Quote of the Week: Paul Evdokimov
“The final revolution cannot occur unless the Church becomes charged with the energies of the Holy Spirit. By her very nature, the Church cannot sanction any canonized social norm and this is why she acts with the greatest flexibility in regards to local circumstances. Yet, if the Word of God consoles, it also judges. This explains the certain detachment of the Church’s clairvoyant witness. She condemns all compromise and conformism, but her penetrating realism unmasks and confronts the demonic elements. The universal and most pertinent task before us is to place the goods of this earth at the disposal of all people, without depriving them of religious and political freedom. It is the problem of wealth and not really the poor who covet this wealth. In a technological and free market civilization, a poet, a thinker, a prophet — all of these are considered useless beings. Artists and disinterested intellectuals already constitute a new form of the proletariat. For sure, above all, by an obligatory international taxation, it is necessary to suppress material hunger. It is also necessary to consider those who hunger and who know that it is not by bread alone that mankind lives. It is most urgent to affirm the primacy of culture and the spirit of finesse. Modern society needs to protect poets and prophets, and while accepting demons out of respect for freedom, we ought equally to reserve a place for angels and saints who are just as real as other people and the demons. To doubt that we human beings might be capable of mastering not only the cosmos but ourselves, would be to renounce the dignity given to us as children of God. It is precisely to this world of ours, closed to everything but itself, that the assurance of faith is given in order to penetrate the walls and manifest the invisible presence of he Transcendent One, to raise the dead and move mountains, to cast the fire of hope for the salvation of all and to connect this world and its emptiness to the ‘Church, full of the Trinity.’”
–Paul Evdokimov, “Culture and Faith,” pages 195 – 215 in In the World, of the Church: A Paul Evdokimov Reader. trans. Michael Plekon and Alexis Vinogradov (Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2001), 207 – 8.