Monday, November 19, 2007

Stray Thought

Salvation is having the rift between you and the Best Beloved healed. Yes, in that process you escape the eternal consequences of sin; but that is hardly the point! The love, the blissful, blessed love to which you are summoned, that is the point! That you are allowed to live not only with but in Him, and He in you, that is the joy! That you are made righteous is not a means to some other end; it IS the end, the goal, because it is communion with Him, Who alone is righteous.


Dixie said...

For me this understanding of salvation really changed everything. Faith wasn't just a "fire insurance" policy to protect me from hell but truly life lived in communion with Christ. It was as if I had really only understood half of the story until I was introduced to Orthodoxy. In my lay ministry classes a professor once indicated that people weren't so interested in eternal life if that meant sitting on a cloud and praying all day so we had to make the church exciting...praise bands and the like. Well--no wonder--if one sees salvation as the lesser evil...escape from hell in exchange for perpetual boredom...then it isn't so attractive. But if one understands salvation as this union in Christ, this eternal communion, well that becomes something quite different and infinitely attractive--and most wanted.

It is this understanding of salvation that enabled Sister Synkletiki to say (after surviving the Hyatt Skywalk disaster)

I remember no particular anxiety, then, about whether I would be able to walk again eventually or not, if my spinal cord would heal, before the muscles died. It was enough, the work of just living through each moment, finding Christ through the pain and overcoming the fear. But this was a big question for the ones on whom I depended, my family and friends. I remember thinking, “Well, what is the purpose of life? To unite with God. One way to do this is by being paralyzed, another is walking. So it doesn't matter very much."

Thanks for sharing your great stray thought, Anastasia!