From the pen of John Zizioulas
...Indeed, in a society that regards unemployment as its most serious problem and is governed by the anxiety of how to increase its per capita income, for one to speak of saints and sanctity constitutes a challenge – or rather, a cause for laughter and derision. In this way, sanctity has now become a“forgotten vision”.
Forgotten, because once upon a time sanctity actually existed; because it was what inspired our civilization; because our people used to live among saints and they would draw from them the measure of their civilization; they were the heroes, the great champions, the “famous football players” and the “stars” of that time. Now, only the names of our saints remain, and even these have been “clipped” and altered in foreign fashion, while people now prefer to celebrate, instead of the memory of their saints, their personal birthdays. In times such as these, what can one say about sanctity? All words will fall on indifferent ears.On the other hand however, how can one not speak of a matter so central and fundamental to a Christian’s life? Because without saints, our Faith is nonexistent; because if we leave out sanctity, there will be nothing left of the Church - only Her being identified with the world. Her “secularization” would be inevitable.However, sanctity is not only “forgotten” in our day; it is also misinterpreted, whenever and however it is referred to. What is the significance of “sanctity”, when one sees it as a portrayal of the Kingdom of God, as an experience and a foretasting of End Times?