Hello brother and sisters,
Let me be very frank by saying that right now I'm in a state of confusion, uncertainty, and great sadness. I have always been 100% certain and strong in my faith of Christ Jesus ever since He saved me from the bondage of Islam - Praise Him - although I've never had a certainty about His Church on earth. I'm really not sure what to do at this point in my search for the "True Church". I am certain that I need to be apart of the unified Catholic and Apostolic Church - yet I am faced with three large Churches - all of which have claim to being apart the original Church (RC, EO, OO).
I've tried reading through the theological debates on this forum and all it's done is spin my mind in circles. Hearing people endlessly debate and repeat themselves over issues, such as Christ's nature, really starts to irritate me because all I'm seeing is that the belief is the same, but the language differs. I'm not understanding how there can be any legitimate reason why the Church should be in schism when we all know how serious of a matter this will be; Christ is going to hold us responsible for our actions, and the leaders of the Church will be held to an even higher standard. How can we even tolerate the condition the Church is in right now? I often think about what would happen if Christ and the Apostles were here right now, how they would deal with us - I'm sure if more Christians realized we are being observed right now, and the Judge is standing at the door, we would be doing everything we can to resolve our disputes and differences ASAP because our very souls are on the line!
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6)
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. (James 5:7-9)
We read over and over again in the Bible of God's humility and willingness to serve, even though He is the very essence and giver of life, law, and substance in this existence. Is The Catholic Church living by this example right now? I mean, I don't know how the Church leaders can not be trembling in fear right now with the condition the Church is in right now - it makes me question if their real motives are for the cares of this World and themselves, and not for the Kingdom of God? I question this because when you look at history we see how we've had many "wolves and sheeps clothing" infiltrate the Church in order to destroy it - this can be experienced in every part of the Catholic Church - and are we really vigilant about this as parishioners? Or are we just going along with the routines of the services, and in a tunnel vision of what is really happening around us AND inside of us?
If I wanted to go to an Oriental Orthodox Church, why would Eastern Orthodox view me as a heretic? Or in on the other hand, if I wanted to go to a EO Church, why would the OO view me as a heretic? I'm not seeing any good
reason for this. Currently I've been attending an OCA Church here in RI infrequently, and I'm considering going to the new OO Church that just opened close to where I live. I've never been able to speak with a OO priest, and would like to hear from one soon.
I wanted to ask, why did the EO replace the Patriarchate of Alexandria, but didn't replace the Patriarchate of Rome? EO Christians will tell me because they are leaving that position open for Rome, hoping they would come back into union with the Church - yet why wouldn't they do the same with Alexandria? I just don't see how Christ can be viewing any of this without feeling grief, sadness, and anger toward the behavior of His children. Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on us - sinners!
There's much more on my mind, but it's too much to put into this introductory post. I hope I can receive some genuinely heart felt and wise replies from anyone willing to discuss these matters in the Spirit of love and peace. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10OSFBKmuOI&feature=channel_video_title
PS could a good brother or sister please tell me what Hymn this is, and/or provide the lyrics are for me? I often listen to this to help me meditate on the grace and love of Mary for her Son and all the Church. I'm so thankful for the Arab and Coptic Christians for providing the Body of Christ with so many divine chants and hymns to strengthen the spirit. Fraction to the Son is another very dear hymns that touch my heart daily and help me grow closer to my Lord Jesus.