Let us feel love for the Church
Let us feel love for the Church. Let us love her fervently. We should not accept to hear her representatives being criticized or accused. On the Holy Mountain, the spirit in which I was nurtured was Orthodox, profound, holy and silent – without conflicts, without disputes, and without censurings. We should not give credence to those who make accusations against the clergy. Even if with our own eyes we see a priest doing something we judge negatively, we should not believe it, nor think about it, nor talk about it to others. The same is true for the lay members of the Church, for every person. We are all the Church. Those who censure the Church for the errors of her representatives with the alleged aim of helping to correct her make a great mistake. They do not love the Church. Neither, needless to say, do they love Christ. We love the Church when we embrace with our prayer each of her members and do what Christ did – when we sacrifice ourselves, remain ever vigilant, and do everything in the manner of Him who when He was abused did not return abuse, and when He suffered did not threaten (1 Pet. 2:23).
- Elder Porphyrios, “Wounded by Love”