I'm a former/current Roman Catholic - I currently am a refugee in the Anglican Communion. I found Ancient Faith radio online and eventually landed here.
How many people decided to seriously look into Orthodoxy because of its spirituality rather doctrinal or historical reasons?
(I meant my question for Roman Catholic converts, but certainly the question is open to anyone.)
What I mean:
As a cradle Catholic, once I started to doubt the Church - the final blow was the seeming disregard for the Bible in preference to the Bishops - I realized, looking at other faiths, that Orthodoxy is the most humble and has the most emphasis on the inner journey. This emphasis on the inner journey is what I was desperately seeking. I was even listening to an Islamic sheik since he was far less arrogant and humble before God than any of the Christian speakers I was listening too, until I found Ancient Faith radio.
I certainly respect the historical, doctrinal, and theological differences between Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy, but the most powerful thing for me was the humble culture of repentance and self-reflection. Maybe a search to stifle my pride landed me here.
It is my impression the culture of the Roman hierarchy views the laity as their spiritual chattel. Maybe Orthodoxy is similar, but it appears the laity aren't as spiritually bound, as in priests don't take what isn't theirs.
Am I mistaken? Have other people found the same thing?
Not quite the same as you and I wasn't an RC (half my family are but I'm not in that half), but humility and genuine Christian faith in the person of one specific monk did start my journey so I do think I know what you mean. I also agree with you that there seems to be less of a clergy/laiety divide in Orthodoxy than I have seen in Roman Catholicism or even the higher church protestants. The Divine Liturgy really is the work of the people - we're participants not spectators. So, no, I don't think you're mistaken.
Don't, however, end up looking at Orthodoxy through rose-tinted glasses or you're likely to be very disappointed very quickly. We have our problems from rigid legalist to lax 'cultural' Orthodox and everything in between, much like any community. We also have our less than ideal priests, even ones who treat their parishioners as a way to make money, though here in the west my experience suggests that you're much more likely to come across amazing examples of tirelessly working for God whilst having to hold down a secular job as well.