February 19, 2014

Saint Porphyrios on Zealotry and the Ecclesiastical Calendar

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyva said the following about the Calendar issue:

"If you are going to live in the world, follow the calendar that belongs to the Church, that you may not bring upheaval to the people, unless you desire to live in Mount Athos."

Even if you were to live in Mount Athos, the venerable Elder went on to advise:

"Be in communion with the Church and the Monasteries and do not live in the delusion of 'zealotry', because through your indiscriminate zealotry there exists a split in the Church, with everyone lifting up their banner. It indicates egoism and not an Orthodox mindset which is adorned with humility and obedience."

This is why he stressed:

"To preserve our unity, we should be obedient to the Church, to her Bishops. By obeying the Church, we are obeying Christ Himself. We must have pain for the Church. Let us not accept the criticism of her representatives.

In Mount Athos the spirit I learned was Orthodox - deep, holy, silent, without quarrels, without fights and condemnation. Let us not believe those who criticize the clergy. Even if we see something negative happening with our eyes by some clergyman, let us not believe it, nor think about it, or relay it. The same goes for the lay members of the Church and for every person. We are all the Church. Whoever criticizes the Church for the mistakes of her representatives, in order to supposedly help her, are making a big mistake. These do not love the Church. Nor of course Christ. We love the Church, when with our prayers we embrace each of her members and do whatever Christ does. We sacrifice ourselves, are vigilant, and strive to our utmost, like Him, who, 'when they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats' (1 Pet. 2:23)."

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.