Wow, that was poetic.Justin Kissel said:It's, like, deep man. 8) And wide--that's important too.* Beautiful, flawed, much more human than most other versions of Christianity. Continuity, more or less, and kinda old as well. Preaches humility, but often enough makes extravagant claims about itself. It's exotic and foreign, but at the same time has enough sense to have pierogies and a desert named 'kissel.' There are monks living on pillars, zombie bishops, Empresses, and nobodies. There are brilliant but flawed theologians (Origen), flawed but brilliant theologians (Augustine), and Gregory the Great (not the diagolist guy). There is Byzantium, that place where God was worshipped correctly and orthodoxically; and Russia, the only place that could have produced Dostoevsky.
*I should say "depth and breadth," that sounds nerd-cooler
I know what you mean. One thing I do agree with Katherine Jefferts Schori on, individual salvation is in a sense the current great Western heresy.Eruvande said:Because it's so not about me.
The Fathers (especially St. Ignatius due to his clear arguments and early date) convinced me that God's Church is a sacerdotal and episcopal church. The reason I'm not going to go Catholic or Anglican (besides the Lutherans outside Scandinavia not having bishops) is because I think the Orthodox Church has the best arguments for having preserved as pure a faith as possible.Justin Kissel said:For all that responded thus far, I'm curious: did the things you mention draw you towards the conclusion that 'God is here,' or did they place a peripheral role, or not at all? For example, if all the things you mention were absent, would you still be Orthodox? Is it the things that make you believe God is there, or are they mostly confirmations or beautiful/helpful add-ons to something you already have/believe/do?
For me, I'm searching for the truth, and in Orthodoxy I'm finding that the true Christian Faith has been preserved over 2000 years, in a way that I haven't found anywhere else. The presence of God in services, prayer and silence, are all essentials, though I can find these in other Christian traditions, especially Catholic monasticism. Similarly I can find Saints and a heavenly family in Catholicism, albeit many different ones of course. Other things in my list are things I like, such as chant and icons, and they make Orthodoxy even more attractive, but it would not stop me heading towards Orthodoxy if they were absent.Justin Kissel said:For all that responded thus far, I'm curious: did the things you mention draw you towards the conclusion that 'God is here,' or did they place a peripheral role, or not at all? For example, if all the things you mention were absent, would you still be Orthodox? Is it the things that make you believe God is there, or are they mostly confirmations or beautiful/helpful add-ons to something you already have/believe/do?
I read this in this same book while I was a Catechumen still seeking. This little passage somehow gave me that final peace I needed in making the plunge with all confidence to join. I love this!Fr. Lev Gillet sums it up best for me:
"O strange Orthodox Church, so poor and so weak...maintained as if by a miracle through so many vicissitudes and struggles; Church of contrasts, so traditional and yet at the same time so free, so archaic and yet so alive, so ritualistic and yet so personally mystical; Church where the Evangelical pearl of great price is preciously safeguarded–––yet often beneath a layer of dust...Church which has so frequently proved incapable of action–––yet which knows, as does no other, how to sing the joy of Pascha!"
(Quoted from page 24 of The Inner Kingdom by Bishop Kallistos Ware.)