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CHOTKI.COM

The Church about Providential Wisdom.



1. "The Church teaches us" - what does this mean?


How should we understand the expression "The Church teaches." I have been baptized, I am a member and part of the Church. Does that mean that I also participate in the self-awareness of the Church? And even more so, "we," taken together, participating in the services, learning the Law of God, are we not the spokesmen of the general awareness of the Church? Where is this "teaching" Church, from which we should seek instruction?

Let us try to answer this question.

For this, let us consider what Christís Church is in its fullness. Let us not forget that the Church is a holy part of Godís world. We cannot even imagine the vastness of the Church and the depth of its spiritual content. We are but temporary parts of the earthly Church, often diverted by worldly cares. Can we easily reach the spiritual level which would enable us to perceive the fullness of the Churchís life? For this reason we seek direction from the holy Church fathers of all ages. All those holy fathers had general consent regarding the faith. And we see that none of them taught anything about faith directly from himself, but partook from the source of the Church. What is this source? It consists of two parts: 1) the Old Testament scriptures and 2) the New Testament, the Gospel of Christ and His holy apostles.

Each of us is a citizen of his country, but does each of us know all his countryís territory, its content, its needs, all its laws? Neither should we simplify our view of the Church, the catholicity of which is expressed not only in the unity of its heavenly and earthly members, but also in the fullness of its mysteries, some of which are open and accessible to us, and some are completely unknown.

We must admit that when people, too sure of themselves, consider themselves empowered to add to the teachings of the Church, either through their philosophical or personal considerations, this only shows that they do not know the Church. Either they do not admit that the Church has a ready answer they are looking for, or they are invading areas that even angels fear to intrude.

An example of such unjustifiable self-assuredness, connected with a lack of knowledge of the Churchís teaching, can be seen in the unacceptable teachings of a group of Russian philosophers about "Sophia ó the Wisdom of God," perceived as a mediator between God and the world in Godís providential acts. We should be aware, therefore, of the true teaching about Godís All-wise Providence.

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