As a convert to the faith, I did a lot of reading as a way of becoming acquainted with the church. With my Protestant Bible-studying background, I dove in to books with great eagerness.
But after awhile, I stopped reading, because I realized that head-knowledge wasn’t the only way the Church could speak to me. I started listening more closely to the services, paying attention to its structure, watching the movement of the priest around the church. I discovered that the liturgy is its own tool for learning. I has its own text, but is richly filled with music, visual art, and human community. Putting down the books opened up my eyes to a whole new world.
But it turns out that this learning experience passed from a marvelous new arena into a habit of neglect. I asked myself recently, what have I read lately to better my spiritual understanding, and complement the other ways the Church enables to learn?
The answer: not much. We have a great wealth of spiritual writings in our Orthodox faith. Where to begin? I looked up a few recommended reading lists to get me started back up again. And now I can share those lists for others’ benefit: