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Archive for March, 2013


Sometimes the hardest part is simply believing…

It’s been an interesting year, we have finally moved and are settling into a new place. Our old house is getting foreclosed on, and there is simply nothing we can do about it, despite that we never missed a payment and held up our end of the bargain, we are now stuck with a foreclosure.

After a long year of questioning we decided to journey into the Orthodox Church, that decision has brought both pain and joy.

I had an accident on January 28th, and it took me out for three weeks, and I’m still not fully recovered. I’m not sure if I ever will be the same again.

My oldest son moved out on his own, and immediately lost his job, so he is constantly on our minds.

My Daughter made some bad decisions and did a good deal of damage to my car, it was in the repair shop for two full weeks while they fixed it.

We have been struggling to just keep up with life, so much is happening that most days we collapse from exhaustion.

Then today I walked out of a Vespers service because I finally hit a portion of Orthodox Asceticism that I could not reconcile. I’m sure I’ll go back, but I had to stop and take a deep breath so I can think, everything has begun to squeeze the air out of my life.

You see in the Orthodox faith they use a different calendar, and they take lent VERY seriously. Catholics give up something for lent, but the Orthodox turn that up to 11, first you give up meat, then you give up anything dairy, meaning you go vegan. It’s not a requirement, you can do less and be fine. But the bar is set. Then today they celebrated a forgiveness service, it’s a vespers service where you prostrate on your knees (think muslim prayers), and ask for forgiveness from EVERYONE in attendance. Not as a group but person by person, the idea is to be humble, and in turn each person does the same for you.

But the whole thing seemed to me to be overly pious, how can I ask forgiveness if I don’t even know everyone very well. I’m not a monastic, I’m a man with faults and failures, and there are SOME people who I need to ask forgiveness of, but I’m not about to do it in a public service. There was a push to ask forgiveness of EVERYONE I know, that sounds like a good sentiment, but in reality it would cause more issue than it would help with some people I know.

So it’s not enough to have a late Lent, to use almost a whole Sunday for church every week, long services where you stand (you can sit, but standing is more Ascetic), to go far beyond anything the Catholic faith required (and many times I think they didn’t require enough). But then I’m supposed to humiliate myself, prostate before strangers and ask for forgiveness when I’m not even sure of the persons name.

Called to the priesthood I am not…

So today after the Agape meal, I began to feel confined and trapped, getting up and down on my knees 50 to 60 times seems pointless. It’s a show that I’m pious enough to be Orthodox, it has nothing to do with my heart, how I feel, or how I see things.

So instead of prostrating 60 times, throwing my back out, and tearing up what little is left of my knees. I walked out…

I left..

I need time to think things over, I need some air.

I don’t want to be Orthodox and go through the motions, just because that’s what we do. If I’m going to do anything it’s because not only do I understand what we are doing, but because I believe in my heart it’s the right thing to do. I cannot believe in something I don’t understand, so right now I need time to think, to breathe a little and come to terms with what it means to be Orthodox.

Which is strange because right now I’m stuck between two worlds, I can’t go to reconciliation because I’m not Orthodox yet. I would go back to being Catholic, but I don’t believe in Papal Infallibility, Universal Jurisdiction of the Papacy, the Marian Dogmas, or Indulgences.

So I’m a man without a home, back into the wilderness once more for a time…

What I need more than anything right now is prayer, and time to reflect…