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Author Topic: RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here!  (Read 23336 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: January 19, 2011, 08:03:06 PM »

Hello.  This is my first post on this forum.  Suffice it to say that I am a Catholic moving towards Orthodoxy...I am not there yet but I have studied the Orthodox faith quite a bit.  For me one of the over riding factors for my eventual conversion to Orthodoxy centers around the filioque clause in the Nicene Creed.  I can no long endure the Catholic church's impositions on the Faith once delivered to the Saints.  There are many more reasons for my desire to becoming Orthodox...but this is sufficient for now!  Looking forward to some fruitful dialogue with all of you. Pray for me!  Grace and Peace! 


the filiouque? really? cmon seriously whats your favorite thing about orthodoxy give us some love man.

favorite desert father maybe?
how bout orthodox liturgies?


The filioque is a perfect example of where the east has retained the original tradition, and where the west has deviated from it. Yes, there are other examples to illustrate this trend, but this one is particularly clear.
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« Reply #46 on: January 19, 2011, 08:37:48 PM »

the filioque is just something argue about it doesnt have much to do with salvation or theosis
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« Reply #47 on: January 19, 2011, 08:45:58 PM »

but hey welcome to orthodoxy just remember that its caught more thsn its taught
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« Reply #48 on: January 19, 2011, 08:51:09 PM »

the filioque is just something argue about it doesnt have much to do with salvation or theosis

I'm not sure most Orthodox would agree that the Filioque is "just something to argue about."

Additionally, I don't think it's our place to try to determine what is or isn't a sufficient or compelling reason for Adelphos' interest in Orthodoxy.
I think the Desert Fathers and Liturgy are great, but maybe that speaks more to your interest in exploring the faith.

Welcome, Adelphos (and welcome to you too, Fisherman)
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redwood81
« Reply #49 on: January 19, 2011, 09:26:22 PM »

dole sa filioque!!!!!!!!! LORD JESUS CHRIST HAVE MERCY.
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« Reply #50 on: January 19, 2011, 10:09:22 PM »

Re-read my post: I said the filioque clause was one of the over-riding factors...it does not exhaust my reasons for my move towards Orthodoxy.  But one cannot deny that it has caused a division between East and West, therefore it must be important.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 10:24:44 PM by Adelphos » Logged
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« Reply #51 on: January 20, 2011, 01:09:27 PM »

Hello All my brother and sisters,

This is my Story in the best way I could write it and I hope all enjoy and none are offended by my story.  The question is RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here! This is my story!!! Everyone has a different story of how they entered to the faith.  This is how I converted to the Russian Orthodox faith…

I was a Roman Catholic, but converted ten years ago. I try my best to tell you how I converted to the faith. I look at myself as a Traditionalists Catholic and I was nostalgic for the Old Latin Mass; but that is not what made me convert. I first got Idea one day to call the local Orthodox Church one day and I don't know why did it I just pop in my head. Well I left a message on the Church phone for the priest to call me back. I told him I wanted to attend the Church for to see if I wanted to convert to the faith at that time. Well I attend a year there but, still I wasn't sure if it was for me. I started to feel nostalgic for the Latin Tridentine Mass and spoke to the Orthodox Priest about if one was around in the local area where I lived.  He told where to find what I was looking for and I stayed three years there.
 
One day after I attending one of the Mass I decided to walk over the larger RC Church that uses the Novus Ordo Mass, I wanted to look at it and One of the Priest there I knew, well a RC Nun walk up tp us and started to talk to the priest and in the middle of the talk the priest introduce me to the Nun as one of the Latin Mass group. Well when she found out, her reply was " OH ONE OF THEM"  after leaving the Church at that time I was very steamed. I felt that I didn't want to go back any more to the RC Church anymore and stop attending anything.

One day it popped again in my head to call the Orthodox Priest that I knew and asked if I could come back to Church. Well when I spoke to him and asked him I told I wanted to convert to the Orthodox faith. I was still was steamed about what happen to me but, I put it behind me.  So I started to attend the Divine Liturgy once again and going though religionist instruction in the faith I converted on Jan. 7, 2001. My life started to grow as a Christian and the feeling of anger I felt started to leave me.  What I was told by the Deacon’s wife was that she prayed for me to return to the faith everyday for all the time I was gone. She told me when I spoke to her a few years back and she reminds me every so often still.

Here I also wanted to say that when I was a small kid my mother used to teach me religion and she told me to cross my finger in this manor she told me to put the first three fingers together and close the last two down. She told me that this is the true way of doing it and if anyone told me different she said don’t listen to them. My roots are Southern Italian my grandparents families comes south of Naples and Sicily. After converting to Orthodoxy I started to look into history and found out that Southern Italy was at one time Eastern Orthodox a very long time ago. Strange still when I was a small kid I always had a question for GOD I asked HIM where did all of this my mother was teaching come from. I told GOD I wanted to better understand where it came from and that I wanted to be a part of it in my life. I began to feel at one time in history my family’s was once part of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  I find that my prayer as a young kid has been answered by GOD in I am now an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

I feel GOD will me to come to the True Church where I truly belonged too. I happier even with my all of my health concerns that I still have ; but I still joy in being who I am as an Orthodox Christian.

GOD bless I have to go for now.
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« Reply #52 on: January 20, 2011, 08:03:45 PM »

Re-read my post: I said the filioque clause was one of the over-riding factors...it does not exhaust my reasons for my move towards Orthodoxy.  But one cannot deny that it has caused a division between East and West, therefore it must be important.

I get it.....no disrespect intended....please excuse
my dry humor welcome to orthodoxy
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« Reply #53 on: January 20, 2011, 08:07:13 PM »

the filioque is just something argue about it doesnt have much to do with salvation or theosis

I'm not sure most Orthodox would agree that the Filioque is "just something to argue about."

Additionally, I don't think it's our place to try to determine what is or isn't a sufficient or compelling reason for Adelphos' interest in Orthodoxy.
I think the Desert Fathers and Liturgy are great, but maybe that speaks more to your[/
i] interest in exploring the faith.



Welcome, Adelphos (and welcome to you too, Fisherman)

most orthodox might not agreee but those are probably theones who like to argue
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« Reply #54 on: January 20, 2011, 08:51:42 PM »

most orthodox might not agreee but those are probably theones who like to argue

I strongly disagree and would like to continue arguing.   police
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« Reply #55 on: January 20, 2011, 11:36:31 PM »

agreed.
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« Reply #56 on: January 21, 2011, 05:27:30 AM »


I know I'm 10 Yrs.to late, in welcomng you but, Welcome to Holy Orthodoxy.... God is Good ....
Слава Господу Богу у Све..Амин Амин..... Glory to God in all thing's Амen Amen..   God is Good Indeed.......


Hello All my brother and sisters,

This is my Story in the best way I could write it and I hope all enjoy and none are offended by my story.  The question is RC to Orthodox converts...share your stories here! This is my story!!! Everyone has a different story of how they entered to the faith.  This is how I converted to the Russian Orthodox faith…

I was a Roman Catholic, but converted ten years ago. I try my best to tell you how I converted to the faith. I look at myself as a Traditionalists Catholic and I was nostalgic for the Old Latin Mass; but that is not what made me convert. I first got Idea one day to call the local Orthodox Church one day and I don't know why did it I just pop in my head. Well I left a message on the Church phone for the priest to call me back. I told him I wanted to attend the Church for to see if I wanted to convert to the faith at that time. Well I attend a year there but, still I wasn't sure if it was for me. I started to feel nostalgic for the Latin Tridentine Mass and spoke to the Orthodox Priest about if one was around in the local area where I lived.  He told where to find what I was looking for and I stayed three years there.
 
One day after I attending one of the Mass I decided to walk over the larger RC Church that uses the Novus Ordo Mass, I wanted to look at it and One of the Priest there I knew, well a RC Nun walk up tp us and started to talk to the priest and in the middle of the talk the priest introduce me to the Nun as one of the Latin Mass group. Well when she found out, her reply was " OH ONE OF THEM"  after leaving the Church at that time I was very steamed. I felt that I didn't want to go back any more to the RC Church anymore and stop attending anything.

One day it popped again in my head to call the Orthodox Priest that I knew and asked if I could come back to Church. Well when I spoke to him and asked him I told I wanted to convert to the Orthodox faith. I was still was steamed about what happen to me but, I put it behind me.  So I started to attend the Divine Liturgy once again and going though religionist instruction in the faith I converted on Jan. 7, 2001. My life started to grow as a Christian and the feeling of anger I felt started to leave me.  What I was told by the Deacon’s wife was that she prayed for me to return to the faith everyday for all the time I was gone. She told me when I spoke to her a few years back and she reminds me every so often still.

Here I also wanted to say that when I was a small kid my mother used to teach me religion and she told me to cross my finger in this manor she told me to put the first three fingers together and close the last two down. She told me that this is the true way of doing it and if anyone told me different she said don’t listen to them. My roots are Southern Italian my grandparents families comes south of Naples and Sicily. After converting to Orthodoxy I started to look into history and found out that Southern Italy was at one time Eastern Orthodox a very long time ago. Strange still when I was a small kid I always had a question for GOD I asked HIM where did all of this my mother was teaching come from. I told GOD I wanted to better understand where it came from and that I wanted to be a part of it in my life. I began to feel at one time in history my family’s was once part of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  I find that my prayer as a young kid has been answered by GOD in I am now an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

I feel GOD will me to come to the True Church where I truly belonged too. I happier even with my all of my health concerns that I still have ; but I still joy in being who I am as an Orthodox Christian.

GOD bless I have to go for now.

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« Reply #57 on: January 21, 2011, 06:24:07 AM »

Hello to my Serbian friend stashko,

(I know I'm 10 Yrs.to late, in welcoming you but, Welcome to Holy Orthodoxy.... God is Good ....
Слава Господу Богу у Све..Амин Амин..... Glory to God in all thing's Амen Amen..   God is Good Indeed.......)

Thank you for your greeting message and it is never too late welcome. I just went to a gathering of Serbian friends of mine, it was to Celebrate one of the saints they venerate. Had a great time.... Lots of food and drinks..

I look forward with talk more with you and our fellow Orthodox in this chatroom.

I wish many many years stashko.

GOD bless you..

Frank J
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« Reply #58 on: January 21, 2011, 08:22:08 AM »


One day after I attending one of the Mass I decided to walk over the larger RC Church that uses the Novus Ordo Mass, I wanted to look at it and One of the Priest there I knew, well a RC Nun walk up to us and started to talk to the priest and in the middle of the talk the priest introduce me to the Nun as one of the Latin Mass group. Well when she found out, her reply was " OH ONE OF THEM"  after leaving the Church at that time I was very steamed.

As a trad RC it is amazing how much you hear that.
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« Reply #59 on: January 21, 2011, 11:01:22 AM »

As Moderator, I would like you all to remember that this Subject is Roman Catholic to Orthodox Converts Stories. This is not the area to debate or argue any point. You may open a specific topic in the Convert Issues area if iy is indeed an issue facing a convert but more likely the better place to discuss these matters (i.e.the filioque) is in the Faith Issues Forum or the Orthodox -Roman Catholic Discussion forum.

From the Purpose of the  Convert Issues Forum:
"...Convert Issues forum to be place where you as an inquirer may ask their questions about the Orthodox Faith in a safe and supportive forum.  WE try to provide an understanding of the basic teachings and practices of the Orthodox churches. WE try to keep our answers direct and simple with sources if possible.

For those who are converts, this forum is a safe place to discuss issues that arise after one converts in a safe and supportive forum without retribution or recrimination. WE try to avoid jurisdiction debates and you may find a the topic that will be split and sent the appropriate OC.Net forum to continue the discussion or debate if it strays from the guidelines of our Forum Purpose."

Many Thanks in advance for following these guidelines.

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« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 01:16:45 PM by Thomas » Logged

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« Reply #60 on: March 20, 2011, 09:59:43 PM »

One day after I attending one of the Mass I decided to walk over the larger RC Church that uses the Novus Ordo Mass, I wanted to look at it and One of the Priest there I knew, well a RC Nun walk up tp us and started to talk to the priest and in the middle of the talk the priest introduce me to the Nun as one of the Latin Mass group. Well when she found out, her reply was " OH ONE OF THEM"  after leaving the Church at that time I was very steamed. I felt that I didn't want to go back any more to the RC Church anymore and stop attending anything.

One day it popped again in my head to call the Orthodox Priest that I knew and asked if I could come back to Church. Well when I spoke to him and asked him I told I wanted to convert to the Orthodox faith. I was still was steamed about what happen to me but, I put it behind me.  So I started to attend the Divine Liturgy once again and going though religionist instruction in the faith I converted on Jan. 7, 2001. My life started to grow as a Christian and the feeling of anger I felt started to leave me.  What I was told by the Deacon’s wife was that she prayed for me to return to the faith everyday for all the time I was gone. She told me when I spoke to her a few years back and she reminds me every so often still.

Here I also wanted to say that when I was a small kid my mother used to teach me religion and she told me to cross my finger in this manor she told me to put the first three fingers together and close the last two down. She told me that this is the true way of doing it and if anyone told me different she said don’t listen to them. My roots are Southern Italian my grandparents families comes south of Naples and Sicily. After converting to Orthodoxy I started to look into history and found out that Southern Italy was at one time Eastern Orthodox a very long time ago. Strange still when I was a small kid I always had a question for GOD I asked HIM where did all of this my mother was teaching come from. I told GOD I wanted to better understand where it came from and that I wanted to be a part of it in my life. I began to feel at one time in history my family’s was once part of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  I find that my prayer as a young kid has been answered by GOD in I am now an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

I feel GOD will me to come to the True Church where I truly belonged too. I happier even with my all of my health concerns that I still have ; but I still joy in being who I am as an Orthodox Christian.

GOD bless I have to go for now.


I can relate to a degree with your experience with the nun.  I myself became attracted to more traditional worship shortly after becoming more interested in the Catholic faith in which I was raised.  I remember, before the motu propio came out, it was taboo in many Catholic circles to talk favorably of the TLM and pre-Vatican II Catholicism.  I admittedly still struggle with frustration over my whole experience in Catholicism (living at home now might have to do with it), but I am glad to be Orthodox.    
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 10:01:10 PM by StGeorge » Logged
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« Reply #61 on: March 20, 2011, 10:33:27 PM »

My story of becoming Orthodox from Roman Catholicism:
I grew up nominal Catholic but did not begin becoming interested in my faith until late high school, early college.  I cannot remember the exact time, but I know I had an interest in ancient history, and so I eventually read 1 Samuel through 2 Chronicles, and then read other books of the Old Testament.  I found it very interesting, and my first year of college I read each Gospel for the first time.  80 percent of the stories were familiar to me, but it was fascinating to read them in context.  I joined Newman Club in college and became active in helping the priest (lector, cleaning up after Mass).  I was grateful for the campus ministry, but some of my best moments were spent praying alone at night in a nearby park.  I learned about Orthodoxy from an Orthodox poster on a now defunct (evangelical) Christian forum.  I did research and read parts of Bishop Kallistos' Orthodox Church. 

At the time, I was developing a tendency toward more traditional worship.  I was able to attend a Tridentine Latin Mass once.  I was not impressed at the time (it was Low Mass and I couldn't hear anything the priest was saying).  When I went off to grad school, I began attending a Ruthenian Catholic parish and absolutely loved everything about it, the icons, the music, the Slavic culture.  I developed in my studies of Eastern theology, especially through discussions with Eastern Catholics (who were just as well Orthodox in their declared beliefs).  I considered attending an Orthodox church, but still had a deeply ingrained belief that that the Orthodox, like the Protestants, were cut off from the Church because they are not under the Pope.  This took me a long time to overcome.  Near the end of grad school, I attended a few services at a nearby OCA church, but was not yet convinced of becoming Orthodox.  I knew though that I was more "Eastern" in my beliefs, and I strongly considered becoming Eastern Catholic.  Ultimately though, after moving to a new state, I decided that it would not be fair to the Eastern Catholics to become Eastern Catholic only to convert to Orthodoxy a few years later, so I went directly from Roman Catholic to Orthodox.             
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« Reply #62 on: March 22, 2011, 04:51:29 PM »

thanks for your story.
i have a friend who was also brought up nominally catholic (didn't learn much about a relationship with God, just grew up feeling she was a bad person) and stopped going to church after a while. she then converted to another religion to get married, and lived for a long time far from any church. as time went by she started questioning her beliefs and started earnestly seeking the truth.
one night, she had a dream where she met an orthodox bishop (this is a true story!) and then, soon after, attended an orthodox church out of curiosity, and the bishop from her dream was there! she had never seen him or a photo of him before.
of course she sent up to talk to him, and then started attending church whenever she could (she did not have the support of her family). she is now orthodox, and the bishop from her dream is still working hard bringing God's love to people (i have met him).
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« Reply #63 on: April 14, 2011, 11:30:49 AM »

My wife and I went from being Roman Catholic to Byzantine Catholic to Orthodox.  In hind sight, I find almost a natural progression to my conversion.   I think that my faith is deeper and more meaningful since converting.  So much of the Eastern Church theology resonates more with me than that of the Roman Catholic Church.  I definitely love the Liturgy in the OC more than Mass in the RCC.  I do not miss the RCC at all and, I know, neither does my wife.
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« Reply #64 on: April 17, 2011, 12:13:23 AM »

My "conversion" is not complete (have asked to become a catechumen and was advised by a Russian Orthodox priest to continue studying and attending awhile longer before committing), but is based on one simple thing: belonging to the One True Church. I started out (many years ago) as a Protestant and through study became convinced that Protestantism had no deep roots and there was no possibility of it being the original New Testament Church. I then studied Catholicism and after a few years converted, only to find that what passes for the Catholic Church today is no different than the Protestant one that I left. I later learned that the Catholic Church (or what poses as the CC) teaches doctrines that are completely opposite what they taught as recently as a half century ago (since the second Vatican council). They have also changed the Mass, changed the sacraments for ordaining priests and consecrating bishops, etc., etc. After a few more years of study I became a "traditional Roman Catholic," rejecting all of the changes, and figured I was finally home. But eventually I was confronted with the idea that what had happened in Vatican II was just the latest in a long line of changes and innovations, not something without precedent. Were these changes really so different from adding the filioque? And even in disciplinary matters (such as fasting), why was the communion "fast" now 3 hours long (only 1 hour! for the novus ordo) and why was Easter vigil at noon on Saturday instead of during the night? And so forth ....

So I'm now studying Orthodoxy, which for the most part is making a lot of sense and seems to have the deepest roots of all. Of course I'm finding that the "modernism" that has infested the Catholic Church has unfortuntely made a lot of headway among the the modern Orthodox, so finding a church that is truly Orthodox (rather than new calendar, pews, joining in ecumenical dialog and with Benedict XVI, protestants, etc.) is not easy.

Two biggest obstacles now are language (not many English speakers at this church)  and being able to stand for hours on end (I'm serious - any advice appreciated).

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« Reply #65 on: April 17, 2011, 12:20:42 AM »

I recommend finding a Church that has "true" and/or "genuine" in the title. For example, if a Church is called "The true genuine hellenic greek orthodox old calendarist church of North America," that's a good start. This will cut down significantly on the time you'll spend traveling through Orthodoxy and coming out on the other side.
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« Reply #66 on: April 17, 2011, 12:24:57 AM »

I recommend finding a Church that has "true" and/or "genuine" in the title. For example, if a Church is called "The true genuine hellenic greek orthodox old calendarist church of North America," that's a good start. This will cut down significantly on the time you'll spend traveling through Orthodoxy and coming out on the other side.
They would be outraged that you wrote out their name in the heathen language that is English though.  Koine Greek or bust.
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« Reply #67 on: April 17, 2011, 12:54:12 AM »

"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."

Well, that explains a lot.

I'll be sure to find a church (with all the right words in the title to be sure) that has "adapted" itself to Evolution. I know what the holy fathers teach concerning Genesis, but we moderns are so much more enlightened than they, don't you know.
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« Reply #68 on: April 17, 2011, 01:51:43 AM »

I was raised in a large family (I'm a proud big brother to three younger sisters) of Roman Catholics. For most of my life I never really questioned anything about the faith, which I suppose is natural, one doesn't usually question such things as a youngster, they just take what their parents tell them and go from that. When I turned fifteen I began to look deeper into traditional Catholicism, especially the pre-Vatican II Latin mass. I was extremely firm in my beliefs at this point, and my only knowledge of Eastern Orthodoxy was from things that I had read about old Russia and Byzantium in history books (I'm a major history buff). That same year I met a close friend of mine who was a convert to Greek Orthodoxy himself and actually recommended this forum to me in the first place. My anti-modernist belief in traditional ways mixed rather nicely with his Orthodoxy, but I'd definitely be lying if I said we didn't get involved in a lot of religious arguments, mostly over papal supremacy and the filioque.

Over the course of the last summer I found myself drawn more and more towards Orthodoxy, mostly out of despair for the lack of traditional Catholic parishes in my area. I had figured that there was no other place left for people who who wanted to go back to the old ways, and that Orthodoxy might be a sort of last haven for traditionalism. However, my first journey towards Orthodoxy was cut short when I presented my views on the matter to another traditionalist Catholic friend of mine. This "friend" basically fed me lies (or at least half-truths) about Orthodoxy to keep me in the Catholic church. I, in my teenage wisdom, took his word for it and decided instead to settle on Byzantine Catholicism. This wasn't to last either. I found myself back firmly in the Latin Rite Catholic Church by the time school started up again. Needless to say, my Greek Orthodox friend was not pleased about my relatively baseless change of heart.

This course continued for a while, but after some time (I believe it was around Christmas, maybe Thanksgiving) I found myself steadily gravitating towards Eastern tradition, particularly Byzantine Music and icons. I remember discussing this with my Greek Orthodox friend, basically saying that I "felt something deeper in it" than Latin things. I passed this off as nothing, thinking that perhaps Western music, masses, etc had simply grown too familiar to me and that the Eastern stuff was just something newer to my senses. Soon though, I found myself constantly embattled over indecision between the two churches, with every fault of the Catholic church becoming suddenly very apparent, along with all of the good things about Orthodoxy. Sometime in mid-January I was sitting at Sunday morning mass during the gospel reading, which just so happened to be 1 Corinthians 10-13 and 17...

Quote
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

The "I follow Cephas" line especially stuck with me, considering that papal supremacy is, essentially, based on the quote: "You are Peter, Cephas, and on this rock I will build my church." It is important, for those who do not know, to note that Cephas means rock. At any rate, the minute I got home from church I spoke to my friend and told him everything that had happened. "If this means what I think it means, you won a big victory today," I remember saying to him. Days went by and I found myself in a total fervor, praying for guidance and using nearly every free moment I had to research church history and the reasons for the division between Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

Later that week (probably Thursday or Friday) I got up one morning feeling very odd, like I was supposed to remember something that had happened. I shrugged it off and went on with the rest of the school day as usual. I spent that lunch period alone for the most part (my teacher made me take a different lunch for the day because I had to take a test, one that none of my friends were in), and I continued to go over everything I had read and prayed about over the past few days. Suddenly it hit me like a lightning bolt, what I was supposed to remember. I got a quick flash of something, like remembering a dream. I saw a black expanse, think like sitting in a theater, and in front of me was a list of all of the sins of the world, a voice from an unseen source was reading each one to me out loud. Finally we got to the end of the list and I saw a bright light. Sadly, this is where the dream got a little bit fuzzy, but the very first (and very deepest) impulse I had was "Orthodoxy." Needless to say, this got me pretty excited. The minute I got home I hopped on the computer and wrote my friend an e-mail (he gets home from school later than I do, and I was too excited to wait for him) explaining everything that happened. That very minute I, in my heart anyway, became Orthodox.

Later that day I overcame a few more hurdles. I had a bit of a confrontation with the "friend" who had told me the lies about Orthodoxy originally. A religious debate quickly broke out, which I was able to win without much difficulty. I now rarely speak to this guy, though I did finally break my silence yesterday and he only made feeble attempts to sway me back to Catholicism. I also broke the news and explained the events leading up to it to my mom that night (my dad was on a business trip out of state at the time). That was a bit of a hurdle in itself, but she took things much better than I expected. Nevertheless, both parents refuse to take me to Divine Liturgy, a small bump in the road as I will be getting my driver's license soon, and they will not allow me to make my catechumenate until I turn 18. Either way, I still see myself as an Orthodox Christian, simply one that has to deal with a set of bad circumstances for the moment.

EDIT: Woah, huge post!  Shocked Sorry guys!
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« Reply #69 on: April 17, 2011, 02:34:14 AM »

"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."

Well, that explains a lot.

I'll be sure to find a church (with all the right words in the title to be sure) that has "adapted" itself to Evolution. I know what the holy fathers teach concerning Genesis, but we moderns are so much more enlightened than they, don't you know.

By far.
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« Reply #70 on: April 17, 2011, 03:37:03 AM »

By far.

"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."

Well, that explains a lot.

I'll be sure to find a church (with all the right words in the title to be sure) that has "adapted" itself to Evolution. I know what the holy fathers teach concerning Genesis, but we moderns are so much more enlightened than they, don't you know.

By far.

"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."

Well, that explains a lot.

I'll be sure to find a church (with all the right words in the title to be sure) that has "adapted" itself to Evolution. I know what the holy fathers teach concerning Genesis, but we moderns are so much more enlightened than they, don't you know.

By far.

"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."

Well, that explains a lot.

I'll be sure to find a church (with all the right words in the title to be sure) that has "adapted" itself to Evolution. I know what the holy fathers teach concerning Genesis, but we moderns are so much more enlightened than they, don't you know.

By far.


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« Reply #71 on: April 17, 2011, 05:39:58 AM »

Having just been received yesterday and today into the Church, I felt it would be a good time for me to add to this thread!

   I was raised entirely without religion, by a mother who is nominally "spiritual but not religious", somewhat admiring of her quaker heritage, and to a father born to a line of southern Episcopalian aristocrats, who is a rebellious, politically and ideologically gentleman farmer who would probably fancy his own philosophy to fall somewhere in between Che Guevara, Tolstoy, Bakunin and an African Animist. I was raised well, never wanting of anything, but always very restless. As a young adolescent, as early as 11, I began to dabble in drugs, booze and sex, and this dominated the next 7 years of my life. I finally fell out of this, and through an odd series of events: a moment at St. Peter's when I was still qute a hedonist, trying to write my own ode to Tropic of Cancer, a night when I made an sort of informal confession to a friend, and then experiencing Christianity more and more, I knew I was a Christian. I searched through Protestantism and Catholicism, eventually reading Augustine and befriending a devout Catholic, himself returning to faith from great sin, and was finally confirmed a Catholic 8-9 years ago.

     This has been a strange process, one that, in an acute sense, I did not expect to ever begin (though in many ways, I believe it began 10 years ago...). When I was received into the Roman Catholic Church, it was after a lot of thought and prayer, and it became the center of my life, in many ways. No matter what trials I went through, over the last 10 years or so since then, no matter what views I maintained, what self-image I projected, where I lived, what I did, etc., my identity as a Roman Catholic, and most importantly follower of Christ, and believer in One Apostolic Church, did not change. I was married a Catholic, had my children baptized as Catholics, was inspired by the Saints and their works, and forged some important relationships through the Church. I was never "cafeteria" about it, in theory, though at various points, like all of us, I believe I drifted in practice; spiritual laziness can be hard to escape, but I never doubted the Faith, not in any whole or external sense. Of course, we all experience inner doubt; Some corner of my mind will probably doubt God's existence even as I write this!

   Anya, my wife was raised in the USSR, and as such was not raised with much faith. (though her family is mostly Orthodox now, having all been baptized in the early post-Soviet years, like many Russians) That said, even as I became, technically, a Christian before she did, while we were early in our dating, I believe she inherently possesses a lot more Christian-ness than I do, or most people I know. Her coming to Christ was understated and gradual, but she was eventually baptized and chrismated Orthodox, something I assumed she did, not really falsely at that, at least initially, for cultural reasons. As a Roman Catholic, not well-versed in the East, I just adopted John Paul II's "two lungs" idea, and figured that the Eastern Orthodox were just like us, just a bit stubborn, perhaps, but good enough. The issue did not arise, for a while.

   Then, we had children. This changed a couple of things. For one, it bound our marriage more firmly. Secondly, it made us much more aware of the need for a family unit, almost a united family front, in the spiritual realm. Finally, the mutual insistence of each of our churches that those children be baptized one or the other opened our eyes a bit to the reality that these churches were not, to be totally accurate, the same. This came to a head when we spent our first long stretch of time in Russia together, last Spring. These things, combined with a longing for that aforementioned unity, spurred us on to agree, together, to look into one another's faiths. It was very hard to try to create the "little church" that a family rightly should be, when we could not even commune together, or attend one church on Sundays. For Anya, this search was double-edged; she admitted to not knowing much of the deeper fundamentals of her own faith, so for her, she was looking into both. We agreed to research independently, to speak each to priests and laypeople from both churches, to attend different services together, not to meddle in the other's path, and to shed our prejudices and outside influences, i.e., for Anya to forget that the OC was "Russian", at least in her jurisdiction, and for me to forget that I had such a firm conviction in Catholicism, and had such close friends in the church. This "inquiry" began late last Spring. I began lurking and then posting on this board around then, and have continued to.

   My assumption, from the outset, was that I would find no compelling reason to even consider Orthodoxy, that it was a nice thing, but that Anya, earnestly looking at the whole picture, would have to shed her cultural ties if she wanted the fullness of truth. I was puzzled by how fragmented/ethnic Orthodoxy seemed(Greek, Russian, Bulgarian, Oriental Orthodox, OCA, etc.), and by their lack of a defined hierarch similar to the Pope. Once I began looking, though, a lot of doubt began to arise.

   I don't want to go into every little point of theological debate that I encountered. This would be a waste of time. I will say that various things began to make me wonder if Orthodoxy might be the way:
1. Certain Catholic doctrines, when held up to Orthodox alternatives, troubled me: the validity of the modern (post 10th or post 19th century) definition of the papacy, the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, indulgences (not the paid ones, I know that was never supposed to be allowed), various marian apparitions, and how they influenced dogma, the development of the Novus Ordo liturgy, filioque (which many will claim is insignificant, but I can't believe that. Kallistos Ware lays out why quite well), and universal celibacy of priests. These issues troubled me in a way they had not when I had looked at only Protestantism and Catholicism, years ago. Protestant ideology never held any sway with me; it was too blatantly obvious that their model looked nothing like historical, apostolic Christianity. Sola Scriptura was too plainly lacking, among other major points, as in, lack of apostolic succession. I didn't know there was a church that maintained perfect apostolic succession, unchanged in doctrine, essentially, that functioned sans Rome. Further, with regard to the various scandals of history, though I recognized that any church composed of men would always be rife with sinners, I found that the particular, extraordinary claims made by the hierarchy of the RCC seemed in a way incongruous with the realities of some of Her actions.

2. Theological style, and style of praxis. I was attracted to the mysterious nature of the Orthodox Church. This can be a very vague statement, almost cliché and it's tough to quantify, though for one, I just felt, in a profound way, how the church, during the Liturgy, became a totally different place, a place where the Kingdom of God becomes absolutely present. I also believe that the distinction of Essence and Energies really articulated what I had always believed about the nature of God and our relationship to him, and I think that most Christian expression is eventually rooted in attempts to articulate our experiences of His Energies. Many Orthodox-influenced works, including theological ones, right on down to Dostoevsky, had a great effect on me.

3. My comparative discussions with clergy and laity had an impact on me, especially one Orthodox priest back in the US. I know that His prayers, and those of many of you have played a part in my journey.

   There are other things, but I won't dig any deeper here. The most important point comes in a bit.

   The search went on through the summer/fall. My interest in Orthodoxy/Religion at all initially waned a bit when I got home; baseball season started (I coach and play for a College team that plays a Fall season), I was near my home Catholic parish again, and not in Russia anymore. I attended that church, but I felt something strange about it. I got so confused, that for a time last Fall I think I even doubted God. I became very aloof, all the different arguments and bits of history I had read invading my thoughts and jumping around in circles. I attended no church for a few weeks, did not pray, just felt off, overwhelmed by all the reading and talking I had done. I exhibited some ugly attitudes, I believe, at this time.
    
     Finally, I came back, like I always did, but resolved to stop trying so darn hard, and let prayer, and attendance at church do the talking. This was just before coming back to Russia, but I had already begun to feel the gentle tug of the Holy Spirit into the Orthodox Church. The last few weeks we were in the US, we went to Anya's church together, I a few times alone, to Vespers, etc.
   When I got back to Russia, we all started going to church together, and then I met a fellow American convert to Orthodoxy, and then a priest, and a parish. I finally had a sit-down with this priest, and expressed my interest in Orthodoxy. We chatted for a while, and he made some suggestions. I, unofficially, at this meeting, became a catechumen, for all intents and purposes. I resolved to basically keep trying Orthopraxis out, eyes wide open. Anya and I began to say a prayer rule every night, together. The children were chrismated, and I entered Lent not certain, but feeling like I was becoming Orthodox. I have fasted through Lent, which has been eye-opening in many directions, kept that prayer rule, and been more Christ-centered than ever before, looking for His will as much as possible. I have prayed more thoroughly, constantly, and meaningfully than I ever have before.
        This is that important point I mentioned before; Every time I am honest with myself, I recognize that pull into the Orthodox Church, and how right what I am doing is.
   
        This is/has not been  an easy path, at all, for many reasons: I hate thinking that I would be putting up a barrier between myself and my very close Catholic friends. Orthodoxy, the most ancient of Christian faiths, is still in its infancy in America; it is present, but people don't understand it. The community of the Church is not so ubiquitous as is that of the RC Church, or the various branches ofProtestantism. I know that those in my family/friends who are not believers, and who probably took my conversion to Catholicism not too seriously a decade ago, seeing it as a passing phase, whom I have worked so hard to gain respect for my faith from, will find newfound conviction in that assumption that I am just passing through phases. I will have a hard time explaining this move to many people, even believers, who do not understand Orthodoxy. I will be leaving a tradition that has nursed me in many ways, that brought me to Christ, really, that has worship, music, art, literature and spiritual tradition that I love, and always will love in some ways. Make no mistake, I will never see the Roman Catholic Church as just another denomination. I have disagreements, now, and I believe that Rome is in error in many ways, and I believe that the Orthodox Church is the fullest embodiment of the One, Holy , Catholic and Apostolic Church, but I cannot hate Rome, nor should I hate anyone searching for Christ.

   Yesterday, Saturday, I made a confession to my priest here in Russia. I said the Creed, with him, took the name of Nikolai, and renounced my RC beliefs. I approached heartbroken, and exited the cathedral to the brightest sun I've seen in a long time. Today, on Palm Sunday, I took Communion with my family, and was received into the Orthodox Church fully. My feeling of calm and well-being is incomparable, and our little family, I, my wife, my son and daughter, and the next little one whom we are eagerly awaiting, are so joyous!

I ask that you pray for me, a sinner, especially in my spiritual infancy, when I am so vulnerable to the attacks of the Evil One. Thank you for allowing me to share my story.

Humbly and gratefully, In Christ,

Jim/Nikolai
« Last Edit: April 17, 2011, 05:44:49 AM by JimCBrooklyn » Logged

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« Reply #72 on: April 17, 2011, 07:46:44 AM »

thanks for sharing your story, nikolai. truly our God is great and can do wonders. i live and work where there are no orthodox Christians (except 1 who i see sometimes at work but not every week), so i am used to the various reactions people give. it is a real encouragement for me to read your story, so it is worth sharing.
may God bless you and your family and increase your love for the lost and ignorant people who so need God's touch. may you be full of grace and mercy.

dan the man, thanks also for sharing, may God also bless you on your journey. remember God's timing is perfect, so don't rush what He is doing in your heart. have great patience with your family and focus on the things you all share (love for God, prayer etc.) let mercy triumph over judgement and use the hard times to draw you closer to God so He can work on you and those around you can see your peace that God gives you. keep praying and reading the Bible.
i also read a lot of church history before coming to my orthodox conclusion. in my mind the main thing that harms the church most is not 'modern influences' (although, of course, that can be a problem) but corruption and the desire to look 'good' in front of people. that is why churches that have suffered persecution are often full of sincere people. if you are able to, get hold of a copy of the orthodox study Bible (thomas nelson publishing) as there is enough commentary in their to keep you busy studying for a few years and it is generally good orthodox teaching.
may God guide you, and may the journey be beautiful, filled with warmth, flowers and the sound of creation praising it's Creator.
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« Reply #73 on: April 17, 2011, 08:22:33 AM »

I think if you can find a Church with valid Apostolic succession which confesses the original Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed... you'll do fine.

Concentrate on mercy and telling the truth in Christ.

I doubt very much if God ultimately cares that much about the calendar or that you had to take a seat for a few moments during a service. He cares more about how we treat all the people in this world...

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« Reply #74 on: April 17, 2011, 10:52:39 AM »

dan the man, thanks also for sharing, may God also bless you on your journey. remember God's timing is perfect, so don't rush what He is doing in your heart. have great patience with your family and focus on the things you all share (love for God, prayer etc.) let mercy triumph over judgement and use the hard times to draw you closer to God so He can work on you and those around you can see your peace that God gives you. keep praying and reading the Bible.
i also read a lot of church history before coming to my orthodox conclusion. in my mind the main thing that harms the church most is not 'modern influences' (although, of course, that can be a problem) but corruption and the desire to look 'good' in front of people. that is why churches that have suffered persecution are often full of sincere people. if you are able to, get hold of a copy of the orthodox study Bible (thomas nelson publishing) as there is enough commentary in their to keep you busy studying for a few years and it is generally good orthodox teaching.
may God guide you, and may the journey be beautiful, filled with warmth, flowers and the sound of creation praising it's Creator.
Thank you very much! Cheesy I do actually intend to purchase an Orthodox Study Bible sometime soon, but they're a bit hard to come by in the local bookstores, and probably way outside my price-range. I don't suppose anybody would know of any website or something where I could get one for less expensive?
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« Reply #75 on: April 17, 2011, 11:49:55 AM »

Quote
Concentrate on mercy and telling the truth in Christ.

I doubt very much if God ultimately cares that much about the calendar or that you had to take a seat for a few moments during a service. He cares more about how we treat all the people in this world...

Thanks. Neither calendars nor pews would seem to be big issues in and of themselves (and I'll be shocked if I ever meet someone who believes that God will condemn someone for needing to take a seat), though I've noticed that churches that conform to tradition on some of these peripheral issues tend to take doctrinal and other substantive issues more seriously as well.

Of course you can't go wrong by concentrating on mercy and telling the truth in Christ, but what does that mean? For example, the current pope of the novus ordo church actively participates in synagogue worship and forbids efforts to convert Jews to Christianity. Within my lifetime, the Good Friday liturgy has removed the prayer for Jews ("Let us pray also for the faithless Jews: that almighty God may remove the veil from their hearts; so that they too may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord.") and replaced it with "Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God, that they may continue to grow in the love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant." Which of these contradictory statements concentrates on mercy and tells the truth in Christ?

Perhaps “immersion” in Orthodoxy opens our hearts to the answers so that our minds don't get mired in such questions?
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« Reply #76 on: April 17, 2011, 04:03:44 PM »


Thanks. Neither calendars nor pews would seem to be big issues in and of themselves (and I'll be shocked if I ever meet someone who believes that God will condemn someone for needing to take a seat), though I've noticed that churches that conform to tradition on some of these peripheral issues tend to take doctrinal and other substantive issues more seriously as well.
 

I agree wholeheartedly and the proof is in the pudding there... but the truth is I don't think that we can really fully understand these things if we are outside of the Church. It kinda puts the cart before the horse a bit.

I think you're doing well to ponder these things and I also think you've done well in finding Orthodoxy.

Now find yourself a rightly confessing Church and get in there.

Don't abandon these questions you have... but neither make them the most important issue in your mind. The issue that should be of utmost priority to you is entering into communion with the Lord, and receiving His Holy Spirit.

This is my prescription.

Quote
Of course you can't go wrong by concentrating on mercy and telling the truth in Christ, but what does that mean? For example, the current pope of the novus ordo church actively participates in synagogue worship and forbids efforts to convert Jews to Christianity. Within my lifetime, the Good Friday liturgy has removed the prayer for Jews ("Let us pray also for the faithless Jews: that almighty God may remove the veil from their hearts; so that they too may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord.") and replaced it with "Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God, that they may continue to grow in the love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant." Which of these contradictory statements concentrates on mercy and tells the truth in Christ?

I understand completely and I agree.

But that's what brought you towards Orthodoxy, isn't it?

What does it matter what the Pope does to you and your Salvation?

If you take my advice in seeking a Church which has valid Apostolic succession and correctly confesses the un-altered Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed... then this should preclude any more worries about the Pope.

God judges those who are outside of the Church.

Quote
Perhaps “immersion” in Orthodoxy opens our hearts to the answers so that our minds don't get mired in such questions?

I don't think you need my affirmation to the truth you've already come to.

Christ did not reveal the Scriptures in the Scriptures. Christ wrote nothing.

But Christ did reveal the Scriptures to His Apostles... and they in turn revealed them to the Church - and the Church remains.

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« Reply #77 on: April 17, 2011, 04:15:41 PM »

hi, dan the man (and others who may want an awesome study Bible);
i would like to suggest that you order the Bible from a local bookshop (Christian if there is one) and then, as you order, mention there are orthodox Christians in the area, or that you have heard it's really good, or something to start up a conversation. then (hopefully) they will order in several more, maybe even put them in the window.
then mention to other orthodox Christians that you know that you have seen the orthodox study Bible in the local book shop (you don't have to tell them why!) and soon the book shop owners will be happy as they have more customers, orthodox Christians will have a great Bible and other Christians and people passing by the shop will see the orthodox Bible and start to think about their own relationship with God.
just my little evangelistic suggestion...
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« Reply #78 on: June 13, 2011, 12:25:16 AM »

 
My conversion story isn't finished yet, but here's the preview of it, and hopefully I'll write more at Pascha next year.

I was raised in a Christian household attending a mainline protestant church. My father was Episcopalian and my mother was baptist. Neither was strict about denominational differences, though; they just wanted a good church where they could take their children every Sunday. The Methodist church seemed like the perfect place, and this is where I first learned the foundations of Christianity. Protestantism in my family remains pretty well intact; my parents still go to the methodist church and my sister was once an evangelical missionary.

In middle school and high school, I started to have doubts about the United Methodist Church and denominationalism in general. The church took a liberal stance on issues like homosexual clergy and female pastors, and I could not bring myself to support them when I read conflicting views from the Bible itself. Passively I began to float away from Methodism into the bigger cloud of Protestant Christianity. It was at this same time that I started defining other faith issues, like rejecting "once saved, always saved" and affirming celibacy before marriage.

Going into College, I had my first run-in with the Catholic Church. I decided to go to Mass one night instead of following friends to a party, and I was sincerely impressed by the ritual and liturgy that Catholicism had which Protestantism didnt. The Church was very traditional, and I attended fairly often. After talking it over with a Catholic friend, I decided to convert. I never felt any divine sign from heaven or some great pull towards Catholicism; I simply went up to a priest and asked when RCIA was being held.

During my first year of living the Catholic faith, I deeply enjoyed being Catholic. I absolutely believe that the orders of Catholicism are valid, and all the sacraments which come with it. I have received beautiful forgiveness in confession and I partook the Eucharistic feast. I went to Mass every weekend (often multiple times) and on weekdays, joined the Knights of Columbus, became Co-President of the college's Newman Club, recited the Rosary every day, wore the Brown Scapular, etc etc. But through all of this, I still had major problems with the faith.

The first was legalism. Here was one scenario: On one Saturday I drove 50 minutes away to attend a priest's 2-hour long ordination mass, and then went to an Orthodox Church (a church which has valid sacraments according to our own Magisterium) the following Sunday for the 1.5 hour divine liturgy. Neither of these commitments fulfilled the Catholic Church's requirement for Sunday Mass, so I also had to go an extra hour on Sunday night in order to avoid a state of mortal sin. This sort of thing happened all the time - it didn't seem to matter how good my disposition towards God was so long as I fulfilled the letter of the law. As long as I did those things, I was in a state of grace, and that was all I needed to get into heaven. The Pharisees would agree.

Legalism aside, the other great thorn in my Catholic side was the complete obliteration of Church Tradition. Unlike the traditional chapel at my college, the Church in my hometown had funky new-age altars, rock music, and priests who looked like pastors with plain white robes and stoles. That was not the High Catholic Church I had signed up for. Like I commented on another thread, I believe that the reverence and solemnity of the Church are essential to the faith, and a modernism which aims to revamp millenia of tradition is incompatible to this solemnity. It quickly became clear that Catholics guide Catholic tradition, but Orthodoxy guides the Orthodox.

With these problems still looming, I tried going to a Tridentine Mass and found it nonplus. I couldn't hear the priest (though I'm a classics major with 7 years of Latin under my belt) and I didn't know what was going on half the time. So I started going to an Orthodox Church. Surprisingly, I felt completely at home in the Church in ways that years of Catholic services have never made me feel. The love and forgiveness of God became much more real, and thoughts of fulfilling the checklist of Catholic obligations immediately seemed absurd by comparison. It is an incredible sigh of relief to have found such a treasure, and that's where I stand currently in the journey towards Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism.
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« Reply #79 on: June 13, 2011, 12:26:39 PM »

Hello.

I was baptised 17 years ago, on Pascha.  I was reading Orthodox material, 6 years prior to that, but still going to the RC Church on Sundays.  I didn't know anything about the Orthodox Church.  I met some Greek Orthodox students in University and was taken a couple of times for Pascha.  We stood outside the Church, near midnight, because it was packed.  Looking back, I can see God's guidance towards Him, like a fore-shadowing.  My decision was based on the writings of the Orthodox saints.  Their spiritual instructions hit me right to the core of my soul.  And, on the facts of the Great Schism.  When I learnt that, that's when I was determined to convert.  And my determination was so powerful that not even my parents' anger would sway me.  I knew it was the absolutely right thing to do.  But, of course, the evil one will not be silent when he sees a soul turn to God.  I had some difficult moments once I was made a catechumen in the GOC (8 months before baptism).  But, nothing would stop me from getting to the baptismal font.  I can be pretty stubborn when I'm determined.  In this case, that characteristic was what I needed. And there were many situations that I had to overcome with my family afterwards.  Over time, they got used to it, but still not necessarily happy about it, even to this day.  But, we are still a family and I see them as I always would for all occassions.  The hardest part is when they have Easter before us.  And on some Saturdays or Sundays of feast days that I have to tell them that I'm going to Church first and then drop by afterwards whether for a birthday, mother's day or father's day.  Sometimes, they will protest, but I just put my foot down.

I don't miss anything about the RC services.  To me, they are so one-dimensional compared to what I experienced in the Greek Church.  RC's theology, practices, services and such are depleted of any deeply spiritual essence of worship of our Lord and Saviour.  I don't believe in the Apparitions or their so-called miracles.  I kept nothing of the things I grew up with.  I embraced everything of the Orthodox teachings, traditions, prayer life and mindset.  My identity starts and ends with my Orthodox faith.

In Christ, Joanna
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« Reply #80 on: July 04, 2011, 09:36:35 AM »

I began life as an Orthodox Jew, converted to Traditional Roman Catholicism in 1978 when I was 18, fell away for a time when the Traditional Latin Mass was no longer available at my local motel/chapel (this was the 1970s when the TLM was "forbidden" by the novus ordos and hard to find elsewhere).....I found an Eastern Catholic church when took some getting used to but I remembered the traditional Latin priest saying that if we couldn't find a TLM the Eastern Catholic Liturgy would suffice....stayed there for 4 years but then we had to move out of state and there was no Eastern Catholic church near us anymore, so I was churchless but desperately craving spiritual communion.

I finally decided that the true church must not exist, since the gates of hell had obviously prevailed against the RCC since V2, so in a desperation for some sort of spiritual communion, I returned to the Orthodox Judaism of my childhood, not knowing anywhere else to go (if I'd known of Orthodox Christianity back then it might have prevented that.)

Several years in Orthodox Judaism was like living in a spiritual desert; once you have known Christ you cannot return to a religion whose basis is manmade laws and legalisms (hard to explain, you'd have to have experienced it). In my search for a mystical relationship with God I drifted into the mystical end of Judaism (Zohar, Kabbalah), and interestingly, aspects of that caused me to think of Christ again, esp. when I discovered the fact that mystical, Orthodox Jewish teaching believes that God is of a triune nature!

I make a long story short, I found the Orthodox Church after my return to Christ....I knew something of the Orthodox Church from a friend, but my real discovery came through a study I did on the LXX vs the Masoretic text (another long story).
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« Reply #81 on: July 04, 2011, 10:03:14 AM »

One day after I attending one of the Mass I decided to walk over the larger RC Church that uses the Novus Ordo Mass, I wanted to look at it and One of the Priest there I knew, well a RC Nun walk up tp us and started to talk to the priest and in the middle of the talk the priest introduce me to the Nun as one of the Latin Mass group. Well when she found out, her reply was " OH ONE OF THEM"  after leaving the Church at that time I was very steamed. I felt that I didn't want to go back any more to the RC Church anymore and stop attending anything.

One day it popped again in my head to call the Orthodox Priest that I knew and asked if I could come back to Church. Well when I spoke to him and asked him I told I wanted to convert to the Orthodox faith. I was still was steamed about what happen to me but, I put it behind me.  So I started to attend the Divine Liturgy once again and going though religionist instruction in the faith I converted on Jan. 7, 2001. My life started to grow as a Christian and the feeling of anger I felt started to leave me.  What I was told by the Deacon’s wife was that she prayed for me to return to the faith everyday for all the time I was gone. She told me when I spoke to her a few years back and she reminds me every so often still.

Here I also wanted to say that when I was a small kid my mother used to teach me religion and she told me to cross my finger in this manor she told me to put the first three fingers together and close the last two down. She told me that this is the true way of doing it and if anyone told me different she said don’t listen to them. My roots are Southern Italian my grandparents families comes south of Naples and Sicily. After converting to Orthodoxy I started to look into history and found out that Southern Italy was at one time Eastern Orthodox a very long time ago. Strange still when I was a small kid I always had a question for GOD I asked HIM where did all of this my mother was teaching come from. I told GOD I wanted to better understand where it came from and that I wanted to be a part of it in my life. I began to feel at one time in history my family’s was once part of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  I find that my prayer as a young kid has been answered by GOD in I am now an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

I feel GOD will me to come to the True Church where I truly belonged too. I happier even with my all of my health concerns that I still have ; but I still joy in being who I am as an Orthodox Christian.

GOD bless I have to go for now.


I can relate to a degree with your experience with the nun.  I myself became attracted to more traditional worship shortly after becoming more interested in the Catholic faith in which I was raised.  I remember, before the motu propio came out, it was taboo in many Catholic circles to talk favorably of the TLM and pre-Vatican II Catholicism.  I admittedly still struggle with frustration over my whole experience in Catholicism (living at home now might have to do with it), but I am glad to be Orthodox.    

This is very true, I remember the 1970s becasue that was when I was baptized RC and got involved with the traditionalists at that time. We had to skulk around, having TLM's in hiding in Ramada Inns...I used to take buses 2 hours each way to attend. All that did was make me even more determined. But then the priest died and they moved the Mass location much further away to where there was another priest, and since I don't drive, I couldn't get there anymore.
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« Reply #82 on: July 04, 2011, 10:05:53 AM »

I recommend finding a Church that has "true" and/or "genuine" in the title. For example, if a Church is called "The true genuine hellenic greek orthodox old calendarist church of North America," that's a good start. This will cut down significantly on the time you'll spend traveling through Orthodoxy and coming out on the other side.

Haha, I hear ya! Its why I decided even before I set foot in an Orthodox Church, that I'd make a beeline straight to ROCOR (but God had other ideas, alas!)

I just found out about the Old Believers yesterday....I know they're schismatic but if you're really into self-mortification and strictness, I doubt they can be beat!  Grin
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 10:15:30 AM by Xenia1918 » Logged

"O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us..." (from the Prayer of St Basil the Great)

REAL RC: http://www.traditionalmass.org
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« Reply #83 on: July 04, 2011, 10:13:15 AM »

dan the man, thanks also for sharing, may God also bless you on your journey. remember God's timing is perfect, so don't rush what He is doing in your heart. have great patience with your family and focus on the things you all share (love for God, prayer etc.) let mercy triumph over judgement and use the hard times to draw you closer to God so He can work on you and those around you can see your peace that God gives you. keep praying and reading the Bible.
i also read a lot of church history before coming to my orthodox conclusion. in my mind the main thing that harms the church most is not 'modern influences' (although, of course, that can be a problem) but corruption and the desire to look 'good' in front of people. that is why churches that have suffered persecution are often full of sincere people. if you are able to, get hold of a copy of the orthodox study Bible (thomas nelson publishing) as there is enough commentary in their to keep you busy studying for a few years and it is generally good orthodox teaching.
may God guide you, and may the journey be beautiful, filled with warmth, flowers and the sound of creation praising it's Creator.
Thank you very much! Cheesy I do actually intend to purchase an Orthodox Study Bible sometime soon, but they're a bit hard to come by in the local bookstores, and probably way outside my price-range. I don't suppose anybody would know of any website or something where I could get one for less expensive?


http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=orthodox+study+bible is where I got mine. If you buy a used one its even cheaper ("used" on Amazon doesn't mean in bad shape, btw...it usually just means someone owned it before...I've bought "used" books that were still in shrink wrap!)
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 10:17:32 AM by Xenia1918 » Logged

"O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us..." (from the Prayer of St Basil the Great)

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REAL OC: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com
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« Reply #84 on: July 04, 2011, 12:35:41 PM »

 Smiley
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« Reply #85 on: July 30, 2011, 11:25:49 AM »

One day after I attending one of the Mass I decided to walk over the larger RC Church that uses the Novus Ordo Mass, I wanted to look at it and One of the Priest there I knew, well a RC Nun walk up tp us and started to talk to the priest and in the middle of the talk the priest introduce me to the Nun as one of the Latin Mass group. Well when she found out, her reply was " OH ONE OF THEM"  after leaving the Church at that time I was very steamed. I felt that I didn't want to go back any more to the RC Church anymore and stop attending anything.

One day it popped again in my head to call the Orthodox Priest that I knew and asked if I could come back to Church. Well when I spoke to him and asked him I told I wanted to convert to the Orthodox faith. I was still was steamed about what happen to me but, I put it behind me.  So I started to attend the Divine Liturgy once again and going though religionist instruction in the faith I converted on Jan. 7, 2001. My life started to grow as a Christian and the feeling of anger I felt started to leave me.  What I was told by the Deacon’s wife was that she prayed for me to return to the faith everyday for all the time I was gone. She told me when I spoke to her a few years back and she reminds me every so often still.

Here I also wanted to say that when I was a small kid my mother used to teach me religion and she told me to cross my finger in this manor she told me to put the first three fingers together and close the last two down. She told me that this is the true way of doing it and if anyone told me different she said don’t listen to them. My roots are Southern Italian my grandparents families comes south of Naples and Sicily. After converting to Orthodoxy I started to look into history and found out that Southern Italy was at one time Eastern Orthodox a very long time ago. Strange still when I was a small kid I always had a question for GOD I asked HIM where did all of this my mother was teaching come from. I told GOD I wanted to better understand where it came from and that I wanted to be a part of it in my life. I began to feel at one time in history my family’s was once part of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  I find that my prayer as a young kid has been answered by GOD in I am now an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

I feel GOD will me to come to the True Church where I truly belonged too. I happier even with my all of my health concerns that I still have ; but I still joy in being who I am as an Orthodox Christian.

GOD bless I have to go for now.


I can relate to a degree with your experience with the nun.  I myself became attracted to more traditional worship shortly after becoming more interested in the Catholic faith in which I was raised.  I remember, before the motu propio came out, it was taboo in many Catholic circles to talk favorably of the TLM and pre-Vatican II Catholicism.  I admittedly still struggle with frustration over my whole experience in Catholicism (living at home now might have to do with it), but I am glad to be Orthodox.    

I am just now also growing out of the frustration I feel about the changes made in the RCC after V2; I don't think I will ever "get over" the hurt and feeling of betrayal I felt in the 1970s, when, as a new Tradiitonal Catholic, novus ordo friends shunned me for adhering to Tradition. I just hope and pray Orthodoxy never goes down that same path, God forbid.
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"O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us..." (from the Prayer of St Basil the Great)

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« Reply #86 on: July 30, 2011, 11:31:11 AM »

My "conversion" is not complete (have asked to become a catechumen and was advised by a Russian Orthodox priest to continue studying and attending awhile longer before committing), but is based on one simple thing: belonging to the One True Church. I started out (many years ago) as a Protestant and through study became convinced that Protestantism had no deep roots and there was no possibility of it being the original New Testament Church. I then studied Catholicism and after a few years converted, only to find that what passes for the Catholic Church today is no different than the Protestant one that I left. I later learned that the Catholic Church (or what poses as the CC) teaches doctrines that are completely opposite what they taught as recently as a half century ago (since the second Vatican council). They have also changed the Mass, changed the sacraments for ordaining priests and consecrating bishops, etc., etc. After a few more years of study I became a "traditional Roman Catholic," rejecting all of the changes, and figured I was finally home. But eventually I was confronted with the idea that what had happened in Vatican II was just the latest in a long line of changes and innovations, not something without precedent. Were these changes really so different from adding the filioque? And even in disciplinary matters (such as fasting), why was the communion "fast" now 3 hours long (only 1 hour! for the novus ordo) and why was Easter vigil at noon on Saturday instead of during the night? And so forth ....

So I'm now studying Orthodoxy, which for the most part is making a lot of sense and seems to have the deepest roots of all. Of course I'm finding that the "modernism" that has infested the Catholic Church has unfortuntely made a lot of headway among the the modern Orthodox, so finding a church that is truly Orthodox (rather than new calendar, pews, joining in ecumenical dialog and with Benedict XVI, protestants, etc.) is not easy.

Two biggest obstacles now are language (not many English speakers at this church)  and being able to stand for hours on end (I'm serious - any advice appreciated).



WOW...your experience is almost identical to mine, the one difference is that I started out as Jewish.
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"O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us..." (from the Prayer of St Basil the Great)

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« Reply #87 on: August 29, 2011, 08:22:21 PM »

Hello, this is my first post here.

I am currently a Roman Catholic, although I was raised Southern Baptist and spent some time as an atheist before converting last year. After adopting the Jesus Prayer during Lent this year, I have slowly grown more interested in the Orthodox Church. I have never been to a Divine Liturgy (there are no Orthodox parishes in my county - the closest one is a Greek Orthodox Church an hour and ten minutes away. I hope to attend some Sunday soon.)

I have recently begun to investigate the claims of both the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. History, Scripture, and philosophy have been my tools. What I've found in the Orthodox theology has greatly impressed - and disturbed - me. Impressed because, so far, it seems solid - no loopholes, no logical fenangling to make certain concepts work - it all seems so very organic and natural and logically consistent.

And this frightens me. It draws me in, attracts me, and frightens me all at the same time.

I had considered entering a traditionalist seminary after college. I started on my major (Latin) for religious purposes. I had worked for a year to get my mother and brother to go to Mass, and now that they are going regularly I begin to doubt. I was, until just recently, a weekly penitent, considered by my spiritual director to be scrupulous because I like doing works of penance.

I have looked into the theology of both and the historical claims of both. Almost every time, where the two diverge, I find the Orthodox position more reasonable and more supported by the historical record. One point remains, and if that one point remains with Rome, than all of Rome's divergences from the Orthodox east are at least sufficiently justified. If it falls, then I will be certain. That point is, of course, the universal jurisdiction and infallibility of the Bishop of Rome.

While at this point, I do not agree on dogmatic points like the nature of Original Sin or the Immaculate Conception (favoring the Orthodox approach), I will not disobey so long as I remain under Rome's jurisdiction. I will not confess nor receive communion until the Roman conception of the nature of the Papacy is either dashed or proven. If it is the first, I will leave the Roman Church. If it is proven, I will confess and do penance. I jumped into Roman Catholicism with two feet first when I came back to Christianity. I do not intend to do the same now.

My one desire is to know Christ more fully - and to do that, I need to be in the bosom of His Church.

Thank you.
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« Reply #88 on: August 30, 2011, 04:39:51 PM »

may God guide you.
keep reading, keep asking questions, and keep seeking God with all your heart, and the way will become clear.
i became orthodox 3 years ago after thoroughly researching the protestant and catholic theology and history and after being captivated by the humility of the saints of the coptic church.
i found the orthodox pragmatic approach to suffering (it will happen, God will help you deal with it) much more realistic and useful than the protestant approach (pray a lot and maybe it will go away) i had been used to. i learnt how to love my enemies and even pray for them!
may God show you the way.
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« Reply #89 on: October 18, 2011, 01:17:56 PM »

Hello Everyone,
I have been reading the forum for quite some time, but finally decided to make my first post.  I was a devout cradle Roman Catholic for most of my life.   I was very involved in the life of the parish (youth group, CCD catechist, RCIA coordinator, Extraordinary Minister, President of the Finance Council...you get the idea).  Well, my father bought a new house that backed up to an OCA church.  His backyard ends at the parking lot of the OCA church.  Over the years, the two priests in residence would stop by when they saw family picnics going on and say hello; they were/are very good neighbors.  In my duties as RCIA coordinator, I always looked for the opportunity to understand other religions so that I could better assist converts to the RC faith in the transition.  After a few discussions with the OCA priest he suggested that I take a look at "The Orthodox Church" and "The Orthodox Way" by Bishop Ware.  He also invited me to a Vespers service.  I showed up with my RC “Liturgy of The Hours”, but saw that things were just a bit different.  Vespers was longer than our Sunday mass!  
This is where my trouble began.  I saw that every part of Catholic theology I had difficulty coming to terms with were addressed to my satisfaction in the Orthodox church.  I listened to an Orthodox podcast called "Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy" and found that the priest had a few issues incorrect regarding the RCC, but for the most part he made a great deal of sense to me. 
I was greatly conflicted.  As deeply ingrained in the RCC as I was, I felt guilty even considering Orthodoxy.  My wife was always upset at the 45 minute watered down masses, inappropriate dress, and the general temperament of our parish.  The final straw for her was when a newly ordained deacon was assigned to our parish, he preached that Catholics should not support gay marriage and that practicing homosexuals should not present themselves for communion without confession.  Our pastor commented to me (president of finance committee), that he was concerned about a loss in revenue because of our new deacon's preaching.  The pastor complained to the bishop and the deacon was reassigned.  We left the parish for a Byzantine parish soon after that.
This Byzantine parish seemed to be the ticket.  My wife loved it, but was a bit shocked that they didn't keep fasts, and seemed very Latinized.  In our year there, we never saw an Akathist, but there was rosary prior to the liturgy.  All the while my mind was still on the Orthodox church literally across the street.  She was not ready to leave the Pope and I was not ready to go the whole way East without her (the OCA priest agreed).
Well, one day about two months ago, my wife said why don't we try liturgy at the Orthodox church?  I had been attending vespers there when I could and she would attend from time to time.  Well, we have not been back to the Byzantine parish since!
We have started Orthodoxy 101 classes with the intentions of becoming Orthodox.  I am still a bit concerned about the repercussions when my RC friends realize I have become Orthodox.  However, I still feel great joy in that I have found a place where I can truly work out my salvation in a like minded community.  My wife also feels that this is different.  We felt as Byzantine Catholics that we were stuck in the middle.  We had to believe the Fillioque, but our church didn't pronounce it during liturgy.  It was if they were masquerading as Orthodox, while hiding their true beliefs.  We felt like a hypocrites.

It is difficult knowing that I will be away from the sacraments for some time to come.  I tried my best to get to confession every two weeks and received communion nearly every week (I did not receive if I had not properly prepared with confession, fasting, and prayer…I was Orthodox and didn’t even know it).  I plan to discuss this with our priest shortly, but do not want to give him the opinion that I wish to rush the process. 
Please keep my family in your prayers.  I am sure that there will be some conflicts and hurdles to overcome, but we are also sure that this is the right decision.
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