Dear Parish Faithful an Friends in Christ,
Our parish webservant has posted a new announcement on our parish website: Orthodox Q & A Forum Returns. Once you click on the link, a form is provided through which you may ask your question. As you will read there, you may remain anonymous or not - that will be your decision. I would like to share the answers with the entire parish, so the answers will be posted on the website, as well as on our reactivated Orthodox Q&A Forum Blog. I may use some of these questions for future post-Liturgy discussions. It may take some time in getting to any questions, or perhaps some research may need to be done. Please be patient for an answer. Again, questions should be related to issues within the over-all life of the Church; from the theological to the practical. No question is “too simple,” for any question leads us back to the Gospel and the worldview that we embrace as Orthodox Christians.
In preparing for my class at Xavier, I came across these words of a nineteenth c. Russian Orthodox bishop. This is Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow (+1867), who was eventually canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church. In speaking of the importance of theological education, he said the following:
“In Christianity, nobody is allowed to remain completely unlearned and ignorant. Did not the Lord himself call himself teacher and his followers disciples? Before Christians began to be called Christians, all of them without exception were called disciples. And why did the Lord send the apostles into the world? First and foremost in order to teach all the peoples: ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.’ If you do not wish to teach and enlighten yourself in Christianity, you are not a disciple and follower of Christ.”
Commenting on the this approach of Met. Philaret, Fr. George Florovsky wrote the following:
“Philaret was not afraid of stimulating thought, although he was aware of the temptations this could cause. This was because he believed that these temptations could be overcome and vanquished only through creative activity … Philaret always underscored the necessity of theologizing as the sole irreplaceable foundation of an integral spiritual life.”
I invite you to submit your questions, and follow along with our relaunched Q&A Blog as we follow this healthy approach of St Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow!