Tuesday, May 26, 2009

converts and the tail wagging the dog?

Today was a very sound run. I was grounded, focused and my strength had returned to me from taking two days off. I realized as I pushed the pace that my legs nor any of my extremities tired. I realized that my weakness lie not in my core necessarily but in my breathing. If your breathing gets away from you it's finished. Likewise in my spiritual walk it is not my determination or vigor which will cave but my control.
On another matter I was reading another blog and felt inspired to discuss here the issue of mastery. In order to master any task it requires patience, study and a sound teacher. A guide to assist in the process of gaining mastery of a sport, art form, profession, and control over the very being of one's person body, emotions, reason and spirit. The self awareness and the proximity that one has to others and to surroundings all require a teacher to teach and model for the pupil.
Only in the case of religion and in one's pursuit of a relationship with the divine is man so arrogant as to think that it can be achieved without formal intervention or an experienced guide. In this area pride prevents the necessary means by which a person can accept the insights and good measure offered by another.
Likewise then it rings true that the convert who frowns upon the cradle orthodox who don't appear to keep the letter of the law is so bitter to the taste. The student attempts to correct and reprimand the master. How then is it that so many converts overwhelm the clergy in the OCA for example? How is it that they presume to dictate that which they themselves have failed to attain any real measure of mastery themselves? Faith and the orthopraxi requires that we marinate in the faith for a while. The sinner doesn't become a saint in an instant. Likewise their leadership may have fallen prey to this crafty trap of the enemy by their barrage of reprimands of the church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. I refer my readers to St. Neilos the Ascetic for a concise and clearly stated understanding of this dilemma .
It is not that I am anti conversion quite the contrary I believe it is the only hope of the church at large and for the individual. I merely believe that it creates scandal when hoards of people gang up on those who are the gatekeepers whose only true intention is to unseat them for their own interests. How is it that those who have yet to fully purified themselves are so quick to make rash judgements about those who have dedicated their lifetimes' to the church under political persecution and social pressure?
My sin is before me and sufficient for my condemnation and without the Lord I can do no good of my own accord. It would be more simple if I did not speak about such matters as I would not make myself a target for the mean spirited. I also acknowledge openly that I do not fully understand all which i mean to address. And yet to sequester myself would not be the correct position to take. Comfort and ease cannot be the mitigating factor for silence. I can not seek the path of least resistance and recede into the silence simply because it is easier.

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