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Author Topic: Explanation of John 10:7-16  (Read 1035 times) Average Rating: 0
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Martyr Eugenia
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« on: August 13, 2013, 01:34:41 PM »

 John 10:7-16
"Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

Please forgive any errors in my explanation, I have only had my nose in this book called the Bible most of my life because I have not had anything else but very few and widely scattered mentors.

Jesus said he had 'other sheep which are not of this fold' and that He would bring them and there would be ONE fold, ONE shepherd.  Years of Bible study have taught me that Jesus was talking to Jews (His chosen flock) and the other sheep were Gentiles (Greeks).

So where is the one fold? You would probably say the canonical Eastern Orthodox church. Okay. So if Jesus says those other sheep would hear His voice and He would bring them why are they kept out? The hireling is at the door? Wounded, travel weary sheep are coming and told they are 'not orthodox' and they stay for awhile seeing Jesus and not being allowed to approach and after they are thoroughly broken they leave disillusioned. I am not orthodox, but I am one of Christ's sheep. Is Christ simply in other Christians who I see bear the Fruits of the Spirit? I am very close to hanging up my searchings for His church in this elusive thing called orthodoxy.
 
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 01:45:14 PM »

Wounded, travel weary sheep are coming and told they are 'not orthodox' and they stay for awhile seeing Jesus and not being allowed to approach and after they are thoroughly broken they leave disillusioned.

What do you mean by the above statement?

Non-Orthodox come to an Orthodox Church and are not allowed to approach what?  The Eucharist? ...and why do they leave disillusioned?  Why not stay and learn more, and join the flock?  The Shepherd won't turn away a sheep that wishes to join his flock.
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 01:46:37 PM »

I'm not sure if I'm understanding you completely, but I'll do my best.

First, I think you're dead-on about that passage dealing with Jews and Gentiles. Second, my experience as a Gentile catechumen has been nothing like the miserable one you described. I've felt extremely welcomed and embraced by the Church so far -- it's just completely understandable and inoffensive to me that tradition has always excluded the non-orthodox from communion.

Just last Sunday, an Orthodox friend explained to me that the basic reason for this practice revolves around my own well-being. Even biblically speaking, St Paul is very clear about the dire consequences of taking communion in the wrong way:

"Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep." -- 1 Corinthians 11:27-30

Orthodox believers take this very seriously. If a person isn't Orthodox, the Church feels that they can't properly gauge where the person is spiritually. This creates a huge risk of ignorant visitors bringing judgment to themselves. It's not about exclusion; it's about looking out for the visitors.
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2013, 01:47:55 PM »

Wounded, travel weary sheep are coming and told they are 'not orthodox' and they stay for awhile seeing Jesus and not being allowed to approach and after they are thoroughly broken they leave disillusioned.

What do you mean by the above statement?

Non-Orthodox come to an Orthodox Church and are not allowed to approach what?  The Eucharist? ...and why do they leave disillusioned?  Why not stay and learn more, and join the flock?  The Shepherd won't turn away a sheep that wishes to join his flock.

That's her pet issue she complains about in 2/3 of her posts. It seems constant complaining is easier than doing something about it.
 This is an inappropriate statement for the convert issues forum, and as a moderator you should know better. 99-day warning.

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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 01:59:08 PM »

The Eucharist can only be served to those who believe in it's Immaculate nature. That it is truly the flesh and blood of the Lord.

If they don't believe in the Real Presence, we are told they eat damnation unto themselves.

Quote
O Lord, I know that I am unworthy to receive thy Holy Body and Precious Blood; I know that I am guilty, and that I eat and drink condemnation to myself, not discerning the Body and Blood of Christ my God. But trusting in thy loving-kindness I come unto thee who hast said: He that eateth my Body and drinketh my Blood shall dwell in me and I in him. Therefore, O Lord, have compassion on me and make not an example of me, thy sinful servant. But do unto me according thy great mercy, and grant that these Holy Gifts may be for me unto the healing, purification, enlightenment, protection, salvation and sanctification of my soul and body, and to the expulsion of every evil imagination, sinful deed or work of the Devil. May they move me to reliance on thee and to love thee always, to amend and keep firm my life; and be ever in me to the increase of virtue, to the keeping of the Holy Spirit, and as a good defence before thy dread Judgement Seat, and for Life Eternal. Amen. -St. Basil the Great
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2013, 02:46:53 PM »

I was born and raised Roman Catholic. I know this better than any protestant or muslim convert. According to Metropolitan Kallistos Ware in his book The Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic church is the closest to the orthodox, a sister church. What I have found is that I will never be good enough or study hard enough to be accepted. I came searching and left wanting.

Ezekiel 34:6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2013, 03:23:11 PM »

If you do not know why you can't receive Eucharist as a Roman Catholic, it means there is still much for you to learn.
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2013, 07:28:35 PM »

Wounded, travel weary sheep are coming and told they are 'not orthodox' and they stay for awhile seeing Jesus and not being allowed to approach and after they are thoroughly broken they leave disillusioned.

What do you mean by the above statement?

Non-Orthodox come to an Orthodox Church and are not allowed to approach what?  The Eucharist? ...and why do they leave disillusioned?  Why not stay and learn more, and join the flock?  The Shepherd won't turn away a sheep that wishes to join his flock.

That's her pet issue she complains about in 2/3 of her posts. It seems constant complaining is easier than doing something about it.

Michal, to whom are you referring with this statement?

If it's aimed at me, please corroborate your statement with proof that 2/3 of my posts "complain" about....what exactly?  That non-Orthodox desire to partake of the Eucharist?   That non-Orthodox are disillusioned?   That I always suggest folks stay around and learn about Orthodoxy?  Or that Christ won't turn away those who seek Him?

Which is it?
« Last Edit: August 13, 2013, 07:52:16 PM by LizaSymonenko » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2013, 08:16:58 AM »

What I have found is that I will never be good enough or study hard enough to be accepted. I came searching and left wanting.
Accepted by whom?  The Eastern Orthodox Church?  They are wrong.  Have you spoken with an Eastern Orthodox priest? 

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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2013, 08:18:14 AM »

Wounded, travel weary sheep are coming and told they are 'not orthodox' and they stay for awhile seeing Jesus and not being allowed to approach and after they are thoroughly broken they leave disillusioned.

What do you mean by the above statement?

Non-Orthodox come to an Orthodox Church and are not allowed to approach what?  The Eucharist? ...and why do they leave disillusioned?  Why not stay and learn more, and join the flock?  The Shepherd won't turn away a sheep that wishes to join his flock.

That's her pet issue she complains about in 2/3 of her posts. It seems constant complaining is easier than doing something about it.

Michal, to whom are you referring with this statement?

If it's aimed at me, please corroborate your statement with proof that 2/3 of my posts "complain" about....what exactly?  That non-Orthodox desire to partake of the Eucharist?   That non-Orthodox are disillusioned?   That I always suggest folks stay around and learn about Orthodoxy?  Or that Christ won't turn away those who seek Him?

Which is it?

To the OP.
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2013, 09:40:26 AM »

What I have found is that I will never be good enough or study hard enough to be accepted. I came searching and left wanting.

It is both surprising and saddening to hear that this was the conclusion that you came to in your search.  A person does not have to be a saint to enter the Church as the purpose of the Church is to heal and save sinners.  It is also not necessary to have perfect knowledge of Church history, dogma, liturgy, etc.  There is no moral or academic test to take for entrance into Orthodoxy.  If you were led to believe the opposite is true, then perhaps you were attending a very unhealthy parish.

To join the Church, a person simply needs to be willing to repent of their sins and must be at the point where they understand for themselves that the Orthodox Church is the true Church and are humble and willing to submit to the authority of the Church in matters of doctrine and way of life.  A period of catechesis is important to instruct the catechumen about the doctrine, history, worship, and praxis of the Orthodox Church so that the catechumen knows what they are joining and committing to, and so that the catechumen has the time to clarify how serious they are in their intent to join the Church.  Of course, if a person does not want to repent and does not want to embrace the Orthodox faith, then that person will not be received into the Orthodox Church.  It is not a matter of being "good enough" or studying hard enough.
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2013, 09:43:01 AM »

I was born and raised Roman Catholic. I know this better than any protestant or muslim convert. According to Metropolitan Kallistos Ware in his book The Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic church is the closest to the orthodox, a sister church. What I have found is that I will never be good enough or study hard enough to be accepted. I came searching and left wanting.

Ezekiel 34:6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.

What exactly gave you that impression?

...and accepted how?  Accepted by the other parishioners, the priest or the Church?

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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2013, 11:06:43 AM »

I was born and raised Roman Catholic. I know this better than any protestant or muslim convert. According to Metropolitan Kallistos Ware in his book The Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic church is the closest to the orthodox, a sister church. What I have found is that I will never be good enough or study hard enough to be accepted. I came searching and left wanting.

Ezekiel 34:6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.

What exactly gave you that impression?
...and accepted how?  Accepted by the other parishioners, the priest or the Church?



Catechisms are vague and inconsistent. I know good Christian people who were baptised and entered the church the next day after inquiring, or after 5 months, or at most 9 months. I heard a woman say that the first time she entered an orthodox church was the day she was chrismated. All leave me with questions. All these were protestant and had to learn deeper about the faith AFTER they entered. After 6 months of inquiry I was ready to become a catechumen but missed the deadline for registration. So I found a closer parish and attended for 9 months before being made catechumen. The catechism is vague, I know where I've been...its all review, but I dont know where its going. It maybe because the priest is confused? He is using an angry ex-protestant's catechism outline. Trying to make a point that I am not a pagan or muslim that needs to go through Bible 101. I am mostly very sad and depressed not angry.
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2013, 11:18:58 AM »


This....

I know good Christian people who were baptised and entered the church the next day after inquiring, or after 5 months, or at most 9 months. I heard a woman say that the first time she entered an orthodox church was the day she was chrismated.

...hardly matches what you said about them being turned away disillusioned.  If anything, they are being taken in to the fold before they know flock.

Don't be depressed.  Perhaps your current priest is overwhelmed, or simply not good at "teaching".

Have you approached him with your concerns?
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2013, 10:33:34 PM »

Martyr Eugenia,

 I don't want to compound your problems with my simple-minded advice, so please don't take them wrong.  I think Liza's advice to you about visiting with your priest and sharing your concerns with him is great advice.  More importantly though, we cannot compare ourselves to others; saying 'x' was excepted so I should be too is the wrong approach.  It's normal to think that way in our Western society, but God knows better than we do.  He knows when you are ready for the next step and He knows if you are not ready.  Continue to pray, study, and talk with your priest.
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« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2013, 11:28:34 AM »

Out of curiosity, is there a loosely established length that the catechesis process consistently is, or does it vary entirely from person to person and parish to parish?
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« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2013, 12:12:51 PM »

Canons of the Second Council
Canon#7 "... Accordingly, on the first day (of their reception) we make them Christians, that is to say, in other words, we make them accept all the dogmas of Christians (while they are standing) outside the Narthex of the church, the priest meantime laying his hand upon them, ...on the second day we make them catechumens, or, in other words, we place them in the class called catechumens; on the third day we read to them the usual exorcisms, at the same time blowing three times into their face and into their ears. And thus we catechize them in regard to particular aspects of the faith, and make them stay in church a long time and listen to the divine Scriptures, and then we baptize them..."
http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0835/_PU.HTM

Can you define 'long'? Yes it varies from parish to parish and person to person. I am under the impression you have to be perfectly orthodox in all aspects of your theology/praxis to become a member. Its not, 'do you accept the church and its teachings' and your in to then grow and learn as you; its years of study/praxis/examination.
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« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2013, 03:31:18 PM »

Wounded, travel weary sheep are coming and told they are 'not orthodox' and they stay for awhile seeing Jesus and not being allowed to approach and after they are thoroughly broken they leave disillusioned. I am not orthodox, but I am one of Christ's sheep.

Where do you stand, right now, in your inquiry or cathechesis?

What's preventing you from going back to Roman Catholicism?  Forgive me in advance if I'm not familiar with your past religious experiences.   angel
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« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2013, 05:54:07 PM »

Canons of the Second Council
Canon#7 "... Accordingly, on the first day (of their reception) we make them Christians, that is to say, in other words, we make them accept all the dogmas of Christians (while they are standing) outside the Narthex of the church, the priest meantime laying his hand upon them, ...on the second day we make them catechumens, or, in other words, we place them in the class called catechumens; on the third day we read to them the usual exorcisms, at the same time blowing three times into their face and into their ears. And thus we catechize them in regard to particular aspects of the faith, and make them stay in church a long time and listen to the divine Scriptures, and then we baptize them..."
http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0835/_PU.HTM

Can you define 'long'? Yes it varies from parish to parish and person to person. I am under the impression you have to be perfectly orthodox in all aspects of your theology/praxis to become a member. Its not, 'do you accept the church and its teachings' and your in to then grow and learn as you; its years of study/praxis/examination.

I also encountered this difference, so I asked my priest.

It turns out that there were two recent converts who had begged to be received in order to receive Holy Communion. Against the Priest's best discernment, because of the constant pressure by these catechumens and their godparents, they were received after only six months. However, both left Orthodoxy within one year. One remains a member of a Messianic Evangelic Church because she feared being LEFT BEHIND in the Rapture. The other has gone from one church to another in an attempt to find a home in Christianity.

Therefore, this priest usually receives a person as a catechumen after 6 month to one year of faithfully attending the Holy Services, and then he will chrismate or baptize them after an additional one to three years of studies. He told me the reason: once a person is baptized or chrismated into Holy Orthodoxy, they are held to a higher standard. If a member of the Orthodox Church should leave the Holy Faith, they not only leave Christ's Church, but also they commit the sin of apostasy.

He also said that in the Early Church, when a person was baptized, they were so instructed in the Holy Faith, that they could be advanced to the diaconate and were also prepared to die for the faith. The catechumenate is not only a time of instruction, but a school of sanctity and a preparation for martyrdom. Most importantly, the catechumenate prepares the candidate to persevere in the spiritual struggle so that when they are baptized, they will never defile their Baptismal Garment, which they are to keep spotless until the day they die.

Thus, it would be a shame to ill prepare a person for the struggles that lie ahead.

Furthermore, there have been photos of catechumens at their Holy Baptism, where their faces and bodies glowed as they emerged from the pool and received the Holy Mysteries of Chrismation and Holy Communion. This Holy Mystery of Initiation truly purifies, illuminates, and sanctifies.
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« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2013, 08:00:16 PM »

I am born and raised GOA , but I defend all Christians who believe that Jesus died for their sins, I will not judge them.

I have always questioned our priests about the communion restrictions, and they never mentioned protecting the visitors, our current priest is very respected among the area and what he has said is that it is because the person may be possesed by a demon or somehow joined with the devil.

And I later asked him why that would matter ,because it is through God that the liturgy receives it's power, so God is who blesses us or burns us through the Eucharist and it is his ability which makes it possible. And as such there would be no demon able to touch it.
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« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2013, 08:39:43 PM »

Priests "guard the chalice"...
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« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2013, 08:56:00 PM »

Catechisms are vague and inconsistent. I know good Christian people who were baptised and entered the church the next day after inquiring, or after 5 months, or at most 9 months. I heard a woman say that the first time she entered an orthodox church was the day she was chrismated. All leave me with questions. All these were protestant and had to learn deeper about the faith AFTER they entered. After 6 months of inquiry I was ready to become a catechumen but missed the deadline for registration. So I found a closer parish and attended for 9 months before being made catechumen. The catechism is vague, I know where I've been...its all review, but I dont know where its going. It maybe because the priest is confused? He is using an angry ex-protestant's catechism outline. Trying to make a point that I am not a pagan or muslim that needs to go through Bible 101. I am mostly very sad and depressed not angry.

Please be patient. Go through the motions. If there's something you don't understand or you feel that the catechism being used by your parish is more suitable for addressing issues that would be more common for someone to have coming from a different faith tradition background than yourself, then supplement that catechism with other orthodox materials. In my experience, it's n ot uncommon for everyone to have a different period of time as as an inquirer and catechumen or to have vastly differing periods of instruction, some also being more or less formal than others.
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« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2013, 10:28:07 AM »

Where do you stand, right now, in your inquiry or cathechesis?

I honestly do not know, but I do know my faith is wavering  Embarrassed not in God but that an actual 'church' exists.

Please be patient. Go through the motions. If there's something you don't understand or you feel that the catechism being used by your parish is more suitable for addressing issues that would be more common for someone to have coming from a different faith tradition background than yourself, then supplement that catechism with other orthodox materials. In my experience, it's not uncommon for everyone to have a different period of time as as an inquirer and catechumen or to have vastly differing periods of instruction, some also being more or less formal than others.

I have been on my journey since I was a little girl and catechized in the Roman Catholic church. That world changed drastically. WHERE DO YOU GO? I have never wavered in my faith in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, until now. All I ever really had as a standard is the Bible and my Roman Catholic catechism. Did I have to run the gamut of 'Christian' churches for God to finally open the door and say, Here is My Church? Why am I being scrutinized, why is someone going through the A-Z's for non-Christians with me. I am answering the other catechumen's questions. Really.

I just get so discouraged when folks who admittedly DENIED God and led a horrible life have FAR less time waiting to be Orthodox. Its like I have been waiting for God to lead me to His church ALL my life, and now that I think I have found it, He is being kept from me. Its taken a long time to get here (I am half a century old). I die a little bit every service, I do not know what to do anymore.
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« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2013, 03:50:14 PM »

I just get so discouraged when folks who admittedly DENIED God and led a horrible life have FAR less time waiting to be Orthodox. Its like I have been waiting for God to lead me to His church ALL my life, and now that I think I have found it,

God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collectors...
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« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2013, 05:08:20 PM »

Priests "guard the chalice"...

You mean like Peter wanted to defend Jesus?

Remember Jesus said not to resist an evil person.Mt 5:39, and with what power can we judge who is . There are many Priests who were and are evil while offering it.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 05:14:03 PM by Sinful Hypocrite » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2013, 05:10:27 PM »

Priests "guard the chalice"...

You mean like Peter wanted to defend Jesus?

No. Like they're supposed to.
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« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2013, 05:22:39 PM »

It simply has no basis in the Gospels Of Christ, it is not out of disrespect to the Priests, but it is also about the divisions that separate other denominations. Which a Catholic Priest also will defend as an Orthodox, in my Heart they are both wrong, But Just as St,Francis , whom I just read a Biography, he respectfully went along while keeping as much distance as possible.


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« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2013, 05:27:40 PM »

It simply has no basis in the Gospels Of Christ...

Respectfully, I would remind you that there's more to the Gospel of Christ than simply your crusade against judgmentalism and hypocrisy.  Everything has to be held in balance.   
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« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2013, 05:30:41 PM »


Stop judging.
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« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2013, 06:06:54 PM »

Where do you stand, right now, in your inquiry or cathechesis?

I honestly do not know, but I do know my faith is wavering  Embarrassed not in God but that an actual 'church' exists.

A church is a hospital for sinners.  She does not exist for people to see their own reflection.

Please be patient. Go through the motions. If there's something you don't understand or you feel that the catechism being used by your parish is more suitable for addressing issues that would be more common for someone to have coming from a different faith tradition background than yourself, then supplement that catechism with other orthodox materials. In my experience, it's not uncommon for everyone to have a different period of time as as an inquirer and catechumen or to have vastly differing periods of instruction, some also being more or less formal than others.

I have been on my journey since I was a little girl and catechized in the Roman Catholic church. That world changed drastically. WHERE DO YOU GO? I have never wavered in my faith in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, until now. All I ever really had as a standard is the Bible and my Roman Catholic catechism. Did I have to run the gamut of 'Christian' churches for God to finally open the door and say, Here is My Church? Why am I being scrutinized,

Why not scrutinize yourself?  That is the purpose of being an inquirer and a cathecumen - to scrutinize yourself.

why is someone going through the A-Z's for non-Christians with me. I am answering the other catechumen's questions. Really.

You may be answering the questions of others; however, you have avoided the questions you have for yourself.

I just get so discouraged when folks who admittedly DENIED God and led a horrible life have FAR less time waiting to be Orthodox. Its like I have been waiting for God to lead me to His church ALL my life, and now that I think I have found it, He is being kept from me. Its taken a long time to get here (I am half a century old). I die a little bit every service, I do not know what to do anymore.

St. Mary of Egypt wanted to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; however, the Virgin Mary blocked St. Mary's entry.  Something is blocking your entry into the Orthodox Church and only you, and no one else, can figure out what that is.
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« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2013, 09:25:35 PM »

I just get so discouraged

Please don't. Sometimes God's preferred timing isn't the same as what we would prefer. Don't worry about how long it takes everyone else, just enjoy the journey knowing what destination it leads to.
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« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2013, 10:08:34 PM »

I just get so discouraged

Please don't. Sometimes God's preferred timing isn't the same as what we would prefer. Don't worry about how long it takes everyone else, just enjoy the journey knowing what destination it leads to.

While I was a catechumen, I was encouraged to read the lives of the neo-martyrs, especially the martyrs under the communist yoke in Russia. Millions of Christians were persecuted, imprisoned, and/or murdered/martyred under communism. Rarely did these Christians have access to a Divine Liturgy or receive Holy Communion during this time. Yet, they persevered in prayer.

As a catechumen, one is called to prayer, repentance, reading the lives of the saints and the Holy Bible, and study. This is the day of salvation. Treasure it.

Also, be willing to forgive those who have offended you in this thread, this forum, or in your own parish. Pray for all of us, as we also are sinners in need of forgiveness. We will pray for you.
Maria This is one of the best explanations I have seen about what it means to be a catechumen and what the salvic work that a catechumen does.
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« Last Edit: August 19, 2013, 09:13:45 AM by Thomas » Logged

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« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2013, 05:31:09 PM »

It simply has no basis in the Gospels Of Christ...

Respectfully, I would remind you that there's more to the Gospel of Christ than simply your crusade against judgmentalism and hypocrisy.  Everything has to be held in balance.    

They are what cause divisions among people who love the Lord otherwise, and are what this forum mostly dwells on, divisions caused by judgment and hypocrisy.
I am in no position to judge and feel that in my heart it is wrong most of the time.
I am a sinner, and I was taught by the orthodox church that we all are, and that we declare ourselves the chief sinner whenever we take communion. It is freely admitted by me to all, I all also forget it at times and act puffed up, you can see it in the epistles as well.

If we are to tell the Catholics that their is no infallible man except Jesus, we must then accept we are wrong as well.Which goes for all.

I am sorry if I have gone off subject here and apologize to all.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 05:44:21 PM by Sinful Hypocrite » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: August 19, 2013, 05:01:27 PM »

I just get so discouraged

Please don't. Sometimes God's preferred timing isn't the same as what we would prefer. Don't worry about how long it takes everyone else, just enjoy the journey knowing what destination it leads to.

While I was a catechumen, I was encouraged to read the lives of the neo-martyrs, especially the martyrs under the communist yoke in Russia. Millions of Christians were persecuted, imprisoned, and/or murdered/martyred under communism. Rarely did these Christians have access to a Divine Liturgy or receive Holy Communion during this time. Yet, they persevered in prayer.

As a catechumen, one is called to prayer, repentance, reading the lives of the saints and the Holy Bible, and study. This is the day of salvation. Treasure it.

Also, be willing to forgive those who have offended you in this thread, this forum, or in your own parish. Pray for all of us, as we also are sinners in need of forgiveness. We will pray for you.
Maria This is one of the best explanations I have seen about what it means to be a catechumen and what the salvic work that a catechumen does.
Thomas Convert Issues Forum Moderator

Thank you.

As a catechumen and former cradle Catholic, I struggled with some of the same issues as the OP.
My priest repeatedly offered me the same advice as I posted above. It took a while to sink in.
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