Thomas E. FitzGerald
1. THE ORTHODOX CHURCH: AN INTRODUCTION
Orthodox Christians in America today believe that their church had its origins not in this country but in the land of Palestine nearly 2,000 years ago. This unique community of faith was established by Jesus Christ in a public manner with the call of the first apostles in Galilee. This community of believers was enlivened by the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost when the apostles and disciples were empowered to begin their missionary activity. This is described in the Book of Acts of the Apostles.
Orthodox Christians in America today remember that the first Christians were faithful to the commandment of Christ to preach the gospel to all peoples. Guided by the Holy Spirit, they set out to establish Christian communities in the cities of the Mediterranean world and beyond. These first communities became the bases from which other missionaries went forth to spread the gospel of Christ to the wide varieties of peoples in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Christian communities speaking languages such as Aramaic, Syriac, Greek, Coptic, and Latin came into being despite persecution from the pagan Roman government during the first three centuries of the Christian era. The early Christians knew that their faith was a universal one, not to be confined to a particular place, people, or time. In the early fourth century, the governmental persecution ceased, and in 381 Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, whose capital had been moved to Constantinople in 324. The cessation of persecution led to greater missionary activity, a flowering of liturgical rites, and greater reflection upon the apostolic faith.
Orthodox Christians in America today claim to profess the same apostolic faith that was preached by the apostles and other early Christian missionaries. Orthodox Christians claim to confess and teach this faith without addition or diminution. Rooted in God's own revelation as manifested most especially in the person and activity of Christ, this apostolic faith expresses the fundamental affirmations about the Trinitarian God and his relationship to human persons and the rest of the creation.1
EASTERN AND WESTERN CHRISTIANITY
The church was not a monolithic community from the beginning. The church was diligent in preserving unity in the authentic apostolic faith. It was meant to be a guide toward salvation, and so any distortion in teaching was viewed with alarm. Yet, from the earliest days, there was a healthy diversity in the manner in which the church expressed the one faith and celebrated the faith in worship. The apostolic faith was expressed in the languages and through the various cultures of the Mediterranean world. In the eastern portion of the Christian Roman Empire, Greek was the preferred language of education and culture. In the western portion, Latin predominated. On the borders of the Roman Empire and beyond them, the church was composed of other peoples of different cultures who used languages such as Syriac and Armenian.
Because of these developments in the early church, it has been common to speak broadly about Eastern and Western Christianity. These designations certainly have their limitations. But, they do help us to understand the development of the church as it grew and matured during the first millennium, especially in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.
The development of the Eastern and the Western expressions of Christianity was affected by the particular challenges that the church faced and to which it responded, especially in the fourth and fifth centuries. The heresies of Arianism, Nestorianism, and Eutychianism, for example, affected primarily the Eastern parts of the church. The heresies of Donatism and Pelagianism affected primarily the Western parts of the church. The writings of St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian, and St. Gregory of Nyssa must be understood primarily in light of pastoral concerns and the distortions of the faith in the eastern portion of the church, which they opposed. Likewise, the writings of St. Ambrose of Milan, St. Hilary of Poitiers, and St. Augustine of Hippo must be understood against the background of their times and the pastoral concerns that they faced in Western Europe and North Africa.2
Within this same time frame many books claiming to have an apostolic authority were in circulation. While some of these texts originated from within the confines of the church and claimed apostolic authority, others were the work of sectarians. The church, therefore, had to determine which books were worthy of being regarded as genuine Scripture and which were not. This process of selection took place over a period of about 300 years. The New Testament as we know it today contains the twenty-seven books that came out of the life of the early communities and that the church determined to be authentic and salutary. Only in the middle of the fourth century was a firm consensus on the entire collection reached.3
From the earliest days of Christianity, the authentic teachings of the church were challenged by pagan philosophies or seriously threatened by false teachings from within the Christian communities. In order to meet major challenges, it was common for the bishops of the church to gather in council, especially from the second century onward. In imitation of the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15), the bishops of a particular region would gather under the leadership of the regional primatial bishop, who by the fifth century was designated as a metropolitan or a patriarch.
Among these councils, the ecumenical councils were important events in the life of the church from the fourth to the eighth centuries. These councils gathered together bishops and other teachers from throughout the Mediterranean world to respond to major challenges affecting the entire church. Usually these challenges involved distortions of the apostolic faith and, thereby, the misunderstanding of the Scriptures. The decisions of these councils bore witness to the faith of the church and were valuable expressions of the unity of the church. During this period the terms «Catholic» and «Orthodox» came to be used by the church to affirm that it taught the apostolic faith fully and authentically. These terms were also used by the church to distinguish itself from sectarian movements.4
The Statement of Faith fashioned at the Councils of Nicaea in 325 and elaborated upon at the Council of Constantinople in 381 became an important creed. This creed not only bore witness to the apostolic faith expressed in the Scriptures but also served as a bond of unity among the various regional churches. From the fourth century, this creedal statement has had a significance that has transcended the subsequent Christian divisions of the fifth, the eleventh, and the sixteenth centuries. Today, it is an affirmation of faith used not only by Orthodox but also by Roman Catholics and many Protestants.5
DIVISIONS AMONG CHRISTIANS
The legitimate differences that characterized the Eastern and Western traditions of early Christianity were complicated by political and cultural tensions that provided a basis for divisions among Christians. Moreover, serious distortions in the expression of the faith and in ecclesiastical practices were left unchecked in places and were often presented by some as being normative for the entire church.
In the wake of the Council of Chalcedon in 451, a major division erupted, primarily in the eastern portion of the Roman-Byzantine Empire. This division came about chiefly over the terms used to express the relationship of Christ's full humanity and full divinity. It reflected differences in theological approach to Christology that characterized the Alexandrian and the Antiochian traditions throughout the early fifth century. The regional churches within the Roman-Byzantine Empire accepted the terminology used by the council. The regional churches on the periphery of the empire did not accept the terminology used by the council.6
Major attempts to heal the division took place at the Councils of Constantinople in 553 and 681. However, the differences in theological emphasis, which were compounded by political, ethnic, and cultural differences, could not be overcome at the time. This division was further exacerbated both by the political changes accompanying the rise of Islam and by subsequent divisions among Christians.
Today, the Orthodox Church accepts the decision of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 as well three subsequent ecumenical councils. The Oriental Orthodox Churches do not formally accept the Council of Chalcedon or the subsequent councils of 553,681, or 787. While these two families of churches have not been in full communion since the fifth century, recent formal consultations have affirmed that they share the same Orthodox faith. Leaders in both families are presently studying the possible manner in which full communion can be affirmed and celebrated.7
The Great Schism is a division that is generally much better known. This division is between the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople, together with those regional churches in communion with it. Following the Germanic invasions in Western Europe and the growth of the Frankish Empire, this division occurred gradually between the ninth and thirteenth centuries. The date of 1054 is simply a convenient one that marked the exchange of limited excommunications but certainly not the formal division of the regional churches. This schism can be dated only after the tragic sack of Constantinople and the unfortunate temporary establishment of a Western Christian hierarchy there in 1204.8
Numerous attempts were made throughout the Middle Ages to restore full communion. The most significant were councils held in Lyons in 1274 and Florence in 1439. Strongly reflective of medieval Roman Catholic theology, the decisions of both these councils were eventually repudiated by the Orthodox. The tragic fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the accompanying political changes only led to further isolation of Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholicism and solidified the division.
Two major theological differences at the time led to this division. The first was the filioque. This Latin word means «and from the son.» It was inserted into the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381 after the affirmation that the «Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life proceeds from the Father.» This addition was first made to the creed in Spain in the sixth century and was eventually accepted in Rome in the eleventh century. After that it became part of the creed used by Christians throughout Western Europe.
Beginning in the ninth century, St. Photios of Constantinople identified the filioque as an unwarranted alteration of the creed. In addition to this, he viewed the addition as an expression of an understanding of the Trinity that diminished both the unique dignity of the Father and the Spirit. The opposition of St. Photios and others also reflected Constantinople's repudiation of the claims of the pope in Rome to have jurisdiction over the Eastern parts of the church.9
The second theological difference centered upon the understanding of the authority of the bishop of Rome, the pope. In the wake of the Germanic invasions and the growth of feudalism in Western Europe during the early Middle Ages, the church there developed a highly centralized and monarchical structure that was centered upon the bishop of Rome and his authority. The East recognized that the bishop of Rome had a «primacy of honor,» which was rooted in the experience of the early church. However, the absolute authority of the bishop of Rome over and above all other bishops was consistently repudiated by the Eastern bishops as being contrary to the church's teaching as expressed in its Scripture and tradition. The Orthodox never recognized papal claims of «universal jurisdiction» or, later, of «infallibility,» which was proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church in the nineteenth century.10
During the period of estrangement from the ninth to the thirteenth centuries, these major differences were complemented by others related to the Sacraments, clerical marriages, and liturgical customs. The many attempts to investigate these differences and to resolve them were frequently stymied by misunderstandings, a lack of historical perspective, cultural prejudices, political intrigues and additional Christian divisions.11
The Protestant Reformation began in 1517, less than seventy years after the fall of Constantinople. Much had taken place in those intervening years. The Renaissance exposed Western Europe not only to elements of the Greek classical tradition but also to elements of the Eastern Christian heritage, which had also been generally neglected in the medieval West. Moreover, the knowledge of the physical world had been considerably enlarged due to the voyages of the great explorers.
In their opposition to medieval Roman Catholic teachings and practices, the Protestant Reformers raised important questions about Scripture and tradition, about faith and works, about worship and Sacraments, and about church authority. While they sought to return to the faith and practice of the Apostolic Church, the Reformers were very much children of their times. Both the Reformers and the Counter-Reformers were Westerners who debated topics with precious little reference to the perspectives and experience of the Christians of the East.12
Some of the Protestant Reformers did show concern for the Christian East. Lutheran theologians at Tubingen, for example, entered into correspondence with the Patriarchate of Constantinople during the sixteenth century. However, these and other contacts led to little genuine dialogue up until this century. The debates between the Reformers and Rome and the debates among the Protestants themselves were carried on with theological terms with which the Orthodox had little appreciation.13
Moreover, the Orthodox, living in lands dominated by Ottomans, Muslims, and, more recently, atheistic Communists, had little opportunity for a genuine dialogue with the Christian West from the fifteenth century down to our own century. In those places where the Orthodox did have contact either with Roman Catholicism or Protestantism, the relationships were seldom cordial. During this difficult period of time, the Christian West, both in its Roman Catholic and Protestant expressions, was frequently more concerned with proselytism than with genuine dialogue and cooperation with the Orthodox.14
A TIME OF RENEWAL AND DIALOGUE
The Orthodox Church in many parts of the world is only beginning to recover from tremendous limitations on its life and mission resulting from hostile political regimes in the old Ottoman Empire, in the former Soviet Union, and in the Balkans. Signs of significant growth and revival are evidenced in places where only a few years ago the vitality of the Orthodox Church was questioned by many.
A profound renewal of the principle of conciliarity is to be found in the relationships among the regional autocephalous churches. Under the leadership of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, four historic pan-Orthodox conferences were held in 1961, 1963, 1964, and 1968. These conferences identified a number of critical challenges facing the church and began to plan for a «Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church.» Since 1976, regular meetings of a Pre-Conciliar Commission have been studying ten topics in anticipation of the council.15
Since the early decades of this century, the Orthodox Church has been a participant in the ecumenical movement. From the perspective of the Orthodox, the quest for Christian unity has as its goal the visible unity of Christians who profess the same apostolic faith. The ecumenical movement in general and the World Council of Churches in particular are providing new and exciting opportunities for Christians of different traditions to meet together, to examine differences, to affirm what is held in common, and to work toward the restoration of visible unity.16
Today, the Orthodox Church is a family of autocephalous and autonomous churches that are united in the same faith and sacramental life. The number of autocephalous and autonomous churches has varied throughout history. Presently there are the thirteen autocephalous churches, of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Cyprus, Greece, Poland, and Albania. There are two autonomous churches: the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, and the Church of Finland.17
Among these churches, the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople is recognized as the first among the bishops. The ecumenical patriarch has a special responsibility for coordinating the common witness of these churches and of overseeing the development of new regional churches.18
There are today about 300 million Orthodox Christians belonging to these regional churches. These Orthodox Christians are sometimes referred to as «Eastern Orthodox.» The official designation of the church found in canonical and liturgical texts is the «Orthodox Catholic Church.» Often adjectives such as Greek, Russian, or Antiochian are used to refer primarily to historical expressions of the Orthodox Church. Most Orthodox today believe that it is misleading to designate the Orthodox Church as Eastern, given the present geographical and cultural realities.19
During the past 200 years, some of the Orthodox autocephalous churches have established jurisdictions in places such as America, Western Europe, Australia, and the Far East. While these new lands are beyond the canonical boundaries of the autocephalous churches, actions were taken to form parishes and dioceses both to engage in missionary activity and to serve Orthodox immigrants. While the Patriarchate of Constantinople has traditionally claimed ecclesiastical jurisdiction over these new lands, historical factors frequently prevented it from exercising appropriate oversight in the past. As we shall see, the Church of Russia was the first to establish a mission in North America in 1794 in the newly discovered territory of Russian Alaska.
Today, the status and organization of the Orthodox Church in North and South America, Western Europe, Australia, and the Far East are receiving a great deal of attention. The Pre-Conciliar Commission addressed the topic of the so-called Orthodox Diaspora at its meetings in 1990 and 1993. The commission affirmed the desire of all the autocephalous churches to work toward a structuring of the church in these lands in a manner that would conform with the canonical principles of ecclesiastical organization and that would better contribute to Orthodox mission and witness.20
The historical development of the Orthodox Church is distinctive and quite different from that of both Roman Catholicism, especially after the Middle Ages, and the various expressions of Protestantism. Partially because of this, the Orthodox Church has also a distinctive spirituality that differentiates it from most expressions of Western Christianity. While the Orthodox Church has been required to face difficult challenges, it has not passed through the same historical and political processes as has Western Christianity. As has been noted, the Orthodox were not directly involved in the Reformation and Counter-Reformation debates. Indeed, from the time of the Cappadocian fathers in the East and St. Augustine in the West, Orthodox Christianity has understood and celebrated the Christian faith in a manner that is distinctive, sometimes complementary to the Christian West and sometimes dramatically opposed to it. As a result of this, the Orthodox believe that their church has not only preserved the apostolic faith but also emphasized aspects of the faith that are quite distinctive.
The Triune God
«The Lord is God and has revealed himself to us» (Ps. 118:26). This joyous proclamation is sung as part of the Morning Prayers in the Orthodox Church. For the Orthodox, these words declare that their faith, prayers, and perspectives on life are founded upon the reality of the divine self-disclosure. While not diminishing the value of human reason, the Orthodox affirm that God is a mystery who is ultimately beyond human definition. The limited knowledge that we have of God results chiefly from the divine disclosure and not from human speculation, important though it may be. The One who is beyond all has chosen to be revealed because of his love for his creation. Through this divine self-disclosure, the Orthodox hold that they have come to experience and to know the one God as Father, as Son, and as Holy Spirit.21
The event of Christ's coming is the core of this revelation according to Orthodox teaching. The revelation of God to the ancient Israelites is fulfilled in the coming of Christ, who is the promised Messiah. In the person of Jesus Christ, divinity is united with humanity in such a way that the distinctive character of each is maintained. This means that the event of the Incarnation reveals in a profound way the intimate bond between living God and the human person together with the entire cosmos. Through his words and deeds, Jesus Christ has revealed the Triune God and the theocentric nature of the human person. Christ shows that the human person belongs to God the Father and is meant to live in fellowship with him through the Spirit. The Resurrection of the Lord is a bold proclamation that not even death can keep human persons from the Father, who loves us. In all that he has done, Jesus offers human persons life in abundance (John 10:10).22
The Orthodox teach that the principal task of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the presence of the Risen Christ to persons of every age and every place and to enable human persons to share in his saving work. The Holy Spirit leads persons from a life of self-centeredness to a life centered upon Christ and his gospel. The person of the Spirit is not subordinate to Christ, nor is the ministry of the Spirit inferior to that of Christ. The Spirit unites human persons to Christ, who leads them to the Father. Both Son and Spirit work in harmony to accomplish the will of the Father, who desires that «everyone be saved and come to the knowledge of truth» (1Tim. 2:4).
According to Orthodox teaching, the entire purpose of God's self-disclosure is to restore the human person to fellowship with himself. From the very beginning, the human person was fashioned in the «image and likeness» of God and given the vocation to live in communion with God (Gen. 1:26). Although sin distorts the relationship between God and the human person, it never destroys the fundamental bond between the Father and his sons and daughters. The Orthodox believe that in the coming of Christ, God the Father demonstrates his love for the alienated and calls human persons back to his friendship. Thus, the Orthodox affirm with St. Irenaeus that «the glory of God is the human person fully alive.»23
The Orthodox place a special emphasis upon an understanding of salvation, which is viewed primarily as sharing. Through the coming of Christ, the Orthodox believe that God has shared fully in human life, thereby enabling human persons to share in his life of unselfish love. Salvation is, therefore, both a free gift of fellowship with the Father and the process by which human persons respond freely to that gift given in Christ through the Spirit. Salvation certainly involves the forgiveness of sin but is not limited to this alone. It is essentially a new relationship freely offered by the Father through Christ and in the Spirit. For this reason, the fathers of the church often declare, «God became human so that human persons may become divine.»24
The term «deification» (theosis) is frequently used by the Orthodox to describe the process of sanctification whereby the human person responds to the divine initiative and moves ever closer to the living God through a life that reflects and imitates the divine love. The human person experiences the presence of the divine in a specific and deeply personal way. So, the Orthodox believe that persons are most fully human when they live their lives in communion with the Source of life. Those who live in Christ know that the process of deification begins at the very moment of creation and continues through the life to come. Love knows no limit and no boundary. The Virgin Mary, honored as the Mother of God, and the other saints bear witness to this reality.25
Salvation is not simply personal but also communal. The Orthodox teach that believers grow in their relationship with the Triune God within the fellowship of the church, the community of faith. Established by Christ with the call of the first apostles and enlivened by the Spirit from the day of Pentecost, the church is an integral part of the divine plan of salvation. Persons become members of the church through baptism. Within this unique community of faith, the members of the church have the opportunity to cultivate the bond of love not only with each other but also with the Triune God. The Orthodox affirm the old adage that says, «A solitary Christian is no Christian.»26
Salvation also has a cosmic dimension. The Orthodox teach that human persons are not saved from the world but in and through the world. The soul is not saved separately from the body but rather together with the body. The whole person, body and soul, is meant to share in the process of sanctification, beginning with the relationships and responsibilities of this life. Far from rejecting the body and the rest of the material creation, the Orthodox look upon the physical as the work of God and a medium through which the divine is manifest. The entire creation, fundamentally good from the beginning, is related to the reality of the Incarnation. Thus, the ultimate transfiguration of the entire cosmos is already prefigured in the lives of the faithful, in the Eucharist, in the icons, and in the relics of the saints.27
The Orthodox see the human person as a liturgical being who is meant to glorify God in all things. There cannot be any discontinuity between believers» formal act of worship and their life in society. Through every relationship and responsibility in life, believers have the opportunity to remember God and his mighty acts of salvation. With this remembrance, believers have the opportunity to offer back to the Father, in thanksgiving, their life and all they have received in union with Christ and through the Spirit. The believer's life is ultimately a prayer. Every responsibility and obligation in life has the potential of being undertaken to the glory of the Triune God and in love for other persons.
The Orthodox certainly do not diminish the importance of formal acts of common prayer and worship. In fact, the Orthodox strongly emphasize the value of communal prayer, especially the Eucharist. Communal prayer is a special time when believers not only respond to the presence of the Living God but also are nurtured by the Scriptures, hymns, and prayers of the church. When believers gather together, they are reminded of their baptismal unity with Christ and of their baptismal unity with all of his followers. The needs and concerns of others are brought to their attention through petitions. Their personal prayer is strengthened through their common prayers. Through their creedal affirmations, the Orthodox faithful profess their faith and are challenged to be faithful in all their words and deeds.28
The Eucharist is the most important act of communal prayer for Orthodox Christians. In obedience to the command of the Lord given at the Last Supper (Luke 22:19), the community of believers gathers to hear the Word of God, to offer prayers, to present the gifts of bread and wine, to recall the mighty acts of God, to seek the blessing of the Spirit, and to receive Holy Communion as an expression of union with Christ and with one another. It is an action, the Orthodox believe, that manifests the reign of God in their midst and is an expression of the Kingdom to come.
The Orthodox believe that the Eucharist typifies human life as it is lived in fellowship with God. The bread and the wine are the fruit of creation given by God and fashioned by human hands. The offering placed on the altar signifies not only what has been received but also who the believers are. This reminds them that ultimately their life is a eucharist, an offering of thanksgiving. Through this offering, the Orthodox seek not simply their own salvation but the salvation of the world. At the offering, the believers stand before God with uplifted hands of gratitude, praying the words of the liturgy: «We offer to you your own from what is already yours, always and everywhere.»29
These faith affirmations characterize Orthodox Christianity. These affirmations are central to the lives of Orthodox believers. They have also been at the very center of the church's missionary endeavors throughout the ages.
Orthodox explorers from Russia sighted the coast of North America on the evening of 19 July 1794. The majestic snow-covered mountain they saw was named in honor of the Prophet Elias, whose feast day had begun. The following morning, the Eucharist was celebrated on board the ship Saint Peter. It was a solemn act of thanksgiving. It was also a celebration that heralded the entrance of the Orthodox Church into North America.
* * *
Maximos Aghiorgoussis, «The Dogmatic Tradition of the Orthodox Church,» in A Companion to the Greek Orthodox Church, ed. Photios Litsas (New York: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, 1984), pp. 160–168.
John Meyendorff, The Orthodox Church (Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1981), pp. 19–28.
Georges Florovsky, Bible, Church, Tradition: An Eastern Orthodox View (Belmont, Mass.: Nordland, 1972), pp. 9–16; Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church (New York: Penguin Books, 1976), pp. 207–210.
Ibid., p. 210.
Hans-Georg Link, ed., Apostolic Faith Today (Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1985), pp. 1–14; Faith and Order Commission, Confessing the One Faith (Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1991).
Thomas FitzGerald, «Toward the Reestablishment of Full Communion: The Orthodox-Oriental Orthodox Dialogue,» Greek Orthodox Theological Review 36:2 (1991): 170–171.
Ibid, pp. 171–182.
John Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology (New York: Fordham University Press, 1976), p. 91.
Ibid, p. 92.
Ibid., pp. 98–99.
Ibid., pp. 103–115.
Ware, The Orthodox Church, p. 102.
Ibid, p. 103.
Ibid, pp. 104–106.
See Stanley Harakas, Something Is Stirring in World Orthodoxy (Minneapolis: Light and Life Publications, 1980).
Thomas FitzGerald, The Ecumenical Patriarchate and Christian Unity (Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1990), pp. 10–15.
The order followed here is that of the ecumenical patriarchate and the one followed in inter-Orthodox meeting. The Church of Russia regards the Orthodox Church in America as an autocephalous church and the Church of Japan as autonomous.
Meyendorff, The Orthodox Church, pp. 145–149.
Ibid., pp. v-vi.
Thomas FitzGerald, «Commission Discusses «Diaspora,»» Orthodox Theological Society Bulletin, Series 11:3 (Summer 1991): 2.
Maximos Aghiorgoussis, «Orthodox Soteriology,» in Salvation in Christ, ed. John Meyendorff and Robert Tobias (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1992), pp. 35–40.
Ibid., pp. 41–7.
St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4:20:6.
Ibid., p. 5: preface.
John Meyendorff, «New Life in Christ: Salvation in Orthodox Theology,» Theological Studies 50 (1989): 481–499.
Florovsky, Bible, Church, Tradition, p. 59.
Ibid, p. 69.
Kyriaki FitzGerald, «Reflections on Spirituality and Prayer,» in Faith and Order: 1985–1989 (Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1990), pp. 180–183.
This phrase is taken from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.