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Author Topic: feel like ive taken a huge step backwards....  (Read 894 times) Average Rating: 0
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Timon
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« on: February 13, 2013, 08:16:29 PM »

As some of you may have heard/remember, our Priest, Fr. Jacob passed away last month.  This has been a difficult time for our parish, but we are managing just fine thus far. (from what I can tell anyways...)

Fr. Jacob and I had become pretty close in the short year I was privileged to know him. Long story short, he wanted to do my Chrismation before Christmas so I could commune with everyone.  I declined because I wanted to wait a little longer for my wife and see if she was going to decide to join.  He offered again to do it at Theophany, but I declined again. Shortly after, he tragically passed due to complications of the flu/pneumonia.

We have another retired Priest, Fr. Chris, who I barely knew all this time.  Now he, among a couple other local Priest, have stepped up to fill in for Fr. Jacob until we get a new Priest.  The whole year i had been going to the Church, we only really met one time as he wasnt around as often on Saturdays when I would normally go since my work schedule kept me from going Sundays about half the time.  This past saturday, he came up and introduced himself to me and asked if it was my first time visiting. I told him I was a catechumen and had been coming for a while.  Although he didnt mean any harm, this for some reason hurt my feelings a little.  

We had a meeting Tuesday, and are going to continue to meet every tuesday so he can get to know me better.  Since he hardly knows me, I feel like I am taking a huge step backwards.  I feel like I was so close to being Chrismated, and now Im so far.  He asked me if I had any questions for him. I told him i didnt at the time and he joked "Oh, so you know everything!"  I told him that certainly wasnt the case, but I have been a catechumen for nearly a year now and an inquirer for a year before that.  Most of my "convert-like" questions have already been answered.  Im convinced of the Orthodox Church.

Basically I feel like I am ready, but I feel like this whole thing has been a lesson in patience and humility for me.  I felt like I had my conversion in the palm of my hand, and now I am realizing that isnt so.  Maybe my catechumen period would have been a little short if I had been Chrismated at Christmas.  Maybe Ill look back and be glad for this "step back" i feel like I am being forced to take.

I dunno. This is just sort of a rant.  If anyone else has dealt with something similar, feel free to chime in.  Or if anyone has any advice, feel free to chime in.

Thanks! and pray for me!
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 08:25:02 PM by Timon » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2013, 08:58:15 PM »

Sad. Sorry Timon - that's got to be really disappointing Sad.

Have you spoken to him a bit more (directly on this issue of you feeling like you're taking a backwards step) to alleviate your case? I mean, if you can explain to him how far along you are, it might help? Of course he isn't Fr. Jacob, but it shouldn't be a situation where you basically go right back to square one, you know? From what it sounds like the meetings you've had were mostly to get to know each other, and less about actually putting you in like the "final steps" before chrismated, if that makes sense?

It looks like he'd be the one with the final say, but hopefully things can work out Smiley.
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2013, 09:25:18 PM »

Be patient and pray.  I will pray for you as well.
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2013, 09:51:28 PM »

Maybe explain the situation you explained to us. Fr. Jacob had to think you were ready if he was ready to chrismate you.
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 09:54:57 PM »

Sad Lord have mercy!
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Timon
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2013, 09:46:55 AM »

Maybe explain the situation you explained to us. Fr. Jacob had to think you were ready if he was ready to chrismate you.

I sort of have. Im sure things will get better as we get to know each other better. Fr. Jacob liked to move people into the Church pretty quickly from what I could tell. Fr. Chris likes to take a little longer. This will probably turn out to be a good thing.

I just feel like we are going over all the basics again, and I feel like I am passed that.  I know I still have a lot to learn though, so I am praying for humility.  I will leave it up to his judgement just like I did with Fr. Jacob.
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2013, 12:22:02 PM »

I think that Fr. Chris only wants to get to know you better. He is one of the kindest, sweetest men I know. He is the confessor in our parish, and no matter what I confess, he always says, "Just pray and try to do better next time."

« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 12:23:45 PM by katherineofdixie » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013, 12:45:03 PM »

I think that Fr. Chris only wants to get to know you better. He is one of the kindest, sweetest men I know. He is the confessor in our parish, and no matter what I confess, he always says, "Just pray and try to do better next time."



He does seem like a great man. I have no doubts about that.  Like I said, I think this will be a much needed lesson in patience and humility for me.  I feel like I am ready, but I understand there are far wiser people out there (like Fr. Chris) who have seen people like myself so many times throughout his career.  I mentioned we will be meeting and talking weekly, so I will leave it up to him. 

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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 01:31:59 PM »

Oh Timon, your post touched me in a way I can not articulate my brother. If you allow me to be presumptuous I will say: What I  think is going on is that you are grieving  Fr.Jacob! that's why you felt hurt. that he is not there the Father you loved and called yours and who knew you and cared for you.Now that someone else had to ask you who you are... you feel the loss of Fr. Jacob anew. it is natural to feel resistance to a new attachment/ what is perceived as a replacement of the person... although there is no replacing the person/ of a similar kind in the face of such loss. orphans and children of divorced parents experience it. the initial hurt over the necessity of having to form a new attachment with this new person.. May the Lord comfort you my brother and grant you peace in this.

Keep in mind/ perhaps I should say tell it to your heart/ that Fr.Chris is not Fr.Jacob nor is he trying to be, so he will be different from him and your relationship will have its own uniqueness, yet both men are Priests of the Lord and in that they have the same dedication to serve you with the wisdom of love. you have been lucky and blessed to know a priest that have meant so much to you, now get to know another who perhaps will have an edifying impact on you and your family.

May the Lord continue to guide you.

Smiley


 
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2013, 03:09:59 PM »

lovely post!
also remember father jacob is now praying for your before the Lord of glory.

maybe this delay will allow some others to 'catch up'.
God certainly can use it towards your spiritual growth.
may He guide u and give u peace and comfort.
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2013, 04:56:36 PM »

Oh Timon, your post touched me in a way I can not articulate my brother. If you allow me to be presumptuous I will say: What I  think is going on is that you are grieving  Fr.Jacob! that's why you felt hurt. that he is not there the Father you loved and called yours and who knew you and cared for you.Now that someone else had to ask you who you are... you feel the loss of Fr. Jacob anew. it is natural to feel resistance to a new attachment/ what is perceived as a replacement of the person... although there is no replacing the person/ of a similar kind in the face of such loss. orphans and children of divorced parents experience it. the initial hurt over the necessity of having to form a new attachment with this new person.. May the Lord comfort you my brother and grant you peace in this.

Keep in mind/ perhaps I should say tell it to your heart/ that Fr.Chris is not Fr.Jacob nor is he trying to be, so he will be different from him and your relationship will have its own uniqueness, yet both men are Priests of the Lord and in that they have the same dedication to serve you with the wisdom of love. you have been lucky and blessed to know a priest that have meant so much to you, now get to know another who perhaps will have an edifying impact on you and your family.

May the Lord continue to guide you.

Smiley


 


Thank you very much for the encouragement! And I think you are right.  Im still new to the Church, and Fr. Jacob is who I was leaning on and counting on to help me through everything.  I am confident that God will send us someone who can pick up right where he left off.  And in the meantime, we have two great Priests helping out and filling in! We dont have anything to worry about.

Fortunately, I already feel much better since I wrote this post.  Things take time, and I dont need to be in any sort of rush anyways.  The encouragement means a lot.  The fact that a few of you actually read this and took the time to write something means a lot.  Thanks!  And dont worry about me.  Ill be ok! Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2013, 08:53:28 PM »

Brother. I will pray for you and are possible in some sort of same situation. But will not hijack this thread or something.
I am sure it will work out well in the end. Take the needed time, as I know that is needed at this end of things at the moment.
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2013, 09:17:04 PM »

Thats great to hear Timon Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2013, 05:36:39 PM »

At least you don't need to wait three or more years like it used to be... Wink
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« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2013, 03:52:41 PM »

Oh Timon, your post touched me in a way I can not articulate my brother. If you allow me to be presumptuous I will say: What I  think is going on is that you are grieving  Fr.Jacob! that's why you felt hurt. that he is not there the Father you loved and called yours and who knew you and cared for you.Now that someone else had to ask you who you are... you feel the loss of Fr. Jacob anew. it is natural to feel resistance to a new attachment/ what is perceived as a replacement of the person... although there is no replacing the person/ of a similar kind in the face of such loss. orphans and children of divorced parents experience it. the initial hurt over the necessity of having to form a new attachment with this new person.. May the Lord comfort you my brother and grant you peace in this.

Keep in mind/ perhaps I should say tell it to your heart/ that Fr.Chris is not Fr.Jacob nor is he trying to be, so he will be different from him and your relationship will have its own uniqueness, yet both men are Priests of the Lord and in that they have the same dedication to serve you with the wisdom of love. you have been lucky and blessed to know a priest that have meant so much to you, now get to know another who perhaps will have an edifying impact on you and your family.

May the Lord continue to guide you.

Smiley


 


Thank you very much for the encouragement! And I think you are right.  Im still new to the Church, and Fr. Jacob is who I was leaning on and counting on to help me through everything.  I am confident that God will send us someone who can pick up right where he left off.  And in the meantime, we have two great Priests helping out and filling in! We dont have anything to worry about.

Fortunately, I already feel much better since I wrote this post.  Things take time, and I dont need to be in any sort of rush anyways.  The encouragement means a lot.  The fact that a few of you actually read this and took the time to write something means a lot.  Thanks!  And dont worry about me.  Ill be ok! Smiley

This is just one of the issues that a parishioner faces but should not let it become a determining factor in your case...I am not saying it is in your case, but I know many people who have acted wrongly in similar situations.  For example, I know of a parish which in last 15 years has changed at least 4-5 priests.  For that reasons some parishioners chose not to attend that parish because of the new priest, or because one of the old priests left, or because of some other similar reasons.  We go to church not because of the priest, church council, bishops, or anybody else.  We go to church for the salvation of our soul.  The only time I would not come to "my" parish is if a priest is acting heretically (serving Liturgy incorrectly, promoting non-Orthodox teachings, etc). A priest can surely make a difference (as perhaps in your case), but I am sure God has a plan for all of us.  It doesn't mean that things are pre-determined...no! It just means that God is showing us other things should we choose to accept them...Nevertheless, I am sure God has not left you alone.  Peace be with you dear brother.
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« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2013, 04:21:56 PM »

Fr. Jacob and I had become pretty close in the short year I was privileged to know him. Long story short, he wanted to do my Chrismation before Christmas so I could commune with everyone.  I declined because I wanted to wait a little longer for my wife and see if she was going to decide to join.  He offered again to do it at Theophany, but I declined again. Shortly after, he tragically passed due to complications of the flu/pneumonia.

I will leave it up to his judgement just like I did with Fr. Jacob.

If Fr. Jacob wanted to chrismate you before Nativity and again at Theophany, and if you turned him down both times, however valid your reasons, then it is not true that you left it to his judgement.

Fr. Jacob liked to move people into the Church pretty quickly from what I could tell. Fr. Chris likes to take a little longer. This will probably turn out to be a good thing.

It may or may not be a good thing, but it is the thing you have to deal with now. Fr. Chris is not Fr. Jacob, so your relationship will not be the same. You describe a strong affinity for Fr. Jacob that is lacking for Fr. Chris. Moreover, Fr. Jacob permitted you set the terms of your entrance into the Church, and it sounds like Fr. Chris isn't about to do that. It seems like the trap set before you is confusing your relationship with a priest with your relationship with the Church, which is bound spring through frustration.

Maybe you should confide in Fr. Chris how much you miss Fr. Jacob in order to bond over your shared loss. Either that, or come with a list of more advanced to ask Fr. Chris to demonstrate that you are beyond the inquirer-catechumen stage.
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