Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Crossing the Water
My friend TTony, in a very kind "welcome back" post, describes me having "blogged all the way through [my] conversion to Orthodoxy". This is true, but it isn't what I thought I was doing at the time - and in fact I wrote very little about it explicitly, even after I understood that "conversion to Orthodoxy" was what was, in fact, going on. I had no inkling when I started to blog, or through the greater number of posts, that I would ever leave Roman Catholicism for Orthodoxy. Most of the posts on here are by a Catholic Traditionalist - a very "Ortho-friendly" one, certainly (one could say the same of Fr Ray Blake) but with no intention of relinquishing his hard-won position "nor thought of the levelling wind". The wind came nevertheless, the seas rose, and in due course every deck fitting and every bit of luggage was swept overboard.
Anyway, it occurred to me following a recent conversation with a friend on the brink of Orthodoxy, himself suffering the seasickness and loss of bearings that must always attend the voyage, that there's something useful I could do here during Great Lent: offer a few modest observations from my own experience that might be helpful to the lonely traveller East - lonely, because in this country at least there is no "convert culture" (such as one sees in the US, for example) to help the sufferer understand what's happening to him. Only after he's made port, it seems, does he run into all sorts of experienced mariners!
These reflections will NOT involve apologetics or polemics. I have no intention of attempting to argue you out of your Catholicism/Anglicanism/Atheism/Buddhism. I'm addressing especially those who have already reached some kind of point of departure, whether they've burned their bridges or are keeping the return ticket safe, just in case. Perhaps at some juncture someone will be able to say, "Aha - I see. That guy warned me about this..." , and I'll have done what I set out to do.
To clear the ground I mean to start this weekend with Fr. Thomas Hopkos's "Twelve Step Programme", which I earnestly recommend to absolutely everyone, Orthodox, Ortho-friendly, Ortho-phobic, or Ortho-couldn't-care-less. Pack the Avomine.