Be Not Afraid

Abbot Tryphon | 07 November 2016

As Orthodox priests our true nation is the Church, and the head of our nation is Christ Himself. Therefore, our pastoral response to the madness of this present political scene, and the divisiveness that has resulted during the presidential campaign, must be to help our people remain calm, and not succumb to anger, despair, or fear.

Our people need to see their priests as strong, grounded, and fearless. Saint Paisius of the Holy Mountain said in the latter times we must not raise our hand against the Anti-Christ, but only save ourselves and as many around us as we can. We priests must help our people remember the words of Scripture, “I will not be afraid of evil tidings”.

Ultimately, God is still in charge, and no political party, politician, or candidate, can nullify this truth. Both the political parties in this country are corrupt, both candidates flawed, and there is evidence to suggest that our nation is no longer a true democracy. But none of this negates our responsibility as priests, to keep our people focused on the ultimate truth, that our life must continue to be focused on the acquisition of a humble and contrite heart.

It is not the business of us priests to tell our people how to vote, but only how to acquire inner peace. For our parishioners to see the importance of the Church’s salvific message, they must see in their priests the inner peace that comes with a life in Christ. Nothing in this world has changed, and no political party, or president, or even emperor, will ever usher in “the peace that passes all understanding”. Only Christ can do that, and our duty as priests, is to point the way to Christ.

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