Orthodox Thought for the Day


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

On witnessing faith

Final entry:  Gerontissa Gavrilia on “witnessing faith” The Ascetic of Love, pp 326-7 

G:  I don’t know how to talk with my fellow students, who do not believe in the Incarnation of God.  They say that Christ was only… 

G.G.:  …He was Theanthropos (God-man)!  But man cannot understand that with his reason.  He cannot grasp the Mystery of Incarnation—how God became Man.  And he cannot comprehend it, because it never happened before, nor will it ever happen again.  It happened once! ... This is why talking serves no purpose:  just as you do not listen to them, they do not listen to you, when you give the witness under these circumstances…We should talk only when we meet a Seeker of the Truth—only then.  The rest are all persons who have been misled; who have limited their mind to a single track.  No matter what you tell them, they will continue their monologue.  There can be no dialogue.  They come, by Divine Dispensation, only to waste your valuable time. 

G.:  What should we do when they talk? 

G.G.:  Recite to yourself the prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon us.”  And let them speak, for they need to say these things… 

G.:  But in this way they think… 

G.G.: …that since you keep silent, you agree with them. 

G.:  And then what? 

G.G.:  Nothing.  Let them be and pray that their eyes may be opened.  

G:  Still, they insist:  “Will you not give the witness?  Will you not speak? 

G.G.:  No. A Confession of Faith is not like that.  The witness is given only when people are receptive.  As we read in the Gospel, “A sower went out to sow,”  He sowed.   

A seed fell on rocky ground, another among thistles, a third into good soil.  If you drop the seed all the time on rocks or among thistles, it will not find soil, it will not grow.  There is such a great lack of faith around us…Fortunately, there are also books.  It is easier for a person to be convinced by what he reads than by a person with no power, like you and me.  Do you understand how it works?  The other one thinks, “Who are you to teach me?”  And, of course, the Ego makes its appearance… 

G;  I have noticed that there are persons who love people, animals, plants, everything that is beautiful, music, etc…but they do not want Christ.  What about them? 

G.G.:  It doesn’t matter.  A day will come when the Lord Himself will open their eyes.  At present, we will love them as they are.  There is nothing else we can do.  We should not speak.  If our own life speaks, then it’s all right.  I am opposed to the idea of speaking, when the other one does not see anything in your life.  For the Lord says, “Give when you are asked to give.”  When they do see something in your own life, they will ask you, “How does that happen?” 

G.:  They will be interested to know… 

G.G.:  When you go to people of a different religion, for example to India, and you work like a servant without pay, without any recompense, then they ask, “Who is He who sends you?”  I have here some letters, and they are still writing to me, saying, “Your God has brought you to us…” 

Here is a source for this book in English: 

To perivoli tis Panayias Bookstore
9, Prassakaki str. Thessaloniki 43622 Greece
Tel. (031)283805

No comments:

Post a Comment