Sunday, August 17, 2014

Visit #145 ~ Reflections on Jesus' Mother and Ketchup on my Shirt

ketchup messy photo: ketchup anigif_enhanced-buzz-30763-1340284481-4.gif
It wasn't quite THAT bad....
I had to stop and eat something before Vespers so I drove into Wendy's and got a burger and fries. I thought, I shouldn't get ketchup for the fries on the off chance I miss my mouth and drop some on my shirt. I am, sad to say, a slob.  I figured if I am very careful, I would finish my dinner without a mess. Well, I was wrong and didn't discover it until I was a few blocks away from Church. I contemplated just sitting in the back without any Icon veneration and then sneaking out afterwards and avoiding any contact with anyone. But I figured, what the heck, and just pretended the ketchup stain wasn't there.

Excellent worship as always. It was good to see Fr. Gary back from his trip to Project Mexico. We were, of course, commemorating the Dormition of the Theotokos so she was on my mind throughout Vespers. Sermons I have been listening throughout the week came to mind which highlighted Mary's exalted position. And with all the Icons in the Church, I couldn't help but think about her and ask for her prayers. Fr. Gary's Homily mentioned how he could see how our "non-Orthodox friend," could get the wrong idea and think that we worship Mary. The truth is we don't but other's believe we cross the line. But think about it? Jesus is fully God and fully HUMAN. How could He not but honor His own mother. Should we not do the same? Protestants miss out on so much by not asking for the prayers of the Saints who have gone into heaven.

I chatted with Patty after Vespers. John and Tami were absent and they NEVER were so I asked her about it and she said they were at a celebration up north for a priest who used to be Pastor at our parish.  That's good. I wanted to ask Tami how her week at camp was. (She goes every year to an Orthodox Summer camp and works in the kitchen. It was at that camp that I got Orthodox Jam back in my 8th Visit to the parish.) I also asked about Fr. Sergious who served Vespers last week and this week had to have a pacemaker put in.Prayers for him, for sure!

I think back on my journey towards Orthodoxy and see how much I've changed. When I first started, I began with returning to my Roman Catholic roots and used some of their prayers in my own daily devotions, especially the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy which I still think is a beautiful prayer but I understand how it's not quite Orthodox. In the beginning of this prayer you are supposed to say a Hail, Mary, which, at the time, I could not, in good conscience, do so I would replace the Hail, Mary with the Lamb of God prayer.  And look at me now! I along, with the Church, ask for the prayers of the Theotokos on a daily basis.

By her prayers and of all the Saints, may I be drawn closer to Christ and to His Church.

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