I have come to understand very well that blogging, at many of its best points, is a ministry. Like most ministry, it carries certain limitations. It is not a sacrament of the Church. I trust that when, as a priest, I administer the Body and Blood of Christ, His perfection is everything and I need be nothing. There is a great comfort in that – only the concern that in my own sinfulness “I myself will become shipwreck while administering salvation to others,” as St. Paul wrote.
In this ministry of blogging, however, there are other sorts of limitations. First, I do not know everything, thus I only write about what I know (a severe limitation indeed). I also write to an amazingly diverse audience, from other Orthodox priests to the casual surfer who knows little or nothing about Orthodoxy.
Even among the Orthodox there can be a failure for me to state things well or accurately, thus causing consternation or worse.
I pray about this ministry (more than you might guess), and I take very seriously every response, and extremely seriously every negative response. I know there will always be negative responses – but I tremble when I think a poor response was on account of my own sinfulness. God forbid that any of us cause someone to stumble. It is a fearful thing.
Thus I have set rules for myself and others for kindness and gentleness (though I break the rules myself, forgive me). At least with kindness we may have a long enough conversation to actually achieve communication.
Some have asked me how I manage to post as often as I do – the answer is – mostly – I watch little television. This ministry is my own “relaxation” of sorts, a discipline to think well and write well and hopefully be of some benefit to someone. I like to write.
If occasionally (or often) I am autobiographical in my writing, it is not because I am a good example of Orthodoxy, but I am the example I know best. Poor as it is – it’s what I’ve got. God help me.
I am deeply grateful for the many kind words I receive daily and the encouragement you give to one another as well. Please pray for me, and for others who read (or comment). Prayer for one another is more important even than what we may say or write.
I have passed through a very exhausting illness the week and am glad to be writing again, though I do not have the energy of last week (yet). The Orthodox faith has buried a great giant (Solzhenitsyn) whose writings will impact generations to come. It is a reminder of how ephemeral this form of writing truly is. The only substance it will have will be found in the heart of a human being if it should be so graced as to have entered that holy place.
May God bless. May we always forgive one another. May paradise consume us!