February 27th, 2006

HTOC

Monday!

It was a rush of a weekend - but certainly a good rush. Abby and I drove out to Brainerd early Saturday morning. We spent and the day and evening with her parents, captured in their generosity. It was a good experience; tensions were relieved.

We dashed back to Saint Paul early yesterday morning. We had a three hour commute to church. The service was simple and familiar yet necessary. It is important to note that the Christ’s words on the Final Judgment (Mathew 25) are deeply immersed in the absolute of love, in the absolute of self-sacrifice. But how could they not be? Can a God who is love act in any way that is not according to His being? His love is the basis each of His initiatives and our right response can only be found in that very same love.

I’ll be heading back to Wisconsin this weekend. Strangely enough, our second LVC retreat is upon us. I both look forward to and slightly disdain this coming weekend. The last retreat was a strange dual-environment of the uncomfortable (and largely hidden) atmosphere of personal disagreement mixed with the joy of being with other humans and genuinely relaxing. Should I expect the same? Whether I should or should not is meaningless: I do expect the same.

Lent is a week from us, but the ascetic discipline of the Church began yesterday with the beginning of our abstinence from meat. Let me leave you with a quote from Father’s Schmemann’s “Great Lent”:

But the body is glorious, the body is holy, so holy that God Himself “became flesh”. Salvation and repentance then are not contempt for the body or neglect of it, but restoration of the body to its real function as the expression and the life of spirit, as the temple of the priceless human soul. Christian asceticism is a fight, not against but for the body.

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PS: My health is much improved since my last post, though assuredly I was on the verge of death. If you purchased me a get-well card, please do not send it but save it for the next time that this pestilence strikes. If you were going to send money with the card, please send the money only.