Sunday, February 15, 2009

Caveat

It has come to my attention that many Orthodox writers preface their logismoi [private spiritual opinions, usually wrong-headed] with the words: "The Orthodox Churches teaches that..."

If I am not guilty of that exact phrasing I am certainly guilty of the implication.

I should like to make it very clear that I am not a theologian, I am not clergy, and I am no saint.

When I write, I write as a sinful Orthodox parishioner. Where I accurately convey the voice of the Church, this is the success of the Church; where I drift into heterodox thought, the error is mine alone.

I can't promise not to touch on theological matters, but I will be in future more scrupulous to avoid implying that mine is the voice of the Church.

- V.

4 comments:

elizabeth said...

praying for you and E!

les said...

Your caveat is a good one, and I try to bear it in mind as well when expounding "the Catholic position" but your perspective as a convert of ten years, while not unique, gives you a certain advantage in this sense.
You became Orthodox by choice, so that you had to understand the faith thoroughly enough, both academically and intuitively in order to break from a very different upbringing. And despite carrying some of the former categories and ways of thinking with you (inevitable) the intensity of conviction required to make such a change sharpens the focus as you learn more and more about Orthodoxy and are able to spot those hold-overs when they conflict.
That is also why occasionally you will encounter apologetics challenges, because it is recognized that you have had experience on both sides of the fence, so to speak, and know the difference.
I have been five years a Catholic but raised in background similar to your own. Someone once said that the Catholic Church is bigger on the inside than on the outside, and I am finding that to be true. There are so many rooms that I have yet to explore, filing their location in my mind for future study.
Similarly, I'm sure that within the realm of Orthodoxy there are many avenues of knowledge, theological and spiritual. Probably the best way to approach that is through the saints and the fathers.
Perhaps you have the same feeling I have on occasion, that there is so much to learn and absorb, that the knowledge I have seems but superficial. All I can do is pray the Lord to enlighten my mind and fill my heart.

s-p said...

Wise caveat. There's a big difference between an "Orthodox opinion" and "an Orthodox person with an opinion". :)

Esteban Vázquez said...

s-p> I should make this the description of my blog!