The head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America ARCHBISHOP DIMITRI gave a commencement address to the MOSCOW THEOLOGICAL ACADEMY on May 23, 2008.
This is an excerpt from that address:
Finally, what we offer as medicine for the world is not simply a model of words about Christ, but a model of words and life and faith that make Christ present in every place we go. In this way we offer the total Christ, the genuine Christ.
But to communicate the authentic presence of Christ, we must unswervingly follow the model of His teaching, we must follow in His steps (cf. 1 Peter 2:21). And His steps lead to the Cross! For the fires of hatred that burn in a world where everything is permitted, these fires are not extinguished by retaliating in kind. Only by absorbing hatred and showing love in return can the follower of Christ join Him in overcoming the fallen world. Obedience to this teaching conveys the authentic presence of Christ, and establishes the true faith on a firm foundation. In this sense, we can understand the triumphal declaration of Saint John the beloved disciple: This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith (I John 5:4).
When Saints Cyril and Methodios came to the Slavic people, did they not by their words bring healing to the society they encountered? Prince Vladimir himself is one of the chief examples of the healing power of their ministry. Before baptism he was a man of large appetites, bold in battle and oftentimes ruthless and bloodthirsty. After baptism he opened the gates of his palace to the needy and shared his banquets with the poor. Torture and capital punishment were abolished in his realm. He built nursing homes for the aged and weak. His sons Boris and Gleb became Passion-Bearing Saints through their resolve to abide in the healing love of Christ.