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Author Topic: Crisis of Faith.  (Read 2556 times) Average Rating: 0
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Friarmoo32
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Christe Eleison!


« on: July 29, 2005, 10:37:14 PM »

Hello and greetings to all who read this.  I first and foremost must apologize for the more than likely extensive story I am about to write.  I will be very grateful for any replies to this.  I am asking for advice and guidance.  My name is Ian, I am 17 years old, I will be 18 in December.  I have had a profound interest in the Orthodox Church since I was a mere 14 year old.  My problem is that I am also a devout Roman Catholic who has known the truth but have stayed in the church because I was brought up by a wonderful priest who has taught me how to be kind and Christian to everyone.  I had a lot of troubles as a youngster, but I found a lot of comfort from the people in my local Catholic parish.  I have made myself stay within the church only because of my "loyalty" to the people.  Then came a twist, I began being an organist for a local parish that isn't my own due to that many of the 'ministries' at my home parish were taken and I had not been serving it as much as I used to.  I have been the organist there since Pentecost (Western Pentecost of course).  I very much want to be Orthodox and believe what the Orthodox Church teaches.  Yet, It is extremely difficult to stay as it is to fathom the idea of leaving.  Another complication is this, many clergy expect me to become a priest.  They expect this because I wanted to be one for 8 years.  So since the 3rd grade, I had wanted to be a priest and studied the faith and other faiths extensively.  Ironically that is what brought me to Orthodoxy and finding Truth.  Truth is not easy to deal with as I'm sure many of you know.  I sometimes attend services at my local Antiochian Orthodox church.  The pastor there knows me but does not know my entire situation.  I enjoy it there and feel God's presence there more so than I do in my churches.  I know God is present in the Catholic Church, don't get me wrong, and I do feel God in Catholic Churches but I feel him more present in the Orthodox Church I sometimes go to.  It is very troubling to me and I do not know what to do.  Being 17 is hard enough as you know, it makes it harder when you are aware of stuff like things where most 17 year olds have no idea what you would be talking about (Problems with Papal Infallibility, Filioque, Purgatory etc..).  Anyway, I would love anyone to just help me out with some advice or words of encouragement, anything.  Thank you and may Almighty God Bless you all.
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sin_vladimirov
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2005, 11:01:07 PM »

Firstly, many years and God bless you!

You have many options, I will narrow them down to these two!

First one is totally ridiculous, nevertheless, its a good joke:
Stay in the RCC, become a priest, then bishop, the archbishop, and then Pope. And when you are the Pope, come out of the window (after they say habbemus papam) and say:
I am an Orthodox tra-la laa... (I just want to see everybody's faces) LOL






Now, seriously. PRAY! A lot. And PRAY some more! And then... PRAY! God would not bring you into the situation if He didn't have the plan (He always has a plan).

Then, the avenue will become obvious.

It most likely will be to come open and tell everyone how you feel.

It is, also, very important to become an Orthodox only if you really believe that Orthodoxy is Orthodoxy.
Running away from something is not a very good idea. I am not saying that you are, I am just saying that you need to be fully sure that either way is THE WAY.

So, pray. He knows what to do.

In whatever you do, do not ever think that you are alone. We are, none of us, ever alone. So, have faith and you will get according to it.

I would also suggest to talk with priests. Tell them what is going on. That is their job!

So, do not worry nor be freaked out... it is all good.

"All systems reporting nominal activity!"

Pray and you will get what you need to do. Talk to people and when everything is clearer, make a decision, praying always.



Also, this forum is always here... so... keep asking... keep digging and to quote good old St. Paul: "everything comes to good, to those who believe in Christ Jesus".

Many years.



« Last Edit: July 29, 2005, 11:03:18 PM by sin_vladimirov » Logged

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Cephas
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2005, 11:09:58 PM »

Firstly, many years and God bless you!

You have many options, I will narrow them down to these two!

First one is totally ridiculous, nevertheless, its a good joke:
Stay in the RCC, become a priest, then bishop, the archbishop, and then Pope. And when you are the Pope, come out of the window (after they say habbemus papam) and say:
I am an Orthodox tra-la laa... (I just want to see everybody's faces) LOL


I like this option. lol.  But seriously though, prayers is what it is all about.  And always remember what St. Paul said (again,  Grin):

Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

-- Philippians 4:6-7

Prayers please.
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2005, 01:31:56 AM »

I echo what has been said already - pray on it. Also, if a time comes when you have questions about the Orthodox Church or Orthodoxy in general, it never hurts to make a more formal introduction with the priest at the Antiochian church you sometimes attend and share your situation with him and ask whatever questions you need answered...as sin_vladimirov said, it's his job to help out with these things Smiley

You're in my prayers.

In Christ,
Donna Mary
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hmmmm...
SeanMc
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2005, 02:00:04 AM »

I am a Catholic too, looking towards Orthodoxy.

It's hard to tell what to know. Although when dealing with anything doctrinal, the question is, "Can dogma develop?" I have to read more into this myself.

Yes, prayer is important too as the other posters have already said.

The Lord be with you.
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Friarmoo32
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Christe Eleison!


« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2005, 02:15:46 AM »

And with thy Spirit.  Thank you all for your replies thus far.  What I might do is play the organ for the 8 o clock Mass, and then head down to the Orthodox Church for Divine Liturgy on some Sundays.  Yes I will continue to pray and I will pray for all of you.  One question I do have, completely off topic nonetheless I have wondered for a few years...why is September 1rst the beginning of the Church year?  Was September the first month of the year in the Juilian Calendar? 
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2005, 07:18:05 AM »

Friarmoo32

I cannot answer your September 1 question; however, I was touched by your story and echo what Valdimirov said. Pray and visit the priest. Also, a very prominent American Orthodox saint is St. Alexis Toth. He was a convert from the Uniate Catholic church to Orthodoxy. Ask for his intercessions.

Many years
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aserb
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2005, 07:24:51 AM »

St. Alexis Toth of Wilkes-Barre
Confessor and Defender of Orthodoxy in America

St. Alexis was born in Austro-Hungary on March 18, 1854 to a poor Carpatho-Russian family. He was married and they had a child. He was ordained to the priesthood in the Uniate (Eastern Rite Catholic) Church on April 18, 1878. His wife and child died shortly after that, while he was serving as a parish priest. In October 1889, Alexis was appointed as priest of a Uniate parish in Minneapolis, Minnesota. When he presented his credentials to the American Catholic archbishop, he was treated with open hostility. He knew his rights under canon law, so he convened a meeting of eight of the ten Unia priests in America at Wilkes-Barre who petitioned the bishops of Eastern Europe to aid them, but they would not. He feared deportation and told his congregation that he should just return to Europe. They said "No". They had been under foreign domination long enough. They told Father Alexis to go to the Russian Orthodox bishop. Bishop Vladimir came to Minneapolis and on March 25, 1891, received Father Toth and 361 parishioners into the Orthodox Church of their ancestors. The parishioners regarded this event as a new Triumph of Orthodoxy, crying out with joy: "Glory to God for His great mercy!" That is St. Mary's OCA. The Saint went on to form or lead back to Orthodoxy 16 additional communities. He traveled to Southern New Jersey to try to regain his health in late 1908. Then he returned to Wilkes-Barre where he was confined to bed for his last months. He reposed on Friday, May 7, 1909. His relics were laid to rest at St. Tikhon's Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.

This icon is by the hand of Michael Goltz of Lakewood, Ohio.

St. Alexis Toth of Wilkes-Barre
Confessor and Defender of Orthodoxy in America

May 7th
Troparion (Tone 4)
O righteous Father Alexis, Our heavenly intercessor and teacher, divine adornment of the Church of Christ, Entreat the Master of All to strengthen the Orthodox Faith in America, to grant peace to the world And to our souls great mercy.

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ozgeorge
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2005, 08:40:09 AM »

...why is September 1rst the beginning of the Church year?ÂÂ  Was September the first month of the year in the Juilian Calendar?ÂÂ  

St. Constantine the Great established September 1st as the beginning of the Tax Year for the Empire, and the Church adopted it  He also established the 15 year cycle of the Indiction to calculate tax cycles, which the Church also adopted, and which also begins on September 1st, AD312.
So we are currently in the 13th year of the 112th Indiction. The 14th year of the current Indiction begins September 1st 2005. The 113th Indiction will begin September 1st 2008.
The Julian Calendar always held September 1st as the beginning of the Church year (September 14th on the Civil Calendar). The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana) also falls in September in the Civil Calendar, and the early Hebrew Christians would have also considered Rosh Hashana as the beginning of the year.  Interestingly, the first major feast of the Church Year is the Nativity of the Theotokos (September 8th), and the last major feast is the Dormition of the Theotokos (Aust 15th).


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Friarmoo32
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Christe Eleison!


« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2005, 06:20:11 PM »

Thank you all!  The calender is a very interesting issue (and a controversial one as I have seen!).  I appreciate what all of you have said.  It almost feels like I would be betraying the people who have been so good to me.  As an organist for 2 Masses, it makes everything very strenuous.  I know that regardless I'm going to have to wait until I can do anything about this.  Prayer and reading is the best I can do now, and talking with those of the faith and/or who have had similar experiences as mine.  Feels very odd though to be praying during the Mass to be lead to Orthodoxy....being in a Catholic church and all. lol!  One thing I do want to do is get some books...especially "The Orthodox Church".  I need to read the whole thing.  Anyway, its difficult to be serving the Catholic church so much yet disagree with so much and then agree with another faith.  Ahh so stressful yet certainly will not be in vain!
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2005, 09:05:53 PM »

Maybe we can talk over AOL instant messenger. I'm a 16 year-old looking to convert to the faith and have had many, many obstacles in the way of this...my screen name in Ilion301, send me a message anytime and I'd love to talk about it all.

Sincerely,
Troy
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Sir Sundae
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2005, 09:54:23 PM »

Yo,

You sound like me, man. I'm 17, a Lutheran, and looking towards Orthodoxy. Like Troy, just drop me a line either at notzrim@gmail.com or catch me on AIM; my screenname is blissfullovebuzz.

God's Peace,

Chuck
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2005, 01:08:19 AM »

It is soooo good to see all of you interested in Orthodoxy. Please talk among yourselves and share your experiences but remember that this is no substitute for prayer and discussion with an Orthodox Priest. Please to remeber that in addition to much good information about Orthodoxy on the internet that there is also schlock. Also, non-Orthodox troll Orthodox websites and if you're not discerning enough you can go down the wrong path.

My prayers are with you.
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« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2005, 01:14:13 PM »

The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana) also falls in September in the Civil Calendar, and the early Hebrew Christians would have also considered Rosh Hashana as the beginning of the year.ÂÂ  

One correction here:  The Jewish Calendar is lunar, with adjusments periodically adding the month of Addar II and an extra day in Addar in leap years.  Rosh Hashanah this year starts on October 3, 2005.  It is the 1st day of the month of Tishri.

See: http://www.jewfaq.org/calendar.htm
and http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday2.htm

Ebor
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« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2005, 07:37:21 PM »

It is soooo good to see all of you interested in Orthodoxy. Please talk among yourselves and share your experiences but remember that this is no substitute for prayer and discussion with an Orthodox Priest. Please to remeber that in addition to much good information about Orthodoxy on the internet that there is also schlock. Also, non-Orthodox troll Orthodox websites and if you're not discerning enough you can go down the wrong path.

My prayers are with you.

I second this, and I can't agree more!
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« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2005, 08:14:49 PM »

Friarmoo,

I understand your dilemma.  I am a recent convert to Orthodoxy from Calvinism, and have had some of the same problems.  Some aspects of conversion can be difficult, especially when friends and family don't understand.

I am quite a bit older than you, and have one piece of advice I would like to impart:  You said that it was expected that you would enter the priesthood.  Listen, you are only 17.  Don't let anyone bully you into entering the priesthood.  This is something that does not need to be decided at your age.  You have many years to make this decision, so don't let anyone rush you into it.  If you are not completely enthusiastic about being a priest you are not only doing yourself a disservice, but you are doing the Church a disservice by continuing into the priesthood.

BTW, I've spent some time going to two services in different Churches on Sunday, trying to make a decision.  Your idea about playing the organ at 8 o'clock Mass, then heading over to Divine Liturgy elsewhere doesn't seem that strange to me.

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Friarmoo32
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Christe Eleison!


« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2005, 12:18:27 AM »

Thanks guys!   I love the idea of being able to do that but I'm also supposed to play at the 11 o'clock Mass as well.  This weekend however I did let my priest know I wasnt going to be at the 11 and I went to Divine Liturgy.  I can't do that very often at all though.  This week on Wenesday I'm going to a Parakelsis service and then on Friday Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Transfiguration.  I can't wait. 
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« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2005, 03:18:07 AM »

Many converts struggle with issues such as these, feeling torn between the faith in which you were raised and wanting to embrace something else. In many ways, it is not an enviable position. In so many other ways, however, it is an enviable position. The Holy Spirit is opening your heart and calling you, not to abandon your Catholic faith, but to embrace the fullness of the "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church." My advice would be to talk openly with both priests, the Roman Catholic and Orthodox: let them know your position, how you're feeling and what's been on your mind. Both men should have your best spiritual interest and salvation as their main concern, and they could advise you better than anyone here. And, as has been said, pray! Pray for our Lord to illumine your mind... pray for His Holy Mother to bring you fully to her Son. I'm sure you'll make the right decision, with a little help from above of course.
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Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy upon and save us. Amen!
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