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Author Topic: Desperatly after conversion  (Read 593 times) Average Rating: 0
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erita
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« on: April 05, 2006, 02:32:03 AM »

There are many difficulties in my life, and I need a good advice. Get to
know orthodoxy, some of my question were answered, and some are
unanswered. Now, I am far away my country (travelled from Hungary to
Japan) and at the same time I have a financial, emotional difficulties
and my salvation is in danger too. Previously I wanted to ask advice
from two orthodox priest without result. Here, in Tokyo I asked a
russian priest telling my story, but he  answered me only to pray. Of
course I am praying for years now. I send twice an e-mail to my priest
in Hungary who know me almost two yeers, he did not reply.
Desperatly noticed that my brother and sister in  Christ in real life and  
via internet are indifferent to answer my questions. Where to go, if in
our Church I could not find the answer Huh
Before that I was catholic, there was worse because I have received
only banalities and attempt to persuade of my sins were good.
Someone suggested me to read spiritual books, but he could not say
any title what to read.
All things  what I am living though could not be interpreted ni in catholic
spirituality, ni in psychology, only in orthodox spirituality. I have got all
books about orthodoxy in Hungarian, I have printed some books in
english from internet, I have bought some in russian too. But for the
reading russian books I need dictionary, so it is very slow to read.
I need someone like a starets. What can I do besides this ?
I need yours prayers too......
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Kaminetz
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Posts: 124


« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2006, 02:55:25 PM »

Well, it's obviously not easy to answer you with virtually no information about your problem!

I understand the frustration when you hear the answer 'just pray', sometimes that's a blanket answer that is another way of saying 'I don't know what to tell you, ask for God to give you an answer some other way'.

At the same time, often our answer is right next to us but we are not REALLY looking for it, maybe because it's an answer we don't want to hear. That can be the case. I'm not saying that's your problem of course but its worth thinking about.

I can offer you several pieces of advice. I'd start by looking at a list of questions that people ask of themselves before they go to confession. Read some of the articles here:

http://www.orthodox.net/confess/index.html

Using this, coupled with a prayerful heart which will clear your mind, you can start taking a spiritual 'X ray' of yourself. Try to identify the weaknesses that are plaguing you the most. This won't be your definitive answer, you may still be overlooking something, but it's a vital start.

At the same time, start reading the Gospel. There is always something relevant to your life in it, so you should mindfully read it. That will also be the place where you will likely find the beginnings of a solution(s) that you so seek.

Once you've done a little homework, you should try to bring your problems to a priest. Don't try to draw your own conclusions, be open to his input. If there is no priest around, we have what is called 'spiritual brotherhood and sisterhood' - that is, people like you who are Orthodox and are trying to live an Orthodox life. Bp. Kallistos Ware says "We should not overlook opportunities offered in this form". That's why we have a family as a unit of salvation, the 'small church', we all become each other's fellow disciples in Christ.

Concerning a starets, this is not an easy path to take and it can be dangerous. You have to be very careful and discerning because there are enough counterfeit startsi out there and mini-cults that have evolved around them. Here I can also quote Bp. Kallistos who says that we should make sure that in our desire for something spectacular such as a starets, "we are not overlooking the help that God is actually offering us." I would bet that it's 99.5% likely that whatever problems you're facing can be solved without making such a drastic manoever.

Also, beware that even if you go out to find a starets and you are fortunate enough to encounter a real man of the Holy Spirit, you have to be genuinely prepared to receive whatever you will get. All you get may be a simple blessing and a reassuring look, and that will be an indicator that this is in fact all you need, instead of some long intellectual discussion.

If you are interested in startsi, read their works, and read accounts of the encounters people have had with them. You may well find that in these writings there is an answer waiting for you. I know I have found that to be true myself.

Just one example, http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/ambrose/ - scroll down to the bottom and you will find some useful transcriptions of conversations with St. Amvrosii.

There is one more thing I'd like to suggest. You may have heard of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco. He's a 20th century saint, http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/johnmx1.htm

As when he was alive, people still continue to write letters to him. These letters are collected and placed under his kivot, where they are kept during prayer. After a while they are burnt (do not send money or it will be incinerated - the envelopes are never opened).

I've written to Bishop John and he's answered me - obviously not in written form, but in a form that was unmistakeable. Here is the address:

Holy Virgin Cathedral
for the Kivot of St. John
6210 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA, 94121

My best to you...
« Last Edit: April 05, 2006, 03:10:29 PM by Kaminetz » Logged
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