Friday, January 23, 2009

Olivier Clement: Memory Eternal!

On the evening of January 15, 2009, the noted Orthodox Christian theologian and historian Olivier Clément fell asleep in the Lord at the age of 87 years. Clément, one of the most significant witnesses of Orthodoxy in the West in the second half of the twentieth century, was a member of the faculty of St. Sergius Institute in Paris.

Olivier Clément was born in 1921 in the south of France. He grew up a non-believer, but at age 27, under the influence of Orthodox theologians Vladimir Lossky and Nikolai Berdiaev, he embraced the the Orthodox Christian faith.
He leaves a vast collection of writings, including some thirty works on theology, Church history, and spirituality, as well as numerous articles published in "Contacts," a theological journal in which he had an editorial hand since 1959. Among his English language works are "The Roots of Christian Mysticism," "On Human Being: Spiritual Anthropology," and "You are Peter: An Orthodox Reflection on the Exercise of Papal Primacy." Two of his books were published by St. Vladimir's Seminary Press: "Three Prayers: The Lord's Prayer, O Heavenly King, and the Prayer of St. Ephrem," and "Conversations with Patriarch Bartholomew I."

Clément entered into dialogue on major contemporary spiritual themes with Patriarch Athenagoras, Pope John Paul II, the Romanian priest and theologian Dumitru Staniloae, and Brother Roger of Taizé, with whom he had built trusted friendships. He was especially attentive to questions of modernity, which he sought to address through powerful and creative poetic reflection rooted in Church Tradition.

Funeral services took place in Paris on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

May the memory the newly-reposed servant of God, Olivier, be eternal!


Friday, January 09, 2009

Do Not Resent...

... Do Not React

... Keep Inner Stillness

This remarkable reflection on the disciplined spiritual life according to the Great Tradition of the Orthodox Christian Church is a must-read. It comes from His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH, who served as abbot of the Monastery of Saint John in Manton, California and who has recently been elected as Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church in America.

Here's an excerpt:

When we look at all the inner clutter that is in our lives, hearts and souls, what do we find? We find resentments. We find remembrance of wrongs. We find self-justifications.

We find these in ourselves because of pride. It is pride that makes us hold on to our justifications for our continued anger against other people. And it is hurt pride, or vainglory, which feeds our envy and jealousy. Envy and jealousy lead to resentment.

Resentfulness leads to a host of problems. The more resentful we are of other people, the more depressed we become. And the more we are consumed with the desire to have wha they have, which is avarice. Often we’ll then engage in the addictive use of the substance of the material world – whether it’s food or alcohol or drugs or sex or some other thing – to medicate ourselves into forgetfulness and to distract ourselves from our resentments.

Read it all here.