An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
If you are like me, you may find a certain weariness in all the online "forgiveness sundays" whether on facebook or blogs or whatever, and yet here I go perpetuating the internet Orthodox tradition. To some degree it is fitting that we do virtual prostrations to one another because this venue is such that we may readily offend one another - both in that we cannot see our facial expressions or hear our tones of voice that might soothe what would otherwise be taken as very harsh words, but also because for some reason we tend to say things that we would not say in person.
Having blogged now for almost 8 years, it's no surprise that in that time I have offended some people, though I should be careful to say that I could have just started yesterday and I likely would have offended people. There's no question that as I look back at those 8 years, I have definitely evolved (or perhaps devolved depending on who you may ask) as a person...there are more than a few posts I would certainly not write today, and many more I would write differently. Most of these revolve around themes of politics which I know some would have had me avoid to begin with...and I admit there is wisdom in that opinion. It grieves me that politics are seemingly so divisive, perhaps they have always been that way and I just happen to notice it more now as an adult. I'm not sure. But, what I AM sure of is that I am really saddened by offenses I have given through my self-righteousness, my condescending tone (both real and imagined), my arrogance, and my lack of charity...my failings grieve me and I ask for forgiveness.
But, starting Lent off isn't just about seeking forgiveness for offenses given, but it is also about ALL of ours sins we commit - even those which no one but us and God know about. Even these sins are offenses to all of creation. So for these as well...I also grieve over these (though likely less...if I am to be honest).
I truly am seeking to have some fundamental changes in my heart during this season of the fast. I pray that I may be a good student at the "school of repentance."