July 10th, 2006

HTOC

Ugliness

In case one was under the impression that my favorable writings about the Orthodox Church (not to mention my membership in it) somehow witness to a Church free of scandal, hypocrisy, false prophets and sin.....

These four posts by the Ochlophobist are the most difficult yet necessary things that I've read in some time:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Lord, have mercy.

"Better real darkness than false light, say the saints; better real confusion than false simplicity", - From a speech given by Fr. Thomas Hopko
HTOC

From Father Hopko:

Men and women who are truly theologically and spiritually educated reveal a boldness born of humility, a confidence tempered by tentativeness, a speech generated by silence, an apology inspired by charity.  They resist premature closure of complex issues and superficial answers to complicated questions.  They know how to live with ambiguity as they give, with meekness and gentleness, account for the hope that is in them.  They speak the truth in love with an enlightened zeal that prevents them from replacing God's righteousness with their own.  They evangelize without seeking to convert.  They witness without seeking to win.  They teach without desiring to dominate.  They testify to truths in which they delight and find life, whatever the cost of their convictions, because they simply cannot do otherwise.  And they have infinite respect for everyone and everything. (Emphasis mine)