Thursday, January 24, 2008

Now What?

Last night I finished reading Frederica Mathewes-Green's book Facing East: A Pilgrim's Journey Into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy. It is a wonderful introduction to Orthodoxy from someone who's been there, done that and noticed all the idiosyncrasies along the way. Khouria Frederica went from hippie to Episcopal priest's wife to mother of an Antiochian Orthodox church and, not only lived to tell the story, but took a year out of the life of their growing church to do just that. She has a wonderfully witty and engaging writing style and a very simple way of explaining what seems like some of the more complex ways of the Eastern Orthodox faith. I believe I have her to thank for the rather quick seeping in of the Orthodox life into my heart and thought-life. There is so much to learn, so much to experience and yet now I feel like I have at least my big toe in the door. It was also fun to read about things like Megan's nose piercing and then find an email in my in-box from the same - only about 10 years later in life sans piercing. It's really an unfair advantage I have in my budding friendship with Khoria Frederica's daughter...

But the question is, what do I do now? I've gotten through the introductory material and where do I go from here? I've ordered her next book (can't remember the title) but I'd really like to explore the idea of icons and personal devotion more (yep, she has a book on that too). I find myself quite taken with the Orthodox icons and find they can carry me much deeper toward Christ than any other devotion I've toyed with (which has been many) over the years.

Well, I guess I'll have to give poor Patrick O'Brien his due and pay more attention to the sea-faring journey sitting in my bathroom which I've been reading in snatches. There's also that Bradley birth workbook that needs some going through as well...plenty to read there until I get my next amazon order on my doorstep....

1 comment:

James the Thickheaded said...

I found a fairly good follow-on to this is "The Icon as Scripture" by Archbishop Lazar Puhalo. He and Frederica are buddies... they did a podcast together and there may still be another tape where he speaks at Holy Cross (Linthicum, MD - her parish). Good without getting esoteric and highly theological (Opensky's books).


If you're after a more general intro book, I'd ask your priest, but you might do well to also consider one of my favorites: Fr. Meletios Webber's "Bread & Water, Wine & Oil".