митрополит Антоний Су́рожский (Блум)

November 4, 2001

In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

The church is the dwelling place of God, the place where we are His guests, and mysteriously enough, a place, where He is our Guest. In the world in which we live, which to a very great extent has rejected God, or ignores Him passively, a world for which God doesn't exist, small groups of believers who have met Him in a variety of ways, have built dwellings for Him. Isn't it wonderful and tragic to think that God Who created the whole world in an act of love, for it to bе a place of joy, of fulfillment, of communion with Him and with one another, that this God has got only small places that are churches and temples that are dedicated to Him, that belong to Him unreservedly. And so, when we come to a church, we must bе aware that we come to a (God) who has become, as it were, a pilgrim on earth, a God, to Whom we offer hospitality on earth, and Who one day will open the gates of Eternal Life to us, no longer giving us simply hospitality but telling us, as He says in the Gospel, that we are His brothers, His sisters, and His Father is our Father. Let us therefore treat the church in which we live and pray, and are transformed, at times – transfigured, let us treat it with tenderness, with love and with a sense of awe, because God lives here. This is all I want to say – think of it; and when we come to the church again, come knowing that you come to a place which you have offered to God, and a place which made by human hands, has become wider than heaved and earth, as deep as eternity, as holy as God Himself, and we must enter it as the publican did: feeling that we are unworthy to enter, and yet who are welcomed by a God Who has chosen to be our Father.

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