So mom arrived and so far, so good. We took her to church (gasp) last night for Family Night and she sat in on our class, which is sort of an Intro to Orthodox Christianity kind of thing. Class was held in the nave itself last night, as the discussion centered on church architecture and the meaning of icons. Mom did purse her lips until they disappeared, and kept them that way the entire time we were in there - a sure sign she doesn't like what she's hearing - but she didn't come right out and disapprove too much. The one thing she said that I loved was when we were walking around the church before class started and I was explaining to her the little I knew about iconography ("the ones with crosses are martyrs" and things like that):
Mom: "Well, while it's nice to have all these people known for being martyrs, I always think it's nicer when people die for their faith and no one knows who they are. It's just so much more humble of them to have died only for their faith and not so that people would worship them later on."
Me: "Honor. Venerate. Love. Not worship. But anyway - what were they supposed to do? Plan ahead to make sure they were martyred in a place where no one knew them? It's hardly their fault if others remembered them after they were dead. They weren't in control of whether people did that, you know - they were dead."
So if any of you out there might possibly become a saint someday, and you're out there in the mission field or whatever where people might possibly want to kill you for your faith - make sure you get martyred in a way that no one knows about, so mom can think of your nameless fate and know you were more humble than the saints whose names we do know. Got it? Good.