Pastoral Healthcare

One of the most important ministries of the Church throughout its history has been providing spiritual care to the sick. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has always being sensitive to the needs of this ministry from the years of the Byzantine Empire up until now. Its clergy are active in providing pastoral care to the ill, both on a parish level and in specialized facilities.  read more...

Pastoral Thought of the Week

November 29, 2015

Man - the center of tragedy

“It is dangerous to be  man; it is dangerous to be someone who is imprisoned between two infinitudes which compete with one another in secrecy and the enigmatic. One or the other wants man. Both being appealing and unmerciful, untiring and envious, they both clash with one another for the unfortunate man. Consolidated in two worlds [the natural and the metaphysical], they attack man with all of their vast terrors, while he, humiliated and wounded, tries to free himself from these two worlds; yet he is unable to stand outside and beyond them. This is his fate. 

It is tragic for someone to be man because man has become the pupil of the eye of what is tragic; a pupil for each thing which is tragic, whether it be in heaven or in the earthly world, whether in the exterior or the interior infinity. It is through man that pain was first generated; because of this every creature became sick; through the eye, every being laments sorrow. He is the sicken one that suffers from the illness of every existence. In him, like a focused lens, all the tragedy of the worlds has been accumulated, while, helpless, he bends and collapses on the bed of his weakness.

It is atrocious for someone to be man, because he carries within his microscopic body two infinities. He is the queen bee upon which all the swarms of every type of horror of the under and upper world descend. Wherever he goes, he is followed by countless swarms of horror. If he dives into the mystery of the worlds, his thoughts will meet something that is horrifying and frightening. As man lives in this world, countless horrors have undertaken human emotions or the human soul or the human body, while he, in hopelessness, struggles with the gigantic mystery of the worlds.    

The sense of infinity is found in every man. If it is awakened, it appears through religion. If it remains asleep, it opens the way for irreverence.”

St. Justin Popović
Philisophikoi Kremnoi, p. 21
Monastery of Xalandiou