Light from the East: Spiritual Paternity...


 

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Title: Light from the East: Spiritual Paternity, Key of Restoration

By Mr. Gregory P. Lloyd

This lively and instructive presentation, by Ukrainian Rite Catholic Gregory Lloyd, added a fresh perspective for Latin Rite Catholics as to the spiritual wisdom that has always graced the eastern tradition of Catholicity. Painting with words for his listeners the icon of the Lord transfigured on Mount Tabor, a youthful Mr. Lloyd began his talk by establishing this glorious image as the exemplar of our own spiritual transformation. This is not only a journey, Mr. Lloyd assured all, but an ascent, for which we need a light to direct us. Thus, we pray the Psalm with the priest before he ascends to the altar: "Send forth Thy light and Thy truth that they make guide me and lead me to Thy holy mountain and into Thy tabernacle." The light is Christ. Our speaker stressed that, ordinarily, Jesus guides us through an ordained father, to whom He has given the light of shepherding souls. This spiritual paternity has been a very important element in eastern spirituality, from the earliest days of the Church. As the three apostles followed their spiritual father unto Mount Tabor, wherefrom also Christ ascended into heaven, so, too, ought we to find fatherly priests who will direct us as their children. Not any priest will do, Mr. Lloyd well knows, but his advice is to find one whom you know God will work through. He must be not only a provident father, but a brother, a friend, a doctor, even a surgeon for your soul. Our speaker warns about allowing the devil to frustrate this search and keep us from spiritual transformation, as a prelude to our own transfiguration. Our accidental glory in the next life will reflect the glory we achieve in Christ in this life. When you hear Mr. Lloyd summarize the four tricks of the devil to keep us from ascending unto Tabor, you will surely identify with these temptations. Another very important point that our speaker dwelt upon was the obligation all Catholic Rites have of not being overly parochial. It is a good thing to be proud of your liturgical rites and traditions; however, to be unappreciative or contestable in regard to other Catholic rites is unworthy of a living member of Christ. To this effect, Mr. Lloyd quotes from, Orientale lumen, a rarely studied encyclical of Pope John Paul II: "The full manifestation of the Church's catholicity must be restored to the Church and to the world... not just one tradition." Although St. Paul was certainly from the east, notes the speaker, he did not hesitate to appeal to his Roman citizenship for the cause of Christ. This talk would refresh the soul of any Catholic, not only lay folk but clergy as well.

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