Saturday, May 27, 2006

Echoing St. Columba

At the risk of debasing St. Columba's stirring call, contrasted to the spirit of vainglorious title-seeking, I dare add the few poor thoughts that have occurred to me.

St. Columba's prayer bears the spirit of humility that must animate us all. God has established His Holy Church, the least member of which, according to Her divine Founder, is greater than "the goodly fellowship of the prophets" and St. John the Baptist, the greatest man born of woman (St. Matt. 11:11; St. Luke 7:28). Guarding the smallest, darkest door therein is of greater significance than leading whole "dioceses" attempting to simulate what occurs (and can only occur) within the Church. Although the Bride realizes there may be those "united to Her by ties which God has not willed to reveal to Her," the Church speaks forthrightly about where She is; if you believe the Orthodox Church's faith and ecclesiology, this is where you belong.

The Christian life demands the continual crucifixion of self-will, even for those who wish to do what the Church does. This is more true for those using such faculties to instruct the Church what She should be doing. If one feels a call to the ministry -- and it is legitimate -- one should pursue it with a determination to submit to the mind of the Church. This means accepting discernment as a process, not a way station to a foreordained end. If you have faith in God, have faith He will guide this process. If such a call is blessed, one should be able to find a vocation within some part of the multiplicity of canonical Orthodox jurisdictions and overlapping hierarchies present in the diaspora. If not, will you long preserve peace of spirit elsewhere, when your conscience constantly testifies you should be a member of the Orthodox Church? Will you be better off without the ministrations and comfort of the Church to Whom, in heart, you are already united?

It is merely my own humble belief that it is best for those who love Orthodoxy to join the Church that, in communion with Her Head, "Christ may dwell in your hearts...that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God," regardless of what titular station He may have for you.

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