Do not trust your mind too much; thinking must be refined by suffering, or it will not stand the test of these cruel times.
Of course, one can always act wrong even on a clear conscience! But even that is not a fatal mistake as long as ones mind and heart remain open and one keeps first things first.
How much our American Orthodoxy needs more heart and not so much mind! I dont know any answer for it, except more prayer and basic education in Orthodox sources.
Orthodox Christians, surrounded by and already swimming in a sea of humanist-worldly philosophy and practice, must do everything possible to create their own islands, in that sea, of other-worldly, God-oriented thought and practice.
Above all, may we all grow in spiritual understanding, not rational understanding—which I fear is the constant plague of all us poor converts!
The two sides quote canons back and forth, when what is needed is love and understanding—and that statement, I realize, could have come straight from the lips of some ecumenist, which only shows how difficult the path of true Orthodoxy has become in our days.
Good heavens! What is happening to people? How easily one gets dragged off the path of serving God into all kinds of factions and jealousies and attempts at revenge.
How much hope there is for those who do not trust in themselves too much and are not overly-critical of others! And how little hope for those whose orientation is the opposite!
Letters from Father Seraphim, Nikodemos Orthodox Publication Society, Richfield Springs, NY, 2001.