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THE GREATNESS OF PAN ORTHODOXY

CB065471Here in New Zealand, and in places where the other Orthodox Christians (the Antiochians, Russians, Serbs, Romanians, etc) do not have churches and priests of their own as (well as) in the Fiji Islands, we the Greek Orthodox cover their devotional needs. So well-pleasing and very beautiful are our shared feelings every time and whenever all we Orthodox attend the liturgy in common, and when we commune together from the same table of love together and we taste, after the spiritual, the material food: the foods, the sweets, the fruits that our good Christian women bring and those things which the parish council members prepare.

At these times we confirm that we are truly one family, even if we belong to different nationalities, the family of the Orthodox Christians. Then we chat together about pleasing things, and, one desiring to help the other, we seek solutions for our problems through our common faith and hope in the true Trinitarian God, and in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and in our Panaghia[1] and our holy Saints.

We experience the same feelings and joy when we go to the home of another Orthodox Christian, whether Greek or not, whether for a visit or a blessing service or to hear a confession. We also see there in the home the same Orthodox icons, the same Orthodox habits and we understand that really nothing separates us other than language and even that doesn’t limit us because we all speak the same language of Christian and brotherly love.

32014206They have the same experience as we do, whatever nation our Orthodox brothers come from. They see the Greek Bishop as their own Bishop. The Serbian priest as their own priest.

It truly was a work of the Holy Spirit the decision of the Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference in Chambesy Switzerland for the Pan-Orthodox Episcopal Assemblies to be held in the different parts of the Globe. I do believe that following this auspicious beginning other beautiful things will follow, so that slowly-slowly the ethnic sensitivities or even prejudices will be put aside and in every area there should exist one Orthodox Bishop, with his simple or rather combined flock, who as the true spiritual father and pastor will labour to meet the needs and sensitivities of his flock demonstrating reverence and understanding in regards to the language, particular customs and traditions, etc.

United Orthodoxy will progress and will triumph. The hope of the world today is Orthodoxy and all of us Orthodox need to understand this, putting aside every minor difference and to respond in unity to the will of the Lord, who “desires that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of truth” (1 Tim 2:4).

amphilochios on fiji

PASTORAL REFLECTION FROM NEW ZEALAND

It’s about time we return to the land and for us to cultivate the good earth which offers us so much. Let us keep gardens and live from their produce, and vineyards, and olive trees, and all the fruit-bearing trees, as well as from every type of crop. Let us farm animals from which we can produce milk, meat and so many other good things. Let us become involved with keeping honeybees who tire themselves to bring us sweet honey and the sweet-smelling wax.

Sacred Monastery of the Holy Archangels and St. Basil - Neo Tharri Levin, New ZealandLet us be benefitted by machines and broadly by contemporary technology; let us not, however, entrust our whole lives to it. The clean and fragrant air of the countryside has far greater value for our lives and health then does the cement, the asphalt and the air pollution of the big cities.

Sacred Monastery of the Holy Archangels and St. Basil - Neo Tharri Levin, New ZealandThe young people need to stop being “regulars” of coffeehouses, idlers. Let them love to be occupied with the fields, with fishing, and the various sports of both the mountain and of the sea. Nor let us forget to attend Church. Let us consider it our first responsibility. The bond between life in nature and the religious life ensure true health and happiness.

Sacred Monastery of the Holy Archangels and St. Basil - Neo Tharri Levin, New ZealandMetropolitan of New Zealand, Amfilochios


[1] “All-Holy” –Title of respect and honour given to the Virgin Mary.

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