Author Topic: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy  (Read 1778 times)

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Offline dallas_r

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Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« on: January 28, 2018, 01:57:20 AM »
Hello. I have a strong interest in becoming Orthodox but I have some a pretty big problem.

I'm 14 and rely on my dad to take me to Church. He is a non-practicing Roman Catholic baptized as an infant. My dad takes me to Church about once every month or month and a half which I don't really like because I know if he applied himself he could take me every other week. Nonetheless, I am still very grateful. He works nights and needs to be back home by 11 am. The closest Orthodox Church near me is 13 minutes away and their Divine Liturgy is 10 AM only. I read online that the Divine Liturgy usually takes 1 hour- 1 hour and a half which wont work because I would be home past 11. 

So here's the problems I have:
1. Dad's schedule
2. Nominal attendance. Even if he had a normal schedule, he still wouldn't take me often.

I have realized that becoming Orthodox is something I not only want, but need. I seek to be baptized into the Orthodox Church but that would be pretty hard being I can't make it to the Divine Liturgy.

How do I worship on Sundays if I can't attend Church? Do I just read a lot of scripture on Sundays?

What do I do? I'm stuck and probably will be for a long time  :'(
"Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
    who trains my hands for war,
    my fingers for battle.
 He is my loving God and my fortress,
    my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
    who subdues peoples under me."

Psalm 144:1

Offline Tallitot

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2018, 02:44:17 AM »
Take a bus? Uber? Walk?
Proverbs 22:7

Offline Alpo

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2018, 02:51:44 AM »
First don't sweat over the circumstances. Even once a month is good and a lot more than many Orthodox themselves do.

If walking isn't an option you could try ask the priest whether there are any parishioners living in your area that could give you a ride. That is, if you or your parents don't find it uncomfortable to ask something like this from strangers.
I just need to find out how to say it in Slavonic!

Offline dallas_r

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2018, 03:42:16 AM »
I offered paying for a Lyft driver, riding my bike, walking, but they said no. They are really over-protective, especially when it comes to strangers, so they wouldn't let someone take me.
"Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
    who trains my hands for war,
    my fingers for battle.
 He is my loving God and my fortress,
    my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
    who subdues peoples under me."

Psalm 144:1

Offline Nathanael

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2018, 05:25:30 AM »
In the beginning I only could visit the divine liturgy once every second month, because the church was 50 miles away from my home. So don't worry. Be patient. On sundays you can then read more prayers from your orthodox prayer book (if you have one) or listen to divine liturgy on youtube - for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PwYEyBNXKs
And in one, two years there's no reason for your parents to be over-protective, you'll be then 16, and it really shouldn't be a problem to ride your bike to church. And you can pray that your parents stop to be over-protective. And you can say to your parents: "Look, do you wish that I spend my time with (drunken) friends or in nightclubs till 2.00 am or do you prefer that I go to church on sunday morning for 1-2 hours?!" ;)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 05:39:32 AM by Nathanael »
Wisdom from Elder Seraphim - All our troubles come from...:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6eL2pwtVKs

The Goal of an Orthodox Monk: 'Incarnation of Love':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZishdSrYWM

Offline Nathanael

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2018, 05:39:56 AM »

In the beginning I only could visit the divine liturgy once every second month, because the church was 50 miles away from my home. So don't worry. Be patient. On sundays you can then read more prayers from your orthodox prayer book (if you have one) or listen to divine liturgy on youtube - for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PwYEyBNXKs
And in one, two years there's no reason for your parents to be over-protective, you'll be then 16, and it really shouldn't be a problem to ride your bike to church. And you can pray that your parents stop to be over-protective. And you can say to your parents: "Look, do you wish that I spend my time with (drunken) friends or in nightclubs till 2.00 am or do you prefer that I go to church with my bike on sunday morning for 1-2 hours?!" ;)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 05:40:16 AM by Nathanael »
Wisdom from Elder Seraphim - All our troubles come from...:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6eL2pwtVKs

The Goal of an Orthodox Monk: 'Incarnation of Love':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZishdSrYWM

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2018, 08:18:16 AM »
Don't focus on not being able to watch the entire Divine Liturgy, focus on being able to watch a part. ;) You won't be 14 forever, and parents usually make it easier for situations they're finally comfortable with, which they'll probably eventually be.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline Saxon

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2018, 09:01:58 AM »
People made Orthodoxy work at times when simply being a Christian could get you killed. If you want it, there are ways.

Offline dallas_r

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine turgy
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2018, 11:19:19 AM »

In the beginning I only could visit the divine liturgy once every second month, because the church was 50 miles away from my home. So don't worry. Be patient. On sundays you can then read more prayers from your orthodox prayer book (if you have one) or listen to divine liturgy on youtube - for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PwYEyBNXKs
And in one, two years there's no reason for your parents to be over-protective, you'll be then 16, and it really shouldn't be a problem to ride your bike to church. And you can pray that your parents stop to be over-protective. And you can say to your parents: "Look, do you wish that I spend my time with (drunken) friends or in nightclubs till 2.00 am or do you prefer that I go to church with my bike on sunday morning for 1-2 hours?!" ;)

Haha, yeah I hope they will let me ride my bike soon. It is a long ride, about an hour, so maybe when I turn 15. There is greater probability of me taking a lyft driver then though. Looks like I need to save up my lunch money now to pay the fair both ways  ;D
"Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
    who trains my hands for war,
    my fingers for battle.
 He is my loving God and my fortress,
    my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
    who subdues peoples under me."

Psalm 144:1

Offline dallas_r

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2018, 11:22:25 AM »
Thank you for all of your posts, they have been very helpful. Wouldn't it be a little awkward getting up 30-45 minutes after the Divine Liturgy started?
"Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
    who trains my hands for war,
    my fingers for battle.
 He is my loving God and my fortress,
    my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
    who subdues peoples under me."

Psalm 144:1

Offline Arachne

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2018, 11:45:12 AM »
Several parishes livestream services. Some time on Google may help you find one on a convenient timezone, so you can watch and familiarise yourself with the liturgy while you can't attend in person. It's not an ideal arrangement, but it can work as an interim solution. (If you're okay with the service not being in real-time, there's no end of videos on YouTube that you can watch at any time. That would be particularly helpful if you want to see what other Orthodox services, apart from the DL, are like.)
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2018, 12:02:39 PM »
Thank you for all of your posts, they have been very helpful. Wouldn't it be a little awkward getting up 30-45 minutes after the Divine Liturgy started?
No, that happens. In my experience, more frequent are people who get there in the last few twenty minutes or something.  :P
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline HaydenTE

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2018, 01:07:25 PM »
I’m in a similar position as you, dependent on parents for transportation. The most important thing, IMO, to remember that conversion to the Orthodox Church should not instantaneous. Take time to absorb what you can when you can, don’t hurt yourself in exuberance. I was your age nearly three years ago now, and if I had converted then I would probably found myself lost and frustrated that Orthodoxy was not what I expected. I personally am grateful for the lengthy and winding route I’ve taken to Orthodox. Keep your distance at first, and just observe. While there is no doubt in my mind Orthodoxy is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, I still am remaning in Catholicism and attend the OCA as an active, but outside, observer. I recommend the same course. God bless!
"For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?" - Mark 8:36 (DRA)

Offline Sharbel

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2018, 04:59:09 PM »
You have the right attitude about attending the complete liturgy regularly.  Unfortunately, your current situation doesn't allow to fulfill this spiritual desire for the moment.  If all that you can do now is attending part of the liturgy every few weeks, accept it and give glory to God.

Alternatively, you might consider attending vespers late in the afternoon on Saturdays, if this is more feasible.

Something else to consider, is to contact the parish and inquire about a ministry of driving the homebound to church, if your parents would be more comfortable with it.

Finally, out of curiosity, you mentioned your father, but couldn't your mother take you there, perhaps even accompanying you?  Hw about a relative driving you over?

Lord, have mercy!
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Offline dallas_r

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2018, 07:10:45 PM »
You have the right attitude about attending the complete liturgy regularly.  Unfortunately, your current situation doesn't allow to fulfill this spiritual desire for the moment.  If all that you can do now is attending part of the liturgy every few weeks, accept it and give glory to God.

Alternatively, you might consider attending vespers late in the afternoon on Saturdays, if this is more feasible.

Something else to consider, is to contact the parish and inquire about a ministry of driving the homebound to church, if your parents would be more comfortable with it.

Finally, out of curiosity, you mentioned your father, but couldn't your mother take you there, perhaps even accompanying you?  Hw about a relative driving you over?

Lord, have mercy!


None of my relatives live near me. My parents don't like people at our house. They especially have a strong prejudice towards priests after hearing the multiple rape stories so I cannot be in a room alone with a priest. Maybe confession is an exemption? Lol. My mom works on Sundays and wants nothing to do with any religion because she lived poor growing up in the Philippines taking care of her 2 sisters constantly and doing housework, and her mother made her go to JW meetings that were up to 3 hrs long like 3-4 times a week. I've tried to get her to come to Church but she insists on not going. I don't think she prays much either. Lord have mercy on my parent's souls.
"Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
    who trains my hands for war,
    my fingers for battle.
 He is my loving God and my fortress,
    my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
    who subdues peoples under me."

Psalm 144:1

Offline pasadi97

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2018, 07:51:53 PM »
Wow, you have a gift from God to understand that you NEED Eastern Orthodox Church. For the people that can not understand this even if explained well they need prayer and unfortunately I lack this. I ask friends to do my prayers. Jesus said that I nee d to pray more and he is right.

So lets suppose you want to know more about orthodoxy . If you want that you can pray to God to be your religion teacher.  Believe me there is no better teacher than God. Why not learn from the best?

So pray:
Dear God please teach me in an easy way religion the way you see it only if it is good in your eyes. Please make me understand in an easy way religion the way you see it and please be my religion teacher only if it is good in your eyes.
Also pray this:
Dear God, from now on and in all eternities and after please teach me in an easy way what you think I should know and please make me understand in an easy way what you think I should understand the way you know is good only if it is good in your eyes and when it is good in our eyes.

Its true. There are things we don't know about. And if we don't know about these things we don't ask for them. But God knows them and God can tell us about them. Also last prayers make the learning process the growing process perpetual. Also we know God wants us to prosper and go on a right path. Anyhow we may ask for stupid stuff. Lets say you are in Heaven and Somebody comes and say you asked for perpetual teaching. Ok these are the books everybody else party. Wha t do you do? You need protection against errors. Only if it is good in your eyes is the protection. When it is good in your eyes is protection. In an easy way is protection.

So ya, now God will help you find the truth. If you want to know specific things ask in prayer for specific things and don't forget in an easy way and if it is good in your eyes and when it is food in your eyes. In an easy way means not with great effort at 1am with feet in water to keep you awake.

You can also say the prayer dear God please automatically add to all my prayers only if it is good in your eyes and when it is good in your eyes.

Now there is the law:
What you do comes back to you.

So basically if you teach God God will teach you.

Now you are saying. How in the World I am going to teach God when God knows everything.

To find the answer read the Bible through which God instructs us.

Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

That is whatever you do to a homeless [person or a poor person or a person in need , maybe without expecting reward from that person you are doing from God and I think God will reward you 100 times over at least.

So you are a student. Find a subject or a skill that you master. Find a student that struggle with that subject or that needs that subject. Tell them that you want to help him for free to master that subject in pause ot to come to your home. He may look at you like an alien from a spaceship. But in this way you teach God and God teaches you what you need that is religion at least 100 times over. You help more students you help God more and God will teach you more.

Other solution you [pray to God Dear Go please teach all people religion the way you know it and be their religion teacher when it I good in your eyes and only if it is good in your eyes.

That is you teach other people for free that is you teach God and God will teach you back 100 times over. at least I think.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 08:01:57 PM by pasadi97 »
God the Father is great. God the Father is good.

Offline pasadi97

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2018, 08:31:25 PM »
If you want something to read:
 Do this:

Read this page 3 http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,71911.90.html from History of the World to the end of page then from beginning of the thread to the end. Then read this: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,73117.0.html

Step 2:
Then read this:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,73071.0.html and keep an eye on it at is not done

Step 3:
Then read about pros, people that have done the right thing and made it to Heaven about champions:
That is the lives of the saints. Compare with point 2.

Everybody recommends starting with the lives of the Saints.

Step 4:
Then if you want something strong I heard Philokalia is the strongest spiritual book after Bible.

Step 5:
Books for fun:
https://www.amazon.com/Gurus-Young-Man-Elder-Paisios-ebook/dp/B00AFFFCDK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517185504&sr=8-1&keywords=the+guru+the+young+man+and+elder+paisios
https://www.amazon.com/Way-Pilgrim-Continues-His/dp/0385468148/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517185619&sr=8-1&keywords=the+way+of+a+pilgrim+and+the+pilgrim+continues+his+way

Step 6:
Visit the Monastery St Anthony in Arizona and ask Elder Ephraim or Paisios to pray for point 7.
When you grow up.
In my country Romania you can do requests for prayers at 7 monasteries for SALVATION first, protection, job, good family life through mail at monastery. If you want you can put a small donation.  You can not donate nothing if you don't want to donate but this is the custom. Every day these requests are read in front of God by monks.

Step 7:
Ya and whenever you remember you meet a priest or a saint ask for prayer for:

1.To be saved together with family and people you know and for Creation to be restored.
2.To have a good career path
3.To have a good spouse and good family life

These can make you or can break you at one point or another.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 08:39:55 PM by pasadi97 »
God the Father is great. God the Father is good.

Offline dallas_r

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2018, 09:24:26 PM »
If you want something to read:
 Do this:

Read this page 3 http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,71911.90.html from History of the World to the end of page then from beginning of the thread to the end. Then read this: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,73117.0.html

Step 2:
Then read this:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,73071.0.html and keep an eye on it at is not done

Step 3:
Then read about pros, people that have done the right thing and made it to Heaven about champions:
That is the lives of the saints. Compare with point 2.

Everybody recommends starting with the lives of the Saints.

Step 4:
Then if you want something strong I heard Philokalia is the strongest spiritual book after Bible.

Step 5:
Books for fun:
https://www.amazon.com/Gurus-Young-Man-Elder-Paisios-ebook/dp/B00AFFFCDK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517185504&sr=8-1&keywords=the+guru+the+young+man+and+elder+paisios
https://www.amazon.com/Way-Pilgrim-Continues-His/dp/0385468148/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517185619&sr=8-1&keywords=the+way+of+a+pilgrim+and+the+pilgrim+continues+his+way

Step 6:
Visit the Monastery St Anthony in Arizona and ask Elder Ephraim or Paisios to pray for point 7.
When you grow up.
In my country Romania you can do requests for prayers at 7 monasteries for SALVATION first, protection, job, good family life through mail at monastery. If you want you can put a small donation.  You can not donate nothing if you don't want to donate but this is the custom. Every day these requests are read in front of God by monks.

Step 7:
Ya and whenever you remember you meet a priest or a saint ask for prayer for:

1.To be saved together with family and people you know and for Creation to be restored.
2.To have a good career path
3.To have a good spouse and good family life

These can make you or can break you at one point or another.


Thank you very much, your posts have been extremely helpful  :)
"Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
    who trains my hands for war,
    my fingers for battle.
 He is my loving God and my fortress,
    my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
    who subdues peoples under me."

Psalm 144:1

Offline Rubricnigel

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2018, 12:32:36 AM »
First, as an adult who's only discovered orthodoxy, i applaud your attitude.

I wouldn't get to upset with your parents, as a parent we worry. And i remember going through alot of fazes when i was young, and your parents might be waiting you out.
The longer you keep at it, the more willing they will be to allow you to keep at it. Dont lose focus.

Also, maybe they have online streaming for now that will help you fulfill your thrist.

Have you tried family friends with vehicles? Maybe an aunt  cousin, neighbor can drop you off and pick you up. Maybe you can barter a ride by doing chores, mowing lawn, garbage, etc.

Like i said before i applaud you. And wish you luck, ill say a prayer for you. God bless.

Offline MariaJLM

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2018, 06:15:32 PM »
Congrats, you're doing better than me. I'm almost 27 and was only baptized last year. It wasn't easy either as I come from an entirely non-religious background. None of my family members are fond of what they call "organized religion".

That said, all the advice here so far is excellent. I just want to emphasize that things should not be rushed. I admittedly rushed into Orthodoxy pretty quickly, but I have my reasons which are not really relevant to this thread or your situation. The best thing to do is simply continue attending services when you can, but also reading about the church. This can be anything. Theology, history, etc. If you do that then by the time you're in a situation where you can actually convert then you'll already be well-informed. I have heard of priests letting people into the church sooner too if they have already studied it extensively. A friend of mine got in after about four or five months because he was taking some theology course already.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 06:16:24 PM by MariaJLM »

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2018, 02:25:42 PM »
My godson was a catechumen for some two years, and my best friend has been a catechumen for the same time (although she was going to be baptised last Pentecost and a lot went on). They both live out of town with their parents and only manage to come to church occasionally, so no wonder why. People actually joke about my godson being "the eternal catechumen" and pretend to be amazed when he says something about communing, being Orthodox, or having a godfather, lol
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline pasadi97

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Re: Trouble attending the Divine Liturgy
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2018, 10:58:53 AM »
If you want something to read:
 Do this:

Read this page 3 http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,71911.90.html from History of the World to the end of page then from beginning of the thread to the end. Then read this: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,73117.0.html

Step 2:
Then read this:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,73071.0.html and keep an eye on it at is not done

Step 3:
Then read about pros, people that have done the right thing and made it to Heaven about champions:
That is the lives of the saints. Compare with point 2.

Everybody recommends starting with the lives of the Saints.

Step 4:
Then if you want something strong I heard Philokalia is the strongest spiritual book after Bible.

Step 5:
Books for fun:
https://www.amazon.com/Gurus-Young-Man-Elder-Paisios-ebook/dp/B00AFFFCDK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517185504&sr=8-1&keywords=the+guru+the+young+man+and+elder+paisios
https://www.amazon.com/Way-Pilgrim-Continues-His/dp/0385468148/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517185619&sr=8-1&keywords=the+way+of+a+pilgrim+and+the+pilgrim+continues+his+way

Step 6:
Visit the Monastery St Anthony in Arizona and ask Elder Ephraim or Paisios to pray for point 7.
When you grow up.
In my country Romania you can do requests for prayers at 7 monasteries for SALVATION first, protection, job, good family life through mail at monastery. If you want you can put a small donation.  You can not donate nothing if you don't want to donate but this is the custom. Every day these requests are read in front of God by monks.

Step 7:
Ya and whenever you remember you meet a priest or a saint ask for prayer for:

1.To be saved together with family and people you know and for Creation to be restored.
2.To have a good career path
3.To have a good spouse and good family life

Step 8::
If you liked it and if you think is important be merciful and give this to read to at least 10 people copying  from here http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,73167.new.html#new 22 post. You may be their only chance to get things straight.

These can make you or can break you at one point or another.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 11:00:44 AM by pasadi97 »
God the Father is great. God the Father is good.