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Author Topic: Physical reactions to converting  (Read 3737 times) Average Rating: 0
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Veronika
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« on: January 21, 2011, 07:05:55 PM »

I'm new to the forum and I've wanted to ask, but have resisted posting this for a few weeks. I'm trying to figure out a phrasing that doesn't make my question sound rude.

Has anyone ever experienced a physical aversion to the idea of converting to Orthodoxy?

I first felt this feeling ~2.5 years ago when I first began to learn a bit more concretely what the Orthodox believe. From that time until roughly 4 months ago I avoided anything specifically Orthodox with great devotion, despite even that we switched to an Eastern Catholic parish during that time. Finally in Sept/October I bit the bullet and started researching. I listed to podcasts from ancient faith radio, read The Orthodox Church & The Orthodox Way among other books, documents, forums, etc. It has been slow going however as every time I hear or read a true or poignant comment I'm just overcome with nausea and need to stop thinking about it for fear of losing my lunch  Lips Sealed It sounds so horrible so please forgive me. I'm totally confused but also curious as I'm reminded of the men and women religious who felt aversion at their vocation so I was wondering if there were others who had experienced it.
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2011, 08:08:55 PM »

is it coupled with a non-physical aversion?
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2011, 08:20:49 PM »

Like emotional or intellectual?  Well, the idea of converting to any other religion has always, until very recently, been completely foreign to me and something downright impossible. If you're asking if I have some sort of bitter hatred, absolutely not.  I was raised to believe in the "other lung" theory so really never expected to feel strong emotions of any kind.
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2011, 10:58:25 PM »

A few times, I have felt nausea. It's uncommon for a mental conflict to be so severe that it actually translates into physical symptoms, but it can happen. It's happening in my case. Perhaps with you, you're just not comfortable leaving what you've grown accustomed to? It would be understandable.
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2011, 11:28:59 PM »

Perhaps it is an attack of the devil.
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 12:03:10 AM »

honestly, I know what you mean.  I hope the Byzantines on here don't hate me after sharing this  Undecided

well, my Church is Russian tradition.  when I go to Orthodox summer camp, they say Greek prayers and use Anthonite incense.  I get so sick, I had to go to the bathroom and throw up (I didn't recieve that day).  I don't know what it is, but my head starts to get dizzy when the greek chanting comes in, and I have to get some fresh air. 

or perhapse I'm going pentacostal and the holy spirit is making me convulse?
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2011, 12:08:38 AM »

honestly, I know what you mean.  I hope the Byzantines on here don't hate me after sharing this  Undecided

well, my Church is Russian tradition.  when I go to Orthodox summer camp, they say Greek prayers and use Anthonite incense.  I get so sick, I had to go to the bathroom and throw up (I didn't recieve that day).  I don't know what it is, but my head starts to get dizzy when the greek chanting comes in, and I have to get some fresh air. 

or perhapse I'm going pentacostal and the holy spirit is making me convulse?
Trevor, are you standing with your knees locked when this happens?
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2011, 12:10:49 AM »

honestly, I know what you mean.  I hope the Byzantines on here don't hate me after sharing this  Undecided

well, my Church is Russian tradition.  when I go to Orthodox summer camp, they say Greek prayers and use Anthonite incense.  I get so sick, I had to go to the bathroom and throw up (I didn't recieve that day).  I don't know what it is, but my head starts to get dizzy when the greek chanting comes in, and I have to get some fresh air. 

or perhapse I'm going pentacostal and the holy spirit is making me convulse?
Trevor, are you standing with your knees locked when this happens?
useually, yes.  could that have some reason to do with me getting ill?
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2011, 12:18:23 AM »

Dear Veronika:

Faith: Traditional Catholic/SSPX?

No wonder. I agree with Wandering Sheep that you are suffering severe mental conflict.  Do you really want to become Orthodox or do you feel that you are being compelled to become Orthodox? "Bit the bullet" sounds like you are being forced, and that is never a good thing. Conversion to Orthodoxy should be a joyous occasion, not a nauseating one.

If you are having these kinds of physical symptoms, something is very wrong.

May I ask why you are considering Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2011, 12:29:45 AM »

honestly, I know what you mean.  I hope the Byzantines on here don't hate me after sharing this  Undecided

well, my Church is Russian tradition.  when I go to Orthodox summer camp, they say Greek prayers and use Anthonite incense.  I get so sick, I had to go to the bathroom and throw up (I didn't recieve that day).  I don't know what it is, but my head starts to get dizzy when the greek chanting comes in, and I have to get some fresh air. 

or perhapse I'm going pentacostal and the holy spirit is making me convulse?
Trevor, are you standing with your knees locked when this happens?
useually, yes.  could that have some reason to do with me getting ill?

It cuts off blood circulation and when done for long periods of time can even cause someone to just pass out.
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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2011, 12:32:44 AM »

honestly, I know what you mean.  I hope the Byzantines on here don't hate me after sharing this  Undecided

well, my Church is Russian tradition.  when I go to Orthodox summer camp, they say Greek prayers and use Anthonite incense.  I get so sick, I had to go to the bathroom and throw up (I didn't recieve that day).  I don't know what it is, but my head starts to get dizzy when the greek chanting comes in, and I have to get some fresh air. 

or perhapse I'm going pentacostal and the holy spirit is making me convulse?
Trevor, are you standing with your knees locked when this happens?
useually, yes.  could that have some reason to do with me getting ill?

It cuts off blood circulation and when done for long periods of time can even cause someone to just pass out.

wow, that's good to know! thanks!
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« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2011, 12:33:19 AM »

honestly, I know what you mean.  I hope the Byzantines on here don't hate me after sharing this  Undecided

well, my Church is Russian tradition.  when I go to Orthodox summer camp, they say Greek prayers and use Anthonite incense.  I get so sick, I had to go to the bathroom and throw up (I didn't recieve that day).  I don't know what it is, but my head starts to get dizzy when the greek chanting comes in, and I have to get some fresh air. 

or perhapse I'm going pentacostal and the holy spirit is making me convulse?
Trevor, are you standing with your knees locked when this happens?
useually, yes.  could that have some reason to do with me getting ill?

Yeah, dude. You gotta unlock those knees and shift your weight around during services. If you stand for too long with your knees locked, this triggers a physical reaction which usually causes people to pass out.
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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2011, 01:14:34 AM »

Dear Veronika:

Faith: Traditional Catholic/SSPX?

No wonder. I agree with Wandering Sheep that you are suffering severe mental conflict.  Do you really want to become Orthodox or do you feel that you are being compelled to become Orthodox? "Bit the bullet" sounds like you are being forced, and that is never a good thing. Conversion to Orthodoxy should be a joyous occasion, not a nauseating one.

If you are having these kinds of physical symptoms, something is very wrong.

May I ask why you are considering Orthodoxy?


I've heard of Protestant converts to Catholicism having similar reactions. Some of them are programmed to hate Catholicism from such a young age that those first steps toward Catholicism can be traumatic. For a person such as the OP, who list their religious affiliation as SSPX, taking a step away from the pope could be equally traumatic. When you are taught your entire life to be Rome centered it can be difficult to break that attachment.
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2011, 02:12:23 AM »

Are you saying that the Catholic Church has branwashed it's faithful ,that parting from the vatican/pope, would create  traumatic withdrawal symptoms........wow Huh

Should Holy Orthodoxy Invest in a Deprogramer......


Dear Veronika:

Faith: Traditional Catholic/SSPX?

No wonder. I agree with Wandering Sheep that you are suffering severe mental conflict.  Do you really want to become Orthodox or do you feel that you are being compelled to become Orthodox? "Bit the bullet" sounds like you are being forced, and that is never a good thing. Conversion to Orthodoxy should be a joyous occasion, not a nauseating one.

If you are having these kinds of physical symptoms, something is very wrong.

May I ask why you are considering Orthodoxy?


I've heard of Protestant converts to Catholicism having similar reactions. Some of them are programmed to hate Catholicism from such a young age that those first steps toward Catholicism can be traumatic. For a person such as the OP, who list their religious affiliation as SSPX, taking a step away from the pope could be equally traumatic. When you are taught your entire life to be Rome centered it can be difficult to break that attachment.
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2011, 02:26:50 AM »

I don't know if this is helpful or possible, but when I went to an Orthodox morning service a couple of times, I did not feel well shortly after it started, stepped out for a short bit, and then came back in. I never felt like that at the later Armenian service. I hear the incense is different, also being a later time for a night owl like me is good, and the environment is more familiar because they rent an Episcopalian church. Maybe another Orthodox church parish would make you feel better?
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« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2011, 03:41:28 AM »


or perhapse I'm going pentacostal and the holy spirit is making me convulse?

lol

Dear Veronika:

Faith: Traditional Catholic/SSPX?

No wonder. I agree with Wandering Sheep that you are suffering severe mental conflict.  Do you really want to become Orthodox or do you feel that you are being compelled to become Orthodox? "Bit the bullet" sounds like you are being forced, and that is never a good thing. Conversion to Orthodoxy should be a joyous occasion, not a nauseating one.

If you are having these kinds of physical symptoms, something is very wrong.

May I ask why you are considering Orthodoxy?

I may be nuts  Wink but I don't think it's fair to imply all SSPXers are cultishly programmed. I don't feel forced to become Orthodox in the slightest. Who knows, I may never even set foot in an Orthodox Church. I am really confused at the strength of my reaction before I knew anything and before "the C word" (convert) was even on the table. I have admired certain aspects of other religions and read about them at various times without even the slightest issue. My husband and I began to attend an Eastern Catholic church about a year and a half ago, and after more than a year of avoidance I certainly did feel compelled  to "bite the bullet" and figure out what the heck these people I had been worshiping with believed, ya know? If it turned out EC was just a different take on RC I think everything would be done and over now, but instead I keep seeing incompatible truth.
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« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2011, 04:03:15 AM »

Hi Veronika:

I wasn't implying that SSPX was a cult. I'm just aware that it's very conservative theologically. (I am very conservative theologically.) Therefore, I suspect that would make it a little tricky to reconcile some beliefs. Deep in your heart, you may be encountering some resistance; that's all. You suggested your nausea was related to thought--not to incense or to standing for long periods of time. To my mind, a reaction that's so strong it manifests physically is trying to tell you something.

Just my impression.

Some psychiatrists believe that physical illness is a metaphor. I don't know how much credence I would give that, but the idea that one becomes nauseated because one "just can't stomach" something is intriguing.
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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2011, 04:08:04 AM »

I don't know if this is helpful or possible, but when I went to an Orthodox morning service a couple of times, I did not feel well shortly after it started, stepped out for a short bit, and then came back in. I never felt like that at the later Armenian service. I hear the incense is different, also being a later time for a night owl like me is good, and the environment is more familiar because they rent an Episcopalian church. Maybe another Orthodox church parish would make you feel better?
I meant to say that was a Coptic Orthodox service that I went to, and then an Armenian.
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« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2011, 02:14:27 PM »


or perhapse I'm going pentacostal and the holy spirit is making me convulse?

lol

Dear Veronika:

Faith: Traditional Catholic/SSPX?

No wonder. I agree with Wandering Sheep that you are suffering severe mental conflict.  Do you really want to become Orthodox or do you feel that you are being compelled to become Orthodox? "Bit the bullet" sounds like you are being forced, and that is never a good thing. Conversion to Orthodoxy should be a joyous occasion, not a nauseating one.

If you are having these kinds of physical symptoms, something is very wrong.

May I ask why you are considering Orthodoxy?

I may be nuts  Wink but I don't think it's fair to imply all SSPXers are cultishly programmed. I don't feel forced to become Orthodox in the slightest. Who knows, I may never even set foot in an Orthodox Church. I am really confused at the strength of my reaction before I knew anything and before "the C word" (convert) was even on the table. I have admired certain aspects of other religions and read about them at various times without even the slightest issue. My husband and I began to attend an Eastern Catholic church about a year and a half ago, and after more than a year of avoidance I certainly did feel compelled  to "bite the bullet" and figure out what the heck these people I had been worshiping with believed, ya know? If it turned out EC was just a different take on RC I think everything would be done and over now, but instead I keep seeing incompatible truth.


We don't think you've been cultishly programmed. People are raised to have a certain spiritual world view so to speak, and if that world view is disturbed for one reason or another it can be emotionally traumatic.

If you don't mind me asking, what "incompatible" truths are you talking about? Is there some reason why you're not happy in an Eastern Catholic or maybe a traditional Latin parish?
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« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2011, 03:05:22 PM »

honestly, I know what you mean.  I hope the Byzantines on here don't hate me after sharing this  Undecided

well, my Church is Russian tradition.  when I go to Orthodox summer camp, they say Greek prayers and use Anthonite incense.  I get so sick, I had to go to the bathroom and throw up (I didn't recieve that day).  I don't know what it is, but my head starts to get dizzy when the greek chanting comes in, and I have to get some fresh air. 

or perhapse I'm going pentacostal and the holy spirit is making me convulse?
Trevor, are you standing with your knees locked when this happens?
useually, yes.  could that have some reason to do with me getting ill?

It cuts off blood circulation and when done for long periods of time can even cause someone to just pass out.

wow, that's good to know! thanks!

Lol. Yeah, move around a bit, Trevor. Makes a world of difference.  Wink

And, of course, I'd remind you that, they may be Greek tradition, and you may be Russian tradition, but both traditions follow variations of the Byzantine Rite, as developed at the Great Church in Constaninople!  Grin
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« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2011, 04:32:18 PM »

honestly, I know what you mean.  I hope the Byzantines on here don't hate me after sharing this  Undecided

well, my Church is Russian tradition.  when I go to Orthodox summer camp, they say Greek prayers and use Anthonite incense.  I get so sick, I had to go to the bathroom and throw up (I didn't recieve that day).  I don't know what it is, but my head starts to get dizzy when the greek chanting comes in, and I have to get some fresh air.  

or perhapse I'm going pentacostal and the holy spirit is making me convulse?
Trevor, are you standing with your knees locked when this happens?
useually, yes.  could that have some reason to do with me getting ill?

It cuts off blood circulation and when done for long periods of time can even cause someone to just pass out.

wow, that's good to know! thanks!

Lol. Yeah, move around a bit, Trevor. Makes a world of difference.  Wink

And, of course, I'd remind you that, they may be Greek tradition, and you may be Russian tradition, but both traditions follow variations of the Byzantine Rite, as developed at the Great Church in Constaninople!  Grin

Thank God we Antiochians have pews!  Wink Cheesy
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« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2011, 05:08:08 PM »

I'm new to the forum and I've wanted to ask, but have resisted posting this for a few weeks. I'm trying to figure out a phrasing that doesn't make my question sound rude.

Has anyone ever experienced a physical aversion to the idea of converting to Orthodoxy?

I first felt this feeling ~2.5 years ago when I first began to learn a bit more concretely what the Orthodox believe. From that time until roughly 4 months ago I avoided anything specifically Orthodox with great devotion, despite even that we switched to an Eastern Catholic parish during that time. Finally in Sept/October I bit the bullet and started researching. I listed to podcasts from ancient faith radio, read The Orthodox Church & The Orthodox Way among other books, documents, forums, etc. It has been slow going however as every time I hear or read a true or poignant comment I'm just overcome with nausea and need to stop thinking about it for fear of losing my lunch  Lips Sealed It sounds so horrible so please forgive me. I'm totally confused but also curious as I'm reminded of the men and women religious who felt aversion at their vocation so I was wondering if there were others who had experienced it.

When my spiritual Father (who was protestant at the time) came to the realization that there was Truth in the Orthodox church, his immediate reaction was to become bed-ridden physically ill for several weeks.  So yes, I would say that is entirely plausible.

Christopher
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« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2011, 06:22:32 PM »

I can't say that I had a physical aversion to converting, but I did have a very serious psycho-spiritual attack about 2 weeks after my chrismation in December 1992.  I was doing evening prayers and suffered a severe panic attack, with a total focus of the attack on my doubts about my faith, not only as  an Orthodox Christian, but whether I even truly believed in God.  I ended up clinically depressed and suffering from round-the-clock anxiety and panic attacks all over whether I really was a believer.  Some good meds, and a lot of talking with my priest and a psychiatrist brought me out of it within a couple of months.  It was probably one of the worst periods of my life, following right after the most joyful.  I knew to expect some kind of post-conversion difficulties or let down, but I wasn't expecting this kind of spiritual attack. 

I'd known I had a family tendency towards towards anxiety and panic attacks, but I had a lot of triggers at that time including job stress, the purchase of a new house, the big emotions of conversion, and I truly believe, demonic attack.  Ironic that I have less doubts about the demonic than God himself!

The phrase that I hung on to from my priest was "Lack of faith is not doubt, but indifference".  Almost 20 years later I realize that for me faith is a conscious choice.  I'm not going to have carefree, childlike faith.  I choose to believe even though I am always going to have doubts.  That doesn't make me an unbeliever, just someone who struggles with belief.
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« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2011, 08:04:07 PM »

Hi Veronika:

I wasn't implying that SSPX was a cult. I'm just aware that it's very conservative theologically. (I am very conservative theologically.) Therefore, I suspect that would make it a little tricky to reconcile some beliefs. Deep in your heart, you may be encountering some resistance; that's all. You suggested your nausea was related to thought--not to incense or to standing for long periods of time. To my mind, a reaction that's so strong it manifests physically is trying to tell you something.

Just my impression.

Some psychiatrists believe that physical illness is a metaphor. I don't know how much credence I would give that, but the idea that one becomes nauseated because one "just can't stomach" something is intriguing.

Gotcha, thanks Smiley  It is intriguing to me. Not that I read so much into signs or feelings for the most part.
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« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2011, 08:08:51 PM »

When my spiritual Father (who was protestant at the time) came to the realization that there was Truth in the Orthodox church, his immediate reaction was to become bed-ridden physically ill for several weeks.  So yes, I would say that is entirely plausible.
That is really interesting!  Thanks for sharing that.

I can't say that I had a physical aversion to converting, but I did have a very serious psycho-spiritual attack about 2 weeks after my chrismation in December 1992. 

Thank you for sharing your story with me. That had to be really difficult. Sometimes it makes it easier when you can see commonalities in other's experiences.
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« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2011, 08:15:07 PM »

honestly, I know what you mean.  I hope the Byzantines on here don't hate me after sharing this  Undecided

well, my Church is Russian tradition.  when I go to Orthodox summer camp, they say Greek prayers and use Anthonite incense.  I get so sick, I had to go to the bathroom and throw up (I didn't recieve that day).  I don't know what it is, but my head starts to get dizzy when the greek chanting comes in, and I have to get some fresh air.  

or perhapse I'm going pentacostal and the holy spirit is making me convulse?
Trevor, are you standing with your knees locked when this happens?
useually, yes.  could that have some reason to do with me getting ill?

It cuts off blood circulation and when done for long periods of time can even cause someone to just pass out.

wow, that's good to know! thanks!

Lol. Yeah, move around a bit, Trevor. Makes a world of difference.  Wink

And, of course, I'd remind you that, they may be Greek tradition, and you may be Russian tradition, but both traditions follow variations of the Byzantine Rite, as developed at the Great Church in Constaninople!  Grin

Thank God we Antiochians have pews!  Wink Cheesy

It is true that you Antiochians (and Greeks, too, for the most part) in the States have innovated yourselves out of the asceticism of standing, but I guess we'll still accept you.  Wink

And sorry in advance for actively distracting from the OP!
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« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2012, 10:47:20 AM »

Perhaps it is an attack of the devil.

It is not an attack from the devil.I heard people say that this are good(positive) symptoms just like when babies start crying in the Church.
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« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2012, 11:29:56 AM »

My husband was raised Catholic and the night before he was received into the Orthodox Church, he sat in a rocking chair all night, sweating and physically sick. He was fine the next morning.
For me, when I was trying to make up my mind whether or not to convert, I had a constant headache or pressure (like a sinus headache, and I hardly ever have headaches). Once my priest and I set the date for my chrismation, the headache went away and has never come back.
Not exactly sure what's going on here but pretty sure that turmoil in the mind and/or heart can certainly manifest physically.
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« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2012, 12:00:15 PM »

Ive never felt any physical illness when it comes to the idea of me converting. 

The only thing that makes me sick is the fact that I havent converted yet...
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« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2012, 12:14:37 PM »

Run DMC has a song about this topic.
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« Reply #30 on: February 10, 2012, 12:15:26 PM »

Perhaps it is an attack of the devil.

It is not an attack from the devil.I heard people say that this are good(positive) symptoms just like when babies start crying in the Church.

sometimes i feel like i want to throw up when babies start crying in church...
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« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2012, 12:22:57 PM »

Perhaps it is an attack of the devil.

It is not an attack from the devil.I heard people say that this are good(positive) symptoms just like when babies start crying in the Church.

sometimes i feel like i want to throw up when babies start crying in church...

I hear some say these are good signs...  Grin
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« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2012, 12:42:53 PM »

The only time I've become physically ill from investigating Orthodoxy was after reading Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy by Fr. Andrew Damick. It's a good book, and I had already listened to the podcast series, but there's something about seeing it in print... My stomach twisted, I balked at troubling papal statements, and reading how those who reject the Pope's authority could possibly get to Heaven if they didn't have the opportunity to learn any better really frightened me (I obviously wouldn't have that safety net).

After I read the chapter on Catholicism, I tried to pray, but I was so full of doubt that I couldn't speak. If the Catholic Church has so many contradictions in its history, how do I know the Orthodox Church isn't the same? The fallibility of its leaders might not be a concern, but is it really the same faith as the apostles? I can't find a good critique of Orthodox history--is that because there's nothing to criticize or is it because Orthodoxy is such an unknown to the English speaking world?

In other parts of this forum there are Catholics critiquing Orthodox and Orthodox critiquing Catholics, and both groups are able to respond to each other. That's been helpful to me, I think. I don't have that feeling of helplessness when following an interactive discussion. 
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« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2012, 01:01:06 PM »

honestly, I know what you mean.  I hope the Byzantines on here don't hate me after sharing this  Undecided

well, my Church is Russian tradition.  when I go to Orthodox summer camp, they say Greek prayers and use Anthonite incense.  I get so sick, I had to go to the bathroom and throw up (I didn't recieve that day).  I don't know what it is, but my head starts to get dizzy when the greek chanting comes in, and I have to get some fresh air. 

or perhapse I'm going pentacostal and the holy spirit is making me convulse?
Trevor, are you standing with your knees locked when this happens?
useually, yes.  could that have some reason to do with me getting ill?

It cuts off blood circulation and when done for long periods of time can even cause someone to just pass out.

Now I know why I passed out every year on Pascha when I was an altar boy. It seemed very mysterious at the time.
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« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2012, 01:04:34 PM »

I do get overheated sometimes in church, but that's because of some medicine I have to take. If I remember to time it correctly beforehand, then not much happens.

If you feel extraordinarily worn out, you may want to splash some water on your face before service starts, or find a water fountain and take a few sips. I too had a little bit of difficulty getting used to the long services, but this tends to lessen over time.

 Smiley
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« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2012, 01:06:33 PM »

honestly, I know what you mean.  I hope the Byzantines on here don't hate me after sharing this  Undecided

well, my Church is Russian tradition.  when I go to Orthodox summer camp, they say Greek prayers and use Anthonite incense.  I get so sick, I had to go to the bathroom and throw up (I didn't recieve that day).  I don't know what it is, but my head starts to get dizzy when the greek chanting comes in, and I have to get some fresh air. 

or perhapse I'm going pentacostal and the holy spirit is making me convulse?
Trevor, are you standing with your knees locked when this happens?
useually, yes.  could that have some reason to do with me getting ill?

Yeah, dude. You gotta unlock those knees and shift your weight around during services. If you stand for too long with your knees locked, this triggers a physical reaction which usually causes people to pass out.

Thanks for reminding me about this. I attend a small crowded chapel where I stand motionless for what seems like an eternity. Then I start to feel dizzy and nauseated after a while, and must sit down or go outside to take a breath of fresh air. However, some of the younger folk come in, move to another section, and then come back to where I am, and this happens not once, but at least three times. Now I know. Thanks.

Would you know that one yia-yia at another church became upset and said that these people moving about were a distraction, but in most Orthodox Churches, especially the Russian Orthodox Church and OCA, it is common for people, especially the young ones to move about. In fact, you will even notice that yia-yias will rock back and forth like they are holding a baby. Hopefully, they are also not on psychoactive mind-altering drugs that are typically prescribed for the elderly (elder abuse anyone?).
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« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2012, 01:10:16 PM »

I don't know if this is helpful or possible, but when I went to an Orthodox morning service a couple of times, I did not feel well shortly after it started, stepped out for a short bit, and then came back in. I never felt like that at the later Armenian service. I hear the incense is different, also being a later time for a night owl like me is good, and the environment is more familiar because they rent an Episcopalian church. Maybe another Orthodox church parish would make you feel better?

Yes, any type of Rose Incense (especially Tsarina sp?) affects me this way. It gives me headaches, nausea, dizziness, etc.
I know that I am allergic to roses as I was tested in a doctor's office. I must stay nine feet away from rose gardens. When we got married, we avoided roses.

From what I have heard, a rose allergy is not uncommon.

Back in the 1990s when I was visiting two Orthodox Christian parishes as an inquirer, I mentioned this to the pastors, and they suggested that I attend another parish, which I did. It turns out that wealthy yia-yias who liked the scent of roses, had donated thousands of dollars toward the purchase of rose incense blends (Jerusalem and Tsarina being the most popular flavors).

To make matters worse, when I was in the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles back in the 1980s, I also experienced severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, bronchitis, and asthma. It turns out that Cardinal Mahony had been gifted millions of dollars by a benefactor to use artificial lemon scented air condition filters throughout the diocese. After writing the Cardinal a letter, he told me that I was excused from Mass and could pray at home. Can you imagine foregoing Holy Services and basically submitting to self-excommunication? No way. After that experience, I joined the Melkites who do not use those lemon-scented air condition filters as it would interfere with the glorious incense they use. However, the Melkites were a bridge to Orthodoxy, so I am now happily an Orthodox Christian where I do not have to worry about the latest change in the Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #37 on: February 10, 2012, 04:36:05 PM »

Perhaps it is an attack of the devil.

Have not read the whole thread (yet) but the above sounds correct to me.

You said "bite the bullet?", why did u say that? are you being forced?

This is my take;
Its possible that the closer you get (to conv to Orthodoxy) the worse it will get. Things will get in the way ,physical things. emotional things also (logismi). You will find many obstacles in your way!
See, there is a window the devil has to turn you away from orthodoxy, the closer you get the more intense it will become.
This is a positive thing~it says yo are on the right track.
The best thing to do to conteract these attacks is jump head first into Orthodoxy. Convert as quickly as possible. Once you are in and receiving the sacraments on a regular basis these things will go away...mostly.

I remember a Abbot of a monastery said, regarding people joining the monastery.
When the road to becoming a monk seams easy and without obstacles he is suspicious. but when he seas the possible monastic going through all sorts of obstacles/problems before joining he knows he is making the right choice in bringing in the person to monasticism.

Gota go cant write so much.

You are on the right path!
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« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2012, 04:59:30 PM »

I remember when I was a catechumen I would have bad thoughts about converting to Orthodoxy. I would get these images in my head of a monk in dirty rags swinging a censer or thoughts about having to live a hard life of asceticism where my will was in Christ's will, and with that kind of lifestyle it was just meaningless, I could be living a life of passions-- and I just wanted to revolt against it. I had to remind myself that those thoughts were from the demons. They don't want you to become Orthodox.

Stick to the path. You'll be fine.  Smiley
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« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2012, 05:53:35 PM »

interesting thread.
by the way, standing up for ages doesn't cut off yr circulation.
on the contrary, the blood pools in the big leg veins, so there is less blood going around than there should be.
moving around squeezes the leg muscles, which pumps the blood back up into the rest of the circulation, so u don't faint.
so the advice is good, i just wanted to clarify the science.
 Wink
anyone who stands a lot at work should be taught to wriggle the toes, so the blood will go back up without u obviously moving a lot. i stand a lot at work, so standing in church doesn't bother me, but as i get slightly older, getting up too quick from prostrations can be a problem! i started having problems with this as a teenager, so when u see some old granny taking half an hour to get up from each prostration (way in the future), that will be me!

as to nausea when thinking of something that was previously forbidden and inconceivable, this is a common interaction between the body and mind. there could also be a spiritual basis (demonic attack), but not necessarily.
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« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2012, 06:07:00 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

honestly, I know what you mean.  I hope the Byzantines on here don't hate me after sharing this  Undecided

well, my Church is Russian tradition.  when I go to Orthodox summer camp, they say Greek prayers and use Anthonite incense.  I get so sick, I had to go to the bathroom and throw up (I didn't recieve that day).  I don't know what it is, but my head starts to get dizzy when the greek chanting comes in, and I have to get some fresh air.  

or perhapse I'm going pentacostal and the holy spirit is making me convulse?
Trevor, are you standing with your knees locked when this happens?
useually, yes.  could that have some reason to do with me getting ill?

Yeah, dude. You gotta unlock those knees and shift your weight around during services. If you stand for too long with your knees locked, this triggers a physical reaction which usually causes people to pass out.

Yes, I also have to breathe extra deep breathes for our services, because continually chanting and singing all of our responses while having been standing rigid as a pole for three hours gets me a bit oxygen deprived and it makes me start to yawn uncontrollably which then has my eyes watering so much that I appear far to moved by the service Wink

When I looked into excessive yawning I found it is caused by slight O2 deprivation from breathing or circulation problems.  Since I have been practicing almost yoga like breathing during Liturgy, the problem has largely abated.

By the way, the symptoms I was experiencing were very much like hay fever, so for those who think they may be "allergic" to the incense, maybe its not the incense at all, but your breathing, so I highly recommend trying some deeper breathing techniques trying a more holistic approach instead of becoming reliant on allergy medication for Liturgy Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #41 on: February 10, 2012, 09:37:57 PM »

Run DMC has a song about this topic.

Nice.
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« Reply #42 on: February 10, 2012, 11:22:42 PM »

Run DMC has a song about this topic.

Down with the King? 
"If the G-O-D be in me than the king I be" is the answer? 
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« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2012, 04:25:32 PM »

I don't know if the OP is still around, but I can relate.

I didn't get physically ill, but I did break down sobbing over having to leave Roman Catholicism. I've heard from several other former-Romans that leaving that church causes extreme anxiety, pain (mental and sometimes physical) and panic attacks. For me it felt as though I was going through a divorce, or someone had died. I loved the Roman Catholic church, and leaving it is the second hardest thing I've ever had to do.

For devout Romans (which the OP obviously is, and I was too, even attending the Latin Mass every week) the Roman Catholic church is regarded as such a rock, an immovable force through all of history and space. To discover cracks and shifting sands in the foundation of your perceptions can be really shocking, almost traumatizing. If the way you've trained your body to handle anxiety is to turn it into physical nausea then it's no surprise that's your reaction.

My advice is to remember your true foundation is Christ, no matter where His Church ultimately is. He's  not abandoning you and you're not betraying Him. He's not moving, you just might be getting closer to Him.
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« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2012, 11:45:13 PM »

Are you saying that the Catholic Church has branwashed it's faithful ,that parting from the vatican/pope, would create  traumatic withdrawal symptoms........wow Huh

Should Holy Orthodoxy Invest in a Deprogramer......


Dear Veronika:

Faith: Traditional Catholic/SSPX?

No wonder. I agree with Wandering Sheep that you are suffering severe mental conflict.  Do you really want to become Orthodox or do you feel that you are being compelled to become Orthodox? "Bit the bullet" sounds like you are being forced, and that is never a good thing. Conversion to Orthodoxy should be a joyous occasion, not a nauseating one.

If you are having these kinds of physical symptoms, something is very wrong.

May I ask why you are considering Orthodoxy?


I've heard of Protestant converts to Catholicism having similar reactions. Some of them are programmed to hate Catholicism from such a young age that those first steps toward Catholicism can be traumatic. For a person such as the OP, who list their religious affiliation as SSPX, taking a step away from the pope could be equally traumatic. When you are taught your entire life to be Rome centered it can be difficult to break that attachment.

The hold of the pope is strong. Make no mistake. Its not so much a brain washing as perhaps emphasis with Matthew 16 and John 21 and the many references to Peter.  Peter was no doubt the leader of the apostles. But Rome through the Franks turned that into a dictatorship rather than fraternal guidance.

I didnt feel sick but I was very apprehensive about being Chrismated. It was like an insult to the Holy Spirit doing it again...
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« Reply #45 on: February 22, 2012, 12:40:37 AM »

There might be another reason.  I wonder if at any time in your initial investigation of Orthodoxy you became physically ill or nearly so from natural causes…say the onset of a cold or flu?

I ask because there was a time I tried spaghetti squash, and liked it, but on that same evening I came down with a stomach flu and was upchucking for hours.  Afterwards I remembered that I had liked spaghetti squash and tried to fix it again, the sight smell of it on the plate nearly sent me heaving again.  And I've regretted it to this day…I know it's a trick my mind is playing on it self by associating spaghetti squash with violent illness, but that knowledge doesn't stop that initial physical discomfort. Thankfully it has weakened over the years…I could eat the squash without ill effect if I wanted to, but there's still enough of the "disgust reaction" there to keep me from ever really wanting to unless it's to prove a point.  Then I would prove it and continue not eating spaghetti squash.

I wonder if some natural illness or a strong enough psychological shock early on has set a kind of "yuck" trigger in you…one not as bad now as it once was, but still there.
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« Reply #46 on: February 23, 2012, 12:55:58 PM »

honestly, I know what you mean.  I hope the Byzantines on here don't hate me after sharing this  Undecided

well, my Church is Russian tradition.  when I go to Orthodox summer camp, they say Greek prayers and use Anthonite incense.  I get so sick, I had to go to the bathroom and throw up (I didn't recieve that day).  I don't know what it is, but my head starts to get dizzy when the greek chanting comes in, and I have to get some fresh air.  

or perhapse I'm going pentacostal and the holy spirit is making me convulse?
Trevor, are you standing with your knees locked when this happens?
useually, yes.  could that have some reason to do with me getting ill?

It cuts off blood circulation and when done for long periods of time can even cause someone to just pass out.

wow, that's good to know! thanks!

Lol. Yeah, move around a bit, Trevor. Makes a world of difference.  Wink

And, of course, I'd remind you that, they may be Greek tradition, and you may be Russian tradition, but both traditions follow variations of the Byzantine Rite, as developed at the Great Church in Constaninople!  Grin

Thank God we Antiochians have pews!  Wink Cheesy

It is true that you Antiochians (and Greeks, too, for the most part) in the States have innovated yourselves out of the asceticism of standing, but I guess we'll still accept you.  Wink

And sorry in advance for actively distracting from the OP!

Sorry to further derail, but I attend a Greek parish and while there are pews, the congregation stands for just about the entire service. The congregation only sits for the homily and for a few minutes at a later section where petitions are offered.
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« Reply #47 on: February 24, 2012, 12:05:52 PM »

Are you saying that the Catholic Church has branwashed it's faithful ,that parting from the vatican/pope, would create  traumatic withdrawal symptoms........wow Huh

Should Holy Orthodoxy Invest in a Deprogramer......


Dear Veronika:

Faith: Traditional Catholic/SSPX?

No wonder. I agree with Wandering Sheep that you are suffering severe mental conflict.  Do you really want to become Orthodox or do you feel that you are being compelled to become Orthodox? "Bit the bullet" sounds like you are being forced, and that is never a good thing. Conversion to Orthodoxy should be a joyous occasion, not a nauseating one.

If you are having these kinds of physical symptoms, something is very wrong.

May I ask why you are considering Orthodoxy?


I've heard of Protestant converts to Catholicism having similar reactions. Some of them are programmed to hate Catholicism from such a young age that those first steps toward Catholicism can be traumatic. For a person such as the OP, who list their religious affiliation as SSPX, taking a step away from the pope could be equally traumatic. When you are taught your entire life to be Rome centered it can be difficult to break that attachment.

Stashko--Your post is inappropriate for Convert Issues. If you wish to pursue this further, please start a topic elsewhere. This is my advice as a poster as I am not the Section Moderator here.
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« Reply #48 on: February 24, 2012, 12:10:11 PM »

Sercond Chance, why are you dredging up a post which is well over a year old, by Stashko, who has been muted in recent times?
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« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2012, 12:20:18 PM »

Sercond Chance, why are you dredging up a post which is well over a year old, by Stashko, who has been muted in recent times?

Sorry, I did not mean to; I just did not notice the date. I apologize to all.
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« Reply #50 on: February 29, 2012, 05:45:03 PM »

A few years ago, after much study, I began attending a Greek Orthodox Church and spoke with the Priest about converting.  I went to one Catechumen class.  I then had horrible dreams and woke up sweating and very afraid.  I actually could hardly sleep.  This went on all week.  I had no feeling of peace.  This was in 2007.  It was so bad that I backed out.  Here it is 2012 and in January I converted.  Even this time around I felt fear and had a couple bad dreams.  I had been a Protestant until this time, in the Anglican Church.  Has anyone experienced this? 
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« Reply #51 on: February 29, 2012, 06:24:35 PM »

A burning in your chest is Satan trying to confuse you, a light burning in the pit of the stomach is God trying to warn you of the prescence of Satan-so I was taught by my Pentecostal relatives. I'm felt both sensations at different times in reaction to Orthodox soteriology and veneration of the saints, sometimes both in reaction to the same thing.

Does that mean anything? I have no idea.
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« Reply #52 on: February 29, 2012, 06:29:53 PM »

A burning in your chest is Satan trying to confuse you, a light burning in the pit of the stomach is God trying to warn you of the prescence of Satan-so I was taught by my Pentecostal relatives. I'm felt both sensations at different times in reaction to Orthodox soteriology and veneration of the saints, sometimes both in reaction to the same thing.

Does that mean anything? I have no idea.

A burning in the breast means that one is about to become Mormon. So, you should start planning your move to Salt Lake City.
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« Reply #53 on: February 29, 2012, 06:47:55 PM »

A burning in your chest is Satan trying to confuse you, a light burning in the pit of the stomach is God trying to warn you of the prescence of Satan-so I was taught by my Pentecostal relatives. I'm felt both sensations at different times in reaction to Orthodox soteriology and veneration of the saints, sometimes both in reaction to the same thing.

Does that mean anything? I have no idea.

A burning in the breast means that one is about to become Mormon. So, you should start planning your move to Salt Lake City.

laugh Thanks. I needed that.
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« Reply #54 on: February 29, 2012, 07:38:28 PM »

Hmm, you are bound to feel a little stress and anxiety at the parish council meeting for sure lol, they're not always fun.
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« Reply #55 on: February 29, 2012, 09:04:11 PM »

Strange. I felt a sense of relief like some heavy burden, both intellectual and spiritual, had been removed once I converted. Like, the true me could finally come out.
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You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
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« Reply #56 on: February 29, 2012, 10:03:52 PM »

Strange. I felt a sense of relief like some heavy burden, both intellectual and spiritual, had been removed once I converted. Like, the true me could finally come out.

Have you been received into the church as a full member or are you still a catechumen?  Because if you haven't been received then you're not converted yet.
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« Reply #57 on: March 01, 2012, 02:50:01 AM »

it's probably an anxiety reaction, especially if it led to you avoiding things to feel better. sometimes a lot of positive stress can translate to the body as negative stress. actually a lot of the replies here sound like that. it's not at all uncommon...people have bad dreams/stress/sickness before something positive like a wedding or a trip and converting is many more degrees intense than that.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 02:52:11 AM by Isadore » Logged

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« Reply #58 on: March 01, 2012, 03:50:09 PM »

hmm, a burning in yr chest could be acid reflux and discomfort low in the tummy is probably constipation.
so don't spend too much effort diagnosing yrself unless you're qualified to do that!
 Wink
but it's true emotional distress can give u belly ache, as can spiritual problems.
always best to talk to an older more spiritual person or / and yr doctor if u get funny feelings that persist.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 03:50:20 PM by mabsoota » Logged
stpaulphilip
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« Reply #59 on: March 01, 2012, 04:08:33 PM »

Strange. I felt a sense of relief like some heavy burden, both intellectual and spiritual, had been removed once I converted. Like, the true me could finally come out.

The day I was baptized was a happy day.  I, too, felt like I could stop searching for the right church, as if there were more than one.  It was the time up until my conversion that I felt afraid and was bothered by dreams. 
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« Reply #60 on: March 01, 2012, 04:11:27 PM »

Strange. I felt a sense of relief like some heavy burden, both intellectual and spiritual, had been removed once I converted. Like, the true me could finally come out.

The day I was baptized was a happy day.  I, too, felt like I could stop searching for the right church, as if there were more than one.  It was the time up until my conversion that I felt afraid and was bothered by dreams. 

I hope that got better.  Smiley
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« Reply #61 on: March 01, 2012, 04:12:30 PM »

it's probably an anxiety reaction, especially if it led to you avoiding things to feel better. sometimes a lot of positive stress can translate to the body as negative stress. actually a lot of the replies here sound like that. it's not at all uncommon...people have bad dreams/stress/sickness before something positive like a wedding or a trip and converting is many more degrees intense than that.

Very true, it happens with moving, changing jobs, anything big like that.
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Charlie Rose: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Fran Lebowitz: Everything. There is not one thing with which I am satisfied.

http://spcasuncoast.org/
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« Reply #62 on: March 02, 2012, 06:27:51 AM »

Well at first in the church I had a tiny problem with the icons and what the people were doing during the divine liturgy (a hold over from protestantism to be sure) but as I've come to understand the orthodox practice and how good and true it is I have not been averse to many of hte things I might have been averse to in the past, Kissing the icon, Kissing the Gospel book, crossing oneself.
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Thank you.
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« Reply #63 on: March 02, 2012, 05:23:57 PM »

hi, nicene, and all the best for lazarus saturday. may God guide u and give u peace.
 Smiley
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« Reply #64 on: March 02, 2012, 10:14:31 PM »

Thank you Smiley
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Thank you.
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« Reply #65 on: March 03, 2012, 02:03:14 AM »

I had alot of unusual reactions when I was masturbating when I started my inquiry/catcehumen process. I couldn't even do my normal routine, and one day I was so disgusted by it all that I stopped it altogether. I thank Christ and the Church for helping me overcome such a horrible addiction.

Other than that, I think there were some demons pulling me down from attending Church and finally I succumbed to them for months, then finally getting the strength to get back into Church.

Accepting the Gospel is one hell of a wrestling match.
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“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

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