Wednesday, March 11, 2009
A Little Spiritual Help #7: Striving Upwards
It is the mark of human history to strive upwards. You may well object: think how many steps there have been leading downwards. Yes, of course; at first glance there are more steps leading downwards; more people who have fallen and rolled down into the abyss. But the important thing is that human beings have all the same kept attempting to climb to this summit above the clouds, and the greatness of humanity lies in the fact that people have the capacity to reach the peaks of intellectual and spiritual contemplation, to reach what Pushkin called "the neighborhood of God. "
Human beings have two countries, two homelands. One is our own country, that place where each of us was born and grew up. But the other is that hidden world of the spirit which the eye may not see and the ear may not hear but where, by our nature, we belong. We are children of the earth and at the same time visitors to it...and contact with God is possible...Christ calls people to bring the divine ideal to reality.
Father Alexander Men, Christianity for the Twenty-first Century (lecture given September 8, 1990 - the night before he was murdered).
Russian version published in 1992; English translation from Christianity for the Twenty-first Century: The Prophetic Writings of Fr. Alexander Men, Edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Ann Shukman, pages 181,183 & 185. Continuum Publishing, New York.