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Author Topic: How much Orthodox is too much Orthodox?  (Read 2911 times) Average Rating: 0
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Father H
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« Reply #45 on: March 22, 2011, 10:55:32 AM »

When I feel the need to explain why I cross myself, part of the explanation is that: You don't mind that crosses are placed on books (Bible, prayer books), jewelry, altars,  and any number of things. Why not put the sign of the cross on YOURSELF?

That is a good response. 
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myrrhbear
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« Reply #46 on: March 22, 2011, 04:17:02 PM »

In fact our priest has said it is better, more loving, more Christian, to just eat what is placed in front of you than to call attention to it, refuse it, etc.
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IsmiLiora
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« Reply #47 on: March 22, 2011, 04:43:52 PM »

I agree that sometimes it is better to not call attention to our behavior, because let's admit it, at times it is perhaps because we WANT the other person to see us being Orthodox. "Look at me, I'm Orthodox! I want you to ask about it!"

And that's not an evil thought in itself, if you really want to share your faith with someone else. But we have to be careful that we are not doing the sign of the Cross or any other practices for show. Sometimes I cross myself or I say, "Lord have mercy!" without realizing it. Sometimes, when I'm with friends, I am so eager to discuss Orthodoxy that I want to blurt out something about my fast or try to weave it into whatever we're talking about. That's not a bad thing but it can come off as very prideful (not to mention that I'm not actually giving them my full attention).

My husband and I went out with some friends this weekend, and we were discussing beforehand how we didn't want to bring up the subject of fasting. However, we are meat lovers, and some friends were confused about why we were ordering vegetable dishes. They asked us, and we answered their questions and let the flow of the conversation continue as it did.

While we are so excited about these new discoveries, we want our friends to be naturally curious because of the light in our eyes, the smiles on our faces, the hope in our hearts -- we don't them to ask because we are consciously integrating Orthodox traditions and behaviors into everything we do, making it obvious.

Some friends wanted to know more about the faith and we told them. Others didn't really want to hear about it. God may present an opportunity for the latter, or He won't. But I'm not going to push it by shoving my faith in their faces and forcing them to discuss it.
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Father H
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« Reply #48 on: March 22, 2011, 04:45:38 PM »

In fact our priest has said it is better, more loving, more Christian, to just eat what is placed in front of you than to call attention to it, refuse it, etc.  

When we had this discussion in the parish a few years ago, I was asked the question:  "does that include other Orthodox Christians"?  I asked, "why, have you been in the situation where they have invited you over and given you meat?"  The answer was yes (on a Wednesday, no less).  
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« Reply #49 on: March 22, 2011, 04:53:24 PM »

In fact our priest has said it is better, more loving, more Christian, to just eat what is placed in front of you than to call attention to it, refuse it, etc.

I truly think this is the best thing.  My in-laws, for example, God bless them, are not the most thoughtful of people, especially in matters of food.  My mother-in-law is Italian and she thinks like Aunt Voula from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (What do you mean he don't eat no meat?  Oh, that's okay. I make lamb!").  They sometimes do remember not make a meat dish or to at least prepare some extra vegetable dishes for me when they invite us over for dinner at fasting times, but, for the most part, it just slips their mind.  On more than one occasion I've had to stop my wife from picking a fight about it because, in the end, that would be a far more embarrassing and sinful thing to happen than for me to eat a small portion of meat enough to be polite.

There have been times when they've checked themselves upon noticing that I'm eating less than usual or whatever.  They then profusely apologize about it as if I were a Muslim and they've just served me pork sausage without telling me.  That's just as bad, I think. 

For the most part, they've gotten better through trial and error, but I am a firm believer in not making a fuss over it unless I have complete control over the menu, which only happens in a restaurant known for vegan cuisine (they like to eat out, too) or if I'm cooking at home.
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