Disagreement Between Friends, IV

Love Casteth Out Fear

And so I write.

Your Beatitude:

Most Blessed Master, bless.

Forgive me: I have no right to speak. I have committed my fair share of errors. I do not give to the poor as I ought. I do not take time to speak with the poor, to get to know them, as I ought. I don’t pay attention. I am often bored. I am not a stranger to sexual sin. And above all I know very little. I emphasize that I do not know, with certainty, what S. Paul meant, when he wrote about the malakoi and arsenokoitai.

But: “Can a Cappadocian speak intelligently? Or can a tortoise fly?” somebody Roman once quipped (as you know).

So I have no right to speak, we’re agreed. Nevertheless, we must sometimes presume to speak, at least a little, for mercy’s sake.

I would like to say that I love the Church’s feasts and fasts. I set out my nuts and garlic and honey at Christmas vilija. I get my holy water at Epiphany. I make my prostrations on Forgiveness Sunday. I bring my eggs and lilies to church at Easter, my apples at Transfiguration.

And God helping me, I always will do those things.

You say, and have said, for various reasons which I can try to understand, in context, that homosexuals have chosen “the way of death.”

I say, for reasons which I hope you also can try to understand, in context, that in the beginning, and from the beginning, my particular instance of human nature befriended girls, and fell in love with other boys, and never did choose something called “the way of death.”

It is true, however, that there comes a point at which arguing about all that does not suffice.

You remember the passage in the Apostle (so often misused, I think you would agree, for example by the Calvinists?), where it says that the clay may not rise up and accuse the potter? That the potter may destroy the vessel which he has formed, for the glory of some other vessels which he has also formed? Here is what is written immediately thereafter, how it is explained: “Even us, whom also he hath called, not only of the Jews but also of the Gentiles. As in Osee he saith: I will call that which was not my people, my people; and her that was not beloved, beloved; and her that had not obtained mercy, one that hath obtained mercy. And it shall be, in the place where it was said unto them: you are not my people; there they shall be called the sons of the living God.”

And you also remember in Ivan Karamazov’s famous poem, that Jesus’ sole response is to kiss the Grand Inquisitor? Alyosha does speak too, a little, but his principal response, likewise, is to kiss his brother Ivan.

God helping me, I will not cease from kissing your omophorion, or your ring or your staff, or your icon (should an icon of you ever be written). Others may cease from doing so, calling it superstition, or even hate, but for my small part, God helping me, I will not cease.

For Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.

vozradujemsja

Victor de Villa Lapidis

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. My dear Victor,

    I largely wish to say my thanks for this series. I have found it very helpful to myself in reconciling my being with this Church whom I love and her attempts at leading us to God. In particular I found your statement concerning love and fear poignant. It is ever important for myself, and for us all, to remember to first love and be moved by love, rather than fear. This comment came at an important time for me and has been a good reflection.

    Yours,

    Rei

  2. Dear Rei,

    Thanks for this. Glad to say something which may have been useful.

    pray for me,
    Victor


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