There once was a young man, Joseph, in search of a great young lady. One day, at church, that young man saw a beautiful and brilliant young lady. This young lady’s name was Philia. She was beautiful in a new way that Joseph had never seen before. She was a person who fully embraced her identity as a child of God. This identity was obvious in her demeanor, in her smiles, in her words, and in her actions.
Joseph fell deeply in love with Philia. Both Joseph and Philia loved God very much. In their daily lives, they would never be able to go to sleep at night without first having a very intimate conversation with God. They didn’t pray, no, they got lost in the their love to God. They would forget everything and focus on their conversations with God. Sometimes, they would spend hours just talking with God about anything and everything that was on their minds. God always listened to them. They never felt forced to pray or obligated to fulfill a duty, they just talked from the heart – the heart of innocence and complete dependance.
Philia also had a strange attraction towards Joseph. She actually began to worry that he might take her away from Her first love, Jesus Christ. Yet, as she recounted her feelings to Jesus, Her Father, she began to feel an overwhelming sense of peace. She understood that this was a story about to begin. She knew that God knew everything that was on her mind and that He was already helping her. She wholeheartedly trusted that God would lead both her and Joseph to do His will.
Joseph’s love towards Philia grew more and more every day. He decided to visit her family and ask for her hand in marriage. She and her family agreed. This marriage was unlike any other marriage among the people of their age group. They experienced the Mystery of Marriage in the Orthodox Church at the hand of a priest and in the presence and blessing of the Holy Spirit and their small families. At the end of the marriage liturgy, they received Holy Communion. It was a wonderful day, and that was the end of the celebrations. They did not feel a need to continue to celebrate in a secular way, because their joy was already at a great hight.
The way the Joseph and Philia lived their life from that moment on was in deep communion with God and each other. They loved each other very much and each of them competed with the other on how to make the other one happy. Both of them followed the examples of the greats like St. Mary the Mother of God, St. John the Beloved, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Elizabeth and St. Zachariah. They were both obedient, tender, and kind towards each other and their leaders at church. They both placed Christ first in their lives, and that’s how they had so much love towards each other. They got full of love through Christ. Then, each of them filled the other with even more love.
Whenever someone hurt them or caused them pain, they remembered to pray for those who oppress them so that they may find healing. They never confused the hurt and pain that they felt with the fact that those people who hurt them are also children of God and are meant to become one with Christ as well. So they prayed for their enemies without hesitation or second thoughts.
With all of this love, Jospeh and Philia had a baby girl and later a baby boy. As their children began to grow up, Joseph and Philia taught the children about Our Father in Heaven and Our Mother the Church. The children simply knew of Joesph and Philia as children of God. They knew of themselves as children of God.
One day, the boy began to wonder and asked Joseph, “Are you my father or is God my father?” Joesph responded and told him, “God is your Father.” The boy waited a little bit to think, then his sister interjected and said to Philia, “Are you my mother or is the Church my mother?” With a tender smile on her face, Philia gently held her child’s chin, and said, “The Church is Your Mother.”
Jospeh looked into Philia’s eyes and then at the children’s inquisitive faces. He then said to the children, “I want to tell you something amazing. Philia and I, we work for your Dad and Mom. We are servants. We work for God to raise His children, the two of you. Our job is to care for you. God gave you to us as a gift, a precious gift, and we need to make sure that we take care of you as the precious gifts that you are. When God saw that we wanted to have two beautiful children to love, He created you for us. But, in reality, Your Father is God and Your Mother is the Church. We are servants and children of God and the Church. You too will grow up to continue to be children of God and the Church and also become servants for your true Parents.”
With a pure and innocent heart, the children always knew that God was their true Father and that the Church – the body of Christ on earth – was their True Mother. They loved their Parents very much and always wanted to serve them.