A model for conversion
. Dan Bădulescu
A coincidence: the first book that I am aware of Father Seraphim Rose is
which I received as a gift in 1996....Father Seraphim Rose was Protestant. He converted in themost concrete sense of the word... But, if indeed man is by natureOrthodox, what about those seeking converts? That is a question thathas given much trouble. I felt that conversion is the result of the callingthe Holy Spirit. This supernatural, over human step is the exception that proves the rule, and I see that we, many baptized Orthodox, have a yarnmore heterodox than Seraphim Rose for instance, which can be a modelof orthodoxy for us. Man is born again of water and the Spirit. Yes, weare all born a second time, but not in the neoprotestant sense, but in theOrthodox - and heresy sticks upon us. I feel it is a huge effort to stay onthe orthodox line, supported by the Holy Spirit.
Orthodoxy and the Religion of the
addresses, more or less, a theme that for me has become essential in my doctoral thesis:
the Aquarius Religion, the Religion of the Future.We talked about ecumenical concerns. Father Seraphim came from a Protestant area, passedthrough the Asian region with zen, with a time of atheism, so he crossed many periods. Father Sophronius, confessor of Father Raphael Noica also had a yogi period. He went through artisticsearches of painting in Paris. Is he a convert? In a sense, yes! Because he was an Orthodox andRussian. So this conversion, in that aspect is very interesting.Instead, Father Seraphim Rose comes directly from a heterodox environment and becameone of the most influential fathers for such people. Why? Because there are people who havefollowed a well-established path, which is the line: middle school - seminar - faculty, i.e. Orthodoxfrom childhood, from the priestly families, families in the countryside, clean and in somewhatsheltered environments. The other environment, urban areas, from which we come from, city,following the route: middle school - high school secular college, concerned with rock, new age,yoga, karate, Anthroposophy and many others. After the nineties, they opened the Faculty of Theology for us too.But we and those like we feel, of course, great support infathers like Raphael Noica or Father Seraphim Rose. Do youremember how the feast of the Holy Three Hierarchs appeared? Onesaid, "St. Basil is the greatest!" "No, it's John!" "Nay, none of them,Gregory is the greatest!" And had come to argue. Why? Becauseeach have an affinity. Father Raphael always cite " Father Sophronius says," "Father Sophronius" up , "Father Sophronius"down. Seraphim: "Archbishop John Maximovici did that, and that,and that! Father Sophronius said "Silouan the Athonite said..." etc.So there is such devotion to a father, but not saying he is greater thanthe others - this kind we avoid - or saying that St. Silouan is better than St. John Maximovici. We also hear words like that. It is notnormal. Father Seraphim Rose was a special father, a very bold andopen-minded father in the best sense of the word. In Russia he is