Some years ago, amidst the regeneration of monastic life on Mount Athos, several Athonite spokesmen were asked to explain Orthodox monasticism's reticence towards ecumenism. Archimandrite Vasileios, abbot of the Monastery of Stavronikita and pioneer in the Holy Mountain's renewal, deliberately avoids limiting this discussion to a philosophical or dogmatic debate. Instead, he couches the subject of 'Christian unity' within more fundamental questions: What is theology? What is the Church? What are the practical implications of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity? Quoting Gregory the Theologian-'for what is not assumed is not healed'-Vasileios characterizes unity as a sense of organic wholeness by which all are called to become
theology by allowing their lives to be assumed through the holy action of the Trinity. Theology is inseparable from spirituality, just as heaven and earth are inseparable in the Divine Liturgy or the divine and the human are inseparable in the incarnate Christ. Through his meditative discussions on the Trinity, the Liturgy, the meaning of the icon, and the emptying nature of spirituality, the abbot of Stavronikita demonstrates that true unity is 'something deeply human and humble, something which brings peace and new courage.' In essence, ecumenism resides in the man who has become truly human. 138 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
Fr Vasileios of Mt Athos states: "Theology does not have a philosophy of its own, nor spirituality a mentality of its own, nor hagiography its own artistic school. All these emerge from the same font of liturgical experience. They all function together in a Trinitarian way..."