Author Topic: 1 Week Later  (Read 1243 times)

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Offline StGeorge

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1 Week Later
« on: January 13, 2008, 03:09:54 PM »
It's been a week since I've been chrismated.  During much of the week, I felt a lot better than for a long time.  For many years, I have suffered a bad depression, but this past week I only on a few occasions was depressed feeling.  At work, I felt like I had more strength, or at least more endurance to deal with the very stressful job.  Things around me seemed much "brighter" than before.  I felt recognizable different than before.

But today I'm not feeling that great.  I went to Divine Liturgy, but I couldn't really get into it.  I prayed along, but I've been assaulted by doubts.  I keep on praying, but I don't feel as optimistic right now as earlier in the week about my future.  If you could all just pray for me that would be great.  Thanks. 

Offline Entscheidungsproblem

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Re: 1 Week Later
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2008, 03:28:46 PM »
Lord, have mercy!

Will you be able to discuss this with your Priest at all in the near future?
As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS

Offline jlerms

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Re: 1 Week Later
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2008, 03:32:43 PM »
Lord have mercy on your servant.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2008, 03:33:07 PM by jlerms »

Offline Rowan

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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2008, 04:42:11 PM »
From the limited information you've given us here, it might just be the normal spiritual peek-and-valley thing going on.

While our recent reception into the Church is by the ultimate grace of God, it's not magic. "When the chrism dries" we still are who we are, living as we are. We have Christ living within us, but within our present lives. Even when our Lord revealed himself to the disciples after His Resurrection He continued business as usual; eating and living, and getting them ready for work as Apostles. Something did, and has, fundamentally changed, all the same.

This is why I try to avoid terms like "supernatural"; Orthodox Christianity is the most natural reality to me.

Within that reality, hardly any of us are 100% sure or into it all the time...but the vets stay regardless, because they know where Home is. I try to take my cue from them.

Also, try to get involved in the parish life as much as is doable, if you haven't already. We are being saved together, so we should work together!

You have my prayers, newly illumined brother!
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. ~Philippians 4:8; St Paul

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: 1 Week Later
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2008, 10:04:23 PM »
Following the narrow road doesn't mean we won't stumble over rocks, only that we have the Light of the World to help us see them (usually after we've already fallen on our faces).

There are many times I don't feel like I'm good enough to be a Christian, or that I can't ever seem to get my life straightened out. I used to think these feelings indicated a lack of spirituality. But I've since come to the realization that I should be more concerned about the times I don't feel anything at all. Doubt may very well be a sign of faith, not the lack thereof. Why bother wrestling with the "big ideas" unless you really care about them?

I will keep you in my prayers. We're all in this together.

Lord have mercy on Your servant George. Strengthen him and guide him in all holiness and righteousness, for You are holy now and always and to the endless ages. Amen.
"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: 1 Week Later
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2008, 10:29:07 PM »
Lord, have mercy on thy servant.

Brother, we will all have times where we doubt and question our faith.  I echo the others' sentiments, esp talking to your priest.   
"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: 1 Week Later
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2008, 10:40:50 PM »
Lord have mercy on your servant.
I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)

Offline FrChris

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Re: 1 Week Later
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2008, 08:28:13 AM »
Lord have mercy!
"As the sparrow flees from a hawk, so the man seeking humility flees from an argument". St John Climacus

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: 1 Week Later
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2008, 09:20:41 AM »
Dear StGeorge,

Those of us who have become monks and nuns are always warned that we can expect extra attention from the devil in the days and weeks following our tonsuring.   I imagine that this may be very similar to what you are experiencing - doubts, depression, a feeling of "what's it all about?" and "is it worth the effort?"

They say the devil is never happy to see anybody take on a commitment to Christ and a commitment to a deeper spiritual life. The battles of which we read in the lives of the ancient desert fathers are just the same for us today.  Don't think they are just quaint stories in the old books.  Nothing has really changed.

So I would say:  keep your resolve firm, make sure you keep up your daily prayers (even if it seems like merely going through the motions - don't break the habit), spend time with other Christians and talk with them, as well as with your parish priest.  Love your neighbour, family members, workmates, and show it by small acts of love and kindness done in the name of Christ our Lord. 

You say that you have had bad depression for years...  are you under a doctor's care for that?  I know a man who has been suffering from bad anxiety syndrome for many years but with some medication he copes very well with daily life and also keeps up a good prayerlife. 

Praying for you...

Fr Ambrose
ROCA - New Zealand

« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 09:22:34 AM by Irish Hermit »

Offline StGeorge

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Re: 1 Week Later
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2008, 02:44:48 PM »
Thank you all for your prayers and advice.