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Author Topic: What brought you to Holy Orthodoxy?  (Read 2522 times) Average Rating: 0
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thetraditionalfrog
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« Reply #45 on: August 22, 2012, 01:21:36 PM »

Tsar Martyr Nicholas II.  It all started years ago with a book report I did in third grade on a biography of the Tsar.

Although I didn't convert then, but years later. Many times in my path of life the Tsar Martyr would make himself known in my life at various times. A photograph in a book, a newspaper, an article or a book. He was always with me, as if he was leading me a journey, and he wasn't going to let me forget. I now know he was directing me on the path to Orthodoxy! I converted in the late 1990s.

Боже, Царя храни!

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“For the honorable Cross and golden freedom!” -Sv Lazar

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kiloelectronVolt
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« Reply #46 on: September 03, 2012, 12:43:14 AM »

Dear Kiloelectronvolt,

If I may comment on one or two points you mentioned.

1. A problem with alcoholism. This should not be an impediment. The Holy Eucharist is the Holy Eucharist. It is the Body and Blood of Christ. I know Orthodox who are active in AA and yet commune regularly. It doesn't seem to cause them to fall off the wagon. I don't know if they had a season of struggle or not…but still they received communion regularly. I also know boy, a priest's son who is very allergic to wheat…yet he regularly receives communion and has never been harmed by it or had a bad reaction to my knowledge. Discuss it with your priest. I am sure there is a way forward that when the season comes will not deprive you of the Holy Mysteries.

2.  You wrote: "Exclusivity, for starters.  My status as an unbaptized, un-chrismated heretic keeps me on the outside looking in.  I can't participate in the Divine Liturgy, so once Orthros is finished I feel like a goat among sheep.  This can't go on much longer."

This is actually an excellent place to be. I remember the gap between the time I wanted to convert and the time I was allowed to convert 3 years later.  It allowed me to own the fact that I had indeed been a heretic outside…at the very least the formal bounds of the Church. I was outside the church looking in with no other place to go and the door firmly closed against me…primarily because there were no Orthodox churches near me in order to receive catechism and allow me to participate in parish life. It was saddening at first, but it turned out to be an excellent lesson in humility…to put my hope in God and let Him work out the times and seasons. I could not demand my way in, or beg my way in…I had to wait until the door opened and invited me in.  But God was merciful. That day did come…and I'm grateful it came later, than sooner.

3.  You said your priest strikes you as little interested in your conversion or is perhaps a bit dismissive. Be careful about jumping to conclusions. I have heard of priests deliberately being stand offish with new potential converts. They make them wait…fight (metaphorically)…struggle to enter. This is to be sure this desire is not a passing religious whimsy, and they want to see if you are the sort who is easily discouraged…who will give up if they don't get their way quickly.  They are looking for soldiers for Christ, not weekend enthusiasts.  It may be a little hard on the ego…but gentle persistence…keeping on knocking in hope will in its time will draw down God's grace and the door will open there or elsewhere…even if the priest really is disinterested and not testing you…God is watching and it is He Who through that priest or some other will say "come in and welcome home. The Master calleth. Come and dine."

Keep your hand outstretched to the Master's threshold. The door will open…even if that day comes when you lay shattered in your own human weakness. The Master is the Lord of Life. He will revive and vindicate your patience. He will honor that hand which refused to draw back in despair. Only be patient and humble in your thoughts and faithful in your pursuit of Him. He sees and He will not tarry forever.

In the meantime follow your prayer rule, keep in touch with your priest, ask questions, read good books, develop salvic friendships with others at your parish. If possible communicate with some monastics…and if your priest blesses maybe even go and visit. What you will gain while you wait you will later not trade for gold.

Another update:  a couple of weeks ago, after coming to terms with the fact that I’m not so important or special as I’d like to be and that the priest’s time is much more valuable than mine, I finally found some humility and called him.  I asked him for an appointment to talk about my future with the Orthodox Church – if I even have a future with it.  I explained that I would like to officially be on the path toward becoming Orthodox.  He laughed amiably and replied that I WAS on the path, and had been for some time. 

That turned out to be ridiculously simple.  He cheerfully agreed to meet with me after Vespers the next Saturday evening, and he recommended that I begin watching an eight-disc DVD set of inquirers’ classes.  When I finish, he said, we’ll go from there.

I don’t know if I’m a catechumen or not, but I feel like something’s happening and it feels right.  Why do I overcomplicate things?  Why do I let my ego get in the way of everything, try to make everything about me all the time, even when I know better and can see it in myself while I’m doing it?  Nobody needs to answer those, but I truly hope Christ removes those shortcomings from me.

Anyhoo, I thought it only right to post for those of you who helped me and advised me, especially after all my previous whining. 
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Nephi
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« Reply #47 on: September 03, 2012, 12:46:47 AM »

Another update:  a couple of weeks ago, after coming to terms with the fact that I’m not so important or special as I’d like to be and that the priest’s time is much more valuable than mine, I finally found some humility and called him.  I asked him for an appointment to talk about my future with the Orthodox Church – if I even have a future with it.  I explained that I would like to officially be on the path toward becoming Orthodox.  He laughed amiably and replied that I WAS on the path, and had been for some time. 

That turned out to be ridiculously simple.  He cheerfully agreed to meet with me after Vespers the next Saturday evening, and he recommended that I begin watching an eight-disc DVD set of inquirers’ classes.  When I finish, he said, we’ll go from there.

I don’t know if I’m a catechumen or not, but I feel like something’s happening and it feels right.  Why do I overcomplicate things?  Why do I let my ego get in the way of everything, try to make everything about me all the time, even when I know better and can see it in myself while I’m doing it?  Nobody needs to answer those, but I truly hope Christ removes those shortcomings from me.

Anyhoo, I thought it only right to post for those of you who helped me and advised me, especially after all my previous whining. 

Glad to hear things are going well for you. Smiley

Btw, related to you not knowing if you're a catechumen or not - I was never officially declared a catechumen once in the year leading up to my baptism. Sometimes it's good to remember that we don't need to know the exact location as long as we know we're headed in the right direction.
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Punch
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« Reply #48 on: September 03, 2012, 02:07:31 PM »

.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 02:08:56 PM by Punch » Logged

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« Reply #49 on: September 14, 2012, 08:15:49 AM »

My Serbian origin.

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