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mommymilkies
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I have been having some spiritual crises lately and was wondering about some of these things. PLEASE-no debate. And I am not trying to be insulting, these are real actual concerns of mine that I am trying to overcome to "figure it out". It probably sounds dumber typed up than it does in my head! :lol:

 

Note: Our household will be on a media fast for two weeks starting tomorrow. So I can respond today, but otherwise I will hop on real quickly to print off replies to read offline (while I print my Montessori training materials to read through the week!). Please don't take my absence of reply as me not caring. I will be reading and thinking and I will not be able to reply much. TIA!

 

Background: I was raised in a religiously diverse household of Pantheists, Catholics, Jews (Orthodox and Liberal), Baptists, and Atheists. At age 12 I blacked out and had a very scary religious experience that called me to Catholicism. It still haunts me to this day, and I feel like that is where I "should" be. I also moved across the street to a Catholic church, so I don't have much of an excuse. ;) However, I consider myself more of a confused Pantheist. I can not rationalize almost any of the church teachings. I want/need to convert in one way, but I can not do so logically. I have been reading up on Orthodoxy (after a thread I started last year that got some replies) and I seem to fit more into that mold from what I have read. BUT there are NO Orthodox churches anywhere near me to go and try or learn more. Please don't tell me to pray with my husband or ask his opinion. He is an avid Atheist (which is fine), but I know his opinion and it's not very helpful. ;)

 

First: What are the major differences between Catholic and Orthodox churches and beliefs? Please dumb this down for me. My head got all tangled in several online articles on very specific religious philosophy and now I am more confused than I was before.

 

If you are Orthodox:

1. What is your belief about God?

2. How do you think of God? (Vengeful, Loving, All powerful, somewhat Pantheistic-everywhere in everything, etc.)

3. Is there anything I should know about your beliefs that sets you apart somewhat?

4. Is the Bible to be taken as without error and literal or as inspired by God but written by Man?

5. What is your belief about evil and Satan?

 

If you are Catholic:

1. Is the Bible inerrant? Can parts be taken as metaphor or does it all have to be literally believed (i.e. 7 24 hour days of creation)?

2. How do you reconcile with the bloody history of the church?

3. What is your belief about evil and Satan?

4. How do you think of God? (Vengeful, Loving, All powerful, somewhat Pantheistic-everywhere in everything, etc.)

 

ETA: Please feel free to PM or email me if you would like this to be private. :)

Edited by mommymilkies
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:bigear:

 

May I also ask each Orthodox that may respond to elaborate on icons and their meanings? I've read and read. I consider myself totally at ease with every single other thing I've read about Orthodoxy besides the icons. I think this is more of a personality issue with me though. It's not that I find it "wrong," I'm just squeamish about such outwardly physical displays of adoration/affection. So, I'm wondering how this looks to individuals as opposed to an intellectual book/article on what icons mean to the church.

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If you are Catholic:

1. Is the Bible inerrant? Can parts be taken as metaphor or does it all have to be literally believed (i.e. 7 24 hour days of creation)?

2. How do you reconcile with the bloody history of the church?

3. What is your belief about evil and Satan?

4. How do you think of God? (Vengeful, Loving, All powerful, somewhat Pantheistic-everywhere in everything, etc.)

 

ETA: Please feel free to PM or email me if you would like this to be private. :)

 

such easy questions...:D

 

OK, I'm new at this, just came into the church this Easter Vigil and though I studied my rear off to reconcile what you have to, I know there's always more...but I can answer what I know.

 

1. I'm going to steal Simka's three legged stool response for this one. The bible is sacred. Books like Genesis is literary, meaning it's a story of why God created man and the earth rather than literal. The RCC has an astounding history of scientists who were passionate about their faith, and God. Things like the Big Bang and Pasteurization came from Catholics.

 

We also believe that the whole church-Tradition that the Apostles left us with are as important. "These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:14,15).

 

Too much funny stuff starts happening when you stand on one leg of the stool.

 

2. Yeah, that's a harder one. That was where I had to do a lot of reading, but, what I realized in my searching is that I had never, ever read a Catholic perspective or a Catholic historian on the subject. It had all come from newer historians which had their own motivations. So, I suggest you read some on this.

 

You can start with 7 Lies About Catholic History.

It's an easier read and a good place to start.

 

Another good one I've heard is The Catholic Church Through the Ages, which seems to deal directly with this subject. The author is also very reputable.

 

How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization The Author is no slouch.

 

Now, if you're really wanting to read a bang up history, The History of Christendom, by Warren H Carroll (who is utterly amazing) these are the books. But they are TOMES, and there's 4. I can tell you they read like a novel. :001_smile:

 

So, I think, the only way for you to reconcile these parts of Catholic history is read it from a Catholic perspective for one. It doesn't make it all go away, some of the history is lackluster, but at least it's a more balanced view. I'm willing to bet if Eleanor sees this she'll be able to give you great websites to print off articles from.

 

3. I believe in them, but I don't think about them often. :001_smile: I've seen some crazy stuff. But I don't dwell there, or fear anything of it. I know I've linked this a gazillion times over here, but what's one more time, right? Father Barron on

? It's a short 10 minute video.

 

4. I hold the view that God is passionately in love with us. I do not hold to a tyrant God who is fire and brimstone, and wanting to judge us or looking for us to mess up so disaster can befall us. I don't think that's the picture Christ gives us of Him in scripture.

 

How I view that He works? Now, this is where a more allegorical view of Genesis comes into play. If you allow for the belief that evolution was the process that God used to form the earth and us, you start to see the whole workings of God as much more organic, long process. It's not bang, poof, zoom, voila. Most times it's so organic we don't even see it-our eyes have to be opened to it. That's not to say miracles don't happen-I totally believe in them, too. But I'm a more standing on your head, person (Chesterton).

 

I have some of these books if you'd like to borrow them.

Edited by justamouse
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:bigear:

 

May I also ask each Orthodox that may respond to elaborate on icons and their meanings? I've read and read. I consider myself totally at ease with every single other thing I've read about Orthodoxy besides the icons. I think this is more of a personality issue with me though. It's not that I find it "wrong," I'm just squeamish about such outwardly physical displays of adoration/affection. So, I'm wondering how this looks to individuals as opposed to an intellectual book/article on what icons mean to the church.

 

Though I'm RC, we also have many icons, and I totally get where you're coming from. They freaked me out at first. I visited an EO church nearby and just about jumped out of my skin when they venerated them.

 

What I can van tell you now, from a year into my RC reversion, is that you love them so much-these people who have shown the way, that you can't help but kiss them.

 

I believe it's Passion Friday where the RC congregants process up and kiss the cross of Christ (I missed it this year) but you come to a point where you are grateful to be able to. Does that make any sense? You happily kiss an icon of Our Lady because you're so thankful (she can only illuminate Christ, which she does in the most amazing ways). You love them so much, these saints who are our heroes, brothers and sisters, that they are family (and, baptized, we all are).

 

Some people do have to work though it more, but I don't think in either church anyone is shoving you and pressing your face there, you know? There's a lot of room to grow. Don't let that stop you from visiting the EOC (or any of the Eastern Rite RC which are much more heavily EO in their liturgy).

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If you are Catholic:

1. Is the Bible inerrant? Can parts be taken as metaphor or does it all have to be literally believed (i.e. 7 24 hour days of creation)?

2. How do you reconcile with the bloody history of the church?

3. What is your belief about evil and Satan?

4. How do you think of God? (Vengeful, Loving, All powerful, somewhat Pantheistic-everywhere in everything, etc.)

 

 

Yes, the Bible is inerrant. Yes, parts of it can be taken as metaphor. Happily, the Bible is not the only source of our faith formation: we also have the Church and its Traditions to guide us. In fact, it was the Church which decided which of the hundreds of documents written were the ones that should be the Bible. The Church teaches what it does not because the Bible says so; the Bible says what it does because that's what the Church teaches. :-)

 

How do you define "the bloody history of the church"? My guess is that you, as most of us, have only read what the Reformers/Protestants/non-religious-at-all have decided is Church history. It isn't necessarily that way.

 

Not sure what you're asking about "evil and Satan."

 

I believe there is one God, and only one God, who created everything including us. :-) He isn't *in* everything, but he can be seen in everything; Scripture says that even people who have never heard the Gospel still know that God exists because they can see him in the world around them.

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What are the major differences between Catholic and Orthodox churches and beliefs? Please dumb this down for me. My head got all tangled in several online articles on very specific religious philosophy and now I am more confused than I was before.

 

First, just a quick, really basic note on the history of the church: There was only one church until 1054 AD; the eastern Orthodox and western Catholic churches were united as one until this time. (There had been rumblings before this point, but the official break came here.) That's a long line of a unified church and is one of the major reasons we converted to the ancient church. We couldn't deny what this history meant. I pray we will one day be united again.

 

Okay, to the question --

 

1) We do not believe in the supremacy of the pope. We honor his role as the bishop of Rome (when in communion with the rest of the bishops), and before the schism he held a place of "first among equals," but we do not believe the historical early church functioned with the bishop of Rome as the supreme head over all the church. During the all-church ecumenical councils during the first 800 years or so of the church, it was one bishop, one vote, including the pope. This conciliar nature of the church can be seen from the beginning (see the council at Jerusalem in Acts 15 -- James, not Peter, was the presiding bishop and his statement when giving the council's decision was "as seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us").

 

2) One of the major ways this played out gives us a second main difference: The Nicene Creed, our symbol of faith. The Orthodox still use the original one finalized at the council of Nicea (381 AD). At the third ecumenical council (431 AD), it was agreed that the Creed could not be changed except by unanimity at another all-church council. Some centuries later, the Roman church did change the creed (adding "and the son" when speaking of the procession of the Holy Spirit) without benefit of such a council . We understand that on the western side of the church, this was okay because the pope is seen as the supreme head of the church and could call his own councils/synods, but in the Eastern Church, this went against the way the church had been functioning from the beginning. So it was both theological (we don't believe the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son), and practical (making a decision to change the creed without the benefit of an all-church council as previously agreed upon).

 

 

If you are Orthodox:

1. What is your belief about God?

He is Trinitarian -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is an all-loving creator that we can be in communion with because Christ, the second person of the Trinity, became man and conquered death with His own death and resurrection. This communion was designed to happen through the Church He established, which is Christ's literal and physical Body on the earth.

 

2. How do you think of God? (Vengeful, Loving, All powerful, somewhat Pantheistic-everywhere in everything, etc.)
All-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving, giving man complete free will. I think of the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Watching, waiting, accepting, joyful over the coming of any who return to Him. I don't think of Him as IN everything, but as Creator of all things -- including the material world -- and because He became material Himself, the material world is sanctified by Him and is not in and of itself evil.

 

 

3. Is there anything I should know about your beliefs that sets you apart somewhat?
First, I'm only speaking from our experience, but when we knew we couldn't stay protestant anymore, and when we realized there was a physical church from the earliest time that we could touch and visit and become a part of, we couldn't NOT convert. Instead of looking back from this point in time (very confusing), we started at the beginning of the church and moved forward. In doing so, we believe today's eastern Orthodox church is this earliest Christianity with an unbroken line of descent through time. Second, faith is a mystery and not everything can be spelled out or drawn in black and white. How is God present in the Eucharist? We don't know, but He is. How does the communion of the saints work? We don't know, but there's definitely one church that includes both the saints that have gone before and the ones still living. Death has not separated us and we are one. I love this about Eastern Orthodoxy. I love escaping my need to prove everything rationally.

 

 

4. Is the Bible to be taken as without error and literal or as inspired by God but written by Man?
Hmmm, I'm not an expert on the answer to this question. What I do know is that the Bible is not the foundation of the faith and that the fullness of the church pre-dates the Bible's existence. What I mean is, there was a complete church before the Bible was written and canonized. Holy Tradition (the Holy Spirit guiding the church into all truth) guided the church and through that, the Bible came into existence some 400 +/- years after the Resurrection. We believe the Holy Scriptures are the written word of God, yes, and that it is a gift from the Church to the Church, and that the Church, then, is the interpreter (not the individual).

 

5. What is your belief about evil and Satan?

 

They are real, and they hate God. But God conquered them through Christ and the Church has victory over them. God does not send anyone "to hell," because He is Love and wants all to come to Him, but rather people through not reuniting themselves to God are not joined to Him in death (which is hell). God loves all and wants all to come to Him, but He does not force the issue. For those that are working out their salvation and are joined to Him, His love is unfathomably good and full of joy. For those that reject God, even in death, His love hurts/burns because it can't be something experienced fully in goodness. I probably worded that poorly, I don't know. Here's an article I love about sin/death according to Orthodox thought.

 

I hope I was helpful! And as said earlier, may the Lord bless you on your journey. Pray, you will find Him, and He, you. I need to get to Divine Liturgy. Will be back later! Feel free to PM me if you'd like.

Edited by milovaný
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How do you define "the bloody history of the church"? My guess is that you, as most of us, have only read what the Reformers/Protestants/non-religious-at-all have decided is Church history. It isn't necessarily that way.

 

Actually, I had to read many primary sources in my history classes at college (one professor was a Jesuit and another was Catholic involved in missions to Haiti). I do agree with some bias in the annals of history, but there is more than enough primary sources indicating that not all Popes were infallible (IMHO), often endorsing or turning a blind eye to slaughter. I do agree that it is not a problem of the church itself, but of bad apples, but it still blemishes my historical opinion somewhat, and has been hard for me to reconcile.

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May I also ask each Orthodox that may respond to elaborate on icons and their meanings? I've read and read. I consider myself totally at ease with every single other thing I've read about Orthodoxy besides the icons. I think this is more of a personality issue with me though. It's not that I find it "wrong," I'm just squeamish about such outwardly physical displays of adoration/affection. So, I'm wondering how this looks to individuals as opposed to an intellectual book/article on what icons mean to the church.

 

 

Can I confess that as we were converting, we'd usually first flip to the sections of the books we were reading that addressed two things: Icons and the veneration of Mary. These were the two difficult concepts for us!! I actually had no knowledge of icons before starting to read these books, but once I started reading about them, it was hard for me to "get."

 

Now that we're Orthodox, I see them as a beautiful gift. It doesn't have to be an outward (public) physical display. If you don't want to kiss the icons, you don't have to kiss the icons! You might consider having personal/private ones all the same, and you might feel differently about venerating them (and through that, public veneration might grow, who knows). When I get up in the morning, usually by myself in my room, I find great joy in kissing the icon of Christ, of the Theotokos, and of my patron saint. Kissing them publicly as we enter the church is a way of greeting those represented in the icons with our actions, not just our thoughts. Orthodoxy is a holistic faith -- we don't just think things. We're physical with our worship too.

 

Here's the best example I can give: One day I was walking to work on campus. I had my phone in my hand and I looked at the screen. My wallpaper was a picture of my oldest son. I love that kid. He made me a mom -- the greatest joy in this earthly life that I've experienced. Without thinking, I kissed the picture on my phone. Was I kissing my son? No. I was thinking of him, thankful for who he is in my life, thankful for the gift he is, and I very naturally felt a compulsion to express that physically. It's like that.

 

Hope that helps! Come join the Exploring Orthodox Christianity social group if you'd like ~ lots of good questions/answers happening there, with all invited to come.

Edited by milovaný
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I do agree with some bias in the annals of history, but there is more than enough primary sources indicating that not all Popes were infallible (IMHO), often endorsing or turning a blind eye to slaughter. I do agree that it is not a problem of the church itself, but of bad apples, but it still blemishes my historical opinion somewhat, and has been hard for me to reconcile.

 

The "infallible" pope is one of the most misunderstood teachings of the Church. It's not that any guy who holds that office can do no wrong (clearly that's not the case). It's that when the office-holder makes a formal declaration of Church Belief, he is backed up by the Holy Spirit and that declaration can't be wrong. Empress Theodora tried to get her buddy elected pope so that he could promote a doctrine she liked, but after he was elected it turned out he wasn't able to do it (much to her dismay) - the Holy Spirit protects the Church in this way.

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First: What are the major differences between Catholic and Orthodox churches and beliefs? Please dumb this down for me. My head got all tangled in several online articles on very specific religious philosophy and now I am more confused than I was before.

For the first 1000 years or so they were one church. In 1054, after years of political and religious differences and theological disputes each side mutually excommunicated the other. If you are interested Wiki has a nice article on the Great Schism.

 

If you are Orthodox:

1. What is your belief about God?

2. How do you think of God? (Vengeful, Loving, All powerful, somewhat Pantheistic-everywhere in everything, etc.)

3. Is there anything I should know about your beliefs that sets you apart somewhat?

4. Is the Bible to be taken as without error and literal or as inspired by God but written by Man?

5. What is your belief about evil and Satan?

 

If you are Catholic:

1. Is the Bible inerrant? Can parts be taken as metaphor or does it all have to be literally believed (i.e. 7 24 hour days of creation)?

Yes, the Bible is inerrant. Yes, it is written in many different styles. Metaphor, hyperbole, poetry and prose. There are those Catholics who believe in a literal creation. Then there are those who do not. It isn't a salvation issue so not something that we hear a lot about. Personally I'm in the theistic evolution camp.

 

2. How do you reconcile with the bloody history of the church?

We are human and live in a fallen world. Attrocities happen everywhere and during every time in history. The church has done a pretty good job of reforming and cleaning up her mess. From the scandals way back when to the scandals today.

 

Today she is a gigantic institution over one billion strong. It is probably the biggest mega-Church in Christianity today.

 

3. What is your belief about evil and Satan?

Personally or the church's teachings? I'm getting ready to go out to work. I can get back to you on both. But it will be this evening.

 

4. How do you think of God? (Vengeful, Loving, All powerful, somewhat Pantheistic-everywhere in everything, etc.)

Again, personally or what the church teaches? Actually I don't thing they differ. God is an all powerful, loving god not limited to time and space.

 

ETA: Please feel free to PM or email me if you would like this to be private. :)

I don't mind discussing things in public. It helps everyone learn

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Actually, I had to read many primary sources in my history classes at college (one professor was a Jesuit and another was Catholic involved in missions to Haiti). I do agree with some bias in the annals of history, but there is more than enough primary sources indicating that not all Popes were infallible (IMHO), often endorsing or turning a blind eye to slaughter. I do agree that it is not a problem of the church itself, but of bad apples, but it still blemishes my historical opinion somewhat, and has been hard for me to reconcile.

This is such a big misunderstanding both within the church and from the outside. The pope is only infallible when speaking from the chair of St. Peter. In the past 2012 year the pope has only spoken infallibly twice. Both concerning Mary's role in the church.

 

Papal infallibility

Papal infallibility thus does not extend to declarations by the Pope—even on faith or morals, and still less, of course, on other matters—not solemnly proposed as dogmas to be professed by the whole Church. Nor is infallibility to be confused with impeccability, as if the Pope were immune from sin.
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The "infallible" pope is one of the most misunderstood teachings of the Church. It's not that any guy who holds that office can do no wrong (clearly that's not the case). It's that when the office-holder makes a formal declaration of Church Belief, he is backed up by the Holy Spirit and that declaration can't be wrong. Empress Theodora tried to get her buddy elected pope so that he could promote a doctrine she liked, but after he was elected it turned out he wasn't able to do it (much to her dismay) - the Holy Spirit protects the Church in this way.

 

:iagree:

 

Even the Pope goes to confession. ;)

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Yes, the Bible is inerrant. Yes, parts of it can be taken as metaphor. Happily, the Bible is not the only source of our faith formation: we also have the Church and its Traditions to guide us. In fact, it was the Church which decided which of the hundreds of documents written were the ones that should be the Bible. The Church teaches what it does not because the Bible says so; the Bible says what it does because that's what the Church teaches. :-)

 

 

that's such a good way to put it!

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First of all let me wish you well on your spiritual journey. Even if you are experiencing confusion or uncertainty, the important thing is you are seeking God, and he wants you, so I believe he will ultimately lead you in the right direction, even if the route can be circuitous at times! Things are never as direct as we'd like them to be.

 

If you are Catholic:

1. Is the Bible inerrant? Can parts be taken as metaphor or does it all have to be literally believed (i.e. 7 24 hour days of creation)?

 

The Bible is inerrant. However for me its meaning is determined in a couple of ways. One is by means of church authority -- they use the Bible and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to promulgate what the church officially teaches. So for example the church teaches homosexual acts are wrong. It would not be up to me as a Catholic to go through Scripture and say, "well I interpret Scripture differently, and I conclude otherwise." So Biblical truth is filtered through the lens of the Church's teaching authority.

 

Having said that, the Church does allow for the primacy of conscience, so in certain situations if a person takes their individual situation, weighs it against church teaching, prays deeply, and comes to another conclusion that way, then it is not up to the church to judge that. (The primary example of this that comes to mind would be if a couple after prayerfully weighing their circmstances etc. decides they need to use artificial birth control) The Bible is metaphorical in certain parts. In Catholic school I was taught that God created everything, but not necessarily in 7 literal 24-hour-days. However the fact that we are in the "image and likeness of God" is extremely important this is part of the reason why every life is valued no matter what -- the unborn, the handicapped, people in a vegetative state, the elderly, the dying, -- all are equally precious to God and should be treated that way by us.

 

 

2. How do you reconcile with the bloody history of the church?

 

Eh, is there a group that does NOT have a bloody history? And even if you can find one, do they carry the Truths of Revelation? I guess I'm not a Catholic because of the upstanding sinlessness of the church's leaders, any more than I believe in democracy because all those politicians are such great examples of humanity. (and why do people find it ok to leave the church because of a scandal, but they're perfectly fine with governments that fail time and again?)

 

Imperfect people leading institutions will ALWAYS have failures, large and small. St. Peter was a prime example of that. You give people some power, you'll end up with bloody mistakes in almost any setting you can think of. But that won't drive me from the Catholic faith because I view it as my most direct route to Jesus, and that's all that matters. For me as a Catholic the teaching on the Eucharist is particularly imiportant, and the reason why I could never be anything but Catholic. (or Orthodox, I guess!)

 

3. What is your belief about evil and Satan?

 

Evil is a result of Original Sin, we're all tempted toward that. I think the earth was created in a perfect state, and after the Fall what we're living in is a considerably less perfect environment. By that I mean not only man's tendency to sin, but the actual state of nature itself. (remember in the Garden animals did not eat each other, and eventually again the lion will lie down with the lamb) So the fact that there is decay and disease is a direct result of this. I think even the colors are duller here, we just don't know it!

 

I think Satan is actively at work, and infecting our culture in major way. People's unbelief in this concept makes them more vulnerable to his attacks. I think certain types of activities can put you at risk for demonic influence: pornography, habitual use of recreational drugs and/or drinking to excess, certain types of bad books/movies, fortune-telling -- I think we tell ourselves we're sophisticated and can "handle" these things, but in reality we are influenced in ways we can't even see until it's too late. In the Bible it says certain types of demons can only be gotten rid of by prayer and fasting. I think that's an absolute truth and NOT a metaphor. There is a great spiritual battle going on today, and it will only become greater.

 

4. How do you think of God? (Vengeful, Loving, All powerful, somewhat Pantheistic-everywhere in everything, etc.)

 

I think of God as all-loving, all-powerful and all-present. Any type of Chasement delivered to the world would ONLY be done for a loving reason, because God cares more about the ultimate state of our souls and eternity more than he does about how long we live. He is calling us back to himself in a world that has largely forgotten him, or only hopes that he exists, but is really not quite sure.

 

I am confident of God's existence and his love for us. I don't fully understand him, and don't expect to in this life, but I am seeking him daily. I don't base this on the "religion I grew up with" (although that was a nice foundation), but rather on what I've learned as an adult and the spiritual communication I've had with God. (and once, I think, with the Holy Spirit, very briefly) I think everyone's spiritual journey is different, and God is constantly offering us ways to come to him, and we often miss that if we live busy lives and don't take time for prayer.

 

For everyone no matter who they are, what they've done, what they believe or don't, the God who created us is all-loving and all-MERCIFUL. There is nothing that cannot be repented of, not even a lifetime of doing wrong. The only mistake we can make is not believing in that mercy and asking for it, and accepting it.

 

I will pray for your spiritual enlightenment and that your journey to God is a fruitful one. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to clarify some of my own thoughts.

 

As an aside, I think the Catholic Church is headed for some even more difficult times in a public sense, with dissension at the top, possibly a schism, possibly a forced ouster of the Pope, etc. I think the church will go through a Passion Period similar to her Founder's and will appear all but dead. And Jesus Himself will perform the restoration. So Catholicism these days is not for the faint of heart, if public perception matters to you. But, that's just an aside (and a weird opinion at that), so not of signifcance to the spiritual journey you're talking about.

 

Many blessings to you!

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

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As an aside, I think the Catholic Church is headed for some even more difficult times in a public sense, with dissension at the top, possibly a schism, possibly a forced ouster of the Pope, etc. I think the church will go through a Passion Period similar to her Founder's and will appear all but dead. And Jesus Himself will perform the restoration. So Catholicism these days is not for the faint of heart, if public perception matters to you. But, that's just an aside (and a weird opinion at that), so not of signifcance to the spiritual journey you're talking about.

 

Many blessings to you!

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

Can you elaborate about this or pm me? :)

 

Thank you, everyone. Lots to think about here. I'm very thankful for everyone sharing with me.

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If you are Orthodox:

1. What is your belief about God?

 

I believe what the Nicene Creed says about God: He is triune, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father is the creator of heaven and earth. The Son is eternally begotten of the Father before all ages, light of light, true God of True God, begotten not created. The Son became incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and became fully man while remaining fully divine. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, was buried, and rose on the third day for the REMISSION of our sins.

The Holy Spirit is the Lord and giver of life who proceeds for the father and is worshiped and glorified with the Father and the Son, and He spoke through the prophets.

 

2. How do you think of God? (Vengeful, Loving, All powerful, somewhat Pantheistic-everywhere in everything, etc.)

 

One of my favorite prayers is "Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, who art everywhere present, filling all things, Treasury of good gifts and Giver of life, come and abide in us, cleanse us of every stain, and ve our souls, O Good One." This is a prayer to the Holy Spirit, but it truly encompasses my understanding of God--he is the "good God who loves mankind."

 

3. Is there anything I should know about your beliefs that sets you apart?

 

We do not believe in the immaculate conception of the Theotokos, the Mother of God, though we honor and esteem her as first among the saints, and ask her prayers at every service of the Church. This is because the Church doesn't teach Original Sin, but Ancestral Sin. OrthodoxWiki has a good explanation of the difference. :) Also, we believe in a one-storey universe, that God and the angels are truly here present in our world with us. Heaven is not far away. :001_smile:

 

4. Is the Bible to be taken as without error and literal or as inspired by God but written by Man?

 

We venerate the Bible, and we kiss the Gospel, and process with it in the Church, but it is not the be all end all of church belief and teaching. We rely on the Scriptures, Holy Tradition, and the teachings of the Fathers of the Church.

 

5. What is your belief about evil and Satan?

 

Satan seeks to make us turn away from God, who has given us a will free to choose this path, and to so damage our souls that we will perceive the Love of God as pain.

[/u]

Hope something here is helpful to you on your journey.:grouphug:

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PJ, that is so heartbreakingly beautiful.

 

For people reading, the EO singing of the liturgy is one of the most beautiful things to experience. It is unlike anything I had ever heard before--and the resurrection of the chanting of the mass is something I'm so happy to see. Anyway, it's something that perhaps you can look up on your tube to get a fuller picture of the story.

Edited by justamouse
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Orthodox Churches in Southern IL.

 

There is one in Royalton (between Mt Vernon and Carbondale). There is also a mission church that is not listed near Olney (the entire church converted). There is one in Swansea/Belleville and at least six in the immediate St. Louis area. ;)

 

http://www.conciliarpress.com/products/Orthodoxy-and-Catholicism%3A-What-are-the-Differences%3F.html This book has a wonderful chart in the middle showing the similarities and differences.

 

Both of these are good Q&A books.

http://www.light-n-life.com/shopping/order_product.asp?ProductNum=ORTH023

http://www.light-n-life.com/shopping/order_product.asp?ProductNum=OZCH202

 

(I apologise, I have kids that are constantly talking in my ear right now and can't think to give a decent reply yet)

Edited by mommaduck
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Actually, I had to read many primary sources in my history classes at college (one professor was a Jesuit and another was Catholic involved in missions to Haiti). I do agree with some bias in the annals of history, but there is more than enough primary sources indicating that not all Popes were infallible (IMHO), often endorsing or turning a blind eye to slaughter. I do agree that it is not a problem of the church itself, but of bad apples, but it still blemishes my historical opinion somewhat, and has been hard for me to reconcile.

Ok, so, out of 2000 years of Church history, a very small number of popes didn't do a stellar job of leading. Is that a reason to throw out the whole Church? Especially when you're discussing doctrine, which really is a whole different issue.

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I want to respond, but I'm on the road. I'm an Orthodox Christian, recently baptised, and previously a Protestant Christian. I have some thoughts and experiences to share on the subject of icons and why we chose to convert to Orthodox Christianity. I'll write more later. May God bless your journey.

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Okay, recent convert here as well. It was approximately a 3 year process of conversion as dh and navigated a difficult path out of ministry towards Orthodoxy.

 

I will do my best to respond, but please know two things: 1. I am a recent convert. ;) and 2. I fall on what could be considered the far left of the church.

 

 

If you are Orthodox:

1. What is your belief about God? Like you I had a very life altering experience in my late teens. Suffice it to say I called out in desperation to God and Jesus answered. From the get go this made the Trinity very easy for me to comprehend and is probably what has stopped me from converting to any other faith....no matter how much I respect and admire it.

 

The other EO ladies have done an amazing job of explaining what "our" belief is about God. My core belief is that He is passionate for humanity, pursuing us through the darkest of places and welcoming us with open arms no matter how filthy we are on the outside....or inside.

2. How do you think of God? (Vengeful, Loving, All powerful, somewhat Pantheistic-everywhere in everything, etc.)

 

I guess I sort of answered this above. :) I know he went into the depths of Hades, so I really cannot imagine a place without God. That said, even as a pastor's wife I have had some soul crushing times. I have felt abandoned by God. I felt like He just couldn't be bothered to rescue me out of the hand of a very depraved man. I have felt alone. I was wrong, but it has taken years to see that.....and I still struggle to FEEL it. So, I move forward into my faith, because I KNOW it is true, but my heart is still healing.

 

 

3. Is there anything I should know about your beliefs that sets you apart somewhat?

 

There are lots of little things, but they are not Big T tradition things ;)

4. Is the Bible to be taken as without error and literal or as inspired by God but written by Man?

 

I would say inspired and with a full acknowledgement of different genres in writing.

5. What is your belief about evil and Satan?

Hmmmm, (these are my thoughts) I really struggled with the idea of guardian angels even though Jesus himself talks about them. Then I was miraculously saved from being struck down by a car that was hydroplaning. I was literally transported the length of two cars away from where I had been standing and the scarf I was wearing was pinned beneath the cars tires when it stopped.

 

This really shook me up and someone mentioned my guardian angel working hard that night ;). But to acknowledge them...meant I had to acknowledge the fallen angels Jesus sent into the swine. :glare: I believe God is BIG, but I cannot deny the presence of evil. Profound right? :D

 

 

I did want to say something about Icons. First the practical: Icons preserved the stories of the saints, feasts of the church, and doctrines for a mostly illiterate population. I think they are one of the core reasons there has been so little change in Orthodoxy.

 

From a spiritual sense it helps to remember that those who venerate truly LOVE the saints depicted. So they are kissing a treasured portrait of someone dear to them. Did you know that you are an Icon? You are an image bearer. Every time you kiss your dh or child....you kiss an Icon. :D

 

I hope that helps someone!

Edited by Juniper
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:grouphug: Juniper, how scary!

 

I also had a "wow" moment again after the birth of my LO in 2010. I had a normal (but quick) homebirth. I had severe anxiety all through my pregnancy and I was sure that my edd was wrong and it was sooner than my LMP (I am very irregular-sorry TMI!). Well, she came 9 days early obviously postdates. And upon examining the placenta, my mw discovered that my placenta was borderline previa. It was less than 1-2 cm (I forget now!) from my cervix. It was actually curved and formed around it. It was entirely a miracle that I did not rupture. She was born in the caul just perfect, though, and I had the easiest recovery of all. I had even had an u/s that did NOT show my placenta as low-even at a hospital, they would not have discovered it until it was too late. I live a few blocks from our rural hospital that has neither NICU or on staff u/s and surgeons. I had a wonderful and prepared midwife. It was really quite a miracle, IMHO. Especially since I had been told I'd never have kids at all! After that, it's been harder for me to follow my head instead of my heart, KWIM?

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I went through a religious conversion my first year of college. I was raised in a non-religious secular household. My grandmother was very religious. And I think I've told you, mommymilkies, how scary I thought she was. :lol:

 

There was a beautiful Catholic church around the corner from where I lived in high school and I found myself wandering in there occasionally...curious. I then started attending mass regularly in college and started to take classes for new converts and to study the catechism. I was baptized a Catholic in the spring of '98. It is absolutely one of the most memorable moments in my life. But see this is how confusing religious conversion can be. On campus I was surrounded by Protestant friends and started going to Navigator group meetings. And I met some very lovely people. Learned a ton. And I sometimes attended non-denominational churches with them. Even though I was a Catholic (more or less) I was seeing some interesting things there as well. I started dating a nice Baptist boy and started attending church with him (especially his home church in Memphis) and I was suddenly surrounded by Southern Baptists proselytizing and "witnessing" to me and what have you. That's when things went down-hill for me. Long story short I was baptized again 2 years later in a Southern Baptist church. (another memorable experience). And I still attended some masses, still went to another church Sunday mornings. In a nutshell---confused. :confused: This went on for a few years. I was always wrong anywhere I went and most people I met were trying to tell me so. Trying to "fix" me or "help" me. Add to that my humanistic style psychology classes and liberal comparative religions courses and the result in my head started to resemble muddy waters. So I ended up zipping my religion down. I stopped going to churches and bible studies and I started reading and researching on my own. I'm almost nearly recovered from the "attack" (and that's what it honestly felt like ime).

 

As an aside: this is why I have a negative opinion about proselytizing or organized churches.

 

I still *feel* the same way I felt at the very first about the Bible (which I find a very inspiring spiritual text. I prefer to read the New American Bible by Catholic Bible Press--those Baptist bible studies were loads of fun let me tell you. But I've read other translations and that's the one that always spoke to me.) And if my opinion counts even though I am not a practicing anything (publicly) my thoughts about the Bible are that it does have errors (and missing books) although I do believe that it was divinely inspired. I believe a few other holy texts were as well but that's another discussion. I still say the rosary at times. I still feel incredibly inspired by some authors--Lewis and Thomas Merton mainly. I'm fascinated by the Trappist contemplation tradition. I find myself literally aching for the Eucharist at times. I've expanded my thinking in the last 10 years to include room for other ideas from other religions or beliefs. I would consider myself a theistic evolutionist as well. I'm fascinated by Gnostic history. And so on.

 

Some of your other questions: I do believe in God. I also believe that people tend to make God in their image rather than the other way 'round at times. I believe that humans create evil however. I've always struggled with the idea of an evil force, Satan, sin, etc. I believe that humans may be more inherently and originally lazy rather than originally sinful. It's *easier* to not think about higher things, and that often times leads to wrong thinking and wrong actions, if that make sense.

 

I've also thought about attending St Joe's at times. But the politics of our town and my past "burns" from Christians in my life have scared me away from it. I hate to say it, but I'm not overly trusting of others when it comes to the spiritual realm. I also have a dh, like yours, who has a radically different spiritual worldview than mine ;) (although we share some beliefs) and I'm okay with that.

 

I understand about the history. It's hard to figure out what is true and what is not, what is bias. I think a pp asked if that were reason to throw out the whole church. It's a hard question. It has effected me as well. But if you study any major religion, you'll find politics and eras in history that would make you cringe. I guess, for me, anyway, it would be a question of asking yourself what you believe and not taking on the entire history of those who "said" they believed the same way. Especially if you consider that every religion has been used in a political way, most times for ill. I think those are human mistakes and hubris though. Not necessarily an indictment against cosmological Truths.

 

Anyway---I wanted to share and fwiw you can talk with me about this anytime. Maybe with some iced coffee? ;)

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Iced coffee sounds fantastic. :)

 

And I know I'm on a media fast, but I *did* say I would pop in here to check. ;) Thanks, y'all!

I love iced coffee. But I'm not allowed to have coffee anymore due to my health (thankfully we also have lemonade at coffee hour).

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I love iced coffee. But I'm not allowed to have coffee anymore due to my health (thankfully we also have lemonade at coffee hour).

 

It hurts my stomach, usually. I can get away with an iced coffee or mocha once in awhile, but only in the afternoon or evening. ;)

 

Thank you, everyone!

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If you are Catholic:

1. Is the Bible inerrant? Can parts be taken as metaphor or does it all have to be literally believed (i.e. 7 24 hour days of creation)?

2. How do you reconcile with the bloody history of the church?

3. What is your belief about evil and Satan?

4. How do you think of God? (Vengeful, Loving, All powerful, somewhat Pantheistic-everywhere in everything, etc.)

 

 

1. The Bible is inerrant, that is the truths taught through the Bible remain the same even if there are some historical inaccuracies. Could God create the world through the process of evolution through billions of years and cause this to happen over the course of 7 days? Of course, anything is possible with God.

 

2. The church is made up of human beings who make mistakes, and evil men will always gravitate towards institutions that allows them power and influence to attain their own goals. This is true with the church and with every other institution in history. Anti-popes, bloody wars, and other stains on church history are tragic and sorrowful, but they do not negate the teachings of the church. For example, Congress right now is full of corrupt individuals who use their positions to further their own interestes instead of truly serving their consituents best interests. This corruption needs to be rooted out, but I would not argue that the fact that this corruption and bad behavior exists is a reason to abolish the Constitution and start over. I am still proud to be American and proud of the positives my country has done, even as I do my part to rectify the ills. My faith in the church is the same. The church has been able to survive for 2,000 years despite this, which is truly amazing. No other institution in the history of man has accomplished this.

 

3. Evil exists, Satan seeks the ruin of souls on a personal level and on a global level. He wants to lead as many souls to death as he can, and this death is seperation from God and an eternity in Hell. Men have a sinful nature, and so not all evil done in the world is the result of some sort of demonic interference or Satanic influence. But, Satan does exist and if you believe as much then to think he isn't active in the world is naive.

 

4. God is good. He is the supreme being, the creator of all things, God is unique, He is eternal. God is transcendent, he is not limited to that which he created, he is not bound to it. In other words, he is not bound to the physical limitations that human beings are.

 

God is omnipotent- all powerful, He is omniscient- all knowing, and he is omnipresent- present everywhere at all times.

 

These are some attributes of God that we as humans can try to comprehend, but it is also impossible for the human intellect to fully comprehend God, the nature of the divine will always remain a mystery. One such mystery is the mystery of the trinity. God is one in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This is impossible to truly comprehend on an intellectual level, it is a mystery of faith.

 

God created us because he loves us and wants us to have a relationship with him. Because he loves us he gave us free will, and so we choose to follow God's law (which leads us to heaven) or we choose to defy God's law (for which the consequence is hell). This is not the result of a reward/consequence type of system, since God is good one cannot be in his presence unless they themselves are holy. God's law is designed to make us holy, rejection of God's law leads to sin. God does not want to coerce us or force us to follow him, He has used revelation to teach us about the nature of God and His law and He sent His son to win salvation for us on the cross. But it is up to us to accept that salvation or reject it.

 

The church exists to help as many souls as possible know God and become holy so they can spend eternity with God. Obviously, as a human institution, it fails at this mission at times, but when percieved in historical context, it has also succeeded in it's mission more than any other human insitution. Whether you agree with the church or not, it has survived persecution by the most powerful empires in the world only to go on to become a worldwide institution with a billion members, this should be impressive no matter what your religion is.

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If you are Orthodox:

1. What is your belief about God?

2. How do you think of God? (Vengeful, Loving, All powerful, somewhat Pantheistic-everywhere in everything, etc.)

3. Is there anything I should know about your beliefs that sets you apart somewhat?

4. Is the Bible to be taken as without error and literal or as inspired by God but written by Man?

5. What is your belief about evil and Satan?

 

1. God is love. This is the testimony of the Saints. Not that I know what that means exactly, but those who have lived very close to God seem to have some glimpse of what that means, and they always say that God is love.

 

2. My perspective of God is undoubtedly incorrect, as I have so far to go. So, I do not know how my perspective might help you, since I am sure to be off base. I do not think He is vengeful. God is perfect, God is love. What that exactly means, and how I can describe it, I do not know and I cannot clearly articulate. I can sense it though, in the Divine Liturgy, in the Eucharist, in the icons, in the daily prayers, in the example of the lives of the Saints, in the reading of the Scriptures in light of the above referenced things.

 

Where is God? The Orthodox Church says that God is "everywhere present and fillest all things." What does that exactly mean? I'm not quite sure, but my priest describes it with the following hand gesture: he takes both hands as if he's grasping an invisible ball and he says that God holds all things together (then he pats the ball and squishes it together) and if God wasn't there holding all things together than everything would just (then he takes his hands and flies them apart in opposite directions) "pshquew!" fly apart. So, he describes God as holding all things together.

 

3. My particular life experience sets my beliefs/bent/emphasis apart in that I came from Protestant Christianity (as it was the only option in my mind until Orthodox Christianity). My Christian experience prior to Orthodoxy makes me especially thankful for the Eucharist as well as all the other physical aspects of Christianity: icons, confession with a priest, crossing myself, saying prayers out loud and while standing and facing east, the Church calendar with feasts and fasts, the life examples of the Saints, and the list goes on and on. My previous Christian experience was bordering on Gnosticism. In my previous Christian experience, the physical side of Christianity was greatly de-emphasized and left me feeling empty at best and psychotic at worst. At times I felt that my mind would explode with all the different ideas about God floating around in there. "Ideas, ideas, ideas...symbols, symbols, symbols..." It was literally driving me crazy. It was when I started working out, running, and caring for my body, as well as drinking wine and enjoying my body that I realized how far I had gone from valuing my body and the physical aspects of life. All these things came to a head at the same time that I was introduced to Orthodox Christianity on this forum. When I went to my first Orthodox service I was prepared to enjoy it, because I had spent the last year caring for my body by loosing weight and enjoying some physical pleasures. When I went to my first Orthodox service I just drank it in. It was the most lovely and Godly physical experience I had ever engaged in. It was spiritual and physical worship mixing and mingling in such a beautiful and peaceful way. I knew that this was where it's at.

 

4. I don't have any particular knowledge about the Bible, whether it be here or there. :confused: One thing I can say about the Bible though is that the Gospel books and the words of Jesus are very special and that's where it's at. The Gospel books are the heart of Christianity and I see them lived out in the lives of the Saints. Written by men? Yes. Inspired by God? Yes. Other than that, I do not claim to know. I also don't bother myself very much with figuring that out. There's so much more to enjoy about Christianity and being Christian than figuring that out. :D Remember, my particular bent is trying not to make my head explode. :D

 

5. Satan. :glare: Well, I spit on him right before getting baptized. "petew!" :ack2: :thumbdown: I don't want to worry about what he's up to. He is the destroyer, the liar, the divider, the deceiver, etc. etc. I choose to stay away from him. I don't want to understand him either. What's to understand? I want to be one with God and that takes up enough of my time. That's all I really have to say about him.

 

 

 

:bigear: May I also ask each Orthodox that may respond to elaborate on icons and their meanings? ... So, I'm wondering how this looks to individuals as opposed to an intellectual book/article on what icons mean to the church.

 

So, my particular bent is to appreciate the physical side of Christianity, specifically how it is expressed in Orthodox Christianity, because I believe we have a good balance of the physical side and the spiritual side. When it comes to icons, they are another opportunity to adore and appreciate the physical side of Christianity. Take for example the Resurrection. Without an icon you have an idea in your mind about the Resurrection. You know it happened physically, but you don't have anything tangible to go to for that idea, so it stays in your mind. But, when you have an icon of the Resurrection, whether it be displayed in your home or in the church, you can gaze at it, you can think about it, you can kiss it, you can cross yourself and bend your waist before it, you can see the truths displayed on it, and you can ultimately worship Christ all the more because of it. For me, without the icon the idea of the Resurrection is very abstract and illusive. With the icon it is more solid and the truths easier to grasp. For this reason alone, the appreciation of the physical incarnation of Christ and the redemption of the physical world, I can participate in icon veneration. For me, it's a physical way to show Christ how thankful and grateful I am for His incarnation and how His incarnation is represented in the icon.

Edited by JenniferB
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Icons (several thoughts):

 

1. The initial way it was explained to me was to picture a child at a window watching her daddy leave for work or a soldier in the field with a picture of their loved one in their wallet. The child may "kiss daddy" by pressing their lips to the glass. The soldier may kiss the picture of their loved one. It is the same for us with icons. The Saints are loved ones. They watch over us and they pray for us.

 

2. We are made in the image of God. We are called icons of God.

 

3. Icons help teach us, just as parables teach us. Some will say that icons are written, not drawn. There is a theology to writing icons. How they are written tells us about their lives. You find the same in the early Celtic Christian artwork and carvings.

 

There is more, but this is a start.

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  • 4 months later...

I know this is pretty old now, but I'm looking for some more book recommendations. Is there a not-offensive Catholicism or Orthodoxy for Dummies book for those of us at least slightly above the Dummy stage? I couldn't make the RC classes because of scheduling (offered only starting in Sept. and on the only days of the week I am out of state) and the Orthodox church is just waaaaaay too far for my budget right now, so I'm looking for more to read.

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Here are a few interesting vintage Catholic e-books that I've come across in my travels. Perhaps one of them might suit your reading interests.

 

The Catholic Christian Instructed in the Sacraments, Sacrifice, Ceremonies, and Observances of the Church by Bishop Richard Challoner -- I guess you could say this was the "Catholicism for Dummies" of the 18th century ;)

 

Meditations for Every Day in the Year also by Bishop Challoner -- a spiritual classic

 

A Catholic Dictionary by William Edward Addis and Thomas Arnold (1887)

 

The Externals of the Catholic Church by Rev. John F. Sullivan (1919)

 

 

These books obviously won't have information about current events and the latest disciplinary regulations, but they're still a helpful resource for many other topics: doctrine, apologetics, Church history, etc. :)

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Actually Catholicism for Dummies by Fr. Trigilio is quite good. Anything by Scott Hahn is going to be excellent. The Catholicism book and DVD series by Fr. Barron is wonderful.

 

If we ever get our social group back (hint, hint, powers that be), we would love to have you join us over there. Please feel free to PM me if I can be of any help.

 

Eta: Spelled Fr. Trigilio's name wrong. He also has The Catholic Answer Book, which I find helpful.

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I really like Theology for Beginners by Frank Sheed (more logical) and Fundamentals of the Faith by Peter Kreeft (more lyrical) as accessible, but solid introductions to the Catholic faith. Sheed goes through the main doctrine of the Church on creation, sin, man, Trinity, and Church, giving wonderful clear, yet deep explanations. Kreft addresses the same issues, but also does quite a bit of comparative religious studies in his book, looking at Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddahism, and Paganism.

 

And, I agree Catholicism for Dummies is solid. I like the actual writing in the above books better; the authors are just better, more beautiful writers. But Catholicism for Dummies breaks things down well and is an accurate portrayal of Catholic teaching. I second Fr. Robert Barron's Catholicism DVD series as well. It is visually beautiful and theologically deep.

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Just another agreeing that Catholicism for Dummies is fine and I think We Believe by Oscar Lukefahr might be a decent choice. Not sure if that is too basic for what you are looking for, though. I really enjoy Kreeft, too. The Catholicism DVD series goes on sale from time to time. It was just on sale with a fairly large discount last week, so if you are interested in them, wait for a sale. Or see if a parish will loan them out.

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A couple of cheaper/more easily available books on Orthodoxy that I've enjoyed:

- The Orthodox Church

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0140146563

- Light from the Christian East http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0830825940

 

I'd also really recommend downloading the Ancient Faith Radio app if you have a smart device and listening to the podcasts, especially "At the Intersection of East and West."

 

My priest has given me some great reading materials since we've become catechumens, but they are mostly pretty expensive and obscure titles.

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My ILL system is going to be busy now! Lol. Thank you, all.

 

I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for. Something broken down into manageable chunks about the "why's"? Like why is the story of xyz relevant...like commentary. These books look good. :)

 

It's just getting to holiday season where I really wrestle with my roots in Judaism and it calling to me, and other beliefs I also feel pulling. I wish it could be simple!

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Actually Catholicism for Dummies by Fr. Trijillio is quite good. Anything by Scott Hahn is going to be excellent. The Catholicism book and DVD series by Fr. Barron is wonderful.

 

If we ever get our social group back (hint, hint, powers that be), we would love to have you join us over there. Please feel free to PM me if I can be of any help.

 

 

I've heard from someone in the know and the social groups are being worked on. I'm seriously considering starting a thread though.

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Just a quick reply as I'm out the door for an akathist this morning ..... I wonder if you'd appreciate the book Orthodox Worship by Benjamin Williams and Harold Anstall. The sub-title is A Living Continuity with the Temple, the Synagogue and the Early Church. I'm specifically thinking of your history in the Jewish faith. I *loved* this book.

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I know this is pretty old now, but I'm looking for some more book recommendations. Is there a not-offensive Catholicism or Orthodoxy for Dummies book for those of us at least slightly above the Dummy stage? I couldn't make the RC classes because of scheduling (offered only starting in Sept. and on the only days of the week I am out of state) and the Orthodox church is just waaaaaay too far for my budget right now, so I'm looking for more to read.

 

There are two excellent web sites I can refer you to: Defenders of the Catholic Faith and the Coming Home Network (I don't have the link handy--sorry). Both have very knowledgeable, kind members who are happy to answer your questions. DCF tends to be a little more, um, quirky, but they were still very helpful to me.

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Hmmmm my in box isn't full. Maybe I'm just trouble? :D

 

Ill check these out, too. Milovany, that does sound promising. I'll read that one first. I'm disappointed in my state, though. I have access to almost every book at a college or university in this state and I could not find almost any Judaism books. 99% I looked for were not in any of the libraries! It's hard to find Orthodox books, too...

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MM, our priest is a former secular Jew raised in NYC. If you ever want me to put you in touch with him, let me know. The thing is, he doesn't type much (email), but he loves to talk on the phone and would probably be happy to field a phone call. Let me know via PM if you want his number.

 

Juliana (milovany)

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MM, our priest is a former secular Jew raised in NYC. If you ever want me to put you in touch with him, let me know. The thing is, he doesn't type much (email), but he loves to talk on the phone and would probably be happy to field a phone call. Let me know via PM if you want his number.

 

Juliana (milovany)

 

Lucky you! I'd love nothing better than to sit with him for the day and ask questions.

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