Sunday, July 27, 2008

A bit of a confession...

Not of sin, though. Recently I had a discussion with a couple of close friends, a married couple, that inspired this post. The conversation went something like this:

Me: "When I first joined the Catholic Church, I knew very little about the Orthodox Church."

Mr. H. and Mrs. H.*: "We didn't either."

Me: "I've been looking at the Orthodox Church lately, and I gotta tell you, both Churches seem to make equally good claims to being the True Church."

Mr H. immediately responded with some Catholic apologetics, which rather irritated me. They, as stated above, are converts to the Church too. (In fact, I'll tell you, not their story, but the story of how we lost contact with each other and found each other again. That'll be the next post.) As a result, all three of us are serious about the faith, which is why Mr. H. responded the way he did.

Mrs. H. was more gracious--

Mrs. H.: "Are you thinking about converting to the Orthodox?"

Me: "No. Not right now."

Mrs. H. (a little worried): "Would you convert?"

Me: "If I thought it was the True Church, absolutely!"

I'm in a very uncomfortabel position. I cannot make up my mind over which is the True Church. On the positive side of things, this has really energized my prayers for unity! Oh that the Eastern and Western Churches were in full communion with each other! At my current level of understanding, the Catholic Church (CC) has the greatest claim, but the Orthodox Church (OC) comes in at a close, a very close, second. One of the two biggest "issues" I have with the OC is its refusal to acknowledge doctrinal developement. It is very obvious from Church History that doctrine did develope (e.g. the Trinity, Christ's natures, etc.).

The biggest "issue" I have with Orthodoxy is pretty much the same issue I have with Evangelicalism: authority. While still a Protestant, the complete lack of objective authority within Protestantism and its off-shoots convinced me that Protestantism is wrong. Its logical conclusion sets me up as my own little infallible authority while only giving lip-service to the fact that I might be wrong about any given doctrine(s). Orthodoxy does not fall prey to a complete lack of authority, yet I see its authority lacking. As a Protestant looking for truth, the fact that many modern Protestant beliefs contradict matters settled by early Councils struck me as really, really wrong (I hate using that word so much, but it fits). I started learning about Church Councils and could not believe that there's still a Church in existence today that holds Councils! The most recent one ended in the '60s! I'm unsure as to the OC's reasoning as to why it no longer has Ecumenical Councils, but if someone who knows the answer to that reads this blog, I'd very much appreciate it if he or she would provide me with that answer!

As I struggle through this issue, pray with me for unity. Pray for me to know the truth!

And in the meantime, here's one of my favorite Orthodox blogs: Into the Light.

*This is not what I call them. I use the initial here to conceal their identity.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Random Coversation with a Friend...

Rick: "...and I said to myself, 'What the f***?' Uhh...pardon my French."

Me: "Sorry, I can't pardon your French. The word f*** is of Dutch origin, from the word fokken."

Rick: "You know, I like the way you think."

Friday, July 18, 2008

World Youth Day is half over! Insert frownie-face here!

I'm just now getting to the WYD websites. How exciting WYD is! I rejoice with the people who are able to be there live in person! For the rest of us, the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) has a virtual pilgrimmage. DREADNOUGHT is covering the event, too, and has an article written by a DREADPilgrim. (I was going to link to that specific post, but the perma-link doesn't seem to be available.) My job on the graveyard shift is slightly advantageous regarding the radio coverage. While I cannot get good radio reception of the two Catholic AM Radio stations in my part of Michigan (Ave Maria and Michigan Catholic Radio), I can listen when I go out making deliveries to certain hospitals. I heard part of Cardinal Pell's opening homily and part of Pope Benedict's speech last night.

Another thing we who have the misfortune of not being at WYD can do is pray for many graces to be released to the world through this event. And let us pray for the pilgrims, and that the pilgrims, especially the Chinese pilgrims (see the Intentional Disciples blog entry for Thursday, July 17, 2008 - once more Perma-link isn't working*), will bring back a new sense of Christ to their local communities.

*I think this may have something to do with the filtering software I have on my computer.