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Research project and scientific committee Print E-mail

XXI International Ecumenical Conference
Meteore, GR (fresco, Dormition of Saint Ephrem, detail)

XXI International Ecumenical Conference
on Orthodox spirituality

THE AGES OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE

Bose, Wednesday 4 - Saturday 7 September 2013

in collaboration with the Orthodox Churches

 

Almost fifty years ago the famous Russian émigré philosopher & theologian Paul Evdokimov published in Paris a book that marked all those in the West who wanted to know and understand better the spirituality of the Orthodox Church. This was Les âges de la vie spirituelle, des Pères du désert à nos jours (Paris 1964). The 21st International ecumenical conference on Orthodox spirituality, which will be held in Bose on 4–7 September 2013, has chosen this title for its theme.

Life in Christ is the gift that God the Father gives to those who believe in his Son Jesus, Christ and Lord, and who accept the graces of the sacraments of Christian initiation. The believer, pilgrim towards the Kingdom, moved by the Holy Spirit, enters into a dynamism of spiritual growth and interiorization. This dynamism carries him towards the accomplishment that saves him from sin and death and lets him taste already in this life the joy of salvation. The gift of divine life, however, requires the believer’s synergy.

The parable of the sower and the seed can illustrate what in the last analysis remains the mystery of God’s love for his Church and its children (cf. Mk 4,1–20; Mt 13,1–23; Lk 8,4–15; Jn 12,23–25). The seed is the Word of God. Jesus Christ is the sower who sows generously, without excluding anybody. The ground, however, is not all of the same quality. The believer must work to purify the ground of his heart. He must consent to live with Christ on the cross and to lose his life for the love of God and of his neighbor. He is called to follow Christ in his passage to the Father. The spiritual struggle in an ever greater obedience to the Word of God is the daily bread that he eats with patience ( cf. Lk 8,15).

The coming conference will help us to examine more deeply some essential aspects of this road along the stages of Christian conversion.