Saturday, February 19, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Indeed it’s been a while. Part of me is pretty hesitant to post things, because I’m caught between two choices, neither of which I’m keen on making. The first is to post stories, quotes and experiences having something to do with my time here in Greece, but never quite getting at the core of what goes on. The second is to be honest--what really happens in Greece--But this is hard to do on a consistent basis. The third, I suppose, is to do what I’ve been doing--simply not posting anything :).
But it seems like its time to share a bit. Everything is going well. These days have been consumed with paper-writing, researching and church functions. All of these things have been very nice. My papers are coming along at just the right pace, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to write them. The more I enter the world of “theology” proper, the more I see that true theology lies mostly outside of what we generally call “theology.” This is what my heart tells me at least. In other words, a man or woman can be full of theology, bursting at the seams with it, having never said a word. In fact, the best theology is often unspoken. What I read in these books guides my understanding and allows me to develop a vocabulary for that which we can express in words...But everyday, after so many things have entered into my mind, there is an explosion inside, and all of it disappears, and I humbly start at the beginning. I have found theology in unimaginable placest. In fact, think of the last place you’d expect theology to be, and there it is! In the darkest alleys, the darkest faces and the darkest moments. Out of all of this gloom and fallenness blossoms a ray of light that shines in an unexpected brilliance. There’s a humorous side to all of this; they let you go to a school to learn something, and you come out realizing that the world is a school of theology, the world is a temple, and so are we.
I’m thankful for the moments of weakness, for the moments of sadness and for the moments of vulnerability. I am beginning to appreciate more and more moments of pure humanity--of beauty, tears, of the joy in simplicity. This is what theological studies does to you. The heart breaths during Bach’s Ich Habe Genug and finds rest in a Copperfield short story. Why? Because, between the lines and under the sweetly flowing notes, it sees the words in the textbooks come to life. When theology shows up in the most unexpected places, it makes a smile from a complete stranger as mysterious and beautiful as the Incarnation. In fact, it reflects that very sacred and awesome even, where God himself showed up in the most unexpected place--a dark and damp cave.
Let us see Christ incarnated in everything!
Hoping you are all well!
with love in Christ,
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Long time no talk :)
Life has been quite busy around here. I’m coming into the final part of my program (writing the thesis), which should take anywhere from 1-2 semesters.
Just thought I’d share a nice little excerpt from Fr. Stephen Freeman’s blog:
“Another specific activity, deeply related to this false and true self, is the knowledge of God, and all that we speak of when we say, “doctrine.” Part of the argument of St. Gregory Palamas, against those who argued for a different manner of knowing God, was his insistence on the experiential character of the proper knowledge of God. Thus when we know God properly, we know Him as Person, not as object or topic. Someone may know all of the dogmatic formulas such that they can repeat them with no trouble, or even quickly analyze a statement as somehow being contrary to the doctrine of the Church, and yet know all of this in a way that is not proper. They simply become experts, like someone studying for a game show. This is an activity that fosters the false self, and may be more dangerous than many, because the person involved can suffer under the delusion that because they “know” all of the true facts, they actually know the truth, when they do not.“
Lots of love!