Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Church as a Tower

Fr. George Florovksy, in explaining about the brotherly love which unites, within Christianity, he analysis the vision of the Church as a tower that is being built. Fr. George states,

“This tower is being built out of separate stones-the faithful. These faithful are living stones. In the process of building they fit one into the other, because they are smooth and are well adapted to one another; they join so closely to one another, that their edges are no longer visible, and the tower appears to be built of one stone. This is a symbol of unity and wholeness. But notice, only smooth square stones could be used for this building. There were other stones, bright stones, but round stones, and they were of no use for the building; they did not fit one into the other, were not suitable for the building –μη αρμόζοντες- and they had to be placed near the wall. In ancient symbolism roundness was a sign of isolation, of self-sufficiency and self-satisfaction – teres atque rotundus. And it is just this spirit of self-satisfaction which hinders our entering the Church. The stone must first be made smooth, so that it can fit into the Church wall. We must reject ourselves to be able to enter the catholicity of the Church. We must master our self-love in a catholic spirit before we can enter the Church. And in the fullness of the communion of the Church the catholic transfiguration of personality is accomplished”[1].  

[1] Florovsky, George, Bible, Church, Tradition: An Eastern Orthodox View, (Belmont, Nordland Publishing Company, 1972), p. 43

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