Tag Archives: Orthodoxy

The Aquisition of the Holy Spirit – Step One: The Break with the World


The Break with the World:

Step 1: Renunciation

A friend of God is one who lives in communion with all that is natural and free from sin and who does not neglect to do what good he can. The self-controlled man strives with all his might amidst the trials, the snares, the noise of the world, to be like someone who rises above them.” St. John of the Ladder

Every Christian is called to a life of renunciation: ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it’ (Luke 9:23–24).

What we seek is what we once were, something we all know and have tasted: innocence… Thus St. John tells novices of the monastic life to look to infants as their example… ‘Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 18:3).”

Thirty Steps to Heaven, Vassilious Papavassiliou

“Do whatever you may. Speak evil of no one. Rob no one. Tell no lie. Despise no one and carrying no hate. Do not separate yourself from the church assemblies. Show compassion to the needy. Do not be a cause of scandal to anyone. Stay away from the bed of another, and be satisfied with what your own wives can provide you. If you do all this you will not be far from the kingdom of heaven.”

Those who enter this contest must renounce all things, despise all things, deride all things, and shake off all things, that, they may lay a firm foundation. A good foundation of three layers and three pillars is innocence, fasting and temperance. Let all babes in Christ begin with these virtues taking in their model natural babes. For you never find in them anything sly or deceitful.” St. John

“Christians renounce the world by living for something other than the world. By living thus, we become the light of the world.”

Thirty Steps to Heaven, Vassilious Papavassiliou

How does this step apply to our tendency to judge others? This month as part of my renunciation of the world I am going to be using the Apostles Fast to help me refrain from judging. I think this is one of the key ways in which I lose my footing and the grace of God, judging. I am not meek and lowly of heart or as a little child when I judge others or myself. There is an entire step of the Ladder devoted to slander or judgment, which we will delve into in a future podcast. For now let us look at how judging is worldly. What are the results of our judgments? Can we begin to renounce our judgments?

“For the guarding of peace of soul, it is also necessary to flee from judging others. By non-judgment and silence, peace of soul is preserved.” St. Seraphim of Sarov

My next podcast will be about Step 2 – Detachment.

Finally here is a wonderful passage about the difference between the spirit of this world and the Spirit of God:

‘Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God.’

(1 Cor. 2:12)

“The spirit of this world, my brethren, is the spirit of pride and brutality. The Spirit of God is a spirit of meekness and grace. God’s Apostle emphasizes that Christ’s followers have not received the spirit of this world but the spirit which is of God; that is, which proceeds from God the Father like a refreshing fragrance from flowers, flowing through the soul of a man, making it strong, radiant, peaceful, thankful and gentle.

Men are by nature good and gentle, Tertullian writes: ‘the soul of man is Christian by nature’, but is excited and enraged by the spirit of this world. The spirit of this world makes sheep and wolves, while the Spirit of God makes wolves into sheep.

The apostle adds that, ‘we have received the Spirit of God in order to know the things that are freely given to us of God’, that we might see, then, what is of God and what is not, and that we might feel the sweetness of that which is of God and the bitterness of that which is not of Him but of the spirit of this world. While man is outside his own nature, he finds the bitter sweet and the sweet bitter. But when by the Spirit of God, he returns to his true nature, he tastes as sweet as sweet and bitter as bitter.

Who can turn a man back to God? Who can heal a man of the poison of sinful bitterness? Who can teach him by experience to differentiate true sweetness from bitterness? No-one other than the Spirit, which is of God.

Therefore, we pray, my brethren, that God will give us His Holy Spirit, as He gave Him to his Apostles and saints. And when that Holy Spirit comes and abides in us, the kingdom of God has come to us, in which we are all sweetness, goodness, light, meekness and grace.

O Holy Spirit, thou Spirit of meekness and grace, come and abide in us. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.”

St. Nicholai Velomirovic, The Prologue, May 20

Come and abide in us indeed!

Have a blessed start to the Apostles Fast!

A friend of God is one who lives in communion with all that is natural and free from sin and who does not neglect to do what good he can. The self-controlled man strives with all his might amidst the trials, the snares, the noise of the world, to be like someone who rises above them.” St. John of the Ladder

Every Christian is called to a life of renunciation: ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it’ (Luke 9:23–24).

What we seek is what we once were, something we all know and have tasted: innocence… Thus St. John tells novices of the monastic life to look to infants as their example… ‘Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 18:3).”

Thirty Steps to Heaven, Vassilious Papavassiliou

“Do whatever you may. Speak evil of no one. Rob no one. Tell no lie. Despise no one and carrying no hate. Do not separate yourself from the church assemblies. Show compassion to the needy. Do not be a cause of scandal to anyone. Stay away from the bed of another, and be satisfied with what your own wives can provide you. If you do all this you will not be far from the kingdom of heaven.”

Those who enter this contest must renounce all things, despise all things, deride all things, and shake off all things, that, they may lay a firm foundation. A good foundation of three layers and three pillars is innocence, fasting and temperance. Let all babes in Christ begin with these virtues taking in their model natural babes. For you never find in them anything sly or deceitful.” St. John

“Christians renounce the world by living for something other than the world. By living thus, we become the light of the world.”

Thirty Steps to Heaven, Vassilious Papavassiliou

How does this step apply to our tendency to judge others? This month as part of my renunciation of the world I am going to be using the Apostles Fast to help me refrain from judging. I think this is one of the key ways in which I lose my footing and the grace of God, judging. I am not meek and lowly of heart or as a little child when I judge others or myself. There is an entire step of the Ladder devoted to slander or judgment, which we will delve into in a future podcast. For now let us look at how judging is worldly. What are the results of our judgments? Can we begin to renounce our judgments?

“For the guarding of peace of soul, it is also necessary to flee from judging others. By non-judgment and silence, peace of soul is preserved.” St. Seraphim of Sarov

Finally here is a wonderful passage about the difference between the spirit of this world and the Spirit of God:

‘Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God.’

(1 Cor. 2:12)

“The spirit of this world, my brethren, is the spirit of pride and brutality. The Spirit of God is a spirit of meekness and grace. God’s Apostle emphasizes that Christ’s followers have not received the spirit of this world but the spirit which is of God; that is, which proceeds from God the Father like a refreshing fragrance from flowers, flowing through the soul of a man, making it strong, radiant, peaceful, thankful and gentle.

Men are by nature good and gentle, Tertullian writes: ‘the soul of man is Christian by nature’, but is excited and enraged by the spirit of this world. The spirit of this world makes sheep and wolves, while the Spirit of God makes wolves into sheep.

The apostle adds that, ‘we have received the Spirit of God in order to know the things that are freely given to us of God’, that we might see, then, what is of God and what is not, and that we might feel the sweetness of that which is of God and the bitterness of that which is not of Him but of the spirit of this world. While man is outside his own nature, he finds the bitter sweet and the sweet bitter. But when by the Spirit of God, he returns to his true nature, he tastes as sweet as sweet and bitter as bitter.

Who can turn a man back to God? Who can heal a man of the poison of sinful bitterness? Who can teach him by experience to differentiate true sweetness from bitterness? No-one other than the Spirit, which is of God.

Therefore, we pray, my brethren, that God will give us His Holy Spirit, as He gave Him to his Apostles and saints. And when that Holy Spirit comes and abides in us, the kingdom of God has come to us, in which we are all sweetness, goodness, light, meekness and grace.

O Holy Spirit, thou Spirit of meekness and grace, come and abide in us. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.”

St. Nicholai Velomirovic, The Prologue, May 20

Come and abide in us indeed!

Have a blessed start to the Apostles Fast!

In Christ,

Veronica

Preserving Our Stillness and Joy, airing in May 2015 on OCN


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Preserving Our Stillness and Joy

It has been a while since I have recorded a podcast. The week before the weekend of The Cross, I contracted a terrible flu, which went viral and affected my brain! It was the most intense experience I have ever lived through. I had hallucinations for 10 days I went to the hospital twice. I did not sleep for most of those days and as time went on became quite innocent and about the age of a 3 year old!

My doctors had no idea what was causing my altered mental status. I underwent all kinds of tests – none of which helped to indicate what was causing my altered mental status. Finally, they gave me an anti-viral IV and medicine to allow me to sleep, At 3 AM the following morning – I came back! Glory to God!

Had it not been for the grace of God, the sacraments of the church, my husband’s support and the prayers of many people – I am not sure I would be here today in my right mind. Glory to God for all things! It has taken me a while to recover my self and I am so thankful to be well and back to my life again celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord.

Therefore, I thought I would draw on our dear Saints to discuss how we can maintain or guard the sanctity and peace of our souls in times of distress.

My husband strove during our battle with the flu and I am sure demonic forces to keep me positive even in the face of my altered mental status by continually saying to me: “God is good. God brings good from everything. Glory to God for all things!” These simple phrases became one of my anchors while I waited for God to heal me.

What else can we do to maintain our inner stillness and joy, especially as we slowly re-enter the fallen world after Pascha or deal with very challenging experiences?

My resources for this podcast are:

St. Seraphim of Sarov

St Nicholai Velomirovic, The Prologue

The Gospel according to St. John

Let’s start with St. Seraphim of Sarov

“We must endeavor by every means to keep peace of soul. Do not be troubled by the insults of men. It is necessary at all costs to restrain oneself from anger, and by watchfulness over oneself, to keep the mind and heart from vain movement… For the guarding of peace of soul, it is also necessary to flee from judging others. By non-judgment and silence, peace of soul is preserved. When a man attains to such a state, he receives divine revelation. For a man to be able to keep himself from judging others, he must be vigilant over himself; he must not dare to receive vain thoughts from another, and must be as one dead before all that is of this world. We must tirelessly keep our hearts from vain thoughts and impressions (Prov. 4:23). By constant watchfulness over the heart, a purity of heart is born in which God is seen, according to the words of eternal truths: ‘Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God’.” (Matt. 5:8).

St. Seraphim of Sarov

We spent all of Lent practicing ‘watchfulness over the heart’ – now we are asked to continue our watchfulness – in the spirit of the Resurrection. How do we do that?

This is what St. Nicholai has to say about the fears that can assail us:

‘Fear not; I am the first and the last; I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore. Amen.’ (Rev. 1:17-18)

“Thus says the Lord Jesus to His beloved disciple John in a vision on the island of Patmos. Fear not–what? Fear not the persecution of the church by the pagans. Fear not the torturers who martyr My faithful on all sides. Fear not kings who raise up persecution against the Christians. Fear not the successors of the chief men of this world, who ridicule My humiliation and My death. Fear not the demons, who blind men by the passions so they do not see the truth that I brought on earth. Fear nothing!

Christ is Risen!

Lord, how do I not fear? When the whole world gathers to ridicule us to our faces, small in number and unretaliating as we are, how can we not fear?

Fear not, for I am the first and the last, Alpha and Omega, and all those armies of mockers against you are nothing but a transient whirlwind of corpses. I am from before time began, I am after time ends; before the beginning of all and after the fulfillment of all things created, I am. And they are all shut up in the one span of time, which I have measured out to every creature, and beyond that span they cannot exist.

Let us rejoice at this – Christ is Risen!

Fear not, for ‘I was dead; and behold, I am alive’. Do not even fear death. I am before death and after death. Death is my servant, and I sent death into the world to serve Me. I gave Myself into My servant’s hands for three days. Then I commanded him to let Me go–and, behold, I am alive. I am the ruler of death as of life. I am the ruler of time as of eternity. Fear not!

I am alive for evermore and you will be alive with Me; you, and all who remain faithful to Me and are unafraid will be alive with Me. I am Alpha and Omega.”

St. Nicholai Velomirovic, The Prologue, March 21

Christ is Risen!

O eternal and immortal Lord, grant that these Thy words may ever sound in the souls of Thy faithful people whenever persecution rises up against Thy Holy Church. Let us not fear, being held by the right hand of God. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

St Nicholai Velomirovic, The Prologue, March 21

“I am the light of the world. He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Christ is Risen! Let us pray to our Risen Lord to deliver us from all our distress.

May you have a blessed completion of this Pascal Season, an awesome Ascension and Pentecost.

Christ is Risen!

Now and then….


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I am writing my sequel to the Pearl of Great Price – hopefully I will not need 9 drafts and 6 years to finish my sequel! I am amazed that when I am writing a book , I will be living similar experiences in the present that mirror what I was going through years prior that are the subject of my writing. My new book is about my struggles to reconcile my past in the light of my baptism as an Orthodox Christian, find Christ in my heart and become more deeply Eastern Orthodox in terms of my world view.

Fifteen years have past since that time. My husband and I recently moved to our home and land overlooking the “Valley of the Dancing Angels (My husband gave this valley that name. When it is a cloudy day wisps of clouds float and dance in the valley resembling dancing angels.) We felt called to be here to deepen our spiritual life and experience as Orthodox Christians. What I am struggling with now is quite similar, yet different, to what I grappled with in my early years in Orthodoxy,  Our spiritual challenges here are helping me to remember who I was back then.

Now as then, I am in a new environment. Then we moved back to San Francisco, my home town. I had not lived there for 25 years. While our land is not unknown to me, for we have spent many weekends here over the nine years it took for us to build our home, living here is quite different from visiting.

Then as now I feel my soul’s salvation close the the heart of my motivations for moving. I know a lot more about Orthodoxy now than I did in 1997-99, but for all I know, I feel as if I have begun newly to view who I am and what I am doing in the light of Christ. I feel quite humbled by the task of truly being an Orthodox Christian. I am now 60 years old. Then I was 45. Then I was literally going through the ‘change of life’. Now I am looking at what will I do with the rest of my life?

In the stillness of the wilderness, having more time to devote to our prayer life, what is it that really matters in life? I can see how far I have to go and as most saints have said as they approached their death – they had hardly begun to live in Christ! Moving here required a huge leap of faith on my part.

I am so glad we are here now – as I was in 1997 when beginning our new life in Christ. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to focus more of my attention on my prayer life and writing in the quite and stillness of the years of prayers that have made this mountain holy. Even if I cannot attend church due to my physical limitations as often as I would like, God is more closely with us here. May I make good use of the gifts given to me O Lord!

In Christ,

Veronica


Spiritual Journey of New Age Seeker to the Light of Christ (review)

Pearl of Great Price - Hughes - cover

“The Pearl of Great Price: The Spiritual Journey of a New Age Seeker to the Light of Christ and the Eastern Orthodox Church”
by Veronica Hughes
West Bow Press: A Division of Thomas Nelson
ISBN:  978-1-4497-0660-9
171 pgs + notes

Fr. Joseph Bittle comments:

“A truly fascinating read.  Veronica Hughes keeps the story moving at a good pace, while still managing to share the basic details of her far-ranging spiritual path, the path, as the subtitle explains, “of a new age seeker to the Light of Christ and the Eastern Orthodox Church.”   As a pastor in need of awareness of what those who approach me may have experienced in their own pasts, I marveled at the mish-mash world of New Age practices that are so often melded with historical Far Eastern/Oriental religious practices.  Hughes reveals much that I was only vaguely aware of before, but, thankfully, without so much detail that the reader might fall prey to an unhealthy fascination with that which she herself left behind. Indeed, she does a remarkable job being kind-hearted toward her past while steadily drawing the reader forward the true Light she eventually found in Christ through Orthodoxy.”

New Podcast Featuring Veronica with Fr. Chris on the OCN network….


CRTL_Journey

Personal Journey to Orthodoxy

Metropolitan Tikhon, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, joins us for the second part of his 6-week look at the Sundays of Great and Holy Lent. He speaks this week about the Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas.

Plus, how did a New Age seeker wind up in the Eastern Orthodox Church? Tune in this week as we begin our month-long look at personal narratives of faith. We begin with Veronica Hughes, who began her spiritual journey as a Roman Catholic, then turned to alternative medicine treatment, the teachings of a guru, meditation, Eastern religions, and metaphysics. What brought her to Orthodoxy over a decade ago? Click here to find out!

Glory to God for all things!

The Beginning of a new spiritual adventure for Veronica Hughes and her husband, Gregory…


Sunrise from our home in Platina, CA

Sunrise from our home in Platina, CA

Our Upcoming Relocation to our Property Adjacent to St. Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina, CA

The sun is rising on the next spiritual adventure for my husband and me in our journey with Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Nine years ago we purchased raw land next to St. Herman of Alaska Serbian Orthodox Monastery in the foothills of the Trinity Alps.

Since the early days of our conversion, we both felt the call to participate in a monastic lifestyle, but family obligations and illness kept our call on the back burner.

I refer to myself as a pillow ascetic, literally, due to my lifelong struggle with fibromyalgia.  I am the princess who can feel the pea no matter how comfortable anything I lie or sit on may be. I personally had not thought it possible for me to ever live on our land, especially when in addition to chronic back problems and fibromyalgia, I contracted Lyme’s Disease in 2004. I had just started writing my book, The Pearl of Great Price, and my husband had just purchased our little piece of wilderness heaven. We bought an RV to get me up there, camping on our land as my husband started developing it.

Writing my book was one of the few things I could do with the little energy I had while battling Lyme. I wrote and my husband started building what we thought would be a small cabin. God had other plans though for both of us. After three years, I was able to heal from Lyme (Praise God!), and Greg’s small cabin became a small three bedroom two-story home!  Now six years later, thanks to the infinite mercy of our God, the generosity of our family, friends and the monks at St. Herman’s Monastery, our home is nearly finished and we will soon be moving in to it. Glory to God who hears our prayers and answers them!

This is the first in what I hope will be an ongoing series of stories and eventually podcast interviews (to air on the Orthodox Christian Network sometime this fall) about our Orthodox spiritual adventure, both the struggles and joys, of being in our new wilderness home.

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode!

Yours in Christ,

Veronica

About Labyrinths… Question from a reader to Veronica Hughes


This is the labyrinth I wrote about in my book.

This is the labyrinth I wrote about in my book, in the Catholic Cathedral in Chartres, France.

Question: About Labyrinths

Veronica,

After a long journey I find myself at the doors of Orthodoxy. I will soon be a catechumen. The Labyrinth has long held a place in my heart and helped me through my spiritual journey. We had planned on constructing one in our back yard. My question does this in any way conflict with Orthodox practices?

Veronica’s Response:

Hi Kyle,

Labyrinths are not part of Orthodox worship, prayer, or contemplation as in some Catholic/protestant/ or New Age traditions.

I used the labyrinth in my book for I found its meaning quite connected to my wanderings prior to Orthodoxy. I was in a maze of false spirituality and a labyrinth best explained where I had been. The only time I walked one was at Chartres Cathedral in France. At the time I was really into energy vortexes, etc.

I do not think a labyrinth in your garden is a problem unless you want to use it as part of a ritual, prayer practice or something you used to do spiritually – then I would suggest talking with your priest about it or even better – waiting a while before acting on this thought.

I found that a lot of things that spiritually feed me in the past naturally faded from use or were replaced by traditions in Orthodoxy as I matured into my faith. So perhaps waiting for a while after you are received into the Church would be a way to see if you feel the same way about putting a labyrinth in your garden? It takes time to see who you are becoming in Christ in Orthodoxy and what will best serve you.

God bless,
Veronica

More interaction:

Veronica,

Thank you so much for your quick response and your sound advice. The labyrinth played a large part in leading us to Orthodoxy and I myself have many time asked myself if I am hanging onto something from my past or if it something I need to grow beyond, so I have taken your advice and contacted my priest to help guide me in this.

Kyle Boyd-Robertson

Hi Kyle,

You are welcome! I think that running most things like this by your priest at this stage of your journey is the best. I am in the process of writing my second book about the struggles and challenges of converts after being received into the Church. Integrating an Orthodox world view and truly becoming Orthodox takes time and patience. Even if we have ‘put off the old man’, the process of illumination and purification is ongoing. Christian conversion is something that continues until we die.

God bless you,
Veronica

Q & A with Veronica Hughes, #1


Question: “As Elizabeth Gilbert’s quote from “Eat, Pray, Love” [in my intro ] illustrates, New Age practitioners – like Deepak Chopra and Gilbert –  teach that the human soul is “God Within”, the already-perfected “Higher Self” (“just as you are”). Talk about deifying your ego! You wrote about coming to realize the falsehood of the idea that the soul is already perfected without the need for purification in your book. Tell us what you discovered and how.” Kevin Allen, Ancient Faith Radio

“I discovered that my ego was actually connected to my soul during my first Great Lent in the Orthodox Church. I was reading, A Spiritual Life, by St. Theophan the Recluse, and struggling spiritually. The fasting, prayer and liturgical structure of Great Lent, especially during the first week, Purification Week, was a challenge for me on every level. I was so new to Orthodoxy and had not yet completely stepped away from many of the beliefs of I had adopted during my twenty plus years in the New Age.

One such belief was about my soul. As a New Age teacher and practitioner, I had believed and taught that my soul, my Higher Self, was perfect, like God. During the first week of evening prayers in Lent we chant, ‘My soul, my soul, my soul why are thou sleeping? The end is approaching and soon thou shall be troubled. Awake therefore, that Christ our God, may save thee. Who art everywhere and present and fillest all things.’

These words did not make sense to me from my New Age prespective. However, as I was continued on my Lenten journey and was reading parts of St. Theophan’s description of the lower aspects of our soul, I realized that my soul was not the perfected being I thought it to be. I truly thought my higher self/my soul was on top of things and looking out for me. Not so!

From my book:

‘I had revered my soul as my personal God. Why would I need God, if my soul thinks it is perfect? The Freudian definition of the ego is flawed, I learned, for it bypasses the relationship of the soul to our ego; in truth, our soul is as much a part of our lower nature as the ego…St.Theophan emphasized that there was a distinction between feeling good (a lower expression of the soul) and truly experiencing the Holy Spirit…Many New Age practices are …based on trusting your own feelings and intuitions, without regard for where the trust is being placed.’

The soul is compelled to seek something higher than itself because of its innate connection with its creator, however, because our senses and imagination are part of the lower aspect of the our soul, the soul become attached to it’s survival and comfort at the same time disconnected from it’s spirit and God. Then demons take advantage of our sou/ego for their purposes, encouraging our imaginings and senses, using them, building on them, and reinforcing what ‘feels good’ vs ‘what is good and comes from God’ . Because we lack true spiritual discernment, we are lured further into error through false states of spiritual ecstasy.

I thought the states of ecstasy that I was transported into while chanting mantras and meditating during Eastern initiation rites were blessed spiritual experiences, not so!

What I was experiencing was the same high one experiences when intoxicated. The ‘spiritual ecstasy’ I was experiencing feed my lower soul and my sensual appetites, not my spirit. In a sense I was captured just as someone on drugs, slowly seduced to the dark side of the occult through the stimulation of the lower senses of my soul[i].

This ecstasy I experienced is called fancy, a form of deception in which the devil offers spiritual seekers exalted religious feelings.

Quoting St. Ignatius regarding this state of deception, “It is satisfied with the invention of counterfeit feelings and states of grace, from which there is born a false wrong conception of the whole spiritual undertaking… it constantly invents pseudo-spiritual states, an intimate companionship with Jesus, an inward conversation with him, mystical revelations, voices, enjoyments… from this activity the soul receives a sinful, deceiving movement, which presents itself as a grace-given delight.

The whole foundation upon which I had based most of my New Age experiences was demolished! I was in a state of spiritual shock, for I realized I had been deceived for years!


[i]  These lower senses of the soul are captured by our negative passions: our lusts and ego driven desires and our soul is completely deceived by them.

 

St. Paisius Missionary School – The Opportunity for Immersion into Orthodoxy


I am currently hard at would on my second book, The Pearl of Great Price, Volume II, I am a New Creation. 

Part of my spiritual journey after converting to Eastern Orthodox Christianity involved  the integration of an Orthodox worldview into every aspect of my being and life. Why was this so important and so challenging for me and perhaps other converts to Orthodoxy?

Taken from my new book:

The more I studied and prayed, the more I realized how little I understood what an Orthodox worldview was. I was raised in the West as a Western Catholic. How I approached Orthodoxy was from of a combination of my Western, Western Catholic, post-Renaissance, humanistic, and secular views mixed in with all kinds of New Age, non-Christian ideologies and Eastern religions. I called this my minestrone soup worldview! I realized more frequently after my conversion that my instincts, my whole way of viewing life, was Western and innately flawed, but how? Where had my/our thinking gone astray? Why? How was my spiritual life at the mercy of my minestrone soup worldview?”

St. Paisius Missionary School was an essential part of my re-formation – part of my becoming a new creation in Christ in Orthodoxy. Please check out their website and contact them if you are interested in bringing a deeper experience of Orthodoxy to your parish or might be interested for yourself and family. Fr. Michael Oyer and Fr. Phillip Tolbert offer at least one or more retreats a year. Here is their website:

http://stpaisius.org/about-us/

 

Christian Conversion – Orthodox Women’s Ministry – my book/blog/author’s website can be a great resource!


Christian Conversion – Orthodox Women’s Ministry

My husband said to me last night as I was struggling with myself about how to reach others regarding my book, “The majority of folks that buy your book are women. Women like to read stories written by women. Orthodox women especially love your book! Your conversion to Christianity will touch the hearts of many who have been or are into New Age and Eastern religions and those who have strong issues with Christianity.  Your book inspires women, reaffirms their faith and can help them to help their family members and friends who are not Orthodox understand what Orthodoxy is all about.

At your book events men and women, but especially Orthodox women are so thrilled that they can pass a book on to their friends and family who are not practicing Christians – a book that can open their hearts newly to Christ and the peace you/they have found in Eastern Orthodox Christianity. 

That is why you wrote your book. Your book can help introduce Eastern Orthodoxy to those who are on a spiritual journey and are not aware of the mystical treasures available in Orthodoxy.  Your Pearl can aid women in Orthodox Christian ministry to make a bridge or plant a seed for Christ and Orthodoxy in the hearts of their family and friends.” Greg was right. I got all fire up after his pep talk!

If you are an Orthodox woman with an active desire to open the hearts of others to our faith – my book can help you!

I also have created a space on my website for Orthodox women in Christian ministries to network. Please email me, thepearlofgreatprice@yahoo.com, if you would like me to post a link on my website for other Orthodox women in ministry to use as a resource.

Your comments on my blog are greatly appreciated as well!

God bless you! I look forward to connecting and spreading The Word!

Veronica