As for myself, I have never, ever seen anything (in many readings of his, in visits to monasteries, in meetings and discussions with monks and nuns from throughout the world) that is out of line from true Orthodox tradition. What I have seen consistently is a love for patience, prayer, ascesis, forgiveness, humility and love: essentially, an angelic life that is Orthodoxy. I have seen time and time again how such love then transforms other people's lives, making their hearts aflame with the love for Christ and for their fellow men. And this is how it is meant to be, as St. John Climacus writes: "Angels are a light for monks, and the monastic life is a light for men." I do not intend this to be a formal defense of Orthodox Monasticism in the country, but just to give my perspective on events as I have seen them.
As today is the Sunday of the Blind Man, I pray that we might be like him who allowed the Lord to heal his physical and spiritual blindness. While those around him never did accept the miracle before their eyes, but breathed condemnations and slander against the work of God, the Blind Man proclaimed Christ, and was granted to see and venerate his Creator. May the Lord heal all of our blindness, and may these moving words of Elder Ephraim below help keep us from slandering our brethren (which is a great sin) and lead us all to repentance!
Elder Ephraim of Arizona on Slander
Slander is a great evil. Just as the little rudder steers the whole ship wherever it wants, likewise the tongue leads a person either to good or to evil. The holy fathers greatly censure judging other people’s sins, faults, or evil habits. When we judge our brother, we condemn ourselves to a great sin. But when we cover our brother, God will also protect us from great sins. When we expose our brother, we drive the grace of God away from us and He permits us to fall into the same sins so that we learn that we are all weak and that the grace of God supports us. Whoever guards his tongue guards his soul from great sins and grievous falls. The chief cause of criticism and slander is pride and egotism, because one considers oneself better than the others. For this reason it is very beneficial for a person to think of himself as below everyone, so that he considers his brother than him in order that, with the help of God, he may be delivered from this evil.