Also, I feel some disappointment toward myself, because it seems as if my faith in the Catholic Church wasn't as strong as I thought it was. One member here asked " Well....that was quick ". and that also made me ask myself; If I ever was a Catholic in the first place? , because my faith in the Church have collapsed that easy, but also I can't deny that what I found out in the last few days is enough to shake my faith in the Church, the Papacy of Rome is one of the most vital things in the Catholic Church, and for that to turn out to be false, then what left ?!
So, converters, have you ever had that feeling of shock and sadness ? How did you deal with it ?
God works in the hearts of people in different ways and no two people's hearts and souls are exactly alike. Some people, it takes time, while some, it may take one Divine Liturgy to make up their mind.
Raylight, take my mother, for example, we were a Roman Catholic family (though not really practicing). Anyway, when it came time when I was at a point in my life really looking for spirituality and truth; I went "Church hopping." Providentially, I came to the Orthodox Church. After some time, I brought my mother to one (1) Divine Liturgy -and she fell in love with it and right after wanted to talk to the Priest about wanting to convert. For me, it took about three (3) years to finally come to the decision. Though, I thank God for those three years because it allowed me to investigate the RCC deeper. I read books by popes, watched EWTN, visited priests, became a member of a Ruthenian and Melkite Byzantine Catholic Church as well. I'm the type of person that, due to my very methodical nature, I need more researching, reading and studying to make a decision. I told myself: "I will not leave something that I don't understand. I want to leave something that I do
understand for something better" -and that is why it took the time that it took. Please, Raylight, feel peace within yourself. If you already feel compelled to join the Orthodox Church as soon as possible, then, welcome that feeling as something that God has placed in your heart. I thank God when He finally put that decision upon my heart -and you know what?- ever since that day back in 2009, I have NEVER looked back. Also, dear Raylight, look at your journey from one church, and/or from one faith/religion to another, to another as the Providential "stepping stones" towards Orthodoxy. Do not worry about you switching from one religion towards another in the amount of time that you have experienced. Never doubt the Lord God's involvement in your daily life -and that nothing happens out of coincidence. All of what you've been experiencing is Divine Providence, my dear friend, so welcome it!
I used to be Protestant, Catholic and I wasn't even raised Christian. So, I had to go through all these Churches and communities. Even though I left Protestantism, I'm still thankful to them, because God used them to let me know him. Also,even though I'm deeply shocked about what I found out in the last week about Catholicism, but I can't hate the Catholic Church, I still love Pope Francis, I pray to God, that one day we become one Church, the fact that Jesus's wish for us to be one as he and Father are one,didn't become true is very sad, and I pray, really pray to God to make us one.
If you don't mind my asking, what religion did you used to be before protestant? (you don't have to even mention it in your next reply, if you don't want to). I agree with you, that you do not have to "hate" where you were before. If I may, I would like to advise that you can look at your past denominations and churches as a "shadow" of the "reality" of what was to come. You were revealed, a portion of the truth. Now that you're coming into the Orthodox Faith, you're about to experience "The Fullness" of The Truth.
As far as your ecumenical views are concerned (that we should all be one), in time, while you learn more and become fully incorporated into the Orthodox Church, you will understand that -though such wishes truly sound wonderful (unity of RCC and OC), we truly and really cannot be one if we don't really have One Faith, One Ethos and One Mindset. Just because we have some external things in common, does not mean we are the same. I've heard some great Orthodox minds mention things like, if we want full communion with the Roman Catholics, they need to return to their status as a Church during the first seven ecumenical councils -and that is just the beginning. There have been so many changes that they've done to the Christian Faith where we have very very important differences. Things like: "original sin" as a stain, immaculate conception coming from that, inherited guilt, created grace, transubstantiation, papal infallibility, pope being the "vicar of Christ" (dangerous if you really look at that meaning), filioque, indulgences, purgatory, virtually abandoning the fast of wednesdays and fridays, the Lent fast, their monastics being more like civil/public servants, receiving only the wafer as communion, changing even their old liturgical rites, etc. I could go on forever. My point is: we cannot truly be One Church, we don't really have the Same Faith. The reasons why we've split are for important reasons and we should trust the Holy Fathers who have specifically and carefully outlined all of our differences and why we cannot be one church. It's a beautiful idea though that should not stop us from praying that they may return to the original Faith; the Faith of the Fathers, the Orthodox Church. The true purpose of ecumenism as it was originally intended by people such as Father Georges Florovsky was to convert the entire world to become Orthodox Christian and not the abomination that it has become today.