Sunday, April 30, 2006

Worm Food Warmed Over With the Light of God

Coming out on the other end of Bright Week, one thing in particular has impressed itself upon me...

We are "those in the tombs." This is particularly important to me because, as opposed to previous Holy Weeks (and even Lents), this little "flash" of realization was one of the few to dwell in my conscious arena during these holy days (another one of these rare jewels is just a couple posts down). This time around the Great Fast and the Feast of Feasts was marked by a noticeably lower level of desire to pray, a greater desire to actually break the fast in terms of eating...in short, less "emotional connection" to the words of the services and the spirit of the season. Which, while it does serve to remind me, as I so eloquently said to a fellow parishioner, how much I suck at this whole asceticism thing (also a valuable impression to take away from the season), it is also actually a sign of growth, as now the immediate "warm fuzzies" gratification feeling is being withdrawn and I'm entering the dry seasons where obedience is still expected but results may not be seen, be they emotional, moral, or any other kind. So, bearing this in mind, you can see how it was with a grateful heart that when I stood before Father Basil as he blessed us all with the trikirion and chanted the Paschal troparion, that it really sunk in that I was one of those in the tombs, that without that Paschal light and life bestowed upon me, I would be, as it's been so eloquently stated, worm food.

1 comment:

The Ochlophobist said...

Christ is Risen!!

Each year during Lent I experience a period of doubts (regarding the truth of Orthodoxy) and flirt with something akin to spiritual despair (b/c if Orthodoxy is not true, we have no other place to go). This fast the troublesome period only lasted about half of Lent, thanks be to God. I was able to enjoy (should that be the right word) the last half of Lent. One thing that helped was the recognition that this happens every year. For some reason this year that recognition finally struck me. A competent spiritual father was also a great blessing. My past few Lents have been very difficult, thus I can identify with you. May God bless you through these tough Lents as he has me. It is amazing though, that no matter what interior hardship I face during Lent, once "The Angel Cried" starts I fight back tears. I do not think I have ever sung that hymn with a completely dry eye. There is something about our Church which can cause even the seemingly barren soul to rejoice.