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Author Topic: I can hardly wait for Pascha 2007  (Read 1785 times) Average Rating: 0
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Marat
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« on: October 21, 2006, 02:00:57 AM »

Hey everyone. I just wanted to write to the board a bit and get some of this out. Let me recap my story.

My religious background is in the Mormon church. I'm not here to trash the members or the church's teachings, but give that info only to let you know where I'm coming from. Something I always found appealing in the Mormon church is the idea of God reestablishing his church on the earth again. It is also the same thing which lead me away from the church. The question of "What if the church never fell away?" began to worry me. I fought it. For years I fought it. I first looked at the Catholic Church, then the Orthodox Church. I fell in love with the Orthodox Church for many reasons when I first attended in 1997. Yes, 9 years ago, I went and just about decided to join. Off and on through these past nine years I've fought it. I didn't want to leave my old church and it's familiarity. My pride was in the way and I didn't want to admit I was wrong.

I wish I could tell you what happened to finally enable me to make a decision and know with certainty it is the right one. I was attending catechism class at the Orthodox parish I've been attending for a year now. I also had started RICA classes at a Catholic church. The two classes were an eye opener. In the Orthodoxy 101 class, everyone was into the lessons, preparing before hand, and asking thoughtful questions. It is a small class of about 8-12 normally, but there is a spiritual hunger present and I've thrived in it. The RCIA class is much larger, about 30-35, and people there are bored out of their mind. No one reads the scriptures we are to study, and everyone seems to be there only to "put in their time" to join next Easter or whatever in order to get married. Now, I didn't pick the Orthodox Church because it had a better class. But what I realized when thinking about this, is it isn't just the class that acts that way. I do it myself at both. I find myself much more spiritual in the Orthodox Church. I find my hunger there is also satisfied.

In short (too late, I know), I have fought the Orthodox Church for years, but now no more. I was afraid to commit, fearing it would only be a stop along the way and I didn't want to join when I was already fearing falling away. I tried to give the Catholic Church every chance possible, which has allowed me to develope a great love and appreciation for Catholics. But I do find the historical and doctrinal positions of the Orthodox Church to be stronger, and as I wrote earlier, I find myself striving to be a better person there as well. I know I'll always have questions but what I don't have any longer are any doubts. I know the Orthodox Church is where I belong. Sometimes I just want to scream out in joy about what I've found there. I, unworthy Michael, have found the spiritual home I've always craved.

There is so much I left out. Maybe some day I'll write it all out before I forget. I just wanted to hit a few points and share my joy about being baptized this next Pascha and finally being a member. I hope you all can be happy for me, since I don't think my family will be. Sad Thanks for reading my blabbering.
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Pravoslavbob
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2006, 02:22:19 AM »

Glory to God, Marat.  Wonderful to read your story.  I look forward to welcoming you into the Church at Pascha.  May God bless you on your journey!  Smiley

James Bob
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Tzimis
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2006, 09:06:19 AM »

Wonderful story Marat. It brought tears to my eyes. :'(
I give much credit to converts. I am fortunate that I was raised Greek Orthodox. I picture myself being raised something else sometimes and can truly see how difficult a decision it would be to convert. God bless you and may god humble your families hearts.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2006, 09:06:56 AM by Demetrios G. » Logged

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Thomas
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2006, 11:26:46 AM »

Dear Marat,

Thanks be to God for all things! But especially for your commitment to become a member of the Church.  I know the struggle to leave the Mormon Church but have never regetted my decision and have found great Love and peace in the Orthodox Church. May the Holy Spirit guide you to further knowledge and light during your Catechumenate.  Come by and see me when you can at St. Johns in Cedar Park, I know your not far away.

In Christ,
Thomas
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Marat
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2006, 11:56:09 AM »

Thanks everyone for the responses. I just had to share this when I posted it last night, and I'm thrilled to know others read it and are happy for me.

Thomas, I do intend to come visit St. John the Forerunner sometime. I'll be sure and look you up when I do. If you ever make it to Transfiguration, be sure and find me. My name is Michael, and I hide in the back right corner. Smiley If I knew you were Mormon, I had forgotten it. It would be great to meet sometime and chat.
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Panagiotis
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2006, 12:04:39 PM »

Blessing be upon you into the fulness of Christ, Michael.

Christ is in our midst,
Panagiotis
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vasilisl
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« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2006, 08:01:51 AM »

i wish (and pray) that Jesus will guide you and be with you at all times in your new spiritual journey.

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Ο Σταυρός του Χριστού είναι η ζωή και η σω
Marat
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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2006, 03:29:21 PM »

Thank you all for being so kind, welcoming and encouraging me. I'm more excited by the day. This is a decision that's been years in the making. I don't know what ever took me so long.

I still feel so ignorant about so many things. That will come in time I suppose.
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Panagiotis
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2006, 12:02:01 AM »

I still feel so ignorant about so many things. That will come in time I suppose.
Never let the ignorance interfere with your journey within Orthodoxy. It could take many lifetimes to truly grasp the wholeness of the Church but Our Father gave us one, eternal. So the next time you do not understand, just lift it to God and always ask questions of your Parish Priest or even the Reader.

BLessings,
Panagiotis
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"The first condition for the establishment of perpetual peace is the general adoption of the principles of laissez-faire capitalism"
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Marat
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2006, 04:58:23 PM »

I can still hardly wait. Smiley

I met the most wonderful lady at church yesterday. I met her before church, and she told me so much I didn't know about it. She seemed to know everything about art and architecture, and offered to let me go with her next week to Divine Liturgy (she was usher yesterday) and she'd love to guide me through the service. I was thrilled. I've actually prayed for someone just like this, and it happens.

I'm most probably not the only catechumen to be lopsided with book knowledge and lacking practical knowledge of how to live the faith. Anyone else like this on the board I encourage you to find your person just like I did. The parish I go to is large enough that they don't automatically know and see every newbie around and you have to pursue it.

Anyway, I'm still thrilled and I wanted to brag about my new friend. Tongue
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