Friday, June 15, 2007

Liturgy and Lifestyle

When I called my Anglican priest to tell him I was leaving the church for Orthodoxy he asked me some pointed questions. I knew he would, being a good priest and anxious that I not be damaging my spiritual health by leaving for the wrong reasons. I was able to address most of his concerns however to the question “why”? I could only say “I need more”. I was not able to explain in any more detail than that and even though I tried to come up with a more lucid and better articulated explanation, all I could say is “I need more”. At the time I didn’t even know what “more” was.
Now I know.
In a previous post I mentioned how I had been drawn to the Catholic Church through reading the book Karen. I thought that it was the liturgical nature of the Church that drew me and in part that was true. I love the liturgy, the cycles of the church year. But what I realized recently is that what I have been seeking is not just liturgy but lifestyle. The amazing thing about the author’s family in Karen was not that they were Catholic but that their whole lives were lived in the context of their faith. It was deeply woven into every day, every decision. That is what I longed for. That is what I have found in Orthodoxy. A faith that is not content to stay neatly confined to Sunday morning but overflows its banks, sweeping away the debris of my soul and pouring through every crack, every corner of my life. Fasts and feasts, darkness and candlelight, the scent of incense, the taste of bread, all running together in a glorious flood that transforms the ordinary into a sacrifice of praise. That transforms me.


Dixie said...

BINGO! Excellent insight!!! Orthodoxy makes us whole. I never did like the Lutheran thing about right and left just never seemed right. Now I know why.

DebD said...

Great thoughts. I completely agree. One thing that I have loved about Orthodoxy was this "its a lifestyle" attitude. This is very prevalent in my former Charismatic circles, but sadly missing in my Lutheran ones.