Posted by: jamesthethickheaded | May 14, 2010


There’s a great article in today’s Washington Post on the priesthood in the Catholic Church (you may need to log in – which is free BTW). As with so much that is said on the vocations, a lot of what is addressed applies to all of us… only that part is left out. Focus is on the priesthood of the church, so it is understandable. I’d find it odd if the same subtext had been left out in a discussion with an Orthodox priest, but who knows in this case what was left on the cutting room floor by an editor unschooled in these things. My guess is that points along this train of thought may well have been made but were probably not seen for the importance they have.

All the same, the matter of dealing with the problems of the church’s ministers and what it is that drove a chosen few to destruction is clearly laid out: sin, a deficiency of love for the Lord, and a faulting prayer life. I’ve likely put it precisely in reverse order… but it is that clear, and clearly a challenge to more than the priesthood. A well told story and worth the read.

FWIW, I’ve also added a new page where I can collect some of the wonderful videos folks have posted here there and everywhere together with my bit on why this glitz is just fine with me. As for those cognoscenti who relish dishing the dirt on Ancient Faith radio, OCN and the like… I won’t be in the mix. My loss.

Other than that, life remains incredibly challenging as regulation increases, people power seems to run short, and that thing called a private life seems ever speeding from joy to grief and back again. Darling daughter graduated from Emory this week on a cold Atlanta morning, and then last night a dear old friend’s sweet older sister passed along (ovarian cancer) in her early 50’s. Everyday I am more aware of my limits, my errors, and my inability to get “it” done. This is that time of life when I’m supposed to be the horse… only sometimes I feel more like a pony trying to shoulder a wagon team’s load. Now if only I can find a clone…


  1. Congrats to the grad! (And to the parents who could afford Emory!) I am sorry I didn’t know sooner you were in ATL. It would have been nice to take a half hour and meet face to face.

    I liked your comment on the cognoscenti. An online friend of mine for my old ChristianForums days has this quote in his signature which I think sums up the matter.

    No matter how right you may be on various points, you must be diplomatic also. The first and important thing is not rightness at all, but Christian love and harmony. Most crazy converts have been right in the criticisms that led to their downfall; but they were lacking in Christian love and charity and so went off the deep end, needlessly alienating people around them and finally finding themselves all alone in their rightness and self-righteousness. Don’t you follow them!
    – Fr Seraphim Rose

  2. Dixie!
    Thanks, and especially my thanks for the post extract from Fr. Seraphim. I am just beginning to read some of his material. This encourages me greatly!

  3. All the things that pile up are also mixed blessings. I’m buried in work but for the first time in 18 months, my daughter graduated from law school and we went out on a limb for a nice gift even though we’re so broke we can’t spend the night (thank God for good kids), people die but we had the blessing to know them. It’s Life. And I like the new page. The illuminati and cognocenti are part of the balance of any “eco-system”, as are the rank and file and people who live in blessed obliviousness to the finely parsed nuances of the thin air. God works in mysterious ways through all human wierdness.

  4. Think I noted that I was very impressed with the grad’s YouTube speech! She vastly, vastly exceeded the so-called “student orator” who spoke at Emory… mostly by her unpretension.

    Yes we need the full round of folks in the eco-system. We have to contend with the pride of some of our misguided hierarchs and the corresponding obverse pride of those who would tear them down. Somehow it makes a balance. And if only I could live in blessed obliviousness it’d be great… tend to find myself pulled in one direction and then the other but in the end left in my place… which I think is their point. Ask my kids, and I guess my place is to supply “all human weirdness”. It’s a big job, but I’m working on it.

    And yes, there is some unseemliness to complaints of “busy-ness”… especially as you say when it falls from blessings (the USA norm) rather than sufferings (rest of the world norm).

    My instinct is always to give thanks for the mercy of God and for his goodness in blessing us with gifts of their lives to us… even when they may be known to us only through others. And yet lives are precious – especially those illuminated … or more readily filled by the breath of the sweetness of God… and so clearly claimed as His own.

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