Transcription of "Orthodoxy and the World" by Very Reverend Protopresbyter Maxym Lysack Transcript: ...
in a kind of systematic way I'm going to speak first about what Orthdodoxy is and speak about what the world is, then talk about living Orthodoxy in the worl d. What is Orthodoxy? What is the World? So first of all with regard to Orthodoxy, Orthodoxia, Right Glorification, Right Worship, all of us understand that Right Glorification and Right Worship automa tically means in the Orthodox setting Right Teaching, Right Doctrine. But what e lse can be said about Orthodoxy other than talking about the etymology of the wo rd? We're always inclined to etymology because we look up words in the dictionary bu t there's some things about Orthodoxy which one cannot find immediately in most dictionaries, perhaps in a select few, and it's exactly those things that I'd wa nted to address this evening. Orthodoxy is first and foremost a Person. A Divine, or The Divine Human Person o f Jesus Christ. This we say because Orthodoxy is not philosophy, or an ethic, but it is a Person . The Divine-Human Person of Jesus Christ, Incarnate, Crucified, Buried, Risen, according to the Scripture, St Paul tells us. And first and foremost, this is Orthodoxy. And right away we have another point of departure then we would have if we thoug ht of Orthodoxy as being an ethic or a philosophy or even a religion. Orthodoxy is also, and this is a complementary definition, life in the Holy Trin ity in Whom we were baptized. We were baptized into the Father, into the Son, an d into the Holy Spirit. And of course this understanding of Orthodoxy is intimat ely connected with the first because the Lord says "no one comes to the Father e xcept through Me." And so understanding Orthodoxy as the Divine Human Person of Jesus Christ and understanding Orthodoxy as Life in the Holy Trinity, we come to see that these understandings are very very much not only complementary but nec essarily linked. Thirdly, Orthodoxy is Church, it is also Divine Human, and while cannot make Chr ist and the Church absolutely equivalent, neither can we ever separate them. Wh en we read the early fathers we find some very strong titles for the Church. St Irenaeus of Lyons calls the Church "the Son of God." Which I'm sure would make s ome people do a double take if they heard it, it's not a term which we are used to hearing about the Church. Now he does that within a very very tight framework , but he does use that expression. The Church is Divine and Human, we refer to t he Church as the Body of Christ, the Church has a Head Who is Divine Human, and the Church also has a Body and we are all members of that Body. So when we say t hat Orthodoxy is the Church we are including our life in the Church, and our lif e in the Church includes our liturgical life and it also includes our life...I h esitate to use the word "outside" the liturgy because it suggests something inco rrect about our spiritual lives, in fact we might say that it is our life as it springs forth from the Liturgy, rather than saying outside the Liturgy. Our pers onal spiritual lives are spiritual lives in our families.
This is also part of the Church, and the Church in addition to being called the Body of Christ is also called by St Gregory Palamas, "the Communion of Deificati on," because we are all called to deification in the Church. So these are some p reliminary remarks about Orthodoxy. When we are living Orthodoxy, this is what w e're living. Now, the world...Cosmos in Greek. Broadly speaking there are two uses of the wor d "world" in the New Testament. The first use refers to the earth, to creation, to the universe, it is a positive use of the word cosmos. The second use of the word world is different and it refers to humanity in a condition alienation from God, humanity separated from God. When we see St John's Gospel, for example in the twelfth chapter to the fourteenth chapter, "the ruler of this world coming" it is not a reference to something that brings Christians great joy. The ruler o f this world in this context is the Devil, when the Lord says in the sixteenth c hapter in St. John's Gospel, "I have overcome the world," He does not mean He ha s overcome the earth, the creation and universe in order to put it down. This wo uld be, if we may use the word, a "different" or a "negative" use of the word "w orld." Same word in Greek, so one understands the meaning from the context. And as we l ook at these meanings I want to turn our attention first to the first one, the p ositive use of the word world. We understand the world as the object of God's lo ve, St. John writes "for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten S on," and in the next verse John 3:17 St John writes, "for God did not send His S on into the world to condemn the world but that through Him the world might be s aved." So the word world is used several times there and clearly it is used in t he sense of the world being an object of God's love, what God does not want to c ondemn, what God very much wants to save. And it's important to be able to disti nguish between the two uses in the New Testament, to understand the full extent of the positive use of the word "world." The world in the Orthodox understanding is a gift. In the last century a well kn ow Orthodox theologian, Fr Dumitru Staniloae wrote very much on this theme that the world is a gift of God and that this gift invites a response from us. It doe sn't demand a response but it invites a response from us. The world in this sens e is given to us as a workshop, an "atelier," a workshop given to us, that we mi ght use, and use wisely for the deification, for our own deification and of cour se the transformation of the world. Because you see the world in the Orthodox Ch ristian understanding is not static, it's changing, it was created from nothing. Now here I need to make a comment because the pagan Greeks found this concept e normously difficult, for them the nothing was a something. But in the Christian understanding, the nothing is a true and a real nothing...nothing. God made the world out of nothing, and it didn't proceed from His own nature, it was an act of His will, a free act of His will. So the world is created from no thing, the world that we see and it shows us God's love, it's a workshop given to us, we ought to therefore understand the world, there is a profound place in Orthodoxy for all of sciences, because you need to understand the world better t o meaningfully participate in its transformation. But we understand the the worl d is not going to always be the way we see it now, that it was created from noth ing and that it is a gift, but that it awaits fulfilment. So to use modern langu age the world is a work in progress and God has invited us to be part of that wo rk. If the world were static we could not be part of that work because it would simply be given to us as it is. Now why talk about all that? it sounds rather philosophical if I might say, but it's very important because it means that the world finds its greatest meaning i n what is coming, in its fulfilment. Instead of looking at the world for how it is now we must understand the world the way it is in God's vision, as God has ca
lled it to being. And the Church reveals the world's truest vocation. So these a re the preliminary remarks that I would like to make first about Orthodoxy and a lso about the world. And now we can approach the question "how do we live Orthod oxy in the World?" How do we live Orthodoxy in the World? First I think by acquiring the life of Christ. Which we do in the Holy Spirit. W e acquire that life first when we are baptized, it is a true and a real beginnin g. We receive Christ's life, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, not simply the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but the gift of Chrismation is the Holy Spirit Him self. Simply put. So we receive Christ's life when we are incorporated into Him in baptism and when also we receive the Holy Spirit because we always Christ's l ife in the Holy Spirit. It is a real beginning but it requires development, it p oints to fulfilment. There is something more that we need to do with our baptism . St Symeon the New Theologian spent alot of time and effort emphasizing this po int that baptism in of itself for adults is, I'll paraphrase what he writes, "no t sufficient for salvation because it is in the beginning pointing to fulfilment ." Eucharist is its sacramental fulfilment, Holy Communion, to quote Fr Alexande r Schmemann who put it very simply and beautifully, "we are baptized so that we can receive the Holy Spirit, and we receive the Holy Spirit so that we can recei ve the Body and Blood of Christ." Put very simply, but it certainly exposes the truth of these three sacraments and their importance relationship. Eucharist is the fulfilment, but asceticism, Christian discipline in the spiritu al life, represents our choice and our cooperation with both Baptism and Euchari st. This is why we a preparation in the Orthodox Church for receiving Holy Commu nion, but I might add that the fathers of the Church talk also about the ascetic al discipline that is required after Holy Communion. And the after we often forg et. Some people seem, as it were, to celebrate the end of the ascetical preparat ion with the Eucharist, with receiving the Eucharist, and forget that there is a n ascetical work after we receive in order to guard the grace which has been giv en. St Gregory Palamas speaks alot about this. And then finally, with regard to acquiring the life of Christ in the Holy Spirit, we have prayer, it fits in here as well. There is no contradiction between prayer and the sacraments, the Holy Mysteries, in fact they are inadvertently in a very vital relationship with eac h other. And we see prayer as an ongoing, a continuing communion with God. And i t is the first way in which we can live Orthodoxy, because if we do not acquire Christ's life there's no point to really talking about living Orthodoxy, since O rthodoxy as we have already said, is not a philosophy, not a club, not an ethic, but the Divine Human Person of Jesus Christ. If that is true then in order to l ive Orthodoxy we have to receive His Life, if we don't, we aren't living Orthodo xy. Secondly, after receiving the Life of Christ in the Holy Spirit, we live Orthodo xy in the world by allowing the gracious character of Christ to be revealed to b e made manifest in us. This is where asceticism is so important, and prayer. Yes we receive the grace of God, yes the Lord wants to manifest His life through us , but He won't do it against our will, and He won't choose for us, frustrating a s we might find it, it's part of God's love for us that He never forces our hand . That He never pushes us, He doesn't even make us feel guilty, He doesn't co-op t us, He doesn't manipulate us, He loves us unconditionally which is precisely w hy people do not know what to do with Him. His love is so other, so different, it doesn't correspond to anything in our exp erience and so sometimes we expect and indeed in the spiritual life demand that He become manipulative. That He force us just a little after all or that he co-o pt us at least somewhat and then we will do the rest. But that's not Him, that's not Him. He doesn't work that way. So when we ask Him to do that, it's not a pr ayer He's about to answer, thankfully...thankfully.
So it's up to us to cooperate and to allow His gracious life to to be revealed i n us and it is to manifest the Church to the world and in the world. This is ind eed how the world comes to know the Church, through people, not primarily throug h architecture, but through people or through some other means. We're very very proud of our beautiful architecture and iconography in the Orthodox Church and t here's a reason why we build Churches the way we do and we canons in iconography and the Lord works through them. Nevertheless, primarily the Lord's life is dem onstrated through His Body, through people, through Christians and in order to d o this you and I have to make all of life liturgical. Now how do we do that? Does that mean that we need to take Petar and have him at every place of our employment directing the Choir? Does that mean that we have to have all of the clergy vested with incense ready at school? How do we make ev erything that we do liturgical? By taking the deepest part of our worship, its m ost basic rhythm and continuing it, living in a way which is 100% consistent wit h it in everything that we do. So an Orthodox Christian rejects a dichotomy between liturgical and non-liturgic al , everything for us is liturgical, even if it is not explicitly so. And we do n't accept that when we are here we are liturgical and when we pray at home we a re not. Or that when we are at work we are not liturgical. Work admittedly or sc hool likely doesn't operate on a liturgical structure, admittedly. But that does n't mean that you and I cannot live as liturgical beings in a place which does n ot have that rhythm or structure. It's incumbent upon us to give it that rhythm or structure, lovingly and gently by taking the essence of liturgical worship an d bringing it everywhere. By coming to the conclusion that there ought to be no part of your life or mine which is not in this sense, liturgical. And when of co urse we begin to think of our lives, especially as North American society would have us live them we can see that gently put and diplomatically there are large parts of our lives which do not correspond to this. An Orthodox Christian therefore rejects the fundamental division between the sac red and the profane. And sees everything as outside of evil, which does not have an existence of its own anyway, as being capable of becoming sacred. And theref ore does not say that I have my sacred life in the Church and my profane life wh en I am far enough away from the Church so that the priest cannot hear me or see me. It's rather cute when people think that way because it's not the priest you have to worry about in terms of seeing you...I think we all know that, we shoul d have I think a slightly more nuanced understanding of God which might allow fo r the possibility that He could be even if the priest isn't, that He might be aw are of what we are living and what we are doing. So we are breaking apart or rejecting in love these artificial divisions. And fi nally I think very much to point for those of you who worship here, in a place t hat has a special call to minister among the poor, we allow the gracious charact er of Christ to be revealed in us when we unite two altars. The altar table that is behind me in the Church and what St. John Chyrsostom would call the Altar am ong or of the poor. To the poor we may add I'm sure with St John's permission, the ill, the dying, t he grieving, the lonely, the marginalized, the abused, so on and so forth. This also, St. John says, is an altar and a form of worship when it is done out, com ing forth from the worship of the Church because not all social work is liturgic al and not all social work is means an altar among the poor. Sadly some of the w ork that is done among the poor does not allow for such an altar. And it's preci sely why Christians must lovingly demonstrate the sacrament of the poor by uniti ng the two altars, the liturgical altar in the Church, the altar of the Eucharis t with the Altar among or of the poor. This is part of how the gracious characte r of Christ is revealed in us and to the world.
Thirdly, how do we live Orthodoxy in the world? By allowing ourselves to be tran sformed into micro-Churches, little Churches, each person as a little Church. Yo u see the fathers of the Church connect the Church and the human person very muc h. St Maximos the Confessor writing his marvellous commentary on the Liturgy, th e Mystogogy, says that the Holy Church is an icon of the human person, he also s ays that the Holy Church is an icon of the human soul, and he makes several othe r connections between the Church and things in our experience. St Mark the Ascetic, sometimes called St Mark the Monk, talks about the Holy of Holies in the heart, talks about that place speaking poetically in the heart, be hind the Iconostasis...read "in the Heart" where Jesus is. And talks about praye r in this sense. Several of the fathers of the Church talk about how the human b eing is in fact a little Church if he or she chooses to be in Christ and through the Holy Spirit. We allow ourselves to be transformed into little Churches through the constant m emory of God which can only be achieved in prayer. So much in this world, so oft en we focus on memory as recall, the kind of memory that a computer has, more an d more of course you know that computers don't possess a memory but is given a m emory of course, but we think of memory more and more in these terms, recall, wh en memory in Holy Scriptures is something very very different. When in the Old Testament we read that the Lord remembers Israel it doesn't mean that He recalls from His memory bank what Israel might be among all the other n ations. It doesn't mean that He remembers how to spell Israel's name correctly, it doesn't mean that He has the appropriate dictionary definition of Israel. It means He loves Israel. It means He Loves Israel and that's why we want God to re member us, and that's why the Thief says, "remember me," to remember is therefor e to to re-call, so that when we remember God, and when we have a constant remem brance of God in prayer, we are in a constant relationship of love with the One Who first loved us. The Jesus Prayer, so well know in Orthodoxy, in this sense becomes the Liturgy o f the Heart, the Liturgy of the Heart, all of Liturgical life is to be internali zed and by that I don't mean that we necessarily memorize all of Vespers or all of Liturgy, although memorizing part of it would not a bad idea at all. But we i nternalize it, we make it our own, we seek to immerse ourselves in it to the poi nt we can discover its basic rhythm and allow that rhythm to be in our lives all of the time. Even the Church building in Orthodoxy is to be internalized. There is a reason for our architecture because the three basic sections of an Orthodo x Church correspond in a very special way to different aspects of the human pers on. And so when we build a Church the way we build it, when we put an altar tabl e, holy table where we put it, when we place an iconostasion where we place it, where we bring iconography into the Church according to a certain established ca nonical pattern, all of this points us to something, it points us of course to t he Kingdom of God. But it also strikes us in a proper way, how to understand our selves. You understand yourself by understanding better the Church in which you pray. It has something to tell you about who you are as a human being, who I am. This allows a Christian to have an intense spiritual life in the world even if he or she does not find himself or herself in a monastery. The monastic life is a very special calling and one which we treasure very much in Orthodoxy, but it is not a different spiritual life from the one are living right now. It is a more inte nse version of the same, perhaps we might say that it is a slightly different mo de but it is not a different spiritual life, it couldn't be. The Lord didn't com e to give two lives in Christ, or two lives in the Holy Spirit, He came to give one to all. And all of our life in the Church must give witness to the One Life
in the One Christ in the One Spirit. So it gives us hope, it gives us hope, ther e is a way to have an intense and a real spiritual life even if you are not a mo nastic. There is a way to have an intense and real spiritual life even if you ca nnot be at Church every day, of course you read about those wonderful Orthodox c ommunities such as the one in Eagle River Alaska or in other parts of the United States and Canada where there is daily worship and people are able to, because they live in the neighbourhood, attend Vespers or Matins everyday, or perhaps in rare occasions Liturgy every day outside of Great Lent. But most Orthodox in No rth America do not find themselves in such positions, they wake up, they go to w ork and wonder if they have time to pray before they go. They walk out of their houses and see an environment which put gently is not the most conducive to the Orthodox spiritual life or to prayer. That's the reality that you and I live in, and the good news is that in that reality not in another one we may have a real and genuine and an intense spiritual life. Therefore it is not appropriate for us as Orthodox Christians to say "when somet hing happens, when I become spiritual, when I go to mount Athos, when I visit Si nai, whenever, then I my spiritual life will begin." Hopefully such a visit will in fact have a profound influence on anyone. If they're open it always will. Bu t we don't have to wait to do that, to have a real and intense spiritual life. Finally, we live Orthodoxy in the world, by offering the world back to God. He g ave it as a gift, He gave it as a workshop, "atelier," and the greatest thing we can possibly do is return it to Him with thanksgiving. And of course this parti cular theme of the human person as the priest of creation, I'm using the word pr iest in a broad sense, this theme comes especially from St Maximos the Confessor , and today in Orthodox literature it's all the rage. Every time you find a new article, actually I sometimes review a new article I ask will this be yet anothe r article which talks about man as the priest of creation, especially because co nnections have been made with ecology it has become very much in vogue. But some comments need to be made about this: the human person as the priest of creation. It sounds great, it sounds fashionable, and of course it elicits no li ttle interest, it brings Orthodoxy immediately to the forefront of discussions, because we have said something, supposedly new and innovative, which is in fact very old. But something's missing. The missing dimension of alot of the discussi on is asceticism, spiritual discipline. Of course when one talks about that, the general level of interest in the world drops immediately. Why is asceticism important in this offering of the world back to God? Because w e need to have the discernment, the Greek word diakrino, a discernment to know w hat exactly should we offer? Because we talk about offering the world and everyo ne is so excited about it, no one is quite sure what it means. Do we offer Toron to back to God? with its transit system, with everything that makes with its urb an infrastructure? What are we offering to God? When we talk about the world, wh at are we talking about? Are we talking about the first sense in Scripture? Surely we can't be talking ab out the second sense of alienation from God. But then again is it everything in the world that ought to be offered? Because while the world is redeemed in Chris t, is it not also fallen? So it is no easy task to offer the world back to God, it requires discipline, it requires patience and it requires a clear spiritual vision, Theoria, a spiritua l vision of life. To offer the world in the first sense, in the positive sense one must also know how to reject the world when we're talking about the second use of the word. St Isaac the Syrian, when he uses the word "world," says it is the sum of all th
e passions, that's the world, this is not what we are offering back to ffer what is consistent with its final fulfilment. The world is a work ss and therefore it must not become an idol. What God has created must e an idol. So this priestly role of every Christian is very important, rnment and asceticism must be present in this offering in order for it l.
God. We o in progre not becom but disce to be rea
A few final remarks. If we are living Orthodoxy in the world, we are referring e verything to Christ, even if the world around us is not always aware of this fac t, that we are referring everything to Christ. We are understanding life as prof oundly liturgical, we are understanding the human person as a liturgical being. We understand Orthodoxy not as an esoteric pseudo-mystical Eastern tradition, no t as a private retreat into Eastern Christian spirituality, not as a liturgical rite or ethos, because Orthodoxy is so much bigger than all of that, it is the D ivine Human Person of Jesus Christ, and His Divine Human Body. It is about the H oly Trinity, it is about humanity, it is about the world and it is indeed the wo rld's highest calling. There were the poor thoughts that I wanted to share with you this evening and Fr . Roberto has asked that we give the opportunity for questions, comments, which will be very educational for me as well. So please feel free. [Comments and Q&A] Q: What about Stewardship of the world? A: Steward, the Oikonomos in Greek, the Oikonomos of the world. Well it's entire ly not difficult to think in those terms, but again are we speaking of the world in terms of creation or are we speaking of the world in some other sense? That' s our question that needs to be posed. And of course we'd like to be oikonomos o f the world but the danger is that that Stewardship could become a religion in o f itself, that is the greatest risk. So it's not that we shouldn't be interested in this, we should be profoundly interested in this and that kind of stewardshi p of the world has been part of the liturgical ethos of the Orthodox Church from the beginning. One needs only to open the Evlogion, the book of the sacraments and prayers of the Church and see how many things there is that we bless. I woul d challenge anyone in the world to find any Church that blesses anything more th an we do, we bless everything. And then when you think, I'm sure that some of th e priests who are listening right now, then when you think you've seen a prayer for everything fathers, then you stumble across yet another one you never knew a bout. So that represents liturgically that kind of stewardship, it's very approp riate and asceticism with regard to the use of natural resources is a Christian concept and so is the sharing of wealth a Christian concept. And it worked far b etter in Jerusalem than it did in the Soviet Union or in the Eastern Bloc, other Eastern Bloc countries which never achieved it. When the early Jerusalem Church had it at the very beginning, it didn't need to achieve what it had already had . So all of these things are intensely Christian, there's a role for them, we ou ght to be involved, we ought to be interested, but we ought to be involved with this integrated into the whole and not simply as North America's latest diversio n or latest pseudo-religion because you know North Americans always have a relig ion and when one is gone another one appears, it might not initially seem that w ay but that's how it works. So yes the Church should be in it, absolutely, but d emonstrating the whole, the integration with everything else, the integration wi th Baptism, Eucharist, Liturgical Worship, Prayer, proper Christian disciplines, so on and so forth. That is to say that there is not much achieved by someone w ho worries about cleaning up a river and hates everyone around him or her. This is not ecologically friendly from the Orthodox point of view. So I'm not saying that to undercut of these noble efforts that we should all be interested in, but we should be adding the missing dimensions to them. Q: I'm just wondering if we can replace the usage to Christian and the world? An
d then in that sense all Christians are Orthodox? I'm not Orthodox but I feel yo u have expressed what is the heart of the Gospel for all Christians. A: Sure, we never in the Orthodox Church, at our best, ever saw ourselves as doi ng anything different then that: expressing what is at the heart of the Gospel. And we don't think there is anything in there that is just for us, so we would b e delight to share it. Absolutely delighted. Q: Although sometimes the terms we use, you're talking about Chrismation in the Spirit, and all Christians talk about receiving the Holy Spirit but not necessar ily Chrismation. A: Yes, I think all Christians talk about receiving the Holy Spirit, of course t he word Chrismation places it into a liturgical and sacramental context together with Baptism, so that place is the reception of the Holy Spirit into a very spe cific and very liberating place, and that is what Orthodoxy strives to do. Striv es to maintain an order which is liberating. So of course we would...I hope that everything Orthodox is Christian, I would rather think that that would be the c ase. You know I would also like to point out in countries where the Orthodox Chu rch holds the majority the two words (Christian & Orthodox) are used interchange ably, which shows a certain vision of Christianity and of Orthodoxy. But at the same time we are wanting to present it as it has been received and as it has bee n kept, we understand that there is a fantastic amount of commonality there and we understand that sometimes there are some differences. But if someone comes an d says that they accept all of this as being profoundly Christian then they have understood. Q: Alot of us live in a very secular society could you comment on how we are to live Orthodox in the world practically, to live this on a day to day basis? A: First of all, reference to the secular society, that is because the secular s ociety puts back the division between the sacred and the profane, which Christ a bolished. Part of Christ's, if I may use the word, discussions with the Pharisee s centers around their division of things into the sacred and the profane and th eir frustration with Him centers to a great extent on His refusal to maintain th at division. So He heals on the Sabbath, His disciples gather grains of wheat on the Sabbath, and so on and so forth. They would want to break apart that relati onship, and that is what secularism is to a very great extent. I know that's not all that secularism is about but its fundamental philosophical premise is the d ivision of the world, whether it says it or not, into the sacred and the profane and the relegation of the spiritual either the irrelevant or the esoteric or to some other domain. So once we understand that then we know what we are addressi ng. Do you have to announce to your faculty or to your hospital that you no long er accept the division in your workplace between the sacred and the profane? I d on't think so. I think all you have to do is refuse to live it yourself. That is already alot. And you do that by having a very real spiritual life, by seeing y ourself profoundly united to the Church at every minute of the day. You are the continuation of the Liturgy in the place of your work. You should not see yourse lf as anything less than that. You may do that very quietly, very respectfully a nd very gently, as well you should. If you live the spiritual life in that way t hen you are already undoing the underpinnings of secularism, because unbeknownst to them a micro-Church is in their midst. So the Christian becomes that little Church, and indeed all those little Churches are spread throughout the entire wo rld. Where is secularism then? There is not a place where the Church is not and that changes everything. That changes everything, you don't go out into the worl d with only the impression that I have just left the Church and am going out int o the big mean world, we are rather instead taking the Church there in our own h earts and in our own lives. Very specifically, to be practical: Prayer. You need to have kind of a prayer life in which there engenders a memory of God, and mem ory not just as recall as I said. If you cultivate that kind of a prayer life an d if you are regular in your participation in the sacraments in the Church then I think you are giving a very clear witness to the presence of Christ and the Ch urch in the world.
Q: I've heard the devil referred to cosmocrator and Christ as the Pantocrator, h ow does this relate to your usage of the word cosmos? A: Only if you use the word cosmos in the second sense, cause after all St Maxim os says that the Church is the image of the world. If the Church is the image of the world, first usage, then how is the devil in that sense, how does he have e xclusive possession of the world, he does not, he is called the prince of the wo rld, but prince of the world in the sense of alienation from God and rebellion a gainst God. But the word cosmos in the New Testament is the same. Occasionally w e read the word world in English and the word in Greek is Age. Ages is sometimes translated as world, but most of the time it would be cosmos. Q: You said we had to approach with discernment what did you mean? A: Discerning the difference between Good and evil, what Adam and Eve on one han d failed to do, but on the other hand were tempted by. Q: How does this play out in my life? at the workplace? A: It plays out in that, speaking globally it means that what we are offering to God is that which is consistent with His own will and consistent the calling of the world, the truest calling of the world (ie. its final fulfilment). And sin is a distortion of the world's calling. So we offer the world genuinely when we offer it without sin, which doesn't mean that we have to achieve a sinless world before it can be offered to God, but all I'm saying is that our involvement in the world has to have a focus, that's what I said when I mentioned that when we are offering the world are we offering an entire Canadian city as is? Or what a re we really saying is that our involvement in the world points the world to its true vocation. And so also at work, well obviously alot of things at your work are outside of your control but you can speak the truth when called upon to do s o without being afraid, you can do that consistently, you can live honestly, you can work well, you can forgive quickly, you can demonstrate all of the Christia n virtues without people understanding initially that they are specifically Chri stian and you can accept and believe that God uses your workplace somehow in you r own salvation, even though not everything in your workplace comes from Him. Bu t that He can use that. Instead of going there to see it as a place of punishmen t or alienation or condemnation, you can say that there is no place in the world that God cannot use for a Christian's salvation and healing, potentially, since God is capable of recreating even evil into Good. So in some cases that quite t he martyria, quite the witness when you do that. I thank you for being with you this evening. God bless you. [End of Transcript]
About Protopresbyter Maxym Lysack http://www.christthesaviour.ca/ http://www.stjohnsmission.org/ The Very Reverend Protopresbyter Maxym Lysack was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba of Ukrainian parents and was raised in Ottawa. He holds one undergraduate degree i n Ukrainian and Russian, and a second in theology. He also completed studies in the field of education. Fr. Maxym was ordained to the priesthood in 1983. He later earned a Th.M. at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brooklin e, MA, specializing in Orthodox dogmatic theology and spirituality. He occasion ally teaches courses in these two areas at the university level.
In addition to his pastoral duties at Christ the Saviour, Fr. Maxym serves as De an of the Canadian Deanery of the Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese and is Ortho dox chaplain at the University of Ottawa. He is frequently invited to speak at retreats and conferences. Fr. Maxym speaks English, French, Ukrainian and Russi an. He is married to Matushka Yvonne, who brings a background in counselling, t heology, writing, and music to her full-time work for the parish. The couple's two daughters are Anastasia and Yuliana.