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Forgiving yourself prayers?


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#21 Bob L.

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 02:58 PM

^ Ironically, that experience with the cross necklace made me more suspicious about Christianity instead of more faithful. When I was in college, I originally majored in physics. I couldn't understand how a cross could do that, and I didn't think God would break the laws of nature that He created. I didn't know about psychosis at that time, but I felt that something wasn't right. There was another experience before this that also bothered me and caused me to be very confused. Six months later I stopped going to church. Another year later, I went to a therapist and learned about psychosis. I started reading about the origins of Judaism and early Christianity. It's too complicated to explain, but it has been my obsession for the past 6 years to deal with what happened to me in 2009. I guess I am an agnostic now.

 

Sorry to ramble.


Edited by Bob L., 12 October 2016 - 03:04 PM.


#22 Bob L.

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 03:45 PM

Thanks, everybody, for your replies. :)



#23 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 04:01 PM

Don't think about the words of the prayer - feel them. God is not in the mind but in the heart.



#24 Phoebe K.

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 05:15 PM

Bob,

 

I understand the struggles you have with understanding, I trained in earth sciences before going in to theology.  

 

What you have experienced is not something we can understand on our own, and realistically although therapists have their place, however they are not trained to understand the manifestations of the spiritual relm into our world.  The people who understand the spiritual world the most are the experienced monastics within the Church.  

 

One of the best things you could do to help yourself understand what has happened and to start to move forward spiritually would be to spend some time in an Orthodox monetary.  In this you can experience the spiritual in a deep way which is not possible on our own and you would be able to talk to an experienced Spiritual father who would be able to help you understand what you have experienced.

 

On here we can only give general suggestions from our own experience and what we have learnt from the fathers of the Church, as in the end it is something we each have to work out with the help of our spiritual father.

 

Prayer is something which is never easy or simple, rather it is part of how God remakes us, it is a long journey for us to discover who we are as only through this can we encounter Chris face to facet which is the aim of prayer.



#25 Lakis Papas

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 10:55 PM

...I used to say the Jesus Prayer for 30 minutes or so three times per day (or more). I hoped that God would help me with a visceral disgust that I feel towards my brother. (We became business partners in the family business when my father got cancer.) After several months with no improvement, I finally lost my temper and started ripping all my Orthodox books to shreds and throwing them in the trash... 

 



Well, I understand your frustration, I think, I do understand your disappointment. 

 

What if God had provided a remedy for your situation, then what you would have done? Do you know that? Do you have made a decision about the next day of liberation from this burden, regarding your position before God?



#26 Bob L.

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 01:18 AM

Don't think about the words of the prayer - feel them. God is not in the mind but in the heart.

 

I'll give that a try. It is hard to choose my feelings, but I can probably choose a prayer that matches my feelings.



#27 Bob L.

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 01:55 AM

Bob,

 

I understand the struggles you have with understanding, I trained in earth sciences before going in to theology.  

 

What you have experienced is not something we can understand on our own, and realistically although therapists have their place, however they are not trained to understand the manifestations of the spiritual relm into our world.  The people who understand the spiritual world the most are the experienced monastics within the Church.  

 

One of the best things you could do to help yourself understand what has happened and to start to move forward spiritually would be to spend some time in an Orthodox monetary.  In this you can experience the spiritual in a deep way which is not possible on our own and you would be able to talk to an experienced Spiritual father who would be able to help you understand what you have experienced.

 

On here we can only give general suggestions from our own experience and what we have learnt from the fathers of the Church, as in the end it is something we each have to work out with the help of our spiritual father.

 

Prayer is something which is never easy or simple, rather it is part of how God remakes us, it is a long journey for us to discover who we are as only through this can we encounter Chris face to facet which is the aim of prayer.

 

Thanks, Phoebe K, I don't know how the monastery visits work. Also the monasteries in my area are considered to be cults and corrupt by some articles that I have read on the internet. When I used to attend church, I was very interested in monasteries and fantasized about joining a monastery to escape my disappointing life. My priest discouraged me from visiting a monastery, and he suggested that I would need his guidance because many monks are mentally ill. He was a very confusing priest. Sometimes I think he was an atheist. In retrospect, it is good that my priest discouraged my interest in monasteries, because I was having religiosity. I suspect the priest knew I was having psychosis, but he didn't feel able to tell me due to his role as a priest.


Edited by Bob L., 13 October 2016 - 01:58 AM.


#28 Bob L.

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 02:44 AM


 

Well, I understand your frustration, I think, I do understand your disappointment. 

 

What if God had provided a remedy for your situation, then what you would have done? Do you know that? Do you have made a decision about the next day of liberation from this burden, regarding your position before God?

 

That's an interesting question. I suppose I would have focused on the next most important problem in my life? At that time, the second most important problem would have been my desire to know what God wanted me to do. I really wanted to run away and be a monk somewhere, but that didn't seem realistic for a middle-aged person with a duty to help in the family business. It seemed that God was playing games with me by sending me confusing messages and ignoring me most of the time. If God solved this problem today, I don't know how I would respond.



#29 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 08:50 AM

'It is hard to choose my feelings, but I can probably choose a prayer that matches my feelings.'
 
I wonder if you mean feelings in the right way or just as meaning your mood? The significance of the heart was the first thing I was taught by my late spiritual father. The heart is not merely the organ in our chest but the seat of our innermost being. 'The heart is but a small vessel; and yet dragons and lions are there, and there poisonous creatures and all the treasures of wickedness; rough, uneven paths are there, and gaping chasms. There likewise is God, there are the angels, the heavenly cities and the treasures of grace; all things are there' says St. Macarius. When Christ said we should go into our closet to pray, He meant, say the Fathers, our heart.



#30 Bob L.

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 12:36 PM

'It is hard to choose my feelings, but I can probably choose a prayer that matches my feelings.'
 
I wonder if you mean feelings in the right way or just as meaning your mood? The significance of the heart was the first thing I was taught by my late spiritual father. The heart is not merely the organ in our chest but the seat of our innermost being. 'The heart is but a small vessel; and yet dragons and lions are there, and there poisonous creatures and all the treasures of wickedness; rough, uneven paths are there, and gaping chasms. There likewise is God, there are the angels, the heavenly cities and the treasures of grace; all things are there' says St. Macarius. When Christ said we should go into our closet to pray, He meant, say the Fathers, our heart.

 

Yes, I misunderstood when you said "feel them (the words of the prayer)". I have struggled with depression most of my life, and there are times when I wish God existed so I could kill Him - or at least give him a piece of my mind. LOL. Ironically the few times when it seemed that God let me know that He was listening to me happened when I was in this angry mood.

 

The distinction between heart, soul, and mind is not clear to me. I've read different things from different sources.


Edited by Bob L., 13 October 2016 - 12:39 PM.


#31 Phoebe K.

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 12:39 PM

Bob,

 

I understand your reservations about visiting a monastery, especial as your previous priest clearly did not like like monastics so did not let you have a chance to make up your own mind.  In  my experience monastics tend to be the sanest people you will meet as they have set their lives on Christ not to runaway from reality, but to embrace it more deeply.

 

It is normal to go through an intense period of religious feeling in the first few years after conversion, all of those of us who have converted go through this, a good spiritual father will recognize this and temper the zeal without extinguishing it.  My spiritual father at the time of my baptism said I had to wait 7 years before I could make a decision as to which way my life would go because of this natural zeal a nipholite has.  

 

Unforchantly there is a group within the orthodox church which downplays the importance of monasticism within the church, it is the monastics who are the front line fighters with evil first of all within themselves.  The monastics are the ones who keep prayer going day and night, though for the most part they are so humble that they do not realise their importance within the Church which is how it should be.

 

My spiritual father runs pilgrimages each summer to the inner Hebrides in the area he is founding his monetary, this would be one way for you to meet a monastic who is normal and discover more about the early British saints who are just as much part of the history of the Orthodox Church as any of the other saints.   The monastery my Spiritual father is founding has a sister monastery in America, the Protection of the Virgin Monastery (Lake George, Colorado), this is another place you could consider visiting as the Abbess is spiritually experienced and sensible.



#32 Lakis Papas

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 12:54 PM

That's an interesting question. I suppose I would have focused on the next most important problem in my life? At that time, the second most important problem would have been my desire to know what God wanted me to do. I really wanted to run away and be a monk somewhere, but that didn't seem realistic for a middle-aged person with a duty to help in the family business. It seemed that God was playing games with me by sending me confusing messages and ignoring me most of the time. If God solved this problem today, I don't know how I would respond.

 

Becoming a monk is a huge decision. As far as I can understand, you are confused. This is not necessarily a bad thing - but almost always, it stop us from spiritual maturity. Therefore it becomes very difficult to find solutions, by ourselves. 

 

Let me say that, as far as I can understand your problems through an internet forum, definitely, you should ask for help from a spiritually experienced person - if you still want to figure out what God's intention for us humans and especially for you. Then, after consulting such a person and following his advise, your problems will start to move to another dimension, and life as a personal experience will also will be transformed into spiritual maturity - confusion will go away. Unfortunately this can not happen by reading books, or by following a self defined personal agenda.

 

Anyway, do not lose hope for a wonderful life, that waits to start, hidden from you until it happens. 


Edited by Lakis Papas, 13 October 2016 - 12:54 PM.


#33 Bob L.

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 01:24 AM

Bob,

 

I understand your reservations about visiting a monastery, especial as your previous priest clearly did not like like monastics so did not let you have a chance to make up your own mind.  In  my experience monastics tend to be the sanest people you will meet as they have set their lives on Christ not to runaway from reality, but to embrace it more deeply.

 

It is normal to go through an intense period of religious feeling in the first few years after conversion, all of those of us who have converted go through this, a good spiritual father will recognize this and temper the zeal without extinguishing it.  My spiritual father at the time of my baptism said I had to wait 7 years before I could make a decision as to which way my life would go because of this natural zeal a nipholite has.  

 

Unforchantly there is a group within the orthodox church which downplays the importance of monasticism within the church, it is the monastics who are the front line fighters with evil first of all within themselves.  The monastics are the ones who keep prayer going day and night, though for the most part they are so humble that they do not realise their importance within the Church which is how it should be.

 

My spiritual father runs pilgrimages each summer to the inner Hebrides in the area he is founding his monetary, this would be one way for you to meet a monastic who is normal and discover more about the early British saints who are just as much part of the history of the Orthodox Church as any of the other saints.   The monastery my Spiritual father is founding has a sister monastery in America, the Protection of the Virgin Monastery (Lake George, Colorado), this is another place you could consider visiting as the Abbess is spiritually experienced and sensible.

 

Thanks, Phoebe K. Unfortunately, I don't expect I will ever be able to take time off to visit a monastery unless I win a million dollars in the lottery or something.

 

That sounds like a wise policy to wait 7 years for a new convert to mature.



#34 Bob L.

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 01:36 AM

Becoming a monk is a huge decision. As far as I can understand, you are confused. This is not necessarily a bad thing - but almost always, it stop us from spiritual maturity. Therefore it becomes very difficult to find solutions, by ourselves. 

 

Let me say that, as far as I can understand your problems through an internet forum, definitely, you should ask for help from a spiritually experienced person - if you still want to figure out what God's intention for us humans and especially for you. Then, after consulting such a person and following his advise, your problems will start to move to another dimension, and life as a personal experience will also will be transformed into spiritual maturity - confusion will go away. Unfortunately this can not happen by reading books, or by following a self defined personal agenda.

 

Anyway, do not lose hope for a wonderful life, that waits to start, hidden from you until it happens. 

 

Thanks, Lakis Papas. The spiritual father is probably ideal, but I don't have one. I have been reading a book called "Kundalini: The Secret of Yoga" by Gopi Krishna ( https://en.wikipedia...i/Gopi_Krishna_(yogi) ). I also ordered "Anomalistic Psychology" by Zusne and Leonard, that I hope might be readable and helpful. I also go on internet forums like this and get good ideas. :) (BTW: I'm reading the book about Kundalini, because the author had some interesting hypotheses about inspiration, purpose, etc. I don't aspire to have any kind of mystical experience - I guess I'm just trying to determine if I was psychotic several years ago. I suppose it doesn't matter now, but I don't like loose ends LOL)


Edited by Bob L., 14 October 2016 - 01:46 AM.





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