St. Stephen's Musings

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:: Tuesday, June 03, 2003 ::

Not Perfect but More Whole

"A liturgical Church has an advantage over one where worship is relatively spontaneous, in that people powered by religious emotion simply run out of steam. Where there is a Liturgy, you show up each week and merge into that stream, and allow the prayers to shape you. But where the test of successful worship is how much you felt moved, there's always performance anxiety; even the audience has to perform."

"I had been a Christian about ten years when I noticed to my dismay that my spiritual feelings were changing; the experience was growing quieter, less exciting. I feared that I was losing my faith...Then I came to sense that my faith had undergone a shift in location. It had moved deep inside and was glowing there like a little oil lamp; if I was swept away with emotionally noisy worship, it might tip and sputter. Silence and attentiveness were now key." Frederica Mathewes-Green, "At the Corner of East and Now" (pg 170-171)

I came across this in my reading last night and then found the following quote from Fr. Seraphim Rose at Huw's blog. I think they go well together:

"When experience is emphasized above doctrine, the normal Christian safeguards which protect one against the attacks of fallen spirits are removed or neutralized, and the passiveness and "openness" which characterize the new cults literally open one up to be used by demons."

A friend of mine (an inquirer into Orthodoxy) was explaining to his family that he is searching for, not a "perfect" church but a Church that is more whole, that is more full. One that, while containing sinful human beings, also contains and gives more access to truth and less to falsehood.

I think that puts it well.

:: Karl :: 12:31:00 PM [Link] ::

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