What better day than a rainy June Wednesday to write my first post on the All Saints of Alaska parish blog, and I am thrilled and honored to have been officially 'invited' as an author. I imagine contributing occasionally throughout the months ahead, with a blend of everything from excerpts from saints' writings to passages from poems or reflections on literature and faith to my own personal musings on particular events throughout the week. I should say that the way I (rather infrequently) write on my own blog (http://gaelangilbert.wordpress.com/) is similar; in many cases I treat my blog like a medieval commonplace book, a place to copy in quotations of things I hear or read which are important enough to merit remembrance, but not vivid enough in my fogbank of a brain to actually be recalled on their own (without a textual crutch).
I envision the All Saints blog as a place to share ideas and reflections, and I hope never to claim to represent the view of the parish as a whole on any particular issue. As is clear from the past posts, this blog is not a podium (as many blogs unfortunately become), but a forum, a place to both share photos and events of parish life (before and after they happen) and to serve as a sort of symposium where voices can intermingle. Accordingly, please always feel free to comment on posts. If there are other things you'd like to say less publicly, don't hesitate to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think I'll begin with a nice dose of exegetical humility (which I, for one, often need) from none other than the man who will someday be my patron saint, Anthony the Great. This comes from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, ed. Benedicta Ward.
“One day some old men came to see Abba Anthony. In the midst of them was Abba Joseph. Wanting to test them, the old man [Anthony] suggested a text from the Scriptures, and, beginning with the youngest, he asked them what it meant. Each gave his opinion as he was able. But to each one the old man said, ‘You have not understood it.’ Last of all he said to Abba Joseph, ‘How would you explain this saying?’ and he replied, ‘I do not know.’ Then Abba Anthony said, ‘Indeed, Abba Joseph has found the way, for he has said, I do not know.’”
(Abba Anthony, Saying # 17).