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 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?
Dazed and confused on the mountains.
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...