By: Cristina Perdomo
Althought I personally did not attend the AAC, from the reports I’ve heard, I think everything that happened this week has been very inspiring and moving of the Orthodox Church in America.
As a student at a secular college, surrounded by a secular world, the election of Bishop JONAH to Metropolitan and everything else that occured at this years’s AAC is also inspiring.
I feel that it brings hope, hope to America. I always feel so discouraged as I interact with the world, so cut off from all that is holy and sanctified. Everyone around me, I often feel, is so lost. The whole world seems so lost. Sometimes, I also feel lost in the world, drowned in the filth which saturates the university; it takes a strong swimmer to keep his head above the stormy waters.
Alone, I cannot withstand the raging waters; I myself cannot show the Light to those in darkness. In fact, we humans can never shine the Light, really. It is God who does that…But all the same, the Church in America has in the past been a sort of “sitting duck.” We have been “the best kept secret in the United States:” we have hidden from the world when we should have been engaging the world.
We are in the world, although not of it. This does not mean we ignore the world, it doesn’t mean we can just sit around on Earth, yet not care about its condition or the condition of our neighbor.
However, I am alone no more. The Church is alive; it has awoken, or we to it. The sleep and grog and alienation of the past has all been stripped away. We are here. We are the Orthdox Church in America. We are in this world, we are here to minister to it. God, who has much reason to be greatly saddened by us, has come and touched us, raising us from our living death. It brings the Paschal hymns to mind:
Let God Arise!
The whole Church proclaims.
Let His enemies be scattered! Let those whohate Him flee from before his face!”
Pascha of Beauty; Pascha, the Pascha of the Lord! For today from life to death and from death to life, Christ has shown forth from the tomb… And so let us sing: Christ is Risen from the Dead, trampling down death by death, an dupons those in the tomb bestowing life!”