Author Topic: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father  (Read 1640 times)

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Offline calligraphqueen

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spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« on: August 17, 2011, 07:39:36 PM »
How does one find spiritual answers in the midst of dilemnas when they have no spiritual father. Our priest, the neighboring priest and godparents are absolutely dumbfounded, and its kinda hard to pass on one's faith to their children when you can't get answers to save your life.

Offline TheodoraElizabeth3

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Re: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2011, 07:50:46 PM »
For many Orthodox, at least in North America, their parish priest *is* their spiritual father.

I have no idea what sort of dilemma you are in the midst of, but if your parish priest, neighboring priest, and godparents aren't any help, I'm scratching my head here.

I'm assuming you have no monastery within even a day's drive.

I'm at a loss.

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2011, 09:21:04 PM »
Please do not assume that a monastery and a monastic are necessarily the font of all Orthodox wisdom. It seems that many inquirers are searching for that 'super-staretz' who will be the omniscient answerman to all of life's problems. It doesn't necessarily work that way. Work with your priest; if you and he don't 'hit it off' be upfront with him and ask his blessing to suggest a colleague of his to work with you.

Offline Punch

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Re: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2011, 10:37:00 PM »
How does one find spiritual answers in the midst of dilemnas when they have no spiritual father. Our priest, the neighboring priest and godparents are absolutely dumbfounded, and its kinda hard to pass on one's faith to their children when you can't get answers to save your life.

The Holy Spirit, The writings of the Fathers, the Lives of the Saints .  . .

Depends on the issue.
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

Offline calligraphqueen

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Re: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2011, 01:30:18 PM »
For many Orthodox, at least in North America, their parish priest *is* their spiritual father.

I have no idea what sort of dilemma you are in the midst of, but if your parish priest, neighboring priest, and godparents aren't any help, I'm scratching my head here.

I'm assuming you have no monastery within even a day's drive.

I'm at a loss.
Well if all things were peachy our priest would be absolutely wonderful, tender but stern when necessary. Traditional, dedicated.  And no, we have no monastery that I have been able to locate, couldn't get there anyway.

Offline mabsoota

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Re: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2011, 05:07:56 PM »
erm.. post it on some dodgy website and hope for the best?
 ;)

Offline KBN1

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Re: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2011, 06:12:25 PM »
Please do not assume that a monastery and a monastic are necessarily the font of all Orthodox wisdom. It seems that many inquirers are searching for that 'super-staretz' who will be the omniscient answerman to all of life's problems. It doesn't necessarily work that way. Work with your priest; if you and he don't 'hit it off' be upfront with him and ask his blessing to suggest a colleague of his to work with you.

I agree, but a retreat for even a couple of days can really do wonders to quiet oneself so you are able to listen to the Holy Spirit.

Offline TheodoraElizabeth3

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Re: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2011, 07:25:00 PM »
Please do not assume that a monastery and a monastic are necessarily the font of all Orthodox wisdom. It seems that many inquirers are searching for that 'super-staretz' who will be the omniscient answerman to all of life's problems. It doesn't necessarily work that way. Work with your priest; if you and he don't 'hit it off' be upfront with him and ask his blessing to suggest a colleague of his to work with you.

I agree, but a retreat for even a couple of days can really do wonders to quiet oneself so you are able to listen to the Holy Spirit.

That was actually my thinking...

Offline mabsoota

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Re: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2011, 04:16:31 AM »
(my last post was not serious)
last time i had things on my mind that i couldn't discuss with my priest (would have involved telling him another person's personal details) i found a good friend and told her the problem. she was great, and prayed with me.
 :)

Offline Poppy

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Re: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2011, 07:17:01 AM »
erm.. post it on some dodgy website and hope for the best?
 ;)
haha.... spiritualanswers.com

Offline Nero

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Re: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2011, 07:28:04 AM »
A desert father once said something like, "If one cannot sufficiently teach himself in manual crafts or physical labors, how then is one supposed to guide himself in the spiritual things, the most difficult of all work?"

Offline Dyhn

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Re: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2011, 04:38:39 PM »
I would take myself off for the day somewhere quiet and away from it all. Sometimes just meditating and being still can bring what we already know, to the front of our minds, when the other ever present noises in life are silent. Even for just a few hours.

~ Dyhn

Offline orthonorm

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Re: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2011, 06:42:46 PM »
There was a really good post about this recently:

This is a great article on confession in general:

http://www.stgeorgecathedral.net/article_0101.html

I especially like this ditty:

Quote
For most of us living in the world, it is entirely unnecessary [Having a spiritual father]. In fact, the desire for a “spiritual father” may be an indication of “prelest,” (spiritual lust) - that a person imagines himself to be far more “spiritual” than he actually is.


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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2011, 10:05:32 AM »
Please do not assume that a monastery and a monastic are necessarily the font of all Orthodox wisdom. It seems that many inquirers are searching for that 'super-staretz' who will be the omniscient answerman to all of life's problems. It doesn't necessarily work that way. Work with your priest; if you and he don't 'hit it off' be upfront with him and ask his blessing to suggest a colleague of his to work with you.

I agree, but a retreat for even a couple of days can really do wonders to quiet oneself so you are able to listen to the Holy Spirit.

That was actually my thinking...

I agree. We have an OCA monastery of nuns near us in Otego, NY. They are wonderful and truly appreciate visitors(call in advance though!), especially if you can help them out with work on the farm and their sheep!

Offline calligraphqueen

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Re: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2011, 10:35:40 AM »
The closest monastery I can find is Troy NC, I am in the middle of VA. Its a Russian women's monastery and their link is flaking out on me, so I can't find much info at all. I couldn't justify taking our gas budget for dh's work commute to travel to NC, though I can't tell you how wonderful just a few hours of peace and quiet sounds.  I did see Frederica mention a new monastery in the DC area, but I don't have any info on that and its still 3 hours away or so. DC doesn't sound very peaceful anyway.  ;)

Offline FrChris

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Re: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2011, 10:56:58 AM »
The closest monastery I can find is Troy NC, I am in the middle of VA.

 ???

Panagia Pammakaristos Monastery is in Lawsonville, NC about 90 miles from Lynchburg, VA.

GOA link

Try this link for Panagia Prousiotissa; I have never had an issue with it. BTW...it is a Greek Monastery, not Russian.
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Offline TheodoraElizabeth3

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Re: spiritual guidance with no spiritual father
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2011, 08:13:55 PM »
I did see Frederica mention a new monastery in the DC area, but I don't have any info on that and its still 3 hours away or so. DC doesn't sound very peaceful anyway.  ;)

The new DC monastery Frederica probably mentioned was the OCA one (next to St. Nicholas Cathedral) that had some Greek nuns, but that's not going to work out (long story).