Degli apostoli

January 19, 2014

Io credo in Dio, Padre onnipotente,
creatore del cielo e della terra;
e in Gesù Cristo, suo unico Figlio, nostro Signore
il quale fu concepito di Spirito Santo,
nacque da Maria Vergine,
patì sotto Ponzio Pilato,
Fu crocifisso, morì e fu sepolto;
discese agli inferi;
il terzo giorno risuscitò da morte;
salì al cielo,
siede all destra di Dio Padre onnipotente;
di là verrà a giudicare i vivi e i morti.

Credo nello Spirito Santo,
la santa Chiesa cattolica,
la comunione dei santi,
La remissione dei peccati,
la risurrezione della carne,
la vita eterna. Amen.

(The Apostles’ Creed, in Italian)

At home with God

October 6, 2010

At home, when all is done, life itself begins. Christ was homeless not becasue He despised simple happiness–He did have a childhood, family, home–but because he was at home everywhere in the world, which His Father created as the “home” of man. “Peace be with this house.” We have our home and God’s home, the Church, and the deepest experience of the Church is that of a home. Always the same and, above anything else, life itself–the Liturgy, evening, morning, a feast–and not an activity.”

–Father Alexander Schmemann, December 14, 1973

I am intrigued by Father Schmemann’s idea of the church as something not primarily about activity, even mental activity. Because churches show their love actively in the world (one hopes), one can get the idea sometimes that they are almost primarily a society for the promotion of the Christian life.

If I understand Schmemann correctly, what he’s saying is that the church is a place where we meed God, who existed before all time. And yet we are welcome in Christ, like a family. The church is far more than the sum of its activities, or even its doctrines, though it is those, too. It is a transcendent, cosmic, home.