Author Topic: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?  (Read 21091 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Anna.T

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
I'm just wondering about something. Not sure if there can be an answer, or perhaps it's going to be different from one person to the next.

Personally, I had a pretty intense period that followed my turning to God, which was some years ago. I only just found the Orthodox Church within the past year. A lot happened - I believe I had guidance and help of the Holy Spirit (actually I believe I have had it nearly all my life). And I have had a couple of times that I was very blessed by taking communion, even though I later learned that those churches taught only a symbolic meaning (I had a more literal interpretation of Communion myself from the Bible) ... but of course they were not "valid sacraments" by the Orthodox definition.

Interestingly enough (to me) I heard a podcast last week (it might have been Fr. Thomas Hopko but I may be wrong) who said that it was possible for grace to be present in non-Orthodox sacraments, even though they are not complete.

Anyway, I am wondering something. It's difficult to think I would have "more" of the Holy Spirit, or a change. However, I understand that the Chrismation is intended to be the (seal/reception?) of the Holy Spirit, and the taking of the Eucharist is supposed to be taking Christ into ourselves in a way not possible by any other means.

I believe in the Sacraments of Orthodoxy, and am convinced the faith is the true one. I look forward to Chrismation and the Eucharist (and to a degree even confession) and believe them all to be very important.

But it's hard to think I will actually be changed, or experience God differently, or have more grace because of this, or whatever. I don't mean that to sound as though I've "arrived" in any sense, but I certainly "feel saved" (and I know that's not a proper Orthodox thing to say - but I feel I've been on this path for some time and I can't deny that).

I'm curious about others' experiences? Or input, or comments? 

Thanks, and I hope this post makes sense.

(It's Saturday night - in less than 11 hours I should be in Orthros, God willing!!! I have really, REALLY been looking forward to Church - it has seemed a very long week!)
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 biro

  • Site Supporter
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,913
  • Excelsior
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2014, 10:53:14 PM »
Yes. I felt much more 'a part of things' after I was able to receive the Eucharist. Finally I wasn't just waiting for Jesus, I could be with Him.
My only weakness is, well, never mind

Offline alexpetros

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 159
  • Go sábhála Dia Éire.
    • Musings of a Wandering Thinker (Blog)
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2014, 11:28:52 PM »
I was chrismated in just this past Lenten season, so I am still a newbie. I came from being a Catholic, so the hardest thing for me was not being able to commune or confess sacramentally while a catechumen, and still knowing what I was missing. So for me, it was a relief of "Finally!" as I was able to receive again.

Offline Anna.T

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2014, 05:27:02 PM »
Thank you both.

Yes, it is difficult not to be able to participate in the sacraments, and I look forward to that.

I originally planned to attend an Anglican parish that the priest would commune me, but when I'd taken a few catechism classes I decided I was in for Orthodoxy and I would just have to wait. Father spoke today of forgiveness, and mentioned the sacraments. I need to be baptized/chrismated.

Today because of the way people were arranged I had to step out (into the back of the line for the Eucharist) in order to allow someone else by me, and I felt so out-of-place there.

In just over a month we're supposed to discuss dates. So hopefully soon.

I was just reading something about someone who was pursuing Christ and how once they were "illumined" they were better able to do so, which was what prompted the question. That is difficult to imagine for me, but the sacraments would be a HUGE blessing, I believe.

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 alexpetros

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 159
  • Go sábhála Dia Éire.
    • Musings of a Wandering Thinker (Blog)
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2014, 09:11:49 PM »
Thank you both.

Yes, it is difficult not to be able to participate in the sacraments, and I look forward to that.

I originally planned to attend an Anglican parish that the priest would commune me, but when I'd taken a few catechism classes I decided I was in for Orthodoxy and I would just have to wait. Father spoke today of forgiveness, and mentioned the sacraments. I need to be baptized/chrismated.

Today because of the way people were arranged I had to step out (into the back of the line for the Eucharist) in order to allow someone else by me, and I felt so out-of-place there.

In just over a month we're supposed to discuss dates. So hopefully soon.

I was just reading something about someone who was pursuing Christ and how once they were "illumined" they were better able to do so, which was what prompted the question. That is difficult to imagine for me, but the sacraments would be a HUGE blessing, I believe.

Thank you.

I certainly understand the feeling of being out of place. I am in a mission parish of maybe forty people, and with my musical background, I was shuffled towards the choir. With the low amount of people, while also being in front of everyone (excluding the clergy of course) made it very obvious that I was "out-of-place." Lucky, after time, that feeling goes away as the feeling of "I am home" far overwhelms that feeling.

I do not know about your parish or not, but my parish has retained the Litany of Catechumens. I will be sure to remember you next weeks during the litany.

Offline Anna.T

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2014, 11:17:09 PM »
Thank you both.

Yes, it is difficult not to be able to participate in the sacraments, and I look forward to that.

I originally planned to attend an Anglican parish that the priest would commune me, but when I'd taken a few catechism classes I decided I was in for Orthodoxy and I would just have to wait. Father spoke today of forgiveness, and mentioned the sacraments. I need to be baptized/chrismated.

Today because of the way people were arranged I had to step out (into the back of the line for the Eucharist) in order to allow someone else by me, and I felt so out-of-place there.

In just over a month we're supposed to discuss dates. So hopefully soon.

I was just reading something about someone who was pursuing Christ and how once they were "illumined" they were better able to do so, which was what prompted the question. That is difficult to imagine for me, but the sacraments would be a HUGE blessing, I believe.

Thank you.

I certainly understand the feeling of being out of place. I am in a mission parish of maybe forty people, and with my musical background, I was shuffled towards the choir. With the low amount of people, while also being in front of everyone (excluding the clergy of course) made it very obvious that I was "out-of-place." Lucky, after time, that feeling goes away as the feeling of "I am home" far overwhelms that feeling.

I do not know about your parish or not, but my parish has retained the Litany of Catechumens. I will be sure to remember you next weeks during the litany.

Thank you for your kindness. I much appreciate the prayer!

Fortunately I don't feel out of place at coffee hour, so that makes up for it. I still look forward to the Sacraments. I feel an increased need for them as the weeks go by.

I don't know that there is any fullness of the Holy Spirit, or other thing, that I am lacking or not. Or if I will be "illumined" or not. But I do know that the Eucharist and even confession/absolution are becoming increasingly important to me.

God bless you, and thank you again for your prayers. :)
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 scamandrius

  • A man of many, many turns
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,196
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: DOWAMA of AANA
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2014, 11:26:45 PM »
There was a great feeling of joy after my Chrismation on Holy Saturday.  I knew that I felt at home.  One thing that I became more aware of was still how far separated I was from God because of my sins, but the I knew that I had all the tools, for lack of a better word, in the Orthodox Church to repent and to do so with at least some hope of success.  I never realized that before because the particular confession I came from was so passive.  So, there was a change, a greater sense of hope for salvation because not only were the means of repentance  given to me in the fullness of the faith preserved in the Orthodox Church, but also a sense of relief that I didn't have to keep searching for what was the one true faith anymore.

I still have much to do. I have not really begun to repent.  A huge part of my journey has ended, but the bigger and more profound one still waits for its completion.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 11:28:02 PM by scamandrius »
Da quod iubes et iube quod vis.

Offline Anna.T

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2014, 11:39:21 PM »
There was a great feeling of joy after my Chrismation on Holy Saturday.  I knew that I felt at home.  One thing that I became more aware of was still how far separated I was from God because of my sins, but the I knew that I had all the tools, for lack of a better word, in the Orthodox Church to repent and to do so with at least some hope of success.  I never realized that before because the particular confession I came from was so passive.  So, there was a change, a greater sense of hope for salvation because not only were the means of repentance  given to me in the fullness of the faith preserved in the Orthodox Church, but also a sense of relief that I didn't have to keep searching for what was the one true faith anymore.

I still have much to do. I have not really begun to repent.  A huge part of my journey has ended, but the bigger and more profound one still waits for its completion.

Thank you scamandrius.

I can relate. I'm not sure what to think of it, but I have been made extremely aware of my sins in recent months.

It makes me want to RUN FORWARD to baptism/chrismation. It is even more distressing to be made so aware of the true state of myself, without those tools. So yes, I can appreciate what you say.

What amazes me is that I really, truly thought I was a "good person". And I guess people might have said that about me. I usually went to church about 5 times a week, was involved in ministry, didn't retaliate against people who were persecuting me miserably, didn't have a temper really, and so on.

But I'm not trying to make myself look good. I see huge, glaring things I DID do wrong, and somehow didn't see it before, or excused myself, or for whatever reason blinded myself to my sin. The memory of them and the weight of them grows heavier week by week though. It's like I get some big revelation once a week or so, and am suddenly aware of what I truly did.

Sigh. Yes, I want confession. I want baptism/chrismation. I want the Eucharist. It can't come soon enough for me.

I wanted to explore the idea of "illumination" here, and I'm still not sure of anything like that. But the truth is, I look forward to reconciliation with God more than anything, and it will be the most precious thing ever, I think.

Thank you for the post.
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 Joha

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 559
  • Κύριε, σῶσόν με! Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Oriental Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2014, 03:44:55 AM »
There was a great feeling of joy after my Chrismation on Holy Saturday.  I knew that I felt at home.  One thing that I became more aware of was still how far separated I was from God because of my sins, but the I knew that I had all the tools, for lack of a better word, in the Orthodox Church to repent and to do so with at least some hope of success.  I never realized that before because the particular confession I came from was so passive.  So, there was a change, a greater sense of hope for salvation because not only were the means of repentance  given to me in the fullness of the faith preserved in the Orthodox Church, but also a sense of relief that I didn't have to keep searching for what was the one true faith anymore.

I still have much to do. I have not really begun to repent.  A huge part of my journey has ended, but the bigger and more profound one still waits for its completion.

Thank you scamandrius.

I can relate. I'm not sure what to think of it, but I have been made extremely aware of my sins in recent months.

It makes me want to RUN FORWARD to baptism/chrismation. It is even more distressing to be made so aware of the true state of myself, without those tools. So yes, I can appreciate what you say.

What amazes me is that I really, truly thought I was a "good person". And I guess people might have said that about me. I usually went to church about 5 times a week, was involved in ministry, didn't retaliate against people who were persecuting me miserably, didn't have a temper really, and so on.

But I'm not trying to make myself look good. I see huge, glaring things I DID do wrong, and somehow didn't see it before, or excused myself, or for whatever reason blinded myself to my sin. The memory of them and the weight of them grows heavier week by week though. It's like I get some big revelation once a week or so, and am suddenly aware of what I truly did.

Sigh. Yes, I want confession. I want baptism/chrismation. I want the Eucharist. It can't come soon enough for me.

I wanted to explore the idea of "illumination" here, and I'm still not sure of anything like that. But the truth is, I look forward to reconciliation with God more than anything, and it will be the most precious thing ever, I think.

Thank you for the post.

This is what I love about confession.

In the old day's (when I attended a protestant church) I couldn't seem to find forgiveness, which resulted in the fact that it was harder to change. The beautiful is that a protestant minister explained one aspect of confession that I haven't heard that much:

Satan is the accuser. He will keep accusing you until he can't...
When your priest says the words after your confession... it is very clear you are forgiven. It is very clear that the accuser has no ground to accuse... remember he can't hear our thoughts, but these spoken words are very clear.

This pretty important.

My experience being baptized:

Right after my baptism a friend who wasn't baptized yet asked me: "what is it like?"

The only answer I could give was: "I can't describe it, you have to experience it... no really YOU have to." He was rather perplex  ;D

All by all, it brought me closer to God. Before the Eucharist I feel I'm not worthy of being so close to God, and every time THAT highlights His Grace. Every time after the Eucharist I'm the happiest bloke on the block. With all the smiling involved.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ
Psalm 57:2 I will cry out to God Most High, To God who performs all things for me.
You're big :P
The art of cherry picking

Offline Anna.T

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2014, 04:16:04 AM »
This is what I love about confession.

In the old day's (when I attended a protestant church) I couldn't seem to find forgiveness, which resulted in the fact that it was harder to change. The beautiful is that a protestant minister explained one aspect of confession that I haven't heard that much:

Satan is the accuser. He will keep accusing you until he can't...
When your priest says the words after your confession... it is very clear you are forgiven. It is very clear that the accuser has no ground to accuse... remember he can't hear our thoughts, but these spoken words are very clear.

This pretty important.

My experience being baptized:

Right after my baptism a friend who wasn't baptized yet asked me: "what is it like?"

The only answer I could give was: "I can't describe it, you have to experience it... no really YOU have to." He was rather perplex  ;D

All by all, it brought me closer to God. Before the Eucharist I feel I'm not worthy of being so close to God, and every time THAT highlights His Grace. Every time after the Eucharist I'm the happiest bloke on the block. With all the smiling involved.

Thank you.

So baptism actually made a difference for you? But you considered yourself "saved" as a protestant?

I guess that's something I'm curious about here.


The rest - yes I am looking forward to. I have wondered if it is the enemy accusing me of these things. The first one was - it is something he has pestered me about for many, many years, that I just can't get past and was afraid of confessing. However, I have come to see that in a new light. Not that it isn't sin - it still is - but it's a different kind of sin than I had always thought. Which will make it slightly less painful to confess maybe, and I understand myself better.

But since then, other things I have been made aware of - they are not the kinds of things that make me feel hunted and hounded, as the first one did before I saw it differently. But they are things I need to confess, and it's just things I did not really acknowledge properly at those times in my life.

I'm speaking in every case of my past. It's like something I did years ago, and I had a different way of looking at it that excused myself, and I see now that I wasn't being honest, and it needs confessing.

But looking at myself HONESTLY .... hurts a bit. All those little excuses, reasons, and rationalizations don't cut it anymore.

It's starting to make me feel as Paul called himself - the worst of sinners. I know I'm not at all inclined to look down on ANYONE's sin anymore. Thank God? That's probably a safe mindset at least.

Lord keep me from pride - it always was what I struggled against most.

Your words give me some hope though. Because I'm starting to feel awfully unworthy to approach the Cup anyway.

I'm not sure I could have appreciated what you said here about grace just a few short months ago. But being shown my real state - nothing but the purest grace could make me bold enough to approach, I think.

I'm not there yet in my mind. Perhaps confession/absolution would help there.

Even if the Orthodox offered the Eucharist to me legally - and I was able to go up - I would not without confessing at this point.

Thanks, you've given me a lot to think about, and helped me see a bit more. :)
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 The Fool

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 216
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2014, 04:48:51 AM »
I found I was immediately a subtly, unquantifiably but profoundly different person when I was chrismated, not in the head at all, but in the heart. Normally I would be skeptical and attribute this to expectation/wishful thinking, but I went into it thinking of it as a mere formality, a sort of external induction process, so there was no expectation of an internal change.
"When I hear the words 'Interfaith Dialogue', I reach for my revolver."

Offline katherineofdixie

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,719
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2014, 11:16:25 AM »
There was a great feeling of joy after my Chrismation on Holy Saturday.  I knew that I felt at home.  One thing that I became more aware of was still how far separated I was from God because of my sins, but the I knew that I had all the tools, for lack of a better word, in the Orthodox Church to repent and to do so with at least some hope of success.  I never realized that before because the particular confession I came from was so passive.  So, there was a change, a greater sense of hope for salvation because not only were the means of repentance  given to me in the fullness of the faith preserved in the Orthodox Church, but also a sense of relief that I didn't have to keep searching for what was the one true faith anymore.

I still have much to do. I have not really begun to repent.  A huge part of my journey has ended, but the bigger and more profound one still waits for its completion.

Thank you scamandrius.

I can relate. I'm not sure what to think of it, but I have been made extremely aware of my sins in recent months.

It makes me want to RUN FORWARD to baptism/chrismation. It is even more distressing to be made so aware of the true state of myself, without those tools. So yes, I can appreciate what you say.

What amazes me is that I really, truly thought I was a "good person". And I guess people might have said that about me. I usually went to church about 5 times a week, was involved in ministry, didn't retaliate against people who were persecuting me miserably, didn't have a temper really, and so on.

But I'm not trying to make myself look good. I see huge, glaring things I DID do wrong, and somehow didn't see it before, or excused myself, or for whatever reason blinded myself to my sin. The memory of them and the weight of them grows heavier week by week though. It's like I get some big revelation once a week or so, and am suddenly aware of what I truly did.

Sigh. Yes, I want confession. I want baptism/chrismation. I want the Eucharist. It can't come soon enough for me.

I wanted to explore the idea of "illumination" here, and I'm still not sure of anything like that. But the truth is, I look forward to reconciliation with God more than anything, and it will be the most precious thing ever, I think.

This is exactly my experience! Everyday I see myself with greater clarity, and my sins are ever before me. The illumination has been of myself, especially my past conduct, when I flattered myself that I was a pretty good sort, and a pretty good Christian.
Oddly enough, this doesn't lead to despair, as you might think, but to freedom.
"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 Anna.T

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2014, 03:58:47 PM »
I found I was immediately a subtly, unquantifiably but profoundly different person when I was chrismated, not in the head at all, but in the heart. Normally I would be skeptical and attribute this to expectation/wishful thinking, but I went into it thinking of it as a mere formality, a sort of external induction process, so there was no expectation of an internal change.

Thank you. That was very much what I was interested in exploring when I made this post. (Though I've learned from other directions instead, no less helpful!)

I guess I am thinking in the same terms, that is is more a formality. I can hope there is more to it, but I do believe I have had God with me for some time so I can't say I have that expectation either.

I'm guessing the truth is that it's different for each person though, as many things are. So I guess I can't really rule out the possibility of there being an actual effect, but right now I am looking forward more to the Sacraments and thinking the biggest effect will be there.

Either way, I look forward to joining the Church. And whatever illumination God sees fit to give me will be right, I am sure.

Thank you for your post. It was quite encouraging as well. :)
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

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2014, 04:03:59 PM »
There was a great feeling of joy after my Chrismation on Holy Saturday.  I knew that I felt at home.  One thing that I became more aware of was still how far separated I was from God because of my sins, but the I knew that I had all the tools, for lack of a better word, in the Orthodox Church to repent and to do so with at least some hope of success.  I never realized that before because the particular confession I came from was so passive.  So, there was a change, a greater sense of hope for salvation because not only were the means of repentance  given to me in the fullness of the faith preserved in the Orthodox Church, but also a sense of relief that I didn't have to keep searching for what was the one true faith anymore.

I still have much to do. I have not really begun to repent.  A huge part of my journey has ended, but the bigger and more profound one still waits for its completion.

Thank you scamandrius.

I can relate. I'm not sure what to think of it, but I have been made extremely aware of my sins in recent months.

It makes me want to RUN FORWARD to baptism/chrismation. It is even more distressing to be made so aware of the true state of myself, without those tools. So yes, I can appreciate what you say.

What amazes me is that I really, truly thought I was a "good person". And I guess people might have said that about me. I usually went to church about 5 times a week, was involved in ministry, didn't retaliate against people who were persecuting me miserably, didn't have a temper really, and so on.

But I'm not trying to make myself look good. I see huge, glaring things I DID do wrong, and somehow didn't see it before, or excused myself, or for whatever reason blinded myself to my sin. The memory of them and the weight of them grows heavier week by week though. It's like I get some big revelation once a week or so, and am suddenly aware of what I truly did.

Sigh. Yes, I want confession. I want baptism/chrismation. I want the Eucharist. It can't come soon enough for me.

I wanted to explore the idea of "illumination" here, and I'm still not sure of anything like that. But the truth is, I look forward to reconciliation with God more than anything, and it will be the most precious thing ever, I think.

This is exactly my experience! Everyday I see myself with greater clarity, and my sins are ever before me. The illumination has been of myself, especially my past conduct, when I flattered myself that I was a pretty good sort, and a pretty good Christian.
Oddly enough, this doesn't lead to despair, as you might think, but to freedom.

Thank you Katherine. :)

Yes, that's what is happening. I see with greater clarity as time goes by (not every day - I don't think I can handle that much clarity right now!) but it certainly increases steadily.

Not sure I want to see myself more clearly. It hasn't been pleasant. I'd much rather have the Scriptures opened to my understanding, but God knows what we need. And knowing my particular struggles, it is a good thing for me, I think, to be aware of my true state.

I'm glad to know it doesn't lead to despair, but to freedom. I was starting to wonder where it WAS going to lead. The burden is getting rather heavy. No way to relieve it just yet. Maybe when the time comes, I will need that extra push to be brave enough to confess. I was afraid before. I'm starting to think I will welcome the opportunity.

Thank you again, Katherine. That was most encouraging. I do look forward to being able to do something about it.

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 The Fool

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 216
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2014, 04:15:41 PM »
I'm guessing the truth is that it's different for each person though, as many things are. So I guess I can't really rule out the possibility of there being an actual effect, but right now I am looking forward more to the Sacraments and thinking the biggest effect will be there.

Well, chrismation is a sacrament!
"When I hear the words 'Interfaith Dialogue', I reach for my revolver."

Offline Anna.T

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2014, 05:15:33 PM »
I'm guessing the truth is that it's different for each person though, as many things are. So I guess I can't really rule out the possibility of there being an actual effect, but right now I am looking forward more to the Sacraments and thinking the biggest effect will be there.

Well, chrismation is a sacrament!

True. I am being inexact.

But since baptism and chrismation are one-time events, anything accomplished by them is done once and for all, correct?

I was wondering about any differences by that.

But truth be told, I think it is confession and the Eucharist I am counting on making a difference for me. And those are repeated, but can't come until after the Chrismation. (Well, I guess there is one confession before? But it's tied to being received by the Church so it's just a matter of timing.)

Still a little nervous about a life confession. But as I said, the burden is getting heavy enough that I'm looking forward to it more than fearing it.
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 Sleeper

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,347
  • On hiatus for the foreseeable future.
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2014, 05:26:32 PM »
When I came out of the baptismal waters, I absolutely felt an immediate and noticeable difference. I believed intellectually, of course, in the sacramental realism of the Church, but it wasn't until I experienced it firsthand that I felt like I understood it.

Then, shortly after, when I communed for the first time, it was like a veil was lifted and I was able to see the Bread & Wine for what it really was. Again, I believed it intellectually during my catechesis, but only after I was baptized and chrismated did it feel like I saw and understood with a spiritual vision. I don't know how else to describe it.

It was so real and obvious to me, at that time, that I still turn to those events any time I begin to have doubts about my faith or God, etc.

One thing I've come to appreciate over the years as I grow in my understanding of Orthodoxy, is the realism of our sacramental life. A few weeks ago I read this passage from St. Theophan the Recluse:

"I suppose that you remember and still keep in mind that a Christian is not an ordinary person, being formed instead from nature *and* grace. I would like to clarify something for you at this point: Those who are saved, that is, those who will enter the eternal Kingdom of God, are only those in whom grace dwells; not secretly, but openly, permeating our entire essence and becoming even outwardly visible, absorbing, as it were, our entire nature.
Heed the word of the Savior! He says that the Kingdom of God is like when a woman had added leaven to dough. Once it has received the leaven, it does not rise all at once; it will do so in its own time. The leaven within it permeates the dough little by little, and the entire dough becomes leavened. Bread baked from this is light, aromatic, delicious. It is exactly the same thing with grace which has been added to our nature: it does not permeate everything all at once; instead, it does so little by little. Then, once it has permeated everything, one's entire nature is filled with grace."


- The Spiritual Life

Offline The Fool

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 216
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2014, 06:45:47 PM »
When I came out of the baptismal waters, I absolutely felt an immediate and noticeable difference. I believed intellectually, of course, in the sacramental realism of the Church, but it wasn't until I experienced it firsthand that I felt like I understood it.

I'm a little jealous that I can't remember being baptised.  ;D
"When I hear the words 'Interfaith Dialogue', I reach for my revolver."

Offline Nephi

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,825
  • A non-Chalcedonian in Chalcedonian clothing.
  • Faith: Orthodox
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2014, 07:10:52 PM »
When I came out of the baptismal waters, I absolutely felt an immediate and noticeable difference. I believed intellectually, of course, in the sacramental realism of the Church, but it wasn't until I experienced it firsthand that I felt like I understood it.

My baptismal water was so cold that I was having a cold shock reaction the whole time. As such, I sadly didn't have any great feeling afterward apart from gasping and shivering uncontrollably.

Offline DeniseDenise

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,545
  • This place holds to nothing....
  • Faith: Does it matter?
  • Jurisdiction: Unverifiable, so irrelevant
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2014, 07:21:06 PM »
This is a trick question....

No..not really. ;)

However, I can't specifically say I felt anything particular during Baptism, or even taking communion the following day.

Maybe I am a bit too mentally inside myself rather than emotional about such things...who knows, possibly a function of what I do for a living, and other factors.


That said, I do feel some very small changes happening personally.

I feel like there is 'room' for those of us who have faith to follow things even in a more brain-than-emotions way, to change.  Just like those who have a more emotional experience.

(I am not indicating anyone said otherwise, I am proactively putting it out there for others like me, who may hesitate if all they read is one -type- of experience)

All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Ο προκαθήμενος της Ορθοδοξίας - The President of Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 33,229
  • Two half-eggs
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2014, 08:58:59 PM »
When I came out of the baptismal waters, I absolutely felt an immediate and noticeable difference. I believed intellectually, of course, in the sacramental realism of the Church, but it wasn't until I experienced it firsthand that I felt like I understood it.

My baptismal water was so cold that I was having a cold shock reaction the whole time. As such, I sadly didn't have any great feeling afterward apart from gasping and shivering uncontrollably.

Huh.  In our tradition, the priest has to mix hot water and cold water as part of the rite, so the result is warm water. 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Nephi

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,825
  • A non-Chalcedonian in Chalcedonian clothing.
  • Faith: Orthodox
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2014, 09:32:55 PM »
When I came out of the baptismal waters, I absolutely felt an immediate and noticeable difference. I believed intellectually, of course, in the sacramental realism of the Church, but it wasn't until I experienced it firsthand that I felt like I understood it.

My baptismal water was so cold that I was having a cold shock reaction the whole time. As such, I sadly didn't have any great feeling afterward apart from gasping and shivering uncontrollably.

Huh.  In our tradition, the priest has to mix hot water and cold water as part of the rite, so the result is warm water. 

I wish that's what had happened. Instead someone used the cold water, and only the cold water, when filling up the Rubbermaid tub. I think they thought it would warm up enough by the time my baptism came around. Nope.

Offline Anna.T

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2014, 10:10:19 PM »
Sorry for those of you who had cold-water experiences.

I wasn't so much interested in an "emotional" response. I've been part of enough Pentecostal meetings, been there done that, and have a healthy suspicion of such things and at the very least don't seek it out anymore.

I guess I'm wondering more because of reading about being "illumined" and I wasn't sure if there is even a possibility of ... I don't know? Better understanding Scripture? More easily following God? (More difficult following God?)

But I think I'm starting to guess the answer is going to be different for different people. Though I'm no less interested in answers, even so. :)

Thank you all. :)
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 The Fool

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 216
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2014, 11:39:25 PM »
I wasn't so much interested in an "emotional" response. I've been part of enough Pentecostal meetings, been there done that, and have a healthy suspicion of such things and at the very least don't seek it out anymore.

I've never been a Pentecostal, but, indeed; what I experienced was not an emotional experience. I'm struggling for words because there are no words. All one can do is gesture frantically at the heart, which makes one seem very strange and foolish to someone who doesn't already get it.  ;)
"When I hear the words 'Interfaith Dialogue', I reach for my revolver."

Offline Sleeper

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,347
  • On hiatus for the foreseeable future.
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2014, 08:30:00 AM »
I too hope I didn't give the impression that either of my experiences were emotional. I'm sure emotion was involved, but I don't particularly remember what my emotional state was. It was all rather ordinary, to be honest. What I was trying to describe was much, much deeper than feelings.

Offline katherineofdixie

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,719
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2014, 09:26:28 AM »
I too hope I didn't give the impression that either of my experiences were emotional. I'm sure emotion was involved, but I don't particularly remember what my emotional state was. It was all rather ordinary, to be honest. What I was trying to describe was much, much deeper than feelings.

For me, personally, (YMMV, of course), these intensely emotional experiences are somewhat of a trap. It's almost like a drug (overstating just a little!) in that you keep seeking more and more of those kinds of experiences. This has not been the case for me in Orthodoxy. I probably had more "emotional" religious experiences before my conversion.
"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 Anna.T

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2014, 09:58:19 AM »
I should have been more careful to quote when replying - please accept my apologies.

I only mentioned "emotional" responses because Denise said that hers wasn't, and I wanted to let everyone know that wasn't the kind of change I had in mind.

I didn't read any of your answers as "goosebumps" kinds of emotional experiences.

And as Katherine has pointed out, they can be a trap.

I have had real experiences with the Holy Spirit in my life that have produced an emotional response. I've also had plenty that don't. I'm very familiar with the trap many can fall into with enjoying the "feeling" and then that's what they seek. It's immature, but it's very normal. Been there, done that, thankfully I have learned not to seek after such things.

Just another point I am aware of - and that is that seeking after such things can lead to deception. The enemy is happy to counterfeit it. So do many worship leaders try to induce that kind of state artificially. Seeing that going on in so many churches after I moved here and started looking for a church is a large part of the reason I was led to the Orthodox Church, thank God.

Even so, I will also say that I have "felt" the Holy Spirit in the Orthodox Church as well. But I am very wary of those kinds of experiences and anytime I need to, I remind myself not to seek them, not to get caught up in them, and not to necessarily even believe them.

So no, emotion and "goosebumps" wasn't at all what I was talking about, nor did I read that into any of your responses.

If I "expect" anything (and I guess I'm not really expecting anything, since I am not sure I don't already "have" it) - if I expect anything, it is well-stated by the term the Church uses - "illumination". If anything at all, I was wondering about being made to better understand things, I guess? That's more along the lines of what the Church seems to say.

But no, I was never speaking in terms of emotion, nor did I read any of you to mean that. :)

Thanks, all. :)
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

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,719
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2014, 11:53:04 AM »
I think that you're right that each person's experience will be "personal," and individual and different.

For me, illumination didn't mean that I was suddenly able to understand Scripture - rather I realized how little I did understand. For a more fanciful analogy, it felt as if I had been wandering around lost in dark woods and finally came out into the sunshine to find the road. I wasn't anywhere near my destination and I had a long way yet to go, but I had the map.
"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 Anna.T

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #28 on: July 01, 2014, 12:07:40 PM »
I think that you're right that each person's experience will be "personal," and individual and different.

For me, illumination didn't mean that I was suddenly able to understand Scripture - rather I realized how little I did understand. For a more fanciful analogy, it felt as if I had been wandering around lost in dark woods and finally came out into the sunshine to find the road. I wasn't anywhere near my destination and I had a long way yet to go, but I had the map.


Ah, I would not be surprised if that tended to be the case. ;)

I'm not of the mind (anymore) that we often get "suddenlys".

I do remember long ago struggling to read Scripture and never making it through "begets" or other parts that tripped me up. Nothing really made sense.

Then one day I reached the end of myself (years later) and cried out to God. As a Protestant, I marked that as my "moment of salvation". However in really looking back over my life, I realize I have been on a journey since I was 4 years old. It just took me a lot of years to reach that particular landmark. ;)

The Scriptures seemed to open to me, after that. Especially compared to before.

But I did not understand everything. Not by a very long shot.

This season (so far) in the Orthodox Church has served to open my eyes to other things that I never understood before. I may have been able to parrot the words, but I did not have anywhere near the level of understanding I have now. About the truly loving nature of God, my truly sinful state, how great God is, and so on. My understanding seems to grow by little bits.

I'm not sure what to expect with Baptism/Chrismation. I appreciate all of the answers here, and whether my understanding changes at that point or not, I know the Sacraments will be open to me.

What I also know is that I have much, much more to understand. So whether it grows by any amount then, or God willing continues to grow thereafter, I'm sure whatever God gives me will be right.

But I suspect I will be able to say with you that I will realize even more deeply how far I have to go. ;)

Considering the very fundamentals that have been seeping into my spirit lately, and the fact that it's been a LONG journey to get this far, and perhaps I will find I've only just begun. (I'm actually starting to suspect that will be the case.)

Thank you all so much for sharing here. And I'm very happy to hear anyone else's insight as well. :)
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 12:08:30 PM 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 scamandrius

  • A man of many, many turns
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,196
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: DOWAMA of AANA
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2014, 03:27:06 PM »
When I came out of the baptismal waters, I absolutely felt an immediate and noticeable difference. I believed intellectually, of course, in the sacramental realism of the Church, but it wasn't until I experienced it firsthand that I felt like I understood it.

My baptismal water was so cold that I was having a cold shock reaction the whole time. As such, I sadly didn't have any great feeling afterward apart from gasping and shivering uncontrollably.

Huh.  In our tradition, the priest has to mix hot water and cold water as part of the rite, so the result is warm water. 

WE even have a portable baptistry for adults that has an attached water heater.  We set it up early on Great Friday and allow the water to warm up until Holy Saturday morning.  Unfortunately, it doesn't always work as well as you want to.  Maybe, being Baptized should be like taking a cold shower:  it wakes you up...to the truth! :)
Da quod iubes et iube quod vis.

Offline Agabus

  • The user formerly known as Agabus.
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,607
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2014, 03:41:43 PM »
When I came out of the baptismal waters, I absolutely felt an immediate and noticeable difference. I believed intellectually, of course, in the sacramental realism of the Church, but it wasn't until I experienced it firsthand that I felt like I understood it.

My baptismal water was so cold that I was having a cold shock reaction the whole time. As such, I sadly didn't have any great feeling afterward apart from gasping and shivering uncontrollably.
In the days of my schismatical, heretical youth of thrice-accursed anathema, when I was baptized the minister sort of dropped me as he leaned me back into the baptismal pool. When he lunged to grab my shoulders and keep me from falling, I got the distinct impression he was trying to strangle me.

I knew it wasn’t true even then, but to this day I can clearly remember looking up from the water and feeling as if he was about to choke the life out of me.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 03:42:06 PM by Agabus »
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Joha

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 559
  • Κύριε, σῶσόν με! Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Oriental Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2014, 05:26:23 AM »

Thank you.

So baptism actually made a difference for you? But you considered yourself "saved" as a protestant?

I guess that's something I'm curious about here.


I don't know God's wisdom in this, BUT I definitely know God was there guiding me. He knows everything and everytime, some how I needed to take this path.
So I don't know if I was saved when I was protestant, I do know God was guiding me toward where I am now.
And I do know God is merciful.


It's starting to make me feel as Paul called himself - the worst of sinners. I know I'm not at all inclined to look down on ANYONE's sin anymore. Thank God? That's probably a safe mindset at least.

Lord keep me from pride - it always was what I struggled against most.

Your words give me some hope though. Because I'm starting to feel awfully unworthy to approach the Cup anyway.

I'm not sure I could have appreciated what you said here about grace just a few short months ago. But being shown my real state - nothing but the purest grace could make me bold enough to approach, I think.

I'm not there yet in my mind. Perhaps confession/absolution would help there.

Even if the Orthodox offered the Eucharist to me legally - and I was able to go up - I would not without confessing at this point.

Thanks, you've given me a lot to think about, and helped me see a bit more. :)

There can not be Grace without guilt, I think.

The Grace we receive is the "magic" (by lack of a better word) of it all. It is what makes the difference between our faith and all the other religions where you have to do it all on your own.

We can't save our self, nothing we can do can make us worthy. Knowing we fall short helps us accepting this.

I like the analogy of a child messing up a toy, running up to the father. The father then fixing the toy, while the father isn't the one who messed it up, he is the one fixing it because his child can not.

Isn't our God wonderful?  :)

I am sure we need an eternity to thank Him  ;)
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ
Psalm 57:2 I will cry out to God Most High, To God who performs all things for me.
You're big :P
The art of cherry picking

Offline Sam G

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,202
  • One Rome to rule them all.
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #32 on: July 10, 2014, 10:41:12 PM »
As someone who came from a sacramental tradition (Roman Catholicism), I can say that after being baptized there was a profound difference in how I experienced the sacraments.  I don't consider myself worthy to comment on whether or not Rome's sacraments have grace or not, but I'm not quite sure the Catholic mass could convey one tenth of the fear, majesty, and awe that I feel when approaching the chalice as an Orthodox Christian.  Even confession took on a whole new meaning for me, it's almost like a new baptism if done right.
"Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes vanity of vanities, and all is vanity."

Offline Anna.T

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #33 on: July 10, 2014, 11:55:14 PM »

Thank you.

So baptism actually made a difference for you? But you considered yourself "saved" as a protestant?

I guess that's something I'm curious about here.


I don't know God's wisdom in this, BUT I definitely know God was there guiding me. He knows everything and everytime, some how I needed to take this path.
So I don't know if I was saved when I was protestant, I do know God was guiding me toward where I am now.
And I do know God is merciful.


It's starting to make me feel as Paul called himself - the worst of sinners. I know I'm not at all inclined to look down on ANYONE's sin anymore. Thank God? That's probably a safe mindset at least.

Lord keep me from pride - it always was what I struggled against most.

Your words give me some hope though. Because I'm starting to feel awfully unworthy to approach the Cup anyway.

I'm not sure I could have appreciated what you said here about grace just a few short months ago. But being shown my real state - nothing but the purest grace could make me bold enough to approach, I think.

I'm not there yet in my mind. Perhaps confession/absolution would help there.

Even if the Orthodox offered the Eucharist to me legally - and I was able to go up - I would not without confessing at this point.

Thanks, you've given me a lot to think about, and helped me see a bit more. :)

There can not be Grace without guilt, I think.

The Grace we receive is the "magic" (by lack of a better word) of it all. It is what makes the difference between our faith and all the other religions where you have to do it all on your own.

We can't save our self, nothing we can do can make us worthy. Knowing we fall short helps us accepting this.

I like the analogy of a child messing up a toy, running up to the father. The father then fixing the toy, while the father isn't the one who messed it up, he is the one fixing it because his child can not.

Isn't our God wonderful?  :)

I am sure we need an eternity to thank Him  ;)

Thanks for your comments. :)

I am just looking forward to the Sacraments. I'm not sure when Father has in mind - I guess it could be as soon as a little over a month now.

Sometimes when I think of it I get nervous again, but I think this is something I definitely need to do as I am only marginally in the Church right now. So overall, I can't wait. As you said, we need God to "fix" things - so I need to hope for access to that grace. :)
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

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #34 on: July 10, 2014, 11:59:23 PM »
As someone who came from a sacramental tradition (Roman Catholicism), I can say that after being baptized there was a profound difference in how I experienced the sacraments.  I don't consider myself worthy to comment on whether or not Rome's sacraments have grace or not, but I'm not quite sure the Catholic mass could convey one tenth of the fear, majesty, and awe that I feel when approaching the chalice as an Orthodox Christian.  Even confession took on a whole new meaning for me, it's almost like a new baptism if done right.

Thank you.

I don't even approach, but from the first Divine Liturgy I attended, I was aware of an overwhelming sense of exactly what you describe - fear, majesty, and awe.

It's all new to me, including confession. It's interesting to me that you say even that has a whole new meaning to you, coming from Catholicism.

I guess I need to speak to Fr. M as soon as he resumes classes, and see if I need baptism or only chrismation.

Thank you for the reply. :)
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 Porter ODoran

  • PHILIA NIKA
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,634
  • St. John the Beloved, pray for me
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOAA
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #35 on: July 15, 2014, 04:51:20 PM »
What joy I felt today reading these words: "He was baptized in Cherson in 988, receiving the name Basil; he came forth from the font not only healed of a blindness lately afflicting him--but also, from being passionate and warlike, he became meek, peaceable, and exceedingly godly."
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Anna.T

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #36 on: July 15, 2014, 06:23:35 PM »
What joy I felt today reading these words: "He was baptized in Cherson in 988, receiving the name Basil; he came forth from the font not only healed of a blindness lately afflicting him--but also, from being passionate and warlike, he became meek, peaceable, and exceedingly godly."

Thank you, I'll accept someone else's story as well. :)

I'm really curious (still) about those who were already in Christ and may have been changed at baptism/chrismation.

But that is quite a nice testimony. :)
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 Georgii

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 458
  • Holy Martyr Afra, pray to God for us!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR, German episcopate
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #37 on: July 21, 2014, 04:24:55 AM »
Likewise I had little or no immediate emotional experience at Chrismation/the Eucharist this last Paskha. A sense of relief, but that seemed more intellectual than anything else.

I continue to sin, but the difference is that my usual sins seem to have lost much of their power, like there is little energy or driving force behind them compared to before. To put it another way, my sins have less traction on me, or in some situations not sinning has become more of the "default" mode, where sinning would have been almost automatic for me before.

Which makes sense: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death. Death still exists, but it has lost its power, and so has sin.

For example, I have had depressions of varying duration and intensity pretty much all my life, shading into the sin of despondency/acedia/уныние.
For about the last day and a half I have had the physical symptoms of despondency (aches in the extremities, lack of energy, a sensation of heaviness), and mental symptoms (mild confusion/poor concentration, poor short-term memory, pessimism about the short term).

What I haven't had this time is pessimism about the long term, nor have I had that feeling of being crushed inside; of having my insides put through a wringer. This may sound trite, but it really is as if sin is somewhere outside, or at worst in my extremities and mind, but it no longer has any hold on my heart.

One practical effect is that when I am done typing here I am confident that I will be able to shake off this despondency (and it seems to have mostly passed already), and get to work to help my wife and son (who are both cradle Orthodox), and gradually others, too.

May we not be found fallen and idle, but watching, and upright in activity....

Another change that occurred after Chrismation, and which appeared over a couple of weeks, was that I became very sensitive to what was Orthodox and what was not. Correlation does not mean causation, and I was/am probably fooling myself about my level of discernment, but it seemed real to me.

I had a lot of contact both before and after chrismation with non-Orthodox, not just on the street or doing business, but living with them (I was away from home) and even praying with them. Such were the circumstances. Not as close contact as you, Anna, with your non-Orthodox husband, but I did have a roommate who was (and presumably still is) on medication for paranoid delusions, and who tried to convince me to worship Melchizedek, together with numerous other gods (his spirits told him about all of this). I tried to be kind to him, while remaining detached. And no, I didn't pray with him, though he tried to pray with me.

I'm still not sure whether these experiences with the heterodox were a "good" thing, reinforcing my Orthodoxy through contrast and perhaps showing a good example to others, or whether I wasted time and energy associating with heterodoxy and antagonized a few people unnecessarily. Ah, well, it's now past time to say my prayers, make tea for my wife, help tidy up the apartment, and a thousand other things.

Edit: I don't know if I was "in Christ" before Chrismation and the Eucharist. I had a Trinitarian baptism as an infant (Presbyterian), and had considered myself a Christian, if a poor one, for about 20 years. Our Archbishop blessed my wife and I to be wed in the Orthodox Church over 17 years ago, and we surely would have been divorced long ago if it had been merely a civil wedding. But I had never been to Confession with a priest or received the Eucharist.

« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 04:46:23 AM by Georgii »
my garment accuses me, for it is not a wedding garment

Offline Anna.T

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #38 on: July 21, 2014, 03:15:37 PM »
Likewise I had little or no immediate emotional experience at Chrismation/the Eucharist this last Paskha. A sense of relief, but that seemed more intellectual than anything else.

I continue to sin, but the difference is that my usual sins seem to have lost much of their power, like there is little energy or driving force behind them compared to before. To put it another way, my sins have less traction on me, or in some situations not sinning has become more of the "default" mode, where sinning would have been almost automatic for me before.

Which makes sense: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death. Death still exists, but it has lost its power, and so has sin.

For example, I have had depressions of varying duration and intensity pretty much all my life, shading into the sin of despondency/acedia/уныние.
For about the last day and a half I have had the physical symptoms of despondency (aches in the extremities, lack of energy, a sensation of heaviness), and mental symptoms (mild confusion/poor concentration, poor short-term memory, pessimism about the short term).

What I haven't had this time is pessimism about the long term, nor have I had that feeling of being crushed inside; of having my insides put through a wringer. This may sound trite, but it really is as if sin is somewhere outside, or at worst in my extremities and mind, but it no longer has any hold on my heart.

One practical effect is that when I am done typing here I am confident that I will be able to shake off this despondency (and it seems to have mostly passed already), and get to work to help my wife and son (who are both cradle Orthodox), and gradually others, too.

May we not be found fallen and idle, but watching, and upright in activity....

Another change that occurred after Chrismation, and which appeared over a couple of weeks, was that I became very sensitive to what was Orthodox and what was not. Correlation does not mean causation, and I was/am probably fooling myself about my level of discernment, but it seemed real to me.

I had a lot of contact both before and after chrismation with non-Orthodox, not just on the street or doing business, but living with them (I was away from home) and even praying with them. Such were the circumstances. Not as close contact as you, Anna, with your non-Orthodox husband, but I did have a roommate who was (and presumably still is) on medication for paranoid delusions, and who tried to convince me to worship Melchizedek, together with numerous other gods (his spirits told him about all of this). I tried to be kind to him, while remaining detached. And no, I didn't pray with him, though he tried to pray with me.

I'm still not sure whether these experiences with the heterodox were a "good" thing, reinforcing my Orthodoxy through contrast and perhaps showing a good example to others, or whether I wasted time and energy associating with heterodoxy and antagonized a few people unnecessarily. Ah, well, it's now past time to say my prayers, make tea for my wife, help tidy up the apartment, and a thousand other things.

Edit: I don't know if I was "in Christ" before Chrismation and the Eucharist. I had a Trinitarian baptism as an infant (Presbyterian), and had considered myself a Christian, if a poor one, for about 20 years. Our Archbishop blessed my wife and I to be wed in the Orthodox Church over 17 years ago, and we surely would have been divorced long ago if it had been merely a civil wedding. But I had never been to Confession with a priest or received the Eucharist.



Thank you. That is very helpful for me to consider.

I'm not sure I have anything to add, or any comments or questions. I do especially appreciate that sin would seem to have less a hold. I haven't given much thought to "Orthodox discernment" as I am trying very hard in my intellect to develop this, and I can see it is also a "way of thinking" that I am also developing, but I don't see anything supernatural about it in my case.

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and insights. I pray you have indeed overcome any despondency/negativity and all is well. God bless you for taking the time to share. :)
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

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #39 on: July 21, 2014, 03:23:51 PM »
I suppose what I am really looking to know is whether I can expect help from the Sacraments. I have my ups and downs, and going to Church and being part of the community helps me a great deal.

Even if baptism/chrismation does not make a difference I can discern, surely confession and the Eucharist will. And I cannot of course participate in those before I am ready to be received into the Church.

Perhaps even less than a month now - at the soonest. Possibly. I should have more of an idea within two weeks.

Sometimes I feel like I am just hanging on and waiting, and sometimes I think I should be removing any last vestiges of doubt I may have (though I am not aware of any).  I do not know yet who to ask to sponsor me.

On the one hand things are so difficult at home - in some ways harder than they have ever been. But in other ways they are actually better. It just begins to feel almost surreal, as my whole life once again seems to progress only on faith. I just feel as though I need the fullness of the Church as my help.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 03:25:04 PM 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 Georgii

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 458
  • Holy Martyr Afra, pray to God for us!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR, German episcopate
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #40 on: July 21, 2014, 04:07:15 PM »
I haven't given much thought to "Orthodox discernment" ... I don't see anything supernatural about it in my case.

Me neither in my case. In part I was trying to respond to what you were asking about "illumination". After I posted I thought to myself "It doesn't take much discernment to know that it's not Orthodox to worship Melchizedek and a bunch of other gods because your roommate's spirits told him to."

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and insights. I pray you have indeed overcome any despondency/negativity and all is well. God bless you for taking the time to share. :)

It helped me to write about them. God bless.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 04:07:53 PM by Georgii »
my garment accuses me, for it is not a wedding garment

Offline Anna.T

  • † Servant of God †
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Κύριε, ἐλέησον!
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #41 on: July 21, 2014, 05:57:12 PM »
I haven't given much thought to "Orthodox discernment" ... I don't see anything supernatural about it in my case.

Me neither in my case. In part I was trying to respond to what you were asking about "illumination". After I posted I thought to myself "It doesn't take much discernment to know that it's not Orthodox to worship Melchizedek and a bunch of other gods because your roommate's spirits told him to."

Maybe not, but in a sense I know what you mean. I've heard a lot of dissenting information sometimes about what is or isn't "Orthodox". Sometimes it has been quite confusing to me.

Learning specific answers has helped. Slowly developing a bit of an "Orthodox mindset" has helped. But I understand discernment as something helped by the Holy Spirit as well. There have been times in the past I knew something wasn't right.

But yes, since I've heard of illumination following Chrismation, it makes sense. I have since seen it be something that others expect to happen as well.

Quote
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and insights. I pray you have indeed overcome any despondency/negativity and all is well. God bless you for taking the time to share. :)

It helped me to write about them. God bless.

I'm glad. Thank you again. :)
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 sheep100

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 57
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #42 on: July 21, 2014, 08:54:06 PM »
The main noticeable effect for me since chrismation is that I am
more deeply aware than ever of my own sinfulness and helplessness without God. I know I can't change myself by myself...I need everyday the grace of God to just attempt
to start any real repentance for my habitual and numerous sins.

Offline mabsoota

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,859
  • Kyrie eleison
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox (Coptic)
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #43 on: July 22, 2014, 10:59:42 AM »
in answer to the original question - yes, i noticed a really big change.
i will never be able to really describe what happened as what i felt was too personal, but like some others said,
i am more sensitive and can feel more easily when i about to sin, like be judgemental or gossip.
or if i sin without realising, i can feel afterwards that i have done something mean and so i start to apologise or put it right more quickly.
it doesn't mean that i go around doing good all the time, i stil have to work on that...
 ;)

i think i am also a tiny bit less proud, but now i have told you i am not proud, it means that i am proud!
 :-[

welcome sheep 100; were you chrismated along with 99 other people?
 ;)

Offline Agabus

  • The user formerly known as Agabus.
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,607
Re: Did things change for you at Chrismation / By the Eucharist?
« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2014, 11:58:41 AM »
Your baptism will wash away your sins, but it won’t wash away your you.

But you will have something different — and something that makes a difference — when you receive the chrism. You’ll have the seal of the Holy Spirit. If that can’t help you, what can?

Likewise, many people receive the Eucharist unto condemnation, but when you approach the chalice in repentance and ask, in the words of the pre-communion prayers, may the fiery coal of Thy most pure Body and Thy most precious Blood bring me sanctification, enlightenment and strengthening of my lowly soul and body, relief from the burden of my many transgressions, protection against every action of the devil, repulsion and victory over my wicked and evil habits, mortification of my passions, accomplishment of Thy commandments, increase of Thy divine grace, and inheritance of Thy kingdom, how can you not over time be changed?

In my own case, I walked away with a sense of affirmation I was where God wanted me to be even though in the final weeks I felt as if I could not make it. Now, years after my conversion, I am still troubled by much of what I see and experience and dredge out of the depths of my soul, and prayer and fasting only go so far in easing that. I am a sinner yet.
But even when I am weak, the Eucharist bolsters my faith.
I suppose that’s an answer to your question, if not a good one.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH