My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
ORTHODOXY AS THERAPY
By Protopresbyter George Metallinos, Dean of the Athens
University of Theology.
THE AUTHENTICITY OF ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY
a) The Orthodox Christian Church, as the body of Christ, functions as A THERAPY CENTER-HOSPITAL. Otherwise, it would NOT be a Church, but a "religion." The Clergy are initially selected by the cured, in order to function AS THERAPISTS. "The therapeutic function of the Church is preserved today, mostly in Monasteries which, HAVING SURVIVED SECULARISM, continue the Church of the Apostolic times.
(b) The scientists OF ECCLESIASTIC THERAPY are already cured persons. Those who have not had the experience of therapy CANNOT be therapists. That is the essential difference between the poemantic therapeutic science and medical science. The scientists of Ecclesiastic Therapy (SPIRITUAL FATHERS AND MOTHERS) bring forth other therapists, just as the professors of medicine bring forth their successors.
(c) The Church’s confining itself to a simple FORGIVENESS OF SINS so that a place in Paradise may be secured constitutes alienation and is tantamount to medical science forgiving the patient so that he might be healed after death! The Church cannot send someone to Paradise or to Hell. Besides, Paradise and Hell ARE NOT PLACES, THEY ARE WAYS OF EXISTENCE. By healing mankind, the Orthodox Church PREPARES THE PERSON(BELIEVER) SO THAT HE MIGHT ETERNALLY LOOK UPON CHRIST IN His Uncreated Light as a view of Paradise, and NOT as a view of Hell, or as "AN ALL-CONSUMING FIRE" (Hebrews 12:29). And this, of course, CONCERNS EVERY SINGLE PERSON, because ALL people shall look Eternally upon Christ, "AS THE Judge OF THE WHOLE WORLD.
(d) The validity of science is verified by the achievement of its goals (i.e., in medicine, it is the curing of the patient). It is the way that authentic scientific medicine is distinguished from charlatanry. The criterion of POEMANTIC therapy by the Church IS ALSO THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SPIRITUAL HEALING, BY OPENING THE WAY TOWARDS THEOSIS (DEIFICATION). Therapy is NOT transferred to the AFTERLIFE; it takes place during man’s LIFETIME, HERE, IN THIS WORLD, HERE AND NOW). This can be seen in the un-deteriorated holy relics of the Saints that have OVERCOME BIOLOGICAL DETERIORATION, SUCH AS THE HOLY RELICS OF THE Eptanisos (seven Greek islands in the Ionian seas,) Saints: Spyridon, Gerasimos, Dionysios and Theodora, Augusta, Un-deteriorated holy relics are, in our Holy Tradition, THE INDISPUTABLE EVIDENCE OF THEOSIS (DEIFICATION), OR IN OTHER WORDS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE CHURCH’S ASCETIC THERAPY.
I would like to ask the medical scientists of our country to pay special attention to the issue of the non-deterioration of holy relics, given that they haven’t been scientifically interfered with, but, in them IS MANIFEST THE ENERGY OF Divine Grace; because it has been observed that, at the moment when the cellular system should begin to disintegrate, IT AUTOMATICALLY CEASES TO, AND INSTEAD OF EMANATING ANY MALODOR OF DECAY, THE BODY EMANATES A DISTINCTIVE FRAGRANCE (AROMA). I limit this comment to the medical symptoms, and will not venture into the aspect of miraculous phenomena as evidence of THEOSIS, because that aspect belongs to another sphere of discussion.
(e) eLastly, the Divine Texts of the Church (Holy Scripture, Synodic, and Patristic texts) do not constitute coding systems of any Orthodox ideology; they bear a THERAPEUTIC CHARACTER and function in the same way that university dissertations function in medical science. The same applies to the liturgical texts, for example, the Benedictions. The simple reading of a Benediction (prayer), without the combined effort of the faithful in the therapeutic procedure of the Church, would be no different from the instance where a patient resorts to the doctor for his excruciating pains, and, instead of immediate intervention by the doctor, he is limited to being placed on an operating table, and being read the chapter that pertains to his specific ailment.
This, in a nutshell, is Orthodoxy. It does not matter whether one accepts it or not. However, with regard to scientists, I have tried–as a colleague in science myself–to scientifically respond to the question "What is Orthodoxy." Any other version of Christianity constitutes A COUNTERFEITING AND A PERVERSION OF IT, EVEN IT IS ASPIRES TO PRESENTING ITSELF AS SOMETHING ORTHODOX. [Source: Orthodox Heritage]
(To be continued)
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George