Cerșetorul Japonez a devenit Călugăr ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Romanian

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TEXTS – ORTHODOXY

Cerșetorul Japonez a devenit Călugăr

As vrea sa va dau un mic exemplu de activi­tate misionara. Noi avem un mic metoc in New York. El este asezat intr-o parte foarte saraca a ora­sului, unde traiesc in general vorbitori de spaniola si afroamericani; de jur imprejur droguri, alcool, oameni fara adapost. Cred ca jumatate din popu­latia zonei traieste din alocatiile statului. Pentru adolescenti, in aceasta zona, sa nasti un copil la 14-15 ani este un motiv de deosebita mandrie. Nu, nu sa ai grija de acest copil, ci pur si simplu sa il nasti. De aceea, in cadrul acestei populatii, foarte putini vad pentru ei anumite perspective in viata. La fiecare al doilea colt de strada se afla o biserica romano-catolica sau protestanta, o sinagoga si asa mai departe, toate goale.

In fata casei noastre este o mica adancitura, pe care noi o numim fantana. Aceasta exista pentru a se putea ajunge prin ea la subsol. Odata, pe la mijlocul lui februarie, ningea cu ploaie si era frig. Deodata, printre tomberoanele de gunoi pe care, de asemenea, le tinem in acest put, am auzit un zgomot. Eu m-am gandit ca, asa cum se intampla deseori, vreun cersetor scormoneste in gunoiul nostru si cauta sticle goale. Eu nu sunt impotriva ca cersetorii sa stranga sticle goale, dar ei, de obicei, arunca peste tot gunoiul care le cade in mana, si aceasta nu am vrut s-o permit.

Asadar, deschid usa si vad in fata mea un om cu infatisare asiatica. Il intreb:

– Ce faci?

– Iertati-ma, va rog, raspunde el, caut si eu ceva de mancare.

– Pai, de ce scormonesti in gunoi? Haidem in casa!

– Nu-nu, nu pot, zice el, sunt murdar tot si mi­ros urat.

– Haide-haide, ii zic eu.

In timpul scurtei conversatii, i-am povestit ca noi avem o incapere in care poate face dus, isi poa­te schimba hainele si poate manca.

Omul s-a speriat:

– Ce vrei de la mine? Pentru ce faci toate astea?

Eu zic:

– Nu vreau sa imi arunci gunoiul in prag. Atat si nimic mai mult.

Dupa ce a mancat, m-am asezat langa el si a inceput discutia. Parea un om destul de destept. L-am intrebat:

– Unde locuiesti?

– Niciunde.

– Adica nu ai unde?

– Ei, zice el, in fiecare noapte faceam curat intr-un restaurant japonez, si ei imi dadeau voie sa locuiesc la ei la subsol.

– Dar cum ai ajuns fara adapost?

Si el mi-a povestit ca era inginer si ca a venit din Japonia. La inceput, lucrurile i-au mers foarte bine, dar apoi a inceput sa fie atras de droguri, co­caina, heroina, si in scurt timp a pierdut tot.

Eu i-am propus sa ramana la noi.

– O, nu, nu pot, a raspuns el.

– Dar de ce?

– Pentru ca eu caut adevarul! a spus omul.

Eu zic:

– Nu trebuie sa mergi nicaieri, adevarul este aici!

– Toti zic asa, a raspuns el. Am fost la catolici, la mormoni, la martorii lui Iehova, la iudei, la budisti. Toti promit unul si acelasi lucru, dar nu dau nimic.

– Bine, zic eu, totusi, mai ramai putin!…

Si a ramas sa stea la noi cateva zile. Am ince­put sa discutam. Apoi el s-a botezat si l-am numit in cinstea Sfantului Nicolae al Japoniei. Acum s-a intors deja in Japonia si a primit acolo calugaria intr-o manastire ortodoxa. Dar totul a inceput pen­tru el cu faptul ca noi i-am dat posibilitatea sa devina o parte din obste, ca i-am ingaduit sa vietuias­ca impreuna cu noi. El a vazut Evanghelia inainte de a o auzi sau de a o citi.

Sursa:

(Schiarhimandrit Ioachim Parr, Convorbiri pe pământ rusesc, Editura Egumenita, 2015)

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Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy

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EDELWEISS OF MY HEART

Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy

Aviv Saliu-Diallo, Pierre Haab

Fr. Pierre Haab, a Swiss former Roman Catholic who was disappointed with his religion and was carried away by Buddhism, Hinduism and other screamingly “fashionable” Eastern teachings and who is now a subdeacon of the Orthodox Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Cross in Geneva, speaks about his conversion to Orthodoxy.

* * *

—Can you tell us a few words about your family, education and the story of your conversion to the Orthodox faith?

I was born in an under-developed, impoverished, hungry country where the sky is permanently overcast with dark clouds—of course, in the spiritual sense. I am speaking of Switzerland, and especially of the city of Geneva—the center of world freemasonry and finances, the stronghold of obscurantist heresy, and a materialistic megalopolis that is enjoying the lulling, stable comfort that easily protects it from the numerous everyday tragedies of humanity.

My parents raised me in the Roman Catholic faith that they had inherited from their ancestors, for which I am extremely grateful to them; they implanted the fundamentals of Christian Revelation in me from childhood—namely faith in God, the doctrine and the necessity of prayer.

We were a practicing Catholic family. We attended Mass on Sundays and major Church feasts, and prayer was a part of our daily life (at least it was so for the first ten years of my childhood). My father, a journalist, devoted his professional life to the protection of the oppressed and justice. As far as my parents are concerned, they did their best to provide the continuity of religious education in our family.

As for the Church, though in my case the more precise name was “Papism”, the situation was different. As a child (in the 1950s) I felt comfortable in that religious environment; for example, I had no problem with prayers in Latin. Although for me faith was “the faith in obedience,” I used to ask many questions, and the adults—my parents and priests—were unable to answer them. And if they did answer me, they did it with a smile and condescendingly, thinking that I was trying to get to the core of the matter too seriously. They gave me to understand that performing the morally required duties was enough for me. And I decided that I would get the answers to my questions later through my independent, in-depth research and analysis of the primary sources, where the morals come from. Judging by my childhood memories, I always had a thirst for truth.

So I was waiting for some changes, when, at the very dawn of my youth, a crucial event happened in the West—a real revolution in Papism (which is still going on today). I mean the Second Vatican Council of 1962. Over a short span of several months (or, in some cases, two to three years) a whole set of rules which had been shaped in the living daily reality of Western Christianity for Continue reading “Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy”

Video – Riverside, California, USA: Fisher of men – Winning converts to the Orthodox Faith

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HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

Riverside, California, USA: Fisher of men

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

Winning converts to the Orthodox Faith

Sister Matthaia Osswald, Germany: My great adventure in search of the Truth – A Roman Catholic nun discovered the fullness of the Truth in the Orthodox Church

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EDELWEISS OF MY HEART

My great adventure in search of the Truth

November 2008

Sister Matthaia Osswald , Germany 

A Roman Catholic nun discovered the fullness of the Truth in the Orthodox Church.

Childhood and adolescence.   

I was born in 1961 from Protestant parents, in a town in South Germany. We lived in a suburb which had earlier been a separate village and later was integrated into a municipality. There was only one Roman Catholic family, the rest of the inhabitants being Protestants. The daughter of this family, whom I used to like very much, was in my class at the elementary school. I still remember very well that I was strictly forbidden to visit her, because they told me that it would be embarrassing for our family if anybody learned about such a thing. During the following years there was a growing tolerance on this topic. Even though the majority of the inhabitants were Protestants, with the passage of time the “Catholic” population increased and more Roman Catholic communities were created in the town.

My parents did believe in God but they would not practice their faith, for example they would never go  to church on Sundays, we would not pray, at least not together or before the meals and the topic of “God” was not discussed in our home.
However, in my grand parents’ house lived an elderly Evangelical deaconess, who earlier had been a kindergarten teacher. She was like a light for me. Every time I would visit my grand parents I would use the occasion to “disappear” and visit this nun. She would always talk about Jesus; about His miracles; how repeatedly and in different ways He had helped her; about paradise, heaven and the angels. And she would pray with me. Time with her seemed to flow very fast! I was always sad, every time I would hear a voice telling me: “Where are you again? Come quick”! My grand parents did not take kindly to the fact that I would be so long with the “pious aunt”.

One evening when I was four or five years old, I was lying in my bed thinking how terribly tiring it must be for Father God that He cannot take time off to relax. He must always stay up worrying about the people and be careful that nothing bad happens to them. I made all kinds of suggestions to Him such as for example, if He could alternate with His Son, or with the angels. Finally, I told Him, that I wished so much to help Him and that it would not bother me at all, if every now and then I stayed up all night, but neither would this help the people. On one hand these were very childish, all these thoughts of mine, but on the other hand I meant them and me never forgot, even though in the following years they faded entirely into the background. Afterward my schooling started. I became busy with other things.

Of course I never doubted the existence of God, but His existence had no importance for me and my life. It was as if they were two separate things that had no relationship with each other. All my adolescence was influenced by the fact that I always wished to be like the others (Something that I never succeeded in as I was always marginalized, which possibly was due to my exterior unpleasant appearance.) I tried everything the others did, smoke, go in the evenings to the bars, smoke marijuana, listen to rock music etc. I was then Continue reading “Sister Matthaia Osswald, Germany: My great adventure in search of the Truth – A Roman Catholic nun discovered the fullness of the Truth in the Orthodox Church”

A very high-ranking European man about Protestantism, Roman-Catholicism & Orthodoxy

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HAVE FAITH – ORTHODOXY

A very high-ranking European man

about Protestantism, Roman-Catholicism & Orthodoxy

Fr. Athanasios Simonopetritis (from the Monastery of Simonos Petra Monastery, Holy Mount Athos, Greece) says:

Last year came to our monastery a very high-ranking European man. We chatted with cordiality. Eventually, I asked him: “Welcome! Why did you come to us, ordinary monks, you, a famous man, at moment we are not anything great…”.

He replied disarmingly: “Father, you may not be something great, as you say. However, you live in a great space and you have a great treasure, Orthodoxy!”.

I deliberately insisted on the same pace, saying: “What can a so prominent man wait by Orthodoxy?”

In the debate were four or five fathers. He looked into our eyes one by one and said: “Listen Fathers, I will confess you something: Today both ways of expression of Christianity are in intractable, we have been tired with them. Both Roman-Catholicism with legalistic spirit and Protestantism with the hard logic crushed us. We want heart and freedom! These elements are in Orthodoxy. Perhaps you don’t understand. However, we understand very well”

Source:

http://ex2x2lettersfromgreece.wordpress.com

EX 2X2 LETTERS FROM GREECE

100+ Stories of Our Days – Coming to Orthodoxy

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ORTHODOX HEART SITES

100+ Stories of Our Days – Coming to Orthodoxy

Continue reading “100+ Stories of Our Days – Coming to Orthodoxy”

Digital Natives Embrace Ancient Church – Twentysomethings captivated by Orthodoxy

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USA OF MY HEART

Digital Natives Embrace Ancient Church

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

Twentysomethings captivated by Orthodoxy

By

Andrea Goodell

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Tim Flinders will graduate from Grand Valley State University next month. Raised Lutheran, he also explored fundamentalist Baptism, Roman Catholicism and even Messianic Judaism before converting to Orthodox Christianity this year.

“Orthodoxy has completely transformed me already,” he said. “I feel like the first time in my life I’m growing spiritually.”

Flinders, 22, like many other young people converting to Eastern Orthodoxy, was looking for authenticity and historical accuracy in his Christian faith.

“I had so many different questions that needed to be answered,” said Flinders, who added he wrestled with the many divisions of the Christian church over the years.

He became Eastern Orthodox Christian at St. George Orthodox Church in Grand Rapids.

Recently he attended the second annual Encountering Orthodoxy Conference at Hope College.

The Rev. Deacon Nicholas Belcher, dean of students at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston, gave the opening keynote address, using the themes of holy week to introduce Orthodoxy to the more than 50 who attended.

Eastern Orthodox Easter, Pascha in Greek — the language favored by Orthodox everywhere — fell on the same day as Western Easter this year.

Belcher described the nailing of Jesus to the cross as “one of the most cruel things human beings have ever thought of to do to other human beings.”

Eastern Orthodox Christians, he explained, experience the crucifixion and resurrection in the now during liturgy.

“There is no sense that we are just talking about something that happened a long time ago. It is today,” he said.

Dustin Miller, a Hope senior, attended the conference for extra credit in his history of Christianity class, but said,

“I’ve always been curious about Orthodoxy.”

He, too, said he was looking for the apostolic, historical roots of the Christian church. Miller considers himself non-denominational and said he didn’t know the Hope campus had Orthodox students.

“I’ve been trying to figure it out, trying to find what best fits me,” Miller said.

The Orthodox Christian Fellowship campus club, which sponsored this month’s conference, meets Thursday nights for Small Compline (a short Psalm and evening prayer service). Then the handful of Orthodox students, one seminary student and Fr. Steven VanBronkhorst discuss topics such as biblical foundations for Orthodox worship.

He would like to see more inquirers at the OCF meetings and more students at the second annual Encountering Orthodoxy Conference.

VanBronkhorst was a Reformed Church of America minister for almost two decades before coming to the Orthodox church 14 years ago. Still, VanBronkhorst said, he sees many more today looking for the historical church than when he was doing his own searching.

“I always felt that ideally there should be just one church,” he said. “The Orthodox church is by far the most historically faithful body. … Who is going to deny that the greater part of the evangelical world has the faith? They have faith. What they don’t have is the worship.”

Tyler Dykstra of Holland became Orthodox Christian this month.

He grew up Christian Reformed, but says he “wanted more.”

“Over time I started to realize there was so much history I had not known about even though I had gone to Christian schools all my life,” Dykstra, 24, said.