The Orthodox Saints on the Belgian land - the Saints next to us

  • Posted on: 16 September 2015
  • By: delia
English

The Saints are never in a hurry. Their time is unknown and their work is unseen. They have their own mysterious plan and mission. Some remain hidden for centuries only to be revealed afterwards.

 

Beyond being the right faith and the right worship of God, Orthodoxy is also about the conveyance of faith, the continuation of sainthood. To live in an Orthodox way means to make yourself part of this continuity and to year to respond to this call - the call to join the Saints. Any distortion of this understanding inevitably leads, from a Christian perspective, to an existential failure.

As an Orthodox community living in a mainly Catholic country (theoretically speaking), we sometimes have the impression of being uprooted, of being separated from our Tradition and from the Saints of our land. But, for a reason known by God alone, we have to live our faith in these places that were blessed with so much sainthood a long time ago, when the Church was one, before the Schism of 1054.

We do not know the mystery of why the saints of these lands have kept a profound silence, but it is certainly our duty to research and look into their lives. These are the Saints next to us, which we do not see nor hear, since we do not know them. Let us strive to discover their lives, to follow their example, to understand God’s work with them and with us.

There is an old saying that the Saints choose us. Why have the Saints of these lands chosen us? What responsibility are they calling us to? What life? In order to freely reflect on the answer, we will start from another question: who are the Saints of these lands? In this chapter, we try to present small sketches about the lives of the Saints next to us, as an invitation to wipe away the dust of centuries of oblivion. Through the pilgrimages we hope to organize, we will try to follow in their footsteps, if only in a literal sense in the beginning.

Letters from the West

  • Posted on: 16 September 2015
  • By: delia

 “I have lived for 30 years next to Father Sophrony. For 30 years, whenever I would hear him speak or whenever I would read his writings, I wished for the whole world to hear those words. But of course, being born on this soil and being part of the Romanian people, I was first and foremost thinking: Oh, if these words could only be heard in Romania! I do not know why … I did not know much about the Church when I left Romania, but I felt that what we heard from the Father was rare, something of quality that would win over your soul, even to your very bones, something that we had not heard from others, not heard from anywhere”, Father Rafail Noica was saying at a conference in Cluj.

On different scales, we have all lived something similar. We meet spiritual fathers, wonderful Christian families, brothers and sisters in Christ who take their lives seriously, and we benefit a lot from hearing and seeing them, and especially from what we live together with them. But it is a real shame that a great deal of this wealth is lost by not being  shared further than that. Inspired by the fact that many of the good books we read have come to life because someone next to an enriched Elder secluded himself in the silence of his room after each meeting, thirstily noting down every single word he had heard so none would be lost, I have decided to do the same. To write down what I have heard and lived in time, in different places, at different moments, with different people.

If I died today, the entire wealth I have accumulated in time would be lost. And the light would remain covered. And what would my answer be at the Judgment for the good I could have done and I have not?

 

English

Paging through our tale

  • Posted on: 16 September 2015
  • By: delia
English

As candles are lit up from one another during the Night of Resurrection, so the yearning and joy of our hearts rekindle each time we meet people who shine this light themselves, whether they are members of the victorious Church from Heaven (here we think about the relics of the Saints who have called us), or of the combating Church (where we talk about all our guests we have received over time). Pure light, of the kind that cannot be contained by darkness. The light of Christ. Meeting such people stirs up, time and again, our thirst for the living water.

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