Thursday, February 11, 2010

Never Say Never

In autumn of 1993 as DearHusband and I were preparing for marriage, his then-priest told this then-good-Lutheran that because their jurisdiction did not permit members to marry outside the faith, if we were to be married then I had to become an Orthodox catechumen (close enough, I guess.)

Not completely ignorant of church history, I knew that a catechumen is one who is preparing for entrance into the church, and I balked. While I loved DearHubandToBe and certainly wanted to be married to him, I told this priest that I had no plans to become an Orthodox Christian. He calmed me by telling me that being a catechumen means simply that I am a learner, one who has set out to learn about the faith. This seemed harmless enough as I hoped to be someone who is always seeking to learn more about the faith. But just to avoid unmet expectations down the road, I remember telling him very plainly, "Just so we are clear - I am fine with becoming a catechumen, but I will never become an Orthodox Christian."

"I'm not asking for promises," he said. "I'm only asking that you remain open to going wherever God leads you."

Fair enough.

And for the next few years, on the occasions we saw this priest, he never mentioned it again.

So today, on the anniversary of my reception into the Orthodox Church, I find myself thankful to God for many things and many people, but I remember especially today this priest, Fr. Bohdan Borody (pictured here years ago with toddler ElderSon who adored him), and am especially thankful for him, too.

And today I also remember that famous adage (not from a church father, I don't think): "Want to make God laugh? Tell him what your life is going to be like in in a few years."

9 comments:

orrologion said...

I didn't realize there was a HOCNA church in MN, but I see there is. I've been to HTM once up in Brookline.

-C said...

A very small mission in St. Paul - just a couple of families during my very brief involvement there.

-C said...

I should hasten to add that Fr. Bohdan has not been the priest at this parish for many years.

But what a good man and a good priest, I think - I'd love to see him again sometime.

Emily H. said...

Many years -C! That's a great picture too - what a cute, handsome little man you had!

DebD said...

what a great pictures. I've had to eat a few of my "I'll never" in the past too.

Many years. Happy anniversary.

Mimi said...

Many Years and Happy Anniversary! LOVE this story

Dixie said...

I love this so much...that priest knew what he was doing. Let the Holy Spirit work and get out of the way!

And I love never saying never...it so funny how life takes us to our nevers.

I have a funny story to share...on my wedding day, as I was getting ready, I remember praying...now I was 2mm from being a atheist then but I prayed anyway because with 50% of the marriages of my generation ending in divorce I honestly didn't know if we had a chance. And in prayers I told God I was prepared for anything that might come, infidelity, alcoholism, chronic unemployment, grave illness...but please just don't let my husband become one of those religious fanatics!!!! And it was my husband who about 6 years into our marriage (and never showing such inclinations before then) started quietly reading the bible each day in our living room. That's all it took for my heart to be softened and the rest is history. The only thing I prayed for before my marriage was that my husband not become religious and the one thing I got was a religious husband, for which I am overwhelmingly grateful. Cool, huh?

s-p said...

Yup... I've done virtually everything I said I'd never do (both good and bad), and every time I thought I knew "where God was leading me" I ended up in China somewhere, via the back alleys and dirt roads. There's something to be said for living in the present moment.

Michelle M. said...

I loved this story, probably because I can relate very well. :) Blessings to you!