For most great men, there is always a public and a private aspect to their character. Not so, I think, with Fr. Alexander. It is possible to say, after reading his journals, that reading any of his books, or hearing him speak in person, -- that the man that we meet in the Journals
is the same man we meet in the books and in public. The recurrent insistence on the centrality of the Eucharist to all of life, to all of Christian proclamation and theology; the impatience -- even anger -- with making idols out of a certain religious culture or spiritual ''style,'' the profound love of literature and nature, the ability to weave those loves into what technicians call ''liturgical theology'' -- all of this emerges from his life's work with great clarity. The Journals
simply express it all directly, bluntly. There are passages of impatience with non-essentials, of almost ecstatic experiences of sudden glimpses of grace in a moment of solitude, or of encounter with honest, authentic Christians, or with a flash of transcendent beauty in an otherwise mundane natural context, or with the childlike joy drawn from simply being with family or friends. These experiences were the raw material that informed Fr. Schmemann's writing and teaching. This book makes it available for all to see, and give thanks. Yes. Eucharist.
An Eighth Day View:
Father Alexander Schmemann, Professor of Liturgical Theology and Dean at St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, was known for his many-faceted and eloquent gifts as an author, preacher and priest.
These journals offer insight into the quiet, intimate side of his life. They record, often with brutal honesty, his impatience and frustration with himself and events, but above all, his liberation and freedom in Christ.