I've been too sick to chronicle the latest and greatest details of our lives but somewhere in the muddle that is the past two weeks, my spiritual reinforcements arrived in the form of good Orthodox literature. I am about half-way through Frederica Mathewes-Green's second book On the Corner of East and Now. I'm enjoying it tremendously but am really ready for a new perspective on Orthodoxy and something with a bit more meat on which to chew. As if on cue, Fr. Greg handed us a couple of treasures after Divine Liturgy on Sunday - The Way of a Pilgrim, the classic story of one Orthodox journey and an introductory book, Introducing the Orthodox Church by Anthony Coniaris which looks to be aimed at catechumens and inquirers with a point by point explanation of the various aspects of Eastern Orthodoxy.
Then my first installment of the Philokalia arrived in the mail. When I showed it to Tad, he grabbed it from my hands and clutched it to himself, hiding it from my view, proclaiming, "You think you're ready for this?!" The Philokalia is a collection of writings from the early church fathers. It is the Orthodox spiritual map through the scriptures - Eastern dynamite. Dynamite, as we all know, must be handled with care. It should only be handled by those with experience and understanding of its properties lest it cause more harm than good. The Philokalia must be read, then, according to most Orthodox only under proper spiritual tutelage and only when a person has reached a level of spiritual maturity capable of navigating its depths....or so Tad has been led to believe. I put that on the bottom of the pile. I guess I'll be discussing that later with Fr. Greg but I sort of figured if I could navigate through St Francis de Sales' Treatise on the Love of God then I could at least finger through the Philokalia...such spiritual pride!
What are the Major Steps of the Spiritual Life?
15 hours ago