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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Whom, At Liturgical Time, Are We?

A few weeks shy of two years ago, I wrote a post entitled "Are We at Liturgical Time Catholic?".  That post was one of myriad results of a bit of a scandal in the Christian head covering world that involved some dismissive statements made by  a veil maker about the faith traditions of her sisters in Christ from a different neighborhood of Christianity than her own.  I'm sure that those of you who were there, and know what I'm talking about, do not want to resurrect that painful time any more than I do.

I've not really directly addressed the question since then, thinking it unnecessary.  Regular, and especially long-time, readers of this blog know well my particular Christian affiliation and my stance on ecumenical issues.  After all, the very point of this blog is, and has always been, to serve as a meeting point among adherents of the various expressions of Christianity.  A place where we might learn to understand and respect one another's doctrinal views and devotional practices, while acknowledging the significance of our differences and the essential nature of truth.  I am far from a relativist.  I believe that relativism is the scourge of our era.  Still, I believe that the various expressions of Christianity have much in common-- not the least of which clearly is our deep love for our Lord Jesus Christ and our commitment to following Him.

As I have participated in online life through blog link-ups and the like, I have always shared my non-Catholic status with bloggers who have hosted such events.  I have never, with one lone exception, met with any negative response from others, whether bloggers, writers, shopkeepers, or customers. None-the-less, a revisiting of whom we are seems timely.


It's a huge question, isn't it?  Whom are we?  Surely, I ought answer for myself alone, as I am the one at the keyboard.  How does one begin?

I am a sinner.  A horrible one.  Full of pride and intolerance. Prone to laziness and gluttony.  Quite overflowing with ugliness, really.  I tend to be impatient with others and am much better at the keyboard than with the spoken word.  I am a creature wholly dependent upon the mercy and grace of my Lord Jesus Christ.  Why He would to deign offer me salvation, I haven't a clue.  I am, though, oh so grateful that he has.

I am a person who was deeply shaped by her parochial school upbringing, and, while I have stepped on from parts of its Lutheran doctrine, I will be forever grateful for the positive force it was in my young life. I will never forget moments spent in a cool, cavernous, Lutheran chapel drawn in by flames atop candle wicks and pulled deep into prayer and communion with my Lord as rainbows of light streamed from stained glass in that place.  It was there that I first met my Lord.

I am a person who is proud of her Mormon pioneer heritage and, although not accepting of Latter Day Saint doctrine and teachings, I am grateful for the values of self-reliance, self-determination, and hard work that it bestowed.  From these forebearers who followed men they believed to be prophets nearly from one ocean to another, and who lost babies and loved ones in frigid snow at Winter's Quarters, I learned resilient faith and a martyr's spirit.

I am a person who feels a heart tie to a Catholic paternal grandmother and a Catholic great grandmother.  They wrote their stories on my heart.  Memories of statues in cool stone churches, echoes of whispered prayers, and glimpses of aged fingers over clicking beads will never leave me. I learned awe and devotion there.  I am a person who has shared closely related and often identical history, tradition, and practices with Catholic women who have embraced me as sisters.  From Catholic women I have learned acceptance and love.

I am a person who has, for the past 25 years, awakened to the face of a man who bears the image of immigrants who brought religious faith and traditions from east to west as they left Ukraine and made a home in North America.  I learned from these immigrants of blessed memory-- whom I have never met-- that Christianity is universal.  They have taught me that flickering votives, the sign of the cross, Creeds, head covering women, and hungering after God are woven throughout an enormous net of worldwide Christianity and its family customs.  From them I learned how small the Christian world is, in all its myriad splendor.

I am a person who found, with my family, a 15 year temporary home in high church Anglo-Catholicism, where my hunger for beautiful liturgical worship and observance was well fed.  There I learned the concept of (capitol "T") Tradition and learned to love the Church Fathers.

I am a person who is, with my family, embarking upon a journey- that has been about 20 years in the making-- East to Orthodoxy.  It is where I have always suspected we would end up, and now it is time to embark upon the trek.  I am excited to learn what lessons this, our final home, will bestow.

I am a person who believes that women -- so many women -- are blessed by the practice of covering their heads at prayer, in worship, and in the Real Presence of our Lord.. I have, through our shop, had the tremendous privilege of being a party to the experiences of Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox who have found communion with our Lord, under gentle cover of lace, while bowing at the feet of the Savior of the world.  I am a woman who prays for these women as lace runs through her fingers, and as each stitch -- a prayer--binds the hearts of Christian women in their common hunger for the Living Bread and shared thirst for the Water of Life.  I am a woman who loves these women scattered across the United States and in countries all over the world.  Women that I will never meet in person.  Women for whom I have tucked lace into envelopes dispatched with prayer and blessings, to far flung places.  Women with whom I will never share the physical passing of the peace, yet women who live in my heart. They cannot know how they have touched me.  Each woman-- a prayer whispered over lace.

I am a maker of coverings.

I am a woman unworthy of such blessings.

I am a Christian.

Pax Christi dear ones,
Your are loved by an almighty and ever merciful God,
(and by the sinners at Liturgical Time, which is not nearly so immeasurably wonderful),

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1 comment:

  1. David Nevue seems inappropriate for background music now...try switching to Divna Ljubojevic.


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