Fr Seraphim Rose+ on the Need to ‘Know’ Our Faith
“You attend church services, keep the faith, receive Holy Communion, read Orthodox books. But it is possible to do all this almost mechanically, without going deeper into Orthodoxy.
Therefore, first of all we must not merely attend services and keep the outward form of Orthodoxy — we must be aware of what we are doing. If you’ve ever talked to an earnest Protestant or unbeliever who really wants to know what you believe and why you behave the way you do, you will understand how important this awareness is. You can literally save the soul of someone like that if you can begin, even in a little way, to open up to him the depths of Orthodox Christianity. Why do you make the sign of the Cross? Why do you pray to saints? Why do you stand up in church, or make prostrations during Lent? Why are you always singing “Lord, have mercy”? What is Holy Communion? Why do you confess your sins to a priest? Especially today, when we are surrounded by people who don’t know the truth but some of whom are really thirsting for it — we can’t just do these things out of habit; we must be able, as the Apostle Peter says, to give an account of what we believe and do to those outside the Church. There are many ways to become educated in Orthodox Christianity — ask your parish priest, read books, obtain a copy of some of the Church’s services and begin to enter more deeply into their meaning. “
– ‘Orthodoxy in America’