Monday, November 26, 2007

A brief blog hello

Life continues to be full – I celebrated American thanksgiving with a fellow American and Canadians – two of my close friends are moving away – we have a panakhyda soon for Nadia whose one year is this Friday – I have worked at my newest job 6 months now. I have only 6 months left in the position – I am praying for God’s will – it would be nice if the position was extended.

I am reading some Orthodox books on The Lord’s Prayer; Orthodox theology continues to blow my mind. When I started reading one of these books, which quoted from the church fathers – I was startled all over again! I sat in my chair and had the quick realization that I had when I began reading my first Orthodox book (courage to pray by met Anthony Bloom) that this is what I had been looking for all my life.

ALL MY LIFE and it is incredible to be a mere 30 (31 in a month) and have found what I was looking for all this time. And I am still young enough to have time to grow in it, Lord willing.

When I studied philosophy and English lit in my undergrad, the ideas made me feel alive; now I have that same awakening, but it is on a different level…

Monday, November 19, 2007

A question I have been thinking about

What is better, answers of no answers in the light of tragedy and human suffering?

I like answers that give freedom – like when I was in the throes of grief, years ago and someone told me that grief impacts everyone different and there is no ‘right way’ to grieve.

Or I like it when I am feeling sad and a good friend just sits with me and is quiet.

Or when someone says that the suffering is hard and thus acknowledges it as such.

I wonder if it is merely a misguided human inclination that wants to give another person answers when faced with another person’s suffering.

But yet again I have had words thoughtfully, prayerfully given that have brought comfort to me in sorrow; much comfort.

I talked to my spiritual father yesterday about suffering in the world, citing some examples that I have seen. He taught me about corruption that is in the world, that it comes on the good and bad alike, like rain. And he quoted a Romanian theologian who said that all of these answers are found in the Cross.

Years ago I was at my parent’s house and read an older essay by Philip Yancy. He was describing, if I remember correctly, prisoners in Africa. And there was a Crucifix or an icon of the Crucifixion there, which gave these men great comfort.

Perhaps there needs to be sensitivity to timing to when to speak, when to be silent. I read in Fr. John’s book, Christ is in our Midst, of a saint who commented that he never had to repent of silence.

Sometimes, when I am feeling okay and more peaceful or at least more happy, I feel bubbling with words; I have so much to learn about what it means to be still, peaceful and silent.

I have learned a little about this: it is not just the absence of sound that creates silence. It is learning to have interior silence that is needed. And I have read and seen that the Theotokos (the Birth-giver of God -- Christ, the Virgin Mary) is taught as our example of what it means to be a Christian, and what it means to have this silence.

How do I know? Simple. I am beginning to see what I do not yet have. How do I begin to learn to see what I do not yet have? By being in Church and struggling to attend to the prayers of the church and looking at icons in church. I tell you, though, that I know it because I am only beginning to wake up and see glimpses of my own inner poverty and all those things that want to be noise and crowd my life, my vision, my ability to hear and to attend.

In the end is the crucifixion, the resurrection, the promise in 2 Peter of Christ, the morning star, rising in our hearts.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

another month, going by

well. i am briefly online.

my job is in it's demanding season and involves working online, at my computer in my small grey cubical. so when i come home i am quite tired and often a bit peopled/computered out.

so sorry to those i have not commented on blogs. i still read them, as time allows. and i still care about each one i read! :)

i got a new prayer book recently, and am still reading and re-reading _Christ is in our midst_ by Fr. John, a Russian Monk, (st vlads seminary press; it is still in print). this has been very good for me.

i have tomorrow off for Remembrance Day. i am relieved. i need a day to just be home. my house needs some serious attention!

i found myself thinking about my university days recently; now that i am in the Orthodox church everything before seems surprisingly incomplete; like i am seeing things on a whole new level and what i am seeing - about God, the Church, the Scriptures, is a lot better than i ever dreamed possible.

learning to live out one's Christian life in the Orthodox church to me seems to be the singularity most difficult and most life-altering and full of hope; it is like i never understood Christ or Easter (what we call Pasca) before i was Orthodox.

at the same time i know i must continue to grow - i am seeing glimpses of how my life can be as a Christian, but i must daily be committed to God and to working out my salvation.

wishing everyone God's peace and hope.