Categories
American Orthodox Christian Living Saints

Orthodoxy of the Heart

“The true faith in Christ is in the heart, and it is fruitful, humble, patient, loving, merciful, compassionate, hungering and thirsting for righteousness; it withdraws from worldly lusts and clings to God alone, strives and seeks always for what is heavenly and eternal, struggles against every sin, and constantly seeks and begs help from God for this.”

– St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“If someone should say that true faith is the correct holding and confession of correct dogmas, he would be telling the truth, for a believer absolutely needs the Orthodox holding and confession of dogmas. But this knowledge and confession by itself does not make a man a faithful and true Christian.

The keeping and confession of Orthodox dogmas is always to be found in true faith in Christ, but the true faith of Christ is not always to be found in the confession of Orthodoxy…. The knowledge of correct dogmas is in the mind, and it is often fruitless, arrogant, and proud….

The true faith in Christ is in the heart, and it is fruitful, humble, patient, loving, merciful, compassionate, hungering and thirsting for righteousness; it withdraws from worldly lusts and clings to God alone, strives and seeks always for what is heavenly and eternal, struggles against every sin, and constantly seeks and begs help from God for this.

– St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, quoted by Blessed Fr Seraphim Rose

Fr. Seraphim Rose became a preacher of Orthodoxy of the heart and is the inspiration for the title of this blog. It is said “besides the resurrection of Holy Russia, [an Orthodoxy of the Heart] was his main theme during the last part of his life.”

Fr Seraphim quotes the Blessed Augustine: “The faith of a Christian is with love; faith without love is that of the devil.” [2] Likewise, St. James tells us that the demons also believe and tremble (James 2:19) yet they lack love, therefore our faith must be with love.

“St. Tikhon…gives us a start in understanding what Orthodoxy is: it is something first of all of the heart, not just the mind, something living and warm, not abstract and cold, something that is learned and practiced in life, not just in school.” [3]

Source: http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/fsr_86.aspx

“We should not despair when we struggle but see no progress, remaining continuously at zero. All people earn zeros with their human strength, some more and some less. Christ, seeing our small human effort, places the number one before our zeros, and thus they acquire value and we can detect some improvement. Thus, we must not despair, but hope in God.”

– St. Paisios the Athonite

  1. From Fr. Seraphim’s lecture “Orthodoxy in the USA,” given at Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, New York, on Dec. 12/25, 1979 (see ch. 89 below). Text published in OW, no. 94 (1980), p. 226.
  2. Translated by Fr. Seraphim from St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Ob Istinnom Khristianstve (On True Christianity), ch. 287, in Tvoreniya izhe vo svyatikh ottsa nashego Tikhona Zadonskago (The Works of our father among the saints, Tikhon of Zadonsk) (St. Petersburg, 1912), p. 469 (in Russian).
  3. FSR, “Orthodoxy in the USA,” OW, no. 94 (1980), pp. 216-17.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.