The Pearl of Great Price and In Christ I am a New Creation, Part I
Life is truly a remarkable experience and gift. Travel with me through my journey to find The Pearl of Great Price, that treasure of spirituality, which “I sold all to obtain” (Rom 8:32). The first part of my book, My Labyrinth, begins with the description of my family’s search for a better life in America, and the rich spiritual and cultural heritage I was blessed to receive from my ancestors. As my life unfolds, my journey takes me away from that heritage, God and the Catholic Church into the seeming serenity and release from suffering offered by Eastern religions and New Age movements.
In Part Two of my book, The Battle for my Soul, I slowly, and at times painfully, realize that the majority of my spiritual seeking was in reaction to or avoidance of many incomplete issues from my past – most especially relating to the Catholic Church, and even Christianity in general. When I learn to take responsibility for my past and to trust others, I am finally able to approach my relationship with God and the Church in a new and sincere manner.
The third part of my book, My Conversion, gives readers an in- depth window into the process of Christian conversion and the teachings of Ancient Christianity that can be found in the Eastern Orthodox Church. I hope that my story will encourage you in your spiritual searching. As St. Matthew tells us, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
“If you don’t believe in the reality of spiritual warfare, if you are convinced that miracles belong to a bygone era, or if you have always assumed that all paths to the Orthodox Church are basically the same, then you must read The Pearl of Great Price. The book is likewise a precious gem—a moving memoir that you are sure to treasure for its grateful testament to the grace of God.
Operations Manager, Ancient Faith Radio
Senior Editor, Salvo Magazine”
“In her insightful memoir, Polly st John-Hughes has given us an original view of Orthodoxy: one from the perspective of a practitioner of Eastern and New Age religions. The spiritual contest is powerful, and the goodness of our God evident, on every page.”
Khouria of Holy Cross Orthodox Church
Author of Facing East: A Pilgrim’s Journey into
the Mysteries of Orthodoxy
I am so unworthy! Christ is Risen! In Truth He is Risen!”
Thus ended my first book, The Pearl of Great Price, leaving all my readers with the question, “Then what happened?”
I started writing this book in September of 2011. By the grace of God, once more I was bathed in the Light of Christ’s Resurrection that had greeted me my first Paschal morning as an Orthodox Christian. With tears streaming down my face, I struggled to put into words the excruciatingly intimate exchange that transpired in my heart and soul with God on that blessed morning in 1997.
I was hesitant to write about my experience, for the Holy Fathers caution us about revealing such things for fear the evil one will manipulate us though vanity or pride. I knew I had nothing to do with the gift that I received that morning other than I had been praying for months, even years for strength and faith to change.
I was far, far away from any consistent state of virtue or purification according to Orthodox traditions, yet God blessed me to experience His Resurrection and Light for the salvation of my soul. I also had no idea how to truly be an Orthodox Christian. How could I? I was a newly baptized Orthodox Christian with a milieu of Western, New Age, pagan, and Eastern philosophies, beliefs and occult encounters ingrained into every fiber of my being.
Alas, a lifetime of Western culture and twenty plus years of New Age and Eastern religious indoctrination did not simply wash away with my baptism. For the love of God and the deepening of that love I literally took the plunge into Orthodox Christianity…..