Well, I haven't been here much for a few weeks. Part of the issues and things going on. Please bear with me, I have a question, but need some background I think.
A few weeks ago, Fr. M. told me to change my prayer rule. He didn't tell me what to do except to pray more often for shorter times. My "rule" at the time was ten minutes a day - I nearly always prayed longer, and usually more than once - but I wanted to commit and follow through with some minimum. I told him a few times it was hard to just stop what I was doing and make time, and I'd end up doing it at 2am (then pray for 30 minutes instead).
Anyway, I feel kind of stupid now. I have always been able to pray on my own, and wasn't sure why I needed a "rule" ... now I know I need the rule, but all I know is that he wants me to do differently than before and somehow I have not made a new "rule" for myself. So I do pray, but I don't usually get around to deciding which prayer. I pray the ones I have memorized (not many) and just haphazardly - when I wake up, when I remember, if someone asks for prayer. Sometimes I pray long personal prayers. But ... I find I no longer like this haphazard thing. I need the "rule". I just can't seem to make one for myself.
Which I think has weakened me in a way. And that is not good. And may be part of why I have not been here in a few weeks.
On the other hand, the liturgy has sunk in in a way it never did before. And I have it playing in my mind more. That is strengthening me somewhat.
I spoke with Father about making sure he knew I was actually interested in joining the Church, since we first talked about me only as an inquirer. My husband initially did not let me go on Sundays. But since Palm Sunday I've been only at the Orthodox Church, and I go every Sunday, often for the extra liturgies when there is a feast day, or any other reason there is a service, I am involved in all I can be with the community, and so on. So Father said he considered my catechumenate to have begun during that period I attended the classes.
Classes are suspended now for June-July. Bible studies are also suspended (Greek Festival). He wants us to keep in touch via email and discuss questions, etc. (he was never good about returning emails before but that was during Lent and he was probably busy and I was new). He said just keep attending services over the summer, be involved with the community, and in August, we will talk about dates for Chrismation or whatever. So I guess I am a few months from joining the Church.
Which made me very happy. We had not discussed dates yet, and I had no idea "how far along" I was.
But it seems like IMMEDIATELY now there is opposition coming from EVERYwhere. And I have not told these people I am joining the Church. I have people I greatly respect who are very knowledgeable about church history tossing things out there that make me wonder for the first time. Friends who have known me for years grilling me for hours about the church, convinced that I am deceived or under some kind of religious spirit. For the first time I simply didn't wake up and missed the Ascension service I wanted to go to. In just 2 days since Father mentioned joining the Church, it seems like things are falling apart.
I think I need some encouragement. I was so happy two days ago, and now things seem dark, for no good reasons.