The Search for Orthodoxy – Fr. Seraphim Rose, USA

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TEXTS – ORTHODOXY

The Search for Orthodoxy

Fr. Seraphim Rose, USA

A talk given at the 1981 St. Herman Summer Pilgrimage, at the St. Herman of Alaska Monastery, Platina, California. The text has been taken from Fr. Seraphim’s handwritten notes. The section titles have been added by the editors, based on Fr. Seraphim’s section divisions.

I. INTRODUCTION
The number of people here today is a proof that there is a search for Orthodoxy today—those who don’t have it are looking for it, and those who do have it want to go deeper into it.

Our times, the second half of the twentieth century, are times of spiritual searching. Many are dissatisfied, whether with various forms of Christianity, with non-Christian religions, or with unbelief and atheism. Many hope against hope that there is more to life, more to spiritual reality, than they have found so far. More and more of these searchers are finding what they are looking for in the Orthodox Church:

1. African peoples of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zaire, and other mission fields are finding Orthodoxy to be the “true old religion” as against the various sects and cults of modern Africa.

2. Young Orthodox Christians of Soviet Russia and other Communist lands are finding in Orthodoxy both fresh air and recontact with their historical past after sixty years of atheist tyranny and suffocation.

3. Young Orthodox idealists of Greece are rediscovering the monastic ideal in the midst of the dead worldliness of contemporary Greece and are flocking to the monasteries of Mount Athos.

4. Americans, both young and old, weary of the rootless and arbitrary teachings of contemporary Protestantism, are discovering the true and profound Christianity of Orthodoxy.

5. Roman Catholics, in the midst of a disintegrating church structure, are finding that Orthodoxy is everything they once thought Roman Catholicism to be.

6. Young Jews, both in the Soviet Union and the free world, are increasingly finding the answer to the present-day spiritual vacuum among their own people in conversion to Orthodoxy.

And there are many others who are coming to the Orthodox Faith in these latter days. What does this mean for us who are already Orthodox?

We who have already found the end of our search in Orthodox Christianity must be aware of these searchers and of the literal movement towards Orthodoxy that is occurring throughout the world today. It is still small, in some places only a trickle—but it is already becoming one of the Continue reading