I have not been Chrismated as of yet, so I’m a little timid about writing this. . .especially since I’m in the process of learning what the differences are. . .but I can tell you the immediate differences. The rest, I’ll have to come back in a few years and see what’s different.
The biggest thing for me is that I get the WHOLE Catholic . . . the WHOLE WHOLE CHURCH. I never felt, as much as I tried and tried that I could ever become someone who truly walked her faith – because the support just wasn’t there, the writings weren’t there, the prayer wasn’t there. . .the praise wasn’t there. It was like, I gathered with the body of Christ, only I only had an eyeball. . .or an ear. . .or a leg. . . dismembered and decapitated.
One part of the body cannot function without the rest of the body. . .and this is what I experienced. . .something that LOOKED like Christianity, but it didn’t hold its fullness nor its power.
I would go into mass. . .and experience the hour of mass – and find myself always wanting more. . .another hour. . .and it just wasn’t there. I do miss the Stations of the Cross – but Pascha in the Orthodox Church? Wow. This for me was a LIVING experience that I SHARED in. What a huge blessing. It made dying in Christ with Christ . . .that much more real to me.
This is the only thing I’ve missed as everything else is that plus that much more.
My relationship with My Lord . . . has become facetted. The way a true relationship with a true person SHOULD BE. I understand many of the things I really wondered about concerning my own life and the seasons I’ve gone through. I don’t respond to those as a blind man groping around . . . instead I can in a sense of wonder, praise Him for . . . being the perfect most merciful judge and lover of my soul. Ah, I’m healing. . . in Him. I took Him for granted in so many different ways. . . now? I’m aware of this sin. . .and offer it to Him in repentance. . .and what does He do? He pulls me closer to Him. I’m awed at His love.
The reason my relationship has become facetted is because I have the writings of the Fathers – something I never had before. I have a culture that understands and supports that we are ALL sinners and have fallen short of His glory. . . a culture that leaves the judgment up to Him who is the perfect Judge.
I finally have true support from every Christian that’s ever lived . . .I have the WHOLE. I have the TRUE CATHOLIC. . .and my understanding, from the heart. . .is completely different from what I had before. I am pulled closer to Him.
Day to day issues - More was added to my day (prayer, services and responsibilities to the church), and my office was completely changed around to accommodate my prayer corner on the East Wall – and I’m buying more books. . .’cause there’s just an never ending supply!!
My office smells like Frankincense and Myrrh – I love the smell . . . and there is often more food in the house for my hubby to munch on. These have not been issues – they’ve been much needed and very appreciated changes. There are a lot of changes. . .from what was before. . .as I was not active in any church for several years before I entered the Orthodox Church. I was looking for a church . . . but had pretty much given up on the Southern Hospitality of the Bible-Belt in the USA.