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Author Topic: Since Conversion..normal to feel qualitatively happier and life enhanced ??  (Read 713 times) Average Rating: 0
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finbar
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« on: November 26, 2010, 03:44:09 PM »

This may be deemed by some hardened old cynics as being rather a daft question....

But I struggled with embracing orthodoxy fro many many years. After a lot of thought and prayer i decided to become a catachumen and then become chrismated.

Since then I have experienced an extraordinary enhancement in the quality of my life... I find that the daily prayer routines leaves me feeling so happy and joyful.

I find it such a joy to say the Jesus Prayer in so many situations where othewise I would have ben bored. i waited for 45 minutes in a doctors waiting room and took out my prayer rope and felt by the time that i was called that the time i had been waiting had been of so much use to me.

I am not detached from the world. I lecture in economics and have to know all about what is going on. But so often now I just know that so much of it is really not in the end going to be that important.

I feel a happiness and lightness of being, which I can only describe as being able to see that what i thought WAS important in fact is not quite as important as I had fondly imagined for so long.

Am I alone in feeling this sense of liberation and not effervescent elation and over excitement, but rather a form of calm and settled sense of not being alone.

I hope that this is not illusory, and I really hope that some one will not take trouble to belittle me and my feelings.

Today I prayed to St Bridget to help our country Ireland in its terrible difficulties, and i did not feel foolish or naive, but derived a sense of doing the right thing that i have craved to feel, unsuccessfully om so many times in the past.

I feel I am doing something which is affirming my humanity....Am I alone in feeling this? I never ever felt this when I fulfilled my duties as a Roman Catholic in the past.....What do others think about this? Am I alone? Am I simply going nuts? 
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"Nothing troubles the man who is given over to the will of God.....He knows that the Lord in His mercy is solicitous for us.....But the proud and the self-willed do not want to surrender to God's will.." St Siluan the Athonite
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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2010, 04:06:21 PM »

Glory to God that He has put such joy in your heart! Of course there will be hard times and perhaps you will not always feel so elated, but you already know that. It is normal and human to experience grief and sadness as well as happiness. Just look at the Psalms. And even Jesus wept over Lazarus. But I think Jesus was also always joyful, even on the Cross. Because true joy and gladness and the peace that doth pass all understanding is a gift of God that cannot be taken away by external circumstances. You received this gift when you were chrismated, and you should treasure it. Again, Glory to God! Of course, it is easy to fall into the trap of letting our relationship with God be defined by our transient emotions. If you had experienced negative emotions since converting, conversion still would be right; we know this because Orthodoxy is objectively true, regardless of how we feel. Be faithful to God no matter what - that is what matters. IT seems to me we can also lose our joy if we forget God in sinful pride and self-sufficiency. But we can always return to Him in repentance and He will be running out to meet us. If we turn to Him in faith and repentance He is always ready to fill our hearts with supernatural joy and gladness.

I am very happy for you that you are experiencing joy since your conversion. Thanks be to God!
« Last Edit: November 26, 2010, 04:10:25 PM by JLatimer » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2010, 04:23:17 PM »

You have gotten past the attacks that come before Baptism, but in time you will have attacks again. I highly recommend the following book by ST Theophan the Recluse to assist you: Kindling The Divine Spark: Teachings On How To Preserve Spiritual Zeal . You are full of zeal now, but after the Chrism dries, we all need to keep kindling that divine spark.
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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2010, 04:24:16 PM »

Welcome to the Light!

Yes, it's natural to feel elation. It's like standing atop a mountain. But it's just the beginning of your journey. Bear in mind that as this desire to become a better Christian intensifies, and you pray for greater spiritual depth, your prayers will be answered in ways you may find challenging--if you're a fertile branch The Lord will surely prune you. But it's all to the good.
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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2010, 06:08:18 PM »

You have gotten past the attacks that come before Baptism, but in time you will have attacks again. I highly recommend the following book by ST Theophan the Recluse to assist you: Kindling The Divine Spark: Teachings On How To Preserve Spiritual Zeal . You are full of zeal now, but after the Chrism dries, we all need to keep kindling that divine spark.


That was a reply that with all respect to you I felt didnt really do an awful lot to celebrate my enthusiasm to be honest and whilst i know you meant well. I could'nt help but detect an element of pride in your tone, especially the sarcastic 'after the chrism dries' put down .

Pride is a trait that should be guarded against too I have been told by my spiritual Father.... one of the least appealing aspects of some Orthodox believers is a kind of hierarchy of sages and neophytes. Sorry, I have been around ortodoxy and orthodox believers for the past 35 years, and for a variety of perosnal reasons made my decision only recently.

I merely wished to share some joy, I neither invited or required a wet blanket...I address these observations to you in a spirit of humility, but I retain the right to differ with your take if thats ok with you. 
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2010, 06:17:41 PM »

PS my apologies.....

that reply was directed to  'Retired Administrator Nigula Qian Zishi
High Elder' and and not at all to the very thought provoking and helpful reply from JLatimer and others
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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2010, 06:30:38 PM »

You have gotten past the attacks that come before Baptism, but in time you will have attacks again. I highly recommend the following book by ST Theophan the Recluse to assist you: Kindling The Divine Spark: Teachings On How To Preserve Spiritual Zeal . You are full of zeal now, but after the Chrism dries, we all need to keep kindling that divine spark.


That was a reply that with all respect to you I felt didnt really do an awful lot to celebrate my enthusiasm to be honest and whilst i know you meant well. I could'nt help but detect an element of pride in your tone, especially the sarcastic 'after the chrism dries' put down .

Pride is a trait that should be guarded against too I have been told by my spiritual Father.... one of the least appealing aspects of some Orthodox believers is a kind of hierarchy of sages and neophytes. Sorry, I have been around ortodoxy and orthodox believers for the past 35 years, and for a variety of perosnal reasons made my decision only recently.

I merely wished to share some joy, I neither invited or required a wet blanket...I address these observations to you in a spirit of humility, but I retain the right to differ with your take if thats ok with you. 

No sarcasm meant. This is truly what you will experience. In your joy you will never forsee it now, but I offer this to you as a pre-emptive attack. I wish someone had given me this book when I was at your stage. Trust me, it was not meant as a wet blanket at all, just something that I think truly will help you carry this enthusiasm forward. Too many fall out of it unexpectedly and may never gain it. Many at these forums have gone through those steps, although they too never expected such a thing in their initial enthusiasm. "When the chrism dries" is actually something I heard from many clergy and laity and was never meant as any snide remark or attack.
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« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2010, 06:33:12 PM »

Glad for your joy   Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2010, 06:44:25 PM »

You have gotten past the attacks that come before Baptism, but in time you will have attacks again. I highly recommend the following book by ST Theophan the Recluse to assist you: Kindling The Divine Spark: Teachings On How To Preserve Spiritual Zeal . You are full of zeal now, but after the Chrism dries, we all need to keep kindling that divine spark.


That was a reply that with all respect to you I felt didnt really do an awful lot to celebrate my enthusiasm to be honest and whilst i know you meant well. I could'nt help but detect an element of pride in your tone, especially the sarcastic 'after the chrism dries' put down .

Pride is a trait that should be guarded against too I have been told by my spiritual Father.... one of the least appealing aspects of some Orthodox believers is a kind of hierarchy of sages and neophytes. Sorry, I have been around ortodoxy and orthodox believers for the past 35 years, and for a variety of perosnal reasons made my decision only recently.

I merely wished to share some joy, I neither invited or required a wet blanket...I address these observations to you in a spirit of humility, but I retain the right to differ with your take if thats ok with you. 

With all due respect, your thread title asked if it was normal to feel such emotions. The user responded that attacks will come again. And they will. The demons don't go away just because you have been received into the Ark of Salvation.

If you don't want people to answer a question, maybe you shouldn't ask it in the first place??
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2010, 06:46:32 PM »

I too have felt an overall sense of joy since my conversion in '06.   While there are times when circumstances are quite difficult and sorrowful I experience it very differently than my experience pre-Chrismation.  And, there is always that sense of hope and comfort even during difficult times.  

I have also found that my faith has been strengthened.  I completely identify with what you said about St. Bridget.

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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2010, 07:05:22 PM »

You have gotten past the attacks that come before Baptism, but in time you will have attacks again. I highly recommend the following book by ST Theophan the Recluse to assist you: Kindling The Divine Spark: Teachings On How To Preserve Spiritual Zeal . You are full of zeal now, but after the Chrism dries, we all need to keep kindling that divine spark.

I can attest to this experience myself. I, too, was filled with zeal and elation for the first few months following reception into the Church. Then the temptations starting rolling in (despair, disbelief, dissatisfaction, etc) and I have had great difficulty remaining steadfast since. It's good to be aware of this, as it is not uncommon. Thanks for the book link.
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2010, 07:13:00 PM »

Stavros that was great reply and the one that i found of the greatest use...I am in the same boat as you... I am rowing towards the shore in stormy waters...I dont imagine for a moment that i am safely anchored in the harbour and i bever will be....Thanks for your humility and help.
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