Saturday, July 04, 2009

This is an Excerpt from a letter Written by Seraphim Rose (An eastern Orthodox Clergyman) to the Trappist monk Thomas Merton concerning Merton's call to "Christian Social Action/Social Justice". In the light of movements in the church at present, and after reading some of Merton's writings, I thought it was very illuminating and I agree with it wholeheartedly.
Modern idealism, which is devoted to the realization of the idolatrous "Kingdom of Man," has long been making its influence felt in Christian circles; but only in quite recent years has this influence begun to bear real fruit within the womb of the Church itself. I think there can be no question but that we are witnessing the birth pangs of something that, to the true Christian, is indeed pregnant with frightful possibilities: a "new Christianity," a Christianity that claims to be "inward," but is entirely too concerned with outward result; a Christianity, even, that cannot really believe in "peace" and "brotherhood" unless it sees them generalized and universally applied, not in some seemingly remote "other world," but "here and now." This kind of Christianity says that "private virtue" is not enough—obviously relying on a Protestantized understanding of virtue, since everything the true Christian does is felt by all in the Mystical Body; nothing done in Christ is done for oneself alone—but not enough for what? The answer to that, I think, is clear: for the transformation of the world, the definitive "realization" of Christianity in the social and political order. And this is idolatry. The Kingdom is not of this world; to think or hope that Christianity can be outwardly "successful" in the world is a denial of all that Christ and His prophets have said of the future of the Church. Christianity can be "successful" on one condition: that of renouncing (or conveniently forgetting) the true Kingdom and seeking to build up a Kingdom in the world. The "Earthly Kingdom" is precisely the goal of the modern mentality; the building of it is the meaning of the modern age. It is not Christian; as Christians, we know whose Kingdom it is. And what so greatly troubles me is that today Christians—Catholic and Orthodox alike—are themselves joining, often quite unaware of the fact, often with the best possible intentions, in the building of this new Babel....

Friday, July 03, 2009

When I had reached the end of my tether, when my wisdom had run out to the end, when my willpower was revealed as ultimately powerless, when my physical strength was laying dead in the water and without direction, when emotions had lit off all their firecrackers and lay numb and senseless
Then there was Jesus Christ, Crucified, Jesus Christ, with the nails in his hands and feet. Jesus Christ, who bled and died for me, and all my pride was gone, naked I stood-or did I sit? or was I laying? It didn't matter - becuase there was Jesus Christ, the Righteous for the unrighteous, and I knew here was everything I had despised up until then, and that which I had despised was now bleeding for me, and was washing me with that blood. And in the absence of my wisdom, in the death of my willpower, in the release of my physical life and in the irrelevance of my emotions was the One who loved me, the Truth and True Life. And what was not my own he made to dwell in me. It was Himself.

God let me never forget this.