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...
May 22, 2016
Enduring emptiness and loneliness
“Orthodox life, as expressed in its ascetic and liturgical tradition, helps man to confront and deal with his existential emptiness and his loneliness in a creative way. It does not allow us to avoid the loneliness of our human existence. Our role as a Church is to bring man out of his loneliness into a community in which he can fulfill and express his uniqueness within the Truth by way of communion. We are to be friends with all, as St. Isaac the Syrian says, but remain alone. Isaac continues to tell us, though, that there has to be a time without response, natural or super-natural. There is a need to have a presence of the world, in which emptiness exists, in order for the world to have a need for God and to seek out Truth. He says that instead of giving direct solutions to man’s problem, we need to give one the opportunity to take the risk of coming into one’s self, to attempt to come in contact with one’s hollowness and with death. To love Truth means to endure our emptiness and consequently to accept the reality of sin, corruption and death. Within the darkness of the grave will come the Light of the Resurrection and the Inexpressible Comfort.”
From the lecture: “Young People and Loneliness”
2nd International Orthodox Youth Conference
“Members of the Church- Citizens of the World”
July 11-16, 2007