Author Topic: A humble advice  (Read 1121 times)

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Offline Patapouf

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A humble advice
« on: April 07, 2014, 03:39:11 PM »
Sometimes I see people coming back into orthodoxy and want to learn everything and quickly. And it often happens that all of them turns out to be too big . There are many questions that were not always reply.We must do like the Virgin Mary that although no one realizes what was happening : She " kept it all in his heart."
Asking questions is good, strengthens faith , but we expect to have internalized the answers to the first questions , before we put other .
The first thing to learn in church is not theology. But yes, learning to pray with heart and soul . Without this premise any theology is merely a philosophy that we discussed and debated , but we do not feel or live .
The rungs of the ladder of holiness are very high edevem be climbed slowly and carefully . Well because they are too high if we stumble , fall is also very large .
So I leave you this advice , pray , learn to pray so that prayer will do so lacking as the air you breathe and learned slowly seizing on you that which ye can .
And if perchance something that the Church teaches , in the height not understand , keep this in your heart , later you will understand .
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 03:53:19 PM by Patapouf »

Offline Cackles

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2014, 01:00:28 PM »
The first thing to learn in church is not theology. But yes, learning to pray with heart and soul . Without this premise any theology is merely a philosophy

I disagree.
The above post is intended for discussion purposes and is comprised of my personal opinion.

Offline Patapouf

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2014, 03:36:35 PM »
Glad you disagree. Too bad it does not say why.Who know myself and others that read this topic we could learn from the reason given.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2014, 04:14:43 PM »

I don't disagree.

I think you are correct...that a person must feel the love and compassion and humble oneself in prayer before God, before they can even think of learning theology.

You have to realize that the "cake is delicious", before you try to figure out the recipe and ingredients of the cake.
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2014, 04:20:18 PM »
And I think it is a mix...and different for each person.

Some folks, could -never- even think of joining the Orthodox Church until each and every one of their questions is answered, whether through experience or study.

Because they already have a well formed theological basis and construct, it is much harder for them to 'relax' and experience until they have verified that they are not on the wrong path.

Others, like me, have less theological wrangling inside their heads, and can just take things as they are given and explained...without having to compare the minuatiae of each thing, with what they already know.


The same approach, doesnt work for all people.

Even if the cake is all deliciousness...some folks need to make sure there isnt poison in the inside.
All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2014, 04:52:53 PM »

Good point.

Each person is different.

Some are very logical...and would need to get the details first.

Others, not so much.

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline Patapouf

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2014, 05:54:37 PM »
I agree with what the ladies above said. Each person is different from another, and their way of being and living in Church is also different. Some are facing more practical things, the other mystical, other ... etc..
As is said only one advice for those who find that agrees with him.
Disagreements are always welcome, because I too can and should learn from the opinions of other brothers in faith.
Thanks for the answers that I loved.

Offline Sinful Hypocrite

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2014, 06:03:30 PM »
Great thread.

 God made us different and that is the cause of much misunderstanding of one another and why only God can judge us.

The point that we should be humble especially at first is important though, because there is much to learn, and some things require time more than just ability. A good example would be that you cannot just become a priest or bishop right away, it is a process that requires time , and not just knowledge, there are some things that can not be understood without much meditation requiring time for God to work in you, God could have also imparted knowledge into the apostles instantaneously, but there is more than just knowledge, and also there are reasons even hidden from us now. A Bishop who has been working all his life is also still learning.IMHO
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 06:28:22 PM by Sinful Hypocrite »
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Offline truthseeker32

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2014, 07:34:47 PM »
I am among those who needed answers before I could commit. I wouldn't say I needed an answer to every question, but I needed to be able to reconcile all the questions and issues I saw as crucial.

Offline WPM

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2014, 07:38:05 PM »
........

Please set aside time each day out of your busy schedules to spend with the Lord in prayer. (Also finding time to meditate) ...
Learn meditation.

Offline Anna.T

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2014, 09:14:43 PM »
And I think it is a mix...and different for each person.

Some folks, could -never- even think of joining the Orthodox Church until each and every one of their questions is answered, whether through experience or study.

Because they already have a well formed theological basis and construct, it is much harder for them to 'relax' and experience until they have verified that they are not on the wrong path.

Others, like me, have less theological wrangling inside their heads, and can just take things as they are given and explained...without having to compare the minuatiae of each thing, with what they already know.


The same approach, doesnt work for all people.

Even if the cake is all deliciousness...some folks need to make sure there isnt poison in the inside.

I'm glad you said this.

I am so often told - slow down, don't worry about theology, ask questions later.

I appreciate the Orthodox way of life and way of thinking, and am very slowly learning to appreciate it more.

But the fact is, I have done a lot of theological wrestling, and I could never take the time to even consider Orthodoxy until I was/am convinced that it is the true faith.

I think I am almost there. What I have found is when I try to track down where the beliefs come from that I think are true, all roads lead to the Orthodox church. However, there are still more questions that I have, and things I don't understand, and indeed - more things that come up all the time. And I need to put all of these issues (or at least the important ones) to rest before I can fully devote myself.

I have a deep mystical background actually, and have only recently added a deeper theological background. Both are important to me. And I don't mind at all pursuing the mystical aspects of the Orthodox church. I think many of the books I read years past came out of Orthodoxy in the first place. But I'm not sure.

And I have never yet learned great patience in these matters, it is true.

I do try to take time to meditate on things as I learn them, and sometimes I make notes and go over them again, and compare them to other things.

But I need to have questions answered too.

I go to classes up to 3 times a week, but I'm not the only one there - and if I ask Father a simple question, I usually get a long answer, LOL, so time to ask questions there is limited. I search things out online all I can, but can't always find my answer.

I'm glad to see you acknowledge we are not all the same. At times I think maybe the Orthodox church isn't well set up for people to ask questions. I have friends with similar beliefs who are Lutherans because it allows them to discuss and question - but I find that church to not suit me well at all as they seem to reject spiritual or mystical aspects entirely.

Anyway - thank you. :)
Aγιος ὁ Θεός, Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός, Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς

Let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2014, 09:52:48 PM »
Really you could spend a lifetime in theological study, and only scratch the surface of Orthodoxy, and there's a better than even chance you won't have every single question answered. The Faith is so deep. At a certain point you may just have to accept that the Church knows more than we do, and that just trying to live an Orthodox life is hard enough.
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

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Offline Anna.T

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2014, 12:35:22 AM »
Really you could spend a lifetime in theological study, and only scratch the surface of Orthodoxy, and there's a better than even chance you won't have every single question answered. The Faith is so deep. At a certain point you may just have to accept that the Church knows more than we do, and that just trying to live an Orthodox life is hard enough.

Very true, and I don't mean to suggest otherwise.

I considered the volumes and libraries of books written by centuries of theologians - in the beginning I was considering all churches - and I wondered if I could even make enough progress to be worth beginning.

I don't mean to be presumptuous. Who am I to figure everything out, if centuries of scholars have argued on these things?

And then, I think I choose the church with the most extensive writings of all. And the one most tolerant of "unanswered questions" from what I can tell. ;)

But I would have felt unsure if I hadn't at least tried to make sure the Orthodox church was right, I would have wavered. I would never have had the commitment necessary to even begin to try to live the Orthodox life.

I had to answer the basic questions - and still have a few.

I'm just not the kind of person who can accept without questioning first. And it seems that the Orthodox church is not the most welcoming church of that particular attitude.

In fact, I'm just a little envious of those born into a church, who are told the truth, and only have to grow up and believe it. But if I had been able to be born into that, perhaps I would have had to do the same thing, and still make sure.

God saw fit to place me where He did, and I never knew anything about the Orthodox church until I'd learned about the other churches. I just have to be thankful that He led me to it.

And hope that I am not too awkward a fit. ;)
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 12:37:14 AM by Anna.T »
Aγιος ὁ Θεός, Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός, Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς

Let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2014, 07:53:49 AM »
Yeah, I wasn't suggesting to park your brain at the church door, but my experience - and I'm pretty much a theology geek myself is that study can only take you so far (YMMV, of course). Orthodoxy must be lived within the worshipping community.
I used to pretty proud of my theological knowledge and expertise - it was quite humbling to realize I didn't even know enough to ask the questions.


"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom

Offline primuspilus

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2014, 07:55:52 AM »
The first thing you should learn is to ask your Priest what is the first thing to learn.

PP
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Offline Anna.T

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2014, 09:20:31 AM »
Yeah, I wasn't suggesting to park your brain at the church door, but my experience - and I'm pretty much a theology geek myself is that study can only take you so far (YMMV, of course). Orthodoxy must be lived within the worshipping community.
I used to pretty proud of my theological knowledge and expertise - it was quite humbling to realize I didn't even know enough to ask the questions.




I think I know what you mean. As much as I may learn this theology or that - and at my first class, the priest said the things I was asking about were "high theology" - not that he minded, I suppose, I think he used to be a teacher before, and I can tell that he loves to teach, which suits me very well!. But there is a strong sense I can see that as much as I study, I can see there is a HUGE amount of things that I am missing, and I can't get by asking the questions. I am at church every chance I get. That is one reason I wanted to go to this parish and feel blessed - I think it's a fairly large one (for this area certainly) and so they have more going on. Though it's harder I think to be intimately involved. The other parish would probably let me come in on a more personal level, but there is so seldom times I could be at church.

I do find Orthodox people to be completely different from others, as I've been to a LOT of different kinds of churches and know people of many Christian faiths. Others may be more friendly and welcoming (or less), but Orthodox can have a level of authenticity that I don't always find other places. My heart loves them much more quickly too, if that makes sense.

I still feel as though I am on the outside looking in though, which is maybe another reason I work so hard on the theology, since that is something I can at least make progress in on my own.
Aγιος ὁ Θεός, Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός, Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς

Let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Offline Anna.T

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2014, 09:24:22 AM »
The first thing you should learn is to ask your Priest what is the first thing to learn.

PP

I am surprised to realize that a question like that never yet crossed my mind. The priest allows us to ask questions and he doesn't plan the classes. I have not even thought to do this. You're right though - I should have stopped trying to get my answers and asked him.

Thank you.
Aγιος ὁ Θεός, Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός, Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς

Let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Offline primuspilus

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Re: A humble advice
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2014, 09:28:04 AM »
The first thing you should learn is to ask your Priest what is the first thing to learn.

PP

I am surprised to realize that a question like that never yet crossed my mind. The priest allows us to ask questions and he doesn't plan the classes. I have not even thought to do this. You're right though - I should have stopped trying to get my answers and asked him.

Thank you.
I aim to please :)

PP
"I confidently affirm that whoever calls himself Universal Bishop is the precursor of Antichrist"
Gregory the Great

"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker