this insignificant little credo can be found in the front and back endpapers of the notorious Hexabarger Paraphrase of a Few Verses, which volume can be, it is said, read at the La biblioteca de Babel (so says one of the bibliographies in Borges)
If you believe in the Trinity, in the Father as foundation ...
If you believe in the triune perichoresis, the mutual indwelling ...
If you believe that economy is the divine calling to creation to participate in such love ...
If you believe that the Son really dawned as God and Man,
and descended into Hell --
tricking the devil (who was and is an Arian and knows less than we do about theology)
and obliterated Hell by His hidden divinity,
in the Holy Saturday above time.
If you think salvation is theosis,
and that kenosis is the price of theosis,
and all Jesus wants by your incorporation into Him
is an induction into the created analog of perichoresis.
If you know the Last Day of total and universal transfiguration
is shining into the present,
in icon and sacrament,
and the haunting fact that all that is not theology
falls away from Time,
and forever falls toward zero
in a never-ending existential renunciation of essence.
And that every evil, every passion
is just a shadowy haunting by hell
in the present.
And that history, straight up, proves all of this
despite the fact that this sort of history
is not usually talked about.
If you know the poor are preferred by the Father,
and that the Iron Crown cannot tolerate them.
If you know the meek and the merciful
are the only appearances of the Kingdom in the world,
and the righteousness that should be hungered for
is never articulated by the Pharisees
who must always be with you.
If you know that, as time goes by,
theosis will be militated against, more and more
but freedom has always been cruciform
and that Constantine has left the building
and will never come back,
that not only has the Church been evicted from the public square,
but the public square is, itself, closed.
If you suspect that usury goes by sexy names nowadays,
that the commendation of the entrepreneurial self as a spirituality
is worse than Arius.
If you perceive that there is one city now
and that in such a narrative
place means not a thing,
so the old canons might need reinterpretation.
If you care that the little shepherd peoples
who journeyed abrahamically to industrial shores
and have an old particular story that should be told
by hierarchs forever,
a story, puzzle-piece-like, that completes
the Orthodox picture.
If you worry that theological irrationality
stretching down to abject ignorance
actually constitutes Hell
and is worse than created torment,
and that it begins now in a multitude of rehearsals.
But that Heaven begins all the more profoundly
and is won by any who wants the Triune Day
and is called by beauty
and longs for peace.
That while the Day is coming
and might delay
but this moment may be over ...
Then, friend, let us talk.