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Author Topic: My current state of mind and being....  (Read 1874 times) Average Rating: 0
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NMHS
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« on: December 29, 2009, 11:48:23 PM »

A little long but worth reading………………

Hello everyone, lately I have been contemplating my so called hopeful journey from the  RCC to Orthodoxy and this is where I stand at this point in my life.  Maybe someone will have a little insight into this matter. I am a convert Catholic and my wife is a cradle Catholic.  In the last two years I have been studying church history and over the last 7 months I have been learning about the Orthodox Church. 

Even though I converted to Catholicism a several years ago I still had issues with the church and the way I approached these issues with my wife was not the best way for dialogue.  Needless to say, I have assisted my wife in constructing some walls between us that concern religion.  Right now we are working on this problem and it’s slowly getting better. 

Through my studies this last summer I was ready to accept most of the teachings of the RCC and move on, although I still disagree with a few matters of theology.  Then because of these studies I learned of the Orthodox Church but I never gave it much attention because of the lack of close churches (closest is 2.5 hrs away). Then I found Ancient Faith Radio and started to learn about Orthodoxy and I actually forced myself to quite listening because of the lack of nearby churches.  Well that did not last very long and I found myself diving straight into it.

So for the last 7 months I have been learning as much as I can, I am in touch with the closest Orthodox priest, I have corresponded with some folks on this website, but mainly I read, print and write down topics I wish to learn about.  I have purchased the small red prayer book, I do my best to follow the Orthodox fasting calendar, and I am starting to set up an Icon corner.  I have also asked my wife to think about attending a Vespers service…………….she said she very reluctantly would.  Hopefully she doesn’t change her mind.  If she does I guess I will go solo…………….

My wife and I have been together for 13 years and I attended church with her all those years and I shamelessly say I never thought to learn about the RCC.  (I wonder if it was supposed to be this way.)  Anyway, after 13 years I question myself as to why I do not have the passion for the RCC as I have come to have with the Orthodox Church once I started learning about church history almost two years ago.  I know of this zeal that converts have to Orthodoxy, but why don’t I have it for the RCC?   Even when I was ready to accept the RCC I didn’t have the strong desire to keep attending it.  At one point I was running away from the RCC, but not anymore. I see its downfalls and wonder which church is the real Church, well I think I know in my heart which church is the Real Church. 

These are my current opinions on the RCC and they are way different than my cradle Catholic wife.  She is Hispanic and the RCC has been a part of her entire life.  There are ties to the RCC that run deep.  She doesn’t know about the Theology of it.  Heck two years ago she didn’t even know that a Catholic was Christian.  I love my wife dearly, I am just showing that she likes her church and doesn’t really care for the theology.  I do not mean to be judgmental by this upcoming statement but one among many reasons I am turned off by RCC is the fact I see so many Catholics attending mass on Sunday and then turning their backs to it the rest of the week.  It bothers me to see Christians acting this way and I know this happens in every church, it just seems to be more common in the RCC.  My wife’s family is kind of in this boat.  This is just a basic reason, I haven’t written about any of the theological reasons.

I have been open with my wife about my interest in the Orthodox Church. I have talked with her about theology and stuff and it doesn’t really go anywhere.  God willing I will be going to a Vespers service soon, and I do not know what will happen beyond that.  At this point my wife will not leave the RCC and I really do not think I could bring turmoil to the house by leaving the RCC for the Orthodox Church.  I will have to answer to God for my actions and I do not know if leaving for another church is good for the family. In my current state of knowledge between the two churches I have concerns for my daughter as she grows up and we start to discuss matters of church history, basic theology, but that is a while down the road as she is only 14 months.

So, I would love to be near an Orthodox church and become more affiliated with it.  I even think I would thoroughly enjoy becoming Orthodox.  Will it happen?  Not right now.  I will continue to study about the Orthodox Church, its history, church history, the differences between the two churches and I will continue to come to OCnet.  Due to the behavior of CAF I have ceased going over there.  I intend to continue showing my wife my interest in the Orthodox Church.  I have found more about the spirtual life of a Christian within the Orthodox Church than I ever have with the RCC. At this current stage in my life I have come to the conclusion that I must be the best Christian I can be within the RCC and God willing attending an Orthodox service when feasible and truly seek the Will of God rather than my own. I have climbed the mountain of Zeal and plained out, now I think there is a long journey ahead of me that I am unsure of its direction or end.  I have to have Faith that if is it the Will of God that we will come to the Orthodox Church somehow together.  I cannot imagine that God would want his marriages being divided in Church (even though I know it is common). 

So thanks for listening to me, I have recieved great advice here!  I hope I didn't ramble on to much I had to get this off my chest and hopefully another convert will be blessed by my experience.  God bless everyone here!

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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2009, 11:28:58 AM »

Sounds like an interesting journey! I wish you all the best no matter which direction you take.
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2009, 01:53:22 PM »

It's a tough situation; I'm sorry!  This is all very new to our family so keep that in mind as I offer thoughts.  I think maybe the "step" to achieve right now is to pursue Orthodoxy yourself,  in the ways that you can (realizing that with a church 2.5 hours away it'll be a little different in that you can't enter into the cycles of Church life as easily), asking your wife if she can be okay with that. And ask her if she'd prefer you just stop talking about it with her.  Show her that you're not going to try and force anything with her; I think this is important for her to feel "safe" with you (speaking as a wife). From what I see this is could be an "Orthodox" approach: Putting others first, living gently, letting the Holy Spirit be the Holy Spirit. 

It's amazing to my husband and I how very many people that we know (both IRL and online) that are curious and intrigued by what we are becoming a part of.  Not everyone; not even most.  But just by living what we're learning, talking about it in a natural way, not pushing anything at all I can think of 10-12 people that both my husband and I are in communication with in a positive way about the Orthodox church (most of them Protestant Christians).
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2009, 02:53:28 PM »

Prayers that you find the faith in harmony as one family.
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2009, 12:00:26 AM »

It's a tough situation; I'm sorry!  This is all very new to our family so keep that in mind as I offer thoughts.  I think maybe the "step" to achieve right now is to pursue Orthodoxy yourself,  in the ways that you can (realizing that with a church 2.5 hours away it'll be a little different in that you can't enter into the cycles of Church life as easily), asking your wife if she can be okay with that. And ask her if she'd prefer you just stop talking about it with her.  Show her that you're not going to try and force anything with her; I think this is important for her to feel "safe" with you (speaking as a wife). From what I see this is could be an "Orthodox" approach: Putting others first, living gently, letting the Holy Spirit be the Holy Spirit. 

It's amazing to my husband and I how very many people that we know (both IRL and online) that are curious and intrigued by what we are becoming a part of.  Not everyone; not even most.  But just by living what we're learning, talking about it in a natural way, not pushing anything at all I can think of 10-12 people that both my husband and I are in communication with in a positive way about the Orthodox church (most of them Protestant Christians).

Thanks for the prayers and comments.  The stage I am at and what I am doing is what you have described.  You are right on there!  Thanks for the advice.  Caleb
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2010, 01:20:48 AM »

Heck two years ago she didn’t even know that a Catholic was Christian.

I'm sorry, but this is simply impossible for me to believe or understand.  How can you be a Catholic your whole life and not realize that you are a Christian?
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2010, 12:12:41 AM »

Heck two years ago she didn’t even know that a Catholic was Christian.

I'm sorry, but this is simply impossible for me to believe or understand.  How can you be a Catholic your whole life and not realize that you are a Christian?

This was the case with my wife.  It was said during a disagreement between us and she said she didn't want to be Christian should wanted to be Catholic.  She was raised in a Catholic family where she was told what to believe and not to question it. Of course this disagreement was two years ago and she has learned a little bit since then.
Caleb
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2010, 12:34:18 AM »

^^ I don't know how prevalent this is, but I have also heard some Roman Catholics say things like this.  Maybe some Roman Catholics equate the word Christian, when it stands alone, with Protestantism?  I don't know, but it is interesting. 
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2010, 01:18:46 AM »

Similarly, many Protestants, like my wife, do not classify Catholics as Christians.  When I pressed her on this, she simply replied that they are Catholics, not Christians.   Huh
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2010, 10:49:41 PM »

Similarly, many Protestants, like my wife, do not classify Catholics as Christians.  When I pressed her on this, she simply replied that they are Catholics, not Christians.   Huh

Alveus,
 
Do you and your wife go to different churches?  If so how does it work out for you?  Anyway, take care. 
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2010, 11:54:54 PM »

Similarly, many Protestants, like my wife, do not classify Catholics as Christians.  When I pressed her on this, she simply replied that they are Catholics, not Christians.   Huh

It is really hard for me to imagine that anyone would think like this. Does she think this of Orthodox too? Cry

On the other hand, when I lived in Eastern Europe, the Orthodox always used "Orthodox" to mean Christian. I remember a dear older gentleman-one of my neighbours-asking me when I observe Easter-did I observe "Catholic" Easter or "Christian" (i.e. Orthodox) Easter?  Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2010, 12:15:00 AM »

Do you and your wife go to different churches?  If so how does it work out for you?

Right now we are staying together, rotating between churches every other week.  Neither of us are happy with the situation, but we're trying to hold things together.  This situation will not work over more than a couple of years at the most.
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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2010, 12:56:10 AM »

Do you and your wife go to different churches?  If so how does it work out for you?

Right now we are staying together, rotating between churches every other week.  Neither of us are happy with the situation, but we're trying to hold things together.  This situation will not work over more than a couple of years at the most.

Sorry to hear about this.  I definitaly hope it works out for you.  I will keep you and your wife in my prayers.  Caleb
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« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2010, 01:27:23 AM »

^^ I don't know how prevalent this is, but I have also heard some Roman Catholics say things like this.  Maybe some Roman Catholics equate the word Christian, when it stands alone, with Protestantism?  I don't know, but it is interesting. 

I've heard things like this many times, especially working with students. They have a tendency to say they are either "Christian" or "Catholic". I don't believe it is because they don't believe Catholics to be followers of Christ, it's just that to them "Christians" is some kind of proper name for the non-Catholic type of believer.
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2010, 10:27:01 PM »

If you don't mind whats your wifes name? so I can mention you both in my prayers.
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« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2010, 11:27:46 PM »

Heck two years ago she didn't even know that a Catholic was Christian.

I'm sorry, but this is simply impossible for me to believe or understand.  How can you be a Catholic your whole life and not realize that you are a Christian?

It is how many were taught growing up, that you are Catholic, no mention being made that you were a Christian who was Catholic.. Or that you were Christian if you were a  Baptist, Methodist, etc. It is hard to explain, and that is changing. now. I grew up a "Catholic/Baptist", it seemed to be more of a taught mindset than anything else.
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« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2010, 05:30:14 AM »


How can you be a Catholic your whole life and not realize that you are a Christian?

I've encountered it numerous times.
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« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2010, 05:30:50 AM »


Maybe some Roman Catholics equate the word Christian, when it stands alone, with Protestantism?

Yes. That is the case.
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« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2010, 05:33:56 AM »


Does she think this of Orthodox too? Cry

It follows. About 80 or 90% of Protestant criticisms of Roman Catholicism are on issues that they share with the EO/OO.


On the other hand, when I lived in Eastern Europe, the Orthodox always used "Orthodox" to mean Christian. I remember a dear older gentleman-one of my neighbours-asking me when I observe Easter-did I observe "Catholic" Easter or "Christian" (i.e. Orthodox) Easter?  Smiley

Unfortunate that they do not equally own the term "Catholic".
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