Архивы Legacy - Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh Spiritual Heritage Foundation
73 results This talk was given by Metropolitan Anthony to the London Group of the . At the centre of the Gospel there is the meeting between God and man, and the . that at the root of our existence there is a concrete basic relation with. Metropolitan Anthony Bloom - Confession As Encounter With God Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh on Church, churchianity and the life according to the Gospel. Metropolitan Anthony Bloom - Men & Women At The Church .. "Human Relationships in the Light of Christ", talk given by Archimandrite Zacharias in the . Posts about Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh written by little city hermit. The Church of the Feodorov Icon of the Mother of God in Tsarskoye Selo. Vladimir grew into a kind, tall, and very handsome young man. chairman of the foreign relations department of the Russian Orthodox Church. In order for.
He saw in him the Lamb of God, the One who was pure, holy and without stain. What significance could baptism have? That every kind of sinner had come to the banks of Jordan, had immersed himself in its waters, had cleansed himself of evil and sin, and that these waters had become heavy with the sin of man, with the deadliness of sin, so that when the Lord Jesus Christ was plunged into them as wool is plunged into a dye, he came out with the sin of man imprinted on him. In the myth of Hercules and his combat with the centaur, the centaur is a being which is half-human and half-horse, that is, bestiality united to humanity.
In a sense, this is our condition. We are all centaurs. We have all our glorious humanity in us, and yet we allow it to be defiled. In his combat with this monstrous being - and, in a sense, we are all monstrous, as contrasted with the surpassing beauty of Christ - Hercules wounds the centaur. In order to avenge himself, the centaur drenches his tunic in his own blood and sends it to Hercules, who puts it on. It clings to his flesh and burns him cruelly, yet he cannot take it off.
Eventually he tears it away - with his flesh and with his life. This is an image which one could aptly use for what happens to Christ when he takes upon himself our humanity, our humanity which is like the centaur's tunic, drenched with murderous, lethal blood.
Then he comes up out of Jordan, ready for the victory, and upon his humanity there comes the Holy Spirit of God in the form of a dove, the Spirit that fills him with power, not only in his divinity, for his humanity also is now fulfilled to total perfection.
This will be revealed to us later, at the Transfiguration, when it is not the divinity of God that shines through in spite of the humanity. At that moment we see his humanity transfigured with Divinity and shining in all its glory. But this situation, this vision is incommunicable. The Apostles could see it, but they could not take part in it.
It is only in the Resurrection, when all separatedness will be overcome, that the victory of Christ, his risen and transfigured humanity, will be capable of becoming ours. In the context of the humanity of Christ all the temptations offer a double challenge.
The first challenge is this: There is no limit to your power. The Spirit is not only upon. God is in you. Why can you not do anything you choose, if you are the Son of God?Metropolitan Anthony Bloom - I Believe, O Lord Help My Disbelief. Certitude & Trust
Make it different for your own convenience. This world belongs to me, I will give you everything, provided you become one of my subjects.
You are all powerful. You are filled with the Spirit. Throw yourself down from the pinnacle, that everyone may see and recognise you'. This is the temptation to power which would undo totally the kenosisthe emptying of self, the very act of the Incarnation. It would make the incarnate Son of God into a fallen god, and nothing else.
Later Christ was tempted again. Satan reappeared while he was on the way to Caesaria Philippi, after he was recognised as the Son of God by Peter. Christ then began to tell his disciples about his Passion, but Peter turned to Him and said: This was temptation to weakness. Are you not flesh and blood?
Have pity on yourself'. And he said the same words to Peter as he had said to Satan: Thou thinkest the things of the earth, and not the things of God'. So there are two temptations: We must strike the wonderful balance of faith that allows the power of God to be made manifest in weakness.
As St Paul says: At the end of Creation, the Lord rested on the Sabbath, the seventh day. It is a moment when, having fulfilled all his creative work, he handed it over to man to bring to perfection.
St Maximus the Confessor tells us that man was created in such a way that he was at one not only with all the material and psychic world, but also with the spiritual world of the angels and of God himself. Being at the very centre, capable of communing with the one and the other, man could unite both, and so lead the whole of creation unto that perfection which is expressed by St Paul as 'God being all in all'.
Man was put in charge of creation, but he betrayed it into the hands of Satan. So Christ becomes the New Adam, the One who takes upon himself to be the Leader, the head of the created world, to lead it to its vocation.
This is why so many of the miracles of Christ are performed on the Sabbath.
It is the Day of Man. It is the day when God rested from his works and said: These miracles were acts by which he asserted himself as the New Adam who takes upon himself and fulfills the vocation of man.
By accepting to be the New Adam he takes upon himself the complex destiny of being Perfect Man, and therefore has an absolute horror and revulsion against all sin, all evil, all impurity.
And yet he accepts to be clothed in our fallen nature, with all its frailty, though without sin. He is crucified by the frailty of fallen man, because he is himself free. As St Maximus the Confessor says: Yet he takes upon himself everything, including mortality'. And he also takes upon himself the very condition of mortality - the loss of God - in order to be totally at one with us.
So as God he is Love crucified. As man, he is the Perfect Man, crucified by the imperfection of the world which he has accepted to bear in the form of his flesh. Thus he finds himself in history with a dual solidarity.
He is totally, unreservedly and ultimately at one with God. But at the same time he is as ultimately and as absolutely, by choice and by the desire of love, at one with the fallen world. The result is that, while he is of both, he is rejected by both. Because he is God's own, he is rejected by man; he must die 'outside the walls'.
He cannot even be killed in Jerusalem.
He cannot be killed, like the prophets, in the temple or within the precincts of the temple. He must be rejected from the very city of men. Because he has made himself one with man and has accepted the final predicament of man, the loss of God in Adam, he has to die alone, without God.
That is what Archimandrite Sophrony once called 'a metaphysical swoon', a moment when, in his humanity, in his dying, he lost the sense of being at one with the Father.
One does not recite psalms when one is dying on the Cross. One cries out, 'Lord, have mercy'. One cries without words. But one does not recite a psalm for the edification of those standing around. The loss of God is a real event. Christ cannot die, otherwise than by losing God. This is the tragedy of the Cross. This is the inconceivable greatness of divine Love.
He is not only vulnerable at that moment. In his address Bishop George defined death as extinction. I do not believe this to be true. In the Old Testament, death is an atrocious, appalling moment when body and soul are severed from one another.
The soul of each one of us who has lost God on earth, through the sin of our first parents and our own, descends into sheol; into the pit, the place where God is not. Bloom a Russian Orthodox Archbishopand Laski, do I've only read two books by Bloom, but he's one of those rare writers on things spiritual who I've come to trust. Bloom a Russian Orthodox Archbishopand Laski, don't exactly go at it hammer and tong.
That's a good thing, but nevertheless the two of them circle each other in such a respectful way that all you get is polite nuance. Also, the medium of TV can be limiting, especially so when all you're doing is reading it. The following essays are where the meat of the book can be found. It's kind of like having a heavy conversation with a friend. One long quote regarding being a Christian jumped out at me as I finished the book: And at the age of twenty-five he was appointed to serve as a priest in a Serbian Orthodox Church.
And when the Communists came to power, he remained unhesitatingly in Yugoslavia while most of the other White Russian emigres fled the country. Father Vladimir served as a priest in his Serbian parish and he believed it was wrong to leave his congregation, even if he were under the threat of prison or death. He was not killed, but he was sentenced to spend eight years in a camp. Fortunately, Tito soon got into an argument with Stalin, and to irritate his former patron, he let all the White Russian emigres he had imprisoned out of the camps.
As a result the bishop was let out of the labor camps after just two hard years and was allowed to leave the country. And so he immediately began his further travels. Then he was sent off to London to serve at a Serbian Orthodox Church.
And through this program many, many generations of citizens of the USSR learned something about God, about their holy Orthodox faith, and also about the history of their Church and their country.
Time passed and Father Vladimir became a widower. The Church blessed him to take his monastic vows and he received a new name, Basil, and became a bishop. Soon afterwards, Bishop Basil undertook a new journey to the United States, where he converted thousands of Protestants, Catholics, and atheists to the Russian Orthodox faith. But as it happens, he ended up like a fish out of water, not so much for his energetic missionary activity as for his conflict with a very powerful lobby—a group who advocated certain practices that have no place in the Orthodox Church.
God And Man by Anthony Bloom
As a result, Bishop Basil had to retire on a very modest pension. But even this uninspiring event led to the continuation of his heartfelt dreams of wandering and became a reason for renewed activities.
During those years, new opportunities for travel to Russia had opened up, and the bishop rushed back to his native land, which was so scary yet so important to him. I happened to witness a part of the events that took place during his return. Klykov, hieromonk Tikhon Shevkunov and Bishop Basil Rodzyanko Bishop Basil appeared in my life and in the life of my friend, the sculptor Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Klykov, because of an astonishing and unexpected encounter. Vyacheslav Mikhailovich and I had wanted to serve a requiem for the repose of His Imperial Majesty before, but during prior years it had been impossible, and the idea represented an unsolvable problem.
Going to a church in Moscow and just asking a priest to serve a requiem for Tsar Nicholas II was clearly unthinkable.
Everyone knew that word would get out, and the very least punishment that such a brave priest could expect for such a deed would be dismissal from the Church. Having services in a private home was impractical, as many friends would have wanted to attend.
God and Man: nickchinlund.info: Metopolitan Anthony of Sourozh: Books
It so happened that during those days Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Klykov had just completed the monumental gravestone for Alexander Peresvet and Andrei Oslyabya—two famous warriors, schema-monks who had been sent to fight for the victorious army of Dmitri Donskoy at the Battle of Kulikovo Field inin which Russia freed itself from the yoke of the Tatars.
After a long confrontation with the local Soviet authority, a memorial gravestone for them was finally placed on the grave of these heroic monks in the former Simonov Monastery, the site of the famous Dynamo Factory during Soviet times. They would definitely send someone from the KGB to spy on us, but the spies would be unlikely to understand the subtleties of the memorial service in Church Slavonic anyway—for them it would all simply be one long church service.
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich liked this idea. Now there was only one small problem: Because there were, after all, quite serious risks. Perhaps not the greatest of risks, but risks all the same. And if any of the snoops and stool pigeons caught on to what it was that we were planning on doing.
And then one of my acquaintances mentioned to me that Bishop Basil Rodzyanko had recently arrived in Moscow from America. First of all, he was a White Russian emigre. Second of all, since he was a foreign citizen, the risk he would bear would be far less than the risk that our local priests would be facing. At a minimum, we thought it would be easier for him to get out of any pickles he might get himself into—after all, he was an American.
God And Man
Lastly, as it used to be said in a slightly cynical but popular line from a poem of those days: The bishop came out to meet us in the lobby of the hotel. Before us stood a remarkably handsome, tall, elegant old man with a surprisingly kind face. To be more exact, he was the very model of a nobleman and an elder, without any irony or sentimentality, a perfect example of the best people of the times of old.
We had never seen such grand prelates. There was something noble about him that we could sense—it was the old unspoiled Russia and her culture so long lost. This was a completely different bishop from all the other bishops with whom we had ever had dealings before. But this one truly was a completely different bishop, from a completely different Russia. Vyacheslav Mikhailovich and I suddenly were ashamed of ourselves for trying to put such a grand, kind, defenseless, and trusting dear old man into danger.
After we first met him and said a few general words, we excused ourselves, stepped to the side, and before having broached the main subject of our conversation, agreed between ourselves that we would insist that the bishop think very carefully before agreeing to our suggestion.
In order to have our conversation the three of us went out for a walk on the street, to be further away from the KGB microphones in the hotel. But as soon as the bishop heard why we had come to see him, he joyously stopped right on the sidewalk, and, grasping my arm as if he were afraid that I was going to run away, he not only gave his full agreement, but passionately assured us that we had been sent to him by the Lord God Himself.
While I was rubbing my elbow, trying to figure out whether or not I would have a big bruise beneath my sleeve, everything was explained. It turned out that on this date every year for the past fifty years, since the time he had first become a priest, our bishop always said a commemorative memorial service for the Imperial Family. And now here he was in Moscow, and for several days he had been trying to figure out where and how he would be able to say this memorial service for the Tsar and his family even here in the Soviet Union.
And suddenly we had turned up out of the blue suggesting our pious adventure! The bishop saw us as neither more nor less than angels, sent to him by Heaven.
As for all our warnings about the dangers, he merely swept his hands indignantly. There were only a few other questions, which Bishop Basil resolved instantly.
According to ancient Church canons, a bishop who arrives in another bishopric could not celebrate Divine Service without the blessing of the local presiding bishop—and in Moscow, that meant the Patriarch himself. But the bishop told us that on the evening before, His Holiness Patriarch Pimen had already allowed Bishop Basil to have private supplicatory services and requiems. This was exactly what we needed. Furthermore, we needed a choir for the service. But it turned out that almost all the pilgrims who had arrived with the bishop sang in their local church choirs.
In the early morning on the anniversary of the murder of the Imperial Family, we all met by the entrance of the Dynamo Factory. Klykov and I had brought about fifty friends, and there were also about two dozen American pilgrims. Therefore, in order to make sure we would be okay, we were forced to scare our American Orthodox brethren half to death by warning them that they might end up in the basements of the Lubyanka Prison if they so much as said one word other than singing during the services.
By the way, once the bishop began the services, they actually were quite an excellent choir, and they sang the entire service entirely by heart, almost without any accent. The representatives of the administration of the factory and some gloomy minders conveyed us along through very long corridors and passageways until we reached the place where the monks Peresvet and Oslyabya were buried.
My heart trembled when I saw with what suspicion those plainclothes minders were staring at this elegant bishop, and at his terrified, silent, but otherwise extremely not-Soviet-looking flock.
But somehow, everything went okay. The bishop then gave the service with such passion, and his parishioners sang with such generosity of spirit, that it seemed the whole service was over in a minute. The bishop was careful not to say the words Tsar, Tsarina, or Crown Prince, but instead said the service for the fallen Andrei Oslyabya and Alexander Peresvet, praying also for the murdered Nicholas, the murdered Alexandra, the murdered boy Alexey, and the murdered young girls Olga, Tatyana, Maria, and Anastasia, as well as those who were murdered just for being close to them.
I cannot quite rule it out. But none of them gave any sign of having understood. And they even thanked us when we took our leave—sincerely, as it seemed to me and Vyacheslav Mikhailovich.
When we left the territory of the factory and once more emerged into the city, Bishop Basil suddenly came up to me and hugged me, with a great affectionate bear hug. Then he said some words that will remain in my memory forever. He said that he would be grateful for what I had done today for the rest of his life. And it was true: Yes, there had been some books published overseas, and a few of the older generation of Russian Orthodox Christians had related what had happened—and these accounts, sparse as they were, were the source of what learning we could glean about the new martyrs of Russia.
At that time, quite furious arguments were raging about the fate of Nicholas II and his family. Various people whom I very much respected were rather skeptical about the idea of elevating the Imperial Family to the status of saints. I had nothing to answer against the objections of these highly worthy individuals. Except for one thing: I just knew that Tsar Nicholas and his family had in the end been saints. This happened about two years after my acquaintance with the bishop, during one of the most difficult moments in my life.
I was still just a novice, and I was in an unenviable state of mind when I wandered into the Donskoy Monastery to visit the grave of Patriarch Tikhon.