No More Books in the News - For Once...

Have Faith, Hope and Love !

by Dr Dan Waniek, MD
Copyright © 2006 danwaniek.org

Someone once asked Mahatma Gandhi :
– What do you think about the Western Civilization ?

Gandhi said :
– I think that would be a very good idea !

This reminds me that Old Europe's Fame, much unlike our noisy West, was conspicuous by its absence. It's not merely vivons hereux, vivons cachés! It's really about the only power that exists in this world. This power is called nepătimirea, in the words of the Desert Fathers, translated into Romanian - a language almost designed for hesychasts, or sihaştrii because it's as old as Christianity itself. Nepătimirea is something different from both serenité and aequanimitas.

This utterly different hesychastic paradigm exists on the basis of its own reality, which is founded elsewhere. Hesychasts are unique amongst humans in that they purposely destroy their human nature ( with "human" from humus, earth ) for a purpose which is not anonymous. And their purpose is not a sort of embetterment of some mystic kind. It's only the same unique purpose coming from the One who became "human" because that earth in us cared and cried and craved for Him to give it life again. When hesychasts do come back from their traversée du désert they can definitely carry all the rest of us with them, in a single breath.

Why? Four our own sake. For our life. And that's the nature of orthodox Christianity. Orthodoxy, says father Rafail Noica, is human nature itself. Orthodoxy, and especially hesychasm does not really destroy human nature, only it's sinful nature. Orthodoxy loves sinners. Orthodoxy only hates sin. Orthodoxy never insisted on lawyers, for orthodoxy always had an excess of martyrs - the word for witnesses. Orthodox fathers do not make a fuss about mission, value and missionary values. But then again, orthodoxy is not some lunacy ignoring the world in order to save us. It only cares about our deep, only and real nature. For it's not an "empty mind in an empty prayer from an empty stomach" - which Gibbon himself stressed in the lines of Barlaam il calabrese - which carries us away, with hesychasts. It's the One who meets humankind when more silence, for ever deeper smerenie and especially less sensuality are all preparing the Roof of our Soul for Him to be our Guest.

Therefore, it's really the Rest and not the West who care for Faith, Hope and Love these days...

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