For Liturgy in Hagia Sophia (cecc4c) wrote,
For Liturgy in Hagia Sophia


Despite the fact that initially America decided to roll out the red carpet for me, I figured out very quickly that I had just arrived in a place where the culture shock was bound to be particularly painful. I kind of took it for granted - America is America, and the Christian culture of Russia is Russian, and never the twain shall meet. And I was thinking like this until I met this man. For a second he showed me the world he was able to see as clear, as I can now see the keyboard. And the shining city that is set on a hill – The United States of America.

I dismissed this vision and it gradually began to disappear somewhere in the depths of my unconscious. But it stayed there and began to gradually change me, so that I suddenly began to see glimpses of this shining hill in the fairly sad picture of New York City “enjoying” the crisis of creative financial instruments. Moreover, I began to realize that I can help others to see these glimpses. Love does not mean rose-colored glasses and a refusal to see the flaws in the ones you love. Love is the ability to see the beauty of Christ in spite of the obvious and disgusting flaws. It’s the ability to see the image of God in a dirty and cruel murderous animal. But he did much more - he somehow managed to convey to me his belief that America will be what we will make it, and that nothing is impossible. This hope may fade, but I will never again say to myself: "Orthodox Christian America - it's impossible," for once because it’s a sin - who am I to decide what is possible and what is impossible when it comes to God's plan?
And now he has confessed his faith in front of the whole world, and the American Orthodox Church finally can claim the first Confessor born on its soil. Moreover, it appears that he is already suffering for that faith. And those who hate this man just sealed with their hate his ability to be a witness for Christ, in spite of the whole world hating Him. Alleluia!

Pan - Orthodox Sermon by His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah @ Yahoo! Video

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