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Re: the calendar issue

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February 01, 2002 03:57PM
I've had a bit more time to think over your questions and my responses, Marianne. It seems to me that rather focusing upon the calendar, you would be better advised to ask why you believe the Lord is leading you towards becoming Orthodox. Marianne, to even contemplate entering the Church with such a judgmental mindset, is to court disaster. When I became Orthodox some eleven years ago now, I embraced the WHOLE Church. It did not occur to me to cast aspersions upon this jurisdiction or that one, particularly on issues such as calendars. Do you honestly believe the Lord is overly concerned with such minutae as dates? I have to tell you, Marianne, the sad truth from my own experience is that converts to the Church who enter through the ROCOR frequently end up as malcontents... pointing judgmental fingers at their Orthodox brothers and sisters and starting fight after fight on internet Orthodox clubs. One only has to visit a few ROCOR websites to see the vast difference in emphasis they place upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that placed by the OCA, the GOA or the AOA. These latter churches emphasize the importance of reaching out to those seeking for the truth. They haven't the time nor the inclination to sit in judgment upon the ROCOR. The ROCOR, on the other hand, spends an inordinate amount of time, cutting and tearing at the canonical Orthodox Church. They've article piled upon article in which they use derogatory names describing other Orthodox jurisdictions. I've personally witnessed men entering the ROCOR and turning into sour, self-righteous types who believe everyone else is bound for hell except for their own small group.

Forget the calendar. Forget wax/olive oil votive lamps. Forget shaving of beards and wearing of shawls. Forget the perceived evils of pews and organs. Concentrate on WHY you believe the Lord is leading you to the Orthodox Church... what impact that will have upon your family and friends... how you will best serve Him as an Orthodox Christian... what changes will be expected of you and how your life will most certainly change. You realize, of course, that you will be expected to lead adopt a different lifestyle, right? Do you fast, Marianne? Do you say prayers regularly, morning and evening? Do you go to confession on a regular basis and prepare yourself to receive Holy Communion through the recitation of rather lengthy prayers?

If you are being called to enter Orthodoxy... then count the cost. There most definitely "is" a price to pay for becoming Orthodox. It's a wonderful life, Marianne; a life which takes on an entirely new spiritual direction and purpose. Enter the WHOLE Church with a mind uncluttered with calendars and judgments.
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