On Internal Missions and Asceticism

St. Justin Popovich 1894-1979

The Ascetics are Orthodoxy’s only missionaries. Asceticism is her only missionary school. Orthodoxy is ascetic effort and it is life, and it is thus by effort and by life that her mission is broadcast and brought about. The development of asceticism…this ought to be the inward mission of our Church amongst our people. The parish must become an ascetic focal point. But this can only be achieved by an ascetic priest. Prayer and fasting, the Church-oriented life of the parish, a life of liturgy: Orthodoxy holds these as the primary ways of effecting rebirth in its people. The parish, the parish community, must be regenerated and in Christ-like and brotherly love must minister humbly to Him and to all people, meek and lowly and in a spirit of sacrifice and self-denial. And such service must be imbued and nourished by prayer and liturgical life. This much is ground-work and indispensible. But to this end there exists one prerequisite: that our bishops, priests, and our monks become ascetics themselves. That this might be, then: let us beseech the Lord. (Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ: The Inward Mission of Our Church pp. 30-31)

Comments

  1. Max, this sharp…encouraging to those of us with traditional world views.

  2. this is beautiful and spot on !

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