During the past few hundred years, the Easter Catholic Churches have had to fight for their Eastern heritage. One of the difficulties has been our question, “how can we be both Eastern in our theology, spirituality, and liturgical life, while at the same time being in communion with Rome?” During the past sixty years (at least), we have been making great strides forward. The Magisterium, our bishops, and the faithful have been encouraged to return to our traditions and many of us have been joyous to do just that. The importance of total immersion in our faith is nothing less than an impetus for us to truly live our Eastern traditions to the totality of our lives in Christ. The Nineteenth century saw the rise of the Ressourcement in the Western Churches and the Neo-Patristic revival in the Eastern Churches, basically moving back to the sources of our faith. In this same century, Fr. George Florovsky offered the following way forward. He called the East to,
A prayerful entry into the Church, a fidelity to Revelation, a return to the Fathers, a free encounter with the West. The way of history has still not been fully travelled; the history of the church is not yet finished. The road is open though difficult…It is a mysterious way of spiritual labor (Podvig), a way of secret and silent labor in the acquisition of the Holy Spirit.
Here we find the crux of the matter; it is not just a return to the sources, but a life of prayer as we engage our whole faith. May your Christmas fast be blessed!
Fr. Nathan Symeon
Sunday, December 5 –