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Author Topic: 'Strange' & 'Wierd' things during Lent?  (Read 4443 times) Average Rating: 0
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Knytshade
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« on: March 18, 2010, 05:52:19 AM »

Good morning everyone!

Man, I'll tell you this first 'real' Lent of mine has been kind of been off-and-on whack.  Much to my sin and pride I underestimated just how powerful certain things are, even if I am only gradually being taught to fast, as well as gradually tone my smoking down, there have been other things thrown into the loop like a contorted monkey-wrench that's made me just nuts!!

Now my question:  I talked to my sponsor (who's been Orthodox for a long while) and she said that there tends to be a lot of 'strange' and 'wierd' stuff that happens to folks during Lent (ie. Husbands and wives acting funny to each other if I remember right was one example she gave me).  I had no idea about any of that so it kinda freaked me out a bit.  Now, I think I have a good idea what my other sponsor (her husband) meant when he said 'Let the games begin!'  Oi.

My question for all the good folks here is have you all had similiar experiences during Lent--things that have happened that normally wouldn't?  Just strange things?  I don't know how else to explain this the way it was conveyed to me, but I'm interested in learning and have been praying for strength and slow but steady progress!   Thank you for listening!
« Last Edit: March 18, 2010, 05:52:52 AM by Knytshade » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2010, 08:19:29 AM »

Yes and each experience can be unique and different depending on our Spiritual needs and our environmental surrounds.

Some times, it might be dealing with paranormal phenomenon ... please consult with a Spiritual Father regardless of what you experience; both "good" and "bad" should pass the "sanity test" of your confessor (it is best not to discuss these experiences with others).

Some times, most times really, it is dealing with increased passions of the flesh ... this is because we are fasting. When we fast we place the body under "humility" so the opposite attracts itself to fight ... that is, the demons of the flesh try to fight the body from humbling itself. Hence why many people experience, during Lent, increased temptations relating to lust, such as sexual thoughts, adulterous possibilities, etc ...

Then there are weird scenarios, such as couples fighting as you mentioned etc.

The main point of all of these is that during Lent, the Body of Christ as whole is united in prayer and fasting and the demons can not handle such humility, as it burns them. So during this period they come out in full force to push us away from this goal and make us 'give up' etc ...

The secret is to not pay attention to them ... ignore them. How? Apply the Orthodox phronema and you can overcome any of these temptations ..Eg. If someone appears to be edgier than normal around you well you then become more patient than normal around them and become more understanding than normal (knowing the demons are fighting) ... they will not be able to handle the humility and will "skasi apo to kako tous" (they will explode from their hatred).

A peaceful Lent to you and yours.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2010, 08:25:25 AM by soufliotiki » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2010, 10:15:13 AM »

During Great Lent, the laity of the Church  enter into a form of the Angelic Life that mirrors monasticism with  fasting and ascetic activity.  This activity infuriates the demons and they seek to complicate your life, just as they do the life of our monastics. For this reason we double up on our prayer life, spend more time with our spiritual fathers, and focus especially upon our own spirituality and spiritual life. We redouble our efforts to provide alms to the poor and needy. We seek to pray to gether with our spouses and families with greater vigor to stregnthem ourselves agains this demonic assault. While this is difficult and as your friend has noted "things do get wierd", it is a time of great spiritual growth for Orthodox Christians seeking to become one of the "righteous ones". If you weather these trials and tribulations, you will find the true  release and joy  taht is found in the Feast of Feast,the Holy Parsch of our Lord that is often noted as one of the greatest spiritual events for Christians throughout the world.

Remember where one increases their journey to Theosis, the demons become angry and will try to stop that growth because we challenge their lord Lucifer's kingdom and mission to deny mankind eternal life. If we remain complacent (cold or luke warm) Christians, they leave us alone because we do not threaten their kingdom or their lord Lucifer's mission.

May you have a holy and blessed Lenten journey.

Thomas
« Last Edit: March 18, 2010, 05:32:54 PM by Thomas » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2010, 01:52:05 PM »

Good morning everyone!

Man, I'll tell you this first 'real' Lent of mine has been kind of been off-and-on whack.  Much to my sin and pride I underestimated just how powerful certain things are, even if I am only gradually being taught to fast, as well as gradually tone my smoking down, there have been other things thrown into the loop like a contorted monkey-wrench that's made me just nuts!!

Now my question:  I talked to my sponsor (who's been Orthodox for a long while) and she said that there tends to be a lot of 'strange' and 'wierd' stuff that happens to folks during Lent (ie. Husbands and wives acting funny to each other if I remember right was one example she gave me).  I had no idea about any of that so it kinda freaked me out a bit.  Now, I think I have a good idea what my other sponsor (her husband) meant when he said 'Let the games begin!'  Oi.

My question for all the good folks here is have you all had similiar experiences during Lent--things that have happened that normally wouldn't?  Just strange things?  I don't know how else to explain this the way it was conveyed to me, but I'm interested in learning and have been praying for strength and slow but steady progress!   Thank you for listening!
Yeah, it seems that moderating this forum gets a lot more difficult during Lent, for one (not implying that you're doing anything wrong by asking this question Wink; just making a general observation).  Fasting often brings out the worst in peoples' characters, mine included. Embarrassed  Around here, we call them the Purple Demons.
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2010, 03:11:43 PM »

For me, I was absolutely horrified by my irritability, anger and self-centeredness and all kinds of nasty things coming to the surface, especially during the first week of Lent. I told a priest friend it was like lancing a boil. All sorts of icky stuff came out. Tongue
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2010, 03:38:30 PM »

Life is always interesting and throws ya curves.  No one casn blame their actions on anyone but themselves anytime any place...
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2010, 04:12:25 PM »

I think a lot of this negative stuff happens because we expect it to happen. If we enter Lent with a humble and optimistic attitude, relishing the opportunity to draw nearer to Christ, then I think we will actually experience more peace and greater joy than usual. But if we enter Lent expecting to fail, expecting bad things to happen, and looking for demons under every rock, then I imagine we will experience these very things.

Of course, we know that satan will always increase his attacks whenever we increase our prayers and fasting. But we must remember that the cursed serpent is already eternally defeated. So let us keep our eyes on the Cross. Let us resist the devil and draw near to God. Let us encourage one another, anticipating the blessings of Our Lord rather than focussing on the oppressions of the devil.


Selam
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2010, 09:31:42 PM »

Yes, The challenge intensifies at Lent, and it always takes a different form.
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2010, 03:02:58 AM »

I think a lot of this negative stuff happens because we expect it to happen. Selam


How can we be in the image and likeness of Christ during this period if we do not carry an additional cross to Golgotha?


If someone is experiencing peace and bliss during this period (and not spiritually sweating), if I was them, I would be concerned ...

V.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 03:03:37 AM by soufliotiki » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2010, 03:37:52 AM »

I think a lot of this negative stuff happens because we expect it to happen. Selam


How can we be in the image and likeness of Christ during this period if we do not carry an additional cross to Golgotha?


If someone is experiencing peace and bliss during this period (and not spiritually sweating), if I was them, I would be concerned ...

V.

You misunderstand my point. We should prepare to discipline our flesh and subdue our passions through the vigors of prayer and fasting; and this will always involve struggle. So, in that sense, we should expect Lent to be a time of difficulty rather than ease. But I don't think we should expect our marriages to become more strained, crazy things to happen, etc. We should be on guard and prepared for whatever satan has up his sleeve, but I don't believe we should be looking for negative things to happen to us during this time. Instead, we should be looking for Christ, fixing our eyes upon Him, and anticipating a greater awareness of His nearness and presence in our lives.

Some people may become fearful of observing Lent because of the horror stories they hear. We do not want to discourage others. The observation of Lent is prescribed by the Church for our benefit and blessing. We should approach it with humility, somberness, vigilance, and hope. And we should rejoince even in the midst of our trials and tribulations, for Christ is ever in our midst.

Hope that clarifies it a bit.


Selam
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2010, 09:38:35 AM »

Yes, it did Smiley We are basically saying exactly the same thing but differently!

Haha - high five slap!

{Squints to see Jesus Christ in the far distance}

Thank God at least He is in front of me ... Amen.
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2010, 01:56:11 AM »

I noticed that demons pick on me a lot during lent, I believe that they tempt people at my school to hurt me, I get cornered in simple and unconcerning situations but during this lent, everyone seems to have an issue with me even breathing around them.
My boyfriend is acting very rude and cruel towards me, his friends pick fights with me, and I cry everyday, all of this seems to be worse every time I get closer and closer to Christ. However it doesn't stop me because I'm smart and I know better than to quit out.

I have experienced good though too,
even tonight, as I type this, I battle emotions that are so overpowering in tears of confusion and sadness, yet during this week I feel Christ and his angels embracing me and holding me up, I feel the Holy Spirit creating a warm comforting feeling in my body and I continue to cry but this time for a different reason.
~I will hope in him and I will be saved.
(thank you ozgeorge for translating and supplying the chant in the "Girls at School" thread)


If you pray and make effort the bad may increase for a while, but the good will always outweigh it
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2010, 02:10:14 AM »


If you pray and make effort the bad may increase for a while, but the good will always outweigh it

Amen! Amen!

May we all remember these words in the midst of our trials and tribulations.


Selam
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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2010, 09:55:07 PM »

March and April have always been "bad" months for me, I just never connected the two. So yes, weird streaks of weird weird things happen during Lent. It is a time to be more cautious, defensive, devout.
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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2010, 11:28:28 PM »

I have experienced so many miracles today!
-My friends aunt finally went into labor!
-My other friend and her man are okay now.
-My boyfriend looked for me at his game (i didn't go because I need space), he and I might be getting better as I see it because he spoke to me a bit more today.
-My dress issue is fixed!!!!!!!
(I'll mention this in my "Prom Night" topic Cheesy


Today, I must admit, before that nap, it was horrible, I cried so much, and now today there is life being born, People are making up, things are working out, and I was able to give words of wisdom to my mom that she needed to hear.

As I said yesterday, the good will outweigh the bad :DDDDD
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« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2010, 09:26:32 AM »

For me, I was absolutely horrified by my irritability, anger and self-centeredness and all kinds of nasty things coming to the surface, especially during the first week of Lent. I told a priest friend it was like lancing a boil. All sorts of icky stuff came out. Tongue

What an appropriate and horrible mental picture.  Smiley  I feel exactly the same way.  I am realizing that the boil has been there for a long, long time.
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« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2010, 06:56:41 AM »

my first 2 weeks of lent were horrible.  i got so depressed & emo that i literally forced myself to join every activity available on the church calendar. that church bulletin became my only friend.  that kept me occupied enough to where i had God on my mind most of the time, instead of my pity parties for a party of one.   and then things started to look up. like i started praying for ppl. i usually just pray for myself but for lent,  being selfish backfires. so i started praying for all the mean, difficult people in my life.  eventually i felt more tolerant of difficult people.  the big plus is you get to meet other ppl who are pros at lent like old folks. their soothing, calm energy  made feel like i belonged.

i didnt used to like old ppl. but now i think they r da bomb.
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« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2010, 07:29:22 PM »

my first 2 weeks of lent were horrible.  i got so depressed & emo that i literally forced myself to join every activity available on the church calendar. that church bulletin became my only friend.  that kept me occupied enough to where i had God on my mind most of the time, instead of my pity parties for a party of one.   and then things started to look up. like i started praying for ppl. i usually just pray for myself but for lent,  being selfish backfires. so i started praying for all the mean, difficult people in my life.  eventually i felt more tolerant of difficult people.  the big plus is you get to meet other ppl who are pros at lent like old folks. their soothing, calm energy  made feel like i belonged.

i didnt used to like old ppl. but now i think they r da bomb.


Same here, this whole month had been bad, there were a few good days, Today I dumped my boyfriend.
I did the blood drive and I saved three lifes.
and then I blacked out, it , was, so, cool.
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« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2010, 08:08:45 PM »

Same here, this whole month had been bad, there were a few good days, Today I dumped my boyfriend.
I did the blood drive and I saved three lifes.
and then I blacked out, it , was, so, cool.
oh wow! im so sorry. lord have mercy. well.. maybe its for the best, about ur bf i mean.  and kudos to u for donating blood. thats actually a good lent offering.

and it is cool that you blacked out 4 jesus.  im working on carpal tunnel for layering filo dough on huge baking pans.  sacrifice is good!!
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« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2010, 11:01:57 PM »

This thread is partly amusing (putting aside the personal pain each person has gone through) but its the way you both share your pain that is refreshing.

I nominate the following statement for post of the month:

"it is cool that you blacked out 4 jesus."

Thanks.
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« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2010, 12:10:22 AM »

This thread is partly amusing (putting aside the personal pain each person has gone through) but its the way you both share your pain that is refreshing.

I nominate the following statement for post of the month:

"it is cool that you blacked out 4 jesus."

Thanks.


I was so cool actually, and even though I woke up feeling like I was about to barf, I was still able to keep my humor about it haha
I'm definantly doing it next time, I'm also thinking about going extreme with it too, plasma and maybe some day MAYBE MAYBE bone marrow.
I really hope that blood goes to good use.
I think that even though this has been very difficult during Lent, good things happen, I may not be doing super great diet wise, but praying wise, gossip, cursing, seeking refuge in Christ, putting my whole trust in him. Yes, I have done a good job.
I prayed that I felt no pain in my heart when today happened, I don't feel a thing.
GOOD THINGS HAPPEN YOU GUYS!
SOMETIMES YOU'VE JUST GOT TO BLACK OUT FOR JESUS FIRST!
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« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2010, 12:12:03 AM »

Haha ... from the mouths of babes :-)
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« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2010, 12:46:49 AM »

This thread is partly amusing (putting aside the personal pain each person has gone through) but its the way you both share your pain that is refreshing.

I nominate the following statement for post of the month:

"it is cool that you blacked out 4 jesus."

Thanks.

Yeah, I reposted that in my journal Wink
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« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2010, 12:49:14 AM »

This thread is partly amusing (putting aside the personal pain each person has gone through) but its the way you both share your pain that is refreshing.

I nominate the following statement for post of the month:

"it is cool that you blacked out 4 jesus."

Thanks.

Yeah, I reposted that in my journal Wink


Well, I am too old for this sort of speak but I figure you young kids would find it "far out" (is that even still popular to say at your age?)
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« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2010, 12:59:36 AM »

hosed up? idk. i think it speaks for itself. it IS cool to black out for jesus. loool.
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« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2010, 01:05:19 AM »

What's hosed up mean?

Lol
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« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2010, 01:38:01 AM »

my first 2 weeks of lent were horrible.  i got so depressed & emo that i literally forced myself to join every activity available on the church calendar. that church bulletin became my only friend.  that kept me occupied enough to where i had God on my mind most of the time, instead of my pity parties for a party of one.   and then things started to look up. like i started praying for ppl. i usually just pray for myself but for lent,  being selfish backfires. so i started praying for all the mean, difficult people in my life.  eventually i felt more tolerant of difficult people.  the big plus is you get to meet other ppl who are pros at lent like old folks. their soothing, calm energy  made feel like i belonged.

i didnt used to like old ppl. but now i think they r da bomb.


Same here, this whole month had been bad, there were a few good days, Today I dumped my boyfriend.
I did the blood drive and I saved three lifes.
and then I blacked out, it , was, so, cool.
As an experienced blood donor--I must have donated something like four gallons total over my lifetime--who's been on the verge of blacking out so many times myself, I've learned to prevent such blackout episodes by insisting that the phlebotomist have me lie flat on the bed from the start of the blood draw and then bring me back up slowly to a sitting position after I'm done.  You might try asking for this the next time you donate. Wink
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« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2010, 01:38:56 AM »

What's hosed up mean?

Lol
The same thing as FUBAR. Grin
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« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2010, 01:57:57 AM »

What's hosed up mean?

Lol
The same thing as FUBAR. Grin
ZOMG!
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« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2010, 07:20:11 PM »

I'm making a forum about this!!!
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« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2010, 06:11:02 AM »

   I had a very tough Lent.  I have been attending Episcopalian and Anglican churches the past year. I met a friend months ago who was Orthodox so I decided to follow the Orthodox fasting rules as he had given me alot of advice that was helpful.    On Ash Wednesday on the way to church, I became ill, I couldn't even go up to the altar as I didn't want to make other people ill.    During Lent I had many bad feelings come up but was not in a good relationship with any priests to talk or confess anything (i'm in big trouble, I'm scrupulous and introverted, somewhat socially phobic), though I did know a lay pastor who works online and I told her some things I felt I had wronged her by and apologized to her.   Looking back, I did not adequately prepare myself at all for this kind of asceticism (confession at beginnig of Lent would have helped, even if that's not all that common in Anglicanism, it's sort of "optional"), and it nearly killed my faith.

  My Orthodox friend told me Lent being hard is normal though when you take it seriously, and to not let Satan beat me up for my sins.  He also told me fasting can be very difficult, his advice was not to dive into it too quickly.   I have fasted alot more the past year and it helps me get more out of prayer and fight the passions alot but if your faith is not good, it also seems like it can kill it because it can feel torturous.
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« Reply #31 on: May 09, 2010, 09:27:15 AM »

   I had a very tough Lent.  I have been attending Episcopalian and Anglican churches the past year. I met a friend months ago who was Orthodox so I decided to follow the Orthodox fasting rules as he had given me alot of advice that was helpful.    On Ash Wednesday on the way to church, I became ill, I couldn't even go up to the altar as I didn't want to make other people ill.    During Lent I had many bad feelings come up but was not in a good relationship with any priests to talk or confess anything (i'm in big trouble, I'm scrupulous and introverted, somewhat socially phobic), though I did know a lay pastor who works online and I told her some things I felt I had wronged her by and apologized to her.   Looking back, I did not adequately prepare myself at all for this kind of asceticism (confession at beginnig of Lent would have helped, even if that's not all that common in Anglicanism, it's sort of "optional"), and it nearly killed my faith.

  My Orthodox friend told me Lent being hard is normal though when you take it seriously, and to not let Satan beat me up for my sins.  He also told me fasting can be very difficult, his advice was not to dive into it too quickly.   I have fasted alot more the past year and it helps me get more out of prayer and fight the passions alot but if your faith is not good, it also seems like it can kill it because it can feel torturous.

Welcome to the forum! I don't know if you know this but there are many more fasting opportunities in the Orthodox Church. We have three fasting periods between now and next Great Lent: Apostles', Dormition and Nativity (Advent). None of them as as long or strict as Great Lent and may help you ease into the rigors of next spring. Also, each Wednesday and Friday (except for a very few days/periods) we also fast. Check it out with your local Orthodox priest.
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Daedelus1138
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« Reply #32 on: May 09, 2010, 05:42:34 PM »

We have three fasting periods between now and next Great Lent: Apostles', Dormition and Nativity (Advent). None of them as as long or strict as Great Lent and may help you ease into the rigors of next spring. Also, each Wednesday and Friday (except for a very few days/periods) we also fast. Check it out with your local Orthodox priest.

   In the western Christians, there is just Advent, Lent, and Ember days as fasting days traditionally (Ember days are pagan in origin, praying for good crops, etc.)   Modern western Christianity has tended to think of fasting as "extreme", especially mainstream Catholicism in the US, though.  I know an English Anglican who does fast on wednesdays and fridays, and during Advent, however.   I have been fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays for about a year; I didn't follow it quite as strictly as the Orthodox (I eat fist sometimes, or cheese, except during Lent when I studied the fasting rules).  I learned about the wednesday and friday fasting from reading the Didache, actually.
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