A Few Quiet Thoughts


I spent the day with one of my daughters, taking care of business needs, and visiting my aging parents. Tonight I’m back in my hotel room and ready for the drive home tomorrow. Looking back over the blog for the past several days – and maybe because I’m tired and my emotions are a little brittle tonight (seeing people I love and don’t see enough always leaves me a little brittle) – but I find again that I return to my own self-reminder, and reminder to readers of what I am not.

I write, and reflect, and hope those reflections are of help and are true. I answer questions when I know the answer (which is only sometimes). But I am not a wise man or a priest whose task it is to solve the mysteries of the canons or all the ins kand outs of Orthodox life. I have written (twice now) that I am an ignorant man. And I keep coming back to that – both for my sake and for yours. I come back to it for my sake, especially if I’ve written something that worked well for me and for others. That’s just the generosity of God to us all. But I remind myself that I must still be an ignorant man or I would not sin as I still do, or fumble around in the darkness within myself as much as I do.

I had an opportunity to reflect on a young priest friend recently – what I reflected on was how much I liked him and how much I admired the kind of priest he will be (from the start). Most of this was based on conversations in which he was so terribly aware of what he didn’t know – it took me years before I began to know even a portion of how little I knew. We do not, I do not, have a deep enough appreciation for human ignorance. We are largely ignorant of the things that matter, and we will be that way most of our lives – most likely. To know that is a gift from God – and maybe the beginning of wisdom – but it doesn’t feel like wisdom. It feels like ignorance (not the blissful sort).

My prayers for all of you tonight, and I ask yours for me, even if you only cross yourself when you finish reading. Many blessings!

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a retired Archpriest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe, and Face to Face: Knowing God Beyond Our Shame, as well as the Glory to God podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio.





4 responses to “A Few Quiet Thoughts”

  1. fatherstephen Avatar

    Photo: Many years to Khouria Kathryn and her new Honda! Let the reader understand.

  2. Mary Bethany Avatar
    Mary Bethany

    I remember my youth, when I still knew so much, could hold my own in “deep” theological discussions and feel I had made a point and won. I don’t miss those days. It was far too many years wasted. I have discovered an abyss of ignorance, but also dark holes that can be inhabited by dragons in my life. What use is the winning of an argument and the loss of my soul? My heros these days aren’t the people I know with the sharpest wit, but those with that quiet, holy, loving heart that reaches out to the world around them with understanding wisdom and prayer.

    Thank you Father Stephen.

  3. Barnabas Powell Avatar

    It is said that the language of heaven is silence. Perhaps it is so because only then will we finally begin to appreciate just how little we know.

  4. Mimi Avatar

    Father, bless,

    I am always enriched by your blog, and I indeed pray for you whenever I read your wonderful posts.

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