How does your faith inform your day-to-day life? I would say that it’s the single most important thing to us! Everything we do is done through the lens of our Faith. Our day to day activities follow the liturgical calendar, our week is spent building up to Divine Liturgy on Sunday. We want our faith to be something living, something infused throughout our whole life and informing every decision we make, not something that we put away except for certain times of the week. We don’t do this perfectly, of course, but that is always our goal.
What is your greatest challenge in practicing your faith? Right now, I would say that it’s the learning curve. My husband went to a well-known Catholic university and a Catholic law school, and I was in a more traditional type of Roman Catholic convent for five years. We’ve both been very well-catechized as Roman Catholics, but that also means we started from a very Latin view of things! So in being Eastern Catholics now, we still have a lot to learn and always will. I particularly want to be sure that I’m teaching my children from an authentic and accurate Eastern perspective. It takes time, and I think that’s the greatest challenge for me, personally, at this moment. Knowing that it can’t come all at once. I want to know everything, RIGHT NOW! But it’s a process, and I need to respect the process and allow God to guide us through it, bit by bit. It takes humility, and that’s not my strong point!
Favorite Bible verse? My standard answer is Romans 8:28, “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” To me, it means that God can work anything for good, a reminder that “God writes straight with crooked lines,” as the saying goes. I’ve seen that in my own life, and this verse serves as a reminder to me that God’s ways are not our ways, but He always has our good in mind.
Favorite Spiritual writing (besides Bible) quotation? I could quote St. John Chrysostom all day long! His writings are beautiful and so inspiring to me. This is but one: “Such is the power of love: it embraces, and unites, and fastens together not only those who are present, and near, and visible, but also those who are far distant. And neither length of life, nor separation in space, nor anything else of that kind, can break up and divide in pieces the affection of the soul.”
Favorite saint and why? This is such a difficult question for me to answer, because I have so many favorites! The Saints have always inspired me my whole life; reading the lives of the Saints is what led to my “reversion” to practicing Catholicism when I was in 6th grade. I was so inspired by their many virtues, and how each one has a unique story. They make me want to be like them. I keep a liturgical calendar in a central place in our home, and write the Saint of the day on the white board in our homeschool room, and read a bit to the children about the Saint whose feast day it is each day. In our icon corner at home, aside from icons of Christ Pantocrator, the Theotokos, and Rublev’s Holy Trinity, we have St. Mark, St. Joseph the Betrothed, St. Nicholas, St. Mary Magdalene, and St. Helen of Constantinople.
Overall, though, I would probably say St. Joseph the Betrothed. We have prayed for his intercession so often throughout our marriage for our family’s needs, and we feel a very special love for him and closeness to him.
Thank you for sharing, Carrie!