Ascension

It’s been months since my last post, but lately I’ve felt the desire to start writing something— anything— again. Truth be told I’ve not got the skill, the educational background or the discipline to write much of anything worthy, but I’ve got the desire to write. This mind of mine is filled up with disjointed thoughts and ideas simply floating around like space junk circumambulating the earths outer atmosphere. Sometimes I’ve got all these grand ideas and insights but it’s not so easy to put them together in any coherent fashion.

 

Ecclesially these days I’m not sure where I really stand. There’s this part of me that feels that I must remain on the outermost hinterlands of the barque of Peter and another that desires to be Orthodox. In truth I am much more inclined to see Eucharistic ecclesiology as more in keeping with the early church and much more intuitively true than the top down papal system, and yet like I said there’s a part of me that feels like the Petrine claims are hard to shake completely.

 

Its Ascension day here because I follow the Julian calendar. I’ve been praying using the excellent Old Orthodox Prayerbook and the Old Rite Horologion , both put out by the ROCOR Old Ritualists in Pennsylvania. Occasionally, like today, I’ll pray a Benedictine Matins from the Monastic Matins put out by Lancelot Andrewes Press.  Ever since the days when I discovered the Jordanville , and with it Byzantine style prayer I fell in love. I am also drawn to and familiar with the Benedictine Breviary, but in the interest in sticking to one thing over time I have chosen the Slavic books.

 

At this juncture there’s not much more to say, other than Ascension is one of my favorite feasts. It’s deeply mysterious, and the lessons from Matins by St. Leo the Great put me in a strangely contemplative mood. If I remember correctly this feast was the favorite of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, one of my favorite Western saints. It’s one of those mysterious feasts where our Lord disappears with our human nature into heaven,but not without the promise of the mysterious Comforter who will come at the Feast of Pentecost.

 

The Christian life is one of great blessings but also loneliness and exile,especially for more traditional sacramental and liturgical types such as myself. Perhaps this notion of exile and prayer and the communion of saints can be a topic to revisit at a later time.

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