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Author Topic: I think I'm ready...  (Read 1879 times) Average Rating: 0
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ignatius
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« on: February 05, 2008, 07:40:54 PM »

After much reflection over the last couple of years I feel like I'm coming to the consensus that I will be entering Holy Orthodoxy.

This is not without concerns though... My wife and my daughter has grown attached to our Catholic Church. How do I do this without messing up my family?

Thanks in advance!
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2008, 08:46:52 PM »

Love.
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2008, 08:48:50 PM »

This is not without concerns though... My wife and my daughter has grown attached to our Catholic Church. How do I do this without messing up my family?

Very carefully and very prayfully, I would say.

Of course, the first person to approach on the matter would be your wife, and if initial discussions with her don't go well, it might pay you to realise that this could be a long road. I have seen people convert without their spouse (or even with a half-hearted one) and I'm not totally sure that I believe the disruption and pain it caused in some cases was worthwhile. I don't mean to sound negative, but your relationship with your wife is of paramount importance. It's not easy to be or remain Orthodox and we need the support of our spouse as we struggle with the changes. As desperate as I was to convert to Orthodoxy, I don't believe that I would have done it without the full support of my husband.

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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2008, 09:15:29 PM »

This is one of the most complex issues facing Orthodoxy in the diaspora, i.e. America (sorry OCA, we remain a dispersed people from nations in which Orthodoxy is the norm; Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Roumania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Cypress).  To be at all helpful to your inquiry, you should tell us, generally what brought you to Orthodoxy.  The "mixed" marriage families are confronted with difficulties.  You should also seek the guidance of your soon to be Orthodox Spiritual Father.  It's likely you'll be proceeding alone and may wish to consider attending Mass (not communing) with your family, at least transitionally.  There are lots of issues that will confront you throughout the time you do not share a common faith with your family.

I recall one Holy Week, during which the Julian and Gregorian Calendars coincided.  The weather that week was generally good, yet, attendance at our (a comparatively large Orthodox parish) parish was somewhat light; it wasn't jammed as usual.  We had determined that the "mixed" marriages probably celebrated with the part of the family that is affiliated with Western Christendom.  Being in Western society, which doesn't really even know of Orthodoxy, let alone accommodate it culturally, is primarily what has made many clergy "modernize" traditional practices.  Traditionalist Orthodox clergy, do not factor this variable into their criticism or do not care to concern themselves with it.  I also, in this context, recall my long term parish priest, being disturbed with our young, newly ordained assistant priest, whose sermons tended to emphasize the errors of Roman Catholicism and protestants, because the senior priest pointed out, he was condemning family members of our faithful.  Children were asking Church School Instructors, whether their grandparents would be separated from the Kingdom of God.

Not that I have many answers, more info. about your planned conversion would help for some advice.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 09:19:21 PM by BTRAKAS » Logged

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ignatius
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2008, 09:17:53 PM »

Love.

Bro, you said a mouthful. I read into that to take my time.
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2008, 10:54:31 PM »

Gospel
Matt 10:34-42
"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to "set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and "a man's enemies will be those of his own household.' He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

"He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward."


...
Let us be careful thatwe set our priorities in a way that is consistent with what our Lord teaches us.

It is not easy.

I pray for you that you complete your journey in peace and that God blesses all who are around you to know through you His great love for us all.

Selaam
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2008, 11:04:11 PM »

Bro, you said a mouthful. I read into that to take my time.

You have no time but if God permits. That goes for all of us.

Please keep your 'talents' from being buried with the concerns or fear of this world.

Increase!

"All things are made new"!

Increase with all your blessings before you loose even that which you have already which was given to you in God grace.

God loves you.

He will not share you with anyone. But you may share Him with who you please.

I teach this to all my catachumen.

God bless you, keep you and strenthen you..Amen

Fr.Deacon Amde Tsion
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2008, 12:54:46 AM »

Gospel
Matt 10:34-42
"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to "set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and "a man's enemies will be those of his own household.' He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

"He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward."

Ignatius,

I'm sure you realise that these verses refer to the great conflicts within families because of unbelief and unacceptance of Christ, and sometimes we do have to sacrifice family relationships to be His disciples. However, your wife is a Christian, is she not?

So getting back to your question of how to become Orthodox without messing up your family...

It's not easy to become Orthodox, and it's wonderful that you are considering it. But leaving bewildered family members in the dust, so to speak, is bad enough. One would hope that a spouse (and a child) would be the last person (people) we should seperate from.   

One of the things that I was very conscious of as I faced the decision to become Orthodox was that my husband and I had made some pretty heavy vows of fidelity - before God - albeit in a Western Church. Through all the ups and downs of our married life, we have always been convinced that the Lord expects us to honour the words we spoke on our Wedding day.

Knowing that "changing churches" can cause such painful things as divorces, a lot of prayer helped, I am sure. Hubby is used to seeing me with my head in a book, but he had no idea what I was studying so avidly and I certainly feel blessed that when I revealed where my study had led me - and he had had time to digest the information (and get over the shock) - we both saw eye to eye on the matter. Otherwise, I might still be waiting, patiently and prayfully, for him to make the necessary steps.

Above all, Ignatius, be loving and patient with your wife. She is probably not at the point on the path that you are and you might need to allow her a lot of time to catch up.

God be with you both.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2008, 01:02:31 AM by Riddikulus » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2008, 10:04:49 AM »

Ignatius,

Riddikulus has given you some wonderful advice.  Yes, the words of the Gospel should be heard, but as Riddikulus stated this is about the conflict between those who believe in and would follow Christ and those who deny Him.  A situation that I believe is far different from yours.  There are also verses in the scriptures that tell us that we must not leave/divorce a spouse who is not a believer and one that states that a woman should be submissive to her husband even "if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives."  We can play the verse tossing game nearly endlessly (like a bunch of Protestants).

In the end; however, is the fact that you are married Christians.  Which means you have become one flesh.  You have to move toward conversion with that in mind.  To proceed too quickly may be to create a feeling of enmity between your wife (and daughter) and Orthodoxy.  Something that is, of course, counterproductive to your own conversion but also to any hope of your family converting as well.

It is also true that we have only the time that God has given to us.  However, it is also true that he who acts in haste repents in leisure.  Leaving the church your family attends to convert to Orthodoxy is not something to be done lightly and without prayerful consideration.  Particularly when children are involved. 

While I believe I must follow where God leads me, I also believe that He has entrusted me with a heavy and precious burden.  The soul of a child.  My route may be slow and circuitous, but better that than to harm the soul of my child. 

Keep praying.  Make sure you keep the lines of communication open with your wife.  And of course, seek the counsel of a priest.

I'll keep you in my prayers.
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2008, 10:34:38 AM »

Go for it!!!
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2008, 12:12:06 PM »

After much reflection over the last couple of years I feel like I'm coming to the consensus that I will be entering Holy Orthodoxy.

This is not without concerns though... My wife and my daughter has grown attached to our Catholic Church. How do I do this without messing up my family?

Thanks in advance!
I'm certainly not qualified to give anyone advice but I can tell you what my priest has said and done in the past. He was very hesitant to accept me as a catechumen because my wife (at least at first) wasn't willing to take that step with me and he won't accept a convert if he feels it might put the marriage in jeopardy. Of course extreme cases like that are very rare, we have a lot of mixed marriages in our parish even a couple of Roman Catholics (which BTW I thought violated the canons of both Churches Huh).


Whatever you do do it consultation with your spiritual father. I'm sure he has a lot of experience in these matters and can ease the transition for you and your family.


Yours in Christ
Paisius
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2008, 04:04:59 PM »


Whatever you do do it consultation with your spiritual father. I'm sure he has a lot of experience in these matters and can ease the transition for you and your family.


Case closed.

That is the way for you to go.

This forum is not the place for such advice.

God bless you on your journey.


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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2008, 04:40:22 PM »

^^ Post of the month nomination!
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