What is Spirituality?
Church of the East makes use of various Traditional tools which form part of our heritage.
We make use of various methods of meditation which suit different people at different times. We have a 'prayer-bead' Tradition, the Saikarali, which serves all people at all times. We adhere to a practical philosophy, or lifestyle, of Sacred Sensuality which serves devotees of all ages. Church of the East has a number of ashrama where temporary and permanent resident devotees live out the spiritual ideals of the Tradition. We encourage Scripture studies with the goal of discovering the inner-meaning thereof and making these Truths practical aspects of one's lifestyle. We exhort all devotees to be engaged in works of mercy to the less fortunate in order to learn the higher knowledge which is Love. The ideal state of spirituality is ascetic in its expression. We believe in congregate worship but in individual self-discovery through spiritual exercises and discipline.
The Tradition of Initiation is older than the Church herself while the Sacraments, the Confession of Faith and Divine Liturgy are products of the Church from the first four centuries. We adhere to a Devotional Calendar which serve to remind us not only of those who have tread The Way before us but also to assist us in remembering the finer aspects of walking The Way in ourselves.
How far are we from being perfected?
Critics of the Church have remarked in the past that we: "... talk the talk as if they walk the Walk (as Yesu our Lord walked)". This is true and we will claim that criticism. It is true that we are human and make mistakes. Church of the East is not a gathering of Saints. Saints do not need Church of the East -- they are probably better off in the streets on a Sunday in service of the needy, rather than come to and sit with us in meditation and worship. Church of the East is an affiliation of the heart of people who have come to knowledge of their inability to constantly walk the Way on their own. We are a group of sinners who affiliate because we need the support of others and of the institution called the Church.
True, yes, we talk the talk because we really try hard to walk the walk. So in our fallibility we are sometimes guilty of talking the talk but not fully walking the walk -- at least in our defense we must plead that we are painfully aware of these mistakes and they are our everyday challenges. We hope that the growing number of Mailing Lists will also reflect this.
We try our utmost to be sensitive to the different needs of people in different situations. That is the Church's task -- to serve the people. One does not serve one's own needs but the needs of others. Young people generally have a different spiritual need. Some people go through phases where theology and philosophy serves their spiritual needs while other people need more fellowship and some require retreat. The Church always fails some people because, as St. Paul discovered, it is expected to be all things to all people. The reason why St. Paul experienced that sense of frustration has not changed much over the time. The reason is that few respond to the Divine call to take up the cross of ministry. For the Church to be successful it needs the members of the Church, that
HUMILITY, SIMPLICITY, COMPASSION
Living in these three as watchwords--before your thoughts, your tongue and your actions, cannot otherwise but lead to Christ in God's Energies.
Make this your meditation, your daily contemplation, your lifestyle -- and soon you embody the Mother aspect of God, the Wisdom by which our Saviour was filled