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St. Nicholas Community

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Churches of the East and West often utilize different words and theological constructs coming to similar conclusions. The same can often be true with our conversations with Protestant Christians. In these examples it becomes clear that we need to seek understanding in our conversations, rather than jump to knee jerk conclusions. We may, after the dust settles, be closer in understanding than you initially thought.

Sometimes we get so bogged down the semantics of language that we miss the greater point. Are we focusing on Sacraments or Mysteries, Is our Christian focus based upon Faith vs understanding and knowledge? No matter what terminology you utilize, an “Authentic Faith” requires knowledge of the One who gave his life for many.

No matter how we individually encounter the mysteries of faith, as we term the sacraments in Western Christendom, the intended purpose of each is to define recognized moments of encounter with our Lord. This is indeed much more important than the legalistic, theological constructs and components of each sacrament.

It is important for those of us in Holy Orders to have a fuller understanding of why we believe, and why we go through the particular motions within our sacramental practice of faith.

For the laity, such deeper knowledge may be nice to know. Higher learning may even help to strengthen your knowledge base and thus your faith as well.

However, our faith is truly based upon the mysterious. We serve a God who is infinitely greater than our finite minds can fully comprehend. Theological constructs and such, which have been handed down to us from antiquity simply give our limited capacities a handle to grasp in our journey to eternity.

Bishop Michael


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