Although it’s a major life-changing occurrence that is happening with ever-growing regularity at Wyoming Catholic College, most people who become Byzantine there really never noticed what hit them. But here at IIT, we’re here to help you maintain proper situational awareness against letting Byzantinism catching you unawares. It’s a sneaky process, to be sure, but the symptoms are there if you know where to look. Here are some of the major warning signs of becoming Byzantine:
1. You attend Divine Liturgy more than once a month.
Once a month is forgivable and could plausibly be explained away as “just visiting.” But anything more means you’re lying to yourself. Just like “pseudo-dating”, you’re pseudo-Byzantining. This one, though, resolves itself quickly, and always in the direction of fully becoming Byzantine. Protect yourself by carefully logging your attendance to avoid it catching you unawares.
2. Your vocabulary is suddenly filled with words like “tradition,” “patristic,” “logos”, “hypostasis”, “iconography,” and “liturgy.”
While some of these terms are acceptable for Western Roman Catholics studying theology to use, the giveaway is the lack of Scholasticism in your thinking. Are you alright with not having everything systematized and classified? Do you believe that the Faith still contains mysteries beyond the power of your reason? In that case, you’re practically already the next Maximos the Confessor. Seek help from a certified ThomistTM immediately (Call 1-800-AQUINAS for free 24/7 help)
3. You’ve developed a taste for baklava and other exotic desserts.
If you notice your nutritional and cuisinic taste shifting in an easterly direction, you might just be a Byzantine LARPer. We advise you to fast from such delicacies immediately. BUT NO, you can’t do that, that would mean you were fasting, which only Byzantines do. Better just not take up these habits in the first place. Otherwise, you’re too far gone to be saved, no matter what you do.
4. You now wear black robes and a tall hat, and you’ve taken to referring to yourself as an “elder.” (MEN)
This one is pretty obvious. Don’t be so disillusioned into thinking that you have reached the rights of spiritual enlightenment and asceticism as a saintly elder just because you are no longer a “soft Roman.”
You’ve started wearing a lot of gold jewelry and scarlet robes. (WOMEN)
You must be taking your fashion cues from Empress Theodora.
5. Much of your everyday conversation revolves around disclosing the pitfalls of ultramontanism.
Obviously you’re prayers for the Pope follow the traditional Byzantine formula: “O Lord, keep the Pope well and far away from us.”
Or, you could be SSPX…
Either way, make sure to write a formal written apology and confession of heresy and schism to the Pope immediately.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, please see your campus chaplain immediately. There’s still time to be saved from the clutches of Byzantineism!