Friday, May 26, 2006

One Flew Over The Onion Dome

Well, I've just finished Fr. Joseph Huneycutt's newest book "One Flew Over The Onion Dome" published by Regina Orthodox Press.

Fr. Joseph writes about American Orthodox Converts, Retreads, and Reverts. Converts are obvious, but Retreads? I found out that Retreads are Convert clergy who become Orthodox clergy - an apt description - Retreads.

Anyway, the book comes at a time when more and more people are talking about the inevitable culture clash between the growing number of American converts to Orthodoxy and the culture of Cradle Orthodox.

It is a good book to start this conversation and to encourage us all to make sure the conversation stays humble, honest, and loving.

In the end, it is important to remember that conversion, whether for those just coming to Orthodoxy or those who've lived in an Orthodox culture all their lives, is difficult. It's hard work. Anybody who tells you different is trying to sell you something.

But this hard work is good. Over and over again, the struggles of conversion invite me to an honest look into my own heart. Over and over again, I am invited by the Holy Spirit to examine my motives, scrutinize my attitudes, and honestly confront my own self centeredness.

Or, I ignore the gentle tug of the Spirit and sink further into my own pride.

Either way, the crossroads the Spirit leads me to are always filled with import and danger. "Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from the evil one."

May God, the blessed and life-giving Trinity, grant us the courage to understand that the "kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force." Let us be willing to suffer violence and NEVER return violence to anyone.

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