On Traditionalism- By: Fr. John Behr

Christ The True Vine

Christ remains the “coming one,” who opens the scriptures to his disciples so that they can come to know him as Lord. This demands, of those who would be his disciples, a continuing engagement with the scriptures, in the context of tradition and following the rule of truth, an engagement in which the student of the Word is also “interpreted” by the Word as he or she puts on the identity of Christ. Tradition is the continuity of this interpretative engagement with the scriptures in the contemplation of Christ, as delivered (“traditioned”) by the apostles. The Faith delivered by the apostles “once and for all” (Jude 3) is thus an active, dynamic movement. Tradition, therefore, is not a refuge, something that we can passively lay claim to, but a challenge, forcing us to engage with the scriptures to contemplate Christ, who always remains the coming one, learning to put on his identity, so that when he appears we shall be like him (1 Jn 3.3).

Excerpt taken from the book: The Mystery of Christ, Life in Death. By Fr. John Behr

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"A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

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"Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die."

St. Paisius Velichkovsky

"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Prayer does not consist merely in standing and bowing your body or in reading written prayers….it is possible to pray at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting, working, in a crowd and in solitude. His door is always open, unlike man’s. We can always say to Him in our hearts Lord , Lord have mercy.”

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The candles lit before the icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that She is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and also of Her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.

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