Sunday, June 5, 2016

At their own table

I have learned to be indulgent with, but not submissive to, the human weaknesses, whether intellectual or moral, that I find in the clergy. It is so difficult to walk that tightrope for a good priest or other clergyman (not now speaking of just Orthodox clergy). I have known a few Orthodox and Protestant (Episcopalian) priests and bishops who somehow have managed to not walk the tight-rope at all, but merely to fly or leap across the divides among their people.

It is when a man (or a woman, if she is a minister of the Most High) forgets that he has a role to play and an obligation peculiarly ministerial to fulfill that he enters into the realm of a true priest or servant of God. Not too brainy, not biased, not people-pleasing, but lovers of mankind, being able to absorb all their shocks to himself and to God's holy faith, almost without noticing them, no, really, without noticing them, because he has become a doorway for the Lord Himself to walk through, without even knowing it.

I have known people like that.

I forgive all the Orthodox writers, clergy, teachers and whomever for everything from their slips to their crimes, because I don't follow a single one of them. I do follow Jesus, though, whenever He appears under their form, and listen to Him whenever He speaks with their voices. Oh, and this applies to those who don’t go by the name ‘Orthodox’, although that’s what they are, whose names, if I listed them here, would earn me the scorn of every zealot on both sides of the shameful fence of ‘Christian’ denominationalism.

Whether anyone else acknowledges it or not, I know for certain that the Church has never been divided and never can be, but it’s a lonely knowledge that few are willing to share with me, except only when I am willing to sit with them at their own table.

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