Author Topic: OC.net Notable/Edifying Posts  (Read 23145 times)

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Offline Ainnir

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Re: OC.net Notable/Edifying Posts
« Reply #90 on: June 10, 2018, 04:24:51 PM »
Many of us convert go through intense bitterness with regard to our previous sects.  It will take time.   But that bitterness must be looked at as a sin and you should confess it and focus on your own heart.

My priest wisely told me; “it is good to be discerning with other people.... All of us need to remember to turn that discernment meter around and point it at ourselves.” 

Our bitterness comes from our own heart...not from others.  Their sins are their own...ours are our own.   Confess your own sins as worse then theirs and you at some point learn to forgive and forbear their sins...and you will begin the path to letting go of your bitterness.  If you are struggling with thinking of yourself as a “better” Christian you should confess this in confession and ask for guidance on how to escape prelest.

Do the above and you will be “running to the Church” in repentance And contrition for your own sins which need healing, instead of away from something or someone else’s sins against you.

You will have occasion to have Orthodox people hurt you and be “ignorant” and sin against you as well.   It may cause similar feelings after your conversion high wears off.

What happened in your family’s past is always going to be the subject of gossip. It’s your cross to bear whether you like it or not.   Christians will sin against you and be hypocritical.   That is also your cross to bear.   How you respond to others sins and the burden of your cross(es) is the key.   There were two others crucified with Christ on Calvary.  One bore his cross in penitence< the other cursed his cross in bitterness.

 We all carry crosses. Carrying them is painful and ugly process.  We won’t always bear it gracefully.   There are stumbles along the path of carrying our cross. We will be battered and scorned by others who may have helped put that cross on us.  We will be bloodied and harmed.  The cross will reveal our hearts and which theif we resemble at any given moment.    Seek to be the penitent theif.   The more you embrace your cross the more you will run to the Church, and the more you run to the Church the more you will embrace your cross.   That cross...that suffering is not what God wants for you, but He has made it a path for your salvation nonetheless.   Pick up your cross daily and follow Christ and the tool the devil is using to crucify you will become the tool of His demise in your life.   This is the beauty of Christ’s suffering....a suffering you are called to participate in.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Ainnir

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Re: OC.net Notable/Edifying Posts
« Reply #91 on: June 26, 2018, 12:07:37 PM »
Embrace it for what it is rather than fighting it. Half of the Psalms are complaints.

Consider this from Psalm 42:

I will say to God, Thou art my helper; why hast thou forgotten me? wherefore do I go sad of countenance, while the enemy oppresses me?
While my bones were breaking, they that afflicted me reproached me; while they said to me daily, Where is thy God?
Wherefore art thou very sad, O my soul? and wherefore dost thou trouble me? hope in God; for I will give thanks to him; he is the health of my countenance, and my God.


Be angry and do not sin. Be sad. Talk to God. Yell if you need. God is big enough to take it, I promise. 

If you feel like you can't talk to God, pick a saint. But trying to leave despair without fully acknowledging it for what it is means it will remain unresolved. Christ has completely identified with you as a human, and has — in a real way — felt your pain. And through that identification, he may not reverse a loss, but he may offer you a way to redeem it that you cannot yet see.

I recently heard someone say, "God does not give us answers; He gives us himself." So do not deny your melancholy, but do not live in it forever. Turn your eyes to God, who has come to us and offers himself to us in answer for our health and salvation, not only in his filling-all presence but in his true presence in the Eucharist and in the body of believers that constitute the Church.

I know these days are difficult. Sometimes repentance is found in tears, and sometimes peace. Sometimes life feels unbearable. But God offers Himself to us. Accept his offer.

Know that I've prayed for you as I write this.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Ainnir

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Re: OC.net Notable/Edifying Posts
« Reply #92 on: July 29, 2018, 07:51:00 PM »
I at least want a better chance of getting into Heaven by being in the Correct Church.

You will never be saved this way. The Church was made for man, not man for the Church.

Put your trust in Christ.

He has given us the Church, through which the Sacraments serve as conduits of grace. But they are not the only conduits of grace. If you fall down, get up again and keep running at the gates of Heaven. Charge as hard as you can, even -- especially -- when you stumble. Do this until you get there, and at the last moment you will find you have fallen through an open door and into the full presence of God. And if you find yourself in the ditch, look for Christ to pull you out. All you have to do is ask.

Not trying to embarrass you.   :)
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline RobS

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Re: OC.net Notable/Edifying Posts
« Reply #93 on: August 13, 2018, 09:38:32 AM »
Trying to answer these big theological/ anthropological questions using naturalistic scientific models is akin to trying to program a calculator to write poetry.

I see what you're getting at, and it's an outlook that I'm sympathetic to. But at the same time, when I look at the situation on the ground I don't see a lot of options. How old is the Earth? Are all humans descended from one couple? Was there a global flood? What is the shape of the Earth?

It seems like these are relatively simple questions that should have intelligible answers one way or the other. I mean, if they found the skeleton of Christ, I wouldn't be able to remain a Christian by appealing to some kind of nebulousity of the intersect between history and faith, would you? What makes something like Adam and Eve different from that theoretical upper bound?

I can kind of fudge it and say that Adam and Eve were two people who existed at some point and are still our parents spiritually, but I realize that it puts me in a tough situation and would probably get my ears boxed by an Orthodox priest (but only because I tell myself that Adam and Eve are not as important as Christ really having rose from the dead, though to hear some talk it would sound like they are). But at that same time, I don't see a lot of a place for literalism on this point.

A Christian literalism (and it's a term I prefer to steer away from) is something inclusive of materiality but seeing the foundation of truth in heavenly reality, in God. What is usually called literalism in these discussions is something which, if not strictly materialist, assumes that matter and sensory data are the firm foundation of truth. This kind of literalism needs to be ejected from Christian thinking like a deadly poison. We confess in the creed that the Lord came down from heaven, not that he ascended to earth.

These questions like, What is the shape of the earth? How old is the earth? while interesting and useful on some level, are distantly secondary to the questions of the origin and purpose of man. And on these grand questions a natural science unaided by theology must stray far off course, because the shadows of reality (and degraded shadows, at that) are being mistaken for reality itself. St Nikolai of Zicha said it well: whoever reads the natural without knowing the spiritual content and significance of what he has read, reads death, sees death, appropriates death. Also, whoever considers visible nature as the only reality and not as a riddle in the mirror of the spirit, does not know more than the child who may recognize letters but is far from understanding written words.

Our archaeologists will never find the skeleton of Christ; on the other hand, the landscape of materialism is littered with what purport to be his bones. You can see these bones without any particular training. Simply by looking out the window, they're hanging from the trees and dotting the grass. Most of all they are strewn throughout our entire culture and even, sometimes, poking out from clergymen's sleeves. The bones are lies but the prevailing ideology of natural literalism leaves us with no tools to discern that.

Thank you so much Iconodule. Well said!
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: OC.net Notable/Edifying Posts
« Reply #94 on: August 16, 2018, 01:53:55 PM »
We cannot afford to loose people like you to some ethnic Orthodox diaspora parish that does neither need you nor want you.

Maybe they'll want him, maybe they won't, but the blind man kept crying out, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" even after the disciples told him to shut up. The Lord himself came and healed him. So it can be said with confidence that the Lord wants Halik, and Halik needs him.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: OC.net Notable/Edifying Posts
« Reply #95 on: August 16, 2018, 05:53:16 PM »
Important thing to keep in mind when talking about religion in post-Communist nations in general, I think.

Please don´t underestimate the east-west difference in germany - I did so! Growing up in the western middle of the country after the fall of the GDR, I thought the situation today would be more balanced. When me moved in the east (and not berling or another big city) we were shocked. Religion is in all shades still mostly dead here. I currently work as a guide at an historic museum and get to know teachers often, and they didn´t change too. In most cases you won´t drive more than an hour in germany to visit any denomination you wish, but it´s different here.
The main problem is also really not my parish (which is great!) but the total lack of opportunities to share our faith in our daily life. It´s disturbing. It made me stronger and more strong in prayer, but I long for a rest, a place to meet other faithful often. If we had the money, we would pilgrim more or go on vacation, but we are living on our limits so much that driving to church is a financial burden.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: OC.net Notable/Edifying Posts
« Reply #96 on: August 17, 2018, 11:07:44 AM »
I think these heritage fixations are quaint and are only getting quainter every day as cultures continue to diffuse amongst each other around the globe. Immigration, availability of media, food, etc., intermarriage all erode these essentialist understandings of civilization, culture, ethnicity. This is nothing new, of course- just much more rapid nowadays, so that processes that took generations or centuries before now happen in the space of years. Today's Western heritage, whatever that means, is not the same as yesterday's Western heritage, whatever that meant.

 If you think adopting a Byzantine version of Christianity is weird for a 21st century German, imagine what adopting any form of Christianity was for 5th century Germans, or 10th century Scandinavians (Rus' included). Imagine what it was like for 17th century Chinese, Japanese, or Filipinos. Heritage is never stable- even in relatively isolated places you will see changes and imports throughout the ages. That doesn't mean you throw it away but don't think you can preserve it under glass either.

People change very quickly and easily, not necessarily losing what came before, but they transform. There are people in my family whose ancestors were literal headhunters 150 years ago and now they are ingrained Catholics.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: OC.net Notable/Edifying Posts
« Reply #97 on: September 15, 2018, 08:27:24 PM »
The idea that the Orthodox Church is "missing" the Western Church is misleading. Yes, Orthodoxy is reduced in the West, and, yes, the native rites of the Orthodox West have largely disappeared, but that doesn't mean that the missing part is the RCC. By papal pride and self-aggrandizement spanning many centuries, the RCC has separated itself from the Orthodox faith. It is not an estranged part of the Orthodox Church – it is not part of the Church.

The RCC taught exactly the same thing about "the Eastern schismatics" until the middle of the 20th century, namely, that the Orthodox are not part of the Catholic Church, having separated themselves from the true church through schism. This was a position thoroughly consistent with their ecclesiology. Now, however, Orthodox churches are true churches, though "deficient," but this is not an intrinsic problem for the salvation of their members. The two ideas are irreconcilable on their face. Either what they had always officially and dogmatically taught for centuries is false, or what they now officially and dogmatically teach at and since Vatican II is false.

The fact that the RCC now teaches something different is a serious problem, unless of course one chooses simply to ignore it, which seems to be the course of action for 99% of the Catholic world. The fact that some, many, or even most Orthodox bishops signed a union with Rome doesn't matter in the way it does for Catholics when the popes promote novel teaching; the union was rejected at home, and whatever may have been said on paper has had very little bearing on reality. The union did not *actually* happen.

But the contradiction in Catholic teaching *has* happened. How in the world does one reconcile Pope Eugene IV's bull Cantate Domino at the Council of Florence:

Quote
[The sacrosanct Roman Church] firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.

with Nostra Aetate at Vatican II and virtually everything the post-V2 popes have said? It's amazing that Pope Francis can set off a firestorm by suggesting a divorced-and-remarried person could receive Holy Communion, but a purported ecumenical council and five subsequent popes can perpetuate doctrine that is completely foreign to the dogmatic tradition of their own church, and the only ones complaining are people in and to the right of the SSPX.
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