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Masked/Unmasked

“During this season of mask-wearing, we have become weary of a “faceless” existence. I can think of nothing that is more de-personalizing that the hiding of our face. I respect the science (and certainly would not want a surgeon operating on me without a mask). But I lament our common experience even as I pray for this time to pass. I also think, however, of how many masks we have all worn in our lives. We find many ways to hide our face – our true face.” (Father Stephen Freeman) 


“…the word hypocrite derives from the Greek word hypocrites meaning an actor behind a mask…It is very easy to live our lives in hypocrisy if we are not mindful of the pitfalls of the spiritual life. We can become Pharisees without even noticing, if we let our Christianity be artificially lived. Living our lives as though we have been rehearsed by a stage director, we will have accomplished nothing, and will remain no more than an actor. Putting on the mask of Christianity, is not living in Christ. An honest, daily examination of our conscience, together with regular guidance by our confessor, is the only way we can live a Christian life that will lead to transformation of the heart.” (John Damianos, Abott Tryphon)


“Everyone you meet and have ever met wears a mask. You do too. From the time we were children….we have learned to wear a mask. On the outside of the mask we are adults, persons who can be sarcastic at times, but are still patient and long-suffering in the face of infuriating frustration. Behind the mask, somewhere safe deep within, we are still two years old, and we fall to the floor when provoked… We need to stop and smell, and examine, and confess. Of course we will still suffer from blind-spots and miss things. But we will catch things too, and have the opportunity to find healing and create some inner beauty behind the mask.” (Fr. Lawrence Farley)


“Our approach in gathering people to the Church should be from our own experience of the divine, the transforming presence of Christ in our lives, and the strength, joy and peace we find in communion with Him and one another. We also need to recognize that statements of disbelief often mask deep struggles and insecurities, tremendous questions about the purpose and meaning of life, or even challenging experiences of the past. When we have this awareness of the underlying issues that may have led someone to express disbelief in God, we can equip ourselves for a ministry of compassion that is a witness of God’s love. Souls in this state probably will not find Christ through arguments over truth and faith. The proof of God’s existence will be love. This is the love that our Lord revealed and taught. This love, Christ’s love that is in us, is revealed when we are ready and willing to reach out to anyone in need.” (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese) 


“Man has an irrepressible need to communicate, but communication must be properly developed. Initially, we must strike up a conversation a sincere, honorable and courageous conversation with our unknown self. We must rediscover in the very depths of our soul the hidden innocence of our childhood years. Next we must learn to have unmasked face-to-face conversation with the only, true living friend our heavenly Father and God. Only then will we be able to effectively communicate with others, whoever they are - the worst, the best, the neighbors, the distant, our brothers and sisters in Christ. In this manner the webs of loneliness are removed, the inaccessible and sunless dungeons of the heart are illumined, the shell of our ego is broken. When we have rejected the loneliness of miserable, self-centered egotism we can begin to rejoice, to be free, to breathe, to live.” (Monk Moses)


#FatherStephenFreeman #JohnDamianos #AbottTryphon #FrLawrenceFarley #GreekOrthodoxArchdiocese #MonkMoses