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).