To become a Legionnaire is not just to decide that a Western Orthodox monarchy and new nation on the North American continent is a good idea. To become a Legionnaire you are entrusted with the sacred mission to advance the Faith and work with your fellow Avalonian brothers and sisters to help one another as Philippians 2:12 tells us to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”
The Legionnaire doesn’t merely belong to a political clique or social club; it is about totally transforming your mind, heart, body and soul into warriors for the Cross, for your family, and for your God given-identity. One major part of this is the importance of not only intellectually and spiritually growing, but totally rejecting the flabby degeneracy of the modern age, working to improve yourself physically so that you are able to better conduct yourself in your duties to Faith, family and folk.
When you take the Avalonian oath, you dedicate your time, effort, money and even your life to the advancement of the principles and values that the Church and the European people have promoted for two thousand years. To become physically fit is to reject the modern world that tells you to stuff yourself with poison, both physically and spiritually. To take up the cross of Saint Michael is to say that you will live up to the best example of European Christian knighthood in preparing yourself for hard work, physical labor, providing for a family and being attentive to the needs of the sick, poor and the persecuted. Avalon is not a LARP’ing session or a game, it is a total conversion from living for the world to living and being willing to live and even die for something greater than yourself, …and this begins with strengthening yourself physically and spiritually.
The Orthodox Faith makes it very clear that the physical realm and the spiritual one cannot be disconnected from one another. In the Nicene Creed we recite that we believe in “all things visible and invisible.” While many in the modern world might desire to fracture the connection between the corporeal realm and the incorporeal, it cannot be done without falling quickly into the heresy of Gnosticism.
One of the most important ways to work out one’s salvation is through fasting, something that the Orthodox Church promotes not only during specific fasting periods but something that under the guidance of a spiritual Father can be done at any time. Fasting from meat, alcohol and other things that distract us from a heartfelt life of prayer, devotion, and service can serve to recenter the believer to manifest a more Christian life. Self control and self denial are the hallmarks of the Christian life, the true spirit of embodying “Death to the world” and living for Christ and His Church.
Christ Himself fasted many times during his life and earthly ministry as an example to believers to follow. Saint Seraphim of Sarov, another model of Orthodox asceticism, said that “One should not think about the doings of God when one’s stomach is full; on a full stomach there can be no vision of the Divine mysteries.” To fast is to work to become closer to God and live a life dedicated to service and the Faith rather than for the personal gluttonous pleasure and desires of the self.
Fasting and prayer are important tools in the Orthodox believer’s life to advance the Faith, but an often overlooked part of our earthly walk is the importance of training mind, body, and spirit for the Faith. The body is not something to be hated and ignored because God Himself “created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27 If God created both man and woman in His own divine image, it is naturally important to be proper stewards not only of the Earth and our brothers and sisters, but our selves as well.
1 Corthinthians 6:19-20 says that “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” If our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit then it makes sense that we should not defile our bodies with drunkenness, physical debauchery, sloth or gluttony. To be physically fit for the reason of glorifying the Holy Spirit who resides inside every believer is something desirable and honorable, yet the antithesis of the modern age.
In America and the West we now live in a world in which laziness and sloth are seen as virtues, not vices. Never ending campaigns by Social Justice Warriors to promote “Fat Acceptance” and fighting “fit privilege” tell young men and women that there is no reason they should seek to better themselves and live healthy and clean lives. Instead, they should wallow in the mud pit of self-gratification, …the opposite of the Christian message.
The mass media promotes “food” to the masses that resemble food, but are nutritionally-deficient agribusiness laboratory products designed to maximize taste and profit while minimizing and eliminating expensive nutrients. The last several generations have lost themselves in this consumerist world where a Dollar Menu takes precedence over eating mom’s homemade traditional cooking. As the family disintegrates, all of society begins to fall to pieces. One way this is witnessed is how so many Western youths have totally lost themselves into being children of McDonald’s and Walmart.
To reject the modern complacency of the American male and female of the 21st century is to engage in physical and spiritual warfare against the passions. This war starts in the home with the decisions we make in regards to what we take into our bodies, through the media we watch or listen to and the food we eat.
I believe that all Avalonians should engage in a process of unplugging from mainstream Western culture and return to a traditional and organic lifestyle that served our ancestors well. Hard work and devotion to God and community was the foundation of European civilization for centuries, it is time that we reawaken that spirit of sacrifice for those that we love and care for by building ourselves and our brothers and sisters up through spiritual growth and increased physical fitness and self-control.
Engaging in a battle to increase physical fitness is to purify yourself from the failures of modernity and to engage in the martial traditions of European Christian knighthood. While this generally speaks to men, women as well should engage in maintaining and improving physical fitness in order to allow them to live longer and healthier lives to better serve their family, Church and community.
I’m challenging us all–including myself!–to a physical fitness challenge. I’m working to make my physical body the temple of the Holy Spirit that it is, and I’ve got a lot of work to do. For many years I have eaten too much, drank too much alcohol, and allowed myself to get complacent working a white-collar office job. As one of the founding members of Avalon I must dedicate myself to providing a healthy example for the youth of the West.
While my journey of Faith has been an amazing one so far, and I still have many lifetimes of learning and growth to do, I have realized that I must also work to grow physically for the sake of my wife, my unborn child, and to purify myself from the American lifestyle. As the old German saying goes “Des Teufels liebstes Möbelstück ist die lange Bank” or in English “The devil’s favorite piece of furniture is the long bench” we cannot become complacent with simply writing articles or learning ideology from books, we must begin to truly live what we know and practice what we preach.
To build Avalon is to reawaken the Christian values of hard work, sacrifice, humility, duty and honor, and that is no spectator sport that is won on the sidelines. I am going to begin a process to work to embrace physical fitness as something that is as important as my writing or other work I do in the movement, I hope you all will join me. Embrace the call to be a warrior for Christ, and start training like one.