Hieroschemamonk Stefan Nusescu on Being a Christian All the Time
“The mentality of today’s Christians is completely distorted. We’re called Christians when we are followers of Christ. That means we should do what Christ did, doesn’t it? Any disciple follows in the footsteps of his teacher. “I’m a disciple of so-and-so,”—“and I’m a disciple of so-and-so.” And whose are we, modern Christians? Some confessors use the expression “nominal Christians,” that is, “Christians in name”—which is exactly what we have become. Because we are called “Christians,” we are called “Christ’s,” but we are not Christ’s, because we don’t do what Christ says. We no longer have the awareness that we are bearing a cross, that we participate in the Cross and Passion of the Savior, and therefore we see a different Christianity.
This happens even with those Christians who regularly go to Church and confess and commune. Their thoughts are limited to thinking about how to make everything good for themselves: to have healthy children, a good salary, to lack for nothing, to not get sick, to not suffer any harm—and, finally, to think they will receive, on top of everything else, the Kingdom. Some may receive it—we don’t know, it’s the judgment of God—but the problem is that a Christian doesn’t think about the fact that he is Christ’s and that, participating in the life and Passion of Christ, you identify yourself with Christ.
Many people write us letters asking: “Father, pray for God to help me!” I had a telephone conversation with one girl from Thessaloniki who is tormented by a devil. I asked her: “Do you go to church?” “I do.” “Do you fast?” “Well… I haven’t dealt with this issue.” “Wait a minute—how have you not dealt with it? What, are you sick?” “No.” But Orthodox fasting is the most fundamental thing. It’s a means that leads to salvation; it’s very important on our spiritual path.””
– Interview in pravoslavie.ru
– ***Now and then we include a particularly thought provoking or inspiring excerpt not from one of our regular ‘Elders’***