r leo olson
With different ‘old-calendar’ and ‘new-calendar’ dates for Nativity, an early Lent, Easter candy at the supermarket already, and a new iPhone that I can’t seem to synch with my Outlook calendar, I have to admit I have calendar vertigo. It started when I attended a festive party on December 26th and listened to a certain lawyer, a young priest and a smart seminary graduate debate the Old Julian and New Gregorian Ecclesial calendars regarding the date of the Nativity Feast. Honestly, it was confusing: Why is it that we Antiochians just celebrated Christmas on the 25th with the Western Catholic church and our American Protestant culture, but the Russian church downtown is still fasting? For the sake of unity can’t we be on one calendar? If unity is what you want, we should switch to the Old Julian Calendar because North American Orthodoxy is the minority compared to worldwide Orthodoxy. Does it really matter if one calendar is 13 days off five hundred years from now? On and on the conversation went with a spirit of love, fun and debate, but no real resolution.
Soon we talked of other things, but I left that night thinking about calendars and the rhythms they create in our lives. When one takes a moment to reflect on the rhythm of our days, weeks, months and years, one starts to realize that the calendar one lives by, or, more accurately, the many calendars one lives by, give a rhythm to your life. Calendars are intertwined with one’s personal walk with Christ and certainly are crucial to one’s own theosis. I looked around and noticed the many calendars that influence the rhythm of my own life.