Author Topic: Advice Please  (Read 3228 times)

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Offline Fin1983

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Advice Please
« on: November 28, 2014, 11:58:40 AM »

Hi there, This is my first post on the forum and I'm looking for some advice. First off a little background info I live in Scotland and have begun my journey towards Orthodoxy from an Anglo-catholic background. I have felt increasingly drawn to the historic church both due to beginning to understand that there is The church founded by Christ but also due to the madness that is consuming the Anglican church in the west. Initially I look at the Roman Catholic church as coming from a Anglo-catholic background this seemed the most obvious path and to be honest at the time I had not really discovered Orthodoxy and the teachings of the church. However for a variety of reasons the more I looked into the Roman Catholic church the more problems I found not least the horror that was the second Vatican council etc. However I have begun to attend my local Orthodox parish for vespers and have begun to meet regularly with local parish priest. So here is my issue which maybe any RC/anglo-catholic converts to Orthodoxy may be able to help me with. I have accepted and believe fully that the Orthodox church is the historic church founded by Christ an look forward to the day that I'm received in to the church. My main problem is what to do about my relationship to the saints. I'm finding the hardest part about my conversion process the feeling of leaving or rejecting many of the saints I have prayed to and loved most of my life. In particular St Therese of Lisieux and Saint Padre Pio. I have experienced there help and guidance throughout my life and I'm wondering how I can honor them while leaving the western church. I know there are no solutions but wondered if anyone had the same experience when converting. Thanks again yours in Christ.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Advice Please
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2014, 01:15:52 PM »
Welcome to the Forum!

I'm cradle Orthodox and therefore, cannot speak due to "experience".

However, I suggest looking in to the thousands of Orthodox saints, who will inspire and comfort.

Also...remember there are millions of saints known only to God. Who is to say the two you mentioned aren't one of these.

Ask God for guidance.

Once again, welcome!!!

Even though I've never heard you speak - I love your accent!   ;D

« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 01:16:26 PM by LizaSymonenko »
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.
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Offline Laurentius

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Re: Advice Please
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2014, 03:30:54 PM »
I can relate to what you are writing since I have a similar background.

Personally I cannot say that I rejected some of the Catholic saints I love, I did however stop praying to them.

Once you start having a relationship with Orthodox Saints you will find comfort in them, at least that is my experience. They are your family.
Holy Mother of God, save us!

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Advice Please
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2014, 04:23:37 PM »
I have never been Catholic, but in my journey from Protestant to Orthodox, I discovered several Catholic saints that I have a great deal of respect for. I would never say that I have rejected them, but I have found new saints that I never knew of before that I have embraced. Best wishes on your journey!  :)
God bless!

Offline sakura95

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Re: Advice Please
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2014, 05:02:06 PM »
I used to be Catholic too and used to take Thomas Aquinas as my patron Saint. Hearing the Eastern impressions of him made me worried that I have to reject his way of thinking and integrating Pagan philosophy into Christianity. My advice at least from personal experience is to dig deeper into the posit of faith Orthodoxy has. I certainly did and I found that the East has many Saints that are as 'scholarly' as Thomas Aquinas himself such as St Gregory of Nyssa, St Maximus the Confessor and St John of Damascus who fought against the Iconoclast heresy. I still do honor Thomas Aquinas and agree with aspects of his works such as his Just War theory and 5 Proofs of God's Existence. However I have to stop praying to him knowing that he is not revered as a Saint in the East. I feel that Thomas Aquinas whilst being Western in theological approach led me to discover the Intellectual side of the East and his counterparts there.

Remember, not praying to a Saint does not mean that you don't respect them. So it is still ok to respect and revere the positive aspects of the Western Saints you hold dearly. I certainly still have a special reverence for Thomas Aquinas so there's no reason to completely ditch that reverence towards them away as you move towards the East  :)
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 05:03:46 PM by sakura95 »
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Offline eddybear

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Re: Advice Please
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2014, 07:58:59 PM »
Welcome, from a fellow Brit and a fellow struggler with the Anglican Church. I can't comment from an Orthodox perspective, but it seems to me that all the Saints in heaven, regardless of whether their affiliation on this earth was Catholic or Orthodox (or maybe even Anglican! ;) ), are our family, and intercede for us.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 07:59:24 PM by eddybear »

Offline Yurysprudentsiya

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Re: Advice Please
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2014, 09:29:51 PM »
At some point, you ought to read some of the writings of the Russian Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky.  A brilliant Orthodox theologian, he lived most of his adult life in France and he was able to recognize and revere amazing things in the early 20th century Catholic Church of France, together with her post-schism saints and even Marian apparitions, all the while not compromising the Orthodox Faith.  This stuff is pretty advanced so I would recommend taking the approach that some others here have had, which is to first ground yourself thoroughly in Orthodoxy and her hagiographic tradition - which includes the first thousand years of western saints, anyway, without question, and then, once you are thoroughly grounded, if you wish, you might explore some of these other things.  I say this to prevent you from going to either of two extremes:  That those Christians who have schismed from the Church are "just like us" and there is no difference, so we can pick and choose and adapt what we like; or that they are entirely heretical, devoid of any redeeming features and that their witness is entirely unhelpful for salvation.  Neither of these approaches, which you will sometimes see here, is correct in light of the witness of our Holy Tradition.

And I hope that your studies have shown to you that, outside of our own Communion, we do not get into the issue of whether or how other people are saved or glorified.  It is my personal belief that there are many people thoughout history, without number, who have achieved sainthood but whose glorification is either unknown or unconfirmed to the Church.  And this belief is not outside the Orthodox mainstream.  That, I hope, will give you comfort as you begin your journey.  To remain on safe ground, however, we - and especially those new to the faith - must place our primary focus on those whose glorification has been accepted by the Church and learn from their lives, which are part of the witness of the Church's theology.

Offline GrantT

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Re: Advice Please
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2014, 05:55:01 AM »
I don't see a problem still appealing to Saints you have known from the Latin tradition, we are all subject to our environment, upbringing and events that shape us, and God is there and working through it all.  I've often read and been told that the Orthodox know where the Church is, not where it is not, and the Holy Spirit is at work with all people drawing the to respond and participate in the love of God in Christ, and with virtually all Catholic Saints, or Anglicans or Protestants for that matter there was never any real opportunity to get to or understand the Orthodox Church, the traditions were closed effectively, they could only relate to the Lord through their own tradition.  For example St Alban was never baptized nor received Communion but from the example of Christians he died in their place refusing to kill, or St Mary of Egypt who received Communion once and St Issac the Syrian who was formally part and Bishop for I time in the Assyrian or Church of the East (though ecclesiastical boundaries were more fluid then).

Short answer in your private generations I wouldn't be troubled to still ask them to pray for you and not let the issue be a problem in your move towards the Orthodox Church :)

Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: Advice Please
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2014, 06:28:23 PM »
I like GrantT's last sentence; don't worry and pray.

Nothing to do with your thread, but since you are in Scotland, consider this something and someplace:

God is The Creator of All Free Beings

Offline biro

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Re: Advice Please
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2014, 12:31:08 AM »
Hi, Fin. Welcome to the board. :)

Warning: stories have mature content.

Offline Fin1983

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Re: Advice Please
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2014, 03:13:25 PM »

Hi everyone thanks so much for you help and comments they all helped very much.