Sunday, August 10, 2008

Happy Surprises!

Our friend Paul asked T and me to help a friend move in yesterday. Paul only told us it was a priest that would be teaching at BC. T and I, of course, were glad to help and yesterday evning Paul, Erik, T, and I piled into our car and headed over to the move-in site. When we got to the house, we waved to the priest as we drove by the driveway, which was blocked by a huge moving truck (really, it wasn't that huge, but T and I had thought: "Oh, a priest--vow of poverty--this move won't take long." So we were surprised by the amount of stuff he had). When we commented on it, Paul (who likes to joke around) said, "Oh, all that stuff's for his wife and kid." Naturally, T and I figured Paul was joking, but he said, "No, seriously. He used to be Anglican or something like that and converted to Catholicism." We all got out and introduced ourselves to each other and to the mosquitoes (they weren't too bad, I only got three bites--from the mosquitoes) and set up a box-passing line (so that we didn't all have to climb up the 2 flights of stairs to their apartment). It was a great evening! His wife is very nice. She's applying for teaching positions in the area (good area for teaching, since there are 88 colleges and universities in greater Boston) and they have a 7 (ish?) year old son. They seem like a very happy, peaceful family and we are looking forward to getting to know them better. And, over the course of moving in (which included lots of book boxes, big furniture, and a piano (at least it was an upright) which the boys wrestled up the winding stairs--I'm amazed that they succeeded!), we found out that this priest is a Byzantine priest--Italo-Byzantine, to be precise (T and I are Ruthenian). We were so excited to find out that there is another eastern Catholic priest in town that we (I) may have come off a little... overly enthused. I asked him if he would come bless our house after Theophany in January, and he said he would :) I hope he wasn't taken aback or anything. I guess I can't really explain how cool it felt to find kindred spirits in these other eastern Catholics we met. It's hard to put into words because I'm afraid of coming off sounding pretentious or like I'm somehow snubbing the Roman rite. It's not that at all--I was raised Roman and have a deep and abiding love for my family's tradition and all it entails. And yet... I've fallen in love with the Byzantines (through a Byzantine!) and the eastern Church. It's like meeting someone who's read your favorite book--that rare book that so few people have read, or even heard of. That one book that changed your life and shaped who you are today. It's finding out that book shaped this new friend exactly as it shaped you and so you are linked somehow. You can laugh and cry at the same things because of your common experience. Anyway, it was great. We were glad to help (and we actually got the whole truck unloaded into the house (except for a gigantic mirror they donated to T and me) in just 4 or so hours), and it was beautiful to meet such a great family! Praise God!

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