Friday, August 26, 2011

Who am I?

I am a catechumen at an unusual- or so I am told- parish. There is nothing about it that is unusual to me, and the lens I have donned to view it through seems to work just as well on other parishes. Am I in a golden period of my knowledge of the Church, where I can see no wrong with it? This is something I have heard others refer to, but I am not sure if they speak honestly or with a jaded tongue because they can not share my innocence. I mean that- I know what it is like to speak badly of an experience one can't have oneself. I have done that, may I never again.

What is unusual about Saint Nicholas, my parish? I don't know. Again, a few people have suggested it has a unique quality. How would I know? Everything I know about the Church in person is there. I have made many friends- and discovered some people I do not immediately connect with- in my short time there. None of the less than amazing interactions has changed my view of the Church. I think it is to be expected that not everyone gets on right from the start. I am hard to get to know- and hard to like I might add. I have 4 young children that are not always likable. (Believe me, I know) In some cases, I have a language barrier. I am really amazed at how many people have befriended my family.

Sometimes I recall what Father said during my first meeting with him, when we set a date for the Prayer of the Catechumens. After I spilled all to him he said,

"I wonder how I will disappoint you."

Father is like that. I hold on to his words. I think I remember just about everything he has ever said to me, or in my presence. But he has not disappointed me. Neither have his fellows, the people of the church. Our Reader, our Deacon, the many parishioners. I know this can't be the case for everyone because I read so many stories of people who do not have parishes they get on within, don't like the Priest and so on. Perhaps that is what is unusual about Saint Nicholas, or maybe it is what is unusual about me.

I have to stop thinking about how others see me. Am I just a convert, naive, who just hasn't seen flaws in the Church yet? These attitudes are common- although I must say I have not felt any of them in person. I have a Church that accepts me. These are people who don't laugh at my innocent love for the Church. The friends who sponsor me and Tikhon, and many of the friends we have made newly are living examples of Orthodox people who are not complacent, jaded, or bored. Friendship with these people is a gift that I will accept wholeheartedly in the hope that I can give as much.

I am very happy with my catechism and the time it is taking. The more I learn, the more patient I feel with the process. I am not joining a church as if it were the Boyscouts. I am doing something so amazing, so permanent, and so good. I want to be doing it with every part of me, in full knowledge and readiness. I look forward to Holy Week with every fiber of my being.

1 comment:

  1. I think it is good just to enjoy the stage you are in. I am still happy being Orthodox; yes there are challenges sometimes but there is also God, the Mother of God and the Saints. Blessed week to you!


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