UOC Primate: A person must gain honour of being called a son of God
Orthodox Christians do not make their achievements public, said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine.
The honour of being called a son of God, a child of God, is the highest dignity that a person must gain. The Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Holy Archimandrite of the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, spoke about this in an interview for the “Pechersky Blagovestnik” published on the monastery's website.
Answering the question of how monks can achieve the degrees of spiritual perfection, which are written in the Beatitudes, in the conditions of complex modern life, the Primate gave the explanations of an experienced elder who said that "monasticism is bliss". At each level of spiritual ascent, the monk “is filled with a new form of bliss, a new measure of beatitude – and so he attains perfection."
The highest dignity, according to the word of the Archpastor, is the honour of being called a son of God.
“When the grace of God comes into the soul of a person, it fills it with such feelings as happiness, joy, and one of the main perfect spiritual feelings – a sense of peace,” said His Beatitude Onuphry. “A person is filled with God's peace, he becomes a peacemaker since he has God's peace in him and radiates it to everyone else who lives next to him. This man does not preach peace from high tribunes and pulpits, he simply brings it, the peace of God is upon him. And about such people, it is said: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God." This honour to be called a son of God, a child of God, is the highest dignity that a person must gain and attain."
The Primate added that when a person reaches this high level, “spiritually imperfect people do not understand him because of spiritual envy for no reason, but only because this person lives according to God and with God, they often persecute him, hate him, they say a lie about him. But he does not take offence at anyone, he loves his enemies, blesses those who curse him, prays for those who offend him. And it is said about such people: "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in Heaven."
He stressed that people who live in the world have the same Church as those who live in a monastery – that one which Christ founded,“ and if we live according to church rules, then we learn the first degree, which says: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."
“In worldly life, there are many people who have reached high degrees of spiritual perfection, but we, Orthodox Christians, have such a law: we do not make our achievements public, we hide them, this is how God teaches us. We will try to be faithful in order to ascend the steps of spiritual perfection so that we can be saved, and through us God can send the grace of salvation and peace to all who live next to us,” said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.
As reported, earlier the Primate spoke about the confrontations around the churches of the UOC.