Author Topic: Fill your life with hundreds of rituals and if you have time left, follow me!  (Read 24866 times)

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Offline Melodist

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When we make the Sign of the Cross, it is not 'just' a ritual: it is a prayer. We say, either out loud or to ourselves, "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen." We invoke the Trinity. This is an important prayer because it dedicates what we do, to God. It also asserts the correct (and Biblical) definition of the nature of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It clarifies that we are praying to the true God and not a false ideal.

Saying the name of God is not to be taken lightly, as the Commandments tell us.

Scripture tells us to "bless the Lord at all times." And so, we do.

It also reminds us that we are to love the Lord with (as we touch) all of our mind (head), heart and soul (body), and strength (shoulders).
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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Offline Melodist

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I don't think any Orthodox Christian would disagree that worship encompasses the whole of a person's life, not simply what they participate in on a Sunday morning.

It's anothor onwe of those things that we are to do both, not just one or the other.
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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Offline Melodist

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Yes. Pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Clearly, in context, this is about having an attitude of prayerfulness, not literally mumbling words under your breath every second of every day or every year but a constant thankful, rejoicing and prayerful attitude.

Prayer to God isn't an attitude, but a reaching out to Him. You need to have something on your mind that you are saying to God, what that is specifically is not explicitly commanded in that particular passage. Just like constantly having hymns and psalms in your heart.
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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Offline Melodist

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I did take a slice, i asked specifically about crossing yourself. Is this a command? No. Jesus literally walked to his death carrying his cross. Does this mean we are to make the sign of a cross on our bodies? No, of course not. We are to die to self, that is why this means.

Let me ask you this, do you honestly think that doing the sign of the cross renders anyone incapable of doing anything other than using their right hand for a fraction of a second?

Sorry for the multiple post. Wanted to deal with things one at a time.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 09:55:48 AM by Melodist »
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

Made Perfect in Weakness - Latest Post: The Son of God

Offline PeterTheAleut

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FountainPen, don't you think your being a little hypocritical? Were do you have a direct command from Scripture to Worship the way you worship, or that Worship is to be performed "spontaneously". All the years I was a Protestant,I never found those passages in Scripture.

When Jesus came to fullfill the Old Covenant practices,He didn't mean do away with them altogether ,but to show how they were fullfilled in Him,to show there true meaning. He codemned the hardened hearts behind those practices!!

Worship to me is a lifestyle, so the way i worship is not something i separate out and do on a Sunday morning but it's incorporated into everything i do in life. When i wash dishes, i do it "unto The Lord", when i tend a sick relative i am worshipping God with my life. When i speak to someone about God i am worshipping and when i put out the rubbish i am worshipping also.

Our whole life is sacrifice of worship, praise and thanksgiving to God. Whatever we do in life, we do "unto The Lord". (Colossians 3:23)
I've never heard Orthodoxy taught as being a "Sunday only religion".
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline FountainPen

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Yes. Pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Clearly, in context, this is about having an attitude of prayerfulness, not literally mumbling words under your breath every second of every day or every year but a constant thankful, rejoicing and prayerful attitude.

Prayer to God isn't an attitude, but a reaching out to Him. You need to have something on your mind that you are saying to God, what that is specifically is not explicitly commanded in that particular passage. Just like constantly having hymns and psalms in your heart.

I didn't say prayer is an attitude. I said, in this context, together with rejoicing at all times and giving thanks in all circumstances -- which are also part of this verse -- praying at all times is more about an attitude of prayerful, joyful gratitude.
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Offline FountainPen

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FountainPen, don't you think your being a little hypocritical? Were do you have a direct command from Scripture to Worship the way you worship, or that Worship is to be performed "spontaneously". All the years I was a Protestant,I never found those passages in Scripture.

When Jesus came to fullfill the Old Covenant practices,He didn't mean do away with them altogether ,but to show how they were fullfilled in Him,to show there true meaning. He codemned the hardened hearts behind those practices!!

Worship to me is a lifestyle, so the way i worship is not something i separate out and do on a Sunday morning but it's incorporated into everything i do in life. When i wash dishes, i do it "unto The Lord", when i tend a sick relative i am worshipping God with my life. When i speak to someone about God i am worshipping and when i put out the rubbish i am worshipping also.

Our whole life is sacrifice of worship, praise and thanksgiving to God. Whatever we do in life, we do "unto The Lord". (Colossians 3:23)
I've never heard Orthodoxy taught as being a "Sunday only religion".

Good. Then we agree that worshipping God is about presenting your whole life as a living sacrifice.
None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try. Mark Twain

Offline FountainPen

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I did take a slice, i asked specifically about crossing yourself. Is this a command? No. Jesus literally walked to his death carrying his cross. Does this mean we are to make the sign of a cross on our bodies? No, of course not. We are to die to self, that is why this means.

Let me ask you this, do you honestly think that doing the sign of the cross renders anyone incapable of doing anything other than using their right hand for a fraction of a second?

Melodist, really!?

#laughs
None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try. Mark Twain

Offline PeterTheAleut

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FountainPen, don't you think your being a little hypocritical? Were do you have a direct command from Scripture to Worship the way you worship, or that Worship is to be performed "spontaneously". All the years I was a Protestant,I never found those passages in Scripture.

When Jesus came to fullfill the Old Covenant practices,He didn't mean do away with them altogether ,but to show how they were fullfilled in Him,to show there true meaning. He codemned the hardened hearts behind those practices!!

Worship to me is a lifestyle, so the way i worship is not something i separate out and do on a Sunday morning but it's incorporated into everything i do in life. When i wash dishes, i do it "unto The Lord", when i tend a sick relative i am worshipping God with my life. When i speak to someone about God i am worshipping and when i put out the rubbish i am worshipping also.

Our whole life is sacrifice of worship, praise and thanksgiving to God. Whatever we do in life, we do "unto The Lord". (Colossians 3:23)
I've never heard Orthodoxy taught as being a "Sunday only religion".

Good. Then we agree that worshipping God is about presenting your whole life as a living sacrifice.
How well are you doing that? I've found that those who don't worship in a church on Sunday mornings generally don't worship at all.
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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I did take a slice, i asked specifically about crossing yourself. Is this a command? No. Jesus literally walked to his death carrying his cross. Does this mean we are to make the sign of a cross on our bodies? No, of course not. We are to die to self, that is why this means.

Let me ask you this, do you honestly think that doing the sign of the cross renders anyone incapable of doing anything other than using their right hand for a fraction of a second?

Melodist, really!?

#laughs
Please answer the question.
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline FountainPen

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FountainPen, don't you think your being a little hypocritical? Were do you have a direct command from Scripture to Worship the way you worship, or that Worship is to be performed "spontaneously". All the years I was a Protestant,I never found those passages in Scripture.

When Jesus came to fullfill the Old Covenant practices,He didn't mean do away with them altogether ,but to show how they were fullfilled in Him,to show there true meaning. He codemned the hardened hearts behind those practices!!

Worship to me is a lifestyle, so the way i worship is not something i separate out and do on a Sunday morning but it's incorporated into everything i do in life. When i wash dishes, i do it "unto The Lord", when i tend a sick relative i am worshipping God with my life. When i speak to someone about God i am worshipping and when i put out the rubbish i am worshipping also.

Our whole life is sacrifice of worship, praise and thanksgiving to God. Whatever we do in life, we do "unto The Lord". (Colossians 3:23)
I've never heard Orthodoxy taught as being a "Sunday only religion".

Good. Then we agree that worshipping God is about presenting your whole life as a living sacrifice.
How well are you doing that? I've found that those who don't worship in a church on Sunday mornings generally don't worship at all.

Nice.

One minute we're discussing general worship/rituals and i think we're getting somewhere and the next you resort to a snarky ad hom.

Real mature Peter.

Real "adult"

Oh but wait! I probably 'read it the wrong way'. Yeah, that's probably it  ;)
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 10:17:38 AM by FountainPen »
None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try. Mark Twain

Offline JamesRottnek

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Fountainpen, you mentioned walking around saying the Jesus Prayer as something that would prevent us from helping those in need.  You also say we should only engage in those rituals that we are commanded to engage in.  Did St. Paul not command us to pray without ceasing?  As well, why prayer EVER if prayer means being unable to act?

Yes. Pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Clearly, in context, this is about having an attitude of prayerfulness, not literally mumbling words under your breath every second of every day or every year but a constant thankful, rejoicing and prayerful attitude.



And you are clearly most erudite and wise to know precisely what the Apostle meant, 2,000 years after he lived.
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Offline ialmisry

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Fountainpen, you mentioned walking around saying the Jesus Prayer as something that would prevent us from helping those in need.  You also say we should only engage in those rituals that we are commanded to engage in.  Did St. Paul not command us to pray without ceasing?  As well, why prayer EVER if prayer means being unable to act?

Yes. Pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Clearly, in context, this is about having an attitude of prayerfulness, not literally mumbling words under your breath every second of every day or every year but a constant thankful, rejoicing and prayerful attitude.


On the basis for your dogma, that the two are mutually exclusive (ignoring, for the time being, your characterization of recitation as "mumbling")?
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Offline Melodist

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I did take a slice, i asked specifically about crossing yourself. Is this a command? No. Jesus literally walked to his death carrying his cross. Does this mean we are to make the sign of a cross on our bodies? No, of course not. We are to die to self, that is why this means.
Let me ask you this, do you honestly think that doing the sign of the cross renders anyone incapable of doing anything other than using their right hand for a fraction of a second?
Melodist, really!?

#laughs

Yes really. You're main assertion is that it prevents us from doing other things that we should. As far as scriptural commands, while not explicitly commanded, the sign of the cross can serve as an aid to prayer, draw our attention to Who we are praying to, and express that we are to love the Lord with all of our mind (head), heart and soul (body), and strength (shoulders). It's not in opposition to following that which we are explicitly commanded to do, and can be a beneficial aid to prayer when done with the right attitude.
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

Made Perfect in Weakness - Latest Post: The Son of God

Offline PeterTheAleut

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FountainPen, don't you think your being a little hypocritical? Were do you have a direct command from Scripture to Worship the way you worship, or that Worship is to be performed "spontaneously". All the years I was a Protestant,I never found those passages in Scripture.

When Jesus came to fullfill the Old Covenant practices,He didn't mean do away with them altogether ,but to show how they were fullfilled in Him,to show there true meaning. He codemned the hardened hearts behind those practices!!

Worship to me is a lifestyle, so the way i worship is not something i separate out and do on a Sunday morning but it's incorporated into everything i do in life. When i wash dishes, i do it "unto The Lord", when i tend a sick relative i am worshipping God with my life. When i speak to someone about God i am worshipping and when i put out the rubbish i am worshipping also.

Our whole life is sacrifice of worship, praise and thanksgiving to God. Whatever we do in life, we do "unto The Lord". (Colossians 3:23)
I've never heard Orthodoxy taught as being a "Sunday only religion".

Good. Then we agree that worshipping God is about presenting your whole life as a living sacrifice.
How well are you doing that? I've found that those who don't worship in a church on Sunday mornings generally don't worship at all.

Nice.

One minute we're discussing general worship/rituals and i think we're getting somewhere and the next you resort to a snarky ad hom.

Real mature Peter.

Real "adult"

Oh but wait! I probably 'read it the wrong way'. Yeah, that's probably it  ;)
Yes, you had it the wrong way. You start this whole thread as a way to criticize others for not worshiping God by presenting their whole lives as living sacrifices, so it's only fair you tell us how you're doing in this regard.
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline Timon

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All this over crossing yourself??

I was at a baptist megachurch a couple weeks ago, (note: this is the most reformed place that exists on the planet) and even they were talking about what a beautiful practice crossing oneself is.  They themselves do not practice this, but they spoke of it from the perspective of "maybe we should do this."  I was surprised.  

I havent read the whole thread here, and im not going to.  But surely someone has brought up some quotes from early fathers about this practice, and surely someone has pointed out that this has been going on before everyone had a copy of the Bible.  



Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

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Offline FountainPen

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I did take a slice, i asked specifically about crossing yourself. Is this a command? No. Jesus literally walked to his death carrying his cross. Does this mean we are to make the sign of a cross on our bodies? No, of course not. We are to die to self, that is why this means.

Let me ask you this, do you honestly think that doing the sign of the cross renders anyone incapable of doing anything other than using their right hand for a fraction of a second?

Melodist, really!?

#laughs
Please answer the question.

I will if you promise to stop acting like an ornery, infantile show-off.
None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try. Mark Twain

Offline Melodist

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All this over crossing yourself??

There's more to it, crossing oneself is just being used as an example.
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

Made Perfect in Weakness - Latest Post: The Son of God

Offline FountainPen

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Fountainpen, you mentioned walking around saying the Jesus Prayer as something that would prevent us from helping those in need.  You also say we should only engage in those rituals that we are commanded to engage in.  Did St. Paul not command us to pray without ceasing?  As well, why prayer EVER if prayer means being unable to act?

Yes. Pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Clearly, in context, this is about having an attitude of prayerfulness, not literally mumbling words under your breath every second of every day or every year but a constant thankful, rejoicing and prayerful attitude.



And you are clearly most erudite and wise to know precisely what the Apostle meant, 2,000 years after he lived.

No, i read St. Theophan the Recluse and St. Philaret of Moscow first.
None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try. Mark Twain

Offline Peter J

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We are told to take up our cross, not to perform ritualised hand movements merely to remind us of what Jesus did.

Why clog the Christian life with rituals piled high on top of one another and then to discuss how many times we're all supposed to do them or in what way we do them? Doesn't life have enough real challenges in it for you (the Church)? The world is going to hell in a handbasket while we all colours of robes, liturgies, incense and prostrations while we (the various Churches) could be discussing how we can organise ourselves to aid the current issues of drug abuse, alcoholism and promiscuity.

Good grief, that we should all fill our lives with rituals!

Nice rant. [/sarcasm]

Sorry, but after reading the beginning of this thread, I'm not bothering to read all of it. It just doesn't seem to me like it got off to a very good start.
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Offline Punch

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FountainPen, don't you think your being a little hypocritical? Were do you have a direct command from Scripture to Worship the way you worship, or that Worship is to be performed "spontaneously". All the years I was a Protestant,I never found those passages in Scripture.

When Jesus came to fullfill the Old Covenant practices,He didn't mean do away with them altogether ,but to show how they were fullfilled in Him,to show there true meaning. He codemned the hardened hearts behind those practices!!

Worship to me is a lifestyle, so the way i worship is not something i separate out and do on a Sunday morning but it's incorporated into everything i do in life. When i wash dishes, i do it "unto The Lord", when i tend a sick relative i am worshipping God with my life. When i speak to someone about God i am worshipping and when i put out the rubbish i am worshipping also.

Our whole life is sacrifice of worship, praise and thanksgiving to God. Whatever we do in life, we do "unto The Lord". (Colossians 3:23)
I've never heard Orthodoxy taught as being a "Sunday only religion".

Good. Then we agree that worshipping God is about presenting your whole life as a living sacrifice.
How well are you doing that? I've found that those who don't worship in a church on Sunday mornings generally don't worship at all.

That is a crock of BS, and so typical of the one liner "stir the pot" crap that you post.  In fact, can you post anything with more than three lines in a row without using green ink?  Unfortunately, here is where I Have to agree with Fountain Pen.  I have found some of the people who worship God the most, with their prayers and their actions, will not set foot in a church unless they have to.  Heck the most generous, kind, loving and Christian acting man that I know is not even Orthodox, he is Hindu.  I can see Fountain Pen's point when those outside the Church live the Great Commandments of Christ more than those bowing and prostrating and chanting in a Church, only to leave and live "business as usual" lives the rest of the week.  I have seen this for the 50 years that I have been alive.  However, where I disagree with Fountain Pen is that I believe that the Church and its rituals are not to blame for this.  The Church is a hospital, and it is where the sick and suffering belong.  However, those who do not follow the Doctor's orders will never get better, and often they will get worse.  This is not the fault of the Doctor and the medicine.  While the Scriptures teach us that everyone is sick and in need of healing, not all are as sick as others.  Some do not even recognize that they are sick.  If they are able to function that way, and by function, I mean follow the Law of God, then who are we to judge them; particularly so when we are to sick to even do what they do?  I have to say that I agree very much with a lot that Fountain Pen has written here.  I just happen to find a different root cause for the problem than Fountain Pen has.
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

Offline FormerReformer

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If only it stopped at adding one though Delphine.
Can't have too much of a good thang, darlin'.

We humans get along okay with having to remember all those tricky, complex and monotonous processes like breathing, circulating blood, moving our limbs in sleep, blinking, etc.

I think we can handle a few movements and practices without becoming isolated, pharisaical zomboids.

Given just how many people aren't even aware of the existence of Orthodoxy, i'd say the message aint' gettin' out there too well shweetie.

By "many people" do you mean "Americans"?
No, i meant British.
Then I take back everything I said to Mr Young apologizing for lumping him in with American strains of Evangelicalism. :laugh: They're all the same, it's just him that's the aberration- would it were the other way around.

Ah i see, that was my error. Thanks for pointing it out to me so graciously FR. Phew! Well, at least it wasn't because i'm a woman or even an emotional woman heh, at least they got a break today, HUZZAH!
 ;)


EDIT: one small thing... i couldn't find the "woe is me" part anywhere.

Oh, I thought the "a woman or even an emotional woman" (and isn't that redundant amiriteguys? Guys?! Hello?!!) was implied (Where'd everyone go?). Of course, given your problems with Protestantism, an implicit statement might be hard to follow  :laugh:
I have problems with Protestantism now?
Only in the sense that, however reluctant you might be toward the appellation, you are one.

On that note "Woe is me" is implicit every time you pull out the "Wouldn't want to get banned" language. Also missing, yet implicit, from your posts was "What you do is incredibly silly" following the "Good grief". But of course, according to you, if you don't state it in the most literal terms we are drawing false conclusions (because you are most definitely not a Protestant, you have never stated you were a Protestant, even though you have stated you are not Roman Catholic nor Orthodox, which leaves Protestantism as the only option, seeing as how the denominations did not form in a vacuum).
Yah, there's nothing else except RCs, Orthodox or Protestants. Everything else came out of these three right? /wikilove
Quick history lesson- At one point every Christian was either Orthodox or heretic. After 1054 the Western Church got too big for it's britches and believed it could call the shots for the entire Church, found out it couldn't, took it's ball and left. All other Western Churches were formed from people who disagreed with the Western Church at some point or another. We can play silly semantical games all day long as to whether or not Luther was Protestant, or Calvin was Protestant, or Cranmer was Protestant, but at the end of the day they were all Protesting the practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Also, in one way or another, every Western Church is descended from one of those three people- any Western Christian who truly believes that their faith community never had any sort of ties with the Roman Catholic Church needs to stop reading Landmarkist Baptist publications and crack a real book.

No need for wikipedia, CTPRI Pen, that there's just good, ole fashioned, European history.

Now, enough of my derailing the thread, let's address another one of your attacks on Orthodox ritualism-

Fountainpen, you mentioned walking around saying the Jesus Prayer as something that would prevent us from helping those in need.  You also say we should only engage in those rituals that we are commanded to engage in.  Did St. Paul not command us to pray without ceasing?  As well, why prayer EVER if prayer means being unable to act?

Yes. Pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Clearly, in context, this is about having an attitude of prayerfulness, not literally mumbling words under your breath every second of every day or every year but a constant thankful, rejoicing and prayerful attitude.



And you are clearly most erudite and wise to know precisely what the Apostle meant, 2,000 years after he lived.

No, i read St. Theophan the Recluse and St. Philaret of Moscow first.

Had you really done that (not that I doubt you ran your eyes over the pages) then you would realize that Sts Theophan and Philaret would be the first to condemn mumbling words under one's breath without an attitude of prayerfulness. If one is saying the Jesus Prayer at the expense of showing charity and compassion to everyone they meet then one is not truly saying the Jesus Prayer at all- the point hammered home by any Orthodox writing. The same with fasting (since this is Lent and all), if I avoid certain types of food but do this at the expense of being kinder to my family and everyone I meet then I violate the most important part of the fast.

That said, you cannot attain an attitude of prayerfulness without first praying, the same way you cannot attain knowledge of algebra without first solving equations. It is all well and good to talk about "constant thankful, rejoicing and prayerful attitude" but if you are trying to achieve this result without actually thanking, rejoicing, and praying you might as well be trying to reach the moon by flapping your arms really hard. The rituals you condemn are there to build up the spiritual muscles, even as we exercise the arm muscles (crossing) or jaw muscles (praying)- you cannot exercise the spirit without the body, even for the type of spiritual exercise and ritual you feel is more important- I cannot help an addict by merely wishing him better and I cannot help a horny teenager by merely thinking about chastity. Actual, physical steps must be taken.
"Funny," said Lancelot, "how the people who can't pray say that prayers are not answered, however much the people who can pray say they are."  TH White

Oh, no: I've succumbed to Hyperdoxy!

Offline PeterTheAleut

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FountainPen, don't you think your being a little hypocritical? Were do you have a direct command from Scripture to Worship the way you worship, or that Worship is to be performed "spontaneously". All the years I was a Protestant,I never found those passages in Scripture.

When Jesus came to fullfill the Old Covenant practices,He didn't mean do away with them altogether ,but to show how they were fullfilled in Him,to show there true meaning. He codemned the hardened hearts behind those practices!!

Worship to me is a lifestyle, so the way i worship is not something i separate out and do on a Sunday morning but it's incorporated into everything i do in life. When i wash dishes, i do it "unto The Lord", when i tend a sick relative i am worshipping God with my life. When i speak to someone about God i am worshipping and when i put out the rubbish i am worshipping also.

Our whole life is sacrifice of worship, praise and thanksgiving to God. Whatever we do in life, we do "unto The Lord". (Colossians 3:23)
I've never heard Orthodoxy taught as being a "Sunday only religion".

Good. Then we agree that worshipping God is about presenting your whole life as a living sacrifice.
How well are you doing that? I've found that those who don't worship in a church on Sunday mornings generally don't worship at all.

That is a crock of BS, and so typical of the one liner "stir the pot" crap that you post.
You did happen to notice that I was voicing a personal observation, which can be seen in my choice of the words "I've found"? I'm merely sharing what I have observed. The fact that my observations differ from yours does not invalidate either mine or yours. Besides, nothing you said contradicts anything I've said.

In fact, can you post anything with more than three lines in a row without using green ink?
You have also noticed that I haven't even used any green ink on this thread?
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Offline orthonorm

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FountainPen, don't you think your being a little hypocritical? Were do you have a direct command from Scripture to Worship the way you worship, or that Worship is to be performed "spontaneously". All the years I was a Protestant,I never found those passages in Scripture.

When Jesus came to fullfill the Old Covenant practices,He didn't mean do away with them altogether ,but to show how they were fullfilled in Him,to show there true meaning. He codemned the hardened hearts behind those practices!!

Worship to me is a lifestyle, so the way i worship is not something i separate out and do on a Sunday morning but it's incorporated into everything i do in life. When i wash dishes, i do it "unto The Lord", when i tend a sick relative i am worshipping God with my life. When i speak to someone about God i am worshipping and when i put out the rubbish i am worshipping also.

Our whole life is sacrifice of worship, praise and thanksgiving to God. Whatever we do in life, we do "unto The Lord". (Colossians 3:23)
I've never heard Orthodoxy taught as being a "Sunday only religion".

Good. Then we agree that worshipping God is about presenting your whole life as a living sacrifice.
How well are you doing that? I've found that those who don't worship in a church on Sunday mornings generally don't worship at all.

That is a crock of BS, and so typical of the one liner "stir the pot" crap that you post.  In fact, can you post anything with more than three lines in a row without using green ink?  Unfortunately, here is where I Have to agree with Fountain Pen.  I have found some of the people who worship God the most, with their prayers and their actions, will not set foot in a church unless they have to.  Heck the most generous, kind, loving and Christian acting man that I know is not even Orthodox, he is Hindu.  I can see Fountain Pen's point when those outside the Church live the Great Commandments of Christ more than those bowing and prostrating and chanting in a Church, only to leave and live "business as usual" lives the rest of the week.  I have seen this for the 50 years that I have been alive.  However, where I disagree with Fountain Pen is that I believe that the Church and its rituals are not to blame for this.  The Church is a hospital, and it is where the sick and suffering belong.  However, those who do not follow the Doctor's orders will never get better, and often they will get worse.  This is not the fault of the Doctor and the medicine.  While the Scriptures teach us that everyone is sick and in need of healing, not all are as sick as others.  Some do not even recognize that they are sick.  If they are able to function that way, and by function, I mean follow the Law of God, then who are we to judge them; particularly so when we are to sick to even do what they do?  I have to say that I agree very much with a lot that Fountain Pen has written here.  I just happen to find a different root cause for the problem than Fountain Pen has.

Nice.

Offline orthonorm

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You did happen to notice that I was voicing a personal observation, which can be seen in my choice of the words "I've found"? I'm merely sharing what I have observed. The fact that my observations differ from yours does not invalidate either mine or yours. Besides, nothing you said contradicts anything I've said.

Actually it does.

Offline recent convert

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I do not understand how hourly time spent in worship in any practice is in conflict with carrying out its instructed message to the world. The worship must come first so the believer knows what to witness to the world at large in whatever capacity the individual is called to do.
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Offline orthonorm

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I do not understand how hourly time spent in worship in any practice is in conflict with carrying out its instructed message to the world. The worship must come first so the believer knows what to witness to the world at large in whatever capacity the individual is called to do.

It's called a foisted dichotomy.

 

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However, where I disagree with Fountain Pen is that I believe that the Church and its rituals are not to blame for this.  The Church is a hospital, and it is where the sick and suffering belong.  However, those who do not follow the Doctor's orders will never get better, and often they will get worse.  This is not the fault of the Doctor and the medicine.  While the Scriptures teach us that everyone is sick and in need of healing, not all are as sick as others.  Some do not even recognize that they are sick.  If they are able to function that way, and by function, I mean follow the Law of God, then who are we to judge them; particularly so when we are to sick to even do what they do?  I have to say that I agree very much with a lot that Fountain Pen has written here.  I just happen to find a different root cause for the problem than Fountain Pen has.

I don't know that i'd say rituals are directly to blame but i don't think so many rituals help.

I'd be really interested to know what the root is that you've found though.
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You did happen to notice that I was voicing a personal observation, which can be seen in my choice of the words "I've found"? I'm merely sharing what I have observed. The fact that my observations differ from yours does not invalidate either mine or yours. Besides, nothing you said contradicts anything I've said.

Actually it does.

No, all Punch did was cite a few of those specific exceptions to the rule I intended to establish by my use of the word "generally".
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Offline orthonorm

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You did happen to notice that I was voicing a personal observation, which can be seen in my choice of the words "I've found"? I'm merely sharing what I have observed. The fact that my observations differ from yours does not invalidate either mine or yours. Besides, nothing you said contradicts anything I've said.

Actually it does.

No, all Punch did was cite a few of those specific exceptions to the rule I intended to establish by my use of the word "generally".

You are wrong in general.

Offline recent convert

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However, where I disagree with Fountain Pen is that I believe that the Church and its rituals are not to blame for this.  The Church is a hospital, and it is where the sick and suffering belong.  However, those who do not follow the Doctor's orders will never get better, and often they will get worse.  This is not the fault of the Doctor and the medicine.  While the Scriptures teach us that everyone is sick and in need of healing, not all are as sick as others.  Some do not even recognize that they are sick.  If they are able to function that way, and by function, I mean follow the Law of God, then who are we to judge them; particularly so when we are to sick to even do what they do?  I have to say that I agree very much with a lot that Fountain Pen has written here.  I just happen to find a different root cause for the problem than Fountain Pen has.

I don't know that i'd say rituals are directly to blame but i don't think so many rituals help.

I'd be really interested to know what the root is that you've found though.
Again, what difference does it make how much time is spent in worship vs. time spent in serving mankind (in some capacity)? If one is a Pentecostal & spends 1 hour & 45 min. in Sunday service vs. an Orthodox who spends about the same time in worship crossing oneself, prostrations etc. but both individuals show concern for others, what does it matter? (laying doctrine aside for the sake of argument).
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Offline Ortho_cat

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However, where I disagree with Fountain Pen is that I believe that the Church and its rituals are not to blame for this.  The Church is a hospital, and it is where the sick and suffering belong.  However, those who do not follow the Doctor's orders will never get better, and often they will get worse.  This is not the fault of the Doctor and the medicine.  While the Scriptures teach us that everyone is sick and in need of healing, not all are as sick as others.  Some do not even recognize that they are sick.  If they are able to function that way, and by function, I mean follow the Law of God, then who are we to judge them; particularly so when we are to sick to even do what they do?  I have to say that I agree very much with a lot that Fountain Pen has written here.  I just happen to find a different root cause for the problem than Fountain Pen has.

I don't know that i'd say rituals are directly to blame but i don't think so many rituals help.

I'd be really interested to know what the root is that you've found though.
Again, what difference does it make how much time is spent in worship vs. time spent in serving mankind (in some capacity)? If one is a Pentecostal & spends 1 hour & 45 min. in Sunday service vs. an Orthodox who spends about the same time in worship crossing oneself, prostrations etc. but both individuals show concern for others, what does it matter? (laying doctrine aside for the sake of argument).

Yes, would it be better if we didn't cross ourselves at the invocation of the Trinity, or when we called Christ blessed, or mention the resurrection or the crucifixion, or ask petitions of saints? Or perhaps there would be a better activity for our hands to do during worship, like wave them in the air and draw attention to ourselves like some are fond of doing in other circles?

Offline PeterTheAleut

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You did happen to notice that I was voicing a personal observation, which can be seen in my choice of the words "I've found"? I'm merely sharing what I have observed. The fact that my observations differ from yours does not invalidate either mine or yours. Besides, nothing you said contradicts anything I've said.

Actually it does.

No, all Punch did was cite a few of those specific exceptions to the rule I intended to establish by my use of the word "generally".

You are wrong in general.
Feel free to share with us those exceptions you have seen.
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Offline genesisone

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Why do I cross myself? It's a prayer spoken by the hand rather than by the lips. And I'm reminded of the verse Mark 12:30 (NKJV):
Quote
And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
When I cross myself, I touch my forehead (mind), my stomach/gut (soul) (as in "I have a gut feeling"), across my shoulders (physical strength) and in so doing the lines I trace with my fingers intersect at my heart. It places me next to the cross where I need to remember to be. It's a sign that declares my faith to myself and others: not only what I've already mentioned, but three fingers together for the Trinity, two fingers for the two natures of Christ.

Offline recent convert

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However, where I disagree with Fountain Pen is that I believe that the Church and its rituals are not to blame for this.  The Church is a hospital, and it is where the sick and suffering belong.  However, those who do not follow the Doctor's orders will never get better, and often they will get worse.  This is not the fault of the Doctor and the medicine.  While the Scriptures teach us that everyone is sick and in need of healing, not all are as sick as others.  Some do not even recognize that they are sick.  If they are able to function that way, and by function, I mean follow the Law of God, then who are we to judge them; particularly so when we are to sick to even do what they do?  I have to say that I agree very much with a lot that Fountain Pen has written here.  I just happen to find a different root cause for the problem than Fountain Pen has.

I don't know that i'd say rituals are directly to blame but i don't think so many rituals help.

I'd be really interested to know what the root is that you've found though.
Again, what difference does it make how much time is spent in worship vs. time spent in serving mankind (in some capacity)? If one is a Pentecostal & spends 1 hour & 45 min. in Sunday service vs. an Orthodox who spends about the same time in worship crossing oneself, prostrations etc. but both individuals show concern for others, what does it matter? (laying doctrine aside for the sake of argument).

Yes, would it be better if we didn't cross ourselves at the invocation of the Trinity, or when we called Christ blessed, or mention the resurrection or the crucifixion, or ask petitions of saints? Or perhaps there would be a better activity for our hands to do during worship, like wave them in the air and draw attention to ourselves like some are fond of doing in other circles?
I was just being hypothetical & not trying to make a value judgement in an example. I do not want to endorse other non Orthodox worship or deride it.
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Offline quietmorning

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Why do I cross myself? It's a prayer spoken by the hand rather than by the lips. And I'm reminded of the verse Mark 12:30 (NKJV):
Quote
And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
When I cross myself, I touch my forehead (mind), my stomach/gut (soul) (as in "I have a gut feeling"), across my shoulders (physical strength) and in so doing the lines I trace with my fingers intersect at my heart. It places me next to the cross where I need to remember to be. It's a sign that declares my faith to myself and others: not only what I've already mentioned, but three fingers together for the Trinity, two fingers for the two natures of Christ.

In addition to this, my actions - no matter what they are, are reminded that I walk, think, breathe, BE in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  This in itself gives me pause.
In His Mercy,
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Offline Punch

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However, where I disagree with Fountain Pen is that I believe that the Church and its rituals are not to blame for this.  The Church is a hospital, and it is where the sick and suffering belong.  However, those who do not follow the Doctor's orders will never get better, and often they will get worse.  This is not the fault of the Doctor and the medicine.  While the Scriptures teach us that everyone is sick and in need of healing, not all are as sick as others.  Some do not even recognize that they are sick.  If they are able to function that way, and by function, I mean follow the Law of God, then who are we to judge them; particularly so when we are to sick to even do what they do?  I have to say that I agree very much with a lot that Fountain Pen has written here.  I just happen to find a different root cause for the problem than Fountain Pen has.

I don't know that i'd say rituals are directly to blame but i don't think so many rituals help.

I'd be really interested to know what the root is that you've found though.

The root cause?  That we know what is right as taught to us by the Church, the Scriptures, and the Lives of the Saints.  We simply refuse to do it.  That is not the fault of the Church.    

Do we need the ritual?  No.  But does it hurt?  I think that depends on what is inside of us.  If we have a desire to please God, then we will both worship Him in the manner that he has set down, AND we will follow that up by keeping His commandments toward one another.  If we have no desire to please God, what does it matter anyway?  I find that the ritual keeps the commands of God fresh in front of me.  That is my illness and my cure.  That you do not feel this necessity does not make me think any better or worse of you, any more than you having any other illness that is different than mine.  Why should it?  
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

Offline Papist

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FountainPen,

I can only speak for myself, but these rituals help me, a grave sinner, to reorient my life on at least a weekly basis.  I suck.  I know I do.  I constantly find myself doing that which I do not want to do and not doing that which I want to.  These rituals help me to remember that.  If they help for but an hour before I fall again, that's an hour I spend with my mind on the Lord rather than the filth of my own mind.  Were my faith as great as yours, I would not need them.  

But I do.

Please forgive me for my weakness.

False humility doesn't suit you Schultz. Maybe you should get your mind off yourself then you wouldn't need all your rituals.
I have to say that I'm a lot like shultz here. I suck too. I'm a real sinner, and my mind is quite bound to the things of the Earth. If I need to make the sign of the cross or pray the prayers of the Church to raise my mind to God, you'll have to forgive me. I'm not Immaculately Conceived. :)
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 03:13:06 PM by Papist »
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline elephant

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Dear FountainPen,

Prayer is a sacrifice offered to God.  It is also a great service to mankind.  It is also very very difficult. 

St.  Silouan the Athonite expressed this in a simple way:  ‘Praying for people means shedding blood' and 'The greater the love, the greater the suffering’  Saint Silouan the Athonite

love, elephant



Offline Peter J

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FountainPen,

I can only speak for myself, but these rituals help me, a grave sinner, to reorient my life on at least a weekly basis.  I suck.  I know I do.  I constantly find myself doing that which I do not want to do and not doing that which I want to.  These rituals help me to remember that.  If they help for but an hour before I fall again, that's an hour I spend with my mind on the Lord rather than the filth of my own mind.  Were my faith as great as yours, I would not need them.  

But I do.

Please forgive me for my weakness.

False humility doesn't suit you Schultz. Maybe you should get your mind off yourself then you wouldn't need all your rituals.
I have to say that I'm a lot like shultz here. I suck too. I'm a real sinner, and my mind is quite bound to the things of the Earth. If I need to make the sign of the cross or pray the prayers of the Church to raise my mind to God, you'll have to forgive me. I'm not Immaculately Conceived. :)

I think I would call it sarcasm rather than false humility.
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Revelation 9:4

And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree: but only the men who have not the sign of God on their foreheads.


(emphasis mine)


See? The Bible does tell us to do it.

What 'sign' most reminds people of Christ, our God?

You're welcome.
My only weakness is, well, never mind

And you'll sleep, but they'll find you

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Offline quietmorning

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Fountain Pen,

I can't answer all of your questions, but I can give you a reason . . . or an experience that I went through that gave specific meaning and place for 'ritualistic' prayers and worship.  I hope you will take this as someone who is not trying to attack you - but perhaps another perspective might help you to see why others do it, even if it is not the choice of your own.  

I was raised RC - and I loved the Mass - absolutely loved it, but it was never enough.  It just wasn't enough - so as an adult I started participating in non denominational churches. . . but that wasn't enough, either. . . .so I went to both the RC and the non denominational services . . . and that wasn't enough either - so I started going to the church of my own heart and stayed there.  No walls, no rituals. . .nothing but prayer and reading my bible.  I did this for nearly a decade.  Nine years, nine months -  to be exact.  What I found is that that wasn't enough either.  I had no guidance, no nurturing from my brothers and sisters. . . slowly, like a frog in a frying pan, or a lobster being boiled. . . I stopped reading my bible every day.  Then I stopped praying every day.  Then I stopped reading for long long breaks.  Then I stopped praying except when things were going really really bad - and they got VERY bad.  Then the only prayer I could pray was "Lord please, I'm begging you, have mercy on me.". . .because things got incredibly horribly the worst kind of bad - BAD.  And I didn't read my bible at all, because I was too busy trying to survive.  I couldn't even pray the Our Father. . .

Ritualistic prayer taught me how to pray again.  If my heart is in the wrong place, and I need His help, but I don't have the words to ask for help, then I can pray a prayer the early church Fathers, or the Saints, or King David or the Lord Himself (The Our Father) wrote.  The bible never changes - the book of Psalms never changes. . .the Our Father never changes.  We pray these prayers as they are every time - either with a full heart or a distracted one.  It is up to us to humble ourselves to hope in Him to allow us to pray with a full heart.  To pray from the heart is different from praying from the head.  When we pray from our minds, then we lose the context of God.  If we pray with our hearts, then He is there helping us to understand the fullness of that context.  My word, the Our Father is an incredibly powerful prayer, yet most just mumble along in it. . . because they have not allowed God to show them HOW to properly pray with the heart.  If I pray with my mind, then I cannot do another thing as the prayer itself becomes a distraction.  If I pray with my heart - then wow. . . nothing is distracted, I can still serve. . .and serve in His Spirit. . . by His Spirit, which is how it should be.  

For the first time in my life - I go to church and I'm fed. . . truly fed. . .and deeply fed. . .and it's enough.  I leave able to give.  ABLE to give. . .and before?  I was too hungry to give, and give truly, deeply and sincerely.  I gave out of my strength. . .now I can say that giving it out of His strength, not mine.  Yet I partake in a liturgical setting of tradition and ritual. . .every single ritual has meaning.  It's those who assume the meaning that cannot apply the meaning properly.  It's rich and wow. . .so very breathtakingly beautiful.  But moreso, the fruit is good.  It is GOOD - the ultimate test we are to look for.  

Maybe, one day, when I'm healed enough, and the Holy Spirit teaches me to pray without arrogance, maybe I'll be back to praying as I used to so very long ago.  But it will be without pride, IF it ever happens again.  Pride suffers a huge debt.  The fall from it for His little ones is completely shattering.

God gives us prayer, and He can take it away in a heartbeat if He so chooses.  He gives us the ability to Worship, and He can take it away in a heartbeat, if He so chooses.  He gives us our brothers and sisters and our leadership (which was often my own problem - an issue with authority) and He can take it away if He so chooses.  There is nothing so painful than to understand that one has truly cut themselves off from the nurturing vine that holds it.  We are blind deaf and dumb. . .and often don't know we're dying until we get long past.  It is our own pride that tells Him how we are going to pray. . .what feels good. . . if I don't feel this or that then I must have sinned or something of that nature.  

But He is faithful, and He will show you.  You are His.  

Please, for your sake, remember that Christ came to build His church.  He said to Love one Another, we cannot love one another if we never meet them.  
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 04:54:27 PM by quietmorning »
In His Mercy,
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Offline akimori makoto

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Priest: Then, when he had come and fulfilled the whole of the divine dispensation for us, on the night that he was given up, or, rather, gave himself up for the life of the world, he took bread in his holy, pure and blameless hands and, when he had blessed it, hallowed it and broken it, he gave it to his disciples saying "take, eat, this is my body, which is broken for you for the remission of sins".

People: Amen.

Priest: In like manner, when the supper was ended, he took the cup and gave it to his disciples saying "drink of this, all of you, this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins".

People: Amen.

Priest: Remembering, therefore, this our Saviour's command, and everything that has come to pass for us: the cross, the tomb, the resurrection on the third day, the ascension into heaven, the sitting at the right hand and the second and glorious coming again -- your own of your own, we offer unto you, on behalf of all and for all.

----------------------------------------------

Where's the problem?

FountainPen, so I can understand you better, can you please explain what part of the above is objectionable?

Please feel free to include the "ritual actions" that accompany the words in your criticisms, but please let's just stick to those for now.

I think if we dialogue in this way, taking a limited slice of liturgical life as our focal point, we can arrive at some mutual understanding.

Empty ritualism v. liturgical chaos is too unwieldy a theme.

I did take a slice, i asked specifically about crossing yourself. Is this a command? No. Jesus literally walked to his death carrying his cross. Does this mean we are to make the sign of a cross on our bodies? No, of course not. We are to die to self, that is why this means.

Okay, well taking the sign of the cross as the example ...

I would like to know if you distinguish between making the sign in a personal moment of prayerfulness or thankfulness or reverence v. at appointed or prescribed times in an appointed or prescribed manner.
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FountainPen, a denomination of one.  :D
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Offline Ortho_cat

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FountainPen,

I can only speak for myself, but these rituals help me, a grave sinner, to reorient my life on at least a weekly basis.  I suck.  I know I do.  I constantly find myself doing that which I do not want to do and not doing that which I want to.  These rituals help me to remember that.  If they help for but an hour before I fall again, that's an hour I spend with my mind on the Lord rather than the filth of my own mind.  Were my faith as great as yours, I would not need them.  

But I do.

Please forgive me for my weakness.

False humility doesn't suit you Schultz. Maybe you should get your mind off yourself then you wouldn't need all your rituals.
I have to say that I'm a lot like shultz here. I suck too. I'm a real sinner, and my mind is quite bound to the things of the Earth. If I need to make the sign of the cross or pray the prayers of the Church to raise my mind to God, you'll have to forgive me. I'm not Immaculately Conceived. :)

I think you will find alot of us here with this opinion of ourselves during lent...