While the Western churches have changed and transformed not only dogmas and liturgical worship, but theology as well, to a point sometimes beyond recognition, the Orthodox East has managed to preserve an authentic faith, living in the heart of men and not in books or in cultural rediscovery, as when the Pope allowed the use of the dismissed Tridentine rite, a move that did more to emphasize the change the Catholic Church has been through than to reconnect with past traditions. This strength is also perhaps due to the mysticism and asceticism that are still central to the faith. I was reminded of this watching this documentary (in French with some Greek) about the Holy Mountain of Athos, in Greece, home to one of the oldest monastic communities in the Christian world:

Part I
Part II
Part III

A Russian priest once said that the Church is filled with tradition, but it is not a museum: it is living. I hope this movie will illustrate these words.