Hieromonk Fr. Seraphim Aldea was in Paris shortly after the November 2015 attacks in Paris. In the following, written shortly after the attacks, he reflects on peace and violence in light of these attacks. In the addendum, written two months later, Fr. Seraphim responds to some criticisms of his initial reflection.
This is a pastoral letter from Metropolitan Tikhon of the OCA, issued August 10, 2014. Metropolitan Tikhon expresses solidarity with those suffering in war, and calls all Christians to be witnesses for peace, living out in their own lives “the Gospel’s command to adhere to peace and non-violence.”
There was once a renowned bakery which produced the best bread in the land. The bakers said it was because they used a special strain of yeast. One day, a group of marauders came and ransacked the bakery, forcing the bakers into hiding.
The Church is a hospital, according to St. John Chrysostom, and according to St. Ignatius its sacraments are medicine. It is often repeated that Christ is the Great Physician, and that the spiritual life of the Church heals the sickness of the passion-ridden soul.
While we confess in the Creed that the Orthodox Church is one, where must an observer look to see our theological, mystical, or true oneness? We have hidden it from ourselves and the world by our behavior. Because of our pervasive fear, self-interest, and insularity, the visible unity of the Church exists only as a broken promise.