Showing posts from February, 2011

My Mind not in My Heart

We think too much. At least I do. This is not an anti-intellectual rant. No, it an observation and confession about myself and perhaps others like me. I like many Orthodox today came into the Church via my head.

I stumbled upon a Church Father, an Orthodox book, an interesting website. This discovery felt like a mysterious treasure that had been hid from me, and I could not wait to open. I opened, and found a wealth of books, treatises, and arguments I never considered. I consumed it like a tasty treat or a rich meal.

Then one day it occurred that I should visit a real Orthodox church. For some this is a fulfillment of all the books read, and for others it is a bewildering assault to the senses that thrust them back to the books. It was enough for me to keep returning and eventually entered the Church through her sacraments.

Because of the method of entry, I assumed the way of the journey would be the same. Yes, it was not all in our minds, for I did adapt to some externa…

Bluegrass in St. Gregory of Nyssa

Today I stumbled onto something in Gregory of Nyssa that made my heart leap. I love the Fathers but occasionally their illustrations need some updating because of the gap in time and culture. But today it was different, and only my time in the Bluegrass prepared me for this one.

Our Sunday School is about to jump into a study of Exodus. Besides commenting on the literary meaning of the text, which is extremely important, my goal is also be true to the way the Church and the Fathers read Scripture. Allegory, types, salvation, and moral images were all important for them. Many times it is really hard to communicate this way of reading into modern minds. It helps to follow the Church in her liturgical texts and the way she reads a particular passage and symbols. To accomplish this I try to find as much Patristic commentary on what we are studying, and let it become part of my own heart and understanding.

For Exodus, one source I have picked up is St. Gregory of Nyssa's Life of…