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Apology and inquiry

Wyatt

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Hello. I hope everyone is doing well. I have not been on this forum in quite some time. I could go over all that has transpired since then that brought me here today, but there is not enough time in the day to do that so I will be as succinct as I can. My conduct on this forum the first time I was on here was horrible and even sinful. I am deeply sorry. There were many times that I had felt wronged, but I know that I said many things that hurt and made you feel wronged too, and I apologize about that.

My next question is sort of a double question, and forgive me if this is not the right place for it. I am having, as many likely are, a difficult time right now, so now is the perfect time to sort this out. I am feeling disillusioned and pulled in a lot of different directions right now. I feel like I am at the lowest point in my life, and I really do not know what to do. From the time I was a child, but it worsened as I got older, I had a deep unhealthy fear of Hell. Deep! Severe! Lingering guilt even after asking for forgiveness in prayer as a Protestant...worried thinking: "Am I REALLY forgiven?" Same thing with the Sacrament of Confession after receiving Absolution. First I would feel deep relief, but as time passed (and I mean minutes and hours...not days or weeks), I would fear and dwell on the guilt of already forgiven sins. I have had multiple Priests tell me God is Merciful and that I am harder on myself than God is, and that it is the Sacrament of Mercy and I need to forgive myself. I understand that intellectually, but it is like it has not integrated with my gut, heart, conscience, mind, or whatever. I thought it was my exposure to Protestantism that was to blame for this neurosis, as I was raised a Protestant Christian. I was baptized and raised United Methodist, but later was exposed to a variety of different fundamentalist, evangelical, etc....many denominations.

I would explain more, but honestly I am getting a bit tired and don't have as much energy at the moment, but I have a question in several parts (or perhaps separate loosely related questions)
DISCLAIMER: these are simply thoughts and brainstorming right now...not even tentative plans. I still have a lot of prayer, reflection, and study to consider, but any help that could be provided would be much appreciated:

-How would I start the process of entering the Orthodox Church were I to leave the Catholic Church (Latin Rite)?
-How would I enter the Orthodox Church, meaning jurisdiction: OCA, GOAA, ROCOR, etc.?
-Were someone to want a canonical transfer out of the Latin Church to one of the Eastern Catholic Churches, what is the protocol for that and how would one get that started? This last one is for any Eastern Catholics on the forum who could provide useful information.

Thank you, God's blessings to you all, and please pray for me,
-Wyatt
 
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Ainnir

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Lord, have mercy on your servant.
Welcome back! I think you were before my time.

I came from Protestantism, too, so I wonder if it's the same process, where you simply start attending an Orthodox parish? I think your first step might be to figure out how many parishes are even within driving distance. It could be one, several, or none, depending on where you live. Your jurisdiction question might be answered if there are only one or two parishes to choose from. If you have lots of options, just visit Vespers services at each one to start with. It's ok if you take time deciding. :)
 

Deacon Lance

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Since you asked the question I hope the mods will not consider my answer proselytizing. Simply start attending an Eastern Catholic Church, after a suitable amount of time 1-2 years you may petition to change your sui iuris Church by writing both bishops involved.
 

Stinky

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Lord have mercy on your dear servant Wyatt.
I came to Orthodox from Roman Catholic. I was baptised into Roman Catholic Church as infant, then wandered around protestant churches while growing up and adulthood, then came back Roman Catholic a few years ago.
I suffer from scrupulosity and found that at the Roman Catholic Church I was tormented like a mouse on a wheel running full speed ahead and going nowhere.
I found my peace in the Orthodox Church. I visited Orthodox Church and after some time I let the priest know I wanted to join. He brought me forward at Divine Liturgy and anointed me with oil and made me a Catechumen. I asked Father, " If I die as a catechumen will I still be full Orthodox? Will I get an Orthodox burial?" He said YES. That took the time pressure off me.
You know with scrupulosity it was really hard not to go to weekly confession! I was going to daily Mass at Catholic Church before then so everything stopped! Then it was time to learn through books and discussion. When Father determined it was time for me to be brought in he let me know. I was Chrismated at Orthodox. I wasn't baptised again. I confessed my lifetime of sins then was Chrismated. I am at Antiochian Orthodox in Southern Illinois.
I will keep you in my prayers Wyatt. God is indeed Love and Mercy.
 

Wyatt

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Lord, have mercy on your servant.
Welcome back! I think you were before my time.
God bless you, thank you, and happy to meet you now. :)

I came from Protestantism, too, so I wonder if it's the same process, where you simply start attending an Orthodox parish? I think your first step might be to figure out how many parishes are even within driving distance. It could be one, several, or none, depending on where you live. Your jurisdiction question might be answered if there are only one or two parishes to choose from. If you have lots of options, just visit Vespers services at each one to start with. It's ok if you take time deciding. :)
Thank you for the input. I do know of several within driving range. God bless you.

Since you asked the question I hope the mods will not consider my answer proselytizing. Simply start attending an Eastern Catholic Church, after a suitable amount of time 1-2 years you may petition to change your sui iuris Church by writing both bishops involved.
Good to know, Deacon. Thank you and God bless you. Please Bless me and pray for me as well.


Lord have mercy on your dear servant Wyatt.
I came to Orthodox from Roman Catholic. I was baptised into Roman Catholic Church as infant, then wandered around protestant churches while growing up and adulthood, then came back Roman Catholic a few years ago.
I suffer from scrupulosity and found that at the Roman Catholic Church I was tormented like a mouse on a wheel running full speed ahead and going nowhere.
I found my peace in the Orthodox Church. I visited Orthodox Church and after some time I let the priest know I wanted to join. He brought me forward at Divine Liturgy and anointed me with oil and made me a Catechumen. I asked Father, " If I die as a catechumen will I still be full Orthodox? Will I get an Orthodox burial?" He said YES. That took the time pressure off me.
You know with scrupulosity it was really hard not to go to weekly confession! I was going to daily Mass at Catholic Church before then so everything stopped! Then it was time to learn through books and discussion. When Father determined it was time for me to be brought in he let me know. I was Chrismated at Orthodox. I wasn't baptised again. I confessed my lifetime of sins then was Chrismated. I am at Antiochian Orthodox in Southern Illinois.
I will keep you in my prayers Wyatt. God is indeed Love and Mercy.
God bless you and thank you for the prayers. Your post caught my attention because I have heard this quite a bit from Orthodox Christians who came from specifically Roman Rite Catholic parishes as far as I can recall (not sure if it is only in the Latin Church or if it happens within Eastern Catholic parishes) that suffered from scrupulosity when Catholic, but once entering Orthodoxy did not have the problem. What is it in your estimation, do you think, that is different in the approaches to the Sacrament of Confession in Catholicism (at least in the Latin Church) vs. Orthodoxy? I do not notice anything explicitly guilt-inducing in the Sacrament of Confession currently as a RC, and that fear existed prior to my entering the Catholic Church when I was still Protestant of not being forgiven, but I realize for a lot of people they identify something about RC confession that disturbed them and caused their scrupulosity that Orthodox confession did not do.
 

Stinky

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What is it in your estimation, do you think, that is different in the approaches to the Sacrament of Confession in Catholicism (at least in the Latin Church) vs. Orthodoxy? I do not notice anything explicitly guilt-inducing in the Sacrament of Confession currently as a RC, and that fear existed prior to my entering the Catholic Church when I was still Protestant of not being forgiven, but I realize for a lot of people they identify something about RC confession that disturbed them and caused their scrupulosity that Orthodox confession did not do.
Wyatt, I do not think I can put my finger on one thing that helped. It wasn't something that happened overnight either. My Orthodox Father confessor led me bit by bit. All Glory I give to God. But it is the wholeness of everything. It is in how Orthodox view God. It's in faith in God's loving kindness "Who lovest mankind." My heart leaps still every time I hear this. The whole doctrine at Orthodox approaches God differently. I'm not a scholar and can't put into words what I had been experiencing at Roman. But it was as if God was angry all the time and needed to be appeased by my works. I read a book by the Augustinian institute (?) about Salvation in Catholic Church and it talked about justification and made me feel creepy and not enough. There is a difference in the churches in that central place at the cross. The way the Roman Catholic Church views the cross and the way Orthodox is different. Once I jumped on that wheel of self flagellation works at Roman it spun out of control.
The first breath of fresh air I remember was when I found Orthodox prayers! What joy! I started praying the prayers simply at the back of the Orthodox Study Bible. Morning and night. And I started reading the commentary in this Orthodox Study Bible as I read bible passages. So many different men contributed to the commentary yet the same message of love was shining through.
I found that God loves me. Even if I'm a nasty dog who has been rolling in dead things. He never stops loving. This is what the Orthodox Church is teaching me. And so much more. For me, it started with the Orthodox Study Bible and the difference in mindset started to present itself.
I read a good Orthodox book that helped too:
How to Be a Sinner, by Peter Bouteneff

I found out I'm not such a special sinner after all, just the ordinary kind. Just like everyone else. Just like the kind that God loves.

I will keep you in my prayers Wyatt.
 

Stinky

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what not to read:
I read a book published by the Augustine institute (?) about Salvation in Catholic Church and it talked about justification and made me feel creepy and not enough. There is a difference in the churches in that central place at the cross.
[/QUOTE
 
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I doubt you are a bad guy at heart and probably actually do your share of good. Truly we must be humble, penitent etc. but satan wants us to despair. Remember salvation by grace and faith involves good works ( Ephesians 2:8-10). This can involve ( for ex.) buying a bag of groceries for a food pantry as long as we are humble and penitent ( praying for ourselves & others as we go),
 
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