Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Where to go from here?

I feel my absence of posts reflects my recent position, being that I am not certain where to go from here. When I began this blog I was set on converting to the Roman Catholic faith, but as I have immersed myself in the tradition and history of the Eastern Orthodox faith I have increasingly felt drawn in this direction.

This all brings up an interesting question: How do we know when we are on the right path? Finding the answer to this question is obviously a complex matter, and as I stated in an early post I don't think an individual can rely solely on subjective experience. That being said, I wonder if I haven't been giving personal experience enough weight in my consideration.

I am still inclined to believe that reason can inform us that there is a God, and philosophy and history might even provide an argument for which faith tradition seems most valid, but relying solely on these methods for our relationship with the Divine misses the mark. It is akin to choosing a spouse solely based on compatibility figures. This method may indeed lead to success, but once the relationship begins it is not these figures that make the relationship great, but the growth, beauty, and love that comes with the experience. Likewise, facts, figures, and arguments have their place in establishing one's faith, but once one moves from "dating" God as it were to wedding his or herself from God, perhaps the basis of the relationship should change as well.

If someone asks me why I love my wife, my first thoughts do not consist logical arguments, but memories and images my words would fail to adequately express. Ideally, I believe our initial answers for why one is a theist should be similar.

Because I am still in what I perceive as the initial stages of my journey with God, I will continue to consider issues from a rational perspective, but I thought it important to express my view of what faith should be.


  1. Keep praying and studying, asking for the grace to believe, and to discover the truth where it is found in its fullness. As you study Eastern Orthodoxy, try to find a solid answer to the question of why the EO Churches have never held an Ecumenical Council (that is, a post-schism or even post AD 1054 council that is Ecumenical).

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  3. Thanks for the comment, Devin. My first guess would be that the EO churches haven't had an ecumenical council because there is no longer an authoritative emperor to order such councils. This is just one of what I am sure are several possible answers.

  4. Seraphim,

    Yes that is one answer given, but it is not very good because Byzantine emperors existed for centuries after 1054 AD. Further, the idea that the secular emperor somehow would be a requirement for Christ's Church to hold ecumenical councils is dubious at best.

    God bless!

  5. Devin,

    Byzantine emperors indeed existed long after the schism, but the extent of their power changed dramatically. During the era of the pre-Schism Church, the geographical authority of the emperor was far reaching. By the 11th century this had drastically changed, and the Byzantine Empire was greatly reduced by both powers in the West and East. While it may not paint a full picture, I think this factor has more weight than you give credit. That being said, I agree that the Byzantine emperor's order or consent is unnecessary for Church councils, but it sure helped in the first millenium.

    There are many possible reasons Orthodoxy has not held an ecumenical council since the seventh, such as the possibility that one hasn't been necessary. What seems clear from history is that the first seven ecumenical councils would have been held with or without approval from Rome.

  6. Hey, long time no see!

    So are you continuing in RCIA or are you seriously pondering entering the catechumenate in an Orthodox Church?

    I myself am close to returning to Catholicism, but as I'm sure you know, it's always a struggle (and I too am always curious about Orthodoxy, for various reasons).

    1. Hello cath2lds,

      Good to hear from you! I am not sure what I am doing about RCIA. I was set to resume in September, but at this point, save there be divine intervention of some sort, I can't see myself becoming Roman Catholic. I also can't see myself as becoming Orthodox, although I see this possibility as more likely. I am really just listening for God's guidance, and for the time being I attend the local Anglican parish 3 times a month and a Greek Orthodox parish about an hours drive once a month.

      Please keep me posted about your journey. I am interested to see where you end up.