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Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Questions for St. John the Dairy Consumer

1.You and I have at times spoken on how it was Buddhism that helped you realize that Orthodoxy was, as many have aptly put it, true Christianity. From your own experience, in what ways would you try to make inroads with a Buddhist to help him/her understand the path to this true Christianity?

2.Stemming from the assumption that "we are not what we believe", how has being a father/husband changed who you are? What I am getting at, is not how has your outlook or your ideas changed, but how have you found youself shaped and molded into something different as a result of those two roles?

3.Knowing that you recently saw the video on the Theotokos by Fr. Thomas Hopko, what is your response to his assertion that St. John the Forerunner was in no way part of the soon to be established Church, owing to his placement in time? What does this mean to your assertion that he is the Proto-martyr?

4.Would you equate your love for ice-cream with my love for tobacco? If so, we should sit down and have a chat about gluttony and the passions (I know I need that....over and over and over, and believe me, I am quite serious).

5.Looking down the road of your nous, what things do you find yourself shifting from an old place to a new place? For example, for myself, my mind is still forming around what is and is not traditional. Where I will end up on this question, I'm still not sure, but my nous is shifting currently. Where for you is there a shift with an unknown destination?

NOW YOUR TURN: READ THE RULES AND I WILL INTERVIEW YOU AS WELL.

Official Rules
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying, "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions
6. I will answer reasonable follow up questions if you leave a comment.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

One Year Old and Potty(-mouth) Training

Well, yesterday marked the one year anniversary of my blog. What a year it has been. Much has changed in my life in that time. One year ago I was employed, I was single, I was outside the saving Ark of the Church, I lived in another city, I spent a lot more "free time" outside my home, and more germane to this blog, I was full of pride and on a mission.

One need only to look at my first few entries to see that my attitude was to convert all the "heretics" (as if I am not one still to this day in some respect or another) to the true faith. Now please understand, my ideas aren't so much what has changed, but rather my attitude and delivery of them. I recall, just before starting this blog, speaking with someone I care deeply about, and saying something unkind to them in regards to their willingness to answer a question about their beliefs. In short, I was out to "beat the world over the head with the truth". How truly sad.

Are things much different now. I would like to think so, though I do admit that I still struggle from time to time to keep my mouth shut. One instance that to me is particularly telling happened a couple of months ago. As many of you know, I am part of a men's group that has been around since I was a firmly 'stablished Anglican. As it stands now, about half of us are now Orthodox, some are Anglicans, and others are Evangelicals. But currently we are going through St. John Climacus' Ladder of Divine Ascent. On this particular night, we were reading a section on controlling the tongue. Who would you guess was first to open their mouth at the conclusion of the section? That's right...yours truly. While everyone else was willing to take in and apply, I ran headlong against and started going "blah blah blah blah blah blah......." ad infinitum.

But I have grown too. I thank God everyday for his mercy, that he doesn't providentially take the divine zipper and close my mouth permanently. He certainly is rich in mercy and patient with me, and I have learned to baby-step (anyone recall What About Bob?..."I'm baby-stepping!") in my desire to please Him. I no longer wish to beat someone up with the truth, though from time to time I catch myself doing what my Dad used to do; coerce them into "picking their own switch" (see, the hick in me just loves to pop his head out). Lord have mercy.

But God is good, and every once in a while, I can't help but notice some new way I am being purified by his Grace, through the Mysteries of the Church, and in spite of my passions and mistakes. I hope my blog will in some way bear this out, will in fact be part of the process. Hopefully it will be less of a foot-in-mouth type of humbling though.

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