Skip to comments.A Question for my Catholic and Orthodox Brethren
Posted on 09/12/2007 4:06:00 AM PDT by beachdweller
This is a religious vanity post I suppose. I am a Christian raised mainly Baptist with some attendance at other denominations. I have, in the course of my life, had a couple of experiences of the intercession of the Holy Virgin for my help and Protection. I have also witnessed the Mass a few times as an outsider and felt drawn away from my Protestant identity. The order and sense of Apostolic succession appeals to me in the Church as opposed to the churches. However, my main point of confusion now is whether to draw close to the Roman Catholic Church, or the Orthodox. I feel questions about both, and drawn to both. I sincerely ask for advice. I feel unsure about the supremacy of the Pope (a great man) as opposed to the consensus of Bishops and the church. At the same time, while the Orthodox Church seems to have an unbroken link to Christ and a moving celebration of God, why is the RCC so much more numerous and successful. I see beauty and real authority in both, but am unsure which way to go. At the same time I am NOT trying to cause conflict among Christ's servants and ask that anyone responding be respectful of the other side. Also please, my Protestant brethren who may object to this subject I ask you do not attack me or anyone who answers in this thread. One last thing, I live in San Diego and any direction where to go for guidance here would be appreciated. Thanks and go with Christ.
I notice you left out the Dutch.
My apologies. I did not mean to slight your ancestors.
That doesn’t change my point in the slightest.
His entire site is a store! Not one link to a testimony, presentation audio, or even transcript of an after-dinner speech. Just “you are not logged in” and “go to shopping cart.” Guess apologetics is a business now.
But, out of fairness, I won’t talk behind Mr. Madrid’s back.
All believers are holy, i.e. set apart for God. I guess that means that everyone should call me "Holy MEGoody."
This intrigues me a lot. Is it fair to say that it's a Baptist notion that everyone in heaven is equal in all respects? Not that were identical or the same, but we're all certainly holy to the same degree? So star may differ from star in brightness, but this little light of mine is no dimmer or brighter than that of, say Holy Joseph or of some martyr?
So you are agreeing that he has been involved with the Catholic and/or Orthodox church for some time. That was my point.
Darn, this is so vague as to be hard to disagree with - or agree with. "Some time", of course. But whether that "some time" is a couple of months, of years, or of decades I wouldn't presume to say.
Then I have to wonder why I never hear Catholics or Orthodox go on about the 'intercession' of the next door neighbor the way they do the 'intercession' of Mary. Of course, it is because they view her 'intercession' as something other than just asking someone to pray for them.
I'd guess there are two possible areas of difference, I would guess. There could be something different about Mary or something different about what or how one asks her v. what or how one asks the guy next door. Certainly, the "prayers of the people" in the Mass are referred to as "intercessions" and qualified as "intercessory". You may have been hanging out around Catholics "for some time", but maybe the "some" wasn't enough to learn how we think.
And one of the things we think is that, after Jesus, Mary is a pioneer of Faith, that she already realizes and in a very great degree what is promised to all the Faithful. And then we believe that on the basis of personal conviction or of a sho' 'nuff offishul declaration that we can be confident that folks like Catherine Laboure or Dominic or Mary are in a somehow stronger position than our neighbor next door to intercede for us.
So the difference arises from matters of degree both in the the quality of intercession and in the persons making the intercession, but there is no difference in the essence of the act of asking someone to pray for us - or even, as we sometimes do - asking God to use the intercessions of others to help us.
And again, I think a lot of Protestant data about RCs may be skewed in that some things stick out like a sore thumb. Yesterday I spent maybe 40+ minutes in "reading my office", 20 minutes saying the rosary, 35 minutes (almost exactly) at Mass during which two mentions was made of our Lady. Bunches of other saints were mentioned as well.
What sticks out is the rosary, I'm sure, but at least in terms of time spent, it's a minor part of my total devotional, uh, package.
It's always good to see what we look like to others. Good, but weird!
In instances such as this, this is where you need to turn. Keep her in mind and ask for her guidance and protection. Get a blessed icon if you can. She is and will lead you to where you are meant to be.
I have also witnessed the Mass a few times as an outsider and felt drawn away from my Protestant identity.
That is the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament. The grace is a strong attraction.
However, my main point of confusion now is whether to draw close to the Roman Catholic Church, or the Orthodox. I feel questions about both, and drawn to both.
It's time to start studying. Church History and catechisms are a good place to start. My priest recommends "Church History" by Fr. Laux and "My Catholic Faith" catechism which includes Scriptural support for Catholic beliefs. The Baltimore catechism is good too. The Eastern Catholics and Orthodox can give you recommendations for beginners in their approach.
One last thing, I live in San Diego and any direction where to go for guidance here would be appreciated.
You have some Traditional Catholic Masses in your area, one daily beginning this Friday. http://www.calcatholic.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?id=2729b749-b157-4312-aa49-b6184def7d8e This Ecclesia Dei site gives a listing of the Traditional Masses in various dioceses http://www.ecclesiadei.org/masses.cfm#California Go to different liturgies in your area, Catholic, Eastern Catholic and Orthodox. Eastern Catholic may be a happy medium for you if you are drawn to the Eastern style. When you find a liturgy which draws you, introduce yourself to the priest, tell him you are discerning a spiritual home and ask for guidance.
Read, explore and pray. You will end up where you are meant to be. You will know it in your being.
My son in law doesn't like the "feel" of services at protestant churches. It's all about the feel. I think a lot of people really like the religousness of ornate decorations, robes, Latin, and such.
If you define 'holy' as set apart for God, yes, because HE does the setting apart. If you have some other definition of holy, my response might change.
So star may differ from star in brightness, but this little light of mine is no dimmer or brighter than that of, say Holy Joseph or of some martyr?
Depends on what you mean by 'light'. Jesus is the Light of the world, so in that respect, yes it is the same for all believers. If you are refering to the rewards we get in heaven for our works, no, it is not the same for all.
But whether that "some time" is a couple of months, of years, or of decades I wouldn't presume to say.
"Some time" means one has been attending regularly for awhile (could be months or years), not that one has visited once or twice in a mix with visiting other churches.
There could be something different about Mary or something different about what or how one asks her v. what or how one asks the guy next door.
Yes, there is a difference. Mary has passed on to eternity while the guy next door hasn't. I don't see anything in the bible that says one person praying for you versus another is any different except where the bible says "the prayer of a righteous man availeth much".
that she already realizes and in a very great degree what is promised to all the Faithful.
Yes, as do all believers who have passed on. As to the effectiveness of intercessory prayers said by Mary as opposed to faithful believers currently living on earth, it seems to be a belief that is different between Protestants and Catholics.
Sometimes a "feeling" is really the Holy Ghost urging you to move towards Him. The Catholic mass is worship in the fullest sense because it involves sacrifice, the very real events of Calvary. That said, I've been to plenty of "Catholic" masses that didn't "feel" right!
And Latin? LATIN? Giddouddaheah! Maybe sometimes a Latin Agnus Dei, but that's it! Okay, really rarely maybe a traditional hymn, like Tantum Ergo. But heck, I knew that one as an Episcopalian. It's a classic. A hymn lasts for 700 years, it definitely achieves golden oldie status.
Even though Jesus is the one true light, still some bodies with no light of their own reflect better than others. They may all reflect but some more brightly than others. The moon, thought bright, has parts of its surface darker than others, but it all the one sun.
AS to thinking about or experiencing the care of Mary in the terms which beachdweller used, I know from my experience that she herself reaches into lives and brings people to a more intimate relationship with Jesus. I was praying the rosary off and on more than 20 years before I became RC and at least 15 years before I even considered it seriously. And I was given my first rosary and taught how to pray it by someone who was neither Orthodox nor Catholic.
So the evidence given of devotion and respect for Mary does not in itself suggest a lot of attendance at an RC or Orthodox Church.
If in the quote you give " a righteous man" may be a woman, then we're okay on the prayer of Mary availing much.
By the Assumption we mean that Mary is already in her "resurrection body", while, in our view, most of the faithful have to wait until judgment day to get their resurrection bodies. Do Baptists hold that the blessed have their resurrection bodies right after they die or before judgment day?
I thought I'd already attempted this response, but it seems I lost it somehow ....
Oh, and we never knelt at St George’s. Where I go now, we kneel a lot.
Major, genuine LOL...cuz I happen to love cinderblocks.
That Baptist would be a very poor student of Scripture which teaches that there are many intercessors but only one mediator between God and man, and that is Jesus. There is a definite distinction.
ON NO! don't go there!
Not one link to a testimony, presentation audio, or even transcript of an after-dinner speech.
You're a sick man.
Heh heh heh
Well, I guess that depends on what you mean by 'intercessor'.
By this I assume you mean you were attending an RC church but hadn't formally joined. If not, how did you learn the rosary and what drove you to say it for so many years before going to an RC church?
If in the quote you give " a righteous man" may be a woman
Yes, the word 'man' there would certainly appear to be generic and refer to humankind, not to males only.
By the Assumption we mean that Mary is already in her "resurrection body", while, in our view, most of the faithful have to wait until judgment day to get their resurrection bodies.
Ah, I see. Well, I'm sure you know that Protestants don't adhere to that belief.
Do Baptists hold that the blessed have their resurrection bodies right after they die or before judgment day?
They believe (as all Protestants do that I know of) that we will receive our incorruptible bodies all at once. The only exceptions to that, of course, would be Jesus and possibly others that the bible specifically mentions. (Example: Enoch appears to have been translated or 'raptured' or whatever term one wishes to use.)
Non catholic services are, from my experience in Lutheran, Presbyterian, Vineyard, non-denom and several other, are praise and knowledge based. They all left me empty, nothing transcendent, no profound presence of the one and eternal sacrificial victim. Needless to say, I don't "go there" unless one of the extended family invites us for a wedding or such.
I found the book Upon This Rock - by Stephen K. Ray to very helpful in examining the topic of papal authority.
And I was given my first rosary and taught how to pray it by someone who was neither Orthodox nor Catholic.Then you wrote:
Actually, I went to "The Protestant Episcopal Seminary in Virginia", which was going through a Calvinist phase when I was there, and became an Episcopal priest in 1977. I became a Catholic in 1994.
I mentioned it because there's a lot of sort of under cover Marian devotion going on out there outside of Orthodox and Catholic churches. As to what led to my saying it, I would say that Mary became kind of a heroine to me when it hit me that she had made a very profound self offering and said a deep, "Yes," to God, and that led to her bringing Love Himself into the world. And despite my personal nastiness, I would like to say a profound yes to God and make an offering of myself to Him, and I would like to be a part of bringing Love into the world.They believe (as all Protestants do that I know of) that we will receive our incorruptible bodies all at once.
I copy. But do they get 'em "on the last day" or before?
And yeah, it had penetrated the thick cranium that not too many Protestants are on board with that. ;-) One of the reasons I put it out there was that someone recently insisted that we think, and that the doctrine claims, that Mary didn't die. So Somehow it seemed good to say what it DOES claim.
I checked it out yesterday but didn’t want to hijack the thread and I found what you found. There were free links all over the place. I wonder where the other person went to see what he did?
Not that it would have mattered to me anyway, I’m a Republican and I don’t think it is wrong to make a living. Ministers and priests are paid and supported and no-one bats an eye. Mr. Madrid is spreading the word of God but he still needs to eat.
We have some of his books in our church library and I know that we would loan them to a non-Catholic if they asked so it isn’t like the ONLY way you could get one of his books is to pay.
Interesting. Did that person ever tell you how he/she learned the rosary and became compelled to pray it?
But do they get 'em "on the last day" or before?
1 Thess 4:16-17 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
Now here's a question: I noticed that you described her as "compelled" and me as driven ("... what drove you to say it ...). So, uh, what, uh, compels and drives you to think of those who take up Marian devotion as under some kind of compulsion? For me it's a great way to give some time to God, to think about the story of the Incarnation and its outcome. It's almost a luxury, I might say. It's really not the experience that those who oppose it seem to think it is.
Padre Pio referred to the Rosary as "that weapon", I am told. And Dominic wanted the friars to wear it at their side the way one might wear a sword. And I guess along with formal church worship, the "Divine Office", personal prayer, Scripture, and other study, I think of it as part of my armamentarium as I, well, walk this walk and "fight the good fight".
I have to go display some responsibility. backatcha later.
What do you think drives a Christian to do anything? The Baptists would say the Holy Spirit drives them to pray, tithe, do good works, etc. (Perhaps the words 'drive' and 'compel' have bad connotations in your mind and that's why you asked.)
Leading in these cases is more about enticing their will to comport with mine. Driving them is more about overcoming their will with fear or something else to get them to do what I want. A "droving" dog (that's what German Shepherds mostly are, but also English sheepdogs) work behind the sheep and drive them in a particular direction. The sheep move away from the dog because the dog "reminds them" of a predator. (And I have driven my sheep by hunkering down and staring at them.)
And compel has a sense of force, of causing something to happen despite the will.
So yeah, generally driving and compelling stir up negative responses in me, while leading doesn't so much.
Sorry computer problems have kept me away for so long, but to answer you yes I was raised Baptist, very Baptist, but have not been one for number of years now. I have spent time since seeking where I should be. Of course back then I would have spoken in different terms, but have learned new perspectives in my faith. To respond to your other comments, no I have no formal association with either the RCC or Orthodox Churches. I’ve simply felt gradually drawn in that direction and have investigated on my own so far.
Thanks to everyone for their kind and honest comments. They have really been of help. Sorry it took me so long to respond, but I have had problems connecting to the internet. I feel strengthened and know I need to be still and listen to God for the direction to take. I appreciated the fairness and gentle helpfulness of everyone’s suggestions. Thanks and God bless.
Thanks to Titanites for pointing this post number 12 out. Here’s a pretty good “poser” post and I’m going to bookmark it..
Here’s your bookmark
Words such as "false" "wrong" "error" do not attribute motive.
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
Who did I accuse?
I know, isn’t it amazing to read Iscool’s post # 12? I’ve heard of taqqiyah, have you?
Really? you a Catholic? your posts have not shown that in the past 7+ years... And when are you leaving?
vladimir998: Iscool, Youre a Catholic? If youre leaving to join a Baptist church it sure is taking you a LOOOOONNNGG time to do it.
Alex: Wow. That's news to me, too!
And me too -- lots of folks are extremely puzzled by this post 12, I think.....
Before you make any decisions, may I suggest you try to attend a traditional Latin Mass? Since you are also considering the Orthodox, I suspect you may be drawn to the beauty and majesty of the Tridentine Mass.
I see that you are in San Diego. I believe the FSSP has a parish there (St. Anne’s?), and the good priests of that order always say a nice, reverent Mass.
Good luck to you as you pray for guidance. I will pray for you as well.
That having been said, this is a condensed version of What I Think now:
Once you accept, either on faith or intellectually, the proposition that, after the last Apostle died, that the church on Earth was a) on its own; or b) that the Holy Ghost isn't God; then you're on your way to a protestant ecclesiology.
Once you believe that, contra the above, that God has continually provided for the christian church, from Bethany to this morning, that His identity as shepherd has not changed and cannot change, then you can no longer believe in universal apostasy (which is the unspoken premise of protestantism), and, if you DO believe in universal apostasy, you might as well be LDS.
So, if you DON'T believe that the Lord broke His promises to be with us until the end of the age, and you DON'T believe that Christ lied when He said that he was founding a Church with Earthly and Heavenly aspects, against which the Gates of Hell could not prevail, and you DO believe in the Holy Ghost as fully spirit and fully God, then, you have to start looking for a church that has existed since 33AD continuously, that doesn't teach that anything delivered to the Apostles is false, and that doesn't just include you and a few of your friends.
And once you accept THAT, then you have excluded protestant ecclesiology as impossible.
To quote Sherlock Holmes, "when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth".
Yes, from a protestant formation, the idea that the Catholic Church is true is VERY improbable. But it's not impossible, and I believe the alternative ecclesiologies contradict Jesus' own words and are therefore impossible.
So, you said that “Im a Catholic but Im leaving to join a Baptist church” — really?
In any event, whichever you decide, please pray fervently "that we all may be one."
Through the Jesus Prayer, invocation of the Most Holy Name (Catholics have an ickier jargon than the Orthodox -- it comes of being translated from Latin through French by English speakers with Victorian sensibilities), the Holy Spirit will provide you a shield and a guide.
It's funny, we think prayer rises from us to God, but really the most important part is what's going the other way.
Who did I accuse?
I invite you to join the most worshipful society for the preservation of the objective case of the relative pronoun. We have this nifty lapel pin!
We now return you to your regular programming already in progress.
ROFL at my own silliness. I'm a sick man.
Why do I never know what's going on? (Okay, that's too big a question...)
Wonders never cease (despite the teaching of some that they stopped when the last of the twelve shuffled off the mortal coil).
I’m glad I saw that post of yours, iscool. I would never have believed you otherwise. No wonder you were always getting onto caucus threads.
Leaving to join a Baptist Church? That’s funny.
There is no substitute for prayer - daily, morning and night prayer. I would suggest seeking out Catholic AND Orthodox priests. AsSk them for a prayer rule.
And of course, attending a variety of services.
Warning: Some of the Russian Orthodox All Night Vigils - while I have never been at one that literally went all night, I wasn’t sure there for a while.
That was the intention...