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Author Topic: Are any converts out there that were confused, as I am now?  (Read 5138 times) Average Rating: 0
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polaris
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« on: April 21, 2008, 11:22:48 PM »

Does anyone else have these trouble here?  I'm a Catholic, Latin Rite  and I'm looking into the Orthodox faith because of what a saw on CAF, a long time ago.  The more I do however the more I feel I cant believe either side.  Leaving me to believe I don't know what truth is anymore!   I'm confused Huh  I see points that support one side and I see points that support the other.  I also don't know what document I can even believe anymore because I have seen quotes taken out of context on both sides.  I lack a sufficient historical context in which to understand quotes and doctrines,  and currently am seeing two different historical context provided by both parties.  My background is too weak to distinguish the truth.  What I would like to do would be to translate the Early Church fathers documents myself,  gather as much information upon the historical contexts off all these and try to figure it out, but I don't have the time nor the resources right now to do this and It would take a lifetime.  I know both side say have faith and the holy spirit will lead you,  well,  I'm a little scarred because  If I make a mistake in discerning the leading of the holy spirit its hell, because I have denied the truth.   Anyone out there know how to muddle through this without freaking out? 

Sincerely
Dazed and confused on the mountains.
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2008, 11:27:24 PM »

Polaris,

I COMPLETELY sympathize.  I grew up orthodox and then went to seminary where I heard so many different versions of so many different things...

Ultimately, I studied A LOT and read A LOT, which helped me get a better and bigger picture. 

Also my spiritual father has been a GREAT resource.  He has helped me when i've been stupid, prideful, insecure, etc. 

I'm not sure if that's helpful.  Reading articles here on OC.net and conversations can actually be VERY informative. 

Also Anastasios and I are in working on putting up some information on the site that might be helpful to you.  I will make sure to let you know if and when it goes up. 

If I can be of any help to you in something specific let me know. 
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2008, 01:35:09 AM »

Sorry mate I came from a Protestant angle but I know an ex-Anglo-Catholic who may be able to assist you. He trained to be a priest. If you like I might see if I can get him on here?
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2008, 01:58:48 AM »

Does anyone else have these trouble here?  I'm a Catholic, Latin Rite  and I'm looking into the Orthodox faith because of what a saw on CAF, a long time ago.  The more I do however the more I feel I cant believe either side.  Leaving me to believe I don't know what truth is anymore!   I'm confused Huh  I see points that support one side and I see points that support the other.  I also don't know what document I can even believe anymore because I have seen quotes taken out of context on both sides.  I lack a sufficient historical context in which to understand quotes and doctrines,  and currently am seeing two different historical context provided by both parties.  My background is too weak to distinguish the truth.  What I would like to do would be to translate the Early Church fathers documents myself,  gather as much information upon the historical contexts off all these and try to figure it out, but I don't have the time nor the resources right now to do this and It would take a lifetime.  I know both side say have faith and the holy spirit will lead you,  well,  I'm a little scarred because  If I make a mistake in discerning the leading of the holy spirit its hell, because I have denied the truth.   Anyone out there know how to muddle through this without freaking out? 

Sincerely
Dazed and confused on the mountains.

Hello Polaris,

My advice is to take a step back from it all. It soulds like your heading towards spiritual burnout. Take time to clear your mind, you dont need to take it so seriously.  Instead of searching and trying to understand every point and counterpoint, stick to those aspects of  RC and Orthodoxy that you enjoy. Slow down and enjoy the ride, Focus on the joy of our Lord Jesus Christ!

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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2008, 03:30:42 AM »

Dazed and confused on the mountains,

I would suggest taking a spiritual time out from the internet, from your reading and just take a few days to be silent and see what happens.  Get away from the routine, take fresh breathe of the mountain air, let God speak to you. 
I live in the mountains too, and when life gets overwhelming I just go out and hike.  I take a day or so and just think.  No internet, no television, no phone calls (unless it's an emergency on my end or someone else's), no deep complex reading.  I just think and sort out thoughts.... in Roman Catholic monastic terms I contemplate. 
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2008, 07:59:27 AM »

I like everyone else's advice!  I'm a more pro-active person in general, nevertheless it is good to take time off especially if you feel like you are spiraling down. 
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2008, 09:07:50 AM »

Polaris,

You may be feeling the effects of Great Lent and the struggles with the devil right now as well as other items that you are expressing. Self doubt and feelings of being overwhelmed have a great impact during this season on catechumen and  Orthodox Christian alike.  My recommendation would be that during this Holy Week you attend to all the services and really listen to what they are saying to you.  Be at the Cross on Great on Holy Friday. Attend the Baptismal Services of Great and Holy Saturday.  Most important be present at the Feast of Feasts, Pascha on Saturday night and the Agape Service on Sunday afternoon.  I find that the services of the Church answered most of my questions far better than anything else did in my conversion process for it is there that the Holy Spirit will convict you in faith.

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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2008, 09:27:23 AM »

Took me six years to go completely from Roman Catholic to Greek Orthodox.
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2008, 09:34:21 AM »

Quote
I'm a little scarred because  If I make a mistake in discerning the leading of the holy spirit its hell, because I have denied the truth.

Please, don't let this be a reason for you to worry. We are not trying to appease an angry man in the sky who will smite us down if we reject him; all of us have done it constantly throughout our Orthodox and Catholic lives, voluntarily and involuntarily. Final judgment does not come from our peers, nor from the earthly Church, but from God himself, who is love in its purest.

Thomas and everyone else offered some great advice. I echo their advice.

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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2008, 12:17:58 PM »

Thank you all, but no lurking or reading in my spare time. EPPPP what will I do!!!!!! Cheesy

OK I guess I just have to calm down and breath.   You are right about temptation too. I realize part of it is jealousy and doubt on my part.  Tongue   So many people say they know truth when they hear it.  Why cant I?  (I don't want to be a Pilate.) I feel that I lack the ability and have to do so much work just to approach their apparent innate ability.  I know that Gods Graaaa....... wait, how do I understand that pszt...........................undefined value entered,  rebooting system

Sorry. laugh

 No fears though, I know that God is not a man in the sky waiting to smite us he is perfect love.  I trust him completely, what I don't trust is me.   Grin

Once again thanks and have a blessed Holy week. 

Sincerely
Chilling impatiently on the Mountains for an undefined length of time.

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« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2008, 12:30:23 PM »


Chilling impatiently on the Mountains for an undefined length of time.



That is exactly what I will be doing next week. Chilling on the mountains on my Polaris ATV. Wink
 
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2008, 01:38:27 PM »

It took my (former Presbiterian Methodist) husband one year and half of studying and going to our Orthodox church (just watching and listening).  He told me that if he is going to be buptized in Orthodox he wants to know everything.  So, one year ago he was baptized in Orthodoxy. He read a lot and still reads a lot, now he does it because for him Orthodoxy it is the way of the life. I am so thankful for Our Lord Jesus Christ for bringing my Greg to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2008, 02:04:17 PM »

Does anyone else have these trouble here?  I'm a Catholic, Latin Rite  and I'm looking into the Orthodox faith because of what a saw on CAF, a long time ago.  The more I do however the more I feel I cant believe either side.  Leaving me to believe I don't know what truth is anymore!   I'm confused Huh  I see points that support one side and I see points that support the other.  I also don't know what document I can even believe anymore because I have seen quotes taken out of context on both sides.  I lack a sufficient historical context in which to understand quotes and doctrines,  and currently am seeing two different historical context provided by both parties.  My background is too weak to distinguish the truth.  What I would like to do would be to translate the Early Church fathers documents myself,  gather as much information upon the historical contexts off all these and try to figure it out, but I don't have the time nor the resources right now to do this and It would take a lifetime.  I know both side say have faith and the holy spirit will lead you,  well,  I'm a little scarred because  If I make a mistake in discerning the leading of the holy spirit its hell, because I have denied the truth.   Anyone out there know how to muddle through this without freaking out? 

Sincerely
Dazed and confused on the mountains.

I've been there....not in that I am a former Latin Rite convert......but I've been there.
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2008, 02:37:31 PM »

Does anyone else have these trouble here?  I'm a Catholic, Latin Rite  and I'm looking into the Orthodox faith because of what a saw on CAF, a long time ago.  The more I do however the more I feel I cant believe either side.  Leaving me to believe I don't know what truth is anymore!   I'm confused Huh  I see points that support one side and I see points that support the other.  I also don't know what document I can even believe anymore because I have seen quotes taken out of context on both sides.  I lack a sufficient historical context in which to understand quotes and doctrines,  and currently am seeing two different historical context provided by both parties.  My background is too weak to distinguish the truth.  What I would like to do would be to translate the Early Church fathers documents myself,  gather as much information upon the historical contexts off all these and try to figure it out, but I don't have the time nor the resources right now to do this and It would take a lifetime.  I know both side say have faith and the holy spirit will lead you,  well,  I'm a little scarred because  If I make a mistake in discerning the leading of the holy spirit its hell, because I have denied the truth.   Anyone out there know how to muddle through this without freaking out? 

Sincerely
Dazed and confused on the mountains.

Polaris, welcome to the forum!

For me, it was different. I actually found myself at home immediately when I, in February 2007, found an Orthodox parish not far from where I live. It really was like returning home after a long, chaotic, boring, tedious and unnecessary journey.

But then, I am not typical. I was born and raised in Kyiv ("Kiev"), Ukraine. And I never received any religious upbringing, any religious indoctrination growing up. My family was, and remains, entirely non-believing, secular humanist.

I haven't read much when I was a catechumen - just a short and simple catechism by Dr. Clark Carlton, a book by Peter Guilquist, and a book by Frederica Mathewes-Green. Later, I also read Fr. Sergiy Bulgakov's "Orthodoxy" (in Russian), Fr. Alexander Shmenann's "Journals" and "The Eucharist: Sacrament of the Kingdom" (also in Russian), and that was, basically, enough. (Right now, I am reading Vladimir Lossky's "Essay in Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church" in Russian and Bishop Kallistos (Ware)'s "Orthodox Church" in English.)

I second others who said to you, don't worry and take time off. Don't read anything for a while, just breathe and attend Orthodox services if you can. Everything will settle down, God willing.
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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2008, 09:26:18 AM »

It took my (former Presbiterian Methodist) husband one year and half of studying and going to our Orthodox church (just watching and listening).  He told me that if he is going to be buptized in Orthodox he wants to know everything.

That's must've been a pretty intense one and half years!
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« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2008, 10:13:10 AM »

Every Wednesday night coming back from Father's cathecumen lessons (if you can call it this way) I saw my husband truly interested and excited from what he learns about Orthodoxy. Talking about intensiveness I did not see it and there were no rush for that.  He was doing it very sincerely and for himself.
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« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2008, 10:16:57 AM »

Georgich, I like it very much the way you described:"It really was like returning home after a long, chaotic, boring, tedious and unnecessary journey."
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« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2008, 10:37:14 AM »

Georgich, I like it very much the way you described:"It really was like returning home after a long, chaotic, boring, tedious and unnecessary journey."


Thank you. As I wrote earlier to this board, I spent a number of years "God-searching" (bogoiskatelem takim, ponimaete, byl...), was baptized in a Presbyterian church in 2004 and even became an elder there (in 2005), but left in October 2006, because I just did not feel the real *CHURCH* in Presbyterian gatherings; they were like Communist Party meetings to me - different retorics, but still retorics, talk, talk, talk. Right now, I am a happy member of a small mission GOA parish in Aberdeen, MS.
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« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2008, 06:01:30 PM »

Please, don't let this be a reason for you to worry. We are not trying to appease an angry man in the sky who will smite us down if we reject him; all of us have done it constantly throughout our Orthodox and Catholic lives, voluntarily and involuntarily. Final judgment does not come from our peers, nor from the earthly Church, but from God himself, who is love in its purest.

Thomas and everyone else offered some great advice. I echo their advice.


Great post!
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« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2008, 10:42:09 PM »

Thank you. As I wrote earlier to this board, I spent a number of years "God-searching" (bogoiskatelem takim, ponimaete, byl...), was baptized in a Presbyterian church in 2004 and even became an elder there (in 2005), but left in October 2006, because I just did not feel the real *CHURCH* in Presbyterian gatherings; they were like Communist Party meetings to me - different retorics, but still retorics, talk, talk, talk. Right now, I am a happy member of a small mission GOA parish in Aberdeen, MS.

Presbyterians compared to Communist Party apparatchiks. Now I've heard everything. Grin angel
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« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2008, 12:06:06 AM »

I'm just wondering, have you tried putting any Orthodox practice into your life? When I became Catholic I devoured book after book and learned a lot about all the teaching and theology. Roman Catholicism is handy that way, and at that point in my life it was really appealing to have everything clearly laid out. But, my experience with Orthodoxy hasn't been that way. I have done some reading,but really the things that have been useful to me have been the practical ones.

This means going to Liturgy, having a regular prayer life, keeping the fasts (at whatever level your priest recommends), etc. It was through living it that things started to fall into place for me. I can't say that I really feel like I know very much about Orthodoxy in terms of theology and terms, but I know it's home and I know it's changing me. And, there is an extent to which living it out has confirmed truth to me that simply reading the arguments can't.

Not sure if this makes sense, I'm not very articulate.

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« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2008, 09:35:37 AM »

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In our parish, I teach a 12 month class called Orthopraxis to help our basically convert parish understand the Traditions and traditions of living an Orthodox Christian Lifestyle. The term Orthopraxis means the practice of Orthodoxy the day to day  living of the faith.  We discuss the Domestic Church, Prayer Rule, the Seasons of the Church, the making of Prosphora, Kolliva, the Role of Godparents and Godchildren, Life, Death, and burial, etc---the things we face daily as an Orthodox Christian.  If you are in a convert parish this is very helpful.  In a parish with primarily Cradle Orthodox, your Godparents help you with this part of your development.

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« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2008, 08:31:25 PM »

   OK I'm going for it, Ill try the non-book method! A first in my life.  I'm going to the Divine Liturgy, for the first time, at Saint Basil's this weekend in Metarie, near New Orleans. It is an Antiochian Orthodox church.  Now mostly I have read so I have no clue about actual practices and I do not want to offend, any suggestions.  Don't worry I wont say your doing it wrong and the latins are right. I know that much.  hehehehe Thanks.
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« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2008, 08:48:01 PM »

Polaris,

If I may offer one final bit, your confusion is nothing to be ashamed of or alarming.   Let's face it, do we want to worship God with a complete understanding of who He is?  Yes, but we know we cannot since we are corrupted by our sin and mortality.  So, let your confusion be a humbling guide not necessarily to study more (though that is fine and noble), but to actually approach God in prayer and in the disciplines.  A theologian in the Orthodox Church is one who prays, not one who can dissect theological tangents and dicta with a knife.  Rejoice in your confusion for that means you truly long for God and the peace that only He can bring. 

Just my $.02.  Probably not even worth that! Cheesy
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« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2008, 08:49:45 PM »

Well, there is an article that gets passed around often that is pretty good: 12 things I wish I'd known... which is here http://www.frederica.com/12-things It deals with a few basics of Orthodox worship.  If you are familiar with Catholicism a lot of it should be familiar, but it won't be identical. I recommend comfortable shoes!

You might also want to contact the priest ahead of time and let him know you are coming. If there are any specific customs at that parish that you might need to know he can inform you ahead of time. For instance,the first parish I ever went to was Antiochian (I had been told they might be more friendly) and the priest let me know that their Sunday Liturgy was primarily in Arabic due to it serving an ethnic Arab community, but he recommended which services were primarily in English.

Another benefit to contacting the priest ahead of time is you're likelier to have an opportunity to ask questions after if you have them.

Bridget

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« Reply #25 on: April 30, 2008, 12:02:05 AM »

well,  I'm a little scarred because  If I make a mistake in discerning the leading of the holy spirit its hell, because I have denied the truth.   Anyone out there know how to muddle through this without freaking out? 

Polaris,

I have this feeling that if "denying the truth" held the dire consequences that you imagine, God would have surely made the leading of the Holy Spirit a lot clearer.

I would love to tell you that all my problems regarding confusion and questions regarding truth flew out the window the moment I converted to Orthodoxy. But to do so would be less than the truth. Wherever human beings gather, there is confusion. We can't possibly know all the turns in history that has taken Christendom to where it is. We read and study and find ourselves with opinions and taking sides; very human things to do. But to believe that one can slip into the Orthodox Church and take a pew (or standing room) and heave a sigh of relief that all the questioning is over, is a big mistake. At least in my experience.

The one thing I do love about Orthodoxy, and probably it's the main reason that I will remain Orthodox, is a growing sense of peace that even though I don't have all the answers; even though I don't really know that everything I now believe is the absolute truth; I can simply throw myself at the feet of God and plead for mercy. And the beauty is that I can plead for His mercy for others who don't believe as I do with much more feeling and compassion. To be honest with you, the sense of peace that God is most merciful to faulty human beings is the greatest joy of becoming Orthodox. Being right (if I am even partially) doesn't come close to that delight.

 
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« Reply #26 on: April 30, 2008, 08:44:24 AM »

If you're talking about the papacy, I think your confusion arises because of the confused opinions of the early church. My feeling is that if Rome wants its opinion raised to a status of dogma, it must unequivocally prove its case. Clearly it hasn't, thus your confusion. Since it isn't proved, the case fails.

BTW, there is a debate going on here:

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« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2008, 08:24:52 PM »

Presbyterians compared to Communist Party apparatchiks. Now I've heard everything. Grin angel

I did not mean it in any demeaning sense. BTW, 99.999999% of Americans and Westerners in general have no idea what the Communist Party apparatchiks were. And I wasn't talking about "apparatchicks."

I love reading Calvin, and I do very, very much appreciate the great heritage of the European Reformation of the 16-th century. The thing is, though, the U.S.of A. of today is not Geneva of the 1600-s.
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« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2008, 11:06:48 AM »

Dazed and confused on the mountains,

I would suggest taking a spiritual time out from the internet, from your reading and just take a few days to be silent and see what happens.  Get away from the routine, take fresh breathe of the mountain air, let God speak to you. 
I live in the mountains too, and when life gets overwhelming I just go out and hike.  I take a day or so and just think.  No internet, no television, no phone calls (unless it's an emergency on my end or someone else's), no deep complex reading.  I just think and sort out thoughts.... in Roman Catholic monastic terms I contemplate. 

Sounds like really good advice.

I'm dazed and confused and live on a mountain as well!

My son has gone away from Church, I have had some serious problems also.

If the devil is bugging us, he's leaving somebody else alone.

If you want a good book after getting away, Wounded by Love by Elder Porphyrios is a really good book.
-----

On the Papacy - I think a healthy Orthodox line is that we are all for the Papacy. That the Papacy is a good thing when Peter is first among equals. And that requires Peter act as Peter acted in the Bible, falling down, making fallible mistakes, admitting his error, turning around, getting up. Peter is one of us, a guy who falls down, gets up, falls down, gets up. That is the beauty of John Paul II - he was getting like the old fashioned Popes - very fallible, and through Faith and Grace - finding in that infallibility that comes from God alone. One is Master, Jesus Christ to the Glory of God the Father. One is Holy - God. One is Father, our Father in Heaven. All a man can do is be a self-emptied vessel of the Father, and through Grace the Father and Son dwells in Him and we venerate THE FATHER when we venerate our Priest. That is old school thinking about the Papacy - its fine as a first among equals thing, anything else is a reduction of the Authority that through Grace flows through our Priests and Bishops - the authority of God Himself.

The Orthodox want to restore the Papacy to its true authentic form, so we resist. Elder Paisios talked about this I believe.

We Orthodox seek to yield authority, not claim submission to authority. Clement I Epistle is very instructive and Orthodox.
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« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2008, 02:34:27 PM »

Does anyone else have these trouble here?  I'm a Catholic, Latin Rite  and I'm looking into the Orthodox faith because of what a saw on CAF, a long time ago.  The more I do however the more I feel I cant believe either side.  Leaving me to believe I don't know what truth is anymore!   I'm confused Huh  I see points that support one side and I see points that support the other.  I also don't know what document I can even believe anymore because I have seen quotes taken out of context on both sides.  I lack a sufficient historical context in which to understand quotes and doctrines,  and currently am seeing two different historical context provided by both parties.  My background is too weak to distinguish the truth.  What I would like to do would be to translate the Early Church fathers documents myself,  gather as much information upon the historical contexts off all these and try to figure it out, but I don't have the time nor the resources right now to do this and It would take a lifetime.  I know both side say have faith and the holy spirit will lead you,  well,  I'm a little scarred because  If I make a mistake in discerning the leading of the holy spirit its hell, because I have denied the truth.   Anyone out there know how to muddle through this without freaking out? 

Sincerely
Dazed and confused on the mountains.

Polaris,

First of all, Peace & Blessings to you. As a Catholic, I am also in the same boat with you. There is so much to read, learn and to process that I find myself with headaches, frustrations and fears like you. I was born in the latin rite, and a few years ago discovered the Maronite (Eastern) Catholic Church. Now I know many on this board may say 'Catholic is Catholic' due to the accepting of dogmas and whatnot... They are right. However from my personal journey, it is very simplified to hear that, because the 'approach' of the Maronite Church was a different one... even with its latinization. Soon after that I moved away and became a member of the local Maronite Church where I relocated to. Our priest was a kind and gentle man who taught me alot. He was very much against the latinization that had changed the face of the Maronite Church, so again I was moved further away from the 'latinization' that has bleed into the Eastern Catholic Churches. In this parish, there was a small group of Byzantine Catholics that would hold their liturgy on Saturday evenings. I attended and became friends with the priest. It seems as if our Lord has gradually led me to discover the Eastern Churches. When I moved back home and attended the Maronite Church, i could feel the 'step back' in a way. More then that, I felt the change in spirituality. Both were Maronite Churches, yet I was shown how much the Roman Catholic Church had effected the Maronite Church by the latinization done to one of them (this was not completely forceful mind you, but rather embraced in some ways, by the Maronite Church here). Now I attend a Byzantine Catholic Church here and every now and then the Orthodox Church. I find myself moving towards Orthodoxy, yet I'm not truly ready yet... there are issues I have with this as I'm sure many of the converts have.

My fiancee and I have spoke about converting. We are both unsure, because partly we are comfortable. Now when we ask ourselves "What if there was no Eastern Catholic Churches to attend and we had no choice but to go to a latin rite church...?" I can only tell you that this really saddens us for the fact that we do not feel anything there and find ourselves bothered by the very thought. We both agreed that in that situation, we BOTH would attend an Eastern Orthodox Church(before anyone comments about communion, yes- i know we couldn't receive communion, i'm just saying in general, we would begin to move toward Orthodoxy more then we presently are). I also want to point out, it is not the liturgy alone that makes me consider Orthodoxy... The liturgy was the starting point. Something like "Wow... what is this?" That question led to an answer, and a discovery of Orthodoxy. I have discovered much about the Church due to the preservation of the Divine Liturgy and her traditions. Likewise, I have discovered the innovations of the Catholic Church along with it.

So in regards of you visiting the Orthodox Church and attending Divine Liturgy... For me, this was/is a glimpse into the core of Orthodoxy. It's a special glimpse that regardless of well skilled catholic apologetics, impacts the heart and soul more then the intellect. Know that you are not alone, and for what it is worth, you may consider me a friend. I think what you and I may need to learn, is to not travel at a speed as if we are in a race, but rather learn from what those have suggested... To be still, to pray and to travel with God. God Bless...
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« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2008, 04:22:37 PM »

Dude I completely sympathize. I would take a break from the confusion. The thing about the Vatican 2 Church is that one has to catechize theirself because Orthodoxy is NOT taught there. It'll take years before you know half of the Orthodox Church, so just go with the straight and narrow path.

For me, I ignored everything Rome said after the 11th century.
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« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2008, 05:12:26 PM »


Polaris,

First of all, Peace & Blessings to you. As a Catholic, I am also in the same boat with you. There is so much to read, learn and to process that I find myself with headaches, frustrations and fears like you. I was born in the latin rite, and a few years ago discovered the Maronite (Eastern) Catholic Church. Now I know many on this board may say 'Catholic is Catholic' due to the accepting of dogmas and whatnot... They are right. However from my personal journey, it is very simplified to hear that, because the 'approach' of the Maronite Church was a different one... even with its latinization. Soon after that I moved away and became a member of the local Maronite Church where I relocated to. Our priest was a kind and gentle man who taught me alot. He was very much against the latinization that had changed the face of the Maronite Church, so again I was moved further away from the 'latinization' that has bleed into the Eastern Catholic Churches. In this parish, there was a small group of Byzantine Catholics that would hold their liturgy on Saturday evenings. I attended and became friends with the priest. It seems as if our Lord has gradually led me to discover the Eastern Churches. When I moved back home and attended the Maronite Church, i could feel the 'step back' in a way. More then that, I felt the change in spirituality. Both were Maronite Churches, yet I was shown how much the Roman Catholic Church had effected the Maronite Church by the latinization done to one of them (this was not completely forceful mind you, but rather embraced in some ways, by the Maronite Church here). Now I attend a Byzantine Catholic Church here and every now and then the Orthodox Church. I find myself moving towards Orthodoxy, yet I'm not truly ready yet... there are issues I have with this as I'm sure many of the converts have.

My fiancee and I have spoke about converting. We are both unsure, because partly we are comfortable. Now when we ask ourselves "What if there was no Eastern Catholic Churches to attend and we had no choice but to go to a latin rite church...?" I can only tell you that this really saddens us for the fact that we do not feel anything there and find ourselves bothered by the very thought. We both agreed that in that situation, we BOTH would attend an Eastern Orthodox Church(before anyone comments about communion, yes- i know we couldn't receive communion, i'm just saying in general, we would begin to move toward Orthodoxy more then we presently are). I also want to point out, it is not the liturgy alone that makes me consider Orthodoxy... The liturgy was the starting point. Something like "Wow... what is this?" That question led to an answer, and a discovery of Orthodoxy. I have discovered much about the Church due to the preservation of the Divine Liturgy and her traditions. Likewise, I have discovered the innovations of the Catholic Church along with it.

So in regards of you visiting the Orthodox Church and attending Divine Liturgy... For me, this was/is a glimpse into the core of Orthodoxy. It's a special glimpse that regardless of well skilled catholic apologetics, impacts the heart and soul more then the intellect. Know that you are not alone, and for what it is worth, you may consider me a friend. I think what you and I may need to learn, is to not travel at a speed as if we are in a race, but rather learn from what those have suggested... To be still, to pray and to travel with God. God Bless...

Theosis,

I am in the same boat as you and brother Polaris. I will be going home from college on Saturday and will attend Divine Liturgy at a local Bulgarian Orthodox mission Sunday morning and will talk to the priest at length after. I will certainly keep both you and Polaris in my prayers.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #32 on: December 11, 2008, 06:05:10 PM »

everyone, polaris hasn't been active on the forum for a month and a half and only has 7 posts, do I rather doubt that polaris will return to read this.
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« Reply #33 on: December 26, 2008, 06:43:08 PM »

Hello out there! I'm a Roman Catholic turned Protestant considering Orthodoxy.  I'm reading and studying and praying that I will recognize the truth.  Most things I learn about Orthodoxy make a lot of sense to me.  However, there are a couple of things I am really struggling to reconcile in my head.  The first is the prayers to the saints the second is the apparent "legality" of some things.  One example, is fasting it seems really legalistic.  Like you can't eat meat from this time till that time, unless it's on a feast day and then it's only fish.  You can't eat dairy on certain days, except for on some festival that seemed to involve cheese.  I'm really not trying to make light of the Orthodox traditions...at all.  I just feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place as I believe God did set up a physical church on earth, but did He really intend for it to invlove all the "rules and regulations"?  I say this knowing well that I have been involved in "come as you are", "freestyle", God doesn't care how you worship just so you do "religion" for the last 20 years.  It's just really hard to know what to believe anymore.   
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« Reply #34 on: December 26, 2008, 06:59:14 PM »

There is no equation you can gin up that will ever satisfy. In the Orthodox Church we trust the transformational experience of actually practicing Orthodoxy..First believe, then act, then understand. Repeat until done.
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« Reply #35 on: December 26, 2008, 07:06:09 PM »

Hello out there! I'm a Roman Catholic turned Protestant considering Orthodoxy.  I'm reading and studying and praying that I will recognize the truth.  Most things I learn about Orthodoxy make a lot of sense to me.  However, there are a couple of things I am really struggling to reconcile in my head.  The first is the prayers to the saints the second is the apparent "legality" of some things.  One example, is fasting it seems really legalistic.  Like you can't eat meat from this time till that time, unless it's on a feast day and then it's only fish.  You can't eat dairy on certain days, except for on some festival that seemed to involve cheese.  I'm really not trying to make light of the Orthodox traditions...at all.  I just feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place as I believe God did set up a physical church on earth, but did He really intend for it to invlove all the "rules and regulations"?  I say this knowing well that I have been involved in "come as you are", "freestyle", God doesn't care how you worship just so you do "religion" for the last 20 years.  It's just really hard to know what to believe anymore.   

Hi Lori,

I wouldn't worry about the fasting restrictions. That is something that each individual is told to discuss with their Spiritual Father. The guidelines you described are just that; guidelines. Each Orthodox Christian works out a fast that is appropriate for them with their Spiritual Father.

Trust me, Orthodoxy is far from legalistic. :-)

I would strongly encourage you to find an Orthodox Church near you and to "Come and See."

If you go to orthodoxyinamerica.com, you should be able to find a parish near you.

God bless,

Maureen
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« Reply #36 on: December 26, 2008, 10:00:07 PM »

Hello out there! I'm a Roman Catholic turned Protestant considering Orthodoxy.  I'm reading and studying and praying that I will recognize the truth.  Most things I learn about Orthodoxy make a lot of sense to me.  However, there are a couple of things I am really struggling to reconcile in my head.  The first is the prayers to the saints the second is the apparent "legality" of some things.  One example, is fasting it seems really legalistic.  Like you can't eat meat from this time till that time, unless it's on a feast day and then it's only fish.  You can't eat dairy on certain days, except for on some festival that seemed to involve cheese.  I'm really not trying to make light of the Orthodox traditions...at all.  I just feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place as I believe God did set up a physical church on earth, but did He really intend for it to invlove all the "rules and regulations"?  I say this knowing well that I have been involved in "come as you are", "freestyle", God doesn't care how you worship just so you do "religion" for the last 20 years.  It's just really hard to know what to believe anymore.   

One thing you should know is that the money you save from fasting is supposed to be given in alms.  It's not legalism, is kenosis (Phillipians 2:15).

The reason why is is on Wednesday and Friday is to remind you of how we ourselves betray Christ, and how we Crucify Him with our personal sins.

The fish is because it is 1) was ordinarily cheaper, so didn't cut into the alms money so much (this might be different now in parts of the modern world and 2) reminded us that the sacrifice of Golgatha has put blood sacrifices to an end (a lot of food revolved around sacrifices: the Hebrews never sacrificied fish).

There's more, but that gets into the spiritual exercises.

What in particular bothers you about prayer to saints?
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« Reply #37 on: December 26, 2008, 11:52:13 PM »

The fish is because it is 1) was ordinarily cheaper, so didn't cut into the alms money so much (this might be different now in parts of the modern world and 2) reminded us that the sacrifice of Golgatha has put blood sacrifices to an end (a lot of food revolved around sacrifices: the Hebrews never sacrificied fish).

Also, some of the Disciples were originally fishermen and Christ told them that they would become fishers of men.  Christ also fed five thousand men with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.   Smiley
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