Hello. This is my first post on these forums. I have been looking a long time for a good forum full of Orthodox, and until today I was mostly posting on yahoo groups.
I am presently a 22-year-old cradle-Latin Rite Catholic (hope that makes sense). I just graduated a semester early from a small college with a B.A. in English Literature. My initial plans upon graduation were to attend law school or perhaps go to grad school for an M.A. in English, but now I am pretty sure that neither one is God's plan for me. Most of the time I read books on Church history, theology, spiritual works, etc. I have decided to pursue studies in theology and perhaps even become a college professor.
Now, here's my problem (or blessing). In studying Church history I have begun asking myself many questions about the claims of the Western Church. Contrary to what the Western Church now holds, the early Church seems to recognize no Primacy in the bishop of Rome, but only a priority, and not because of a special and personal succession from Peter. In reading about the schism of 1054, I find myself more in agreement with the Eastern bishops than with the bishop of Rome. I have continued to devour books by Timothy Ware, Vladimir Lovsky, John Meyendorff, etc. to bolster my understanding of Eastern perspectives on Western theology.
I feel very much drawn to Orthodoxy, but despite all my studying of the East so far (which I have been doing only in the past year), I still am not entiely certain that the Orthodox Church is the true Church of Christ. I just feel as though I don't know enough yet. I have been accepted into a graduate program in theology at a good Catholic university, but I wonder if I should really attend all 2-3 years if right now I'm looking East. I am seriously considering changing my rite to Byzantine Catholic, which would keep me in communion with Rome but which would allow me to experience first hand the Eastern traditions. This would at least allow me to work for the Western Church, whereas, were I to become Orthodox, I don't know where I could find a job in the Eastern Church. I doubt I would be able to work for a Catholic school, and I further doubt that Orthodox theology is compatible with the Western theology taught in quasi-Protestant secular institutions.
I know that your recommendation might be for me simply to teach English or something to that effect. But I honestly don't feel called by God to do this, and besides, I don't have a teaching license. I know that I am to enter Christian catechesis, ministry, or something along those lines. I just don't know whether it is to be with the Western or the Eastern Church. And I am not sure if people in the Eastern Church have as many job possibilities as do people in the Western Church.
So, if you could just pray that I am more convicted of the fact that the Orthodox Church is the true Church, and that I have the financial opportunities and a job position to become Orthodox, I would be most appreciative.
Jobs are in extremely short supply around here (especially for English Literature majors) and that's part of the reason why I am going to grad school now rather than later.
I appreciate your prayers!