Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Overcoming the Global Financial Crisis - wisdom from Greece!

Metropolitan Pavlos of Sisanion and Siatista, born in Chalkida-Evia, who has dedicated a great deal of time to social service, spoke his mind in an interview (11th Sept 2011) with the Greek news agency Romfea concerning the problems facing the Greek public and the Church. Here is part of what he said: 

We need patience, calm, unity, seriousness, sacrifice, and we need to discuss the problems that are arising. We also need a sober evaluation and discussion of the economic condition; and, of course, we do not need arrogance from the rulers, but rather their understanding, sincerity, and dialogue. We also need to listen to the voices of those who have found themselves in difficult situations and want to assert their positions. 

It is important to understand that this crisis is primarily a spiritual one, and only secondarily an economic one. If we do not understand this, then it will definitely be problematic for us to get out of it. We have lost the meaning of our lives. We have made it consist in the present, transferred the meaning of life to prosperity and happiness. 

We have forgotten Christ’s words: Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God(Mt. 4:4). And we have become easy prey; we swallowed the bait of those who promised us bread and prosperity. We pushed God and truth off to the side, and as a result, we have succeeded in only one thing: we have thrown man into the “garbage dump.” It is painful to look truth in the eye, but without doing so, we can’t be saved. 

How do we live, what meaning of life do we serve? Man’s theosis, or his debasement? The answer to this question is our escape from the dead-end. We see how so-called globalization does just that—it soils, debases the human being. 

The great Dostoevsky put the dilemma like this: “Freedom, or happiness?” We strove to attain material well being, and we lost our own selves. 

The incarnation of God is the measure of the value of a human being. Ascesis is the path to freedom, temperance is the revelation of what is essential. 

I suppose that the main cause of the present, all-encompassing crisis is that we have thrown our souls to the garbage dump and considered this “deed” to be our accomplishment. If we regain our soul, and place it at the center of everything, we will be able to return to the sources that can save us. 


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