Fr Stephen has posted a wonderful excerpt from Dr. Kalomiros’ book, Nostalgia for Paradise. These thoughts on the Orthodox life are so balanced and come to me at such an appropriate time. Just a couple of nights ago, Debbie and I were talking about my self-imposed spiritual disciplines as a Protestant. And just the other day, Fr Patrick was reminding me of our family’s need to spend time learning a new rhythm of being Orthodox.
Now I read Dr. Kalomiro’s words and quite frankly, I just want to cry. I want to cry out of repentance for the pride and hardness created by imposing practices upon myself that were beyond the measure of grace given to me. I want to cry out of joy for the beautiful vision of what a true human life in Christ looks like. And I want to cry out of thankfulness for now being a member of a Church that can actually nurture me with wisdom into the life in Christ for which I have longed.
There is so much in this short excerpt that grips me. If I were to cut and paste good quotes, I would need to simply paste the entire excerpt. But this one paragraph is the clincher for me. I dream of living this kind of life:
“It is a modest soul that is out of its waters in the limelight of men but blooms in solitude and quiet. It is a heart free to its very roots, impervious to every kind of pressure, far from every kind of stench, untouched by any kind of chains. It distinguishes truth from falsehood with a certain mystic sense. Its every breath offers gratitude for all of God’s works that surround it and for every joy and every affliction, for every possession, and for every privation as well. Crouching humbly on the Cornerstone which is Christ, it drinks unceasingly of the eternal water of Paradise and utters the Name of Him who was and is ever merciful. Such a soul is like a shady tree by the running waters of the Church, with deep roots and a high crown where kindred souls find comfort and refuge in its dense branches.”