by H.G. Paulose Mar Gregorios
Why indeed am I an Eastern Orthodox Christian?
Clearly, my own choice could only be part of the answer, since I come from a family whose Christian ancestry is traced, rightly or wrongly, to the Apostle St. Thomas. I belong to a church that is presumably as old as any other Christian Church in the world, except perhaps the Mother Church of Jerusalem. The Apostle Thomas, one of the Twelve, is believed to have come to India around the middle of the first century, two decades after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. The Eastern Orthodox Community in Kerala has come through many vicissitudes of history, but has survived to this day.
The choice was thus made for me, first by whoever was responsible for my being born in India to Christian parents and then by my parents, who decided that I should, like them, be baptized in the Malankara Orthodox Church. But subsequently I made that choice my own. I could have joined many other Churches and the exposure to reformation thought has only helped to confirm my commitment to the apostolic tradition as maintained by the Oriental Orthodox Churches.
During these years I came to see quite clearly that the Eastern Orthodox Church had been, in many things that matter, more faithful than others to the one apostolic tradition that we all profess. I also saw when that Eastern Orthodox tradition had been unfaithful - in its excessive and sometimes exclusive authority, in its basic failure to love humanity and serve it with everything at its disposal, and in its failure to come to terms with the cultural, spiritual and intellectual struggles and frustrations. I also saw the most unchristian power struggles going on among the Eastern Orthodox, to a certain degree more deplorably than in the Churches of the West. Despite all these lapses in practice, my respect and love for the Eastern Orthodox tradition deepened during these years".
Orthodox Spirituality presents the process of a Christianís progress on the road to perfection in Christ, by the cleansing of passions and the winning of the virtues, a process which takes place in a certain order. Spirituality describes the manner in which the Christians can go forward from the cleansing of one passion, to the cleansing of another, and the same to the acquiring of the different virtues.
Principles Of Orthodox Worship
Ten principles of the orthodox worship are described. Orthodox worship is complete and is designed to invoke the whole human being (mind, body and spirit) and the five senses. It also has a strong biblical basis.
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