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#152354 11/04/04 04:00 PM
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Jason,

First and foremost, I will pray for you.

You said,
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While i believe the teaching of the catholic church, in my feelings I have protestant reactions to Mary
I converted 12 years ago, and I still have a "protestant reaction to Mary" most of the time! I used to struggle with this ("am I not really Catholic?" "Did it not 'take'?"), but now I simply accept it as reality and don't focus on it. If Our Lord wants to increase my devotion to the Blessed Theotokos, He will.

I agree with what others have said - especially the idea of praying the Creed over and over. Pray, pray, pray!

My favorite prayer during these times in my life (yes, we all do have these times - it means that Satan desires our soul) is the prayer of St. Peter:

"Lord I believe; help my unbelief!"

I sometimes will just repeat this over and over to myself, and ask St. Peter - the Rock - for his intercession.

#152355 11/04/04 04:12 PM
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Dear Jason,

I too once had a "Protestant reaction to Mary" and this was because I attended a very "modern" Catholic college . . .

In fact, you should read Methodist Minister Neville Ward's book on the Rosary "Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy."

You could join the "Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary" as they have many positive articles written by Protestants on Marian devotion.

Mary is She from whom God the Son took His Flesh (which is also her flesh).

He came to us through her and the Archangel, interestingly enough, praises HER FIRST in the beginning chapters of Luke and THEN Her Divine Son.

She is the God-bearer and we are called to be God-bearers too!

We have Holy Communion ONLY because she gives us Her Divine, Incarnate Son.

At Cana at the Wedding Feast, it is She who tells all of us, "Do whatever He tells you!"

It is She who walks with Her Son to Calvary, who is present at the Ascension, Pentecost etc.

Just as She is the Mother of Christ, having given the Divine Son of God His Body, so too is she the Mother of the Body of Christ that is the Church.

She nourishes all of us who are members of the Body of Christ that is the Church and forms in us Jesus Christ.

When the Holy Spirit finds a soul in which Mary is - He starts to do to that soul what He did with Mary two thousand years ago . . .

He begins to form Jesus Christ in that soul.

I really think you should contact me, you know . . . wink

Alex

#152356 11/04/04 04:42 PM
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One further suggestion with regard to That Woman, from someone who's been there, done that too.


Model the behavior. Make the conscious decision to act as though you have a healthy devotion to the Mother of God. (Ongoing love is an act of will much more than it is an emotion.) Trust in God for the rest. It WILL come. May take a while, but it will come - especially with the prayers of friends.

BTDT.


Sharon

#152357 11/04/04 05:41 PM
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Jason, I grew up in the home town of Oral Roberts (Tulsa) and can understand your dilemma.

Ultimately the Spirit of Truth will guide you, and have recourse to the Theotokos and the saints and you will not be let down.

#152358 11/04/04 05:45 PM
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Another Marian suggestion...

Ask Our Lady to pray for you that you may have for her the regard her Son wishes you to have, and that you would be strengthened in your faith and in your love for her Son and His Church.

And I'll pray the same prayer for you as well....

If you can trust in our prayers...the prayer of the Christians you can see, in an even greater way can you trust the prayers of the Christians who are already with the Lord in Heaven. They are alive in Christ...not far away from us, since we too are alive in Christ.

UIC-


Let us pray for Unity In Christ!
#152359 11/04/04 07:18 PM
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Originally posted by RomanRedneck:
A friend suggested that I'm trying to be to intellectual...perhaps he is right...but I have a devil of a time holding to some belief without understanding what that belief is and what it is not.
Good! God gave us our minds for a reason, you know. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, our soul, and our mind. I have two degrees in religion (undergraduate comparative religion and graduate pastoral theology and some extra grad-level work in liturgical studies to boot). If I turned off my brain when it comes to my faith, I would not be the whole person God wants me to be. (Okay, I'm still not there yet, but you know what I mean.)

So use the full force of your intellect, to do less is to dishonor God. But I think....

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While I believe the teaching of the catholic church, in my feelings I have protestant reactions to Mary, the saints, sacrificial character of the mass etc...I feel that I need help integrating these things and understanding how they all work together.
... you may need to journey to the spiritual East, where Mystery is a gift to embrace, not a puzzle to solve.

I am an atheist-turned Lutheran (Missouri Synod, for those of you who want to know)-turned leftist evangelical-turned Roman Catholic-turned Melkite. (?!?!? The 15 years between ages 18 and 33 were very interesting.) So I know exactly what you mean when you talk about Protestant reactions.

When I became a Roman Catholic, I did some mental gymnastics around Mary and the saints. I said that I understood that for "some people" they were an important part of their devotional life. But they weren't what was important to me, so I didn't need to worry about them. (I could shrug off the Hail Mary as being rooted in Scripture; and since we believe that the dead are alive in Christ, if someone wants to pray to a saint, well sure, whatever floats your boat. It's not my cuppa tea, but enjoy it if it's yours.) I could cite the teachings and say I had no real quibble with them (except for that silly part about the Immaculate Conception -- which doesn't exist in the East, BTW), but I really didn't need to have it as part of my life.

And then, then I encountered the Christian East, and it all began to make sense. Part of the problem (IMHO) with Mary and the Saints in the West is that they are not given their due. Devotion to Mary and the Saints is set aside as being for a particular brand of piety, and the vast majority of contemporary Roman Catholics are uncomfortable with it and see it as a throwback to the worst part of pre-Vatican II days. Liturgically speaking, there is no room for Mary and the Saints in regular Sunday worship. When prayers or songs do get thrown in, they are just that -- thrown in, and they stick out like a sore thumb. No wonder you can't integrate and understand!

Come East, Jason! In the Divine Liturgy, prayers and hymns to the Theotokos and the Saints are an integral part of the worship. My liturgical training allowed me to appreciate and accept their presence in worship, so my mind did not reject them. Come East, and let the hymns and prayers wash over your mind and spirit. Study the texts of those hymns and prayers and let your mind be blown away! Augustine has nothing on Romanos the Melodist and John the Golden-Throated! Let the Divine Mysteries unfold over time, and your heart shall lead your head.

Blessings on your journey!

-- Penthaetria

Gosh, I didn't mean to be so long-winded, but I got excited. Sorry.

#152360 11/04/04 07:36 PM
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BRAVO! BRAVO! biggrin

#152361 11/04/04 08:34 PM
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Originally posted by Pentha Tria:
God gave us our minds for a reason, you know. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, our soul, and our [b]mind.[/b]

Absolutely....

When I suggested not thinking through the faith questions during a major bout with temptation, I didn't mean to "turn off your mind" and not allow legitimate questions to come through.

Faith deserves the answers to its questions....As the saying goes "a thousand questions do not make one doubt"

Still, sometimes, when caught up in the depths of a temptation to doubt, I believe it is better to pray your way through...and study later, because, as I see it, the temptation is against your faith, not against your reason, and if you try to break through it on reasoning, you may simply fall in deeper....besides our strength comes from the Lord, and in times of temptation we need to trust the Lord with all our hearts, and not lean unto our own understanding...

On the other hand, if you know little about the Catholic faith in the subjects that concern you, you may need to study in order to combat the temptations with knowledge....

I hope this all makes sense.... I am one of those who has struggled and trusted, prayed and studied, and God has given me strong faith... So I just encourage you to persevere.

UIC


Let us pray for Unity In Christ!
#152362 11/04/04 08:51 PM
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Jason:

In addition to all the wise counsel my brothers and sisters in Christ have offered, let me add that this is an important time for you to go back to the priest who lead you into the Church and ask him for reading material to help shore up your newfound faith. Stay close to him and ask him to be your spiritual director--Catholics aren't "do it yourself" or "rugged individual" Christians. We belong to a family. The parish you entered the Church in is your family. Find the person who sponsored you and ask for help and prayers. Come back here and we'll help over the miles.

We care, too.

BOB

#152363 11/04/04 09:03 PM
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Poseted on the CINEAST list:

with permission:

Before His visible advent in the flesh the Logos of God dwelt among the patriarchs and prophets in a spiritual manner, prefiguring the mysteries of His advent. After His incarnation He is present in a similar way not only to those who are still beginners, nourishing them spiritually and leading them toward the maturity of divine perfection, but also to the perfect, secretly pre-delineating in them the features of His future advent as if in an ikon.

St. Maximos the Confessor, Second Century on Theology no. 28, The Philokalia Vol. 2 edited by Palmer, Sherrard and Ware; Faber and Faber pg. 144

#152364 11/05/04 06:02 AM
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Originally posted by Unity In Christ:
Dear Jason,

Were you well catechized when coming into the Catholic Church as a convert? If not, perhaps this is the time to catechize yourself, or seek direction from someone who can help you learn the meanings behind the practices and teachings of your faith.

Well technically no, i was not catechized. As a protestant i was well versed and knew my faith well. I also graduated from an Anglican seminary. So when i came to the church my priest just met with me (and my then wife) to see where we were at. We tried going to RCIA but were disgusted with the garbage we heard being taught so we quit going. FOrtunately this priest was willing to bring us in without it.

I would very much like to find a mentor or spiritual director but they dont grow on trees you know. biggrin And last i looked they wouldnt fit into a vending machine. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

I have been going to my priest (a different priest that the one who brought me into the church. At that time i lived in Michigan, now i live in Georgia). However, as nice a guy as he is, he just doesnt work for me. So anybody who thinks they are up for the job drop me a note lol.

Jason

#152365 11/05/04 07:49 AM
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Originally posted by RomanRedneck:
I would very much like to find a mentor or spiritual director but they dont grow on trees you know. biggrin And last i looked they wouldnt fit into a vending machine.

I have been going to my priest (a different priest that the one who brought me into the church. At that time i lived in Michigan, now i live in Georgia). However, as nice a guy as he is, he just doesnt work for me. So anybody who thinks they are up for the job drop me a note lol.
Jason,

I looked back at your early posts to see you had ever said what specifically brought you here to the forum, but didn't see anything that said "I'm interested in the East" (I have a suspicion, from an aside in one post, that Rose may have hijacked - oops, referred - you from another forum biggrin ). So, I'm uncertain whether you may have enough knowledge or interest in the East to take a look and see what it might offer, both in terms of spiritual direction and in answering some of your doubts.

If you're up for a 30 mile drive, I'd highly recommend a trip up to Saint John Chrysostom [stjohnmelkite.org] , our Melkite parish in Atlanta. Father John Azar, the pastor there, is a very spiritual but down-to-earth guy. He was a seminarian, but left and taught high school for probably about 15 years, before returning to finish his priestly formation. I knew him in his early seminary years and later as Rector of the Melkite Cathedral. I think you'd find him to be someone who would be a natural as a spiritual director.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
#152366 11/05/04 08:25 AM
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Neil,

That is totally cool. Jason and I were just talking about that in chat. He has a group of friends he is going to see if they want to go. I suggested they take a field trip over to Birmingham, about 2 1/2 hour drive, and attend St. Georges and also visit EWTN. There is also a Ukranian Catholic Church close by him. So hopefully he will take the plunge! So I am really glad he is asking everyone here for help. I can say he is truly sincere in his searching.

You are right..hey you make a good snoop doggie biggrin We met in churchbulletin chat, it is a very orthodox catholic chat, http://www.churchbulletin.com
a very small, no funny business like a lot of places. Although I have to admit the regulars in there, we have been chatting together for years now, and we do get carried aways sometimes. But we love to discuss our faith. I even had the pleasure of meeting Jason as he and his parents drove over from Atlanta to go to a doctor I reccomended.

Again, I know he is truly sincere in the questions he is seeking and appreciates all of the help.
Pani Rose

#152367 11/07/04 07:42 PM
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Well technically no, i was not catechized. As a protestant i was well versed and knew my faith well. I also graduated from an Anglican seminary.
Your catechetical formation, then, was not specifically Catholic, but you have much good to build on, as well as probably some things to unlearn.... since your were able to come into the Church without any formal instruction, you must have shown some sign that you were ready....I can guess that a number of us here would enjoy hearing what drew you to Catholicism in the first place....

Quote
We tried going to RCIA but were disgusted with the garbage we heard being taught so we quit going. FOrtunately this priest was willing to bring us in without it.
I'm sorry you had a negative experience with RCIA. I was blessed with one on one instruction....

Quote
I would very much like to find a mentor or spiritual director but they dont grow on trees you know. And last i looked they wouldnt fit into a vending machine.
No, they don't biggrin ...but you can pray that the Lord send the right people to help you. We all learn from each other here....

God bless you, Jason...You will be staying in our prayers....


Let us pray for Unity In Christ!
#152368 11/08/04 02:13 AM
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Jason: You posted

"I would very much like to find a mentor or spiritual director but they dont grow on trees you know. And last i looked they wouldnt fit into a vending machine."
_____________________________

Have to agree with there. I've been blessed with a long string of very good ones, but have been adrift without one for the past three years. It's like being in the desert. Hang in there and pray that God will send you a good one.

In Christ,

BOB

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