30 October 2007

"Complete" Orthodoxy found in Rome

During my twelve years in the Orthodox Christian church I struggled with my devotional life. I guess it was the lack of variety--all we had was the Jesus Prayer and Kathismata. Was it really necessary to become a 19th Russian peasant to draw closer to my beloved Christ?

While attending a "Western Rite" Orthodox Church I became interested in the Rosary and Sarum Chant arrangements of the Psalms. This led me deeper into the devotions of the west and eventually to the Roman Catholic Church.

I still pray with icons. When I need an Eastern fix I stop by the local Byzantine Catholic parish. Everything I loved about the Orthodox Church is part of the Catholic Church, but I found a COMPLETE Orthodoxy. I have a variety of devotional practices to chose from.

Many Orthodox apologists claim that the East is spiritual while the West is scholastic. This is not the case--just read the Sts. Theresa (of Avila & Liseaux), St. Alphonsus Ligouri, or even Pope John Paul II and one sees a deep spirituality. Look at all the diverse orders of monastics and their devotions. One could spend a lifetime studying the writings of the Western mystics and just scratch the surface.

The Charismatic Renewal is encouraged and growing in the Catholic Church, while it has been repressed and even "disciplined" in Orthodoxy (just ask Fr. Eusebius Stephanou). I believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit: healing, prophecy, word of knowledge, etc. I believe in "speaking in tongues" as a devotional practice.

I'll expound on all these points in future postings, so stay tuned.

No comments: