EXPLORATIONS IN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY
By: The Reverend Hieromonk Myrella (LeClair)
What is Orthodox Christian Spirituality? What are the essential foundations of Orthodox Christian Spirituality? How do I live a life attuned to God? These are just a few of the questions that will be addressed on this page as we travel the spiritual pathway toward living life in communion with God.
“Introduction to Orthodox Spirituality”
… whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)
While our religion defines what we believe about God, spirituality is the sum total of our experience of and relationship with God. Simply put, spirituality is the manner or way in which an individual or religious group lives its religion. It always involves divine intervention and human response to that divine contact. In Christianity, the divine intervention is the Holy Spirit, who breathes life into our spirits and awakens our souls to seek contact with our Creator.
Orthodox Christians, however, seek not only knowledge of or contact with God but also seek to become the likeness of God. Having been made in God’s image, we are called upon to become God’s likeness: we become “by grace” what God is “by nature”. This is Theosis (union with God), the “state in which one spiritually experiences God’s uncreated grace, light, powers and energies”. Thus, Spirituality for the Orthodox Christian means the “everyday activity of life in communion with God”.
Orthodox Spirituality encompasses the activity of the human spirit as well as the whole of a person’s life as inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit. Every thought and action of an Orthodox Christian must be a spiritual act. What this means is that all that a person thinks, says, and does “must be inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit so that the will of God the Father might be accomplished as revealed and taught by Jesus Christ the Son of God.” Doing all things to the glory of God is the meaning and substance of life for an Orthodox Christian.