On the Material Side of Orthodoxy

St. Ignaty Brianchininov 1807-1867

Look, brethren, look what the devil is doing, has done and will do — leading the mind of man from heaven to material things, chaining the heart of man to earth and earthly pursuits and occupations! Look and be alarmed with a healthy fear! Look and be aware with necessary soul-saving caution! …[H]e taught to give special attention to their fasting and other bodily exercises and to attribute special significance to dry bread, mushrooms, cabbage, peas, or beans; and in this way sensible, holy, and spiritual exercises were turned into senseless, carnal and sinful farces. …[H]e inspired to attach an exaggerated importance to the material side of church services, while obscuring the spiritual side of the rites; thus, by hiding the essence of Christianity from these unfortunate people and leaving them only a distorted material wrapper or covering he enticed them to fall away from the Church into the most foolish form of clouded perception, into schism. (The Arena, [kindle version])

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