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Gogol "Selections from ... A few words about our church and the clergy"

Запись от Ухтомский размещена 24.10.2009 в 21:46

VIII
A FEW WORDS ABOUT OUR CHURCH AND CLERGY
(From a letter to gr. AP T. .... th) [1]

In vain ye troubled you attacks, which are now distributed to our church in Europe. Blaming the indifference of our clergy will also be unfair. Why do you want to our clergy, hitherto been characterized by stately calm, so it decent, was in the ranks of European shouters and the beginning, like them, ill-advised to print brochures? Our Church has acted wisely. To protect her, to the very first to recognize her. And we all know the bad of our Church. Our clergy are not idle. I know very well that in the depths of monasteries and in the silence of cells prepared compelling essays in defense of our Church. But their deeds they are doing better than we: they were not in a hurry, and knowing which requires such an object, do the work in the deep calm, praying, educating themselves, driving out all the passion of his soul, like inappropriate, insane fever, raising his soul to the heights of heaven dispassion, where it should stay in order to be able to talk about this subject. But this protection is not to serve the full conviction of the Western Catholics. Our Church must be sanctified in us, not our words. We must be our Church and we also have to tell her the truth. They say that our Church is lifeless. - They told a lie, because the Church is our life, but his lies are taken out logically, withdraw the correct conclusion: we have bodies, not our Church, and they called us and the Church of our corpse. How do we protect our church and what kind of response we can give them if they will ask us questions such as:
"And if your church has made you better? Performed by everyone whether you like to be, your duty? "What then shall we meet them, feeling a sudden thrill in his heart and his conscience that went all the time past of our Church and barely know it even now? Possess a treasure that there is no price, and not only do not care about that feel it, but do not even know where they have laid him. The owner is asked to show the best thing in his house, and the owner does not know where she is. This church, which, as a chaste virgin, remained alone on the apostolic times to the original purity of its flawless, the Church, all with its deep dogmas and rites of the slightest external as it was taken down straight from heaven for the Russian people, which alone is capable of solving all nodes, our perplexities and questions, which may produce an unprecedented miracle in the sight of the whole of Europe, forcing us every class, rank and position to enter into their legal boundaries and limits and without changing anything in the state, to give force Russia to amaze the whole world according to the harmony of the same the organism itself, which it has hitherto frightened - and this church we neznaema! And this church, created for life, we still have not entered into our lives!
No, God bless us now to defend our Church! This means dropping it. But is possible for us one propaganda - our life. Life of, we must defend our Church, which all is life with the fragrance of our souls must we tell her the truth. Let the missionary Catholicism western beats his chest, waving his hands and sobs and words of eloquence taketh quickly drying tears. The preacher is the Eastern Catholicism should make way before the people, that is from one of its humble appearance, potuhnuvshih eyes and quiet, amazing voice coming from the soul, in which all desires are dead world, everyone would podvignulos more before he would explain the thing itself, and in one voice spoke to him: "Do not preach, hear, and without them the truth of your holy Church!" [2]

Notes

1. The letter is addressed to AP Tolstoi (on him see Comment. To the letter III. The value of disease).
Publication of this and the next letter ( "About the same") met with obstacles in the spiritual censorship. "You can not miss - concluded censor - for a writer's conception of a force subjects embarrassing. Only after a call to PA Pletnev chief procurator of the Synod of NA Protasov Synod allowed the publication of the letters except in a few phrases.
Gogol was aware of a great moral and cultural importance of the clergy. He was acquainted with many Russian Orthodox clerics and priests abroad, among whom were many well-educated people. With regard to the rural clergy, Gogol, seeing it is not always a high cultural level, however persistently tried to persuade parishioners respect to any pastor. In this he followed the precepts of patristic literature. The collection of excerpts from the works of Gogol of the holy fathers and teachers of the Orthodox Church placed an excerpt from St.. John Chrysostom - "On the worship of the priest, even if transgresseth": "Who honors a priest, he will honor and God. But who has learned to despise the priest, and he that shall blaspheme against God Himself "(RR CSL Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. F. Dis. 2165. App. S. 14).

2. Speaking in a letter to Count AP Tolstoy on 10 July 1850 on his visit to Optina Hermitage, Gogol said its monks: "I did not ask which one of them as lives: their faces spake unto themselves all».
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