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Author Topic: My Grandparents are gonna kill me!!!  (Read 4509 times) Average Rating: 0
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SetFree
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« on: February 18, 2005, 02:54:46 PM »

I know that my decision (though prayerful and long thought out) to convert to Holy Orthodoxy, is going to disappoint my grandparents.  They are very traditional Southern Baptists and believe that Orthodox, like Catholics and pretty much everyone else, are going to burn forever.  I know that it will cause fights, but I must do what God has called me to do.

Has anyone else caught flack from family???  If so, How did you deal with it???  I don't know how my parents would be, but I think they would be alright with anything as long as it wasn't Islam (I'm being totally serious).

Thanks,
Adrian Davila
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2005, 03:07:25 PM »

Adrian,

Welcome! Check here for my li'l blurb about family troubles....

Pedro
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2005, 04:44:56 PM »

It's so different seeing people actually have to deal with real tension from their families over their conversion.  The family I come from is basically neither happy or distraught at my conversion (my family is, for the most part, either atheist or agnostic, as far as I can tell).  One thing that I admire about people who come from a faith-based background is that they're not alien to the idea of praying and reading edifying books and The Scriptures, etc.  That part of Orthodoxy is really something new to me, and I struggle constantly with it.  I suppose that I'm blessed though, not having to deal with an abrasive environment at home due to religious differences.  Congratulations on making it Home, though, and I hope God drops some blessings on you through it all.
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2005, 07:20:52 PM »

I know that my decision (though prayerful and long thought out) to convert to Holy Orthodoxy, is going to disappoint my grandparents. They are very traditional Southern Baptists and believe that Orthodox, like Catholics and pretty much everyone else, are going to burn forever. I know that it will cause fights, but I must do what God has called me to do.

Has anyone else caught flack from family??? If so, How did you deal with it??? I don't know how my parents would be, but I think they would be alright with anything as long as it wasn't Islam (I'm being totally serious).

Thanks,
Adrian Davila




Let me tell ya a story (lights pipe). Cool


I was raised in a very protestant family. A conservative Latino Presbyterian family in small town Texas, where most people could hardly spell Orthodox much less know what is was. I had the fortune growing up to have a Serbian/Russian friend who was, and though our faith dicussions were rarely about the subtleties of church ( he was among my best friends from elementary until the end of high school), it was clear he felt the presence of God at his church. Still, being around presbyterian (and only presbyterian) churches on Sunday morning did little for my exposure. I was convinced that protestants had it right and that Roman Catholics and anyone that looked like them were idol woshipers and condemned to hell. Then I was told in my teen years by fellow protestants "If you dont speak in tounges, you're not saved", or if "You are not Baptist and baptized Baptist, you are going to hell". And if you said a curse word (and I did. I still think there is cloud of obscenity floating above my town) that was more then proof you belonged to satan. I got so sick of that, I wanted nothing more to do with Christianity or its people. I looked in alot of other places (wont go into where), but ultimatly found myslef back to Christianity, and the Presbyterian Church. But I began to wander a bit, and wonder as I wandered about my chruch. Predestination seemed to me strange, and hearing others speak about it only made me more confused as they couldn't agree on what it was. I did a stint at the Methodist church, but found them, despite their more ritualistic manners, very much the same, changing alot one from the other. My parents had no problem with this choice for that reason. But when I joined the Episcopal church and they found out that there were crucufixes and pictures of Christ in the actual church, they freaked! The threatened to disown me. There were shouting matches (with my mom especially) on a near weekly basis. My father accused me of liking halloween more than the true church, because of all the "unnecesarry pagentry" they had. It was after I talked to a priest though, regarding communion and the sacraments that I found out that they didnt really have to believe in them to take them. What kind of weak answers were these? It was the day that I got confirmed in the Episocpal church that I left (for many reasons, not just the faith), never to return. It was at a jazz concert that I began my introduction to Orthodoxy through a monk. Though it was through a non canonical institution (which, gratefully, I am not a part of anymore), the people taught me much. When I decided to convert, my parents were infuriated more than more than with the Episocopal thing, and never let up the name calling. The calls from my mother got more and more violent, and my father began to tell me that I had fallen into apostacy. It didnt help that I was being abused verbally by a monk there. So I got it form both sides. But I converted regardless, because I was convinced that this was the true faith of Christ. Sadly, churchwise, it went to heck after I discovered the truth about the "monastery" and the monks who lived there. I left as soon as I did, and when I asked a legit Orthodox priest about it, he told me the truth. So I hooked up with the Antiochians over a year ago, and now spiritualy things are good. My parents still dont approve, but they have "agreed to disagree", and we still love eachother. But it took alot of fighting and tears to get here. God saw me through, and continues to see me through. No one said the faith was easy. But then again, they did say it was worth it. Hang in there, kid. Wink Love finds a way. And love is God. Smiley

May God have mercy on us and save us all, in as much is he is good and lovest mankind.

Peace.

Ian Lazarus :grommit:  
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2005, 07:38:49 PM »

Hello Adrian. Welcome to the board!

We had a bit of discussion a couple of months back..... Southern Baptist, you say? Have I got a thread for you! This thread delves into BOTH conversion/family problems and the state of Orthodoxy in the South. You are not alone, my friend!

Bob

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/newboard/index.php/topic,4810.0.html


PS  If you live in the South, don't let the talk about Orthodoxy there on this thread perturb you.   I'm sure that many of our posters could tell you about some great parishes south of the Mason-Dixon line.
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2005, 08:06:46 PM »

Yo Adrian
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2005, 08:44:31 PM »

Yo Adrian

 Roll Eyes Somehow, I knew the Rocky reference was coming! I KNEW IT! Cheesy

Ian Lazarus :grommit:

Raised by a cup of coffee! :coffee:
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2005, 08:45:18 PM »

Wow, Ian Lazarus. That's quite a story. (Homsar voice:) "Looks like you've been a huuuman wedgieee!" Grin

Bob
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2005, 08:51:06 PM »

Bob, you're a reeeeeeeeeeel state trooper! :- Grin

"Dont aske me why......................pupownickle and wye!"

Ian Lazarus :grommit:

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ps: I've been waiting for an excuse to use that one!
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2005, 09:04:38 PM »

 laugh

Ian Lazarus, have a bowl of Great Uncle Pawdabber's ice cream on me!  laugh



We want.......a shhrubbery!!!!

Bob

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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2005, 12:16:21 AM »


 A conservative Latino Presbyterian family in small town Texas, where most people could hardly spell Orthodox much less know what is was...  an Lazarus :grommit:       

Just out curiosity, which small town? I grew up in Brownsville, TX and had my exposure to Orthodoxy in Pharr, TX.
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2005, 12:30:05 AM »

Hey all,
   One thing I can say is that Orthodoxy is fairly prevalent, but quiet here in my part of the world (San Antonio, TX.)  We have a bunch of EOs (OCA, Greek, Antiochian Mission, and Romanian Mission), and two OOs (Coptic and Armenian Mission). 

I have been in contact with a few of the members and clergy of these churches...and, it is so cool, found a Romanian priest who lives about fifteen minutes from me.  The deacon of the priest's mission lives about five minutes from me, and the Mission Church is about twenty-five minutes away.  I am going to meet Fr. Iulian on Tuesday and he is going to take me to church on the first Sunday in March.  I am so excited!!!!
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2005, 09:57:16 AM »

Hey all,
   One thing I can say is that Orthodoxy is fairly prevalent, but quiet here in my part of the world (San Antonio, TX.)

Hey, yeah!  Another Texan!

Quote
I am going to meet Fr. Iulian on Tuesday and he is going to take me to church on the first Sunday in March.  I am so excited!!!!

Cool!  God bless on your search!
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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2005, 10:56:03 PM »

My parents are Catholic, nominally only.  My brother and I went through the CCD and the all the saraments of the church.  My fathers parents became "evangelical" (the only word they use to describe themselves) and refused to come to my parents wedding or my baptism or anything of the like.  My grandfather is quite happy that I'm Orthodox now, because it's not Roman Catholicism.  If he only knew what Orthodoxy was, I'm sure he'd hate it just as much.  My other set of grandparents are RC and I don't think they know yet, even though I live with them.  I don't think they'll find it too big of a deal, considering they care about me being happy more than anything else.  Same with the parents.  (My father had the same "as long as you're not Muslim" talk.  What a coincindence Wink)

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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2005, 06:39:59 PM »



Just out curiosity, which small town? I grew up in Brownsville, TX and had my exposure to Orthodoxy in Pharr, TX.

A little town called Baytown.  I found my exposure in Houston, where comparitively, there are a heckovvaflotta Orthodox churches.  Still small and almost unnoticeable when you consider how many other churches there are in the naked city......or the clothed city.....can there ever be a clothed city?!?!?! Grin


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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2005, 12:08:12 AM »

Hey hey - my parents are TOTALLY opposed to my conversion to holy Orthodoxy.  I can relate.  I figure I will stop talking about it with them and just live it. And Orthodoxy lived out is irreproachable.
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« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2005, 03:54:41 AM »

I have just started my journey toward Orthodoxy, but I anticipate I will have similar problems.  Recently I tried to explain a little bit about Orthodoxy to my mom, and now she calls it "the weirdo church."

I expressed my concerns to my priest, and his advice to me was this:  God has no grandchildren; he only has sons and daughters.  So ultimately, you are in control of your own salvation, not your family.  When you are before the judgement seat, you won't be able to say, "Well, my grandma...." this, or "But, my grandpa...." that.  God will say, "I already dealt with them!  We're talking about you here."

I found those words to be encouraging.
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« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2005, 04:07:49 AM »

Angela,

I'm a convert from the Lutheran church. I have had real problems with my mother, much more so than with my brother even though he seems rather inordinately proud of his agnosticism. My priest didn't find that in any way surprising and I suppose I shouldn't have done either.

Anyway, I found that the best way to handle my mother was to ignore those things she said that I found offensive (difficult at times, but essential really) and to only talk to her about Orthodoxy when she brings the subject up, and then without being confrontational about it, despite being vehemently opposed to some of her beliefs. That seemed to work for me and it might for you too. She still doesn't exactly like Orthodoxy, but she accepts that I'm Orthodox and she understands my faith a lot better - she no longer thinks of us as eastern Catholics without a Pope.

It's taken a long time to get where I have with her and I seriously doubt she'll ever convert, but she did come to my wedding after initially refusing and she did come to my son's baptism. It's also been a very long ime since she's visited my home and objected to my icons. I hope and pray that such an approach might work for you, too. In any case, living an Orthodox life is a much better witness to the faith than discussions on theology. If your mother's anything like mine (and they must have similar beliefs as they're both presumably Lutheran) then she'll see your sincerity and respect that, and she might even become interested - with God anything is possible.

James
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« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2005, 04:19:20 AM »

"Weirdo church". Cute. Sounds like the pagans talking about those fanatic Nazarenes! Aren't Lutherans a liturgical church as well?
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« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2005, 08:53:00 AM »

My (lutheran) hisband still calls it "that orthodox thing" like it's a phase or something. puhleeze.  now HIS parents are very pleased I'm doing anything at all! LOL.
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« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2005, 03:15:43 PM »

One of my friends lives with a non-Orthodox roomate (I think she's Presbyterian, at least in theory. She's more interdenominational here at school). The roomate is fine with everything as my friend is quite devoutand has icons up throughout the apartment. Her roomate's parents sent some picture frames to the roomate, telling her, "Here, use these and put them up; take down those idols!" They're really quite clueless Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2005, 07:25:43 AM »

I know how you feel. I am a 'secret' convert to the orthodox faith (my parents spent years in Russia/ukraine converting people to the protestant faith). One day they gave me an icon from russia, and out of curiosity i studied what icons were about, and eventually it led me to study the orthodox faith. My grandparents also converted from orthodoxy to protestantism. One day i will soon make my stand and make public my conversion, but yes, it is very hard to do, especially when your family consider they are following the true faith. i have spoken to my sister about this, and she has already turned her back on me and told me that i am being 'stupid'. It is difficult, but in time, God's time, you wil be able to make that stand, as i will soon be making. I wish you the best, and god's peace to be with you.
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« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2005, 09:55:45 AM »

Quote
In any case, living an Orthodox life is a much better witness to the faith than discussions on theology

This is, perhaps, the wisest and most important sentence in this entire thread.
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« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2005, 11:51:51 AM »

I know how you feel. I am a 'secret' convert to the orthodox faith (my parents spent years in Russia/ukraine converting people to the protestant faith). One day they gave me an icon from russia, and out of curiosity i studied what icons were about, and eventually it led me to study the orthodox faith. My grandparents also converted from orthodoxy to protestantism. One day i will soon make my stand and make public my conversion, but yes, it is very hard to do, especially when your family consider they are following the true faith. i have spoken to my sister about this, and she has already turned her back on me and told me that i am being 'stupid'. It is difficult, but in time, God's time, you wil be able to make that stand, as i will soon be making. I wish you the best, and god's peace to be with you.

Interesting story, jayjay and welcome to the board.  Maybe it would be helpful to find that "legendary" (I think baptist) Manual to Convert Eastern Orthodox and point out its flaws to your relatives.  You might be able to find it on yahoo or google without too much trouble.
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« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2005, 03:52:43 PM »

I have been reading this thread, experiencing a mixture of sympathy, bewilderment and anger.

I find it so frustrating that otherwise rational people react so unreasonably badly towards somebody they claim to love, because that person is of a different faith.  Although I understand that different families relate very differently from  others, as somebody who is not from a close-knit family, I have had to make a conscious effort to try to understand the difficult position in which many of you who have posted to this thread find yourselves.  You see, in my situation, my family wouldn't be particularly bothered at all, especially as we are rarely in touch anyway.

I must admit, though, that it may be difficult breaking this to some good friends of mine, not least of whom is my housemate, who is a priest in the Church of England, so I can relate to some degree.

I shall remember you all in prayer.
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« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2005, 03:20:39 AM »

I'm quite shocked and annoyed that non-Orthodox Christians perceive Orthodoxy as if it were Communism.

Are we that distant from other Christian denominations?

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« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2006, 01:22:25 PM »

Quote
Roll Eyes Somehow, I knew the Rocky reference was coming! I KNEW IT! Cheesy

I couldn't help myself.  Tongue
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« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2006, 02:24:08 PM »

My son-in-law likewise is Lutheran and puts a lot of emotional misinterpretations on my grandson,his step son,(age 11)who is devoutly Orthodox.  He is constantly feeding him  incorrect interpretations of Orthodoxy based upon Martin Luther's disagreements with the Catholics. Luckily my grandson comes to me and asked why his father lied about the Church, we discussed in calm terms what is being said and how to process what his stepfather is saying.

 My best example was to take my grandson outside to look in the house through a window and tell him the House is like Orthodoxy, your father sees everything thru the Lutheran Window, I then ask him to tell me what he sees in the house thru the window.  We then go into the house, and I ask him what does he see, he describes a much expanded vison of the house being able to look at it in all directions inside.  I tell him that this is how it is with him and his step father. His step-father sees only a limited view of the Church thru his viewpoint,  being in the church we see the real picture. That worked well and he now smiles when his stepfather talks about the church and understands that his step-father is not lying about the church, he just does not have a full picture of it that my grandson has as an Orthodox Christian.

We then talked about living the Orthodox Christian life and the importance of letting his step-father know the joy that he feels in the Church. Perhaps this will work with those you love.

In Christ,
Thomas
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« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2006, 03:15:11 PM »

I'm quite shocked and annoyed that non-Orthodox Christians perceive Orthodoxy as if it were Communism.

Are we that distant from other Christian denominations?


I would say that since most of us in the western world have little experience of the Eastern Orthodox Church, many tend to view it as an exotic religion. Plus, western Christians tend to focus on things that are not focused on in Eastern Christianity. For "fides et ratio" vs. a Mystery of faith, atonement theology vs. the eastern view, etc. I think most Eastern Orthodox Christians would agree that Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity are very different. This is not a criticism. It is just poionting out that, yes, there is a big difference.
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« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2006, 03:52:11 PM »

That worked well and he now smiles when his stepfather talks about the church and understands that his step-father is not lying about the church, he just does not have a full picture of it that my grandson he as an Orthodox Christian.

What a great explanation, "grampa"!
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« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2006, 04:31:22 PM »

Yes, Thomas---great explanation---and one that may be repeated in the future!
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« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2006, 05:41:37 PM »

Interesting story, jayjay and welcome to the board.  Maybe it would be helpful to find that "legendary" (I think baptist) Manual to Convert Eastern Orthodox and point out its flaws to your relatives.  You might be able to find it on yahoo or google without too much trouble.
I found it. This is the link to the .pdf so right click and save to your file here:
www.namb.net/evangelism/iev/PDF/BB_E_Orthodox_Manual.pdf

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« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2006, 09:14:20 PM »

Hey, I understand you.

My father left our family's Catholic faith when I was 3 and became a hardline Calvinist-variety Baptist. My parents divorced several years later, and since he had us on weekends, he took us to Baptist churches on Sunday. I only went to mass on holidays and when one of my many cousins had a First Communion or Confirmation.

He became very anti-Catholic and threatened my mother into not allowing us our own First Communions and Confirmations. My sister, the youngest, was not even baptized (still not, sadly).

Growing up, I heard so much stuff about the Catholic Church's "idolatry," "pagan ritual," "baptizing babies," "Mary worship," etc. His favorite Christian minister and theologian is John MacArthur, who insists that anyone who believes in the "false Catholic gospel of salvation by works" is damned.

I always found this strange because there are many devout Catholics in his side of our big family---some have had 8, 10, 11 kids and go to Society of St. Pius X masses (my mother's side is not very devout).

So my father did all he could to bring me up Baptist. Well, it didn't take. I grew up a student of history (I'm now doing it professionally), and through such studies and via my spiritual development, God led me to the Church of my birth a couple years ago (several years before that, I had narrowed my choice down to Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism---I almost became an Anglican and then very nearly became Orthodox). I received my Confirmation last year, unbeknownst to my father.

I still have not told him. I am avoiding it at this time, though if he asks me straight out, I will be honest. We have had discussions about various topics, and through them he knows that I believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, baptismal regeneration, infant baptism, free will, and other things common to most liturgical churches. This knowledge causes him to explode in anger at me when I defend these doctrines, and afterwards he will not speak to me for a long time. When I visit, I go with him to his Baptist church (and discreetly slip off to mass on my own)---he doesn't like it at all when I pass on the "Communion" of grape juice and crackers offered to me. I think he suspects (and fears).

I think he might see my Catholicism as more of a kind of apostasy than that of my family's because he tried to bring me up as a Baptist. I guess I "fell away" (into the outstretched arms and bosom of the Church of Our Lord  Cheesy ).

At some point he will be ready. He has softened a bit lately---now he no longer says that Catholics (and Orthodox) are all going to hell, and he now admits that John Paul II was a good guy, even if he did worship Mary.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2006, 09:20:30 PM by lubeltri » Logged
Panagiotis
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« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2006, 12:52:32 AM »

My family took it decently but my in-laws rejected our choice from the start. They are those types who lump us in with RC's and the "Religion!"-not-relationship" groups. A sad factor is she has everyone praying for her lost son-in-law and daughter all the while my sister in laws and one brother in law don't attend any church, and pretty much reject Christendom as a whole. So it is fair to say that while we pray for mercy on her family's behalf, my mother in law is praying that we find the truth, well, her view of what is the truth that is.

in-laws are fun-

Kyrie Eleison,
Panagiotis
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« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2006, 09:16:44 PM »

I know exactly what you're talking about.

My family is... not so accepting of the Orthodoxy. Being a teenager, I still live with them and am not yet able to formally convert to Orthodoxy. My parents are both "non-denominational Christians", though they lean heavily towards the Jehovah's Witnesses. I started looking into Catholicism when I was thirteen and I spent about a year being extremely devout in that religion. Since late June, my primary use for the plethora of remaining Catholic knowledge I have is answering It's Academic questions, which is very amusing when we get all of the Catholic questions when competing against a Catholic school, but I digress.

Anyway, last November, a Catholic friend of mine knew I wanted to convert to the religion and invited me to her Confirmation. My parents allowed me to go, hoping to make me sway from the faith if I saw it first hand. I went and I was incredibly disappointed. It was an incredibly large and beautiful church, but the service did absolutely no justice to it whatsoever. When everyone who knew of my religious leanings asked me what I thought of it afterwards, I admit I lied and said that I loved it. This was when my firm faith in the RCC began to fade.

Now, in April, an Orthodox friend of mine invited me to the Pascha service, and, amazingly, I was allowed to go. The service was everything I looked for and hadn't found in Catholicism. The Priest was an incredible man and I felt in utter peace within that Church. Sitting there, I did the most meaningful and wonderful Rosary I'd ever maanged. That one night, standing for six hours in an Orthodox Church for the first time, watching  Pascha being celebrated, I started to seriously consider conversion, though I think I knew, somewhere within me, that the Orthodoxy was nothing but right.

Over Memorial Day weekend, the same friend took me camping for four days. The trip included the Procession of Bishop's at St. Tikhon's. By the end of this service, I was almost in tears and told my friend I wanted to convert at the first opportunity. Afterwards, I started doubting, and finally made my choice in June because of the resolution of an issue that I'd prayed for years about.

After that, whenever my parents brought up religion, I tried to avoid letting out that I had changed my mind forever about the RCC, but after a few weeks I had to let it out to avoid lying about my beliefs. After that, the rows occurred nearly everyday for about a month. Now my parents and I have grown into being able to discuss religion without screaming at each other and life is a lot better. I've reason to believe that they think I'm just going through a phase and will eventually come back to their religion. Of course, ever since they discovered my leanings, they've kept me away from any and all things Orthodox, at least as much as they can.

You might consider my account overly poetic and melodramatic, but that just how I talk when I get on a roll. I hope that both of our stories end well. Smiley

Blessings,
Firiel
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Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Panagiotis
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« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2006, 11:24:31 PM »

Firiel,
Many blessings on your road to salvation!
May the Lord of All grant you patience, love and understanding, sophia and eleios as you walk through the days ahead. Honour your father and mother, but allow the Lord to open trials and love in the days ahead. He will never leave you and doors will become available for you, but everything is always up to you which door you open. Honesty is paramount, especially with parents who love you. SInce you have expressed where your heart is, maybe keep them open with where your life and soul are guided towards. You never know how the outcome can turn out. BUt agian, pray for wisdom; sophia will bring giants to their knees and give them headaches! Wink

Many blessings,
Panagiotis
« Last Edit: November 19, 2006, 11:25:07 PM by Panagiotis » Logged


"The first condition for the establishment of perpetual peace is the general adoption of the principles of laissez-faire capitalism"
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