Friday, February 29, 2008
well. now i have to pack for Brampton, flying tomorrow AM early. bringing various presents with me, lots of it food.
i need to wash my dishes.
i have been keeping better house habits since my house-blessing. for lent i am going to try to start having better eating habits. i am seeing that the spiritual life is not outside of my normal life but instead is directly part of it. making my bed before praying is a good thing. i cannot imagine not being Orthodox now. how could prayer not have to do with lighting candles.
of course these are the outer things; learning the interior spiritual disciplines are slow and require a great deal of effort, humility and God's mercy. thank God that His mercy is stronger than my small efforts. and i am slowly seeing that these spiritual disciplines can only take place because i am inside the church...
Thursday, February 28, 2008
I am working on my job application.
Last night I was at church. I love being at church. It is like being home and the home is good and full of safety, in the sense of comfort and that there are Saints there who can help take care of things... It is like being a child, having a good father and falling asleep, listening to his voice.
Okay. The job I am applying for I do not have a lot of direct experience - which does not always matter as training and on the job learning is better. Being a librarian means that you can do a lot of different things. But it does not mean that I am always that good at resumes.
May God's will be done, here below as in Heaven.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
1. i am doing a job application. due friday. prayers welcome.
2. i am going to see my Oma this weekend - she is 99 - this means i am missing church but my Oma is 99 and i will DV also see my parents and aunts and uncles. i am flying to Brampton and my ears are still a bit plugged. am taking decongestants, chewing gum, etc.
3. some of my books from my parents house are coming with my parents and will be greyhounded to ottawa. many of these books i have not had with me since 2004.
4. i am drinking tea in the kitchen and Cleo is sitting on my gold chair. Bach is playing in the background.
back to my resume.
oh. i think i still like being a librarian. i really actually want to keep my job where i am at, but they cannot yet tell me if i will have anything past May 29 so i have to keep my options open.
okay. back to work...
Saturday, February 16, 2008
when ever i am going to have at all a nice day i wake up super early! My Opa had the same struggle.
i cleaned all last night for my little apartment finally to be blessed. i have lived here over a year already, but it just did not work out to have my house blessed.
it is quite something though to me, to prepare for this. it is a very exciting thing for me and at the same time has this element of acceptance of the way things are.
i am more settled now (though my job as it stands now ends at the end of May and that is on my mind a little) than i have been as a student. but it is not like i thought it would be. i have a lot of my things together, but am slowly learning how much of feeling settled is a inward condition of grace and comes only with time and prayer. and to be honest it is an inward condition that i lack.
i am usually looking for the next thing, or thinking it will be so nice when my house is clean, or when i have a better plan for meals, or when my work is more permanent.
well. my house will (notice the future tense of this verb!) be clean today. my laundry is done. i do have food in the freezer (though i have to go grocery shopping).
but it is my heart that needs the most feeding, restructuring, cleaning and tender healing.
i am so glad for the hope for this inward healing in the church; it is incredible to be loved and to be able to learn to trust in God's mercy.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
today i went to a wedding at my church and it was really special. and at the end i got to hold a special little baby, and stood at the back of church. this made my heart happy.
i realize i just used the word 'special' two times, but you know, it is an okay word...
sometimes it is hard to capture how one's feels, you know. perhaps that is because the feeling is so inward, that an outward expression of it is difficult.
i was near an icon of St. Elisabeth the new martyr; i held a child; i was with my church family; it is a safe, comforting thing. i think the nearest to explaining it is what i see when the priest's young daughter falls and hurts herself. if her father is near by and sees, he goes over, picks her up and holds her. it is beautiful and a deep thing to know that one can still be safe like that, even though i am now an adult.
becoming Orthodox is the best thing that ever happened to me, other than having a Christian family to grow up in. i am blessed and thank God for such immense grace.
Monday, February 11, 2008
I have designated Monday nights as my reading and writing night. I know. Nice! It is one of the perks of being single - control over my schedule...
So tonight I read part of a chapter I found online from Philip Sherrard's book From Theology to Philosophy in the Latin West. I read around 8 of the 17 printed pages. It took a while, as one really has to pay attention when reading Sherrard. Good thing I took a few Philosophy courses in my undergrad. And wow do I need a dictionary. Sigh. Someday I hope to have the OED!
So now I understand a bit more of why various Orthodox theologians and those who study the theologians, view parts of St. Augustine's writing as leading the West in the wrong direction.
Here is the quick summary (based on what I understand):
The Christian Fathers (but not St. Augustine) never lost the understanding of the image of God being in each person. This divine image of God is the deepest part of each human. This deepest part is called heart, or the seat of the heart. Because of this deepest part, the heart (also called in Greek the nous), we can discern, see and experience God. And not just experience God but participate in God's nature. If one's heart is entirely full of the Holy Spirit (which only comes with much ascetical effort and prayer) one lives all the time in God's light. In other words, one becomes a Saint.
I was a bit familiar with this from teachings of my spiritual father and previous reading. Sherrard did not directly mention Saints yet, but it is clear from his opening statements that he sees the Christian East as the ones who did not lose the belief that one can actually have the possibility of becoming a Saint.
Oh, I almost forgot the rest of the summary. St. Augustine did not believe in the heart as much as he did the soul (different in the Christian East from the heart) and the soul was better than the body. This part is complicated. It appears to end that the soul cannot directly comprehend God.
My current thought on St. Augustine's view as told by Sherrard: If this is so (I have read very little of the Patristics) (such a great word, Patristics) than it appears to deny the Incarnation of Christ - fully divine and fully human. And it denies the Holy Eucharist as the Body and Blood of Christ as part of what it means to abide in Christ.
Well. There you go. I am interested in Sherrard’s work for two reasons. One, I get to exercise my brain. Two, I want to understand what happened in the past to create the present. In other words, why do so many people today live believing they have no souls.
This seems to have something to do with Modern Western thought and the Enlightenment.
Here is what I must always remember when reading such heady philosophy: love. Knowledge can puff up and love is greater than it all. Second, this sort of reading is my form of pleasure reading (besides mystery books that is) and must never replace prayer, reading Saint stories and seeking to understand humility.
Lord have mercy, as it is so hard to do what is best!
Monday, February 04, 2008
i have so much to read, i have dreams of someday understanding a bit more about things.
i ordered some books online (eight day books, yea!) and feel happy about this.
i had moved so much and changed directions so much that only now do i feel like parts of me are coming back - we will see where this leads.
meanwhile i am a lot happier, letting things come in, swirl and then settle around me.
Friday, February 01, 2008
I have been so busy – I had a sick day about two weeks ago and felt like it was restoring my sanity. Living in this world sure is hard! I used to think it was simple… HAHAHA. Sigh. That was when I was a student and not working full time.
Working full time, going to church on weekends and often midweek, plus one or two social things equals a very full week.
So here I am, ironically perhaps, on Friday night in my quiet apartment. I got yummy take-out Indian food and have been reading. But it would be a lot more fun if my kitchen was clean. Considering I am in my kitchen and only have a two-room apartment. At work someone thought I meant I had a two-bedroom apartment. Nope. Two rooms plus bathroom with bathtub (a must for all women I believe!) (okay well all North American women perhaps). Anyway. I am supposed to be cleaning so I am ready DV for my apartment to be blessed before Lent begins!
Who here is excited for Lent? I am beginning to be. To be honest with this past year and being on the old calendar, I really got tired from fasting – the apostles fast was so long and you know, I think I have still not fully recovered! Perhaps life is like that sometimes.
Oh… I have been thinking on and off about my last post and the comments. I am still not sure how to comment on them, as it were. I spoke with V. and said I was not sure what I thought. I think my confusion comes from not knowing if I am as bothered by something profane (if I were to call my work that or my colleagues… I think of righteous Lot and think well maybe I am not yet that righteous) as much as feeling left out. It’s true. Surely some human normal reaction, esp. since I well I don’t really fully fit popular culture today. I like what was popular culture when people believed that a person had a soul.
Stacy on the Orthodork Café (google this and you will find it) wrote of a book by Philip Sherrard The Sacred In Life and Art and from what I have read of the book description from 8 Day Books I think it has a lot to do with what I am struggling with.
Half of it I think has to do with plain wanting to not be so different (not that I am going to change, I know better now) and half of it is that the others believe the lie that there is no soul, no God, no sacramental world full of the glory and presence of God.
Well. There it is. My thoughts. Wishing all who read this God’s blessing and reassurance in the midst of the battles of this life.