Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition
|Young Adult Retreat at the Monastery|
The Bible can only be understood through the Church, for the Holy Scriptures came forth from the Church. The reformers dumped the papacy only to replace that institution with themselves as the ultimate authority. Since reason and logic ruled, there was no room for the intuitive, noetic nature of the heart. Thus the interpretation of the Bible became a debatable subject between believers, ending in new denominations proliferating like rabbits.
The Bible is the written account of the first Christians experience with God and was a living, oral tradition inspired by the Holy Spirit, and put down in written form. To think that it is therefore open to personal interpretation, apart from the Church from which it sprang, is the cause of over thirty-five thousand different denominations today!
The Orthodox Church has kept the early teachings and liturgical traditions precisely because she has refused to interpret Scripture apart from that which was always taught. Her Divine services connect us to the early Church precisely because they are the same liturgical services used by the early Church.
Orthodoxy is increasingly becoming known in the West, and more and more people are being drawn to her. But we don't convert people to Orthodoxy by words and debate, but by the example of our lives. Judging others can not be a part of our witness to the truth of Orthodoxy. Giving witness to the transformational power of the Church is what convicts others of the truth of our faith.
We must pray for our friends and loved ones who do not yet know Orthodoxy, yet we should also give thanks for those who know Jesus Christ. It is a joy to have God as our Father and an extra benefit to have the Church as our Mother. But lest we forget, it is of no value whatsoever to be Orthodox if we do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
With love in Christ,
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Sunday October 16, 2011 / October 3, 2011
18th Sunday after Pentecost.Hieromartyr Dionysius (Dennys) the Areopagite, and with him Martyrs Rusticus and Eleutherius (96).
New Martyr Agathangel, metropolitan of Yaroslavl (1928).
Finding of the relics (1988) of Venerable Ambrose of Optina (1911).
St. Jerome of Aegina (1966).
Venerable Dionysius, recluse of the Kiev Caves (15th c.).
Venerable John the Chozebite, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine (532).
Blessed Hesychius the Silent of Mt. Horeb (6thc.).
Hieromartyr Dionysius, archbishop of Alexandria and eight martyrs with him (257-8).
St. Leger of Autun (679) (Gaul).
Hieromartyrs Hewald the White and Hewald the Black, at Cologne.
Martyr Theoctistus (Greek).
Martyr Theagenes (Greek).
2 Corinthians 9:6-11
The Cheerful Giver
6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written:
“ He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.
31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.