Saturday, December 01, 2007

To Everything There is a Season

This blog started up fourteen months ago, and I’ve posted an average of a little less than one entry per week. Now that my sabbatical has ended I have come to a place in which I note that the more I have reflected on personal and spiritual issues, the less I need to say. It seems good to me now to step back from blogging.

Since John One Five started up, my blogposts have been on several themes. One theme, and the one that got the most hits, was Being Orthodox in the Episcopal Church. Things are now moving quickly in this arena, and many people are writing and speaking about them. I’ve made my contributions to the exchanges, and I think that they were unusual and cogent—such as Jawbone of an Ass, Winner Take Nothing (one year ago today), and Martial Church. Now I believe that my place is to be silent for the time being. But let no one conclude that silence means indifference, acquiescence, or surrender.

I’ve also posted on the theme of Office and Person—what it means to be a priest and pastor but also a person. The posts I wrote on this theme took more time to compose than any others, and affected me—and a few other people—more than any other. The more I thought, reflected, and then wrote, the more complex the matter showed itself to be. Whatever the complexities, however, I have concluded that no matter what the nature of the relationships I may have with members of the parish—friend, sensei, supervisor, employer, spiritual director, etc.—the role of pastor will be and should always be uppermost. I must hold fast to that one in every case; any other relationships that there may be will always come first from pastoring and be subordinate to it.

I’ve posted on a number of topics regarding the Christian Spiritual Life, like personal evangelism, the importance of showing affection, hearing confessions, reconciliation, and devotion to the Virgin Mary. I’ve been generally pleased with these and wouldn’t change much about them, and hope that they have been helpful to others.

Finally, I’ve written about a number of Miscellaneous Personal Matters like the value of hobbies and the treasures of memories. These posts probably had little merit other than entertainment, if that. These have interested some readers and perhaps bored others, but they were fun to write.

On the sabbatical I went more deeply into my own heart and memories than I ever have before, and now words are not sufficient for what I feel called to do. Words in a blog, no matter how carefully thought through or prayed about, are no longer the best way to communicate as I wish to. I won’t close the blog down and will probably still post once in a while, but I think that John One Five has served its purpose. Or maybe it will take some time to rethink what direction it may be moving in.

“To everything there is a season. …There is a time for speaking and a time for keeping silent” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7b).

4 comments:

Chad Nusbaum said...

Father,
I have followed your posts silently for about the last year. They are always thoughtful and thought provoking. I thank you for that. I also thank you for the series of talks you gave us here at Nashotah House. Your insights into a priestly life are most valuable and I hope to be able to apply some of your wisdom, God willing, to my own priesthood someday.

Pax Christi,
Chad Nusbaum

Anonymous said...

Father D--
You have taken me farther along my faith journey than any other single person in my life. My prayers go with you on yours!

Tim Campbell

Anonymous said...

Those beautiful words, "This is my son in whom I am well pleased." come to my mind once again as I think of you, your selfless life, your constant availability to those you serve in His name, and the tireless energy with which you minister to the lambs He has entrusted to your care. Thank you for revealing the deep places of your heart, thank you for being so real, so vulnerable, so honest in a world where these qualities are seldom seen or practiced. I thank our God for the gift of your life, David.
With love and gratitude, Barbara Baumann

The Archer of the Forest said...

I wish you would reconsider. I think your blog entries were one of the few well thought out voices floating around the blogosphere.