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#55043 11/01/03 03:32 AM
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Hi everyone,

Was hoping to get some feedback on a spiritual mini-crisis I've been going through:

I've been unofficially Byzantine Catholic for almost a year now, and love it!

However, lately, I've been feeling drawn to Orthodoxy. "Why," you may ask, "would you want to go Orthodox, when you have the spirituality of Orthodoxy in the truth of Catholicism?"

Well, I don't think my reasons are actually good ones, and there's the problem. Right now, I feel like an amphibian, between Catholicism and Orthodoxy-- and I have more in common with the Orthodox than I do with Roman Catholics. It's like standing on a bridge, and I really don't like the feeling.

However, I believe the Catholic Church is the true Church, and that Christians are supposed to be in communion with the See of Peter.

So intellectually, I can't leave the Church I know was founded by Christ, but emotionally and spiritually, I'm SO tempted to become Orthodox... head vs. heart.

Has any other Byzantine Catholics here experienced this? Any advice or prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Christ is among us!

Karen


Slava Isusu Christu!

Karen
#55044 11/01/03 04:15 AM
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[However, I believe the Catholic Church is the true Church, and that Christians are supposed to be in communion with the See of Peter.]

If you believe what you state above, then you answer your own question. Stay where you are.

OrthoMan

#55045 11/01/03 04:55 AM
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Glory to Jesus Christ!

I think I can very much sympathize with being drawn to Orthodoxy. It is like walking a tight rope, or being stuck between two divorced parents. There are times you feel you are going crazy, that you have a split personality. I have my "Latin" mode, and my "Byzantine" mode, and at times it is very hard to juggle them. The natural temptation is to throw oneself to one side and forget the other. But life is often never that easy.
The thing that has helped me most was talking to former Orthodox who have entered into communion with Rome. They can tell you things are not rosier on the other side of the ecclesial divide. Sure, Orthodox ceremonies look like heaven, but you have to get behind the appearances and go to their profound being. As it is written in the Imitation of Christ, location has often deceived many in the spiritual life. You will always be yourself wherever you are in terms of ecclesiology, and so will everybody else. If you take this under consideration, maybe you will realize that where you are is the best place for you.
So I like, in the end, being divided. Even if the Orthodox treat me like some weirdo who is trying to be like them without being them, and thus treat me with distrust, for the time being I can do nothing about it, and I will enjoy being "Orthodox-lite", a Latin in a riassa. At this point, it's not between me and them anyway, it's between me and God.

Arturo

#55046 11/01/03 05:10 AM
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Originally posted by Arturo:

. Sure, Orthodox ceremonies look like heaven, but you have to get behind the appearances and go to their profound being.

Arturo
Are you talking of the reality of Orthodox Church politics (which exist in ANY Faith) or something wrong with with the Nature of Orthodoxy itself??

#55047 11/01/03 05:22 AM
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Politics.

#55048 11/01/03 05:29 PM
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Karen,

The fact that you are feeling drawn to Orthodoxy is a sign that you are becoming "one of us," for real.

I experienced this draw myself several years ago, with great intensity. I was advised by a certain subdeacon that ALL Eastern Catholics should experience a draw toward Orthodoxy, or else something is wrong. Although we are in communion with Rome, the Orthodox Church is our mother Church, from which we came, and we are supposed to feel a longing for her.

At any rate, I made no hasty decisions and remained in Eastern Catholicism. Today I know that I belong exactly where I am, and have no plans to ever become Orthodox. Yet where I am is admittedly NOT comfortable. The draw toward Orthodoxy never vanishes, because it is in reality the draw toward the fulness of our Eastern Christian tradition.

Christianity is not supposed to be comfortable. It is possible for Roman Catholics to feel comfortable with their separation from Orthodoxy, for most of them aren't even consciously aware that the Orthodox exist. Likewise, it is possible for Orthodox Christians to become comfortable with their separation from Rome. But for us Eastern Catholics, we must live day in and day out with the discomfort of being separated from our mother Church. And this discomfort is the work of God, for it compels us to work toward unity.

Being Eastern Catholic isn't easy. It is full of frustration, disappointments, and hardship. But somewhere within this is the cross of Jesus Christ. We get to share in a taste of the pain that Christ feels over the disunity of his disciples.

And as for those Eastern Catholics who feel NO draw toward Orthodoxy, may God mercifully spare us from the damage that they can do.

Anthony

#55049 11/01/03 06:30 PM
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And this discomfort is the work of God, for it compels us to work toward unity.
Mr. Dragani,

This is very, very astute! I definitely agree with this. No draw toward the other church = no draw toward unity (unless one defines "unity" submission of one tradition to another, which it is not).

Logos Teen

#55050 11/01/03 06:35 PM
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dear Karen:

Of course you feel drawn to Orthodox.

WE ARE ORTHODOX!

We are the Orthodox...the Orthodox-in-Communion-with-Rome, that is!

Of course we have more in common with the Orthodox than with Roman Catholics! That's just because....we ARE Orthodox! As Archimandrite Robert Taft says, except for our being in Communion with Rome, we should be in all of our Christian life, basically Orthodox.

We are not a hybrid of both, or as 1 Forum poster put it "Roman Catholics with a different Mass". We are not supposed to be "half and half", or some sort of ecclesiastical "third way".

Rather, we are 1 (Orthodox) and as well, in communion with the other (Latin Church & Armenian & Maronite & etc. Catholic Churches)

That communion with the Catholic family (and all the various churches therein {e.g. Syrian, Chaldean, Ethiopian, Coptic, Latin, etc.), as symbolised via the Bishop of Rome is very precious to us. Indeed working toward full church unity is very precious to us.

And we, despite our unworthiness, have been graced with a very unique and privileged position and vocation of being "Orthodox in communion with Rome". And it is not easy to be in the Catholic Communion without being swallowed or absorbed either entirely or partially by the Latin Church and its theology and spirituality, nor is it easy to be Orthodox and not be in Communion with our mother Churches.

Of course it's an uncomfortable position to be in at times. I personally think that that uncomfortability is a great grace. We are the "burr in the saddle" that disturbs each Communion's self sufficiency.

that's my experience of it, anyways.

Welcome to the holy struggle!

Herb

#55051 11/01/03 08:17 PM
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[WE ARE ORTHODOX!

We are the Orthodox...the Orthodox-in-Communion-with-Rome, that is!]

Herb: Using the same criteria you use to claim you are 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome'...then I guess you disagree with those within Latin & Eastern Rite Catholicism who claim the Anglican Church is not Catholic but Protestant. And you would have no objection if they started to call themselves 'Catholics In Communion With The Archbishop of Canterbury'?

After all, the criteria is the same. Your mother church is the Orthodox Church which your church left mainly for political reasons. The Anglican Church similiarly has the Roman Catholic Church as their mother which they also left mainly for political reasons. And the ritual in the High Anglican Church is very similiar to that of their mother. And dogma seems to be placed behind ritual.

OrthoMan

#55052 11/01/03 10:09 PM
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Yes, I do believe that some of them do believe and sincerely try to be Catholics (in Communion with Canterbury). Of course not all claim or want to be "Angle-Catholics".

I would support all their efforts to be AS CATHOLIC as Possible - in theology, spirituality, church discipline, etc.

And if they need any help, I am sure that members of the Forum and all "Orthodox in Communion with Rome" would be more than willing to assist - even though we not be assisting them into our Church (i.e. the Orthodox Churches in Communion with Rome).

I wish them well and pray for them in this difficult time in their church's life. I pray that they would have the consolation of God's love and the courage to stand for God's truth - i.e. I pray that they may be truly Catholic in faith - even though they may not be in Communion with their mother church (our Sister Church).

Herb

#55053 11/02/03 12:13 AM
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SaintClare, See my post to you in "Byzantine Evanglization what do we do thread?".

#55054 11/02/03 02:11 AM
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Originally posted by Herbigny:
Yes, I do believe that some of them do believe and sincerely try to be Catholics (in Communion with Canterbury). Of course not all claim or want to be "Angle-Catholics".

I would support all their efforts to be AS CATHOLIC as Possible - in theology, spirituality, church discipline, etc.

And if they need any help, I am sure that members of the Forum and all "Orthodox in Communion with Rome" would be more than willing to assist - even though we not be assisting them into our Church (i.e. the Orthodox Churches in Communion with Rome).

I wish them well and pray for them in this difficult time in their church's life. I pray that they would have the consolation of God's love and the courage to stand for God's truth - i.e. I pray that they may be truly Catholic in faith - even though they may not be in Communion with their mother church (our Sister Church).

Herb
Dear Herb,

Pardon me for saying so, but that's a darn good answer!

Would that more Orthodox brethren would begin to see US not as imposters or traders but as brothers tyring to be faithful to our common Tradition in the Church Providence has placed us in. Bishop Kallistos talk "Eastern Catholics: Problem or Opportunity" comes to mind here. Thanks for what was to me a brilliant insight into the mind of Christ.

#55055 11/02/03 02:26 AM
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Dear SaintClare74,

I like the question you have reaised becuase I too have/are experiencing very similar feelings. I'm also glad you asked becuase I (as I trust is true for you) have benefited greatly from the answers you have received. Anthony Dragani, whom I greatly esteem, has been especially beneficial to me (as well as Herb).

The schism to me IS like a divorce. Being a child of divorced parents, I know what its like. No matter which parent you think is more right, you still love them both with all your heart. And you want more than anything to see them back together in one happy family again.

Good topic.

Your brother trusting in Christ's Light,
Ghazar

#55056 11/02/03 02:54 AM
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Originally posted by Ghazar:

Bishop Kallistos talk "Eastern Catholics: Problem or Opportunity" comes to mind here. Thanks for what was to me a brilliant insight into the mind of Christ.
Is this available on-line?

#55057 11/02/03 03:40 AM
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Dear everyone,

Thank you very much for your replies-- all of your advice has been very good! I have no plans to leave the Catholic Church. I adore my parish, and have made many wonderful friends there.

Some of you brought up a great point-- that we're not supposed to feel "comfortable", and that although our position isn't easy, it's a real blessing. It's so easy to forget that hardship and suffering can be GOOD for us. confused

I'm also gratified to learn that I'm not the only one who's going through this! I guess it's something I just have to "deal with"-- very much like having divorced parents, which is a wonderful analogy.

God bless you all!

Karen


Slava Isusu Christu!

Karen
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