Monday, 2 March 2009

A crossroads of the Orthodox World (3) [O răscruce a Lumii Ortodoxe]


At the beginning of the Great Lent, when we start another journey towards celebrating Holy Pascha, here’s a little gift to some favourite fellow bloggers – Laurenţiu, Natalia, Eufemia, Claudiu, Bogdan, and Călin – who will probably enjoy these pictures from the Patriarchal Stavropegic Monastery of St. John the Baptist, a most amazing oasis of true life and true happiness in the dreadful spiritually wasteland which the UK has become.
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Of course, I’m hoping that many others will breathe in the beauty of this place, and be curious to know more about this famous Orthodox monastery on British soil… but I just felt I should send my best wishes – and in this way I also thank them for all the useful things they keep putting online – to some people who really feel that life is completely meaningless without the One Who said I am the Truth, The Way, the Life

I thank you all, and to those who personally know me I should also say forgive me, because, although we are sharing the same path towards the Lord (as there is one true way, the Orthodox way!) , I often make mistakes: I raise expectations, and I do not live up to them; I’m egoistic and unsensitive; I’m lazy, and inconsistent; I’m self-absorbed into vain glory…

…therefore, no wonder that every now and then I feel bad about about myself… However, quite often, I also feel good for having been given the chance by the Lord to read so many good things on your blogs. It often happens that, among the people with whom I spend my time every day, I find myself more weird than a little green alien from stupid American movies. Thus, this virtual world is somehow an extension of Church life for me.

How I wish that many other people ever felt the divine inner peace that I felt for the less than 24 hours that I spent in this monastery from Tolleshunt Knights (Maldon, Essex)! How I wish that everyone – from my occasional readers to all the people I work with, and friends who feel uncomfortable with reading the spiritual aspects of my blog or are just indifferent to them – felt that their lives are meaningless without the Lord!

I am sure that I will never convince anyone of anything, and I’ve given up trying to do so through explaining, story telling (‘preaching’), sending links, offering Orthodox books… It just doesn’t seem to work.
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There are so many unhappy people around me, disheartened by a chain of broken relationships, working hard but aimlessly, wasting their lives through a robotic sequence of work + fun, toil + enjoyment, effort + amusement, over and over again... senselessly, pointlessly, without knowing where they are coming from, and which is their destination...

Sadly, most of them are too much enslaved by sin, so that they can’t understand by themselves that sexual relations out of wedlock, contraceptive pills, cigarettes, alcohol abuse, outbursts of anger, cursing etc are bad in themselves (not because the Church says so!), and that life has an eternal purpose, and it's not just meant to be filled up with hedonistic impulses...
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Anyway, I’m not trying to persuade anyone of anything, because Orthodoxy is all about seduction, and our Lord is just not a any persuasive Teacher, but the most lovable of everything worth loving – the Son of God, the MEANING of our existence, without Whom nothing would make any sense in our pitiful lives!

Nevertheless, I can always pray, be happy, and grateful to the Lord, hoping that one day, people could understand, like St. Justin Popovich – who also studied in the UK, yet he was not infected by the humanist spirit of this country! – did, that...

There is no end to the love of the Lord Christ for man: because for us men to acquire the life eternal which is in Him, and to live by Him, nothing is required of us: not learning, nor glory, nor wealth, nor anything else that one of us does not have, but rather only that which each of us can have. And that is? Faith in the Lord Christ.” (taken from here)

Since the Lord made it possible that such a wonderful monastery exist in antichristic Britain (and especially in East England, of which Essex is part of, makes up one the most atheistic areas of the UK!), and while I could find little ‘Orthodox pockets of resistance’ in many places in the UK, I can be sure that our Lord Jesus Chist is doing everything up to Him to offer Salvation to every human being!
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As for those of us who try living a true life in Christ (and how far we are from our own ideal!), we are all responsible for helping Him bring His love into the world, not through hypocritically preaching Him to others, but through living according to His commandments...
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...so that people could see we have LOVE speaking on our behalf, not collections of ‘wise words’ from Holy Fathers that we could serve to anyone, in any circumstance, proving ‘how right we are’... Orthodoxy – which is, above denial, the only right faith – is not about ‘proving you are right’, but about having a loving heart!

[For all the episodes of this series, and all the posts on this blog go to/Pentru toate episoadele din această serie şi toate postările de pe acest blog mergi la: Contents/Cuprins]

8 comments:

Claudiu said...

"Orthodoxy is all about seduction" ... ce frumos! Multumim mult Bogdan pentru imagini si pentru cuvintele din inima. Daca ne ajuta Dumnezeu sa venim in Anglia o sa mergem cu mare drag la M. Essex, pentru ca am auzit multe despre ea si despre monahii de acolo.
Post cu folos! Sa ne vedem cu bucurie la inviere!

MunteanUK said...

It's always a privilege to find someone whose blog I like finding something worth reading on mine.

Thank you very much. God bless you!

Calin said...

Multumim pentru articol si imagini, Domnul sa va binecuvinteze la inceput de Post si sa va intareasca pe calea ce duce catre Sfanta Inviere!

Marius Carneala said...

Revin cu noi ganduri... iarasi, nu foarte optimiste... si daca tot vorbim de biserica, iata aici un exemplu la antipod... http://www.mariusc.name/blog/no-comment/crestinism-de-anglia.html

Natalia said...

Multumesc mult, Domnul sa ne lumineze in continuare, Domnul sa ne intelepteasca, Domnul sa ne binecuvanteze!

Anonymous said...

draga Bogdan(?)Munteanu

Sa stii ca ce ai scris despre manastirea din Essex mi-a placut foarte mult si e intr-adevar asa: o oaza de pace in mijlocul unei lumi tulburate; eu, iata, ma aflu in prezent in Germania si am trait aceeasi tristete ca a ta in Anglia; mare durere pentru oamenii acestia, dar si mai mare durere sa citim printre randuri absenta impartasirii iubirii crestine; e greu de trait astfel, stiu; sper sa urmeze zile mai senine si vorba lui Claudiu: Sa ne vedem cu bucurie la Inviere!

MunteanUK said...

@ Anonim from Germany

Maybe I sounded a bit 'pathetic' in my article, but I actually didn't want to leave this impression.

Indeed, it's sad to be in love with such a secular country (I'm in Romania now), however, I couldn't have liked the UK only for its 'external appearance', the 'mirage' of British civility etc...

I like this country very much precisely because the Lord also loves this people, no matter how far from Him they are, and wants them back into His arms! Not all, but some Brits will definitely find Christ through the Orthodox Church!

What I meant to say is that it may be 'hard' to live in such a spiritually barren enviroment, but not 'impossible'! The Lord helps everyone who wants to be with Him!

Sometimes I find even harder to bear the indifference of (supposingly 'orthodox')Romanians towards the only true Church of Christ than that of the Brits... After a milleniunm of heresies in their country, they have a little 'excuse' - but what is our excuse?!

Anonymous said...

de cate ori citesc o postare din seriile cu ortodoxie, ma minunez si ma bucur de planurile minunate ale lui Dumnezeu, bucurie plina de uimire, de slava catre El.
abia astept sa citesc si altele si sa vad cum lucreaza Dumnezeu pentru mantuirea noastra, pic cu pic, in orice colt de lume.
Doamne ajuta!
:-)
C.L.