Author Topic: spiritual father  (Read 656 times)

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Offline henrikhankhagnell

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spiritual father
« on: March 08, 2011, 08:02:59 AM »
Salam!
How do you get a spiritual father?
I have been praying and praying but without getting a spiritual father.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 08:03:26 AM by henrikhankhagnell »
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Offline henrikhankhagnell

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Re: spiritual father
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2011, 11:07:00 AM »
questions:
1. if you meet a spiritual father will he send you away/turn you away to make you stronger? How does he work? How do I recognize him? ae you even suppose to search for him?
2. are there esoteric teachings or just exoteric teachings that he will explain?
3. are there spiritual mothers?
4. do all oriental orthodoxs have a spiritual father?
5. are you even allowed to talk about your spiritual father with other people?
6. are there great books/videos about  (european?) people who found their spiritual father?
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 11:25:52 AM by henrikhankhagnell »
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Offline bogdan

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Re: spiritual father
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2011, 11:52:15 AM »
(Note, I am attempting to answer from an EO standpoint, so take this for what it's worth. The principles should be similar.)

For myself, I found my father-confessor by much prayer, asking for counsel from an abbess, and visiting different parishes and arranging to confess to the priests. When I found one who I felt was comfortable and easy to confess to, and offered the most helpful advice, I developed a relationship with him, and after a few more months of discerning, I asked him. He was happy and honored, but made it clear that the spiritual father relationship is not the same for monastics as it is for lay people. For one thing, there is no expectation of absolute obedience, which monastics have. We should obey our spiritual fathers and confessors, but we don't have that same kind of strict allegiance to their words that monks have.

1. To me this sounds more like an elder/holy man than what is typically meant by "spiritual father". Elders are very rare, some adamently insist that eldership is not a grace given to our sinful times. (Others would disagree.) In any case elders are typically holy monastics and not usually found in the world.

2. This kind of thing, AFAIK, is only found in monasteries and among the very advanced, who are dispassionate. For those of us who are still bound by passions, we have to first learn to say our prayers, fast on the prescribed days, and stop judging others. That will take up the bulk of our lives, in all likelihood.

3. Yes there are. Both pious lay-women and nuns may be spiritual mothers. They cannot pronounce absolution, but with your confessor's permission it is possible to confess to a spiritual mother.

4. I can't speak to OO'y, but in EO'y "spiritual father" usually refers to one's father-confessor or spiritual director. More often than not, he is also your parish priest. That is perhaps the most ideal arrangement, as you will see him frequently and not just occasionally. If you confess to someone other than your parish priest, your parish priest needs to know that, and he needs to be informed when you make confession so he knows whether you are in good standing.

5. What is said in confession is typically private (strictly so for the priest). But it's fine to talk about a spiritual father otherwise.

6. It is good to read books about spiritual fathers so you can find what you're looking for. One I read (EO) was "Bearers of the Spirit: Spiritual Fatherhood in Romanian Orthodoxy" by Nicolas Stebbing.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 11:58:24 AM by bogdan »

Offline henrikhankhagnell

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Re: spiritual father
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2011, 01:05:19 PM »
(Note, I am attempting to answer from an EO standpoint, so take this for what it's worth. The principles should be similar.)



2. This kind of thing, AFAIK, is only found in monasteries and among the very advanced, who are dispassionate. For those of us who are still bound by passions, we have to first learn to say our prayers, fast on the prescribed days, and stop judging others. That will take up the bulk of our lives, in all likelihood.
are laypeople weak?

here's a EO interview: http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/the_spiritual_guide_in_eastern_orthodoxy
OO article: http://www.stmacariusmonastery.org/eabout.htm
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Offline mabsoota

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Re: spiritual father
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2011, 02:35:15 PM »
i went to my nearest coptic church; there was one priest.
after i got to know him through my regular visits to the church, i asked to confess to him.
maybe it's not always that simple!