Friday, March 16, 2012

More on Father Schmemann

Off and on for the past seven years I have been reading, re-reading, and writing about the life and legacy of Father Alexander. It's like spending time with a close friend. Unfortunately I never had the chance to meet Father Alexander, he died in 1983, but after reading so much about him I do feel at least like I know something about him, just a little maybe.

People ask me why I find his writings inspirational. Well, for starters he speaks the truth. Just read a few entries from his published journals and you'll see why. He rails against false spirituality and putting on airs when it comes to Church matters, for example, wearing long prayer ropes in plain eye sight of others, drawing attention to oneself at services, and the various reductions of Church life such as fasting and long services as if we can reduce the gospel message of the Kingdom to a few obligatory things.

Father Schmemann has been a breath of fresh air to me, the light and salt that I so desperately look for these days in the arid ecclesial life in which I find myself.

Also, Father Schmemann speaks a lot about the joy of life, that Christ came to bring joy to the world through the cross and through the Last Supper, the Eucharist. We gather together and share fellowship with one another. We share the goodness and grace of Jesus' love for us.

If you have not done so I encourage you to read some of Father Alexander's writings, there are several good articles on a website dedicated to him which you can find below and also I have a few links to his writings.

Take some time during this Lent or after Easter and read some of his writings, hopefully you'll be inspired as I am!