03 March 2020

Orthodox AND Catholic?

Living in a remote area, far from most churches, as Orthodox Christians who have NO liturgy on Sundays AT ALL, we feel the strain and challenge of this every. single. day.  One of the things we do to cope with this is to keep an active Domestic Church.

Another thing we do is attend (with the Priest's blessing) the local Catholic Church.  Maybe once a month we have the opportunity for a Liturgy with the Orthodox Priest who comes up from Edinburgh and serves on a Saturday.  For us personally, one Saturday a month is nowhere near enough to sustain us in our faith.  Although we are striving to be saints, we just aren't that strong!  We need the encouragement of a local community and Communion as often as possible.

So, a consequence of this is that we celebrate both the Catholic and Orthodox saints and feasts.  This is a good thing.  It has enriched our life of piety.

[NOTE:  My blog is actually dedicated to the unity of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.  I would love nothing better that to see this happen.  The schism between the two is heartbreaking and, in my humble opinion, just wrong.  I am sorry, Priests, but I believe there is a lot of male ego in the way here.  More on my thoughts about the Schism in a future post.]

At first, I felt sort of conflicted -- am I Orthodox (yes, I am Chrismated as Orthodox)?  Am I Catholic?  Well, yes.  I make my confession with both Orthodox and Catholic priests.  And over time, I have really come to appreciate the richness of each expression of the Faith.  I appreciate the warm welcome from the local Catholic priest and his willingness to accept us into his Church and his willingness for us to receive Communion.

Now, I am grateful for the chance to share in the liturgical traditions of both Churches, and to become friends with a host of saints from the East and the West!

Today in the West, it is the feast day of: St Cunegunda (bride of St Henry II, Emperor), St Katharine Drexel, St Teresa Eustochio Verzeri, St Winwallus, St Non, St Calupan, St Gervinus, St Sacer, and others.

Today in the East, it is the feast day of:  Holy Martyrs Eutropius, Cleonicus, and Basiliscus; also, Theodoretos, Martyr of Antioch, and Nonnita, Mother of St David.

Blessed feast day and Blessed Lent for all my Orthodox and Catholic friends!

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