November 20, 2014

The Ecclesiastical Ethos

By His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Fthiotidos

It is the sought after type of being, even within the Church. It is what should distinguish the faithul and especially those clergy devoted to the ministry of the Church, yet it is so distorted and abused, that it is used as a promotional image for the creation of impressions and to achieve goals.

The ethos of the Church is the ethos and character of Christ. It is the ethos of the saints.

When we say that a certain person has an ecclesiastical ethos, it should be understood that they have an unwavering faith in God, that they violently give themselves over to piety, that their behavior is sincere, that they are distinguished for their simplicity and humility, that for the achievement of their objective they do not use abnormal, cunning, underground and corrupt means, that they accept sorrows with patience, that they daily become imitators of the saints, that they essentially love everyone.

Saint Paul describes an ecclesiastical ethos as follows: "Be an example to the believers in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (1 Tim. 4:12).

The ecclesiastical ethos belongs to a rare type of being in our days. It has been bypassed for skill, diplomacy, opportunism, utilitarianism, swagger, immorality and all those devises used by people in the world.

It is not a tragedy that people who are in darkness war against the ecclesiastical ethos.

Both the dramatic and tragic thing is that we who are in the Church do not embrace in our lives the ethos of the Church, but we use it as a "resounding gong or a clanging cymbal" (1 Cor. 13:1) to impress and achieve our goals.

In this case the divine Paul advises:

"If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit" (Gal. 5:25).

Source: From the newspaper of Fthiotidos Εκκλησιαστική Φωνή (Ecclesiastical Voice). Translated by John Sanidopoulos.