Author Topic: pray for me, struggling  (Read 790 times)

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Offline maryofegypt

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pray for me, struggling
« on: June 30, 2011, 05:55:02 PM »
I would appreciate prayers.  I am struggling deeply with not wanting to attend our parish anymore, yet it is the only parish within reasonable driving distance from us (an hour away) so it's that one or nothing.

My husband does not want to attend anymore either.  Honestly, if it weren't for our kids we wouldn't be there anymore.  I know in my mind that I'm supposed to focus on the Liturgy and nothing else, that I am there to worship and receive Christ.  I know I should be able to overlook petty differences with people and my own emotional shortcomings.  But it has now reached the point that I'm so uncomfortable with our priest I cannot bring myself to go to confession, so I'm not communing anyway (which compounds the "why bother going" feelings).  Same for my husband. 

We came from another jurisdiction to this one.  We've never felt comfortable with it, or really fit in to the culture of the parish, at all.  We wish we could go back to where we were but it's not possible, the closest parish is over 3 hours away.  So I think to myself, would it be better to attend where we feel at home and are spiritually edified only 4-6 times a year, or attend 2-3 times a month at a place where we feel awkward, out of place and not edified, just for the sake of showing up?  Ugh.   : (

Thank you for your prayers. 

Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: pray for me, struggling
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2011, 05:59:40 PM »
Lord, have mercy.
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Offline sainthieu

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Re: pray for me, struggling
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2011, 06:28:26 PM »
I'd prefer quality over quantity: don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. If you keep going to a church where you don't want to be, you may leave the Orthodox Church altogether. For the most part, going to church is supposed to be a joyous experience. (Of course, since humans are involved, things are sometimes rocky, but you shoulder your way through, and the issues usually resolve themselves and return to normal.)

But if the situation is such that everyone in your family no longer wants to attend, and you dislike your priest and can't resolve it with him--heavens, if you're missing regular confession and communion--then you should go to some place where you're more comfortable. I'm sure others will disagree with me, but I don't think that getting to the point where you equate going to church with a negative experience is healthy for your spirituality. Unfortunately, some combinations of personalities just don't get along, and that's a fact of life.

Is there another Orthodox Church outside your usual jurisdiction that you might consider? The personalities of churches within the same jurisdiction are often quite different. If you have that option, I'd consider that first; you want to go to church as much as possible.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2011, 06:32:13 PM by sainthieu »

Offline KBN1

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Re: pray for me, struggling
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2011, 06:49:35 PM »
Seek reconciliation.  Also, your priest does not need to be your confessor.  You can seek another one.

Offline maryofegypt

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Re: pray for me, struggling
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2011, 07:02:16 PM »
Unfortunately, we live in an area where our current parish is literally the only choice.  There are parishoners who drive 2 1/2 times the distance we do to get there.  Anything else is much further, and with the price of gas these days, we just can't swing that. 

As for going to another confessor - again, geography is the problem, there is no one else to go to. 

The major struggle right now is that our kids do not have the problems dh and I do with the parish; they have friends there and are basically fine with it.  So we worry that keeping them from that just because of our problems is wrong.

Thank you for your advice and prayers. 

Offline Gamliel

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Re: pray for me, struggling
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2011, 08:42:50 PM »
LORD have mercy!

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: pray for me, struggling
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2011, 09:10:45 PM »
Lord have mercy.

On a side note, you don't have to commune every Sunday, nor confess every Sunday. It's better if we can do that, but it is not a must. Maybe, this is an opportunity to seek a confessor elsewhere. Then, you could confess less often, a couple of times a year (before Easter, for sure) and only commune after confession and still go on Sundays for the Liturgy on the close parish.
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: pray for me, struggling
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2011, 09:25:59 PM »
Are there any monasteries nearer as alternatives?
I only offer that suggestion as our GOA parish is serviced by a 'retired" priest who serves every Sunday, but for other services he just directs us to the nearby monastery (where incidentally he usually is daily).
Of course children might not be as happy, then again...who knows?
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Offline authio

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Re: pray for me, struggling
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2011, 09:35:40 PM »
I knew a family that did not like the new priest at another church, so they started coming to mine. Kids didn't understand the difference. Then, we got a new priest, they didn't like him, so they went to yet another parish. Again, kids didn't understand. Of course, they'll always cope with any changes you make, and it's not always too hard for them. Is there anyone else in the parish with a similar background as you and the Mr?
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Offline biro

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Re: pray for me, struggling
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2011, 10:32:19 PM »
Lord, have mercy.

Offline SolEX01

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Re: pray for me, struggling
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2011, 10:55:59 PM »
Lord have Mercy.

Offline Phoenix73

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Re: pray for me, struggling
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2011, 06:17:01 AM »
Lord Have Mercy

Offline maryofegypt

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Re: pray for me, struggling
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2011, 04:36:44 PM »
Thank you all so much for your prayers.

We have made the decision to leave, and feel very much at peace with it.  Dh had a long talk with the kids about it and they understand and are OK with it. 

We plan to visit a Greek church that is a little over an hour away from us, in another state, in a few weeks.

Offline sodr2

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Re: pray for me, struggling
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2011, 06:02:02 PM »
I'm pretty sure you go to church for God and not people
"Happiness depends on the relationship between man and God." Pope Shenouda III