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Author Topic: God and Orthodoxy  (Read 1799 times) Average Rating: 0
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mez1
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« on: November 15, 2005, 02:22:15 AM »

I am interested in orthodoxy, but I have trouble believing that there is a God. I find orthodoxy rich in beauty. Its theology, even from a skeptical point of view, is captivating. The history and accomplishments as a religion are impressive.

Still, I don’t know if there is a God. Could some person pray for me? That I might find Grace and realize it… for what it is?
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ozgeorge
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2005, 02:28:25 AM »

Mez,
In my prayers.
Why don't you post this in the prayer forum.
Things tend to get lost easily in the free for all forum (including manners Wink )
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mez1
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2005, 02:36:47 AM »

Thank you,

and I have done so.

Marty
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Salpy
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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2005, 02:45:32 AM »

I will pray for you.

Is there an Orthodox church near you?  I would recommend you attend services there when you can.  You don't have to get involved, or anything.  Just stand in the back and experience the prayers around you.  When you feel the time is right, think about approaching the priest and talking to him.  If you don't want to talk face-to-face with someone right now, that's fine.  But at least go to the services.

Also, do you have a Bible?  If you do, you may want to read the Gospels.  Or perhaps some of the Psalms--Psalm 42 is one of my favorites when I am yearning for God's presence but don't feel Him.

Sometimes finding God is not so much an intellectual pursuit, as it is just opening yourself to Him and letting Him  come to you.  They say the steeples on western churches represent man reaching up to God and the domes on eastern churches represent God reaching down to man.  Both are necessary, but waiting for God to reach down to us can take so much more patience and, at times, humility.  If you open yourself to Him, however, I believe you will eventually find Him.
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mez1
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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2005, 03:29:34 AM »

You are kind,

Yes there is an Antiochian Orthodox Church about a 45min drive from my home.
http://www.antiochian.org/western_region/washington/yakima/holy_cross_church

I have attended Liturgy there a few times. It is a beautiful experience and something to behold. But I am the worst of all…

I am not willing to move a limb. I am lazy. I have no rule of Prayer. No obedience. I did speak to father Joseph briefly after liturgy one Sunday and even set a time to meet for some food and talk. But as is characteristic of me…I didn’t go. I didn’t even call to let him know I wasn’t going, and I haven’t been back since.

I do have some bibles, including the orthodox NT with commentary by the fathers. I also have a book of the life of Papa Nicolas Planas, The way of a Pilgrim, A Night in the desert of the Holy Mountain, the ladder of Divine ascent and couple others. I have an Icon of Christ holding the Gospel that I acquired from light and life publishing in my living room and I will from time to time cross myself in front of it, or say “Lord have mercy on me a sinner” but this is seldom.

If let go…I will speak too much.
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Salpy
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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2005, 03:50:42 AM »

Spiritual laziness is one of my biggest problems, so I have some idea of what you are talking about.  People laugh when someone mentions "sloth" as being a sin, but I personally know how damaging it can be. 

I would still try to make the liturgies.  It could be you are just not ready to talk to someone right now, and I'll bet the priest understands that.  Even if you just go to the liturgy and leave right afterwards without talking to anyone, it is better than not going at all.

In terms of reading, I would, as I said, concentrate on the Gospels.  The more heavy duty theological stuff can be overwhelming, especially something like The Ladder of Divine Ascent.  Stick to the basics.  Don't bite off more than you can chew.  I've tried doing that and it just gets discouraging.

Again, I'm praying for you.
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mez1
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2005, 02:16:55 AM »

One of the things that struck me while witnessing the Orthodox liturgy was the frequent “Lord have Mercy”

And I thought, this IS how Christians should pray…
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zebu
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2005, 03:12:51 AM »

45 minutes away from Yakima...you live near me! Sort of! Do you live east or west of Yakima?
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« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2005, 03:24:11 AM »

You are kind,

Yes there is an Antiochian Orthodox Church about a 45min drive from my home.
http://www.antiochian.org/western_region/washington/yakima/holy_cross_church

I have attended Liturgy there a few times. It is a beautiful experience and something to behold. But I am the worst of all…

I am not willing to move a limb. I am lazy. I have no rule of Prayer. No obedience. I did speak to father Joseph briefly after liturgy one Sunday and even set a time to meet for some food and talk. But as is characteristic of me…I didn’t go. I didn’t even call to let him know I wasn’t going, and I haven’t been back since.

I do have some bibles, including the orthodox NT with commentary by the fathers. I also have a book of the life of Papa Nicolas Planas, The way of a Pilgrim, A Night in the desert of the Holy Mountain, the ladder of Divine ascent and couple others. I have an Icon of Christ holding the Gospel that I acquired from light and life publishing in my living room and I will from time to time cross myself in front of it, or say “Lord have mercy on me a sinner” but this is seldom.

If let go…I will speak too much.


That IS a nice parish.  I've known the assistant priest, Fr. Timothy McCoy, since I was a child and before we were both Orthodox.  I visited that parish around 4 years ago.  Very nice.
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mez1
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2005, 07:57:02 PM »

Quote
45 minutes away from Yakima...you live near me! Sort of! Do you live east or west of Yakima
The wonders of the internet, I’m in Sunnyside, a relatively small town southeast of Yakima. I was born and raised here in the lower valley as they call it.

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mez1
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2005, 08:28:22 PM »

As a child my grandmother would teach me to pray to Jesus. I remember in those days faith was simple it seemed. My grandmother was everything to me. I loved her very much and always will.

I remember one time I had this growth on the palm of hand like a wart or something. It bothered me very much and it was painful to write or grasp things with that hand. I would cut it off with razor blades, but it would just grow back.

It was my grandmother, who said “Marty, just pray and Jesus will take that from you” and I did. I trusted my grandmother. So I trusted Jesus too. And it did go away.

Now I recall the memory with skepticism, but then…it was not that way.
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zebu
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2005, 04:09:13 PM »

Quote
The wonders of the internet, I’m in Sunnyside, a relatively small town southeast of Yakima. I was born and raised here in the lower valley as they call it.
Okay...well not so close then...I live in Sammamish, which is in eastern King County...

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mez1
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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2005, 02:42:19 AM »

Considering all the controversy/ies over what was orthodox or not, the multiple divisions with claims to have held the correct teachings, and for us westerners, the pluralistic nature of American Christianity that one encounters here in the states…

I realize the orthodox must feel comfortable with their orthodoxy…but do you feel any sympathy or understanding for the skeptic who feels like he’s been had one to many times?
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