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a passionate repentance

"You contend against Him, because He has not replied to all your…

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may God stand
"You contend against Him, because He has not replied to all your words, God will speak once, and will not repeat the same thing a second time. As if he were to say, God does not reply in private speaking to the hearts of men one by one, but fashions His word in such a manner as to satisfy the inquiries of all men. For if we look to our own cases one by one, we are sure to find them in the teaching of His Scriptures, nor is there need to seek for a special answer from the voice of God, in our own special sufferings. For there a general reply is given to all of us in our own special sufferings: there the conduct of those who go before is a model for such as come after."

St. Gregory the Great.

I went to my first Liturgy yesterday, and I'm *still* smiling. Still in awe.

I've seen a lot of churches. I've been in England and in Strausburg, in Calais and in Belgium, I've seen some of the churches of Germany and some of the churches of America. I lived for three years in the shadow of the great Cathedral of Ely, which stands like a huge ship in the flat green sea of the fens.

And none of it, none of it had the *life*, and the sense that here was a taste of heaven, as did that small church.

There were icons on the walls, their haloes glimmering gold. There were icons on the ikonostasis, tall and slender and majestic beings that looked out with calm eyes upon us all. There is a shrine with a little candle out front and an image of Jesus, who looks so sad.

There's a lot of singing. Oh, a lot..and I loved it. I loved that it was all done by tone. The priest sang prayers, kontakion and troparia. His voice was beautiful, pure and sweet, but there were moments when it was more than just his voice. When he sang Jesus words in offering the gifts "Take, eat, this is my body.." I could *hear* Christ in them, I could feel that this was more and bigger than anything I'd ever come across before.

I brought my liturgy book but as the liturgy went on, I didn't want to read any more. It was like reading it, following along with my finger was taking away from some elemental part of me that wanted to just take the words in and store them away inside me. Keep them so that I could mull them over and hear the music again.

Father let me come into the sanctuary even though I wasn't even a catechumen. He let me come in and stay, to venerate the chalice and the Body. His kindness was just one grace-not. A lady and her son were so good and gentle and kind to me, helping me with my headscarf and helping me to feel so much at home. I felt such love in her hands and such gentleness.

I want to do better I want to be worthy. I want to be a part of this family. I will try harder. I will work. I will fall. I know I will. But I will get up again.

I did not take communion, but I did not expect to. I did tell Father that I want to be a catechumen. I want to join this community. Next week..I will go again. And Saturday is my first communion. If God so wills it, I will be be there. And if God so wills it, I will be at Liturgy.

This is all confused. Too many impressions, too much that goes too deep to speak of. I'm sorry I couldn't be more clear. I think there were things that I should not speak of. That I shouldn't give too much away. But if I could share, even a little, and let you see and experience I would. Oh, I would.
  • I would love to talk to you about this. I would, I would.
  • I love a liturgical service; the words and phrases are polished and glowing from people all over the world saying them together through the years. Because it is familiar and structured, you are freed to let go and react to God.
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