By Professor Panagiotis Asimakopoulos
In school we learned that the word "and" connects similar things. Wrong!
Usually people use it to reveal dichotomies which they strive to balance.
"You and I," "body and soul," "God and man."
As a child I remember people asking to choose between two things: Religion or life? They would "help" make the choice as follows:
"Do you laugh? Do you go out? Do you wear make-up? Do you listen to music? Do you dress this way? Do you depart from what is acceptable? Then you are not a good Christian. God does not love you. You sadden God. God is angry. Therefore, choose."
And for some inexplicable (demonic for many) reason, young people overwhelmingly chose and choose life. And religion emptied. And "God" punished, was sad and angry.
Then sometime in adolescence, enlightened people dared to spell out: "Christ is against the religious and hardliners. Christianity is not a religion, but a Church and a theology of love."
Mother of God, what kind of slap in the face was this?
Some of us succeeded and softly walked between the barred boxes of our mind and approached life. Carefully lest we be hurt by the nails. Impossible. We were pierced in one way or another. But we arrived at the horizon of life. We peeked inside. All was light, joy and beauty. Somewhere there we discerned Christ. He was joyful and loving. Suddenly behind us a noise was heard. We turned and saw religion thundering in the darkness. Strong and sullen.
From then on we lost our trace. Some entered into life listening to their hearts, others returned to religion obeying their logic. And some others went along the path. During the day they are prudent and dressed in religion and at night they crawl tattered by life. At a safe distance however.
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.