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.
I am finishing up the readings from the third semester of the Diaconal Vocations Program and the topic is theology. As such we are swimming in Lossky and Florovsky amongst others. Deep waters for sure and I think that is why my reading has been so slow.
The Kitsap Regional Library got me (through inter-library loan) a copy of Florovsky's "Creation and Redemption." Wow, what a book! I'm barely managing to keep my head above water (though admittedly I think Lossky is more difficult) but I'm not in danger of drowning yet. Yes, even on the internet I'm not gonna pretend to be a profound theological scholar.
One thing struck me yesterday that I'd like to share and I think it helps people (me) wrap my head around precisely why the councils were so deliberate in their choice of words with regard to the begetting of the Son and the procession of the Holy Spirit. As you know, they are quite overt in making sure that these terms are not to be confused with creation: "begotten, not made."
Here's is the paraphrase: Creation is an act of will; Divine generation (i.e. begetting, processing)is an act of nature.
While this analogy obviously fails at many levels, I cannot say that I "created" my children. Their existence was always in a state of potentiality and is a part of my nature. Of course the Trinity is different, for at no time was the Son or Holy Spirit's existence in a potential state. Yes, as usual, the Trinity very swiftly transcends our understanding.
In any event, I thought the distinction makes sense.
How were the first two "semesters", being open ended time periods as they are? Still on track it seems. Was the trip back east worth all the time an expen$e? I think having loked at what's involved (like never again having the freedom to speak about clerics or bishops) and imagining what "it" would be like if I were successful at it, I'm as happy as a clam to be a layman. Congratulations on getting a building & land, too. -- Bob K.
Not sure to what extent one loses this freedom...but for my part I am probably overly critical to begin with and could stand to hold my tongue more and that really has nothing to do with being lay or clerical.
We have more work to do re: land and building...but we certainly seeing it all come together. Much to do :)