Christians following the one holy catholic and apostolic calendar of St. Julius the Tzar in 3 days will celebrate the feast of the Intercession of Theotokos. In the ritual calendar of the Podlachian Belarusians that date marked the end of the field work and the grazing of cattle and the beginning of Winter. The weather is still pretty OK but I clearly remember Pokrovas with 20 cm of snow.
Thanks God, there is one thing that can improve our mood in these cold days: September 2012 Post of the Month! This time Andrew21091
succinctly, intelligently and thoughtfully managed to give some advice to teenage converts. As a guy who grew out of being a teenager two years ago I have to admit they are pretty accurate:
This thread isn't meant to mock anyone. I legitimately feel as though I need to know how to avoid this.
As a reminder I'm an "inquirer" (have been for about 3 years) but I'm being pushed by my parents to make the leap (my Catholic mom is concerned I have gone so long without sacraments). I'm 17. I don't know if I should convert now or wait a long time to be sure. Of course I'll mention all of my concerns to my priest but I'd like the forum's feedback as well.
I'm returning to the forum one time only to reply to this thread. I officially distanced myself from "internet Orthodoxy" months ago.
I understand where you are coming from. I converted to Orthodoxy at ten years old with my mother but didn't really get into it until I was about 15 or 16 years old. When I did get into it, I was very zealous. I read Fr. Seraphim Rose, read books on monasticism and asceticism, defended the Old Calendar, condemned ecumenism, and prayed like an Old Believer. I visited monasteries and considered being a monk for a while also. However, shortly before I officially left this forum, my faith fell apart and I almost "jumped ship". I was extremely close to leaving the Orthodox Church. I was so hardcore about Orthodoxy before that I missed the most important thing a person needs in their spiritual life. Faith. Faith is the only reason you should convert to Orthodoxy. Its easy at first to run off and "play monk" but when the doubt and the spiritual dry spells hit, you end up having nothing if you don't have real faith in God. My faith wasn't in God. It was in some strange caricature of Orthodoxy where the beards were long and the prostrations, many. I cannot tell you how angry I would get about the pews at my parish, kneeling on Sundays, or whatever else the "super correct" crowd like to complain about. I was only angry because I had some delusion of what Orthodoxy should look like. What was unfortunate is that I put my faith and attention in that, rather than in Christ.
Don't over intellectualize your faith, because you will only turn it into an idol that is hollow on the inside and crumbles easily. Ask yourself why you want to be Orthodox. If you only want to be Orthodox because you like the smell of the incense or how cool monks look or whatever, then you probably shouldn't convert. However, if you want to convert because you truly believe that the Orthodox Church is the best place where you can work out your own salvation, then do it if you feel that God is calling you to it. Salvation is the whole point of the Church; that is its purpose.
The main goals of our lives should be loving God and loving others. If anything prevents us from doing these two things, then we should run away from it because they aren't from God. Don't just convert your mind, but convert your heart. In everything you do, strive to love Christ and to love others. Make sure you focus on trying to remove the beam in your own eye, rather then trying to get the speck out of your brother's eye.
I pray that God will bless you.