Posted 09 August 2015 - 01:29 AM
Would some of you please offer suggestions of specific Saint's stories that I could share with one who I consider my spiritual daughter (though she is not Orthodox) which speak directly to God's love for one who suffers.
She (I will call her 'D') is divorced, suffers with PTSD from long term abuse from her father and ex-husband of 30 years. She used to work on a Protestant church as Director of Children's Ministries and was emotionally abused by a former pastor as well. She has left that church, has a new job but has not worshipped at any church for over 12 months. Just recently she told me she has come to realize how angry she is that God has not answered her prayers and she sees Him uncaring, unloving, etc. She acknowledges her feelings about God are wrong and wants to repent. We talked about repentance, a turning away from and towards a different thinking/way. Her comment was, "But what am I turning towards? I don't know anything but what I've been taught all my life." That teaching was heavily Calvinist and Reformed theology - God is the cosmic Santa Claus and if you're good enough and pray the right way, He'll give you the 'desires of your heart' kind of thing.
I would like to show her 1) her suffering is not in vain, 2) God didn't look down on her and say 'I'm going to make your life miserable, 3) God loves her very much. I tried to search the Patristic texts by theme but the links took me to a 404 error page.
Any thoughts, suggestions, texts are most welcome.
Love in Christ, Athansia
Posted 09 August 2015 - 06:49 PM
St Winifred of of Holy Well, is a British saint who was Mayterd for her faith and then resurrected by her Spiritual father and went on to live as a nun for 40 years, a search on line will bring up several versions of her story.
The story of St Cyprian and Julia would also be a story which may be a good one to consider.
It may also help for you to pray for the Lord to reveal himself to your friend as he can do it in such a way as to heal the memories if the past.
also is you can encourage her to come to social events in your local parish, which may help her get to the point she feels can come to a service.
I will say one thing from my own journey and that is that is not to be rushed.
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