Author Topic: So What is the Next Step?  (Read 678 times)

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Offline JamesR

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So What is the Next Step?
« on: June 25, 2012, 05:10:59 PM »
Now that I have been received into the Church, given the weapons and tools needed for my spiritual journey, where do I start? What is next? A soldier cannot work unless a general gives him a mission. Our mission is Theosis; but how do I even begin that now that I have been received? Previously, my main goal was to become a part of the Church. Now that I have achieved that goal, I feel sort of 'unemployed' for lack of a better term, like, I do not know where to go from here. What is my next goal now that the journey officially begins?
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
In the infinite wisdom of God, James can be all three.

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: So What is the Next Step?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2012, 05:19:39 PM »
have you spoken with your priest about the "next step"?

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: So What is the Next Step?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2012, 05:31:26 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Now that I have been received into the Church, given the weapons and tools needed for my spiritual journey, where do I start? What is next? A soldier cannot work unless a general gives him a mission. Our mission is Theosis; but how do I even begin that now that I have been received? Previously, my main goal was to become a part of the Church. Now that I have achieved that goal, I feel sort of 'unemployed' for lack of a better term, like, I do not know where to go from here. What is my next goal now that the journey officially begins?

Step One

Attend Divine Liturgy as often as possible

Step Two

Repeat Step One

This is about what there is to do in the Church.  You've rightfully reached the pinnacle, and can receive Holy Communion.  Simply stated, what more do you need? A sense of purpose? A functioning role? You can network and join ministries/committees/choirs for all that social action.  To be sure, there is plenty to do in the Church, but some of the most important things we do are the nothings at all of prayer during Divine Liturgy :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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Offline Manalive

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Re: So What is the Next Step?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2012, 05:48:43 PM »
I'm sure there are people who have given you advice already on living an Orthodox life but now that you are actually part of the Body of Christ-- cling on like a cat.

Just know there will be highs and lows. Periods where you ascend in your journey towards God and then periods where you feel like you are walking on a plateau and God isn't close as he once was. Keep the fasts, keep your prayer rule, and try to live in obedience to Christ's commandments.

I also try to keep a spiritual journal. It's nice to see what my thoughts were the week following my baptism and how I've progressed throughout my time as an Orthodox Christian.
"Lay hold of the pathway... rugged and narrow as it is."- St. John Chrystostom

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: So What is the Next Step?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2012, 06:09:30 PM »
The goal is to live your life as an Orthodox Christian. If you want to break that down, consider what you did as a catechumen--you studied. Now, you continue, but the goal of that study is enrichment, and the lessons aren't found in books, but in the application of spiritual principles to your life. Hopefully, before baptism you had an opportunity for a life confession. This will have given you the chance to focus on your habitual sins. Knowing them, you are better equipped to oppose them, to work on acquiring the corresponding virtues.

Living your life after baptism is different than as a catechumen, however, because you do not have that immediate object, that thing to check off a list. I doubt anyone has said, "Oh, looks like I can cross off anger from my list. That's done." There are going to be reoccurring temptations, but there are also going to be wonderful opportunities. Now you look at your life as an Orthodox Christian. There are certain responsibilities and privileges attached to this.

Coming up in your life, particularly, you will have certain decisions to make which should be influenced by your faith as an Orthodox Christian. You will need to decide, perhaps, on a school--is there an Orthodox church nearby? Is there an OCF? Or work--does my potential schedule allow me to make it to Sunday services? Or marriage--is this woman I'm interested in Orthodox? Does she love God? What kind of mother will she be? Will she be a support or hindrance in my spiritual progress?

There are many things to learn in how to live as an Orthodox Christian in the world. I've been Orthodox for 12 years and am still learning. Many have been Orthodox their whole lives and would admit just the same. Do not be too eager for further responsibilities or burdens. You're the first person I've heard ask a "what next?" question after baptism, and I was a bit taken aback. Usually people are in a kind of honeymoon period, but sometimes after baptism people want to take on a lot of church responsibilities like altar service or chanting, for example. Allow the baptismal water to dry first, so to speak. Be joyful.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: So What is the Next Step?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2012, 08:41:00 PM »
Now that I have been received into the Church, given the weapons and tools needed for my spiritual journey, where do I start? What is next? A soldier cannot work unless a general gives him a mission. Our mission is Theosis; but how do I even begin that now that I have been received? Previously, my main goal was to become a part of the Church. Now that I have achieved that goal, I feel sort of 'unemployed' for lack of a better term, like, I do not know where to go from here. What is my next goal now that the journey officially begins?
Here are 55 things to do:

http://dangreeson.tumblr.com/post/31558579/fr-thomas-hopkos-55-maxims-for-christian-living
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

Πάντα μὲν καθαρὰ τοῖς καθαροῖς
Τοῖς δὲ μεμιασμένοις καὶ ἀπίστοις οὐδὲν καθαρόν

Offline biro

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Re: So What is the Next Step?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2012, 08:46:03 PM »
"30. Be cheefull."

I would, if only I knew how.
He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will have no end.

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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: So What is the Next Step?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2012, 08:46:39 PM »
"30. Be cheefull."

I would, if only I knew how.
Obviously not the best transcription of the 55 maxims.
Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

Πάντα μὲν καθαρὰ τοῖς καθαροῖς
Τοῖς δὲ μεμιασμένοις καὶ ἀπίστοις οὐδὲν καθαρόν

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: So What is the Next Step?
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2012, 08:50:49 PM »
"30. Be cheefull."

I would, if only I knew how.

Smile. Sing Psalms. Bake cookies. Enjoy some whisky. Talk to Russians and realize you have it good.
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline orthonorm

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Re: So What is the Next Step?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2012, 09:01:00 PM »
"30. Be cheefull."

I would, if only I knew how.

Smile. Sing Psalms. Bake cookies. Enjoy some whisky. Talk to Russians and realize you have it good.

I must repeat Achronos. You are on fire lately.
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Offline Ionnis

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Re: So What is the Next Step?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2012, 10:37:42 PM »
Be quick to listen and slow to speak.  Don't judge anyone.  Avoid thinking negatively of other people.  Don't gossip.  Say your prayers.  And be normal yourself.  
« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 10:42:29 PM by Ionnis »
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: So What is the Next Step?
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2012, 11:06:31 PM »

Simply attending Divine Liturgy isn't enough.

BE Orthodox every day!

Like Ionnis stated above, that means living the Faith by your actions, words and thoughts.

Always do the right thing, help others, be kind, etc.....and remember that when you mess up, don't give up.

Congratulations, by the way!  Many years!
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
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Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: So What is the Next Step?
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2012, 09:35:16 AM »
A priest once told me, "Just do the next right thing. And then the next...That's difficult enough."
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom