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Sunday, December 12, 2004

The Orthodox Way of Life

"Orthodoxy is not merely a ritual, or belief, or pattern of behavior, or anything else that a man may possess, thinking that he is thereby a Christian, and still be spiritually dead; it is rather an ELEMENTAL REALITY OR POWER which transforms a man and gives him the strength to live in the most difficult and tormenting condition, and prepares him to depart with peace into eternal life. The essence of the true Orthodox life is GODLINESS or piety, which is, in definition of St. Nectarius of Optina, based on the etymology of the word, "holding what is God's in honor." This is deeper than mere right doctrine; it is the entrance of God into every aspect of life, life lived in trembling and fear of God. Such an attitude produces the Orthodox WAY OF LIFE which is not merely the outward customs or behavior that characterizes Orthodox Christians, but the whole of the conscious spiritual struggle of the man for whom the Church and its laws are the center of everything he does and thinks. The shared, conscious experience of this way of life, centered on the daily Divine services, produces the genuine Orthodox community, with its feeling of lightness, joy and inward quietness." by: Archbishop Andrew of New Diveyevo, Jordanville, New York


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Rejoice, O Virgin Mother of God, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, for thou hast born the Savior of our souls.