Author Topic: Struggling with decision  (Read 707 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline boggyman

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Faith: Roman Catholic
Struggling with decision
« on: May 20, 2020, 04:15:45 PM »
Years ago, brand new to Orthodoxy, sacraments, liturgy, I fell in love with the idea of the ancient church, the continuity of the teaching, etc. I read extensively and eventually I began attending an Orthodox parish about 2hrs away. It was not easy. My family was not along for the ride, for one thing. The drive was difficult. Then for a series of reason, I let myself consider the possibility that all the negativity I had thought about the Catholic Church was wrong. Perhaps they had a case for being the Church, and maybe I should listen. The story is much longer, trust me. It was several years in the making. Eventually, I did become Catholic. I settled into my parish, and I've been mostly happy for many years.

However, I guess you'd say that the East never left me. My brain likes order and definition, and the Catholic teachings seemed much more so to me - but I could never really embrace some. For one example: I still to this day can't adequately grasp indulgences. Not going to happen. I am much more irenic when it comes to reconciling some controversial teachings b/t East and West, and I surely don't think may things should be church dividing.

But for the past two years, I have been increasingly longing for Orthodoxy. I am struggling, honestly. Am I having doubts about Papal supremacy b/c I truly have doubts, or because I don't like Pope Francis' direction? It's been two years of pretty relentless feelings of doubt and struggle. I tire of the banal liturgies, the corrupt bishops, etc. - but I don't want to pretend all is well in Orthodoxy. God knows it's not.

I guess I'm saying all of this to just ask for prayers. I'm sort of a leader in my parish. I've been involved in so many things. I know leaving would be scandalous. But I feel staying would be a lie. To top it off, there's a new Orthodox mission nearby, so the drive would be shorter. I've met the priest, and he's wonderful.

A sinner.

Offline Ainnir

  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,267
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Struggling with decision
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2020, 04:21:45 PM »
Lord, have mercy on your servant.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no idea, so there’s that.

Pray for me, a wretched sinner.

Jacob wrestled with God all through the night.  At the break of day, he became Israel.

Offline hecma925

  • Non-clairvoyant, but you can call me Elder
  • Stratopedarches
  • **************
  • Posts: 19,330
  • You're my guardian angel hiding in the woods
  • Faith: Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
  • Jurisdiction: Enemy State Orthodox Church Abroad
Re: Struggling with decision
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2020, 04:49:06 PM »
Lord, have mercy.
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 Tzimis

  • Site Supporter
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,819
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: EP
Re: Struggling with decision
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2020, 04:50:24 PM »
You don't need us. The lord will guide your way. Just pray for guidance.

Offline platypus

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 713
  • The West knows best
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: Struggling with decision
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2020, 05:55:35 PM »
Lord, have mercy!
I stare at the screen, my fingers gliding across the keypad. Uninformed opinions appear in neat rows of text. They are my own. "Click post!" Pride whispers gleefully into my ear. I obey without resistance.
Please disregard everything I say.

Offline Justinian of Narnia

  • Custodian of Cair Paravel; Knight of the Noble Order of the Table; Lord of the Lantern Wastes; Marshal of the Marshlands; Archon of Archenland; Earl of Ettinsmoor
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,325
  • I have come home at last! This is my real country.
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian Archdiocese of NA
Re: Struggling with decision
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2020, 12:18:40 PM »
Lord have mercy.
"Stand at the brink of the abyss of despair, and when you see that you cannot bear it anymore, draw back a little and have a cup of tea" ~Elder Sophrony of Essex

Offline RaphaCam

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,473
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: Struggling with decision
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2020, 02:26:02 PM »
Lord, have mercy.

When I became Orthodox, I investigated Catholic apologist sources to see the other side and be sure of the direction I was going. It only strenghtened my faith. Don't fear investigating Orthodoxy: if it's true, you should know. If you eventually realise it's not, there's no harm in looking.

I also realise how the lack of systematic thinking can pose difficulty for us... It's not only our Western culture, but also the fact that we live in a time in which all kinds of information are accessible through some clicks. There are barely any mysteries in the 21st century anymore. It's challenging, humbling and even confusing to accept as truth something that can't be known that much. Even though Catholicism also reveres mystery, it presents itself as readier to answer much more questions with certainty. So I really understand your pain, even though I see it as prejudiced by an illusion of regularity (which I have experienced, including with some ways of interpreting Orthodoxy).
"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 Sethrak

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,072
  • Faith: Armenian Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Etchmiadzin, Armenia
Re: Struggling with decision
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2020, 12:27:36 AM »
Good to meet you Brother ~ I'll watch for your postings ~ glad you found your way here, look forward to talking with you ```



Christ first ```





seth
Իմաստութիւն Հոր Յիսուս՝ տո՝ւր մեզ իաստուփին՝ զբարիս խորհել եւ խոսել եւ գործել առաջի Քո յամենայն ժամ : եւ ի չար խորհրդոց ի բանից եւ ի գործոց   փրկեա  զմեզ՝ ամէն:
Jesus, Wisdom of the Father, give us wisdom, to think, speak and do what is Good before you at all times. And save us from evil thoughts, words and deed, amen.

Offline Zephyr7

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 155
  • Faith: Orthodox
Re: Struggling with decision
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2020, 01:45:47 AM »
Dear, Boggyman.

Please bear in mind that it is not an accident that you are getting closer to Orthodoxy - but rather an act of Grace (if your reasons are pure: no anger, no vanity, no just wanting). In other words, you are receiving help from the Above. And I know it would be difficult to leave catholic church - but it is the only way. We do not know how Our Lord will be judging people and deciding who will be saved and who will not. But we know what we can do today in order to be given Salvation.

There are so many people who were not lucky enough to learn about Orthodox Faith - and they died without knowing anything about it. And we can guess that they will have a good explanation to present to Our Lord. But you know - you feel it. You understand it at the intellectual, spiritual and emotional level.

What I recommend to you is this: get a copy of an orthodox prayer book and keep reading the prayers every day. Start attending Divine Liturgies and evening vespers. Start living like an Orthodox before becoming one.

And when you understand and experience the help from God, the Divine Grace - you will know for sure and everything be easier from then on - as nothing is impossible for Christ, our God!
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 01:47:10 AM by Zephyr7 »

Offline Agabus

  • The user formerly known as Agabus.
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,325
  • Faith: Salve Regina
  • Jurisdiction: La Virgin de Cobre
Re: Struggling with decision
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2020, 12:31:15 PM »
I'm sort of a leader in my parish. I've been involved in so many things. I know leaving would be scandalous. But I feel staying would be a lie. To top it off, there's a new Orthodox mission nearby, so the drive would be shorter. I've met the priest, and he's wonderful.

I've been in this position.

I left a (minor) teaching role in a church to start attending Orthodox services. I felt like staying was a betrayal of myself, but leaving would be a betrayal of people who really did mean a lot to me.

A few people expressed concerns as I moved forward, but I was surprised at how many just shrugged it off. People who aren't in a cult **and I kind of was** aren't as invested in your particular parishgoing as you'd suppose, not matter how much you struggle internally.

Those who really care about you will keep in touch, and vice versa for your part.

I'm not going to feed you the line that God will just confirm what you're supposed to do, but probably being miserable is a good sign. That said, try to figure out if the longing is for what's there versus if it's just fueled by what you don't like where you are. I've seen a lot of converts running away from something run away from Orthodoxy after a while.

Once public services resume, you can attend Vespers and still fulfill your other obligations -- if you want, no pressure from me -- until you feel comfortable making a decision.

Continue to pray. Those here will pray for you.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 12:31:52 PM by Agabus »
I DO NOT AFFIRM OR DENY THE CONTENT OF ANY GIVEN POST IN THESE FORUMS. THEY REFLECT DIFFERENT STAGES OF MY FAITH AND LIFE. IF ONE OF MY POSTS HELPS YOU, MAY GOD BLESS IT, AND IF IT IS A STUMBLING BLOCK, MAY YOU AND GOD FORGIVE ME.

Offline WPM

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,724
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Granbury to Abilene.
Re: Struggling with decision
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2020, 03:04:34 PM »
Orthodox Christians support each other in difficult times.

Offline boggyman

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Faith: Roman Catholic
Re: Struggling with decision
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2020, 09:07:08 AM »
Hello all, I just wanted to give an update. I mentioned in the OP that I was in a position of leadership in the parish. I was RCIA coordinator, and in formation for the diaconate. Yesterday I submitted resignation letters for both programs. It was the toughest thing I've had to do in a while.

Ultimately, the question of my ability to be a faithful Roman Catholic comes down to the Papacy. What do I truly believe its nature to be versus what it is in real-world practice? Is it better to be Orthodox - apart from the papacy as it currently is; or Roman Catholic and in communion with the Papacy as it currently is? It is a tough decision, but mainly because of all the extenuating relationships. I simply cannot be Roman Catholic, in communion with the Pope. I no longer can hold that the Pope is universal pastor of the church with governing power in every diocese the world over. Unfortunately, due to the spiritual sickness of the West, if today the Pope renounced this power - the Catholic Church would devolve even further into fiefdoms of varying levels of little "o" orthodoxy and heterodoxy.

Ultimately, it comes down to this: the emperor has no clothes. The papacy, as it developed as a center of unity and power has amassed power but very little unity. There are other Roman Catholic practices, that though I was a faithful Catholic for almost 15 years I could never fully embrace. I love Mary the Theotokos, but all the varying devotions to her (things like her Immaculate Heart, and the Total Consecration) always struck me as a bit off. The Catholic understanding of indulgences was always beyond my comprehension. I suppose I left the East, but the East never left me.

I guess I say all of this to say: I have made a firm decision, though difficult, to begin attending Orthodox services and God willing come into communion with the Orthodox Catholic Church.

God bless

Online Mor Ephrem

  • A highly skilled and trained Freudian feminist slut
  • Section Moderator
  • Hypatos
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,102
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: Mercenary Freudianism
  • Jurisdiction: Texas Feminist Coptic
Re: Struggling with decision
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2020, 09:33:42 AM »
May the Lord direct your steps.
OCnet is KGB.
I hail Mor Ephrem as our Secretary General.

Quote
Oh you Greeks, you are all dumb!

An Athonite

Offline WPM

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,724
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Granbury to Abilene.
Re: Struggling with decision
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2020, 09:46:45 AM »
I also realise how the lack of systematic thinking can pose difficulty for us... It's not only our Western culture, but also the fact that we live in a time in which all kinds of information are accessible through some clicks. There are barely any mysteries in the 21st century anymore.

Right, Our Job is to prepare You for the Age of the 21st century.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 09:47:10 AM by WPM »

Offline RaphaCam

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,473
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: Struggling with decision
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2020, 02:04:25 AM »
If you look into history, you may come to the conclusion that the degeneration of the Papacy wasn't a historical accident, but rather the result of a continuous movement of deviation from Orthodoxy that relates directly to the construction of papal doctrine. Even if you don't come to the conclusion, check the tree by its fruits, as the Lord said.
"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 Lepanto

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 666
  • Faith: Roman Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Munich and Freising
Re: Struggling with decision
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2020, 08:43:40 AM »
Indeed, check the fruits. But try to be fair and unbiased when checking. Also, there are those fruits that look delicious from the outside but are full of worms inside.
Sanctus Deus, Sanctus fortis, Sanctus immortalis, miserere nobis.