Monday, July 5, 2010

The Reluctant Christian

DISCIPLE: Lord Jesus, how can I approach you, when I know the wickedness that lies within me? How can I dare to begin a journey toward you, when I know my feet are not even worthy to step onto the path of holiness? I want to hide under my office desk, to get onto a horse and ride far away, to escape in a movie, where I can forget everything, even if only for a little while... But where can I hide from you, Lord? Where can I run? No matter where I go, I cannot escape your gaze. Your gaze is loving, compassionate, and yet I try to hide. Why do I do this, Lord? No matter where I run, You are with me. And this both comforts and terrifies me, and I don't know why.

CHRIST: My child, you were created through Me, infused with my Spirit, at my Father's will. Beginnings start with Me. Your journey begins with Me. Through Me, all things are possible, even this journey which seems impossible to you. Take My hand, and we will walk this journey together.

DISCIPLE: I know that with You, Lord, all things are possible. But You are all-powerful, whereas I am... vulnerable. This path that lies ahead, it is full of vipers and sheep-clothed wolves, isn't it? You are impervious to these monsters, but I am not!

CHRIST: Remember that you cannot say that I do not understand what you are going through. I allowed Myself to become vulnerable for your sake, leaving My Heavenly Family to experience the banishment that is the condition of Fallen Man. My body was allowed to become weak enough to be broken on the Cross, all because I love you. Even if you were the only human who needed to be saved, I would have done this just for you. I am now giving you the opportunity to walk the path of holiness toward a relationship with me. Yes, you will experience suffering, but you do not have to make this journey alone. I will give you much help, both Heavenly and earthly, and they will teach you how suffering with love brings you ever closer to Me.

DISCIPLE: I don't understand these things, my Lord. But I confess that You are the steward of all truth, and I will follow You, even if I don't understand.

CHRIST: Then arise, pick up your mat, and let's get started. I am with you every step of the way...

About this Blog

Greetings fellow adventurers!

Have you ever read anceint texts written by holy people who had this amazing relationship with Christ, those who lived a life that was sooooo different from the world that you had to think, "Man, there is no way I could live like that!" Well... if you are like me, it's a scary thought to even ask for such a life. And yet, we are all called to holiness (Eph 1), to be different from the world (Jn 17), to "hate" our lives (Jn 12)... But who in their right mind wouldn't be scared of this? Well, this blog is all about the acceptance of the call to a holy life, with the emphasis on companionship for the journey.

The core of our personal relationships on this journey is our family, whether it is the nuclear family or a family of religious. With so much confusion about what constitutes a healthy family these days, I thought it might be nice to go back to our Christian ancestors, our saints, to seek role models and ways of life that brought about healthy, happy relationships with each other and with Christ. Sacred Scripture informs us of the elements of a holy life, but what does a modern-day family living in the Holy Spirit look like?? It is my hope that we will be able to better understand the instruction from Sacred Scripture in the lives of the saints who came before us, and for us to have a discussion about what that means for a Christian family stuck in the modern world.

Then... why Byzantine? Well, since traditional Christian mysticism has been preserved in the Byzantine way of life, today's Byzantine community can provide more resources for lay people to live a mystical, deeply spiritual Christian life. To paraphrase a great Byzantine Catholic priest, Father Thomas Loya, people have become "insane" because they have stopped being mystics. Genuine Christian mysticism, which is the glimpse of Heavenly realities shrouded in mystery, needs to be included in the very core of our faith lives. Only traditional forms of Christian mysticism will be encouraged, and the many admonitions of our spiritual elders will be included.

So... who is this blog addressed to? Anyone who wants to enter into a discussion about traditional Christian relationships with the purpose of edifying each other in Life in the Spirit. Rigorous discussion is welcome as long as it is conducted with a spirit of charity. Logic without charity is for the secular philosophers, for "knowledge inflates with pride, but love builds up" (1 Cor 8:1). This blog is meant to edify Christians in their journey toward a holy life. With all that is going on in this crazy world, it is imperative that we embrace the Covenant relationship that was bestowed on us through the Sacraments conducted by Christ our King.

Yours in Christ Always,