St. Porphyrios on Orthodox Missions

St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia 1906-1991

Fanaticism has nothing to do with Christ. Be a true Christian. Then you won’t leap to conclusions about anybody, but your love will ‘cover all things’ (1 Cor. 13:7). Even to a person of another religion you will always act as a Christian. That is to say, you will show respect for him in a gracious manner irrespective of his religion. You will care for a Muslim when he is in need, speak to him and keep company with him. There must be respect for the freedom of the other person. Just as Christ stands at the door and knocks (Rev. 3:20) and does not force an entry, but waits for the soul to accept Him freely on its own, so we should stand in the same way in relation to every soul.

In our missionary endeavor we need to employ a very delicate manner so that people accept what we are offering, whether it be words, books, whatever, without reacting negatively. And something else: use few words. Words often provoke irritation. Prayer and living example find resonance. Living faith moves people, regenerates them and changes them, whereas words alone remain fruitless. The best form of mission is through our good example, our love and meekness. (Wounded by Love, pg. 187)

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