Away From Home

From a modern American perspective – one of the interesting components of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land is to find yourself largely outside of the news cycle. There has been no television or radio. I have looked briefly at the internet, but mostly to answer email or tend the blog site. I am not unaware that the American economy is having difficulty, and I understood from my daughter at home that our city had the highest gas prices in the nation last week (pipeline problems). But the constant chatter that is the American news cycle has been at a great remove. It is a kindly reminder that despite the importance of the world’s “most powerful nation” it is still not the center of the world.

This morning I was again in the tomb of Christ, kneeling, praying – at the place which Met. Kallistos told us is traditionally understood as the “center of the world.” It is surely the case that Pascha is the center of the world, or the world has no center. Of course, the empty tomb in Jerusalem is not the location of Pascha, for Pascha is greater than the entire universe. Pascha subsumes everything, overcomes everything, forgives everything, raises everything from the dead, restores innocence to the fallen.

Pilgrimage is a restoration, or an attempt at restoration, of the proper order of things. To rise from bed with the sole intention of walking to the tomb of Christ seems a right way to start the day. But on what day from anywhere on earth can that journey not be made?

Economies come and go. May God keep and protect us all from harm. Politics come and go. May God keep and protect us all from harm.

Pascha abides. May God remember us all in His Kingdom, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present and the Glory to God podcast series.



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14 responses to “Away From Home”

  1. shevaberakhot Avatar
    shevaberakhot

    Pascha abides, amen.

  2. Margaret Avatar
    Margaret

    Amen!

  3. fatherstephen Avatar

    This important thing, it occurs to me, is for us to abide in Pascha.

  4. Mary Gail Avatar
    Mary Gail

    Thank you for all the pilgramage posts. They are riveting!

  5. logismon Avatar

    evlogeite!

    I look forward to your pictures.

    Regarding ‘Pilgrimage’, St Gregory of Nyssa speaks to us: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2913.htm

    Forgive me.

  6. Diakrisis Logismon Avatar

    Glory be to God for all things!
    _

  7. Seraphim Avatar
    Seraphim

    “Pilgrimage is a restoration, or an attempt at restoration, of the proper order of things. To rise from bed with the sole intention of walking to the tomb of Christ seems a right way to start the day. But on what day from anywhere on earth can that journey not be made?”

    I loved this quote.

  8. shevaberakhot Avatar
    shevaberakhot

    How true. The soul that has received salvation is restless until united in Christ. Every day is a pilgrimage. We are restored and renewed in His death, resurrection and GLORY.

    Bless.

  9. Edward Hunter Avatar

    You know, as a person who is cutting his teeth investing in this climate, your sentiment rings so true to me. If (financial) good times or bad times come, both can be an occasion to give thanks to God. After all, something bigger than stocks and money has happened in the world, and it is the very center of the world itself. If I am rich or I am ruined, glory to God. By His great grace, all that is meaningless in the face of Pascha. For who can tell me I am not rich, when my inheritance is to be united to the divine? And indeed, this richness is a more full than any richness of money. It can be had by even a penniless beggar! (In fact, the beggar may even have the advantage in his quest for true riches.) Glory to God, who turns the world on its head!

  10. Dana Ames Avatar
    Dana Ames

    Yes.
    Thank you, Fr. Stephen. This one brought tears to my eyes.
    Indeed, Glory to God!
    D.

  11. T (now John) Avatar
    T (now John)

    The Grace you’ve experienced there, Fr. Stephen, is almost palpable.

  12. emorevoke Avatar
    emorevoke

    Sorry can pls explain what is Pascha?

  13. Mary Gail Avatar
    Mary Gail

    Emorevoke

    Easter. The Resurrection of Christ.

  14. clary Avatar

    Wishing you the best as you continue your pilgrimage, I hope to make it to the Holy Land one day. I appreciate the time you take aside your personal journey within and share it with us on this blog.

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