Author Topic: Your convert stage has passed  (Read 1700 times)

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Offline seekeroftruth777

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Your convert stage has passed
« on: August 28, 2018, 04:20:13 PM »
what to make of it, I feel like my zeal is pretty lost, I feel normal, maybe a healthy thing? I'm in a odd spot where I look at Converts like many looked at me in the past as "crazy" yet I can never fully be cradle.

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2018, 04:55:17 PM »
what to make of it, I feel like my zeal is pretty lost, I feel normal, maybe a healthy thing? I'm in a odd spot where I look at Converts like many looked at me in the past as "crazy" yet I can never fully be cradle.
Learn how to speak the language.  No one will ever question your cadleness.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2018, 07:26:25 PM »
The passing of the "honeymoon phase" is pretty common to any human endeavor. Just recognize that peaks and valleys are a normal part of our brains. Nobody can be "up" 100% of the time.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2018, 07:32:47 PM »
Spiritual progress is no more linear than any other kind. There will be ups, down, plateaus and flashes of enlightenment, in all sorts of sequences. Do your best each day, not what you think should be your best.
'Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against stupid. That might actually make a difference.'~Harry Dresden

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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2018, 09:01:23 PM »
what to make of it, I feel like my zeal is pretty lost, I feel normal, maybe a healthy thing? I'm in a odd spot where I look at Converts like many looked at me in the past as "crazy" yet I can never fully be cradle.
You don't need to be cradle.  There is too much cradle vs. convert talk--from both "sides."  Conversion is a life-long process.  Some people get to begin that soon after birth, others end up playing catch up, as it were.  I'll try to dig up the article that influenced me most on this.  It is healthy to feel normal, but now the real work begins, and it definitely feels like work.  Growth is not a consistent thing, except in theory.  And...try to have compassion on the converts you run into.  ;)
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2018, 11:01:22 PM »
Be happy for others' zeal.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2018, 11:31:36 PM »
I bet there's little to no generical difference between a cradle and someone who has been a convert for many years. One of the most pious young men I know was born to two convert parents. Many people convert without ever going through the zealot phase, too.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 11:32:33 PM by RaphaCam »
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Offline Justin Kolodziej

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2018, 11:52:05 PM »
Not sure if this is what you had in mind Ainnir, but this is what I remembered.
One of Fr. Andrew Phillips' better articles kind of talks about this, basically saying external zeal of converts (long beards, large crosses, etc) is just delusion, and the sooner you are just a normal Orthodox Christian the better. He recommends even dropping the "convert" label.

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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2018, 11:58:06 PM »
Yeah, don't worry about convert vs. cradle. Almost all of the "true genuine bestest eva" traditionalist Orthodox groups were started by cradles... no one has a monopoly on misplaced/misfocused zeal, nor a monopoly on lapses, bad habits, apathetic spiritual life, etc. Like everyone said, just keep trying to put one foot in front of the other.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 11:58:47 PM by Asteriktos »

Offline hecma925

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2018, 11:59:40 PM »
Not sure if this is what you had in mind Ainnir, but this is what I remembered.
One of Fr. Andrew Phillips' better articles kind of talks about this, basically saying external zeal of converts (long beards, large crosses, etc) is just delusion, and the sooner you are just a normal Orthodox Christian the better. He recommends even dropping the "convert" label.

Even the women converts have beards in my parish.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline WPM

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2018, 08:54:39 AM »
So.. Sticking with being Orthodox.
Jesus Prayer : the invocation of the name of Jesus, most commonly, 'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me' , although there are a number of variant forms. Not merely a technique or a Christian mantra, but a prayer addressed to the person of Jesus Christ, expressing our living faith in Him as Son of God and Savior.

Offline Agabus

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2018, 09:50:19 AM »
what to make of it, I feel like my zeal is pretty lost, I feel normal, maybe a healthy thing?

A normal thing.

Now watch for the dark night phase.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

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Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2018, 10:10:07 AM »
Not sure if this is what you had in mind Ainnir, but this is what I remembered.
One of Fr. Andrew Phillips' better articles kind of talks about this, basically saying external zeal of converts (long beards, large crosses, etc) is just delusion, and the sooner you are just a normal Orthodox Christian the better. He recommends even dropping the "convert" label.

Even the women converts have beards in my parish.
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

And Justin thanks, that wasn't it, though.  But it's definitely a good one for self-evaluation.  I failed to readily dig up what I was remembering, but I'll keep looking in spare moments.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Sharbel

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2018, 01:50:02 AM »
Everyone is born a pagan.  Some are converted to Christ as an infant, but some as an adult.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2018, 01:34:00 PM »
Everyone is born a pagan.  Some are converted to Christ as an infant, but some as an adult.

This is one of those cute platitudes that attempts to make a valid point but is ultimately misleading.
I think you can say ~ In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and post with charitable and prayerful intentions.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2018, 06:54:54 PM »
Everyone is born a pagan.  Some are converted to Christ as an infant, but some as an adult.

This is one of those cute platitudes that attempts to make a valid point but is ultimately misleading.
I agree, but would you expand?
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2018, 09:19:05 PM »
I'll keep looking in spare moments.

Ok this was the closest approximation I could find.  It's a "Be the Bee" video; I know not everyone loves them, but I just cannot find the article.  I think the point he makes in the video was just one of several made in this elusive article, but it was the one that really spoke to what I was struggling with at the time I read it.  So anyway...same sentiment, different source.  :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EysL5aldWhg&feature=youtu.be
« Last Edit: August 31, 2018, 09:19:28 PM by Ainnir »
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline noahzarc1

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2018, 10:06:58 PM »
Everyone is born a pagan.  Some are converted to Christ as an infant, but some as an adult.

This is one of those cute platitudes that attempts to make a valid point but is ultimately misleading.

Can you elaborate your point more? I am interested what your thoughts are further on your reply. Thanks.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2018, 10:13:54 PM »
I'll keep looking in spare moments.

Ok this was the closest approximation I could find.  It's a "Be the Bee" video; I know not everyone loves them, but I just cannot find the article.  I think the point he makes in the video was just one of several made in this elusive article, but it was the one that really spoke to what I was struggling with at the time I read it.  So anyway...same sentiment, different source.  :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EysL5aldWhg&feature=youtu.be

There's actually a lot of things I like about Be the Bee, personally.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline recent convert

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2018, 12:00:57 AM »
I think a basic awareness of trying to live daily life in faith by the Lord’s commandments guided by the theology of the creed is our basic need.

 Believe me, I got issues but my faith keeps me alive.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2018, 12:02:53 AM by recent convert »
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2018, 11:13:44 PM »
Everyone is born a pagan.  Some are converted to Christ as an infant, but some as an adult.

This is one of those cute platitudes that attempts to make a valid point but is ultimately misleading.
I agree, but would you expand?

I suppose the first point I'd make is that "pagan" is not a neutral term.  No one is "born a pagan".  People are born unbaptized, sure, but that doesn't mean they are pagan by default, as if paganism is the normative setting of human beings created in the image and likeness of God (i.e., Christ [cf. Col. 1.15]).  Paganism is a thing, not the absence of a thing.     

Second, it is true that "some are converted to Christ as an infant, but some as an adult", and there is a temptation to use this to eliminate the distinction between "convert" and "cradle", where the former are always something like second class citizens compared to the latter.  Both groups have given the Church great saints and great sinners, so there really is no reason to boast, and a leveling of the playing field would be a good thing.  But I feel that this idea does not take the reality of the Church seriously. 

A young Orthodox couple (both cradle, both convert, one of each, it makes no difference) learns they are expecting a baby.  Their union was sanctified in the Church through the sacrament of marriage, their sexual union is undefiled, blessed, and worthy of praise, and from that union begun in the Church, a child has been conceived.  That child was/is prayed for by his/her parents, goes to church with them (can't help it, being in the womb and all), and there is no reason not to suppose that the child does not worship God to the extent s/he is able just as the fetal Forerunner worshiped within his mother's womb the Christ in his mother's womb.  To the extent that the parents (especially the mother) participate in the life of the Church, they receive and cooperate with divine grace, and this naturally has an effect on the child.  When the child is born, even before it is baptised, the child is "claimed" by the Church in various ways: first, as the child of Christian parents, but also through the prayers read at birth, at the naming on the eighth day, at churching, etc. 

Such a child is the child of children of the Church.  If s/he is baptised a few months later, it is precisely because of this ecclesial connection that we baptise children who otherwise could not speak for themselves.  But even if baptism were to be delayed for years, that child is still not a pagan or a "none" or whatever.  S/he belongs to the Church, and has belonged to the Church from conception, even if not sacramentally united to her.  Not infrequently do we read references here on OCNet to Orthodox catechumens dying before baptism/chrismation being allowed an Orthodox funeral because, as catechumens, they are of the Church...how could it not be so for such "cradles"?   

By all means, knock "cradle" and "convert" off their high horses when necessary (it often is).  But statements like the one with which I took issue are unhelpful because they're simplistic to the point of distortion.  "Church" and "grace" have meaning and consequence independent of and prior to our electing to avail ourselves of them.     
I think you can say ~ In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and post with charitable and prayerful intentions.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2018, 11:17:00 PM »
Thank you.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2018, 02:49:49 PM »
what to make of it, I feel like my zeal is pretty lost, I feel normal, maybe a healthy thing? I'm in a odd spot where I look at Converts like many looked at me in the past as "crazy" yet I can never fully be cradle.
Not sure if you mean what i think you mean but in any case, think of it as a car. You start in gear1, the engine does alot of noise but you are not moving fast, after sometime you are already in gear4, the engine doesn't really make that much noise but you are moving much faster.

Does that help ?

Also there is never a time where you can't do better for Christ, think of what you can improve for the love of God.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 02:52:51 PM by Vanhyo »

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2019, 11:54:43 AM »
Not sure if this is what you had in mind Ainnir, but this is what I remembered.
One of Fr. Andrew Phillips' better articles kind of talks about this, basically saying external zeal of converts (long beards, large crosses, etc) is just delusion, and the sooner you are just a normal Orthodox Christian the better. He recommends even dropping the "convert" label.

Even the women converts have beards in my parish.
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

And Justin thanks, that wasn't it, though.  But it's definitely a good one for self-evaluation.  I failed to readily dig up what I was remembering, but I'll keep looking in spare moments.

I still can't find the article I'm remembering.  But one of the passages in The Sweetness of Grace conveyed a similar sentiment.  The author is Canadian, and spent several years in Thessaloniki, which is where the "friends of theirs" mentioned were.  After saying no one in Greece ever labeled them (her and her husband) as converts, she writes on pp. 213-214:
Quote
Friends of ours who grew up nominally in the Church and who at some point began taking their Orthodox Faith seriously considered us to have had a common experience: originally we were not "of the Church" (as they say in Greek), and then, by the grace of God, we were enlightened to change our lives.  This is what metanoia, repentance means: to turn away from sin and turn back to God.  Every day of our lives we need to convert, to repent, to turn to God.  How we came to the Faith, how long we've lived the Faith, or whether we are members of an ethnic group is beside the point.  The Christian life is not about where we've been but where we're going.  Christ doesn't related to us as who we were but who we are and who we are becoming."
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Peacemaker

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Re: Your convert stage has passed
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2019, 01:51:38 PM »
https://youtu.be/ooZiPrSm8sI?t=480 Check out what the abbot says here, it can apply to anyone (not just monastics).