Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Who Loves Christ? I Need a Hero!

This morning, after I said my Morning Prayers—including the Prayer for the Unity of the Church, because of the difficult times in which the Antiochian Orthodox Church finds itself—I read the “quote of the day” from the 2009 Daily Lives, Miracles, and Wisdom of the Saints Calendar:

"Let us be firm, my brothers, on the rock of faith, in the tradition of the Church, and not remove or change the boundaries established by our Holy Fathers. Let us close the road to innovators and not permit them to demolish the structure of the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of God. If we allow, however, the introduction of any innovation, we unconsciously support the collapse of the Church. No, my brothers, you who love Christ, no, you children of the Church, you will never want to surround your Mother Church with confusion." - St. John of Damaskos (That's an Arabic icon of St. John of Damascus.)

Saint John of Damascus tells us that the people who “love Christ,” and who are “children of the Church” will never cause confusion, but will work for peace within the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of God.

The Holy Apostle Paul, writing to the Church at Corinth, said: “for God is not a god of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”—I Corinthians 14:33

Or if you prefer, here are Saint Paul’s words in Arabic:

لان الله ليس اله تشويش بل اله سلام. كما في جميع كنائس القديسين.

So I guess this begs the question, “Who loves Christ?” And don’t we want our leaders—those who are responsible for protecting Christ’s Church—to be people who actually love Christ?

Saint Matthew said “You cannot serve man and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)

Or again, if you prefer the Arabic: لا يقدر احد ان يخدم سيدين. لانه اما ان يبغض الواحد ويحب الآخر او يلازم الواحد ويحتقر الآخر. لا تقدرون ان تخدموا الله والمال.

Judas loved mammon, and it cost him his life, because he couldn’t also love Christ, and Christ is our life. I pray that those who love Christ will continue to fight to protect our Holy Church. I know there are many Orthodox priests who are trying to fight the fight for us right now. I want you to know I’m in your corner and I’m praying for you, because, like the old Bonnie Tyler song says,

“I Need a Hero” (if you think I'm passionate, watch her video!)

Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where's the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and turn and dream
of what I need


I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong
And he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure
And it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life


Anonymous said...

I don't think I'm familiar with the church's struggle that you're talking about. What exactly is going on?

--katie e.

Susan Cushman said...

Thanks for commenting, Katie. It's complicated, but if you want to read more about it, click on the highlighted words in the post for links. The latest news is here: http://ocanews.org/index.html. Mainly I ask your prayers for wisdom for our clergy and laity as we seek God's help in recovering integrity in the leadership for our archdiocese. Email me privately if you have more specific questions and I'll try to explain. Thanks so much for being a faithful reader, and for your prayers.