Enculturated Church

I loved this article by Fr. Stephen on his blog. I also loved this part specifically(of the example given).  It made me smile and chuckle.

“St. Paul’s rule in 1 Corinthians 9 is what the Orthodox describe as “economy.” Under the economy of salvation, I may stretch the limits of the canonical life (the regular life of the Church) in order to bring salvation to others. One of my favorite examples of such economy is found in the original Orthodox Alaska mission.

Missionaries there found a tribe of Native Alaskans who lived exclusively on cariboo. There were no vegetables in their diet – only cariboo. The first conundrum arose with the question of fasting. It is traditional for Orthodox to fast from meat, fish, wine, dairy and olive oil during a fast period (such as Great Lent). What to tell these native Alaskans? The missionaries wrote back to the Bishop who responded: ‘During the fast, tell them to eat less cariboo.’ A perfect Orthodox solution.”

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2 Responses

  1. that’s pretty awesome 🙂

  2. I LOVE THIS! It’s so easy to become pharisaic regarding the fasts…where we miss the intention of such a practice and capitalize on the details that can be somewhat superfluous. I think that this entry really captures the spirit of Orthodox fasting and personally brings me comfort knowing that I am associated with the Church.

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