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Saints and Feasts of December 9

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Relationship Between Monastics and Missionaries


By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos

Unfortunately, we make a split between the grace-bearers, between monks and missionaries. Some think that the monks by their praying do not achieve any work in society, and others undervalue the missionary effort which other Christians make.

However, things are not so simple. Many are the gifts which the Holy Spirit gives for the building up of the Body of Christ. We must value and accept the gifts which are given by the Holy Spirit. To undervalue one gift is blasphemy, according to St. Symeon the New Theologian.

At another point in his teaching St. Symeon the New Theologian says that many people regarded the desert life as blessed, some the coenobitic life, and for others blessedness was to govern the people, to legislate, teach and establish Churches: "But I would not wish to give preference to any of these states or exalt one type of life and discredit another. In all walks of life, whatever our work and activities, blessed is the life lived for God and according to God".

It is not a matter of the work we do in the Church, but of whether we do it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, whether we perform it in the fear of God and whether we are aiming at the glory of God. Then, whatever this work is, it is blessed and will have eternal results. Otherwise our work will be burned (1 Cor. 3:12-15).
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