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Author Topic: What do you do to keep your Faith Strong???  (Read 1708 times) Average Rating: 0
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Irenaeus07
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« on: May 17, 2008, 06:19:36 AM »

Greetings,

  On my decision to become Orthodox, I kind of eased my way into church service, and it all happened during Lent.  So there were alot of church services.  So when my faith was going down, I just went to a service, to get a faith boost, I mean they had a service like 2 and 3 times a week during Lent.  Now that Lent is over, we only have service once a week.

  So what do you all do to keep your faith strong???

In my prior faith, we had prayer every day at least two times a day. And I would pray at the prayer hall at least once a day.  And I would listen to spiritual lectures by my teacher as well, which also help me keep my faith.  But now.....

I don't know what do... I mean I pray everyday at home, I set up an icon corner. I do the Jesus prayer.

Any other suggestions?Huh

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Sophie
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2008, 07:55:18 AM »

Is it you are asking to do more because you do not feel what you do is enough, or because you personally need to do more to keep your faith strong? I think other members of this forum will tell you there are highs and lows in the way we all experience our faith. Lent is a pretty intense spiritual period for an Orthodox Christian and, obviously, the period afterwards could be considered the anticlimax, especially for someone new in this faith.

You could talk to your spiritual father about this and do as he says. It occurs to me you could perhaps ask him also for some reading material if reading is something you like doing. Maybe lives of the saints or writings of the Fathers, something about everyday life you could feel you connect to.

Praying, participating in the sacramental life of the Church, and loving as taught by our Lord, are the three things I believe we all work towards, to various degrees according to our strengths and circumstances, with God´s grace. I expect other brothers who have perhaps been in your situation - as time goes by, those who live in various states over the Atlantic will go online - will have some more adequate advice to give.
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2008, 09:30:40 AM »

To me, I believe, one very essential thing that keeps my faith is simply meditation on my past. It always strikes me how I so clearly see my faults, imperfections, sins when I look back, while at that time I did not even notice these faults, imperfections, sins, thought I was completely alright. But that's me, I am an older guy, already 50. For younger folks that might not work.
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Marc1152
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2008, 02:16:33 PM »

To me, I believe, one very essential thing that keeps my faith is simply meditation on my past. It always strikes me how I so clearly see my faults, imperfections, sins when I look back, while at that time I did not even notice these faults, imperfections, sins, thought I was completely alright. But that's me, I am an older guy, already 50. For younger folks that might not work.

Ah..the old post Pascha slump..Been there.

Just do your normal thing with greater effort. If possible, a weekend visit to a Monestary will keep you on your game I bet. Pray and fast.
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jnorm888
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2008, 03:54:36 PM »

Greetings,

  On my decision to become Orthodox, I kind of eased my way into church service, and it all happened during Lent.  So there were alot of church services.  So when my faith was going down, I just went to a service, to get a faith boost, I mean they had a service like 2 and 3 times a week during Lent.  Now that Lent is over, we only have service once a week.

  So what do you all do to keep your faith strong???

In my prior faith, we had prayer every day at least two times a day. And I would pray at the prayer hall at least once a day.  And I would listen to spiritual lectures by my teacher as well, which also help me keep my faith.  But now.....

I don't know what do... I mean I pray everyday at home, I set up an icon corner. I do the Jesus prayer.

Any other suggestions?Huh



Conferences. I'm trying to go to one at the end of this month.

Also if there are other Parishes around, that have more services then attend one of theres, at least until your parish does vespers again.

Your parish may also have a few things going on over the summer, so ask around and try to get involved. Some parishes have Bible studies, some don't.


Some have lecture series, while others don't.


Ask around. Maybe you can visit a local Monastery. If you have a BA or a BS, then maybe you can take a few part time noncredit Orthodox seminary courses. I know, mine doesn't start until October. But ask around.






JNORM888
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 03:56:21 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2008, 04:56:08 PM »

Ah..the old post Pascha slump..Been there.

Just do your normal thing with greater effort. If possible, a weekend visit to a Monestary will keep you on your game I bet. Pray and fast.
Fast?  During Pascha? Huh  How can we do that when the Bridegroom is with us?  (Well, on Wednesdays and Fridays, fast if your particular church's discipline calls for it. Wink)

My personal experience has taught me to not set myself up for disappointment and its evil sibling, despondency, by expecting the mountain top high of Pascha to continue through the whole 40 days of Paschaltide and into the whole year.  Often the deepest spirituality is cultivated through just staying the course and continuing to pray and develop the virtues when everything is just mundane and routine and you just don't feel any emotional high coming from your praxis.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 05:21:56 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2008, 10:42:52 PM »


 Say morning and evening prayers from the Jordanville prayer book. Keep the fasts and the commandments of Christ. Read the Scripture's. Read the lives of saints and theological writings. And love your neighbor as yourself.
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2008, 01:16:49 PM »

Hi Ireneus,

as a former Muslim you might still remember your day interrupted by the five daily prayers.

So, as this tradition even has a biblical background you could just practice what Muhammad has learned from Orthodox monks those days.

As the eastern orthodox Horologion is very beautiful but as well quite complicated, you will need at least two books at the same time when praying it, I might suggest for you the coptic "Agbeya" which is of great antiquity and tradition; is combined within one book and is available in either English or Arabic even as a PDF in the internet.

Try it out and see what it can do for daily devotions.

Greetings Songul.
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ignatius
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2008, 12:09:41 PM »

Grace and Peace,

One thing that keeps my faith strong is not talking about it.  laugh

I too often talk myself into boxes that simply aren't there... Hesychia brother "Silence".
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GabrieltheCelt
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2009, 09:55:14 PM »

Hanging out with other Orthodox Christians as often as you can, attending the Church's services, reading the OSB and above all else (at least in addition to)... Pray to the Saints to help you.  Pray to our Holy Mother to Save you.  Pray to our Saviour Christ to have mercy upon you.

I realize that Irenaeus07 doesn't post here very often, but I thought I'd go ahead and share anyway. 
« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 10:22:20 PM by GabrieltheCelt » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2009, 10:03:17 PM »

I would recommend daily scripture readings, such as these (located on the left hand side)

http://www.stgeorgecathedral.net/

and writings from the church fathers/saints (e.g. philokalia)


And participating in the weekly fasting schedule, while meditating on the passion during these days.

Also, volunteer in the community (serve others as if you are serving Christ)

Perhaps you could speak with your priest about modifying your prayer rule (augmenting it with prostrations, etc)

Listen to recordings of byzantine/russian chanting

listen to podcasts on:

http://ancientfaith.com/
« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 10:08:46 PM by Ortho_cat » Logged
Michael L
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2009, 11:45:28 PM »

"The means to confirm and strengthen Christian hope are prayer,
especially frequent and sincere prayer, confession of our sins,
frequent reading of the Word of God, and, above all, frequent
communion of the holy and life-giving sacraments of the Body and
Blood of Christ."


-- St John of Kronstadt
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Feanor
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« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2009, 01:08:40 PM »

My faith is shaken every day, but I have faith, and I have the courage to keep it.
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Alveus Lacuna
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« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2009, 01:31:36 PM »

The person who posted this question hasn't posted in almost a year.

Anyway, I read a lot of books.  The material that St. Herman Press puts out is usually great for spiritual encouragement.
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Ortho_cat
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« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2009, 07:05:52 PM »

Hmm..oh well.  Undecided Perhaps someone else can benefit from this spiritual advice...
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Ortho_cat
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« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2009, 07:07:53 PM »

Oh hey, how about drinking holy water in the morning for spiritual benefit? I know many people do that.
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Vlad
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« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2009, 08:27:12 PM »

I say morning and evening prayers and pray the jesus prayer with my prayer rope and read about the lives of Saints. I pray to the Holy Mother and the saints and to Christ. And I go to Divine liturgy Sundays.
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