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prayingserb
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« on: December 25, 2007, 03:53:29 AM »

I don't know where I stand. If one was to ask me my belief, I would say Christian with an Orthodox background. my search for orthodox christianity has been sincere, and maybe i've just come to a slow state, but at the moment i'm really finding it hard to keep going, and I feel my desire is dying.

I find the church too strict, and many unnessesery things in the church which really shouldnt have a part in christianity, and even coming onto the boards, I see debates and topics (is it OK to light insence in my home while praying?) that are too much for me, and it makes me think '' is this what christianity is meant to be? '' and if I was to become an orthodox chrsitian, why should I call the church the only true christian church? I think our protestant and catholic brothers and sisters are just as saved as we are.

has anyone felt this way while seeking? I am not going to decide it's not for me instantly, (otherwise i wouldnt have posted here for some help) but rather to ask people if they could tell me how they got through the confusing times. Maybe the orthodox church isn't for me if I have these sort of problems? Or are these sort of times normal for seekers.

thanks
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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2007, 04:22:57 AM »

I don't know where I stand. If one was to ask me my belief, I would say Christian with an Orthodox background. my search for orthodox christianity has been sincere, and maybe i've just come to a slow state, but at the moment i'm really finding it hard to keep going, and I feel my desire is dying.

I find the church too strict, and many unnessesery things in the church which really shouldnt have a part in christianity, and even coming onto the boards, I see debates and topics (is it OK to light insence in my home while praying?) that are too much for me, and it makes me think '' is this what christianity is meant to be? '' and if I was to become an orthodox chrsitian, why should I call the church the only true christian church? I think our protestant and catholic brothers and sisters are just as saved as we are.

has anyone felt this way while seeking? I am not going to decide it's not for me instantly, (otherwise i wouldnt have posted here for some help) but rather to ask people if they could tell me how they got through the confusing times. Maybe the orthodox church isn't for me if I have these sort of problems? Or are these sort of times normal for seekers.

thanks

Brother Serb: The church is ancient and appostalic you can't go wrong with that ..you not a monk you don't have to be strick with your self ...do what you can ....If you have roots in the old country serbia think of your ancestors that were martyred for the faith during the ottoman rule,,,and the two world wars..brat stashko....>SmileyCentral.com" border="0<img
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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2007, 04:27:51 AM »

I find the church too strict, and many unnecessary things in the church which really shouldn't have a part in christianity, and even coming onto the boards, I see debates and topics (is it OK to light insence in my home while praying?) that are too much for me, and it makes me think '' is this what christianity is meant to be? ''
thanks

Actually, you must be making some real spiritual progress, or you wouldn't be having these doubts.  satan always hits us with temptations and doubts when we are growing closer to God.

With regard to the internet debates, take them with a grain of salt.  If you have questions about the faith and how to practice it, ask your priest.  I think you will find what he has to say less intimidating and complex than the stuff you will read here.  My understanding is that all the rules that exist (like fasting rules, when to light incense, etc.) are there to help us grow spiritually, not to hurt us or intimidate us.  Just take on what you can and add to it when you are ready.  No one does everything perfectly and I think God understands that.  He sees our hearts.  Again, discuss this with your priest.  Your priest will most likely not be as judgemental or confusing as the people on an internet forum.  Your priest will be able to tell you what is important, and what is just a nice practice but not necessary.

As far as whether the Church is the only true church or not, I think everyone believes their own church to be the true one, so going to another denomination is not going to get you away from that belief.  However, just because the Orthodox Church is the true Church, does not mean that others outside of it are not saved.  This has been discussed in other threads by other people more knowledgeable than I.

Anyway, what you are going through is very normal and, in my opinion, an indication that you may be making some spiritual progress.  Hang in there.  Just concentrate on Christ.  He's the important One.  Talk to your priest.  Relax.    Smiley

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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2007, 04:59:00 AM »

I don't know where I stand. If one was to ask me my belief, I would say Christian with an Orthodox background. my search for orthodox christianity has been sincere, and maybe i've just come to a slow state, but at the moment i'm really finding it hard to keep going, and I feel my desire is dying.

I find the church too strict, and many unnessesery things in the church which really shouldnt have a part in christianity, and even coming onto the boards, I see debates and topics (is it OK to light insence in my home while praying?) that are too much for me, and it makes me think '' is this what christianity is meant to be? '' and if I was to become an orthodox chrsitian, why should I call the church the only true christian church? I think our protestant and catholic brothers and sisters are just as saved as we are.

has anyone felt this way while seeking? I am not going to decide it's not for me instantly, (otherwise i wouldnt have posted here for some help) but rather to ask people if they could tell me how they got through the confusing times. Maybe the orthodox church isn't for me if I have these sort of problems? Or are these sort of times normal for seekers.

thanks
Brate:
When my mom was alive [memory eternal] i would buy her incense[frankincence] by the pound ..she would insence the icona's all over the house ,,,she was very prayerful woman ...God showed her many great things in her life ..when she was to die ,,a few weeks before Christ appeared to her ,told her about her death ,,she had no fear of dying.. way befor she was to pass away she always went to church and took  holy communion on every feast day[holy days] the food of imortality that she may dwell in God and God in her ...thats why the lord appeared to her and told her have no fear....so many things so many graces God has shown her ,,when it's time to die that how i want to go just like mom...stashkoSmileyCentral.com" border="0<img
« Last Edit: December 25, 2007, 05:00:41 AM by stashko » Logged

ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.
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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2007, 09:27:42 AM »

I don't know where I stand. If one was to ask me my belief, I would say Christian with an Orthodox background. my search for orthodox christianity has been sincere, and maybe i've just come to a slow state, but at the moment i'm really finding it hard to keep going, and I feel my desire is dying.

I find the church too strict, and many unnessesery things in the church which really shouldnt have a part in christianity, and even coming onto the boards, I see debates and topics (is it OK to light insence in my home while praying?) that are too much for me, and it makes me think '' is this what christianity is meant to be? '' and if I was to become an orthodox chrsitian, why should I call the church the only true christian church? I think our protestant and catholic brothers and sisters are just as saved as we are.

has anyone felt this way while seeking? I am not going to decide it's not for me instantly, (otherwise i wouldnt have posted here for some help) but rather to ask people if they could tell me how they got through the confusing times. Maybe the orthodox church isn't for me if I have these sort of problems? Or are these sort of times normal for seekers.

thanks

What you are describing is exactly what many saints, monastic and lay alike describe as they come under the assail fo the deamons, doubt, etc.  Remember that the more one seeks to do what we are supposed to do the greater the threat and more open the threats from the demons and Satan.  Remember also that prayer, fasting, and almsgiving help you in putting on the whole armor of God that St Paul spoke of in his letter to the Ephesians:

"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints...." Ephesians 6:10-18


So Rejoice the fact that these doubts etc assail you is a sign that you are doing something right,.

Thomas
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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2007, 01:45:28 AM »

thank you for your replies. It's wonderful to have people who can give me support and guide me.

Stashko brate, odakle si ti? I was born in vinkovci, lived in sremske laze (town) and then grew up here in Australia. But may I ask, is your whole family orthodox? Most of my family and relatives are, but then you have my father's mother's side who have become Nazarenes and say they've '' found the truth '' and that '' pravoslavstvo is wrong ''  Roll Eyes

thank you for the support, especially for my Serbian brother for sharing his personal stories. My father and some of his  older relatives have similar stories. it's amazing hearing them.

It does give me a peace of mind to know these doubts and thoughts show for spiritual growth and I'm sure the Lord will guide me further.

God bless.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 01:46:40 AM by prayingserb » Logged
stashko
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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2007, 03:15:47 AM »

thank you for your replies. It's wonderful to have people who can give me support and guide me.

Stashko brate, odakle si ti? I was born in vinkovci, lived in sremske laze (town) and then grew up here in Australia. But may I ask, is your whole family orthodox? Most of my family and relatives are, but then you have my father's mother's side who have become Nazarenes and say they've '' found the truth '' and that '' pravoslavstvo is wrong ''  Roll Eyes

thank you for the support, especially for my Serbian brother for sharing his personal stories. My father and some of his  older relatives have similar stories. it's amazing hearing them.

It does give me a peace of mind to know these doubts and thoughts show for spiritual growth and I'm sure the Lord will guide me further.

God bless.
Brate:
Yes they are orthodox all of them ...when i mentioned when christ appeared to mom before she was to pass he appeared as a Калуђер a orthodox priest monk with the kalimavke hat,,,thats how she seen him ..she also got to see her slavski slava of her dad St.Arc angle Michel also with him was Arc angle Gabriel...this is the kindness the lord showed her.and many many other things...

   I and my Brother and two sisters born in Germany ...Mom was from bosanski brod dad from rashka serbia...they were locked up in jesenovac  during the war shipped like cattle in cattle cars to germany ..moms deep faith in God is what kept  her and dad safe ...though she and dad sufferd greatly ...but she ran the race thru it trials and tribulations never looking back but moving forward for the prize at the end which is salvation redemption eternal life amen stashko....

    Brother since you are in Australia why don't you ask our beloved Fr.Ambrose now known as irish hermit here on this forum ,,Father lives in Australia too. he  was a monk in serbia for a long time..he can help you in your struggles of faith ...Brat:stashko ...mir Bozhi  Brate.....................SmileyCentral.com" border="0


« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 03:30:21 AM by stashko » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2007, 03:37:42 AM »

thank you for your replies brother. Many Serbians fled to Germany during the wars. Where do you live currently?

I can believe your Mama's experience must have had a huge effect on your spiritual walk. It's wonderful to know we can experience such things, but i'm sure He only shows it to the humble.

Is this gentleman a regular member on this forum? I'm sure that would be nice, as I really have no one to talk to about my spiritual journey, beside my brothers and sisters who are protestants, and it usually ends up being a conversation where they question many things which I cant even answer! or my serbian friends who go to church once a year and have no interest.

BTW, how did you write na cirilicom?


God bless you, my Serbian brother!

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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2007, 03:56:32 AM »

thank you for your replies brother. Many Serbians fled to Germany during the wars. Where do you live currently?

I can believe your Mama's experience must have had a huge effect on your spiritual walk. It's wonderful to know we can experience such things, but i'm sure He only shows it to the humble.

Is this gentleman a regular member on this forum? I'm sure that would be nice, as I really have no one to talk to about my spiritual journey, beside my brothers and sisters who are protestants, and it usually ends up being a conversation where they question many things which I cant even answer! or my serbian friends who go to church once a year and have no interest.

BTW, how did you write na cirilicom?


God bless you, my Serbian brother!



Brother serbine: Father Ambrose is still a priest monk... now ibelieve with the moskow patriarcade ..though he was i think ordained in serbia he speaks serbian very well ..ill pm you with easy instructions how to set your computer up ...i hope your using windows xp home or  xp professional..on other operating systems i wouldn't know about how its set up ......Many serb during the war i don't think they fled there ..the ones that weren't killed by the ustasha were shipped to germany against there will...after the war maybe they fled  to build the country up .....stashko.............................SmileyCentral.com" border="0
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« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2007, 04:02:23 AM »

I come from an Italian background and attend a Serbian Orthodox parish near Melbourne (one of only 3 canonical Orthodox churches in my town), and I have to say the Serbs are some of the most wonderful and hospitable people I've met in the Orthodox Church. They also appear to have a very healthy and balanced approach to church life, as such I'm very happy where I am. My new years resolution is to meet His Grace Bishop Irinej  Smiley

Where in Australia are you?


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« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2007, 04:06:21 AM »

I'm glad you hear you are surrounded by some good serbs!

I'm located in brisbane. I lived in melbourne when we first came to australia in 91. Correct me if i'm wrong, but I hear there is a serbian monastery in melbourne? or close by?
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« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2007, 04:20:20 AM »

I'm glad you hear you are surrounded by some good serbs!

I'm located in brisbane. I lived in melbourne when we first came to australia in 91. Correct me if i'm wrong, but I hear there is a serbian monastery in melbourne? or close by?


Brother i forgot to mention im in chicago ill......let me know what operating system you  have....stashko..........SmileyCentral.com" border="0
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ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.
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« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2007, 04:33:34 AM »


Brother i forgot to mention im in chicago ill......let me know what operating system you  have....stashko..........SmileyCentral.com" border="0

 I am using windows xp. thanks for that brate, I'm sure it'll be interesting to use!
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« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2007, 06:20:08 AM »

Here is something written about doubt from the wonderful nun Mother Maria who founded a monastery in Yorkshire, England.  She is saying:  do not be afraid of the doubt!

---------------------------
To prove God, to prove the Gospel, to prove the Resurrection, to prove the Saints, all this lies totally outside our power, even if the attempt is made by the process of negation.

The mystery can never yield to becoming a discovery. There can be no question of proof, or half-proof, positive or negative, equally there can be no fear or scorn of doubt. We need not attempt to ride triumphantly over doubt. pretending it is not there or exulting that we have pushed it away into some obscure corner.

The shame and the hatred of doubt rest entirely on pre-conceived premise of absolute and certain human know-ledge. Doubt and a sense of failure go together and lay the foundation for atheism or pious sham or years of spiritual work which possibly could have been used more fruitfully, although no suffering can be wasted.

If we did not doubt in our finite minds. Who would God be. where could we find Him? What a hell it would be of separation from God if there were not the room for doubt! The presence of the doubt is the one constant clue which we have to the presence of the Mystery. as it were the one shadow of the transcendent in immanent life.

When God comes to us, how He comes to us. and how He lives in us. is the Mystery shining within the doubt. It is the beloved secret and no man can know it. and it is the key to every expression of our faith. Not one aspect of our worship is free from this blessing of doubt.

All the forms in which our daily faith is expressed and practised can only be understood in the light of the Mystery shrouded in doubt: Jesus answered and said unto him, if man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him. and we will come unto him, make our abode with him ( Jn 14,23).

---------------------------

And here is a photo of an old monk.  He looks old and he looks wise.  I don't even know his name but he is, I think, from Serbia.  During his long life I can believe that he was hit by doubt many times but he would have clung to Christ and clung to his prayer life and found his own personal way to handle the doubt.  We are all attacked by doubt from time to time.  You can be pretty sure that there are people who ask this old monk how to light their tamjan and cense their houses; and others would be his spiritual children and ask him about the Jesus Prayer and Confession and how to live a spiritual life as a follower of Christ.  The Church is a family for every type of person, from the beginner to the Saint.





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« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2007, 09:07:35 AM »

Praying Serb:

Brother Stashko had some good responses for you. My desire above all is for you not to get lost in the particulars. Many covnerts on this forum are new to Orthodoxy and bring with them a western perspective of debate over church rubrics. They are sincere but sometimes get lost in the forest. That is why it is good to have a father/confessor to help guide you. I understand your concern and as onoe poster put it - - do not fear your doubt. Brother Serb our ancestors have been Orthodox for millenia. Orthodoxy is in your bones. Every time I attend liturgy or pray the prayers that my ancestors prayed I feel the connection.  Hope I did not get to esoteric on you. Lord have mercy! You are in my prayers.
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« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2007, 06:30:39 PM »

Praying Serb:

Brother Stashko had some good responses for you. My desire above all is for you not to get lost in the particulars. Many covnerts on this forum are new to Orthodoxy and bring with them a western perspective of debate over church rubrics. They are sincere but sometimes get lost in the forest. That is why it is good to have a father/confessor to help guide you. I understand your concern and as onoe poster put it - - do not fear your doubt. Brother Serb our ancestors have been Orthodox for millenia. Orthodoxy is in your bones. Every time I attend liturgy or pray the prayers that my ancestors prayed I feel the connection.  Hope I did not get to esoteric on you. Lord have mercy! You are in my prayers.
Брате Aserb: and
Brate PrayingSerb:..Мир Божи на дочек Рођенство Христа Бога Нашег,за вас ,,Да велики Бог наш свети благослови вас и вашу фамилију ,,и све ста је свето поштено добро да вам дође у живот ваш..молиим имена  твога ради Господе   амин....брат сташко    .......станислав .......SmileyCentral.com" border="0
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 06:57:21 PM by stashko » Logged

ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.
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« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2007, 11:15:16 PM »

I'd like to thank you all for replying, stasko, aserb, Irish Hermit, Thomas, Salpy and the rest of the people that have helped me.

I think if I just put my focus on Christ (as one member said) the other issues will work out. I just sometimes get so caught in many issues that I can't work out myself (being the saints, Mother of God etc etc) that I just lose my real focus; Christ!

I know exactly what you mean, aserb, when I pray in my mother tongue, from the prayer books or attend a liturgy, I know it is something that my families felt for generations before me, and it's not some sort of worship that was created by some John Smith 30 years ago!

Thank you for the prayers to everyone. and I'm sure you won't be the only one typing in cirilicom, stasko, now that I have figured out how to! lol.

God bless.
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« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2007, 07:41:47 AM »

I'm glad you hear you are surrounded by some good serbs!

I'm located in brisbane. I lived in melbourne when we first came to australia in 91. Correct me if i'm wrong, but I hear there is a serbian monastery in melbourne? or close by?

There certainly is a Serbian Orthodox monastery near Melbourne, in a town called Elaine just next to Ballarat. It's a very special place. I was blessed to attend Liturgy there a few years ago when His Holiness Patriarch Pavle was visiting.   
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