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Author Topic: Discerning Catholic Priesthood  (Read 5023 times) Average Rating: 0
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Scotty
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« on: April 26, 2011, 12:39:33 PM »

Greetings in Christ,

I've been inquiring Orthodoxy for some time now after meeting my girlfriend's brother-in-law, who is Georgian.  Most of my reading has been on history, the schism, post-schism Roman changes, the Pope's early role and his rightful role, VII problems, etc, but very little on Orthodox spirituality.    More recently I have felt a very strong pull to be a Roman Catholic priest.  This is coming at a time where I was pretty set on marrying the girl I'm with, and as I result I'm really being pulled and made confused from all sides.  All the while, I can only praise Christ; my love for Him has only grown, and I see Him purifying me.  The confusion/situation has shown that I will only know God's will and His truths through prayer and guidance by the Spirit, period.  I jokingly tell my girlfriend, "If I became Orthodox this may not be an issue."  But conversion for convenience cannot happen.  In this way, I praise God for the conflict I have.

My question is more for converts I suppose, or from anyone with $0.02 to spare.  What resources do you recommend about Orthodox spirituality, especially discernment (for some reason, asking for reading material on Eastern spirituality seems too Western, haha)?  What movements of your heart did you feel upon/up to conversion; ho did you KNOW?  Has anyone been in a situation like this?  I appreciate all advise I can get, and please send a few prayers my way.

Scotty
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2011, 01:01:17 PM »

Christ is risen!
Greetings in Christ,

I've been inquiring Orthodoxy for some time now after meeting my girlfriend's brother-in-law, who is Georgian.  Most of my reading has been on history, the schism, post-schism Roman changes, the Pope's early role and his rightful role, VII problems, etc, but very little on Orthodox spirituality.    More recently I have felt a very strong pull to be a Roman Catholic priest.  This is coming at a time where I was pretty set on marrying the girl I'm with, and as I result I'm really being pulled and made confused from all sides.  All the while, I can only praise Christ; my love for Him has only grown, and I see Him purifying me.  The confusion/situation has shown that I will only know God's will and His truths through prayer and guidance by the Spirit, period.  I jokingly tell my girlfriend, "If I became Orthodox this may not be an issue."  But conversion for convenience cannot happen.  In this way, I praise God for the conflict I have.

My question is more for converts I suppose, or from anyone with $0.02 to spare.  What resources do you recommend about Orthodox spirituality, especially discernment (for some reason, asking for reading material on Eastern spirituality seems too Western, haha)?  What movements of your heart did you feel upon/up to conversion; ho did you KNOW?  Has anyone been in a situation like this?  I appreciate all advise I can get, and please send a few prayers my way.

Scotty
Maybe that you were exposed to Orthodoxy (and Georgian! of all things) through your intended might be a sign.

I still think Met. Ware's "The Orthodox Way" is still good (I'm less thrilled by his present "The Orthodox Church").
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 01:12:18 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2011, 01:17:51 PM »

Greetings in Christ,

I've been inquiring Orthodoxy for some time now after meeting my girlfriend's brother-in-law, who is Georgian.  Most of my reading has been on history, the schism, post-schism Roman changes, the Pope's early role and his rightful role, VII problems, etc, but very little on Orthodox spirituality.    More recently I have felt a very strong pull to be a Roman Catholic priest.  This is coming at a time where I was pretty set on marrying the girl I'm with, and as I result I'm really being pulled and made confused from all sides.  All the while, I can only praise Christ; my love for Him has only grown, and I see Him purifying me.  The confusion/situation has shown that I will only know God's will and His truths through prayer and guidance by the Spirit, period.  I jokingly tell my girlfriend, "If I became Orthodox this may not be an issue."  But conversion for convenience cannot happen.  In this way, I praise God for the conflict I have.

My question is more for converts I suppose, or from anyone with $0.02 to spare.  What resources do you recommend about Orthodox spirituality, especially discernment (for some reason, asking for reading material on Eastern spirituality seems too Western, haha)?  What movements of your heart did you feel upon/up to conversion; ho did you KNOW?  Has anyone been in a situation like this?  I appreciate all advise I can get, and please send a few prayers my way.

Scotty

Seems this should be in the Converts section but since it's here, I'll take the opportunity to ask you what makes you think you have a vocation as a Catholic priest?  If you can't discern the call even in your own tradition, then how can you expect to be able to discern the call in a tradition not your own where you have to come on-line to ask questions?

If I sound harsh, pardon, I am not judging harshly here but I am a bit perplexed.

M.
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2011, 01:36:06 PM »

I found "The Mountain of Silence" to be extremely beneficial to me. It's not written as a dry "and this is what Saint-So-and-So from a Century Long Ago says about such-and-such", it's a conversation between a man wanting to know more about God and an Orthodox Hiermonk of Mt. Athos. It's the kind of question and answer session I think we would all like to have if we could visit Mt. Athos. Smiley

I know you can get it on Amazon.com for about $10 and it's also available in a Kindle version, which I really liked.

(Orthodoxy via Kindle; who said we resisted change! lol  laugh )
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2011, 02:51:32 PM »

I jokingly tell my girlfriend, "If I became Orthodox this may not be an issue."  But conversion for convenience cannot happen.  In this way, I praise God for the conflict I have.

My question is more for converts I suppose, or from anyone with $0.02 to spare.  What resources do you recommend about Orthodox spirituality, especially discernment (for some reason, asking for reading material on Eastern spirituality seems too Western, haha)?  What movements of your heart did you feel upon/up to conversion; ho did you KNOW?  Has anyone been in a situation like this?  I appreciate all advise I can get, and please send a few prayers my way.
 

May God enlighten and guide you, and give you the discernment you seek!  You are right that you could be married and a priest in the Orthodox Church, and are equally right that this should not be the basis of a decision to convert to Orthodoxy.  There is much that you could read on the subject of Orthodox spirituality, and while the following articles may be a bit “hard hitting”, it may be of interest to look at the subject comparatively, that is with Orthodox and Roman Catholic spirituality compared:

http://www.pravmir.com/article_687.html
http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/7174.htm

You may also be interested in the following interview with Fr. Theophanes of Mt. Athos, a former Byzantine Catholic who became an Orthodox Monk and wrote a very detailed book about the differences in Roma Catholic and Orthodox spirituality as these differences relate to prayer.

http://distancelearning.iocs.cam.ac.uk/videos/index.php?page=videos&groupid=67740

If you are unfamiliar with the subject matter in the above two articles, you may want to dig in and read the Sayings of the Desert Fathers which show the early monastic spiritual tradition, and then compare what you read there to the post-schism “Western Mystics” and contemporary trends in Roman Catholic “spirituality” (though the spiritual field is very broad today in Roman Catholicism, with Roman Catholic Zen Roshis and the like).  From the Orthodox side, there is the Philokalia which shows a consistent spiritual tradition from the 3rd centuries through about the 14th centuries, and then there are the lives of more recent saints such as the Optina Elders in Russia; or saints of the 20th century like St. John (Maximovitch) of San Francisco, St. Nektarios of Aegina, or Elder Joseph the Hesychast.  The lives of Orthodox saints provide the best examples of Orthodox spirituality.     

I was never a Roman Catholic myself, but I nearly became a Benedictine Oblate under a Roman Catholic monastery before entering the Orthodox Church, and at the time I had considered the Catholic Church as well.  I heard many testimonies from Roman Catholic monastics like Thomas Merton who found the scholastic approach to theology and the Spiritual Exercises to be a spiritual dead end.  Many such frustrated monastics have sought “spiritual life” by looking to Hinduism and Buddhism, and so you have  Roman Catholic Zen Roshis influenced by Merton’s own interest in Zen, Roman Catholic monastics who teach a “Christianized” form of Hindu mantra meditation, etc.  What I found in Roman Catholic “spirituality” was that there was a major identity crisis, and a feeling among monastics that they had been somehow cut off from their own rich spiritual heritage.  However, while many return to the writings of the Desert Fathers and other early monastic writings to recover this spiritual heritage, it seems impossible to recover this tradition authentically within Roman Catholicism today.  In some cases the recovery is made within a new pluralistic pan-religious worldview where the Desert Fathers are looked at like Christian Zen Masters and equated with them spiritually (Merton), or wisdom from the Desert Fathers is compared with Hindu and Buddhist “wisdom” in order to create a “new spirituality” that seeks some common spiritual ground with the “World’s Great Spiritual Traditions”.  When I discovered the Orthodox Church and the tradition of the Jesus Prayer, I saw a consistent theology, a consistent worldview, a fully rooted identity that was not in spiritual crisis, and the same spiritual tradition today as in apostolic times.  Sure, I tried to immerse myself in “Orthodox spirituality”, to learn from it without becoming Orthodox, but as many former Protestants and Roman Catholics have testified, this is impossible.  I ultimately was convinced that the Orthodox Church is the true Church, and thereafter it became unbearable not to become part of it. 




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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2011, 02:59:59 PM »

Greetings in Christ,

I've been inquiring Orthodoxy for some time now after meeting my girlfriend's brother-in-law, who is Georgian.  Most of my reading has been on history, the schism, post-schism Roman changes, the Pope's early role and his rightful role, VII problems, etc, but very little on Orthodox spirituality.    More recently I have felt a very strong pull to be a Roman Catholic priest.  This is coming at a time where I was pretty set on marrying the girl I'm with, and as I result I'm really being pulled and made confused from all sides.  All the while, I can only praise Christ; my love for Him has only grown, and I see Him purifying me.  The confusion/situation has shown that I will only know God's will and His truths through prayer and guidance by the Spirit, period.  I jokingly tell my girlfriend, "If I became Orthodox this may not be an issue."  But conversion for convenience cannot happen.  In this way, I praise God for the conflict I have.

My question is more for converts I suppose, or from anyone with $0.02 to spare.  What resources do you recommend about Orthodox spirituality, especially discernment (for some reason, asking for reading material on Eastern spirituality seems too Western, haha)?  What movements of your heart did you feel upon/up to conversion; ho did you KNOW?  Has anyone been in a situation like this?  I appreciate all advise I can get, and please send a few prayers my way.

Scotty

Seems this should be in the Converts section but since it's here, I'll take the opportunity to ask you what makes you think you have a vocation as a Catholic priest?  If you can't discern the call even in your own tradition, then how can you expect to be able to discern the call in a tradition not your own where you have to come on-line to ask questions?

If I sound harsh, pardon, I am not judging harshly here but I am a bit perplexed.

M.

It is not harsh at all. If he just asked for info on general Orthodox resources . . . but given the biographicals, I often bristle when people say this on this board, but have you discussed this at length with your Priest and perhaps a few Priests? This must be confusing to you and your GF, I pray you are able to find some discernment.

Regarding your actual question, here is what I recommend over and over to others and since I don't feel like re-typing here is an older post of mine:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29844.msg472339.html#msg472339

Go to as many Liturgical Services as possible.

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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2011, 03:01:00 PM »

I jokingly tell my girlfriend, "If I became Orthodox this may not be an issue."  But conversion for convenience cannot happen.  In this way, I praise God for the conflict I have.

My question is more for converts I suppose, or from anyone with $0.02 to spare.  What resources do you recommend about Orthodox spirituality, especially discernment (for some reason, asking for reading material on Eastern spirituality seems too Western, haha)?  What movements of your heart did you feel upon/up to conversion; ho did you KNOW?  Has anyone been in a situation like this?  I appreciate all advise I can get, and please send a few prayers my way.
 

May God enlighten and guide you, and give you the discernment you seek!  You are right that you could be married and a priest in the Orthodox Church, and are equally right that this should not be the basis of a decision to convert to Orthodoxy.  There is much that you could read on the subject of Orthodox spirituality, and while the following articles may be a bit “hard hitting”, it may be of interest to look at the subject comparatively, that is with Orthodox and Roman Catholic spirituality compared:

http://www.pravmir.com/article_687.html


It should be made clear here that the hagiography of St. Francis used by Orthodox to make this comparison actually comes form sources that have been forbidden by the Catholic Church because they are florid writing that has very little to do with the real St. Francis....

But we don't want to mess up a good fantasy with the facts, now...

Maybe we should take a second or third look at some of Orthodoxy's hagiography that is presented as reality...eh?

M.
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2011, 03:06:45 PM »

what does your girlfriend see as her vocation?
if you will be together (ordained or not), it's important you are heading in the same direction.
if you can sort this out before marriage, it's much, much easier!
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2011, 03:07:59 PM »

I jokingly tell my girlfriend, "If I became Orthodox this may not be an issue."  But conversion for convenience cannot happen.  In this way, I praise God for the conflict I have.

My question is more for converts I suppose, or from anyone with $0.02 to spare.  What resources do you recommend about Orthodox spirituality, especially discernment (for some reason, asking for reading material on Eastern spirituality seems too Western, haha)?  What movements of your heart did you feel upon/up to conversion; ho did you KNOW?  Has anyone been in a situation like this?  I appreciate all advise I can get, and please send a few prayers my way.
 

May God enlighten and guide you, and give you the discernment you seek!  You are right that you could be married and a priest in the Orthodox Church, and are equally right that this should not be the basis of a decision to convert to Orthodoxy.  There is much that you could read on the subject of Orthodox spirituality, and while the following articles may be a bit “hard hitting”, it may be of interest to look at the subject comparatively, that is with Orthodox and Roman Catholic spirituality compared:

http://www.pravmir.com/article_687.html


It should be made clear here that the hagiography of St. Francis used by Orthodox to make this comparison actually comes form sources that have been forbidden by the Catholic Church because they are florid writing that has very little to do with the real St. Francis....

But we don't want to mess up a good fantasy with the facts, now...

Maybe we should take a second or third look at some of Orthodoxy's hagiography that is presented as reality...eh?

M.

Not to derail this thread but you are in good company (perhaps for different reasons) to be a little "skeptical" or a bit more well informed by the genre in which much hagiography written. My "Desert Father", Fr. Thomas Hopko, finds it important to understand the genre of hagiography in general and especially not to let the "miracles" in the stories blind us to what the message of what much hagiography serves to illumine.

EDIT: I am not taking a stance on the veracity of the sources used by the RC or OC here on the life any Saint. Just making a general observation.
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2011, 03:16:01 PM »

I would suggest taking time to go to a local Orthodox Church and attending the Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2011, 03:19:28 PM »

Actually, Sunday's 60 minutes episode on Mt. Athos is also a very good introduction to Orthodox spirituality:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7363712n
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2011, 03:32:19 PM »

Christos voskrese!
I jokingly tell my girlfriend, "If I became Orthodox this may not be an issue."  But conversion for convenience cannot happen.  In this way, I praise God for the conflict I have.

My question is more for converts I suppose, or from anyone with $0.02 to spare.  What resources do you recommend about Orthodox spirituality, especially discernment (for some reason, asking for reading material on Eastern spirituality seems too Western, haha)?  What movements of your heart did you feel upon/up to conversion; ho did you KNOW?  Has anyone been in a situation like this?  I appreciate all advise I can get, and please send a few prayers my way.
 

May God enlighten and guide you, and give you the discernment you seek!  You are right that you could be married and a priest in the Orthodox Church, and are equally right that this should not be the basis of a decision to convert to Orthodoxy.  There is much that you could read on the subject of Orthodox spirituality, and while the following articles may be a bit “hard hitting”, it may be of interest to look at the subject comparatively, that is with Orthodox and Roman Catholic spirituality compared:

http://www.pravmir.com/article_687.html


It should be made clear here that the hagiography of St. Francis used by Orthodox to make this comparison actually comes form sources that have been forbidden by the Catholic Church because they are florid writing that has very little to do with the real St. Francis....
Really? Can you produce this prohibition from the Vatican (which I take is what you mean by "the Catholic Church," as the Catholic Church usually doesn't get involved in heterodox hagiography)?
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 03:34:40 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2011, 04:08:38 PM »


Not to derail this thread but you are in good company (perhaps for different reasons) to be a little "skeptical" or a bit more well informed by the genre in which much hagiography written. My "Desert Father", Fr. Thomas Hopko, finds it important to understand the genre of hagiography in general and especially not to let the "miracles" in the stories blind us to what the message of what much hagiography serves to illumine.

EDIT: I am not taking a stance on the veracity of the sources used by the RC or OC here on the life any Saint. Just making a general observation.

And generally well taken!...But these are some of the foundational things of the spirit that our young OP is going to have to be thinking about no matter how he lights.

I am rather concerned for the dear girl-friend here.  I must say, as a woman, I was less than impressed with his conditional comments concerning when to worry and when not to worry...really?  As though marriage is not a vocation in need of discernment...and NOT conditional discernment. 

I am starting to sound like an old grouse, I realize... Cheesy

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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2011, 06:17:28 PM »


I was never a Roman Catholic myself, but I nearly became a Benedictine Oblate under a Roman Catholic monastery before entering the Orthodox Church, and at the time I had considered the Catholic Church as well.  I heard many testimonies from Roman Catholic monastics like Thomas Merton who found the scholastic approach to theology and the Spiritual Exercises to be a spiritual dead end.  Many such frustrated monastics have sought “spiritual life” by looking to Hinduism and Buddhism, and so you have  Roman Catholic Zen Roshis influenced by Merton’s own interest in Zen, Roman Catholic monastics who teach a “Christianized” form of Hindu mantra meditation, etc.  What I found in Roman Catholic “spirituality” was that there was a major identity crisis, and a feeling among monastics that they had been somehow cut off from their own rich spiritual heritage.  However, while many return to the writings of the Desert Fathers and other early monastic writings to recover this spiritual heritage, it seems impossible to recover this tradition authentically within Roman Catholicism today.  In some cases the recovery is made within a new pluralistic pan-religious worldview where the Desert Fathers are looked at like Christian Zen Masters and equated with them spiritually (Merton), or wisdom from the Desert Fathers is compared with Hindu and Buddhist “wisdom” in order to create a “new spirituality” that seeks some common spiritual ground with the “World’s Great Spiritual Traditions”.  When I discovered the Orthodox Church and the tradition of the Jesus Prayer, I saw a consistent theology, a consistent worldview, a fully rooted identity that was not in spiritual crisis, and the same spiritual tradition today as in apostolic times.  Sure, I tried to immerse myself in “Orthodox spirituality”, to learn from it without becoming Orthodox, but as many former Protestants and Roman Catholics have testified, this is impossible.  I ultimately was convinced that the Orthodox Church is the true Church, and thereafter it became unbearable not to become part of it. 


Thank you!  Though the new-age zen "spirituality" does exist within the church, I do not view any of it as of the true church or Christian teaching, and am very quick to disregard/condemn it.  Another issue entirely, but there is no room for it to exist in the pre-V2 church.  I look forward to reading these articles when my finals are over.  I seem to see innovation after innovation within the Church; I can't imagine spiritual breakthroughs happening 2000 years after the fact, which I do not see in Orthodoxy.  Thank you again!
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2011, 06:26:34 PM »

Thank you!  Though the new-age zen "spirituality" does exist within the church, I do not view any of it as of the true church or Christian teaching, and am very quick to disregard/condemn it.  Another issue entirely, but there is no room for it to exist in the pre-V2 church.  I look forward to reading these articles when my finals are over.  I seem to see innovation after innovation within the Church; I can't imagine spiritual breakthroughs happening 2000 years after the fact, which I do not see in Orthodoxy.  Thank you again!

Rather than focusing on fringe elements in the Catholic Church why not check with the Dominicans...They have Holy Apostle's Seminary here in the NE that is a wonderfully orthodox seminary that is even better than some of the older pre-Vatican II seminaries in terms of clarity of teaching and solid historical grounding.  I've taken courses with them and have never regretted any part of that experience.

Also there are third order Dominicans and Carmelites who have an extended and formal period of formation and study that continues on through out the entire period of your life in the order.  The discalced Carmelites in particular will open your eyes to the traditional contempletive and apophatic life in the Catholic Church.  Of course, you'd have to extend yourself a bit to do these things...beyond reading a book... Smiley

I suggest these things not to draw you off from Orthodoxy but to try to see one convert go with a more balanced and realistic view of the Church he is leaving behind.  It seems to be a rarity.
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2011, 06:32:44 PM »


Seems this should be in the Converts section but since it's here, I'll take the opportunity to ask you what makes you think you have a vocation as a Catholic priest?  If you can't discern the call even in your own tradition, then how can you expect to be able to discern the call in a tradition not your own where you have to come on-line to ask questions?

If I sound harsh, pardon, I am not judging harshly here but I am a bit perplexed.

M.

You don't sound harsh, no worries.  I have an overwhelming urge to give up all I have to serve Jesus, to give Him an undivided heart, to participate and preside over His Liturgy.  This urge is not based on specific prayers or doctrines or churches or asceticism of, it is based on serving Jesus, His church, and His Liturgy.  I only have one life to leave, you know?  I'm not posting on here to help decide if I should be a Roman Catholic priest, per se.  I'm posting on here to get advice settling my interest in Orthodoxy, specifically learning their spirituality and what converts and lifelong members have actually felt draw them and keep them in Orthodoxy and why they knew it was the true church in their heart, not in history articles.  These are things I must know and have prayed about thoroughly before I could commit my life to the priesthood.  Sorry if I wasn't terribly clear; perfect clarity hasn't been my strong point as of late, lol.
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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2011, 06:38:10 PM »


Rather than focusing on fringe elements in the Catholic Church why not check with the Dominicans...They have Holy Apostle's Seminary
Interestingly enough, I am working on my masters degree through Holy Apostles and I agree. It's a fantastic and orthodox (little 'o') school.
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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2011, 06:41:45 PM »


I am rather concerned for the dear girl-friend here.  I must say, as a woman, I was less than impressed with his conditional comments concerning when to worry and when not to worry...really?  As though marriage is not a vocation in need of discernment...and NOT conditional discernment. 


Through this process I've realized how different men and women actually are.  Well, you and her think on the same level!  I'm less convinced of an absolute calling, meaning you are only called to one direction and nothing else.  I'm realizing more and more than marriage is in need of discernment, but when I'm also feeling called to the priesthood the discernment of marriage is less of a discernment and more of an abandonment; I don't mean this as it sounds, but it is what comes to mind.  In Orthodoxy, I'm sure the two are separate callings, or at least should be.  I'm trying to treat it as such.  I was just "joking" about conditional discernment anyway!
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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2011, 06:43:04 PM »


Seems this should be in the Converts section but since it's here, I'll take the opportunity to ask you what makes you think you have a vocation as a Catholic priest?  If you can't discern the call even in your own tradition, then how can you expect to be able to discern the call in a tradition not your own where you have to come on-line to ask questions?

If I sound harsh, pardon, I am not judging harshly here but I am a bit perplexed.

M.

 

You don't sound harsh, no worries.  I have an overwhelming urge to give up all I have to serve Jesus, to give Him an undivided heart, to participate and preside over His Liturgy.  This urge is not based on specific prayers or doctrines or churches or asceticism of, it is based on serving Jesus, His church, and His Liturgy.  I only have one life to leave, you know?  I'm not posting on here to help decide if I should be a Roman Catholic priest, per se.  I'm posting on here to get advice settling my interest in Orthodoxy, specifically learning their spirituality and what converts and lifelong members have actually felt draw them and keep them in Orthodoxy and why they knew it was the true church in their heart, not in history articles.  These are things I must know and have prayed about thoroughly before I could commit my life to the priesthood.  Sorry if I wasn't terribly clear; perfect clarity hasn't been my strong point as of late, lol.

 Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley

If you were here I'd hug you!  What a wonderful mess you are...

Well...Those who have directed you toward Orthodox liturgies are right on target.  You cannot get there from a book.  

Also I learned all I needed to know about the core of eastern spirituality from St. Teresa of Avila's  "Way of Perfection" and the writings of Evagrius the Solitary.  That is not to say that they are ALL that I've worked with over the years but I've not learned anything vastly different at all from what I learned early on from those two.

But the key, as always is to immerse yourself in the liturgies.

It is a life's work that you are carving and I have no idea where it will take you but I am interested in watching you for a while...if you would permit that write to me privately.

God's abundant blessings!!

Christ is Risen!

M.
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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2011, 06:46:22 PM »


I am rather concerned for the dear girl-friend here.  I must say, as a woman, I was less than impressed with his conditional comments concerning when to worry and when not to worry...really?  As though marriage is not a vocation in need of discernment...and NOT conditional discernment. 


Through this process I've realized how different men and women actually are.  Well, you and her think on the same level!  I'm less convinced of an absolute calling, meaning you are only called to one direction and nothing else.  I'm realizing more and more than marriage is in need of discernment, but when I'm also feeling called to the priesthood the discernment of marriage is less of a discernment and more of an abandonment; I don't mean this as it sounds, but it is what comes to mind.  In Orthodoxy, I'm sure the two are separate callings, or at least should be.  I'm trying to treat it as such.  I was just "joking" about conditional discernment anyway!
Along with Elijahmaria's suggestion of reading "The Way of Perfection", I also highly suggest St. John of the Cross' works on Spirituality including "The Dark Night of the Soul" and "The Ascent of Mt. Carmel". Fr. Thomas Dubay (of blessed memory) wrote a great book on the spirituality of Sts. Teresa of Avial and John of the Cross called "The Fire Within".
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« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2011, 06:48:16 PM »


I suggest these things not to draw you off from Orthodoxy but to try to see one convert go with a more balanced and realistic view of the Church he is leaving behind.  It seems to be a rarity.

I can see that, for many cases. As far as Carmelites and Domincans go, the former are definitely not for me.  I feel a call to diocesan priesthood.  I'll check with the Domincan seminary though, I've heard nothing but good about their seminaries and work in general.
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« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2011, 06:48:36 PM »


I am rather concerned for the dear girl-friend here.  I must say, as a woman, I was less than impressed with his conditional comments concerning when to worry and when not to worry...really?  As though marriage is not a vocation in need of discernment...and NOT conditional discernment. 


Through this process I've realized how different men and women actually are.  Well, you and her think on the same level!  I'm less convinced of an absolute calling, meaning you are only called to one direction and nothing else.  I'm realizing more and more than marriage is in need of discernment, but when I'm also feeling called to the priesthood the discernment of marriage is less of a discernment and more of an abandonment; I don't mean this as it sounds, but it is what comes to mind.  In Orthodoxy, I'm sure the two are separate callings, or at least should be.  I'm trying to treat it as such.  I was just "joking" about conditional discernment anyway!

I was hoping you were...and now I trust that you were.

You really are wound up tight here.  You must come to grips with the reality that in order to convert to Orthodoxy and to marry the woman and also to have your priestly vocation is going to mean abandonment of the Catholic Church in a way that you may or may not be able to do.  It is a harsh and a complete break to the point of denying things that you may yet believe...It seems to me that is what you need to discern first...Can you walk away completely from the Catholic Church?  To the point where you would deny her harshly...the schism demands that...look around here and see.

I don't say this in anger at all.  It is real however.
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« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2011, 06:50:07 PM »


I suggest these things not to draw you off from Orthodoxy but to try to see one convert go with a more balanced and realistic view of the Church he is leaving behind.  It seems to be a rarity.

I can see that, for many cases. As far as Carmelites and Domincans go, the former are definitely not for me.  I feel a call to diocesan priesthood.  I'll check with the Domincan seminary though, I've heard nothing but good about their seminaries and work in general.
Avoid the central province, as it is a MESS. I highly recommend the Western and Eastern provinces.
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« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2011, 07:01:16 PM »


I suggest these things not to draw you off from Orthodoxy but to try to see one convert go with a more balanced and realistic view of the Church he is leaving behind.  It seems to be a rarity.

I can see that, for many cases. As far as Carmelites and Domincans go, the former are definitely not for me.  I feel a call to diocesan priesthood.  I'll check with the Domincan seminary though, I've heard nothing but good about their seminaries and work in general.

I am a spiritual daughter of Madre Teresa of Jesus to the marrow of my bones  Smiley Smiley Smiley...

...except I am wicked curious theologically...so the Dominicans do nicely for that!...
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« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2011, 10:36:38 PM »

My question is more for converts I suppose, or from anyone with $0.02 to spare.  What resources do you recommend about Orthodox spirituality, especially discernment (for some reason, asking for reading material on Eastern spirituality seems too Western, haha)?


Resources for discernnment? Go to church as often as possible, participate in the services - in the life of the Church, begin an Orthodox prayer rule, practice the Jesus Prayer. Life in Christ is not an intellectual exercise, it's a living experience. Do these things and you'll know.

There is one book in particular I would recommend above all others. The Way of a Pilgrim absolutely changed my life. If you read it you will see why.
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« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2011, 10:43:39 PM »

Christ is Risen!

Not that you shouldn't inquire into Orthodoxy but if the main reason your looking is so you can marry and become a priest might I suggest a cononnical transfer to Eastern rite Catholicism
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« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2011, 10:56:45 PM »

Christ is risen!

I am rather concerned for the dear girl-friend here.  I must say, as a woman, I was less than impressed with his conditional comments concerning when to worry and when not to worry...really?  As though marriage is not a vocation in need of discernment...and NOT conditional discernment. 


Through this process I've realized how different men and women actually are.  Well, you and her think on the same level!  I'm less convinced of an absolute calling, meaning you are only called to one direction and nothing else.  I'm realizing more and more than marriage is in need of discernment, but when I'm also feeling called to the priesthood the discernment of marriage is less of a discernment and more of an abandonment; I don't mean this as it sounds, but it is what comes to mind.  In Orthodoxy, I'm sure the two are separate callings, or at least should be.
Yes, but not mutually exclusive ones, despite what the Vatican says.
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« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2011, 11:11:41 PM »

Thank you!  Though the new-age zen "spirituality" does exist within the church, I do not view any of it as of the true church or Christian teaching, and am very quick to disregard/condemn it.  Another issue entirely, but there is no room for it to exist in the pre-V2 church.  I look forward to reading these articles when my finals are over.  I seem to see innovation after innovation within the Church; I can't imagine spiritual breakthroughs happening 2000 years after the fact, which I do not see in Orthodoxy.  Thank you again!

You are right that the new-age “spiritual” trends in Roman Catholicism have developed mostly post-V2, but the seeds for this movement were planted by many pre-V2, such as Thomas Merton, Dom Bede Griffiths in India and his predecessors (Dom Henri Le Saux/Swami Abhishiktananda), etc; and it was V2 itself that initiated a new movement of spiritual openness to the non-Christian East that enabled these seeds to flourish.  Much of contemporary “contemplative spirituality” in the West has arisen precisely out of the Interreligious Dialogues that were initiated by V2.  RC monastics after V2 would meet with Buddhists and Hindu monastics and be astonished by their “spirituality”, which a breath of fresh air coming from the spiritually dry scholasticism, the Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, and the “prayer manuals” that came to characterize the “spirituality” of most RC monastic orders.  The subsequent impact of this East-West dialogue on Roman Catholic spirituality is probably most thoroughly examined by a Roman Catholic writer who I highly respect, Mr. James Arraj, who sadly reposed not long ago.  His book, “Christianity in the Crucible of the East-West dialogue” is something of a survey of Roman Catholic (mostly monastic) participants in this dialogue, and he demonstrates how quickly these participants embrace non-Christian Eastern spirituality and then shape their theology around their “spiritual experience”, resulting in (as an example) a Zen that uses Christian terminology rather than a Christianity that incorporates Zen (or some other) practice.  I had reached the same conclusions as Mr. Arraj after attending some talks by some Mary Knoll Catholic Roshis who worked in Japan, that their “Christianity” was entirely swallowed up by, and evaporated in, their Zen.  In speaking to crowds mostly of other Roman Catholics, all they could speak about was Zen, and were unable to address theological and dogmatic questions with any seriousness.  The book by Mr. Arraj that I refer to can be read on-line at:

http://www.innerexplorations.com/catew/christia.htm

Mr. Arraj’s entire site provides a very useful exploration of the tradition of John of the Cross, Carmelite spirituality, compatibility with Eastern non-Christian spiritual practice, Jungian psychology, etc.  Mr. Arraj examined these subjects with an openness and a critical mind that is an extreme rarity.  He was on a personal journey of sorts, and I think he would have found exactly what he was looking for in the writings of the Orthodox monk from Mt. Athos, Fr. Theophanes (Constantine), specifically in his work “The Psychological Basis of Mental Prayer in the Heart”, where he thoroughly examines Thomism in the light of Orthodox patristic anthropology and spiritual teaching and shows their basic incompatibility, demonstrating one reason why Roman Catholics cannot make progress in the Orthodox tradition of the Prayer of the Heart (Jesus Prayer) without actually becoming Orthodox.  Sadly, when I wrote to Mr. Arraj to share with him the work of Fr. Theophanes, and much else that I had discovered in Orthodoxy (which he never seemed to explore for whatever reason), his wife replied to inform me of Mr. Arraj’s repose. 

http://timiosprodromos4.blogspot.com/

Zen and blatantly New Age spirituality within Catholicism, taught by Roman Catholics priests and monks, perhaps can be easily avoided where this is in fact explicit, but the general New Age spirituality clothed in Christian terminology is much harder to detect and much more pervasive than works which explicitly recommend Zen or other non-Christian practices.  Go to any Catholic bookstore, for instance, and one will find the writings of Thomas Merton, Dom Basil Pennington, and likely those by Dom John Main, Dom Bede Griffiths, etc., all of which are of this same spiritual orientation.  From experience, I find that the followers of these teachers begin quickly to feel more spiritual affinity with Buddhists and Hindus than with Christians that do not follow the “meditation” techniques and “spiritual” traditions advocated by such authors.

Rather than focusing on fringe elements in the Catholic Church why not check with the Dominicans...They have Holy Apostle's Seminary here in the NE that is a wonderfully orthodox seminary that is even better than some of the older pre-Vatican II seminaries in terms of clarity of teaching and solid historical grounding.  I've taken courses with them and have never regretted any part of that experience.

What I speak of is not as fringe as perhaps you would like to think.  I mentioned how these New Age spiritual trends are now often carefully packaged under the guise of Christian terminology, such that most who embrace these teachings and practices are convinced (or eventually convince themselves) that they are following something entirely Christian or Roman Catholic.  It is important to realize that Vatican II enabled all of this in some sense has promoted it, but yet also this movement is a natural result of the spiritual wasteland of Roman Catholic “spirituality” that characterized pre-VII monasticism, which those like Merton felt compelled to rebel against.  The reforms of V2 were precisely made at a period of climax in Roman Catholicism following a very long period of spiritual unrest, one which I am convinced originated with the separation of Roman Catholicism from the Orthodox Church.

Also there are third order Dominicans and Carmelites who have an extended and formal period of formation and study that continues on through out the entire period of your life in the order.  The discalced Carmelites in particular will open your eyes to the traditional contempletive and apophatic life in the Catholic Church.  Of course, you'd have to extend yourself a bit to do these things...beyond reading a book... Smiley

Before entering the Orthodox Church, we had a Carmelite monastery about 10 minutes from our home, and I would visit on occasion to sit in the booth and speak through the dark hole to the faceless voice of the elderly nun appointed to speak with visitors.  Carmelite, Cistercian, and Carthusian monasticism all preserve something of the pre-Schism monastic tradition, the latter two being perhaps closest in spirit to Orthodox and patristic spirituality (at least in some respects).  However, these Roman Catholic monastic traditions have failed to pass on a method or tradition of prayer that is connected to their teachings on contemplation.  Dom John Main OSB, who learned to “meditate” from a Hindu Swami and later “Christianized” this practice in the form of “Christian Meditation” received letters from Carmelites, Cistercians, and Carthusians who were grateful for his writings precisely because he gave them a method of prayer.  Many of these traditional Roman Catholic monastics (this was right around and just following V2) confided in him that in all the years spent in their respective contemplative Orders, they never learned how to truly pray.  They were spiritually starved, and therefore were quick to adopt and absorb the Eastern spirituality of Dom John Main under Christian terminology.  Such methods of “prayer” are today widely used by Carmelites, Cistercians, and Carthusians who have long lacked a method of prayer which would help them develop “spiritually” according to the contemplative spirit of their Orders.  However, I became convinced in my experience that such methods do not lead to the experience of the Uncreated God but rather to the experience of our own created nature.   

Here you may be interested in the following article by the esteemed Carmelite Earnest Larkin, who gives a very positive review of Centering Prayer and Christian Meditation, both of which are of Hindu origin and spiritual orientation.  I can say this because I was heavily involved in these movements, giving retreats, leading groups, teaching these practices to others, etc. 

http://carmelnet.org/larkin/larkin014.pdf

This is not to say that in Roman Catholicism there is not real patristic spiritual teaching.  I can think of one monk in particular who wrote very much in a patristic spirit, the Swiss Benedictine hermit Fr. Gabriel (Bunge).  However, he just recently entered the Orthodox Church, and now says that “Orthodoxy is the fruit of my whole life as a Christian and a monk”. 

http://www.pravmir.com/article_1220.html

One of the key issues separating Orthodox and patristic spirituality from the post-Schism “spirituality” of the “Western Mystics”, as articles cited in an earlier post attempt to demonstrate, is the use of the imagination and the attitude towards visions.  One work on the subject, which I have not read, may expand upon this further, “Imagine That…: Mental Imagery in Roman Catholic and Orthodox Private Devotion” by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov:

http://frsergei.wordpress.com/books/imagine-that-mental-imagery-in-roman-catholic-and-eastern-orthodox-private-devotion/

Some of this book’s contents can be read in the author’s following article:

http://frsergei.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/mental-imagery-in-eastern-orthodox-private-devotion/

Essentially, one will find that much of the “Western Mysticism” of post-Schism Roman Catholicism is what in Orthodox tradition we would call demonic delusion, prelest, or plani.  This is obviously a serious claim, but the fact that this element of spiritual delusion is found as much in Carmelite “spirituality” as in the spirituality of “Christian Meditation” and “Centering Prayer” is one reason why there is little surprise that a Carmelite such as Earnest Larkin would see “Christian Meditation” and “Centering Prayer” as perfectly compatible with Carmelite “spirituality”.  For me, the key difference in these “spiritualities” was clarified best by the Orthodox monk Fr. Sophrony of Essex, who wrote:

Quote
Fr. Sophrony quoted in Hieromonk Damascene Christiensen’s Christ the Eternal Tao

“Attaining the bounds where 'day and night come to an end,' man contemplates the beauty of his own spirit which many identify with Divine Being.  They do see a light but it is not the True Light in which there 'is no darkness at all.'  It is the natural light peculiar to the mind of man created in God's image. 
 
"The mental light, which excels every other light of empirical knowledge, might still just as well be called darkness, since it is the darkness of divestiture and God is not in it.  And perhaps in this instance more than any other we should listen to the Lord's warning, 'Take heed therefore that the light which is in you be not darkness.'  The first prehistoric, cosmic catastrophe - the fall of Lucifer, son of the morning, who became the prince of darkness - was due to his enamored contemplation of his own beauty, which ended up in his self-deification."

---

"since those who enter for the first time into the sphere of the 'silence of the mind' experience a certain mystic awe, they mistake their contemplation for mystical communion with the Divine, whereas in reality they are still within the confines of created human nature.  The mind, it is true, here passes beyond the frontiers of time and space, and it is this that gives it a sense of grasping eternal wisdom.  This is as far as human intelligence can go along the path of natural development and self-contemplation...
 
"Dwelling in the darkness of divestiture, the mind knows a peculiar delight and sense of peace...  Clearing the frontiers of time, such contemplation approaches the mind to knowledge of the intransitory, thereby possessing man of new but still abstract cognition.  Woe to him who mistakes this wisdom for  knowledge of the true God, and this contemplation for a communion in Divine Being.  Woe to him because the darkness of divestiture on the borders of true vision becomes an impenetrable pass and a stronger barrier between himself and God than the darkness due to the uprising of gross passion, or the darkness of obviously demonic instigations, or the darkness which results from loss of Grace and abandonment by God.  Woe to him, for he will have gone astray and fallen into delusion, since God is not in the darkness of divestiture."

 

From “Christian Meditation” to “Centering Prayer” to other forms of “contemplative spirituality” in Roman Catholicism today, one finds similar reference to an experience of God which results from interior silence, and the “Christian contemplative” is often surprised and delighted to find that the “contemplatives” of other religious traditions share this same experience of God in silence.  Such practitioners from different religions perhaps use terminology that differs by religious tradition, but they are often convinced that they are speaking of the same spiritual experience.  This experience, however, is not the experience of God but is rather the experience of the expansiveness of one’s own created nature.  By mistaking the experience of one’s own created nature for the experience of God, one falls into the delusion of spiritual self-worship which was the beginning of Lucifer’s fall, as Fr. Sophrony also says.  I glimpsed this in my experience of these traditions, and as I discovered more of Orthodoxy I became convinced that while certain externals of Roman Catholic and Orthodox spiritual traditions may appear to be similar, spiritually they are not only incompatible but entirely unrelated.  Only in Orthodoxy will one find a continuous tradition and comprehensive method of prayer, the complete teaching on man’s theosis and the relationship of prayer to this process, and comprehensive and sober examination of demonic delusion along with the factors which lead to this state and the safeguards against it, as well as the examples of countless saints from Apostolic times to the present time who have lived out this Apostolic tradition of theosis and carefully handed it down through the ages without interruption.     
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« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2011, 12:32:40 PM »


There is one book in particular I would recommend above all others. The Way of a Pilgrim absolutely changed my life. If you read it you will see why.

I was somewhat hesitant to read "novel" when I first heard of this book, but its been recommended so often that I can't ignore it.  +1 on the Phantom Regiment avatar by the way, I had always dreamed of marching there.  Did you?
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« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2011, 12:39:01 PM »

Christ is Risen!

Not that you shouldn't inquire into Orthodoxy but if the main reason your looking is so you can marry and become a priest might I suggest a cononnical transfer to Eastern rite Catholicism

Eastern Catholicism is a bureaucratic mess for Roman Catholics.  In short, this would never be possible. 
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« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2011, 12:49:12 PM »

Christ is Risen!

Not that you shouldn't inquire into Orthodoxy but if the main reason your looking is so you can marry and become a priest might I suggest a cononnical transfer to Eastern rite Catholicism

Eastern Catholicism is a bureaucratic mess for Roman Catholics.  In short, this would never be possible. 
I think Eastern Catholics may be turning a corner very shortly.
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« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2011, 12:53:41 PM »

Christ is Risen!

Not that you shouldn't inquire into Orthodoxy but if the main reason your looking is so you can marry and become a priest might I suggest a cononnical transfer to Eastern rite Catholicism

Eastern Catholicism is a bureaucratic mess for Roman Catholics.  In short, this would never be possible. 

Why do you say this?  It would be difficult but it would not be impossible for you.  You'd have to select carefully for your seminary work...that is true...but it should not be impossible.  It took less than six weeks from the time I wrote the initial letter requesting transfer till the transfer papers were complete.

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« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2011, 01:51:47 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This quick embracing of Eastern Spiritual Practices was another reason I sought refuge within Holy Orthodoxy. It has everything you want in the way of spiritual practices. You don't need to go Far East. I often wonder why Rome didn't simply to just a little east and embrace the spirituality of their Eastern Brothers and Sisters than embrace an entirely alien practice like zen and hinduism?
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« Reply #33 on: April 27, 2011, 02:02:03 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This quick embracing of Eastern Spiritual Practices was another reason I sought refuge within Holy Orthodoxy. It has everything you want in the way of spiritual practices. You don't need to go Far East. I often wonder why Rome didn't simply to just a little east and embrace the spirituality of their Eastern Brothers and Sisters than embrace an entirely alien practice like zen and hinduism?
Are you kidding me?
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« Reply #34 on: April 27, 2011, 02:20:34 PM »

Only in Orthodoxy will one find a continuous tradition and comprehensive method of prayer, the complete teaching on man’s theosis and the relationship of prayer to this process, and comprehensive and sober examination of demonic delusion along with the factors which lead to this state and the safeguards against it, as well as the examples of countless saints from Apostolic times to the present time who have lived out this Apostolic tradition of theosis and carefully handed it down through the ages without interruption.

Wonderful post! Thank you!
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« Reply #35 on: April 27, 2011, 02:48:34 PM »

I found "The Mountain of Silence" to be extremely beneficial to me. It's not written as a dry "and this is what Saint-So-and-So from a Century Long Ago says about such-and-such", it's a conversation between a man wanting to know more about God and an Orthodox Hiermonk of Mt. Athos. It's the kind of question and answer session I think we would all like to have if we could visit Mt. Athos. Smiley

I know you can get it on Amazon.com for about $10 and it's also available in a Kindle version, which I really liked.

(Orthodoxy via Kindle; who said we resisted change! lol  laugh )

I second thos reccomendation.  Mountain of scilence is wonderful.  also, read "On the Priesthood" by St. John Chrysostom
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« Reply #36 on: April 27, 2011, 02:53:26 PM »

Speaking of e-books, and "On the Priesthood," that one is available as an e-book as well, along with other collections of St. John's sermons. You can't go wrong with them.  angel
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« Reply #37 on: April 27, 2011, 03:08:55 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This quick embracing of Eastern Spiritual Practices was another reason I sought refuge within Holy Orthodoxy. It has everything you want in the way of spiritual practices. You don't need to go Far East. I often wonder why Rome didn't simply to just a little east and embrace the spirituality of their Eastern Brothers and Sisters than embrace an entirely alien practice like zen and hinduism?
Are you kidding me?

Roman Catholic Modern Spiritual Influences:

Fr. Bede Griffith (Hinduism)
Fr. Thomas Merton (Buddhism and Taoism)
Fr. Thomas Kenting (Buddhism)

I don't know how many Catholic Churches teach Yoga but many do. How many teach the Prayer of the Heart? None that I know of... that is my point.
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« Reply #38 on: April 27, 2011, 04:18:27 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This quick embracing of Eastern Spiritual Practices was another reason I sought refuge within Holy Orthodoxy. It has everything you want in the way of spiritual practices. You don't need to go Far East. I often wonder why Rome didn't simply to just a little east and embrace the spirituality of their Eastern Brothers and Sisters than embrace an entirely alien practice like zen and hinduism?
Are you kidding me?

Roman Catholic Modern Spiritual Influences:

Fr. Bede Griffith (Hinduism)
Fr. Thomas Merton (Buddhism and Taoism)
Fr. Thomas Kenting (Buddhism)

I don't know how many Catholic Churches teach Yoga but many do. How many teach the Prayer of the Heart? None that I know of... that is my point.


This is the meandering of a sore heart and soul.  You are shell shocked, my friend.

You've clearly read little of Father Louis if you think he "taught" anything other than contemplative prayer.  He observed many things and wrote freely but he taught as the Church taught when it came to both prayer and doctrine.  I have a dozen of his books on contemplation and silence and many of his conferences delivered to the novices in his monastery, and none of it is anything but Catholic.

I think you need to be careful here.  Scotty is not a neophyte.  He's attached to a woman and discerning a call to the priesthood which may, for him, mean a call to the celibate life.  It is a different path from your own.

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« Reply #39 on: April 27, 2011, 04:36:29 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This quick embracing of Eastern Spiritual Practices was another reason I sought refuge within Holy Orthodoxy. It has everything you want in the way of spiritual practices. You don't need to go Far East. I often wonder why Rome didn't simply to just a little east and embrace the spirituality of their Eastern Brothers and Sisters than embrace an entirely alien practice like zen and hinduism?
Are you kidding me?

Roman Catholic Modern Spiritual Influences:

Fr. Bede Griffith (Hinduism)
Fr. Thomas Merton (Buddhism and Taoism)
Fr. Thomas Kenting (Buddhism)

I don't know how many Catholic Churches teach Yoga but many do. How many teach the Prayer of the Heart? None that I know of... that is my point.


This is the meandering of a sore heart and soul.  You are shell shocked, my friend.

You've clearly read little of Father Louis if you think he "taught" anything other than contemplative prayer.  He observed many things and wrote freely but he taught as the Church taught when it came to both prayer and doctrine.  I have a dozen of his books on contemplation and silence and many of his conferences delivered to the novices in his monastery, and none of it is anything but Catholic.

I think you need to be careful here.  Scotty is not a neophyte.  He's attached to a woman and discerning a call to the priesthood which may, for him, mean a call to the celibate life.  It is a different path from your own.



So you don't see the error of syncretism within their novelties?
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« Reply #40 on: April 27, 2011, 05:08:53 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This quick embracing of Eastern Spiritual Practices was another reason I sought refuge within Holy Orthodoxy. It has everything you want in the way of spiritual practices. You don't need to go Far East. I often wonder why Rome didn't simply to just a little east and embrace the spirituality of their Eastern Brothers and Sisters than embrace an entirely alien practice like zen and hinduism?
Are you kidding me?

Roman Catholic Modern Spiritual Influences:

Fr. Bede Griffith (Hinduism)
Fr. Thomas Merton (Buddhism and Taoism)
Fr. Thomas Kenting (Buddhism)

I don't know how many Catholic Churches teach Yoga but many do. How many teach the Prayer of the Heart? None that I know of... that is my point.


This is the meandering of a sore heart and soul.  You are shell shocked, my friend.

You've clearly read little of Father Louis if you think he "taught" anything other than contemplative prayer.  He observed many things and wrote freely but he taught as the Church taught when it came to both prayer and doctrine.  I have a dozen of his books on contemplation and silence and many of his conferences delivered to the novices in his monastery, and none of it is anything but Catholic.

I think you need to be careful here.  Scotty is not a neophyte.  He's attached to a woman and discerning a call to the priesthood which may, for him, mean a call to the celibate life.  It is a different path from your own.



So you don't see the error of syncretism within their novelties?

LOL...I don't see the six foot rabbit in my living room either.

You want to see novelties in his teaching texts.  They are not there.  If anything experimental exists it is in his journals, in his openly experimental thoughts, but you'd play the devils own role to find them in his lessons to novices or in his primary teachings texts on contemplation, silence, or spiritual direction.

I DO find it in the way his life and work have been used by others but I've read every book of his that I have in this house and it is clean when it comes to the pedagogical texts.

Everything that he wrote for use in his monastery and in his order passed scrutiny. 

I have no idea who you are or what your fears are but you are in left field on this one as far as I am concerned.
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« Reply #41 on: April 27, 2011, 05:47:05 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This quick embracing of Eastern Spiritual Practices was another reason I sought refuge within Holy Orthodoxy. It has everything you want in the way of spiritual practices. You don't need to go Far East. I often wonder why Rome didn't simply to just a little east and embrace the spirituality of their Eastern Brothers and Sisters than embrace an entirely alien practice like zen and hinduism?
Are you kidding me?

Roman Catholic Modern Spiritual Influences:

Fr. Bede Griffith (Hinduism)
Fr. Thomas Merton (Buddhism and Taoism)
Fr. Thomas Kenting (Buddhism)

I don't know how many Catholic Churches teach Yoga but many do. How many teach the Prayer of the Heart? None that I know of... that is my point.


This is the meandering of a sore heart and soul.  You are shell shocked, my friend.

You've clearly read little of Father Louis if you think he "taught" anything other than contemplative prayer.  He observed many things and wrote freely but he taught as the Church taught when it came to both prayer and doctrine.  I have a dozen of his books on contemplation and silence and many of his conferences delivered to the novices in his monastery, and none of it is anything but Catholic.

I think you need to be careful here.  Scotty is not a neophyte.  He's attached to a woman and discerning a call to the priesthood which may, for him, mean a call to the celibate life.  It is a different path from your own.



So you don't see the error of syncretism within their novelties?

LOL...I don't see the six foot rabbit in my living room either.

You want to see novelties in his teaching texts.  They are not there.  If anything experimental exists it is in his journals, in his openly experimental thoughts, but you'd play the devils own role to find them in his lessons to novices or in his primary teachings texts on contemplation, silence, or spiritual direction.

I DO find it in the way his life and work have been used by others but I've read every book of his that I have in this house and it is clean when it comes to the pedagogical texts.

Everything that he wrote for use in his monastery and in his order passed scrutiny. 

I have no idea who you are or what your fears are but you are in left field on this one as far as I am concerned.

What of Fr. Bede then? Don't you think he went too far?
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« Reply #42 on: April 27, 2011, 06:03:39 PM »

Many feel they are called and others say they have an urge to serve as a priest, but they should never be ordained. Besides canonical impediments, there are many other things to be considered--spiritual formation and stability, mental state, etc. Unfortunately, not all bishops consider these things before they ordain. I am wary of those who  desire to be priests. I've seen too many who were convinced of their calling and believed it to be some right of theirs. Many of these had serious issues themselves--it is often, I find, the broken who desire to help and fix others. If one desires something so much, one should be prepared to wait ten, twenty years to obtain it and see whether he is constant in this desire or whether he  had been misleading himself. This goes double if one is in the midst of other big decisions such as marriage or conversion. Stability is necessary for all these things--conversion, marriage, and ordination.
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« Reply #43 on: April 27, 2011, 06:12:21 PM »


What of Fr. Bede then? Don't you think he went too far?

Absolutely!!... but why would you make him normative in the Catholic Church?

Even Centering Prayer was a passing fad, only to be replaced by Yoga, I realize but that too shall pass.  And I know many more secular Carmelites and Dominicans and Franciscans than I do women who practice Centering Prayer with their Yoga forms.

Look...We've had some awfully loose bishops over the past several generations but they are being replaced and with all of the irregularities the remnant perseveres and fights the good fight, at home, and in the parishes and with the chanceries.

I've seen a bishop pour the Blessed Blood of my Lord down the sewer drain.  I didn't loose my faith.  He is the one without faith...not me.  You just have to pull yourself together and know that there are good and holy people in the Catholic Church.  There are good and holy people in Orthodoxy.  

But there is no safe place but heaven and there are no perfect expressions of the faith that are and remain fixed forever.  Things always move and change.  That is why we need to keep those useless repetitions moving on into the next generation.  You cannot run away from it...You ought not in any event.

That being said....IF...indeed you do begin to slip and cry out and slip and cry out again and again then perhaps it is time for you to move...but there is no reason in God's universe that you should ever be afraid!!

Fondly,

In Christ

M.
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« Reply #44 on: April 27, 2011, 09:53:02 PM »

You want to see novelties in his teaching texts.  They are not there.  If anything experimental exists it is in his journals, in his openly experimental thoughts, but you'd play the devils own role to find them in his lessons to novices or in his primary teachings texts on contemplation, silence, or spiritual direction.

I DO find it in the way his life and work have been used by others but I've read every book of his that I have in this house and it is clean when it comes to the pedagogical texts.

Everything that he wrote for use in his monastery and in his order passed scrutiny. 

I have no idea who you are or what your fears are but you are in left field on this one as far as I am concerned.

If you are familiar with Thomas Merton, you are certainly aware of the struggles he had with the censorship of his works by his own Order, something which would explain perhaps less controversial statements in earlier works of his.  One of the last books to be published during his life time, “Zen and the Birds of Appetite”, perhaps shows that this censorship lessened with time, but it is also a pivotal work which opened up Roman Catholics to Zen.  Merton is considered to be very much a trail blazer in opening the Roman Catholic Church up to Zen, and paved the way for those like the Jesuit Roshi Robert Kennedy to attempt the path of “Zen Catholicism”.  Yes, in his journals one finds the most controversial statements, such as his “Asian Journals” which record his thoughts from the last days of his life, where he expressed the desire to "find a Tibetan guru and go in for Nyingmapa Tantric initiation."  In a paper Merton intended to give in Calcutta in October, 1968, he further expressed his thoughts in the following words:

Quote
I think we have now reached a stage of (long-overdue) religious maturity at which it may be possible for someone to remain perfectly faithful to a Christian and Western monastic commitment, and yet to learn in depth from, say, a Buddhist or Hindu discipline and experience. I believe that some of us need to do this in order to improve the quality of our own monastic life and even to help in the task of monastic renewal. . . .

http://www.monasticdialog.com/a.php?id=681

If all of his instructions to novices were quite sound from a post-Schism Roman Catholic perspective, and if Merton himself was esteemed as a “master” of Roman Catholic spirituality, his desire to spiritually embrace Eastern non-Christian practices and disciplines can only be seen as a culmination of all that came before.  In other words, when one sees the direction Merton took, one is not likely to embrace the “early stuff” and discard the conclusion of his journey, but rather one is likely to embrace the final “insights” as the culmination of his long journey.  If such a respected and experienced Trappist monk, after having immersed himself in all of the Roman Catholic spiritual and monastic writings, at the end of his days seeks to embrace Tibetan Buddhism and Zen, then why wouldn’t other Roman Catholics seek to follow his example and likewise embrace Tibetan Buddhism and Zen?  Even if the earlier writings appear “sound” from your perspective, one cannot separate them from the culmination of his journey as though they were written by a different person or were somehow separable in spirit from the journey which led him to the non-Christian East.  If one immerses himself even in his earlier writings, they will be infected by his “spirit”, and likely arrive at the same spiritual destination. 

Like the “Western Mystics”, Merton spoke of “contemplation” but did not provide a method, a comprehensive teaching on prayer.  Centering Prayer, Christian Meditation, and other such disciplines have been embraced as the “missing links”, the practical methods needed in order to arrive at that about which Merton and the “mystics” spoke.  The fact that these practices, both of Hindu origin and orientation, have been so readily embraced by Roman Catholic monastics is very telling, as is also Merton’s conviction that the adoption of non-Christian spiritual practices was a key to the renewal of Roman Catholic monasticism.  This says a great deal about Roman Catholic “spiritual” and monastic tradition. 

there are no perfect expressions of the faith that are and remain fixed forever
       

It is understandable that these convictions of yours are what keep you in the peculiar position of a “Byzantine Catholic”, but they are not convictions you will hear in the Orthodox Church.  The Orthodox Church does not have within it the spiritual confusion, the spiritual crisis in monasteries that leads monastics to look for help from Buddhists and Hindus, etc, that is found among so many Roman Catholics.  The Orthodox Church believes that it is the true Church and contains the perfect expression of the faith and a perfect spiritual methodology and theology.  You may believe that “it doesn’t matter” whether one is Orthodox or Roman/Byzantine Catholic, but the Orthodox saints will tell you that you will not taste the spiritual grace found only in Orthodoxy while remaining outside of the Orthodox Church.   

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« Reply #45 on: April 27, 2011, 09:54:23 PM »


There is one book in particular I would recommend above all others. The Way of a Pilgrim absolutely changed my life. If you read it you will see why.

I was somewhat hesitant to read "novel" when I first heard of this book, but its been recommended so often that I can't ignore it.  +1 on the Phantom Regiment avatar by the way, I had always dreamed of marching there.  Did you?


I marched drum corp but never with Phantom. They have always been my favorite corp. This years repertoire is unbelievable. You should take a look at it.


Link
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« Reply #46 on: April 27, 2011, 10:22:21 PM »

Christ is Risen!

What corner papist?
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« Reply #47 on: April 27, 2011, 11:15:27 PM »


Rather than focusing on fringe elements in the Catholic Church why not check with the Dominicans...They have Holy Apostle's Seminary
Interestingly enough, I am working on my masters degree through Holy Apostles and I agree. It's a fantastic and orthodox (little 'o') school.

Indeed, the Catholic spiritual and mystical tradition is a rich and inexhaustible treasure. Any fringe monastics who do Buddhist stuff are like those ignorant Americans who cannot even point out the USA on a map. They are cut off from their own tradition!

Such a shame--but happily any priories, convents or monasteries that do that crap do not get new recruits and are ageing into nonexistence while the communities that joyously explore their traditions are thriving.
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« Reply #48 on: April 27, 2011, 11:25:01 PM »


I suggest these things not to draw you off from Orthodoxy but to try to see one convert go with a more balanced and realistic view of the Church he is leaving behind.  It seems to be a rarity.

I can see that, for many cases. As far as Carmelites and Domincans go, the former are definitely not for me.  I feel a call to diocesan priesthood.  I'll check with the Domincan seminary though, I've heard nothing but good about their seminaries and work in general.

I am a spiritual daughter of Madre Teresa of Jesus to the marrow of my bones  Smiley Smiley Smiley...

...except I am wicked curious theologically...so the Dominicans do nicely for that!...

So was dear St. Teresa---think of the Dominicans with which she surrounded herself!  Smiley

Have you ever seen this Spanish miniseries? I finished it a couple of weeks ago.


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« Reply #49 on: April 27, 2011, 11:39:07 PM »

Look...We've had some awfully loose bishops over the past several generations but they are being replaced and with all of the irregularities the remnant perseveres and fights the good fight, at home, and in the parishes and with the chanceries.

I've seen a bishop pour the Blessed Blood of my Lord down the sewer drain.  I didn't loose my faith.  He is the one without faith...not me.  You just have to pull yourself together and know that there are good and holy people in the Catholic Church.  There are good and holy people in Orthodoxy.  

But there is no safe place but heaven and there are no perfect expressions of the faith that are and remain fixed forever.  Things always move and change.  That is why we need to keep those useless repetitions moving on into the next generation.  You cannot run away from it...You ought not in any event.


Hear hear! My father is a Protestant, and when things are not to his liking in his denomination, he just picks up and moves to another one with "fewer" problems. I decided that as a Catholic, I will not do that. And the grass is not greener. You see, you can't get away from sinful human beings, no matter what church you are part of.
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« Reply #50 on: April 28, 2011, 12:19:57 AM »

Quote from: lubeltri
You see, you can't get away from sinful human beings, no matter what church you are part of.

True.
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« Reply #51 on: April 28, 2011, 09:35:34 AM »

The Orthodox Church does not have within it the spiritual confusion, the spiritual crisis in monasteries that leads monastics to look for help from Buddhists and Hindus, etc, that is found among so many Roman Catholics.  The Orthodox Church believes that it is the true Church and contains the perfect expression of the faith and a perfect spiritual methodology and theology.  You may believe that “it doesn’t matter” whether one is Orthodox or Roman/Byzantine Catholic, but the Orthodox saints will tell you that you will not taste the spiritual grace found only in Orthodoxy while remaining outside of the Orthodox Church.   

Indeed! There were many reasons for my conversion from Byzantine Catholic to Holy Orthodoxy—mainly doctrinal reasons.  But this subject played a part in my journey.  It seemed at every corner, as a Catholic, I bumped into this non-Christian Eastern mumbo-jumbo.

Nuns who had shed the habit and begun to teach everything from reiki to yoga. 
Zen “Catholic” monasteries.
New age “Catholic” retreat centers.
“Catholic” yoga classes.

It was everywhere!

Blech!
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« Reply #52 on: April 28, 2011, 10:43:07 AM »


I suggest these things not to draw you off from Orthodoxy but to try to see one convert go with a more balanced and realistic view of the Church he is leaving behind.  It seems to be a rarity.

I can see that, for many cases. As far as Carmelites and Domincans go, the former are definitely not for me.  I feel a call to diocesan priesthood.  I'll check with the Domincan seminary though, I've heard nothing but good about their seminaries and work in general.

I am a spiritual daughter of Madre Teresa of Jesus to the marrow of my bones  Smiley Smiley Smiley...

...except I am wicked curious theologically...so the Dominicans do nicely for that!...

So was dear St. Teresa---think of the Dominicans with which she surrounded herself!  Smiley

Have you ever seen this Spanish miniseries? I finished it a couple of weeks ago.


Have not seen that series though I understand it is quite good.  Perhaps I should see if I can rent it.  

It was Madre Teresa and her Dominican confessors who led me to Evagrius the Solitary and then on to the eastern Catholic Church.  Cheesy  It also got me dumped out of the secular Carmelites though that is, in hindsight, a good thing, I should say a just thing given that my  vocation may not be a secular one.  

It was then that I learned some of the depth of the individual animus toward eastern Catholicism and Orthodoxy in the Roman rite.   I was to eventually learn that the obverse is also true, and so have been able to see that we are in "balance" after all... Wink

M.

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« Reply #53 on: April 28, 2011, 10:47:07 AM »

The Orthodox Church does not have within it the spiritual confusion, the spiritual crisis in monasteries that leads monastics to look for help from Buddhists and Hindus, etc, that is found among so many Roman Catholics.  The Orthodox Church believes that it is the true Church and contains the perfect expression of the faith and a perfect spiritual methodology and theology.  You may believe that “it doesn’t matter” whether one is Orthodox or Roman/Byzantine Catholic, but the Orthodox saints will tell you that you will not taste the spiritual grace found only in Orthodoxy while remaining outside of the Orthodox Church.   

Indeed! There were many reasons for my conversion from Byzantine Catholic to Holy Orthodoxy—mainly doctrinal reasons.  But this subject played a part in my journey.  It seemed at every corner, as a Catholic, I bumped into this non-Christian Eastern mumbo-jumbo.

Nuns who had shed the habit and begun to teach everything from reiki to yoga. 
Zen “Catholic” monasteries.
New age “Catholic” retreat centers.
“Catholic” yoga classes.

It was everywhere!

Blech!

Hardly everywhere.  It is nowhere in my region of the Catholic world. 

I belong to a secular Carmelite listserv and from what I can determine, they are everywhere.  I am surprised that you did not find them...or the secular Dominicans, or the Franciscans, or the Benedictines who are faithful or the Jesuits who remain Catholic and faithful...

I am surprised that you would ignore the faithful who remain in the Catholic Church...numerically they are hard to miss in a head count...

M.
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« Reply #54 on: April 28, 2011, 11:07:04 AM »

Hardly everywhere. 

Oh yes...I certainly ran into many proper catholic laity and clergy.  But the odd stuff was everywhere, and in my region, seemed like a spreading virus.

I have seen none of it in Holy Orthodoxy (although it may exist in some isolated circumstances somewhere).
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« Reply #55 on: April 28, 2011, 11:26:59 AM »

Hardly everywhere. 

Oh yes...I certainly ran into many proper catholic laity and clergy.  But the odd stuff was everywhere, and in my region, seemed like a spreading virus.

I have seen none of it in Holy Orthodoxy (although it may exist in some isolated circumstances somewhere).

There are more opportunities than syncretic ones to lead a monastic astray. 
Don't cast your net so short  Smiley
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« Reply #56 on: April 28, 2011, 11:40:50 AM »

Nothing you have said here contradicts anything I have said in any way.

The last, of what I am calling his pedagogical books, is called, very simply, Contemplative Prayer...

I was going to type in the two pages of Chapter 1 of that text but if you are actually interested in doing something other than trying to prove that Father Louis was trying to establish something like Zen Catholicism...then you will find that text, and then we can talk.

Otherwise you are simply on a bully pulpit that has little to do with the reality that was Thomas Merton.



You want to see novelties in his teaching texts.  They are not there.  If anything experimental exists it is in his journals, in his openly experimental thoughts, but you'd play the devils own role to find them in his lessons to novices or in his primary teachings texts on contemplation, silence, or spiritual direction.

I DO find it in the way his life and work have been used by others but I've read every book of his that I have in this house and it is clean when it comes to the pedagogical texts.

Everything that he wrote for use in his monastery and in his order passed scrutiny. 

I have no idea who you are or what your fears are but you are in left field on this one as far as I am concerned.

If you are familiar with Thomas Merton, you are certainly aware of the struggles he had with the censorship of his works by his own Order, something which would explain perhaps less controversial statements in earlier works of his.  One of the last books to be published during his life time, “Zen and the Birds of Appetite”, perhaps shows that this censorship lessened with time, but it is also a pivotal work which opened up Roman Catholics to Zen.  Merton is considered to be very much a trail blazer in opening the Roman Catholic Church up to Zen, and paved the way for those like the Jesuit Roshi Robert Kennedy to attempt the path of “Zen Catholicism”.  Yes, in his journals one finds the most controversial statements, such as his “Asian Journals” which record his thoughts from the last days of his life, where he expressed the desire to "find a Tibetan guru and go in for Nyingmapa Tantric initiation."  In a paper Merton intended to give in Calcutta in October, 1968, he further expressed his thoughts in the following words:

Quote
I think we have now reached a stage of (long-overdue) religious maturity at which it may be possible for someone to remain perfectly faithful to a Christian and Western monastic commitment, and yet to learn in depth from, say, a Buddhist or Hindu discipline and experience. I believe that some of us need to do this in order to improve the quality of our own monastic life and even to help in the task of monastic renewal. . . .

http://www.monasticdialog.com/a.php?id=681

If all of his instructions to novices were quite sound from a post-Schism Roman Catholic perspective, and if Merton himself was esteemed as a “master” of Roman Catholic spirituality, his desire to spiritually embrace Eastern non-Christian practices and disciplines can only be seen as a culmination of all that came before.  In other words, when one sees the direction Merton took, one is not likely to embrace the “early stuff” and discard the conclusion of his journey, but rather one is likely to embrace the final “insights” as the culmination of his long journey.  If such a respected and experienced Trappist monk, after having immersed himself in all of the Roman Catholic spiritual and monastic writings, at the end of his days seeks to embrace Tibetan Buddhism and Zen, then why wouldn’t other Roman Catholics seek to follow his example and likewise embrace Tibetan Buddhism and Zen?  Even if the earlier writings appear “sound” from your perspective, one cannot separate them from the culmination of his journey as though they were written by a different person or were somehow separable in spirit from the journey which led him to the non-Christian East.  If one immerses himself even in his earlier writings, they will be infected by his “spirit”, and likely arrive at the same spiritual destination. 

Like the “Western Mystics”, Merton spoke of “contemplation” but did not provide a method, a comprehensive teaching on prayer.  Centering Prayer, Christian Meditation, and other such disciplines have been embraced as the “missing links”, the practical methods needed in order to arrive at that about which Merton and the “mystics” spoke.  The fact that these practices, both of Hindu origin and orientation, have been so readily embraced by Roman Catholic monastics is very telling, as is also Merton’s conviction that the adoption of non-Christian spiritual practices was a key to the renewal of Roman Catholic monasticism.  This says a great deal about Roman Catholic “spiritual” and monastic tradition. 

there are no perfect expressions of the faith that are and remain fixed forever
       

It is understandable that these convictions of yours are what keep you in the peculiar position of a “Byzantine Catholic”, but they are not convictions you will hear in the Orthodox Church.  The Orthodox Church does not have within it the spiritual confusion, the spiritual crisis in monasteries that leads monastics to look for help from Buddhists and Hindus, etc, that is found among so many Roman Catholics.  The Orthodox Church believes that it is the true Church and contains the perfect expression of the faith and a perfect spiritual methodology and theology.  You may believe that “it doesn’t matter” whether one is Orthodox or Roman/Byzantine Catholic, but the Orthodox saints will tell you that you will not taste the spiritual grace found only in Orthodoxy while remaining outside of the Orthodox Church.   


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« Reply #57 on: April 28, 2011, 11:56:13 AM »

Don't cast your net so short
There are many adjectives for my net.  But short is not one of them.  Wink
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« Reply #58 on: April 28, 2011, 11:59:57 AM »

Grace and Peace,

This quick embracing of Eastern Spiritual Practices was another reason I sought refuge within Holy Orthodoxy. It has everything you want in the way of spiritual practices. You don't need to go Far East. I often wonder why Rome didn't simply to just a little east and embrace the spirituality of their Eastern Brothers and Sisters than embrace an entirely alien practice like zen and hinduism?
Are you kidding me?

Roman Catholic Modern Spiritual Influences:

Fr. Bede Griffith (Hinduism)
Fr. Thomas Merton (Buddhism and Taoism)
Fr. Thomas Kenting (Buddhism)

I don't know how many Catholic Churches teach Yoga but many do. How many teach the Prayer of the Heart? None that I know of... that is my point.

LOL. First you suggest that the Church of Rome has accepted these practices, which she most certainly has not, and then you present some cooks as if they are the norm. LOL You haven't even left the Church yet, and you are already practicing anti-Catholic polemics.
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« Reply #59 on: April 28, 2011, 12:05:15 PM »

When I was a child my grandfather would haul us all over the east coast to attend the Cavalcade of Champions.  Those trips are some of my most favorite memories.  I love Drum and Bugle Corps and Precision Drill Teams...from that time till the present.


There is one book in particular I would recommend above all others. The Way of a Pilgrim absolutely changed my life. If you read it you will see why.

I was somewhat hesitant to read "novel" when I first heard of this book, but its been recommended so often that I can't ignore it.  +1 on the Phantom Regiment avatar by the way, I had always dreamed of marching there.  Did you?
[/quote


I marched drum corp but never with Phantom. They have always been my favorite corp. This years repertoire is unbelievable. You should take a look at it.


Link

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« Reply #60 on: April 28, 2011, 12:49:24 PM »

LOL. First you suggest that the Church of Rome has accepted these practices, which she most certainly has not, and then you present some cooks as if they are the norm. LOL You haven't even left the Church yet, and you are already practicing anti-Catholic polemics.
Oh come on, Papist. Don't you know that practically every parish has clown masses, prays to buddha, and worships the supreme pontiff? Where have you been? Tongue
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« Reply #61 on: April 28, 2011, 01:37:53 PM »

The Orthodox Church does not have within it the spiritual confusion, the spiritual crisis in monasteries that leads monastics to look for help from Buddhists and Hindus, etc, that is found among so many Roman Catholics.  The Orthodox Church believes that it is the true Church and contains the perfect expression of the faith and a perfect spiritual methodology and theology.  You may believe that “it doesn’t matter” whether one is Orthodox or Roman/Byzantine Catholic, but the Orthodox saints will tell you that you will not taste the spiritual grace found only in Orthodoxy while remaining outside of the Orthodox Church.   

Indeed! There were many reasons for my conversion from Byzantine Catholic to Holy Orthodoxy—mainly doctrinal reasons.  But this subject played a part in my journey.  It seemed at every corner, as a Catholic, I bumped into this non-Christian Eastern mumbo-jumbo.

Nuns who had shed the habit and begun to teach everything from reiki to yoga. 
Zen “Catholic” monasteries.
New age “Catholic” retreat centers.
“Catholic” yoga classes.

It was everywhere!

Blech!

This is so true Mickey... and you know I don't agree with you all too time ;-)
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« Reply #62 on: April 28, 2011, 01:41:34 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This quick embracing of Eastern Spiritual Practices was another reason I sought refuge within Holy Orthodoxy. It has everything you want in the way of spiritual practices. You don't need to go Far East. I often wonder why Rome didn't simply to just a little east and embrace the spirituality of their Eastern Brothers and Sisters than embrace an entirely alien practice like zen and hinduism?
Are you kidding me?

Roman Catholic Modern Spiritual Influences:

Fr. Bede Griffith (Hinduism)
Fr. Thomas Merton (Buddhism and Taoism)
Fr. Thomas Kenting (Buddhism)

I don't know how many Catholic Churches teach Yoga but many do. How many teach the Prayer of the Heart? None that I know of... that is my point.

LOL. First you suggest that the Church of Rome has accepted these practices, which she most certainly has not, and then you present some cooks as if they are the norm. LOL You haven't even left the Church yet, and you are already practicing anti-Catholic polemics.

What is the Roman Catholic Church if not what you find in your local Parishes? I'm not talking just one parish, I'm talking about many... I don't see Priests shunning these Parishes... nor those heading up these Eastern Practices. Everyone seems to think everything is okay.

Where is the 'one' in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church with regards to the Church of Rome?
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« Reply #63 on: April 28, 2011, 01:44:35 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This quick embracing of Eastern Spiritual Practices was another reason I sought refuge within Holy Orthodoxy. It has everything you want in the way of spiritual practices. You don't need to go Far East. I often wonder why Rome didn't simply to just a little east and embrace the spirituality of their Eastern Brothers and Sisters than embrace an entirely alien practice like zen and hinduism?
Are you kidding me?

Roman Catholic Modern Spiritual Influences:

Fr. Bede Griffith (Hinduism)
Fr. Thomas Merton (Buddhism and Taoism)
Fr. Thomas Kenting (Buddhism)

I don't know how many Catholic Churches teach Yoga but many do. How many teach the Prayer of the Heart? None that I know of... that is my point.

LOL. First you suggest that the Church of Rome has accepted these practices, which she most certainly has not, and then you present some cooks as if they are the norm. LOL You haven't even left the Church yet, and you are already practicing anti-Catholic polemics.

What is the Roman Catholic Church if not what you find in your local Parishes? I'm not talking just one parish, I'm talking about many... I don't see Priests shunning these Parishes... nor those heading up these Eastern Practices. Everyone seems to think everything is okay.

Where is the 'one' in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church with regards to the Church of Rome?
So you really think that that Magesterium approves of these things? That's rich.
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« Reply #64 on: April 28, 2011, 01:44:56 PM »

Hardly everywhere. 

Oh yes...I certainly ran into many proper catholic laity and clergy.  But the odd stuff was everywhere, and in my region, seemed like a spreading virus.

I have seen none of it in Holy Orthodoxy (although it may exist in some isolated circumstances somewhere).

Well if you lived on the left coast, I wouldnt be surprised to see a whole lot of that. I had a Benedictine Priest recomend Thomas Merton to me, not to mention he went ballistic when I mentioned my preference for the EF mass.  And this is in Cleveland, Ohio away from Kali.   After that Episode I limited my contact with the group(to be fair there is a Priest there that does infact celebrate the EF mass and he is the main one that does it in the Cleveland area so go figure....).

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« Reply #65 on: April 28, 2011, 01:47:01 PM »

Hardly everywhere. 

Oh yes...I certainly ran into many proper catholic laity and clergy.  But the odd stuff was everywhere, and in my region, seemed like a spreading virus.

I have seen none of it in Holy Orthodoxy (although it may exist in some isolated circumstances somewhere).

Well if you lived on the left coast, I wouldnt be surprised to see a whole lot of that. I had a Benedictine Priest recomend Thomas Merton to me, not to mention he went ballistic when I mentioned my preference for the EF mass.  And this is in Cleveland, Ohio away from Kali.   After that Episode I limited my contact with the group(to be fair there is a Priest there that does infact celebrate the EF mass and he is the main one that does it in the Cleveland area so go figure....).


Not my experience as a Catholic.com
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« Reply #66 on: April 28, 2011, 01:53:54 PM »

Well if you lived on the left coast, I wouldnt be surprised to see a whole lot of that. I had a Benedictine Priest recomend Thomas Merton to me, not to mention he went ballistic when I mentioned my preference for the EF mass.  And this is in Cleveland, Ohio away from Kali.   After that Episode I limited my contact with the group(to be fair there is a Priest there that does infact celebrate the EF mass and he is the main one that does it in the Cleveland area so go figure....).

On the contrary. It is widespread on the East Coast also.  Especially Ohio!!!
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« Reply #67 on: April 28, 2011, 01:56:22 PM »

This is so true Mickey... and you know I don't agree with you all the time ;-)

Yes. It is so true......and so sad.  It used to break my heart when I was on the Latin side.  Undecided

Good to see you again Ignatius!

Christ is Risen!
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« Reply #68 on: April 28, 2011, 02:05:58 PM »

What is the Roman Catholic Church if not what you find in your local Parishes? I'm not talking just one parish, I'm talking about many... I don't see Priests shunning these Parishes... nor those heading up these Eastern Practices. Everyone seems to think everything is okay.

Where is the 'one' in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church with regards to the Church of Rome?
Well if you can cite personal experiences as a valid reason for criticizing the Church I can just as easily say that you have no reason to criticize the Church based on my personal experience of Catholicism (which has been very good).
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« Reply #69 on: April 28, 2011, 02:09:58 PM »

What is the Roman Catholic Church if not what you find in your local Parishes? I'm not talking just one parish, I'm talking about many... I don't see Priests shunning these Parishes... nor those heading up these Eastern Practices. Everyone seems to think everything is okay.

Where is the 'one' in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church with regards to the Church of Rome?
Well if you can cite personal experiences as a valid reason for criticizing the Church I can just as easily say that you have no reason to criticize the Church based on my personal experience of Catholicism (which has been very good).
Well stated.
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« Reply #70 on: April 28, 2011, 02:10:21 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This quick embracing of Eastern Spiritual Practices was another reason I sought refuge within Holy Orthodoxy. It has everything you want in the way of spiritual practices. You don't need to go Far East. I often wonder why Rome didn't simply to just a little east and embrace the spirituality of their Eastern Brothers and Sisters than embrace an entirely alien practice like zen and hinduism?
Are you kidding me?

Roman Catholic Modern Spiritual Influences:

Fr. Bede Griffith (Hinduism)
Fr. Thomas Merton (Buddhism and Taoism)
Fr. Thomas Kenting (Buddhism)

I don't know how many Catholic Churches teach Yoga but many do. How many teach the Prayer of the Heart? None that I know of... that is my point.

LOL. First you suggest that the Church of Rome has accepted these practices, which she most certainly has not, and then you present some cooks as if they are the norm. LOL You haven't even left the Church yet, and you are already practicing anti-Catholic polemics.

What is the Roman Catholic Church if not what you find in your local Parishes? I'm not talking just one parish, I'm talking about many... I don't see Priests shunning these Parishes... nor those heading up these Eastern Practices. Everyone seems to think everything is okay.

Where is the 'one' in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church with regards to the Church of Rome?
So you really think that that Magesterium approves of these things? That's rich.

Show me where they have been condemned by the Bishops or the Vatican? Everyone wants to say that this is not right and Clown Masses shouldn't happen... but show me where a Bishop has stepped in if this stuff is not accepted? I don't see it in my Dioceses.
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« Reply #71 on: April 28, 2011, 02:11:10 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This quick embracing of Eastern Spiritual Practices was another reason I sought refuge within Holy Orthodoxy. It has everything you want in the way of spiritual practices. You don't need to go Far East. I often wonder why Rome didn't simply to just a little east and embrace the spirituality of their Eastern Brothers and Sisters than embrace an entirely alien practice like zen and hinduism?
Are you kidding me?

Roman Catholic Modern Spiritual Influences:

Fr. Bede Griffith (Hinduism)
Fr. Thomas Merton (Buddhism and Taoism)
Fr. Thomas Kenting (Buddhism)

I don't know how many Catholic Churches teach Yoga but many do. How many teach the Prayer of the Heart? None that I know of... that is my point.

LOL. First you suggest that the Church of Rome has accepted these practices, which she most certainly has not, and then you present some cooks as if they are the norm. LOL You haven't even left the Church yet, and you are already practicing anti-Catholic polemics.

What is the Roman Catholic Church if not what you find in your local Parishes? I'm not talking just one parish, I'm talking about many... I don't see Priests shunning these Parishes... nor those heading up these Eastern Practices. Everyone seems to think everything is okay.

Where is the 'one' in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church with regards to the Church of Rome?
So you really think that that Magesterium approves of these things? That's rich.

Show me where they have been condemned by the Bishops or the Vatican? Everyone wants to say that this is not right and Clown Masses shouldn't happen... but show me where a Bishop has stepped in if this stuff is not accepted? I don't see it in my Dioceses.
Ever read Dominus Iesus? It's pretty clear on where the true faith is, as are many many other Catholic documents.
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« Reply #72 on: April 28, 2011, 02:14:11 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This quick embracing of Eastern Spiritual Practices was another reason I sought refuge within Holy Orthodoxy. It has everything you want in the way of spiritual practices. You don't need to go Far East. I often wonder why Rome didn't simply to just a little east and embrace the spirituality of their Eastern Brothers and Sisters than embrace an entirely alien practice like zen and hinduism?
Are you kidding me?

Roman Catholic Modern Spiritual Influences:

Fr. Bede Griffith (Hinduism)
Fr. Thomas Merton (Buddhism and Taoism)
Fr. Thomas Kenting (Buddhism)

I don't know how many Catholic Churches teach Yoga but many do. How many teach the Prayer of the Heart? None that I know of... that is my point.

LOL. First you suggest that the Church of Rome has accepted these practices, which she most certainly has not, and then you present some cooks as if they are the norm. LOL You haven't even left the Church yet, and you are already practicing anti-Catholic polemics.

What is the Roman Catholic Church if not what you find in your local Parishes? I'm not talking just one parish, I'm talking about many... I don't see Priests shunning these Parishes... nor those heading up these Eastern Practices. Everyone seems to think everything is okay.

Where is the 'one' in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church with regards to the Church of Rome?
So you really think that that Magesterium approves of these things? That's rich.

Show me where they have been condemned by the Bishops or the Vatican? Everyone wants to say that this is not right and Clown Masses shouldn't happen... but show me where a Bishop has stepped in if this stuff is not accepted? I don't see it in my Dioceses.
Ever read Dominus Iesus? It's pretty clear on where the true faith is, as are many many other Catholic documents.

I'm not talking about what is written... there are many things written that simply aren't lived in the Catholic Church. I'm just done attempting to live me faith out of a book... I want to have a real faith that is lived out in the community. I find that in Holy Orthodoxy. And yes... converting is very painful but I just can not longer have a faith of one.
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« Reply #73 on: April 28, 2011, 02:17:23 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This quick embracing of Eastern Spiritual Practices was another reason I sought refuge within Holy Orthodoxy. It has everything you want in the way of spiritual practices. You don't need to go Far East. I often wonder why Rome didn't simply to just a little east and embrace the spirituality of their Eastern Brothers and Sisters than embrace an entirely alien practice like zen and hinduism?
Are you kidding me?

Roman Catholic Modern Spiritual Influences:

Fr. Bede Griffith (Hinduism)
Fr. Thomas Merton (Buddhism and Taoism)
Fr. Thomas Kenting (Buddhism)

I don't know how many Catholic Churches teach Yoga but many do. How many teach the Prayer of the Heart? None that I know of... that is my point.

LOL. First you suggest that the Church of Rome has accepted these practices, which she most certainly has not, and then you present some cooks as if they are the norm. LOL You haven't even left the Church yet, and you are already practicing anti-Catholic polemics.

What is the Roman Catholic Church if not what you find in your local Parishes? I'm not talking just one parish, I'm talking about many... I don't see Priests shunning these Parishes... nor those heading up these Eastern Practices. Everyone seems to think everything is okay.

Where is the 'one' in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church with regards to the Church of Rome?
So you really think that that Magesterium approves of these things? That's rich.

Show me where they have been condemned by the Bishops or the Vatican? Everyone wants to say that this is not right and Clown Masses shouldn't happen... but show me where a Bishop has stepped in if this stuff is not accepted? I don't see it in my Dioceses.
Ever read Dominus Iesus? It's pretty clear on where the true faith is, as are many many other Catholic documents.

I'm not talking about what is written... there are many things written that simply aren't lived in the Catholic Church. I'm just done attempting to live me faith out of a book... I want to have a real faith that is lived out in the community. I find that in Holy Orthodoxy. And yes... converting is very painful but I just can not longer have a faith of one.
Catholics probably felt that way during the Arian Crisis. I just don't understand your experience of the Catholic faith. I participate in a vibrant and orthodox parish.
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« Reply #74 on: April 28, 2011, 02:24:34 PM »


Catholics probably felt that way during the Arian Crisis. I just don't understand your experience of the Catholic faith. I participate in a vibrant and orthodox parish.

Well, see that makes me even more upset because where I am at... I just can't find an orthodox Catholic Parish... I have to assume that it's all like this and I blame the whole Church because if this kind of stuff was and is wrong... it should have been dealt with... if you are truly in communion with these parishes... then there really isn't one faith.
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« Reply #75 on: April 28, 2011, 02:27:34 PM »


Catholics probably felt that way during the Arian Crisis. I just don't understand your experience of the Catholic faith. I participate in a vibrant and orthodox parish.

Well, see that makes me even more upset because where I am at... I just can't find an orthodox Catholic Parish... I have to assume that it's all like this and I blame the whole Church because if this kind of stuff was and is wrong... it should have been dealt with... if you are truly in communion with these parishes... then there really isn't one faith.
Oh, so bad priests and bad Catholics mean that there is no really one faith? Well, then the minute you meet a bad Orthodox priest, I suppose you will have to conclude that the EOs don't really have one faith either. Why don't you bring up the contraception issue with different Orthodox priests? Have fun with that.
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« Reply #76 on: April 28, 2011, 02:30:29 PM »

Show me where they have been condemned by the Bishops or the Vatican? Everyone wants to say that this is not right and Clown Masses shouldn't happen... but show me where a Bishop has stepped in if this stuff is not accepted? I don't see it in my Dioceses.

I'm not talking about what is written... there are many things written that simply aren't lived in the Catholic Church. I'm just done attempting to live me faith out of a book... I want to have a real faith that is lived out in the community. I find that in Holy Orthodoxy. And yes... converting is very painful but I just can not longer have a faith of one.
I don't understand your line of thinking. If there is a crisis within the Church (which it sounds like there is, at least in some parts of the Church) the answer is not to leave. Luther did that. There were definitely abuses going on in the 1500s and the Church was definitely in the midst of a crisis then as well. That should not be a surprise. As long as the Church exists it's going to be constantly under enemy fire because Satan hates the Church and will always try to destroy it (yet never succeed).

If these horrible things are occurring in the Church as you have said, why don't you stay within the Catholic Church but start actively trying to help and defend the Church from the inside? After all, the Church is not just the clergy but laypeople too. If these abuses are occurring and nothing is being done about it then the laity needs to step up and contact the Bishop about it. If no one else is doing it you should consider doing it. The Bishop not doing anything could simply be because he is not aware of what is going on.
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« Reply #77 on: April 28, 2011, 02:31:29 PM »

Well, see that makes me even more upset because where I am at... I just can't find an orthodox Catholic Parish... I have to assume that it's all like this and I blame the whole Church because if this kind of stuff was and is wrong... it should have been dealt with... if you are truly in communion with these parishes... then there really isn't one faith.
The Apostles didn't all despair and abandon the Faith because of Judas.
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« Reply #78 on: April 28, 2011, 02:32:05 PM »


Catholics probably felt that way during the Arian Crisis. I just don't understand your experience of the Catholic faith. I participate in a vibrant and orthodox parish.

Well, see that makes me even more upset because where I am at... I just can't find an orthodox Catholic Parish... I have to assume that it's all like this and I blame the whole Church because if this kind of stuff was and is wrong... it should have been dealt with... if you are truly in communion with these parishes... then there really isn't one faith.
Oh, so bad priests and bad Catholics mean that there is no really one faith? Well, then the minute you meet a bad Orthodox priest, I suppose you will have to conclude that the EOs don't really have one faith either. Why don't you bring up the contraception issue with different Orthodox priests? Have fun with that.
Bring up Cardinal Law with different followers of the Vatican. Have fun with that: we have a multimillionaire benefactor to our Church who is not a communicant because he communes with the eVatican, but says he doesn't want his almsgiving going to pay legal fees and settlements.

And btw, you can bring up the contraception issue with different priests of the Vatican, and have just as much fun.
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« Reply #79 on: April 28, 2011, 02:33:19 PM »


Catholics probably felt that way during the Arian Crisis. I just don't understand your experience of the Catholic faith. I participate in a vibrant and orthodox parish.

Well, see that makes me even more upset because where I am at... I just can't find an orthodox Catholic Parish... I have to assume that it's all like this and I blame the whole Church because if this kind of stuff was and is wrong... it should have been dealt with... if you are truly in communion with these parishes... then there really isn't one faith.
Oh, so bad priests and bad Catholics mean that there is no really one faith? Well, then the minute you meet a bad Orthodox priest, I suppose you will have to conclude that the EOs don't really have one faith either. Why don't you bring up the contraception issue with different Orthodox priests? Have fun with that.
Bring up Cardinal Law with different followers of the Vatican. Have fun with that: we have a multimillionaire benefactor to our Church who is not a communicant because he communes with the eVatican, but says he doesn't want his almsgiving going to pay legal fees and settlements.

And btw, you can bring up the contraception issue with different priests of the Vatican, and have just as much fun.
Perhaps you can. But it demonstrates that just becuase there are dissenters, (like Izzy  here, who doesn't believe in the Incarnation), that doesn't mean that there is no oneness as regards the faith.
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« Reply #80 on: April 28, 2011, 02:34:11 PM »


Catholics probably felt that way during the Arian Crisis. I just don't understand your experience of the Catholic faith. I participate in a vibrant and orthodox parish.

Well, see that makes me even more upset because where I am at... I just can't find an orthodox Catholic Parish... I have to assume that it's all like this and I blame the whole Church because if this kind of stuff was and is wrong... it should have been dealt with... if you are truly in communion with these parishes... then there really isn't one faith.

Do not let us upset you.  IF you cannot find a parish where you are fed spiritually and where you are confident that your children will learn the faith then you have an obligation to your family to find them a spiritual and ecclesiastical home where there are graced sacraments.

Relax.  You are doing the best you can with where you are now.
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« Reply #81 on: April 28, 2011, 02:37:01 PM »


Catholics probably felt that way during the Arian Crisis. I just don't understand your experience of the Catholic faith. I participate in a vibrant and orthodox parish.

Well, see that makes me even more upset because where I am at... I just can't find an orthodox Catholic Parish... I have to assume that it's all like this and I blame the whole Church because if this kind of stuff was and is wrong... it should have been dealt with... if you are truly in communion with these parishes... then there really isn't one faith.

Do not let us upset you.  IF you cannot find a parish where you are fed spiritually and where you are confident that your children will learn the faith then you have an obligation to your family to find them a spiritual and ecclesiastical home where there are graced sacraments.

Relax.  You are doing the best you can with where you are now.
I still think it would be a better example for his family if he contacted his Bishop and helped restore orthodoxy to his Catholic parish rather than becoming Eastern Orthodox.
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« Reply #82 on: April 28, 2011, 02:46:14 PM »


Catholics probably felt that way during the Arian Crisis. I just don't understand your experience of the Catholic faith. I participate in a vibrant and orthodox parish.

Well, see that makes me even more upset because where I am at... I just can't find an orthodox Catholic Parish... I have to assume that it's all like this and I blame the whole Church because if this kind of stuff was and is wrong... it should have been dealt with... if you are truly in communion with these parishes... then there really isn't one faith.

Do not let us upset you.  IF you cannot find a parish where you are fed spiritually and where you are confident that your children will learn the faith then you have an obligation to your family to find them a spiritual and ecclesiastical home where there are graced sacraments.

Relax.  You are doing the best you can with where you are now.
I still think it would be a better example for his family if he contacted his Bishop and helped restore orthodoxy to his Catholic parish rather than becoming Eastern Orthodox.

You may be right.  But then again God does not call all to martyrdom...and by the same token he gives us all different gifts and His Providence sets us all upon varying paths.
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« Reply #83 on: April 28, 2011, 04:37:25 PM »

Christus resurrexit!

Catholics probably felt that way during the Arian Crisis. I just don't understand your experience of the Catholic faith. I participate in a vibrant and orthodox parish.

Well, see that makes me even more upset because where I am at... I just can't find an orthodox Catholic Parish... I have to assume that it's all like this and I blame the whole Church because if this kind of stuff was and is wrong... it should have been dealt with... if you are truly in communion with these parishes... then there really isn't one faith.
Oh, so bad priests and bad Catholics mean that there is no really one faith? Well, then the minute you meet a bad Orthodox priest, I suppose you will have to conclude that the EOs don't really have one faith either. Why don't you bring up the contraception issue with different Orthodox priests? Have fun with that.
Bring up Cardinal Law with different followers of the Vatican. Have fun with that: we have a multimillionaire benefactor to our Church who is not a communicant because he communes with the eVatican, but says he doesn't want his almsgiving going to pay legal fees and settlements.

And btw, you can bring up the contraception issue with different priests of the Vatican, and have just as much fun.
Perhaps you can. But it demonstrates that just becuase there are dissenters, (like Izzy  here, who doesn't believe in the Incarnation),
I was tempted to report to a moderator, but I think I would rather like to see you try to make up your slander.

that doesn't mean that there is no oneness as regards the faith.
It does show that the Ultramontanist faith is one in vain.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 04:38:05 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #84 on: April 28, 2011, 04:52:25 PM »

Talking to people on the internet about people you know demeaning them, is that not called gossip?
Shouldn't you talk to the priests in question? How many of you people - talking all these years about how the Church has committed treason - have talked to priests and bishops about these things? You can battle with ignorants, yet are afraid to be proved ignorant before someone who has theological education. Studying grade school catechisms from 1890 does not make you a Master of Theology. Is it that hard that Catholics have to accept the liturgy as it is?
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« Reply #85 on: April 28, 2011, 05:00:00 PM »

It does show that the Ultramontanist faith is one in vain.
Good thing no one here is an ultramontanist then.
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« Reply #86 on: April 28, 2011, 05:02:46 PM »

Talking to people on the internet about people you know demeaning them, is that not called gossip?
Shouldn't you talk to the priests in question? How many of you people - talking all these years about how the Church has committed treason - have talked to priests and bishops about these things? You can battle with ignorants, yet are afraid to be proved ignorant before someone who has theological education. Studying grade school catechisms from 1890 does not make you a Master of Theology. Is it that hard that Catholics have to accept the liturgy as it is?

This should be post of the month.
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« Reply #87 on: April 28, 2011, 05:09:48 PM »

Christus resurrexit!
It does show that the Ultramontanist faith is one in vain.
Good thing no one here is an ultramontanist then.
You've renounced Pastor Aeternus?
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« Reply #88 on: April 28, 2011, 05:17:57 PM »

If I interject, since this is a discussion board for opinions after all, I don't think that it's a good idea for Ignatius to convert if he doesn't have issues with the dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church. Everything sounds more practical. on his end, which makes sense, but it's not the right thing to do.

I personally would have returned to Roman Catholicism on my Mom's side of the family no matter what if I would have thought it to be true, and the diocese where I grew up was pretty much a liturgical wasteland. The priests were kind from what I can recall. But the important thing is what is true, not the immediate inconveniences we face.

For example, when I was considering become Orthodox, I visited all of the parishes (about eight) in my city to get a feeling for how Orthodoxy looked on the ground in all different kinds of situations. I wanted to know I could be faithful in the worse of environments in case I moved and I only had one "bad" option or none at all. There was a particular Serbian Church in the city with almost no English, and I later found out that the priest there was a belligerent drunk who would yell at acolytes behind the iconostasis, scold people severely during confessions, and almost never make communion available to people, really only at Christmas, Easter and a few other times. Even if you were keeping all of the church fasts and confessing (and getting yelled at) regularly, still no communion.

Anyway, all of that to say that I decided that even if this was the only church available to me then I would still go there, because I knew deep in my heart that Orthodoxy was the true faith established by Christ and remaining through the centuries. It just so happens that my city offers many many reverent Latin masses in traditionalist communities. I could have enjoyed those places and gotten a far more personal feeling of spiritual benefit out of them than at the Serbian church that I just mentioned. But at the end of the day I just couldn't buy into Papal Supremacy and Papal Infallibility as dogmatic truths of the Catholic faith. I just couldn't do it, because it's not the story I saw in history. Sure there were traces of their development over time, but I didn't see them as anything essential to the Catholic faith.

Anyway, all of that to say that I was fortunate to have the best of both worlds: a great parish with a loving priest to help me grow, and it was Eastern Orthodox. But everything that Ignatius is saying seems to have little to do with objecting to Roman Catholic teaching, which makes me think that any conversion might not be permanent or honest. For example, were he to move to another city after conversion with all that he wanted in the RCC of his previous town, would he "switch back"? I think that ultimately the decision has to be in pursuit of Truth no matter where it leads, even if it is not practically beneficial. When I became Orthodox, I became spiritually separated and alienated from my wife. But it was for His Truth, and He said that He would divide households, so I must be faithful to Truth no matter the immediate circumstances. IF we don't have Truth, what do we have?
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« Reply #89 on: April 29, 2011, 10:05:42 AM »

I was tempted to report to a moderator, but I think I would rather like to see you try to make up your slander.
What slander? You said that you are an existentialist and existentialism is intrinsically incompatible with the doctrine of the Incarnation.
It does show that the Ultramontanist faith is one in vain.
Oh, I see, you are just completely biased.
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« Reply #90 on: April 29, 2011, 10:06:23 AM »

Christus resurrexit!
It does show that the Ultramontanist faith is one in vain.
Good thing no one here is an ultramontanist then.
You've renounced Pastor Aeternus?
No, he doesn't want to fall into heresy. That is your domain.
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« Reply #91 on: April 29, 2011, 12:26:07 PM »

You've renounced Pastor Aeternus?
I acknowledge the teachings of all the Ecumenical Councils, but that does not mean that I adhere to the Romaphobic interpretation of them.
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« Reply #92 on: May 03, 2011, 06:57:38 PM »

If I interject, since this is a discussion board for opinions after all, I don't think that it's a good idea for Ignatius to convert if he doesn't have issues with the dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church. Everything sounds more practical. on his end, which makes sense, but it's not the right thing to do.

I personally would have returned to Roman Catholicism on my Mom's side of the family no matter what if I would have thought it to be true, and the diocese where I grew up was pretty much a liturgical wasteland. The priests were kind from what I can recall. But the important thing is what is true, not the immediate inconveniences we face.

For example, when I was considering become Orthodox, I visited all of the parishes (about eight) in my city to get a feeling for how Orthodoxy looked on the ground in all different kinds of situations. I wanted to know I could be faithful in the worse of environments in case I moved and I only had one "bad" option or none at all. There was a particular Serbian Church in the city with almost no English, and I later found out that the priest there was a belligerent drunk who would yell at acolytes behind the iconostasis, scold people severely during confessions, and almost never make communion available to people, really only at Christmas, Easter and a few other times. Even if you were keeping all of the church fasts and confessing (and getting yelled at) regularly, still no communion.

Anyway, all of that to say that I decided that even if this was the only church available to me then I would still go there, because I knew deep in my heart that Orthodoxy was the true faith established by Christ and remaining through the centuries. It just so happens that my city offers many many reverent Latin masses in traditionalist communities. I could have enjoyed those places and gotten a far more personal feeling of spiritual benefit out of them than at the Serbian church that I just mentioned. But at the end of the day I just couldn't buy into Papal Supremacy and Papal Infallibility as dogmatic truths of the Catholic faith. I just couldn't do it, because it's not the story I saw in history. Sure there were traces of their development over time, but I didn't see them as anything essential to the Catholic faith.

Anyway, all of that to say that I was fortunate to have the best of both worlds: a great parish with a loving priest to help me grow, and it was Eastern Orthodox. But everything that Ignatius is saying seems to have little to do with objecting to Roman Catholic teaching, which makes me think that any conversion might not be permanent or honest. For example, were he to move to another city after conversion with all that he wanted in the RCC of his previous town, would he "switch back"? I think that ultimately the decision has to be in pursuit of Truth no matter where it leads, even if it is not practically beneficial. When I became Orthodox, I became spiritually separated and alienated from my wife. But it was for His Truth, and He said that He would divide households, so I must be faithful to Truth no matter the immediate circumstances. IF we don't have Truth, what do we have?

I fully agree with you. From my end, I did the same. In my town, there was a very nice Greek Orthodox parish, and I was a member of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at my university. The local Catholic parish left much to be desired! I'll spare you the horror stories. There was also a wonderful traditional Anglican parish in this town.

But I went Catholic for a reason, because I believed the Catholic Church is the church of Jesus Christ most fully and rightly ordered through time. It didn't matter how bad things looked on the ground where I was---all that meant was that God had given me an opportunity (with the help of his grace) to do something about it!
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« Reply #93 on: May 03, 2011, 07:03:31 PM »

Christus resurrexit!
It does show that the Ultramontanist faith is one in vain.
Good thing no one here is an ultramontanist then.
You've renounced Pastor Aeternus?

"In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The pope’s authority is bound to the Tradition of faith. . . . The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition."

Who wrote these words? Cardinal Ratzinger, of course.
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« Reply #94 on: May 04, 2011, 01:42:06 AM »



Well if you lived on the left coast, I wouldnt be surprised to see a whole lot of that. I had a Benedictine Priest recomend Thomas Merton to me, not to mention he went ballistic when I mentioned my preference for the EF mass.  And this is in Cleveland, Ohio away from Kali.   After that Episode I limited my contact with the group(to be fair there is a Priest there that does infact celebrate the EF mass and he is the main one that does it in the Cleveland area so go figure....).



Indeed! I know that priest. When I took my father to Cleveland Clinic for cancer surgery, I had a couple of weeks to spend in Cleveland, and I went to a few traditional Masses celebrated by this Benedictine priest. I also went to a retreat he gave. Wonderful priest, and he had some stories about his community. Indeed there are some old dinosaurs in that monastery who are allergic to anything traditional. But he said things are changing---15 years ago he was considered some sort of freak, but he is now considered more mainstream.

BTW, St. Stephen's church in Cleveland (where he celebrates the traditional Mass) is one of the beautiful churches I've seen in the United States. It's one of those incredible German Gothic churches with magnificent wood carving all over the place and glorious stained glass windows. The sanctuary was eye-popping.
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« Reply #95 on: May 04, 2011, 02:38:54 AM »

Quote from: lubeltri link=topic=35570.msg564776#msg564776 date=1304487726

[/quote

Indeed! I know that priest. When I took my father to Cleveland Clinic for cancer surgery, I had a couple of weeks to spend in Cleveland, and I went to a few traditional Masses celebrated by this Benedictine priest. I also went to a retreat he gave. Wonderful priest, and he had some stories about his community. Indeed there are some old dinosaurs in that monastery who are allergic to anything traditional. But he said things are changing---15 years ago he was considered some sort of freak, but he is now considered more mainstream.

BTW, St. Stephen's church in Cleveland (where he celebrates the traditional Mass) is one of the beautiful churches I've seen in the United States. It's one of those incredible German Gothic churches with magnificent wood carving all over the place and glorious stained glass windows. The sanctuary was eye-popping.

http://www.ststephencleveland.org/

I know the Church well. He also does the noon mass at Immaculate Conception on Superior. There is another one that goes @ 6pm on Sundays. A low mass.  Different priest. Saint Stephen's is something else though. Glad you got to see it. 
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