Author Topic: Delaying catechism indefinitely  (Read 6955 times)

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Offline Super Apostolic Bros.

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Delaying catechism indefinitely
« on: February 11, 2010, 08:19:14 PM »
As much as I have profited from learning about the Orthodox Church and about patristics and the like, I don't think that I can take the plunge right now.

What it comes down to is--I miss my old Church. I know that it is a "mere" Protestant church that completely lacks sacraments and has no grounding in Holy Tradition. But my friends there I do believe are Godly people and are dedicated to Christian teaching and strive to live Christianly, even though they are missing huge chunks of what the Church is.

Also, the other thing is that I am convinced that Orthodoxy in America is just a "ghetto" religion that has only meager interest in any kind of outreach. (And any outreach is redundant when compared to Salvation Army or Catholic Charities). Besides a few elderly people who I adore, I haven't felt able to connect with anyone.

I could be wrong--I will let God judge me. I may reconsider in ten days or ten years. But for now I think it's best to reconnect with people I feel alientated from.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2010, 08:56:45 PM »
As much as I have profited from learning about the Orthodox Church and about patristics and the like, I don't think that I can take the plunge right now.

What it comes down to is--I miss my old Church. I know that it is a "mere" Protestant church that completely lacks sacraments and has no grounding in Holy Tradition. But my friends there I do believe are Godly people and are dedicated to Christian teaching and strive to live Christianly, even though they are missing huge chunks of what the Church is.

Also, the other thing is that I am convinced that Orthodoxy in America is just a "ghetto" religion that has only meager interest in any kind of outreach. (And any outreach is redundant when compared to Salvation Army or Catholic Charities). Besides a few elderly people who I adore, I haven't felt able to connect with anyone.

I could be wrong--I will let God judge me. I may reconsider in ten days or ten years. But for now I think it's best to reconnect with people I feel alientated from.

Matthew 10:37.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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Offline PeaceSerenity

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2010, 09:15:41 PM »
Quote
But for now I think it's best to reconnect with people I feel alienated from.

In my opinion, there's no reason to separate yourself from the people in the church. Though it may be a little awkward at first, as it was for me when I switched churches, the friendship is worth it and I'm sure they would feel the same.

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2010, 09:40:45 PM »
May God bless you on your journey.  :)

You're always welcome here, and you're always welcome back to the Church.  :)
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11

Offline Entscheidungsproblem

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2010, 09:42:44 PM »
Best of luck to you in the future!
As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2010, 10:18:34 PM »
Best wishes for the future, SAB. May God always be with you and yours.
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2010, 10:43:22 PM »
I'm sorry this is your situation.  I've been fortunate in that my conversion has been accompanied by real friendships and connections with some true spiritual leaders at my parish.  I've found a real sense of community and purpose at the place. I feel needed in addition to "needing it."  I know these are supposed to be secondary concerns, but they are in reality a huge deal, and I don't know if I ever would have cared without all of the real life connections and friendships that I've made since finding Orthodoxy.  May God keep you and guide you.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2010, 10:52:59 PM »
Before I became Orthodox, I went back and forth over a couple years. Orthodoxy kept drawing me back and occupying my thoughts, so I eventually realized that it was my ultimate destination. I had various attachments that I still had to work myself through. Some things that I thought I had to give up, I found out I could hold onto. Other things that I thought were really important, I realized weren't. Took me a while though. It's like being carried to the shore by waves... you get pulled back occasionally but ultimately you're getting closer to the shore. Good luck and God bless you.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 10:54:21 PM by Iconodule »
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Offline Papist

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2010, 12:38:05 AM »
May God be with you.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2010, 12:49:20 AM »
*cough* Ahem. Certainly I am not one who could criticize someone for stepping away from from Orthodoxy  ;)

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2010, 02:33:36 AM »
*cough* Ahem. Certainly I am not one who could criticize someone for stepping away from from Orthodoxy  ;)

You should change your "Faith" on the sidebar to "Agnostodox."  :D

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2010, 02:34:52 AM »
Best wishes....

Offline Super Apostolic Bros.

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2010, 04:18:53 AM »
*cough* Ahem. Certainly I am not one who could criticize someone for stepping away from from Orthodoxy  ;)
Seeing as I never "stepped on..."

Offline jnorm888

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2010, 05:27:45 AM »
As much as I have profited from learning about the Orthodox Church and about patristics and the like, I don't think that I can take the plunge right now.

What it comes down to is--I miss my old Church. I know that it is a "mere" Protestant church that completely lacks sacraments and has no grounding in Holy Tradition. But my friends there I do believe are Godly people and are dedicated to Christian teaching and strive to live Christianly, even though they are missing huge chunks of what the Church is.

Also, the other thing is that I am convinced that Orthodoxy in America is just a "ghetto" religion that has only meager interest in any kind of outreach. (And any outreach is redundant when compared to Salvation Army or Catholic Charities). Besides a few elderly people who I adore, I haven't felt able to connect with anyone.

I could be wrong--I will let God judge me. I may reconsider in ten days or ten years. But for now I think it's best to reconnect with people I feel alientated from.

It took me 10 years, and so, I can't really complain nor get mad at you.






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Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2010, 01:18:08 PM »
Also, the other thing is that I am convinced that Orthodoxy in America is just a "ghetto" religion that has only meager interest in any kind of outreach. (And any outreach is redundant when compared to Salvation Army or Catholic Charities). Besides a few elderly people who I adore, I haven't felt able to connect with anyone.

We've probably all been there, to a greater or lesser degree. For me, as much as I missed my friends and my former church (not to mention the opportunity to attend seminary and serve as an ordained pastor), the Truth was greater than my comfort or my personal ambitions. I had to go (kicking, screaming and whining - not a pretty sight, btw!) where the truth led me.
I do have to disagree with your assessment of the OC quoted above. This may be your personal experience of Orthodoxy and I'm certainly not dissing it, but this is not everyone's experience, nor even I venture to say, is it the norm.

As to the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities, that is the mission of the Salvation Army - that is all it does, and might I point out also that they receive massive donations from the public to fund their wonderful charitable efforts. Catholic Charities is also a wonderful organization, but here again there is a disparity in funding. So take that into consideration as well.

There are many charitable activities going on in Orthodox Churches across the country, as well as nationally - FOCUS, OCPM, IOCC, just to name a few off the top of my head. Our little parish feeds 75 or so homeless a hot meal 5 days/week, btw.
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

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Offline Rosehip

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2010, 03:04:06 PM »
Best to you, SAB! I believe you can be saved in a church other than the Orthodox Church. From my own experience, I think it is best to not commit until you are 100% certain of what you are doing. If you don't feel totally comfortable with converting, then maybe you should just stay where you are for now, yet continue to keep an open mind as you go along.
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2010, 03:26:31 PM »
As much as I have profited from learning about the Orthodox Church and about patristics and the like, I don't think that I can take the plunge right now.

What it comes down to is--I miss my old Church. I know that it is a "mere" Protestant church that completely lacks sacraments and has no grounding in Holy Tradition. But my friends there I do believe are Godly people and are dedicated to Christian teaching and strive to live Christianly, even though they are missing huge chunks of what the Church is.

Also, the other thing is that I am convinced that Orthodoxy in America is just a "ghetto" religion that has only meager interest in any kind of outreach. (And any outreach is redundant when compared to Salvation Army or Catholic Charities). Besides a few elderly people who I adore, I haven't felt able to connect with anyone.

I could be wrong--I will let God judge me. I may reconsider in ten days or ten years. But for now I think it's best to reconnect with people I feel alientated from.

Matthew 10:37.

I wish you Godspeed on your spiritual journey. And, while Isa's response may seem a little harsh, it contains a profound truth. The question that we must answer not once but many times in our lives (may be even daily) is: what is the most important thing in my life?

As we approach Forgiveness Sunday, I ask you to forgive me for any offense that I may given you. I extend my forgiveness to you in a brotherly spirit, even if I am am not aware of any offense that you have given me, just in case.  ;)

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2010, 03:37:26 PM »

What does it mean - "ghetto" religion?  You make it sound like Orthodoxy was just thrown together in some back alley.

For the size parish we have, I think we are doing a good job helping the needy.
This year alone we have collected clothing for a men's shelter, canned/dry goods for a local soup kitchen, funds to send to a soup kitchen in Ukraine, sent funds to Haiti via IOCC, are working with the OCMC and the OCPM - Prison ministry.

While we could be doing more...and the funds we sent are not "great", to say we do nothing, is a misnomer.  Some parishes do more than others.  It all depends on the people and the finances available.

Remember the widow's mite.  She had little to give and in the scope of the funds collected, her little bit seemed inconsequential....but, was it?

If someone is drawn to a faith by all it's glittery nuances, they had better look again.  It's not what a religion looks like from the outside (all the charitable activity, youth clubs, etc), but, what it teaches on the inside that truly matters.

I wish you all the best...on your journey to Orthodoxy!   ;)

We're waiting for you...and truly, we are friendly!

...and like ialmisry stated...please forgive me if my words came across as harsh.  I didn't mean them to be.
Forgive me.

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
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Offline Jake C

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2010, 12:17:49 AM »
Super Apostolic Bros, I'm sorry to hear that you were unable to connect to your local parish. I understand your disillusionment. May God guide your steps in the future.


I must admit, I understand where the OP is coming from, to an extent. I am blessed to be connecting to the people of my parish rather quickly, but it still gets lonely being an Orthodox Catechumen when my mom's family is ENTIRELY Southern Baptist (her entire generation of the family converted to the Baptist denomination from their Roman Catholic upbringing) and my dad's family is Presbyterian. All of my close friends are either Baptist or non-denominational, and several of my "friends" severed ties to me when they found out I was converting.

But oddly enough I actually found solace in a Protestant hymn, "I Have Decided To Follow Jesus". The lyrics (written by a former Sikh who converted, to the chagrin of his family, to Protestant Christianity) actually paint an accurate picture of the isolation that one feels at times as an Orthodox convert (or in the OP's case, inquirer) surrounded by Protestants. Yet for me is a declaration of resolve to follow and proclaim the Truth (that of the New Testament Church, the Holy Orthodox Church) regardless of the reaction of my peers.

In Christ,

Jake

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Offline Thomas

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2010, 10:43:53 AM »
Super Apostolic Bros.

I am sorry to see that your interaction with the Orthodox Christian Church has left you to see it as a Ghetto. Such is not the case in Texas where I live. You would be amazed at my own parish which has grown from a small group of five people to a parish of 167 souls in a decade. There are many such tales here in the south when small cities are now sprouting Orthodox Missions often started by a single Orthodox family evangelizing thse around them.

To understand the strength of those ghetto orthodox you may wish to read this article by a cradle orthdox "The Quiet Crdale by Janice Bidwell located at:  www.antiochian.org/node/21064  it is part of the Featured Reflections articles located at www.antiochian.org/featuredreflections

As a convert I understand the call back to the familiar worship of your current religous community, friends, and family. I hope that as you continue your spiritual journey you will  continue to look at Orthodoxy and that somewhere along that journey you may find the home in Orthodoxy that I have found.

In Christ,
Thomas



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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2010, 11:08:45 AM »
Super Apostolic Bros, I'm sorry to hear that you were unable to connect to your local parish. I understand your disillusionment. May God guide your steps in the future.


I must admit, I understand where the OP is coming from, to an extent. I am blessed to be connecting to the people of my parish rather quickly, but it still gets lonely being an Orthodox Catechumen when my mom's family is ENTIRELY Southern Baptist (her entire generation of the family converted to the Baptist denomination from their Roman Catholic upbringing) and my dad's family is Presbyterian. All of my close friends are either Baptist or non-denominational, and several of my "friends" severed ties to me when they found out I was converting.

But oddly enough I actually found solace in a Protestant hymn, "I Have Decided To Follow Jesus". The lyrics (written by a former Sikh who converted, to the chagrin of his family, to Protestant Christianity) actually paint an accurate picture of the isolation that one feels at times as an Orthodox convert (or in the OP's case, inquirer) surrounded by Protestants. Yet for me is a declaration of resolve to follow and proclaim the Truth (that of the New Testament Church, the Holy Orthodox Church) regardless of the reaction of my peers.

In Christ,

Jake



May God bless you Jake!

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2010, 11:29:28 AM »
God bless you on your journey.

Also, the other thing is that I am convinced that Orthodoxy in America is just a "ghetto" religion that has only meager interest in any kind of outreach. (And any outreach is redundant when compared to Salvation Army or Catholic Charities). Besides a few elderly people who I adore, I haven't felt able to connect with anyone.

I could be wrong--I will let God judge me. I may reconsider in ten days or ten years. But for now I think it's best to reconnect with people I feel alientated from.

You are wrong, but only about what Orthodoxy is supposed to do.  But it is our sin that we have not done what our Faith requires of us.  Forgive us for this shortcoming!
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Offline Jake C

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2010, 05:25:53 PM »
Super Apostolic Bros, I'm sorry to hear that you were unable to connect to your local parish. I understand your disillusionment. May God guide your steps in the future.


I must admit, I understand where the OP is coming from, to an extent. I am blessed to be connecting to the people of my parish rather quickly, but it still gets lonely being an Orthodox Catechumen when my mom's family is ENTIRELY Southern Baptist (her entire generation of the family converted to the Baptist denomination from their Roman Catholic upbringing) and my dad's family is Presbyterian. All of my close friends are either Baptist or non-denominational, and several of my "friends" severed ties to me when they found out I was converting.

But oddly enough I actually found solace in a Protestant hymn, "I Have Decided To Follow Jesus". The lyrics (written by a former Sikh who converted, to the chagrin of his family, to Protestant Christianity) actually paint an accurate picture of the isolation that one feels at times as an Orthodox convert (or in the OP's case, inquirer) surrounded by Protestants. Yet for me is a declaration of resolve to follow and proclaim the Truth (that of the New Testament Church, the Holy Orthodox Church) regardless of the reaction of my peers.

In Christ,

Jake



May God bless you Jake!

Thank you, and may He also bless you as well.
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes.

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2010, 05:46:14 PM »
I've gotta say that I'm kind of bothered about the "ghetto" remark, though I'm sure that SAB didn't mean it as a criticism of any particular person. It still bothers me, because I consider it an honor and a privilege to know so many yiayias whose shining example of faith, humility and true Christian love is an inspiration to me. I only hope and pray that some day I can emulate their piety and commitment.
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

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Offline ignatius

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2010, 12:11:43 AM »
I've gotta say that I'm kind of bothered about the "ghetto" remark, though I'm sure that SAB didn't mean it as a criticism of any particular person. It still bothers me, because I consider it an honor and a privilege to know so many yiayias whose shining example of faith, humility and true Christian love is an inspiration to me. I only hope and pray that some day I can emulate their piety and commitment.

I feel the same way toward all of the little elderly African American Men and Women at my wife's little Black Baptist Church. There is something rather compelling to us doubting sinners...  :laugh:
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2010, 12:05:01 AM »
may God bless your spiritual journey!

I am sorry to hear this :-\, but remember all of the kind people on this forum will be alwayse happy to welcome you back.

God bless :)

Offline Super Apostolic Bros.

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2010, 01:55:18 PM »
As you can see, I am no longer delaying my catechism.

In fact, I've been attending Basics of Orthodoxy classes for almost two months.

Pray for me, a sinner.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2010, 02:04:10 PM »
May the Lord bless you and guide you always!
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2010, 02:45:07 PM »
Happy to see you continue with your studies.

Thomas
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Offline SolEX01

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2010, 07:57:41 PM »
Lord have Mercy.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #30 on: June 03, 2010, 08:02:53 PM »
May it be blessed!

Offline Jake C

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #31 on: June 03, 2010, 08:12:42 PM »
Wonderful news! I will remember your catechism in my prayers.  :)
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Offline Tzimis

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2010, 09:27:53 PM »
Excellent new!! Glory to god!! :)

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2010, 09:36:27 PM »
Glory to God!
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11

Offline ignatius

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Re: Delaying catechism indefinitely
« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2010, 10:35:18 PM »
I was once told that our spiritual lifes begin like a seed... hard and lifeless on the outside but full of potential and life. With proper nurishment and given time... it's hard outer shell with open and life will spring forth. Without proper nurishment and time it will yield no life at all even when forced open with harsh argument and violence. That only insures it's death.

I think more here would be wise to ponder this.
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”