10 February 2014 • Campus Lecture • By Deborah (Malacky) Belonick • Photos by John Nieuwsma
In a presentation centering on Christian identity, Archimandrite Zacharias, a monk of the Monastery of St. John the Baptist, Tolleshunt Knights by Maldon, Essex, England, inspired an audience of more than 100 people with what he termed “domestic theology”—that is, “simple things” in church life that bear profound consequences. Father Zacharias, a disciple of Father Sophrony (of blessed memory) who was a disciple of St. Silouan of Mount Athos,  emphasized the importance of each Christian becoming a living Temple of God, but in particular, priests.
“Our identity as members of the body of Christ is of far greater importance than any other identity,” he began, “Many tragedies in the Church are due to the fact that we simply are not aware of our identity as members of Christ’s body.”
Father Zacharias noted several ways to acquire “traces of the presence of Christ in our hearts, so that we begin to build the Temple of God”: invoking Jesus’ name incessantly; bearing a humble and contrite spirit; never judging or condemning others; exchanging our lives for God’s life in the Divine Liturgy; and daily hastening to meet the Coming Christ, living eschatalogically and awaiting the Age to Come. “All of these inscribe (that is, circumcise) our hearts with a trace of Jesus," he observed.
He also stressed the greater responsibility of priests, stating that they must “work in secret to fill their hearts with the Holy Spirit, in order to transmit a living word to the souls of the people they meet.” “Priests are not just celebrants of sacraments,” he said. “We are comforters of souls. Our destiny is to give a word to make people understand their identity within the wondrous body of Christ.”
Hear Fr. Zacharias’ entire presentation on Ancient Faith Radio.