June 15, 2012 Leave a comment
(Fr) Chori Jonathin Seraiah writes:
Someone asked me today why I had not posted anything about my diaconal ordination that occurred this last Sunday (June 10th, 2012). It is not as though I did not want to say anything about it (for any who want to see pictures, the Diocese of Des Moines has posted some here ). And though I have been very busy, that is not the reason either. I have actually been a bit overwhelmed at what is happening.
Being overwhelmed can lead one to exasperation and frustration, or it can lead one to inner contemplation. Thankfully, the latter has happened to me recently. In this contemplation I have found less to say because I realize more fully than ever before (and I attribute this to the grace of the Spirit) that this whole thing is not about me. I am a part of a historic event, yes, but I am also merely a servant of God; He is what it is all about. I do not like talking about myself unless it can help others to grow closer to Christ. So, here are some reflections on my experience of the past three days.
My inner contemplations have also helped me to see better the drastic contrast that exists between the peace that I now feel, and the the chaos that is so prevalent in much of Christendom today, especially in America. We are such a busy society that our culture has slowly assumed the necessity of being busy. This is especially challenging for me since I am something of a workaholic. I do not think I am actually obsessed with my work, as some are, but I will admit that I do not “rest” very well. I have to force myself to do so (a movie works well in this regard, but I do not want to become a “vidiot” either).
“Be still, and know that I am God” has always been a tough verse for me personally. I do not mind being patient while I wait for God to work (I have lots of practice at that), but sitting still is much harder than doing something to pass the time. We are inundated today with temptations that prevent us from sitting still. Grocery stores have tv’s hanging from the ceilings, video screens playing commercials on the end of most aisles, and background music from three different directions. How hard it has become to find a place where we truly can “be still”. Parents who do not see this clearly are often crippling their children’s spirits without knowing it. Allowing them anything that gives a constant stream of distraction (internet, tv, music, etc.) numbs the mind to the discipline of “being still”.
One of the reasons that I have thought about this lately is because of something that happened during my recent ordination to the diaconate. Laying prostrate on that cold marble floor of the Cathedral while the litany of the saints was being sung is an experience I will never forget. Face down, arms outstretched, and pleading with God to make me the clergyman He wants me to be; it is truly a time to “be still”. Although you do not need to spend time prostrate on the floor of a Cathedral, when was the last time that you were intentionally “still” before God? Parents may have to have someone else watch the children, and those who live in mixed homes may need to find another location. Certainly silent Eucharistic adoration is a good way that this is done, but it is not the only one, and if we use it as an excuse to avoid “holy silence” at other times, then we are missing out on a wonderful blessing.
As I read and hear about things afoot in Anglicanism, I am greatly saddened by it. I want nothing to do with all the in-fighting and the denominational politics. Yes, I know that the Catholic Church is not free from disagreements and power struggles, but I also know that now I can stand completely confident that I rest in the grace of God. When I am able to “be still” it has an entirely different context. The background noise and inner static is gone. I am a member of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and there is no doubt about the validity of the sacraments. I hurt for my Anglican brethren who are still trying to find their place, and I do pray that they can also find how to “be still” as I have. Whether that is your situation or not, seek to find regular time to “be still” and know that He is God; after all, it is all about Him.