July 19, 2015

St. Porphyrios on Being a First Century Christian Today

According to St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyva:

"Christians who live for themselves are not Christians, because they do not live ecclesiastically. A true Christian lives for God and their fellow people, imitating the Christians of the early Church. We will live according to the example of the first Christians,* when we live 'coenobitically' [common will, common substance, common property, everything common]. The genuine ecclesiastical life of Acts, should be the prototype of today's ecclesiastical communities and parishes. Then, in the first 200 years of Christianity, the ecclesiastical community operated as a large Coenobium. This primordial perfect ecclesiastical Christian life [the unity in Christ and in community] has survived until today in Orthodox Monasteries/Coenobiums. The way of life of monastic parishes [namely Coenobitic Monasteries] should become the prototype of today's secular parishes [ecclesiastical communities that operate in the world]."

* The early Christians had the life of the Apostles and the Lord as prototypes. The apostolic group had the Lord as their Elder, and so it was the first prototype of a Coenobitic Monasterty.

Source: From "The Therapy of the Soul According to Elder Porphyrios". Translation by John Sanidopoulos.