Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Wisest Surest Path of Repentance

But if he had despaired of his life, and, ... had remained in the foreign land, he would not have obtained what he did obtain, but would have been
consumed with hunger, and so have undergone the most pitiable death: ... St. John Chrysostom, AN EXHORTATION TO THEODORE AFTER HIS FALL 4th Century
Sunday of the Prodigal Son
Let's explore the knee jerk reaction of Orthodox Christians to congratulate individuals who have left the one true faith for a sect. They wish to shake off their discomfort for a facade of acceptance and a veneer of misplaced compassion. Often times they are parents of adult children who have married outside the faith or grandparents of non-Orthodox grandchildren. It is clear that these individuals deny their own culpability to why their children and grandchildren have chosen another path. They more often then not, blame language or closed mindset which lacks a 'progressive' approach to the Mysteries and worship.  Others like Sam who leave most probably because they displace responsibility for their sin and defeat to some fained declaration of the Church's intolerance. They perceive their penance over and pridefully resent their treatment. Those who become disillusioned with the Church are generally resistant to exploring their own faults and lacking; choosing rather to reject the Church and favor their spiritual paralysis.

The Church doesn't jump to embrace them as quickly as they feel is necessary. Like Sam who responded much like the alcoholic who has put together a week of sobriety without any recovery insisting that family, friends and employers get over the years of deception. Let's take a closer look:  Sam who chose to marry, chose to father children, to become a priest, chose again to sit on two separate sexual misconduct boards, chose to become protestamenos, and then chose to have a sexual relationship(s) with unknown an  person(s),  again and again he chose to commit adultery in some hotel room , some office,  who knows where; then to alleviate his own need to rid himself of guilt or remorse resigns. Following an anticipated suspension and the defrocking he chose again to alleviate himself of guilt. A divorce ensues as does a confirmation into christian sect.

Now this is the issue I have with all the warm fuzzy responses to his conversion. The wisest truest surest path of repentance is to work through what ails us what has separated us from our dignity our integrity our intended road; not to take the scenic route. His initial comfort with his new mission will subside and he will have to revisit his sin and shortcoming. This time however without the guidebook, without the best physicians, without the great men of the Church. He will have an anemic support network. Far worse he will be left in the care of the people who fed his trouble who made him comfortable when his motivation should have been peaking. So for this purpose I reserve to withhold my enthusiasm. Sam's reaction to my correspondence is  indicative of an immature self assured egotistical man, hardly the temperament of a penitent. What about the wake of destruction he left in his own path of serving his appetites.

This must be the ghetto of the Orthodox Church; who knew.

2 comments:

Leftmost said...

I'm not sure why people leave the Holy Orthodox Church, but then, there are people who smoke and sniff paint too.

At any rate, it's better to pray for them and the whole world. We must be kind, for everyone is fighting a difficult battle. It isn't us but an intervention of The Holy Spirit which will ultimately turn their lives around (if they do).

There's no point in pointing figures or casting blame. What the world needs to hear right now is our joyous message of love which is steeped in our Tradition and Theology.

Angela Damianakis m.s.w said...

Leftmost, thank you for visiting yet another of my blogs. The intent of the last two entries was not to cast dispersions however we must be willing to look out for one another. To tell each other where the potholes are. Caring, truly caring for one another, is by standing for truth and loving even tough love. We can't put window dressing on a broken window and think we did anything useful.
Quotations But if he had despaired of his life, and, ... had remained in the foreign land, he would not have obtained what he did obtain, but would have been consumed with hunger, and so have undergone the most pitiable death: ... St. John Chrysostom, AN EXHORTATION TO THEODORE AFTER HIS FALL 4th Century
Sunday of the Prodigal Son