August 21, 2021 - After three months A personal thought

August 21, 2021

After three months
A personal thought

Over the past three months the Patriarchal Network’s regular “Pastoral Thought” has not been posted.  I could site many practical reasons for this, but they would sound as superficial excuses. After much contemplation, I have concluded that there is one main reason that surpasses all excuses. Amid the different views and attitudes concerning the state in which the world finds itself, where destruction, sharp diversity and conflict prevail, the hesitancy of posing any “thought” stems from the fear of contributing to the plethoric rhetoric, the vast amount of information and opinions that predominate in various ways.

As these lines are being written, the world is aflame with massive forest fires and people are being afflicted by a pandemic that seems to have no end. There is human loss, obliteration of livelihood and natural resources that will never be regained; an increase of fear, tension and anger that will not be easily overcome.  

The world is being crucified and together with it, Christ is being crucified again exactly for the same reasons that led Him to the Cross on Calvary:   

the arrogant and greedy passion of economic gains, the lack of respect for creation, political interests and social unrest coupled with psychological pathologies that seek out only to destroy.

In facing Crucifixion, one can only remain silent in humble repentance, prayer and contemplation.   This does not mean that we are to remain passive in facing the dramas of life and death. Such a silence will distance us from the misleading and fraudulent language that we constantly hear, a language that lacks meaning and is dominated by self-justification.

Silence of the heart leads to contemplation and contemplation leads us to charity. In silence and contemplation, we take a step back to gain discernment, to examine our personal situation in the realm of the world in which we live. Through silence, we will be able to see the pain that fosters in our fellow brothers and sisters and the reality of the world’s spiritual and physical poverty. This silence resembles the silence of Christ before Pilate, His long-suffering on the Cross and His ever-ending silent love; His mercy for a world that continues to reject Him. This silent long-suffering leads to the Resurrection.

Distant from the clamor of a depersonalized world, this silence will give strength and richness to what we say. It will allow us to be resurrected; to open ourselves to a new state of being, a new community of persons and to rejoin the real world that is founded on the truths of God’s creation.

In closing, while we remain in silence before this crucified world and the Cross of Jesus, we must remember His Mother the Theotokos, who kept all that she witnessed silently in Her heart, asking that She guide us in our prayers as we face the crises of these times.

Fr. Stavros Kofinas
Coordinator of the Patriarchal Network