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Re: Confused on my Path to the East [Re: Robert K.] #326354 07/01/09 07:07 AM
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aramis Offline
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Originally Posted by Robert K.
Sometimes we just have to take the lead in doing something about the bad state our life is in. Mabye this is what God wants us/me to do? I can't say for sure but I can always try to find what I need to sustain me in life.


In the matter of faith, the guiding principle is usually "try to grow where you were planted. If you can't then start looking for a new place to plant.

Re: Confused on my Path to the East [Re: Robert K.] #326356 07/01/09 08:09 AM
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Glory to Jesus Christ!

Bob-

Originally Posted by Robert K.
I don't think that I am ignoring the advice given me. My initial question alos had to do with how the Orthodox would recieve me back into their Church if I were to decide to retunr. I am willing to seriously pray and reflect on whether to go Byzantine or Orthodox. However I am definitly notwanting to stay in the Roman rite.


I didn't see you as ignoring the advice and encouragement here. smile I've been waiting for an Orthodox member to post, or anyone, an answer to that question you asked. I've assumed none of us who has posted knows that answer, I know I don't.

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I've already talked to some RC clergy and they pretty much confirmed what I thought. The RC wants everyone to be RC so you are not going to get too much of an unbiased opinion from them.


I've experienced Orthodox who have equally biased opinion. Both camps can be rigid. But there are also priests in both the ECCs and Orthodox churches who are not rigid and who understand that for some this is not an clear choice. And the reality is there are ECs active in Orthodox parishes, and Orthodox active in ECC parishes. I was at an Orthodox parish this past Tues and Wed for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist because my little Byzantine parish had no services. That Orthodox priest/parish warmly welcomes me on these feasts whenever my parish doesn't have the DL. I was at another closer Orthodox church for Pascha because I didn't feel I could safely drive from my distant ECC parish at 3:00a.m. but thought a 10 minute drive at that hour I could handle, and I sure wasn't going to miss out on Pascha DL!

You have seen that thus far none of us has made a push for you to stay with the Catholic church, or not. You eliminated Latin Rite Mass and no one is disputing that. Both Catholic and Orthodox accept one another's sacraments as valid so while you are in New Jersey with ECC and Orthodox options close by get yourself to DL. smile

Originally Posted by Robert K.
(the latter is very small so mabye I would have a better chance of discussing my problems with the priest who might not be too busy considering the number of his small flock.


Often there is also a deacon who can be another good person to talk with, and maybe a Pani/Presbytera.

Maybe tomorrow some of our faithful Orthodox friends will stop by and know the answer to the specific question you asked. In any case you do have other considerations to discern. I'm sure we're all holding you in our prayers.

-Marylouise
P.S.Do you have access to O&M training for getting to these churches if that is an issue? (My daughter is legally blind and I'm quite familiar with the challenges of getting to new places with bad vision. She uses Paratransit for some things, but it's not a good option for her to get to Mass. For about a year but not now we had someone who could meet her at a bus stop. There are no safe independent crossings for her and her guide dog at major intersections near her parish. It can be frustrating.)



Re: Confused on my Path to the East [Re: Robert K.] #326394 07/01/09 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert K.
It has occurred to me that maybe I should re enter the Orthodox Church. Does anyone know how I would go about this? Would I just go to confession to an Orthodox priest and be brought back into the fold of Orthodoxy? Someone told me that the Orthodox would actually have to rechrismate me? Is this true? Also, I am aware that I could get confession/re chrismation from ay priest but what jurisdiction would I enter when returning to orthodoxy, ROCOR or that of the priest/parish I'm attending?


I would advise you to talk to an Orthodox priest. Whether he will want to re-christmate you or not depends on the circumstances, as well as his bishop's policy, but I wouldn't worry about that. Which jurisdiction is a personal choice, and really should be which parish. I assume, however, since you asked, that you have access to more than one, so attend several parishes, then approach the priest at the one at which you are most comfortable.






Re: Confused on my Path to the East [Re: Robert K.] #326530 07/03/09 05:04 PM
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Bob - Administrator's advice (et al) is wise. See Psalm 37 "3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security. 4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act." Also Proverbs 3:5,6: "5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." And my favorite: Psalm 46:10 - "Be still, and know that I am God." He is always faithful to His children.

In Him

Dan

Re: Confused on my Path to the East [Re: Dan Hartshorn] #326613 07/04/09 09:29 PM
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Robert K. Offline OP
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How is the Holy Spirit supposed to guide me if I don't take any initiative on my own? I want to be an Eastern Christian (again) and wish to separate myself as soon as possible, in some way, from the RCC which has caused me a lot of grief.

Orthodoxy holds that she alone has the true faith and constitutes the one, true, visible, Church of JC on Earth. The RC's say the same thing though and they threaten me with a very unpleasing afterlife if I don't stay with them? I'm interested in going to different EC (OC and BC) parishes and talking to priest about these issues. I'm sure that one of them will give me the help I need.

The only real problem I see is my family. They are dead set against me going Orthodox (and not even all that comfortable with the BC's). My father is starting to get on my case about it and he doesn't even go to mass that often. My Mom is also upset since she practices more and has recently had a bone marrow transplant. She credits the RC faith with bringing her through it and says that she will be upset with me if I abandon Rome? This is creating a lot of tension for me. I don't want to upset my mom but I also don't want to deny my conscious in the process.

I remember hearing that the former Byzcath poster, Dr A Roman was going through a similar spiritual crises several years ago and decided to stay BC for his families sake? I wish that I could get his perspective on this?

Bob

Last edited by Robert K.; 07/04/09 09:31 PM.
Re: Confused on my Path to the East [Re: Robert K.] #326614 07/04/09 09:34 PM
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Bob,

Salvation is synergistic, which means that it involves both divine and human activity.

For myself . . . I did not find the spiritual sustenance I needed in the Roman Church, and that is why I became an Eastern Catholic.

You must pray and act.

God bless,
Todd

Re: Confused on my Path to the East [Re: Apotheoun] #326623 07/04/09 10:34 PM
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Robert K. Offline OP
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Thanks Todd,
What ECC did you join?

Re: Confused on my Path to the East [Re: Robert K.] #326641 07/05/09 05:18 AM
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God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us!

Originally Posted by Robert K.
How is the Holy Spirit supposed to guide me if I don't take any initiative on my own? I want to be an Eastern Christian (again) and wish to separate myself as soon as possible, in some way, from the RCC which has caused me a lot of grief...

I'm interested in going to different EC (OC and BC) parishes and talking to priest about these issues. I'm sure that one of them will give me the help I need....

My Mom is also upset since she practices more and has recently had a bone marrow transplant. She credits the RC faith with bringing her through it and says that she will be upset with me if I abandon Rome? ...

Bob


Bob-

I hope you get to Divine Liturgy, to give glory to God and to receive God's mercy. You mentioned you have several options near your home. Sunday Divine Liturgy is likely not the only time you can participate in worship with them. We just had two feasts on weekdays, Nativity of St. John the Baptist, and Sts Peter and Paul, when they possibly had Vigil and Liturgy other than Sunday, and maybe they routinely have Vespers and Vigil. Get out of your head and just go. smile

Your concerns about your mother's serious health problems are very real and a qualified spiritual director/spiritual father would help you see the place of those concerns in the larger context of your spiritual journey. Meanwhile offer your concerns for your parents up in prayer. Our Lady Theotokos knows everything about the concerns of a mother's heart. Ask for her help.

Blessings- Marylouise



Re: Confused on my Path to the East [Re: likethethief] #326659 07/05/09 11:16 PM
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How is the Holy Spirit supposed to guide me if I don't take any initiative on my own? I want to be an Eastern Christian (again) and wish to separate myself as soon as possible, in some way, from the RCC which has caused me a lot of grief...


Bob:

Sometimes we think that the Holy Spirit is not at work if WE don't do something. Be assured that the Holy Spirit is alive and well and always at work with you and for you. That being said, sometimes it is the best thing to recite the prayer of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow and really listen to the words--let them sink in:

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O Lord, I know not what to ask of Thee. Thou alone knowest what are my true needs. Thou lovest me more than I myself know how to love. Help me to see my real needs, which are concealed from me. I dare not ask either a cross or consolation. I can only wait on Thee. My heart is open to Thee. Visit me and help me, for Thy Great Mercy’s sake. Strike me and heal me. Cast me down and raise me up. I worship in silence Thy Holy Will and Thine Inscrutable Ways. I offer myself as a sacrifice to Thee. I put all my trust in Thee. I have no other desire than to fulfill Thy Will. Teach me how to pray. Pray Thou Thyself in me. AMEN.


This is a prayer for discernment. And it is in surrender that you will find your way. You appear to be trying to force the issue. God will not be forced.

As far as the RCC causing you much grief--

All communities will cause you grief. That is not the reason to move to the East. Moving East should be a conscious decision born of a "pull" toward the theology, spirituality, and liturgy that make up the East's unique experience of the Mystery of God with us. You will never find the perfect community, communion or Apostolic Church. God knows we've all got our share of saints and sinners; Apostles and Judas' in our midst. If I ever left every community that gave me grief, I'd be sitting on some mountain far from every other human being. Families can be your worst enemy--Our Lord tells us so when we become His disciples; parishes are extended families. Clergy can be friends or challenges. So can all of us. Find me a perfect man and I'll show you Christ crucified. We all walk three-legged into the Kingdom.

Speaking of the Kingdom, I heard a good thing to keep in mind about that. I was told there will be three surprises when you walk into Heaven. First, all the people you thought would be there, aren't. Second, all the people you were convinced would never make it, will be. And third, the biggest surprise is that YOU will be there.

In Christ,

BOB

Re: Confused on my Path to the East [Re: Robert K.] #326666 07/06/09 12:45 AM
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I can't stand going Roman. My soul feels so empty at their masses (regardless of what form its in).


My dear brother Robert,
Please understand that I'm not judging, but request that you read the above comment which you posted. Christ is the same in the Eucharist at a Roman Mass or an EC or Orthodox Divine Liturgy. It's awesome no matter the ritual.

In your opening post you mentioned disillusionment and problems generally regarding the current Mass, the Tridentine and in general with Rome. Let me humbly suggest that you look back and see if the problems were due to biased, uninformed influences and have come to trouble you. Pray for the help of the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth.

Your most important relationship should be with God; not those who are critical of a particular Church or clergy. Try to trust God; He is the same at all apostolic Churches; He is there for you and the Sacraments are the same, gems waiting for you to seek them.

May the Paraclete and His Spouse, our Heavenly Mother comfort you.

Fr Deacon Paul


Re: Confused on my Path to the East [Re: Robert K.] #326705 07/06/09 04:10 PM
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Robert,

I am sorry that you are struggling to find peace in a church - you will be in my prayers.

If I may, I'd like to make a few comments about what you have said. Note that what I say below is intended in Christian charity, and not intended to offend in any way.

It appears to me that you need to take a step back and allow the Holy Spirit to work in you and stop trying to make things happen on your own. To be blunt, there appears to me some immaturity in your quest for a church that requires you to work with a spiritual director.

For example, in your life you have already been RC, Orthodox, then a traditionalist RC who had never attended a Latin Mass, now back to an Orthodox/EC status. Don't you see the problem with this constant switching? How can anyone find peace in such a situation?

Also, you appear to take too personally the comments and opinions of others. You are offended by Roman Catholics who don't believe you should leave the Roman Catholic Church - but what else would they think? I am sure that you could find many, many Orthodox who would not be happy when you left the Orthodox Church (and I wouldn't blame them). Roman Catholics are Roman Catholic because they believe the RC Church's claims are true - and as such, they believe it is not good for someone's salvation for them to leave that Church. Likewise, Orthodox Christians are Orthodox because they believe the Orthodox Church's claims are true - and as such, they believe it is not good for someone's salvation for them to leave that Church. This is how it should be, and one should not criticize others who believe their Church is true (although one can of course disagree with their conclusions). Ultimately, it does not matter what any of these people think, what matters is that you follow the Lord's calling in your own life.

Finally, you made this statement:

Quote

Should someone stay in a bad marriage and just hope that God will somehow change the condition of their spouse?


I think this reflects an immaturity on your part. The answer to this question should be obvious to all Christians: yes, one should stay in a "bad marriage" because he or she has made a vow to stay with his or her spouse regardless of whether the marriage is "bad" or not (obviously, cases of abuse are a different situation altogether). Our narcissistic culture will tell you that you should abandon your vows when you are not happy in them. But Christ commands us to be faithful to his commands, even when they are hard or difficult. This is true in a marriage, and it is also true of our church affiliation.

Your constant switching of churches seems to me to reflect a quest for a "perfect" church (much like those who leave their marriages desire a "perfect" spouse). Let me tell you something: if you find a perfect church, they will not let you join, because then it would no longer be perfect. smile

My own advice is to approach the priest of the parish you are currently attending (it is not clear to me what you are currently attending) and ask him for assistance in becoming a saint. Do not change your current religious affiliation, but strive to be holy in the one you are currently in. If for some reason the Lord is calling you to another church, He will make that clear only after you have settled down and in peace can hear His voice.

Re: Confused on my Path to the East [Re: francis] #326719 07/06/09 07:27 PM
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May I humbly submit the following scripture quote for thought, I too have been in a like situation, but have found peace...

From James 1;

3 *Knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

4 And patience hath a perfect work: that you may be perfect and entire, deficient in nothing.

5 But if any of you want wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all abundantly, and upbraideth not: and it shall be given him.

6 *But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering: for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, that is moved and carried about by the wind.








Re: Confused on my Path to the East [Re: Jakub.] #326737 07/06/09 10:00 PM
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My humble opinion is if you don't like the role of the Roman Pontiff as it is expressed in the Catholic Church then you should return to the Eastern Orthodox Church. By going to an Eastern Catholic Church one would still be in communion with the Holy See and from what I read you are not sure of the Catholic Churches teaching on the role of the Pope. While the Eastern Catholic theological approach is different than our western Catholic brethern we still recognize the Pope as the head of the Universal Church. If you can except that and only dislike the new Roman Liturgy then maybe a return to the Byzantine Catholic Church is good.

As an Eastern Catholic who at one time was Orthodox (I still consider myself Orthodox but in communion with Rome-my Orthodox brothers and sisters may disagree but that’s how I feel) I found in the Catholic Communion the peace of soul I was looking for. That’s the important thing. If you are having trouble with the RCC I don't see how being an EC would help-since we are members of the Catholic Communion of Churches.

I agree that Church hoping is not good. I myself had that problem when I was Orthodox because I wasn't feeling a since of peace or connection with the Church.(I am also still in my 20's and was going through much growth and soul searching that many young people do) I only felt that when I came into communion with the Catholic Church. Perhaps it is the same for you but in the opposite. Regardless of what you do I suggest staying put and struggling in the Church you ultimately decide is where God is leading you. So if it is Orthodox stay Orthodox and struggle or if it is EC or RCC stay and struggle. It is hard to sturggle but it is what we are called to do- pick up our Cross and struggle.

I wish you the best of luck and also my poor prayers.






Re: Confused on my Path to the East [Re: Nelson Chase] #326779 07/07/09 05:52 AM
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Bob,
I am a bit late to the thread. But here goes anyway. First I am Orthodox. Clearly you are in the throws of what we Orthodox call spiritual warfare. Much of what has been written above strikes me as sound advice. That said I will give you some concrete suggestions.

1. Take a week (or more if you can swing the time) and spend it in a good monastery. Monasteries are spiritual hospitals. They are where we go when we realize that we are nose deep and sinking.

2. Seek a spiritual father at the monastery. If you need some advice on where to go contact me privately.

3. Fast to the best of your ability.

4. Stop worrying about theology and start praying! Pray often... at least 3x a day. Don't spend time reading doctrinal arguments and debates online. Read the lives of the saints.

5. Take a deep breath. Unless you have a fatal illness there is no need to rush into things one way or the other.

Rushing sounds like it might have been a good part of the problem. Acting precipitously and without proper discernment can create problems down the road. I spent a quarter century attending Orthodox churches before I finally said it was time and swam the Bosporus. Church hopping is not healthy. That said, if where you are now is causing you spiritual torment then by all means switch parishes or even rites.

Finally you ask what would be involved in reverting to Holy Orthodoxy. The answer is that it will depend on a number of different factors. At a minimum you would have to go to confession. You will most likely have to be re-Chrismated and expressly renounce any non-Orthodox beliefs or doctrines which you may have subscribed to. You may be suspended from the sacraments for a period of time before being readmitted to Holy Communion. All of this would be resolved by the priest receiving you back in consultation with the bishop.

For now, fast and pray and find a good monastery to spend some time in.

Under the mercy,
John

Re: Confused on my Path to the East [Re: Ad Orientem] #326787 07/07/09 11:36 AM
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Robert,

A "disciple" is one who seeks to follow a certain rule of life inspired by the Gospel. Both East and West have their paths of discipleship, but only one Lord.

I would recommend following the advice of seeking the counsel of your current pastor or a good spiritual father/director. This mental and emotional agitation you are suffering which leads to a change of affiliation has its roots in something undeveloped in your spiritual walk with Christ.

Also, take a year and prayerfully read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Don't read it simply as a "Catechism" or a "Compendium of Belief." Instead, read it as a spiritual guide (since all doctrine has the purpose of leading us closer to Christ and thus to our salvation in Christ) that comes from the heart of the Church. Set aside the works of polemics which try to prove this or that particular position. Simply "listen" which is the proper posture of any disciple and then "do" by putting into practice what you have received in your reading. You may also want to include in this "lectio divina" (sacred reading) a reading of the daily Gospel for the Mass in your prayer.

Here is a guide for doing Lectio Divina:

The Spiritual Art of Lectio Divina

Finally, since you are at present in the Latin Church, acquire a copy of the Divine Office (Even the one volume "Christian Prayer"...or you can pray the four-volume set) and begin praying according to the spirit of the Church where you are. Get a couple of friends together at your parish and immerse yourself in the Divine Praises. To reduce the Latin Church to the experience of the Mass is to fail to plumb her true depths which are found daily in the prayers of the Divine Office.

Commit yourself to a year of this kind of discipline to develop your interior walk with Christ:

- spiritual direction and regular reception of the Sacraments in the Latin Church. Don't seek an experience - seek Christ for a year in the garden where you are currently planted.

- daily praying the Catechism, setting aside all polemics and internal debate. Look for Christ speaking to you personally through this document.

- praying the Divine Office daily (at least part of it with others, the Office of Readings is especially beautiful). Discover Christ in the prayer of the Psalms and the Latin Church's full liturgical cycle of prayer.

Forgive me any presumption in offering this advice. But the mind becomes the spiritual playhouse of the devil when it is not brought under the discipline of regular practices fed by the Word of God - a rule or daily plan of life - and it leads the heart down many paths...ultimately to the rejection of Christ Himself! Bloom in the soil and the garden where you are now planted and see how Christ leads you.

In ICXC,

Fr. Deacon Daniel

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