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The New Christians

Claudia, AKA Ragamuffin Diva, read my post in which I proposed that Rod’s opposition to SSM is related to his conversion to Orthodoxy — actually, that certain persons are attracted to EO…  Here’s what she wrote:

Dear Tony,

I was interested to read what you said on Beliefnet
about Rod and Frederica
. I’m not sure if you know this, but oddly, you
were a huge part of why I converted to Orthodoxy. I cherished your book
The Sacred Way, which pointing me to ancient Christianity. Having
braved the wild fires of the black Pentecostal Church, I craved
something solid and sure. The disciplines you laid out in your work
were a feast to me. I dove in head first, welcoming all the smells and
bells.

The Orthodox Church was not what I expected. I had a
terrible time connecting to the writers (I related to Catholic writers
so much more) and couldn’t shake the distinctly cultural elements that
were absolutely not my own culture. I felt like I needed to be
Romanian, or Russian to experience it like others were. Or married to a
priest to even begin to understand. I wrote a book review of Ron
Hansen’s lovely novel Mariette in Ecstasy in an Orthodox women’s
magazine, and was horrified that I was asked to apologize for writing
about a Catholic book. Can you imagine. And (gasp) it was a novel! They
so raked me over the coals! My Orthodox days were numbered.

Not
so much because of the one incident. Many things affected my decision
to leave that communion. I’m now happily Catholic. I find it a much
better fit. I can relate to what you’re saying about the Holy Spirit
moving. My Pentecostal roots help me to understand that dynamic. I love
that, despite its many problems, the Catholic Church does make an
effort to clarify and enhance matters of doctrine and such. Of course,
I’m a ragamuffin, so you’ll have to excuse my clumsiness as I talk
about these things. I just wanted to tell you that in the end I wanted
right teaching, sure, but more than that I wanted the Eucharist, as
much Jesus as I could get. I’m glad you pointed me in the direction of
where I could find that satisfying meal.

I pray that we, His Church, become One. Thank you so much, Tony, for your part in my journey to my soul’s home.

peace,
claudia mair burney, aka ragamuffin diva

Claudia and I are planning to have an extended conversation about this in this space in coming days…

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