June 19, 2010

Elder Paisios: "The Two Extremes Always Weary Mother Church"

The two extremes always weary Mother Church, as well as those who hold to them, because the two extremes as a rule stab one another. In other words, it is as if the one extreme is held by a possessed man who is spiritually insolent (and feels contempt for everything), and the other extreme is held by a madman who is childishly zealous with narrow-mindedness. God forbid — these two ends could strike at one another continually and “an end to it all” no one will find.

Those who will be able to bend these two extremes and make them unite, will be crowned by Christ with two imperishable crowns.

We should neither create problems in the Church nor magnify the minor human disorders that occur, so as not to create greater evil and the wicked one rejoice.

He who is irritated about a minor disorder and abruptly rushes to ostensibly correct it (with vehemence and petulance) resembles the light-headed sacristan who sees a candle dripping and abruptly dashes to fix it, stumbling over people and candlesticks, and thus causing an even greater disorder during the Divine Service.

Unfortunately, in our day, there are many who weary Mother Church. Among these, those who are educated have grasped the dogma with their mind and not with the spirit of the Holy Fathers. Others, who are unlearned, have grasped the dogma with their teeth, which explains why they grate their teeth when discussing ecclesiastical themes. Hence it is that they cause more serious harm to the Church than the enemies of our Orthodoxy.

This excerpt is from “Elder Paisios of Mount Athos: Epistles” p. 135.