Fr. Andreas Agathokleous


It’s not easy to look at the world. You have to step back a bit, as you would with a painting. Not too far, though, because then you lose the relationship, you don’t hear the messages, the words of its silence.

The world’s characterized by noise, bustle, cares and not insignificant problems. You can’t see everything. It’s impossible to know everything. You can just guess at it, looking through your own microscope. The news in the media, access to the internet, and so on, coverage of everything, without human error, through AI, all  lead you to the depressing conclusion that ‘the earth is shedding blood and tears’.

Was it not ever thus? Yes, but people didn’t know. They knew what was going on in the neighborhood and a little further beyond. Gradually, horizons opened, they saw the world as a ‘neighborhood’ and realized that pain is spread all over the earth.

Christians, people who want to live as Christ did, live in this world and share its direction. They know that, indeed, there are many and varied problems. But those who experience God’s grace, with humble prayer, repentance and observation of Christ’s commandments- particularly that of loving everybody- aren’t overcome by despair, don’t feel that a blackness of the heart is weighing them down.

The feeling of hope and certainty that the last word in our life isn’t an illusion and doesn’t belong to the devil, to pain and all the negatives, but belongs to Christ, who conquered death. It’s experience of his presence, which brings peace and joy.

Fundamentally, the problems of the world aren’t its real problems. These are the Christians without hope, the believers without belief, the ‘people of the Church’ without God. In truth, the self-evident is no longer self-evident. Christ spoke about the deterioration of salt when it ‘loses its savor’, its attributes, which are to preserve food from putrefaction and to add flavor. He made the simile for those who bear his name but don’t live as he did. What future is there for the world when those who maintain it  and make it beautiful with their presence no longer have the ability to do so?

Naturally, the savior of the world is Christ and people who seek their own salvation, as sinners, can’t save others. But sincerity, repentance and the struggle to live his life makes you a ‘sign of his presence’  in a world that’s in pain and, in its knowledge and ignorance, is seeking  real life and its truth.

Then the view of the world from a certain distance- so that you can see better- will allow you to approach it with responsibility, pain and love, which are transformed into love and heartfelt giving to your neighbor, whoever they may be. And through them to your Lord and God, simply and imperceptibly.



Pemptousia Partnership

Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person ­– the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder