Who We Are

Vestiges of Christianity is a news blog maintained under the direction of Bishop Bryan D. Ouellette, Ph.D., SOSM. Our goal is to reconcile ancient Christian theology with contemporary orthodox Christian practices and understandings. Our praxis carries with it a strong eastern liturgical focus while maintaining a freedom of spirituality that is true to ancient Christian ideology. We welcome anyone who desires to discover gnosis through the expression of early Christianity. We use the word "gnosis" with the intention to reflect its original meaning of soteriological knowledge, mystical wisdom and spiritual realization. While we encourage a working philosophical comprehension of Classical Gnosticism from antiquity, we are not a Gnostic or reconstructionist church. Our theology is orthodox, our approach, furthermore, is mystically liberating.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent Sunday

Dear Friends,

Today marks the first day of the Western Liturgical year and also the season of Advent. The prayers and scriptural readings of the Church on this day remind us to keep vigilant for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. But what exactly are we waiting for? Is it the Parousia? Is it the return of the Historical Jesus? Is it the Eucharistic Christ? Or could it be the mythic Christos?

I contend that any and all of these options apply.

Advent is a time to listen. It's a time to put our noisy prayers aside and just sit in the presence of God, waiting for his voice to speak to us. While Lent is the season for emptying oneself of the unnecessary, Advent is a careful measure of many deliberate moments when we allow God to fill us with perfect Grace. This is achieved by waiting. We look for God in every moment. We embrace silence so as to listen. We allow our reason to accommodate our faith and trust. And most importantly we give ourselves room to accept that when God finds us, the encounter is his and his alone to direct. This may lead us to any given series of unexpected results. Our role in this is to surrender our expectations. When God finds us, the experience is almost never as one would anticipate. This is why the Gospels express the excessively humble origins of the Savior. Messiahs are supposed to be kings, military commanders, and conquerors. How easy it is to miss that which one is not expecting.

Such is the spiritual journey of our lives. Such is Advent.

Blessings to you all in this Holy Season,

Fr. Bryan

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A New Blog

Dear Friends,

It was announced this past week that the Valentinian School of the Universal Church of Autogenes was dissolved into a series of Universalist paths maintained by the new Universalist Gnostic Communion led by Bishop Mansell C. Gilmore. This new structure, along with the Consecration of Father Abbot Bryan D. Ouellette, Ph.D. to the Episcopacy, allows for the Holy Monastic Order En Deus to become a fully independent sacramental ministry. This independence will make it possible for the the Order to better serve its members according to the sacred and venerable traditions of high liturgical Christianity.

Additionally, this blog which once served as the central hub for the Valentinian School will now serve exclusively as the private blog for the Holy Monastic Order En Deus. Its new title: "Vestiges of Christianity" reflects the spirit of the Order in its effort to preserve the lost traditions of ancient Christianity while simultaneously moving to reconcile these traditions with the larger orthodox churches.

Another aspect of this change is mirrored in the new structure of the Holy Monastic Order En Deus. It will no longer maintain the two Andreasine and Valentinian paths. Rather, it will now become one unified ancient Christian monastic Order operating in the modern world under the functionality of an eastern and western rite. The eastern rite will absorb everything that was once the Andrasine path including the Russian Orthodox autocephaly, while the western rite will become a truly diversified form of independent Roman Catholicism.

It is our hope that this new independent restructuring under our future Bishop, Father Abbot Bryan D. Ouellette, Ph.D. will better connect us with our roots while also allowing for a new freedom of expression.