Holy Wisdom, Holy Foolishness

January 2007

st. xenia

Dear In Communion reader,

On the cover of this issue of In Communion is an icon of one of the Holy Fools on the church calender, St. Xenia of St. Petersburg. In the summer of 1988, while attending a Council of the Russian Orthodox Church at the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery north of Moscow, I had the privilege of witnessing the canonization of nine saints, of which St. Xenia was one. At the time I knew nothing about her, but was impressed by the surge of joy that filled the hall when her icon was carried through the assembly. That day I began to know her and at the same time started on a journey of better understanding the importance of Holy Fools in the life of the Church.

It was St. Paul who asked: “Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.”

Peacemakers are sometimes seen as being among the world’s fools. The “real world,” we are told, is a world of war and preparation for war; the sane are those who have made their peace with conflict and lose no sleep over the casualties of violence. “Blessed are they who mourn” is made over into “Blessed are the well adjusted” and “Blessed are they who march where they are told.”

The Orthodox Peace Fellowship has a role to play in encouraging the vocation of Christ-revealing foolishness, the divine foolishness of resisting the contagion of enmity.

Would you take a moment to help keep OPF going? We need your support. Subscription payments and annual dues fall far short of our needs. We have two part-time staff members, myself and Sheri San Chico. We are paid very little for our many hours of work, but OPF’s income doesn’t justify more adequate payment. We also have a part-time web master. In addition there are all the usual expenses: office and publication costs, postage, telephone, travel, etc.

If you have in fact made a recent gift or are one of those who makes regular donations or donate volunteer time, thank you! You are a God-send. If you aren’t, please consider becoming part of our community of committed donors. If you can’t manage a monthly or quarterly donation but can make an occasional special donation, please do so. Thank you!

We depend on our supporters to make at least one donation annually, but without those who give more than once a year, and give more than the minimum, we would have to call it a day.

In Christ’s peace, Jim Forest, OPF co-secretary

In Communion number 44 / Winter 2007