So it is just you and the monks. Got it.
Less important than how a Christian begins is how he ends, and usually not very well as they tend to end just like everyone else in the world around them. People can mock the Odox and other "liturgical" Christians for all their pomp, but to be fair, without it, how would anyone know these people were Christians?
This thought has been creeping around my mind for months now in the guise of this question: Are Orthodox Christians distinguishable from Protestants in terms of "spiritual fruit"?
I admit it is an improper question because ultimately who are we to judge or compare. I am pretty humbled by the acts of love, service and sacrifice I witness in my Protestant congregation.
And I continue to be the only Orthodox person I have ever met who is willing to touch a poor person with less than a 10-foot pole.
To be fair, Orthodox monks I have seen are very good about this. I overlooked that.
No monks around here.
But in the city I lived in until recently, the Orthodox (who have a huge presence) virtually did squat and excused themselves from the opportunity to do more. The Catholics, on the other hand, pretty much ensured the survival of the city's homeless population.
And I am not talking about giving dollar bills or doing "hands-off" charity work. I've known plenty of Orthodox who will do those things.
If things are different where you live, I am glad!