This is designed to be a follow-up on the last post (found here). Felicity and I have been doing a lot of praying and self-examination, waiting to hear from God about our next move: in deeper or status quo. We were supposed to be having a conversation with our priest late this morning, but Matushka's mother is doing poorly, and she has gone to be with her, so Father is home with the boys. Understandable, but it means that I need to do some "out loud" thinking.
Question 1: Do I see anything in Orthodoxy (after 4 months of active investigation plus 3 years of touristing) that makes me think we won't be joining the Church in 2 years' time anyway (enshalla)?
Answer: No. I know that I don't even come close to scratching the surface of the fullness of everything that is Orthodox Christianity, but at this point there would have to be a fertility rite or cannibalistic orgy to deter me from continuing. For the first time in my life, I would echo the sentiment of so many converts: it's like coming home.
Question 2: What, in reality, separates us from actual catechumens?
Answer: The ceremony. At least as we see it. We want to have the conversation with Father about it more specifically, but we feel that emotionally and spiritually we have entered into the catechumenate already. We want to be part of the Church. We just don't kwon what that all entails, but I have this inkling that the answer to that question is partially answered during the process of being catechumens.
On a related note, there is is something to be said for that missing piece. Last night in the Inquirers' Class we discussed the Holy Mysteries and the importance of symbols: making manifest to us the Reality. Without that symbol of being received into the Church as catechumens, it doesn't matter how we feel because that Reality has not been made manifest. To continue...
Question 3: What happened to taking it one year at a time?
Answer: No good answer. There are elements of that decision which are still very relevant to our situation: parents, we haven't experienced everything yet, and the list goes on. If we're only becoming catechumens because it would be nice for all of us as a family to be received at the same time, that's a bad reason. If we're not becoming catechumens because we're waiting to have it all together with all the answers, that's a bad reason. No good answer.
At this stage in the game, we're still inquiring. God is faithful, though, and we have all of Eternity to "get it right." I'm not in a rush any longer, but I feel like, having come to the place where I want to die in the Arms of the Church, I'd like to begin forming a deeper relationship with her.