Monday, March 22, 2010

Beginning in the Middle of Things

However much we may try to begin at the beginning, we always seem to wind up beginning in the middle of things.

Seems to me that I have been waiting for a beginning to come around before starting this blog. Deciding that it was a futile exercise, I pried open a link in the chain and created my own beginning, in the middle of things.

Yesterday, in the catholic east, was the fifth Sunday of the Great Fast [Lent], the Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt. The hagiography of St. Mary of Egypt is a story of the virginity of tears, the story of a realized eschaton, caught up in the middle of things. And so it seemed a fitting middle from which to begin the saga of Irenikon the Skete.

Irenikon the Skete is real enough in place and time. It is a home and hearth, a place of rest and wasted time, a place of work and solitary industry, a place of prayer and homespun piety, a place of healing and of spiritual warfare. It is our hope that we will find a way to share that with those who come near, who will pause in the middle of things to stop and look, pray along and ask questions if it seems the right thing to do. We hope the time will come when we can invite you to come and stay actually as well as virtually, but God must build the house so more on that later.

Elijahmaria is an eastern Catholic with strong liturgical and spiritual affinity and ties to eastern Orthodoxy, so much so that this affinity consumes every thought and action in a most extraordinary manner. Yes, I expect that I have allowed that to happen over the years, but I must tell you that as the years pass I suspect that it is more of a vocation than I'd like to admit. It is a thankless and frustrating way to be becoming, and it is my hope to share with the reader here both the exhilaration of a manner of being and the frustrations of being in schism, for one who does not 'see' any real mandate for or necessity of the chasm that others cultivate so ardently between the two confessions, Catholic and Orthodox.

So come with me a way down the road on this journey and we'll see what there is to see. We hope to keep things simple, to keep them real, and to ask our Lord to make them holy:

John 17
1These things Jesus spoke, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said: Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee.

2As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he may give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him.

3Now this is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

4I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

5And now glorify thou me, O Father, with thyself, with the glory which I had, before the world was, with thee.

6I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou hast given me out of the world. Thine they were, and to me thou gavest them; and they have kept thy word.

7Now they have known, that all things which thou hast given me, are from thee:

8Because the words which thou gavest me, I have given to them; and they have received them, and have known in very deed that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

9I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me: because they are thine:

10And all my things are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

11And now I am not in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name whom thou has given me; that they may be one, as we also are.

12While I was with them, I kept them in thy name. Those whom thou gavest me have I kept; and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the scripture may be fulfilled.

13And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy filled in themselves.

14I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world; as I also am not of the world.

15I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil.

16They are not of the world, as I also am not of the world.

17Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth.

18As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

19And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

20And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me;

21That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one:

23I in them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved me.

24Father, I will that where I am, they also whom thou hast given me may be with me; that they may see my glory which thou hast given me, because thou hast loved me before the creation of the world.

25Just Father, the world hath not known thee; but I have known thee: and these have known that thou hast sent me.

26And I have made known thy name to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them.



  1. Beautiful! Welcome to the blogging world!

  2. Thank you Madame Elena! I am inching my way along here. Grateful for your encouragements!!


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