An Internal Fight Against the World

“From the very beginning to become and to be a Christian meant these two things: first, a liberation from the world, i.e., from any ‘reduction’ of man, and such has always been the significance of the Christian rites of initiation. A man is set free in Christ because Christ is beyond and above all ‘cultures’, all reductions. The liberation means thus a real possibility to see this world in Christ and to choose a Christian ‘way of life.’ In the second place, Christianity has always meant an opposition to and a fight with this world – a fight, let me stress it again, which is primarily, if not exclusively, a personal fight, i.e., an internal one – with the ‘old man’ in myself, with my own ‘reduction’ of myself to ‘this world.’ There is no Christian life without martyria and without asceticism, this latter term meaning nothing else, fundamentally, but a life of concentrated effort and fight.” (Alexander Schmemann in St. Vladimir’s Seminary Quarterly Vol. 9, Number 4, pp. 179-180)


2 thoughts on “An Internal Fight Against the World

  1. vfinnell

    Yes, I was just thinking about this about two weeks ago when I put my “Death to the World” bumper sticker on my car (

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