My name is Matthew. I am 21 years old and interested in becoming Orthodox. I have been studying various religions since I was 16 and up until then I was protestant. I left protestantism after trying to debunk the Roman Catholic church and finding it had more history and a more logical look at Christ and His church. So I started attending mass and felt a lot more spiritual in this environment. But soon after, I started really studying the RCC, and found things that I don't quite believe in, such as, their beliefs on the Pope, marriage/divorce, and their overall judgmental attitude. I felt, every time, when I didn't partake in the Eucharist, the whole community looked down on me. That's not the kind of church I want to be apart of. And it wasn't just one church, but multiple RCCs. So needless to say I decided not to get baptized into the Roman Catholic Church. Feeling discouraged, wanting an historical and apostolic church I heard about Eastern Orthodoxy. The first time I went into an Orthodox church it was as if I was home. Icons covering the walls, Jesus on the Ceiling, Incense in the air, it was all amazing. I sat through the liturgy feeling as if Heaven and earth had merged and I was worshiping with the saints and angels of Heaven. Before I got baptized into the Eastern Orthodox Church I went to college...
I was valedictorian of my high school class and still not smart enough to not get mixed up with the wrong crowd. I stopped going to church, got into drugs, and lost my free ride (scholarship) through college. During this time I also started studying the occult. I started to perform ritual magick, such as Enochian and Thelemic magick. I started studying Buddhism and divination forms such as runes and tarot. In the past few years I've also studied the Qabalah, Gnosticism, Mythology, etc. during my search for the truth, not realizing I had already seen it with the Orthodox Church. I started saying the Jesus Prayer the other day and it just came back naturally. I haven't stopped praying it since. I miss the church and I realize how much I have sinned these past few years. It makes me sick to think of how blasphemous and sinful I have been. I want to be baptized in the Orthodox Church and sealed with the Holy Spirit. I want to eat and drink the body and blood of Christ with a clean conscious and a heart full of joy and love for our savior.
Last October I moved to Utah for my fiance, who is Roman Catholic, and her 2 children. I love them very much. She supports me fully in becoming Orthodox.
I am soon going to go to a local church whose priest I have already had discussions with.
Please pray for me on my journey.