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Excerpt from Fr. Seraphim's memorable article addressing the narrow path, the path that rises above false dichotomies, worldliness, and extremes: the royal path.
-The Royal Path: True Orthodoxy in an Age of Apostasy by Fr. Seraphim Rose
-What is the Royal Path? - A timely video in the same spirit, by Fr. Peter Heers
-Holy Zeal by Archbishop Averky of Jordanville
-The Sorrowful Epistles of Met. Philaret of New York
-Find an Orthodox parish and monastery near you:
"As the Fathers say, the extremes from both sides are equally harmful... (We must) go on the royal path, avoiding the extremes on both sides." -St. John Cassian
Fr. Seraphim writes:
Applying this teaching to our own situation, we may say that the "royal path" of true Orthodoxy today is a mean that lies between the extremes of ecumenism and reformism on the one side, and a "zeal not according to knowledge" (Rom. 10:2) on the other. True Orthodoxy does not go "in step with the times" on the one hand, nor does it make "strictness" or "correctness" or "canonicity" (good in themselves) an excuse for pharisaic self-satisfaction, exclusivism, and distrust, on the other. This true Orthodox moderation is not to be confused with mere luke-warmness or indifference, or with any kind of compromise between political extremes. The spirit of "reform" is so much in the air today that anyone whose views are molded by the "spirit of the times" will regard true Orthodox moderation as close to "fanaticism," but anyone who looks at the question more deeply and applies the patristic standard will find the royal path to be far from any kind of extremism.
The increasing realization in recent years of the basic oneness of the cause of True Orthodoxy throughout the world, whether in the Catacomb Church of Russia, the old calendarists of Greece, or the Russian Church Outside of Russia, has led some to think in terms of a "united front" of confessing Churches to oppose the ecumenical movement which has taken possession of "official" Orthodoxy. However, under present conditions this will hardly come to pass; and in any case, this is a "political" view of the situation which sees the significance of the mission of true Orthodoxy in too external a manner. The full dimensions of the True-Orthodox protest against "ecumenical Orthodoxy", against the neutralized, lukewarm Orthodoxy of the apostasy, have yet to be revealed, above all in Russia. But it cannot be that the witness of so many martyrs and confessors and champions of True Orthodoxy in the 20th century will have been in vain. May God preserve His zealots in the royal path of true Orthodoxy, faithful to Him and to His Holy Church until the end of the age!
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