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The Word which Draws Near #241126
06/22/07 08:05 PM
06/22/07 08:05 PM
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somewhere betwixt the Alpha an...
ebed melech Offline OP
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I attended Mass this morning at the local Franciscan Chapel in Roppongi, Tokyo. The setting was very simple...there were a few people gathered in the nave. Two Franciscan friars (both priests) were sitting together in the pew, praying the Divine Office together out loud. The people listened silently and prayed. Then one of the priests went into the sacristy, came out vested and began to celebrate the Mass after a beautiful and simple hymn.

The Mass continued, prayerfully and simply. No smells, no bells. No chanting. Just a continuous proclamation of the Word through the prayers punctuated by short periods of holy silence. Throughout the Mass, my eyes moved between the priest, a humble and deeply spiritual man in his 70's, and the San Damiano Icon of the Crucifixion. I could sense between Word and Image, somehow the Presence of God was drawing near - gentle yet fiery, somewhere between Elijah's whisper and Moses' Shekinah - in this place in a way like I had not felt in some time.

A thought began to enter my mind - it is the Word which brought me here and feeds me through Image, Prayer and Sacrament. The same Word that brings me and my family every Sunday to our little Melkite parish where my son and I serve on the altar. The same Word that brings my Orthodox bretheren to Holy Resurrection Orthodox Cathedral in Tokyo, which I am grateful to visit sometimes.

I thought to myself, "And why do we in our arrogance treat each other like it is a different Word which calls us each Sunday? God is simple, fiery, but simple. How can we claim to divide His Word like that?"

Later, I went to confession and the Word came to me in the healing prayers of the priest. The Word which made the universe remakes me, healing my broken image...restoring the living Icon of Himself in my soul.

It was a humble experience for me. A little treasure to carry with me on the plane today. A little seed of the Word that I hope remains planted deep in my heart.

God bless,

Gordo

PS: After typing this note, I reached in my pocket and puleed out a little scroll with a Scripture verse the friars give to people in a box outside of the sanctuary. I opened it up and the verse was from Colossians 3:16:

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly"

Thanks be to God!

Re: The Word which Draws Near [Re: ebed melech] #241130
06/22/07 08:38 PM
06/22/07 08:38 PM
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ElijahmariaX Offline
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I love you and all that you represent.

M.

Re: The Word which Draws Near [Re: ebed melech] #241133
06/22/07 09:03 PM
06/22/07 09:03 PM
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Dear Gordo,

Thank you for those beautiful thoughts. smile

May you have a safe journey home.

God bless.

In Christ,
Alice

Re: The Word which Draws Near [Re: ElijahmariaX] #241134
06/22/07 09:04 PM
06/22/07 09:04 PM
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That was a good post, Gordo. Thank you for sharing that!

-- John

Re: The Word which Draws Near [Re: harmon3110] #241182
06/23/07 08:45 AM
06/23/07 08:45 AM
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Irondale,AL
Pani Rose Offline
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GLORY TO GOD!

Re: The Word which Draws Near [Re: Pani Rose] #241250
06/23/07 06:41 PM
06/23/07 06:41 PM
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wichita, ks
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Glory to God in the Highest !!!!!

Re: The Word which Draws Near [Re: ebed melech] #241255
06/23/07 08:04 PM
06/23/07 08:04 PM
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Hollidaysburg, PA
theophan Online content
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What a fabulous, succinct meditation.

In Christ,

BOB

Re: The Word which Draws Near [Re: theophan] #241273
06/24/07 06:56 AM
06/24/07 06:56 AM
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somewhere betwixt the Alpha an...
ebed melech Offline OP
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Thank you all for your kind words. The Lord is good!

Got home well rested from the flight, which is a rare thing. Great to be home with the family again.

In ICXC,

Gordo

PS: Happy Feast of the Nativity of the Forerunner!

Re: The Word which Draws Near [Re: ebed melech] #241495
06/25/07 03:24 PM
06/25/07 03:24 PM
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Canada
Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Gordo,

That is exactly what has led me to the process of discernment I am in now.

The "Unia" came into being because certain individuals felt that the experience of the Word in Orthodoxy wasn't "enough." Something "more" than that experience was needed.

Today, it is precisely the Word and the experience of the Word, communion with the Word, that is what comes across so brilliantly and powerfully through the spiritual culture of Orthodoxy.

What more is needed to that experience?

Alex

Re: The Word which Draws Near [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #241577
06/26/07 02:11 AM
06/26/07 02:11 AM
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ebed melech Offline OP
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Alex,

Of course, it also may cause one to ask the question, "Why move?"

But I leave that to your prayerful discernment, my brother!

In ICXC,

Gordo

Re: The Word which Draws Near [Re: ebed melech] #241603
06/26/07 08:06 AM
06/26/07 08:06 AM
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Etc
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AMM Offline
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Protestants are called by the same word. Would we say there are still differences? Would that be arrogant also?

Re: The Word which Draws Near [Re: AMM] #241629
06/26/07 10:37 AM
06/26/07 10:37 AM
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ebed melech Offline OP
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Great question.

I would say that Protestants are called by that same Word, but they limit the Word by their doctrine of Sola Scriptura and then, ironically, by substituting the interpretive traditions of men for the Word of God manifested in Holy Tradition. They also do not see the essential connection between the "saving Word" and Image and Sacrament that is part of the apostolic faith lived out by Catholics and Orthodox, nor do they accept the visible manifestation of Tradition in apostolic succession.

So clearly the call of the Word is still there by virtue of their baptism (when they do it) and acceptance of a rudimentary kerygma, but their doctrines and lack of apostolicity frustrate its fullest expression and realization in a common life as called for in Acts 2:42.

Pax,

Gordo

Re: The Word which Draws Near [Re: ebed melech] #241631
06/26/07 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ebed melech
Great question.

I would say that Protestants are called by that same Word, but they limit the Word by their doctrine of Sola Scriptura and then, ironically, by substituting the interpretive traditions of men for the Word of God manifested in Holy Tradition. They also do not see the essential connection between Word-Image-Sacrament that is part of the apostolic faith lived out by Catholics and Orthodox, nor do they accept the visible manifestation of Tradition in apostolic succession.

So clearly the call of the Word is still there by virtue of their baptism (when they do it) and acceptance of a rudimentary kerygma, but their doctrines and lack of apostolicity frustrate its fullest expression and realization in a common life as called for in Acts 2:42.

Pax,

Gordo


This is an acurate and elegant response. I particularly like your invocatin of Acts 2:42. And your understanding of the necessary but elementary nature of the sacrament of Baptism.

Mary

Re: The Word which Draws Near [Re: ElijahmariaX] #241636
06/26/07 11:04 AM
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Those strike me as being qualifications though. One could just as easily qualify the differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism.

Also

Quote
They also do not see the essential connection between the "saving Word" and Image and Sacrament that is part of the apostolic faith lived out by Catholics and Orthodox, nor do they accept the visible manifestation of Tradition in apostolic succession.


Anglicans certainly don't believe this, so I would assume by the same criteria that Anglicans do share the same interpretation of the word and it would be arrogant to say otherwise.


Re: The Word which Draws Near [Re: AMM] #241668
06/26/07 12:36 PM
06/26/07 12:36 PM
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ebed melech Offline OP
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Originally Posted by AMM
Those strike me as being qualifications though. One could just as easily qualify the differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism.


Andrew,

I never said that I believed there could not be qualifications. But there are some who posit an essential or ontological difference between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. I do not recognize such a difference existing between our communions - it is the same Word and the same ecclesia or Qaal Yahweh assembled by this Divine Word...the same Trinitarian Life of which we are all partakers through the sacred Mysteries.

Quote
ME: They also do not see the essential connection between the "saving Word" and Image and Sacrament that is part of the apostolic faith lived out by Catholics and Orthodox, nor do they accept the visible manifestation of Tradition in apostolic succession.


Quote
You: Anglicans certainly don't believe this, so I would assume by the same criteria that Anglicans do share the same interpretation of the word and it would be arrogant to say otherwise.


That largely depends upon which breed of Anglican to which you are referring. Insofar as some forms of Anglicanism have maintained the orthodox faith (including the unity discussed above) and common apostolic life (I believe some even did pursue Holy Orders from Orthodox bishops after Leo XIII), then yes. Insofar as most have not, then no it is not arrogant, but entirely accurate to say that the Word of God still calls them, but is frustrated by false doctrine and a failure to maintain apostolic succession as much as any form of Protesantism.

But I do not see the treatment of Catholicism and Orthodoxy in the same manner.

In ICXC,

Gordo

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