We are Orthodox because, in our Chuch, people count first and then the institution. Dreams, fulfillment of those dreams and our personal problems, as we are made in God’s image, come first and then the principles of the Church as an institution come into play.
We are Orthodox because we put family first. There is nothing more important in life, in the world we live in and for humankind than the uniting of man and woman through the sacrament of marriage and being blessed with children according to God’s will. By respecting the sanctity of marriage, all of the anomalies now accepted in today’s society are eliminated.
We are Orthodox because we acknowledge that the monastic life is the heart of the Church and we rejoice in their number worldwide. Monasteries are like many hearts through which the blood of the Church runs, spiritually oxygenated through the monastics’ prayer night and day.
We are Orthodox because our Church offers all men the possibility of partaking in the sacrament of Priesthood, not just for those who live in monasteries, but also for those who wish to serve God as a Priest. The latter can have a family, living within the secular world, and can intimately know all that it means to have and raise a family.
In the Orthodox faith, lay persons have a part in the administrative functions of the Church, including the right to vote for Patriarchs, Metropolitans, Archbishops and Bishops.
We are Orthodox because we offer our children at birth the possibility of partaking in three Sacraments: Baptism, Holy Unction and Communion.
In this message, I wish to highlight several characteristics of the Orthodox Church in an attempt to answer the question: Why are we Orthodox?
The Orthodox Church’s message to each member is the same: to learn, to preserve and to profess the true faith; to understand why we are Orthodox and what our mission is as members of the Orthodox Church; and to understand our obligations as well as our rights as Orthodox Christians.
The fundamental question is: What is Orthodoxy missing that compels people to turn away from the Church? Orthodoxy is so profound, so all encompassing, it surrounds the TRUTH that was given us by Jesus Christ, the son of God, and preached by the Apostles and the Holy Fathers. Through this HOLY and LIFE GIVING treasure, those who partake at birth are members of the Holy Church, as much as those who come to know the Church’s teachings later in life.
Before the dread judgment seat of Christ, we will have to answer to God how we lived the faith into which we were born and if we spread the word of God to others. AMEN!