find it difficult not to share it with others. I can say that if we share the light of God with the others, it is a sign that the light is in us; if we don’t share it, it is not.

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