I think as a male who left the Catholic Church or rather the practice of my faith there had to be more to it than just blissful ignorance.
My father would play in the churches. He would write hymns and I could see this is how they converted him. They used his talent to make him part of the group. They tried that with me as well with the photography and the guitar but unlike my dad Such tactics have little effect upon me because they’re preaching the the choir anyway.
He has written many nice hymns on a guitar by the way. I’d never really appreciated them much until I began to become interested the mystical once more.
I walked away because of several factors. I didn’t get any education growing up in the Roman Catholic faith. What is odd is that my father went on many pilgrimages and cursillo. He troubled himself and drained himself of energy to entertain the priests and become their musician for their Mass.
In this way he abandoned us at home. All of us grew up on the street and we lived in a slack household of a loose Christianity.
This combined with the absence of music, incense and a sense of masculinity about the church was really instrumental and a major influence in the destruction of myself as a youth.
When I’d spotted the Orthodox Church it was very manly. Their balance of the sexes and promotion of true feminist snd masculine attributes really appealed to me. Men love a good challenge and their unwavering orthodox ways with prostrations and standing for hours in church as well living out the Gospel really appealed to me.
The art and icons of Jesus made him look like a man whereas the blushed red cheeked curly girly haired pictures of Jesus of the west made him look soft and feminine.
Going back to my father it’s not all doom and gloom as in the beginning whilst my father was instrumental in the loss of my faith, he was instrumental later on in regaining it.
We also share in the knowledge of what happened me on that night of quiet prayer together in our living room of my family home. Recently he confided in me that he briefly opened his eyes and saw what took place although it was not visible to him only to me.
It is also because of these things that conversion to the Orthodox Church may never happen. I would have to deny it all happened or was from the devil in order to do so and the temptation to do so is there all the time.
In the beginning the fruits were there such as Love of the church and the Sacraments and all the teachings of the faith.
Being naive as I was I ran around in the beginning telling everyone. I really thought them hearing my story would make them believe and how wrong was I? I thought ok the priests they will believe seeing as they’re already close to God. But no, in fact every single priest was dismissive of me.
Speaking later on when looking for an exorcist to cure me of this One priest thought it was from God having heard it all. He attributed my downfall to lack of spiritual direction. Unfortunately for me I had to seek it on my own via books. But like Constantine XI and his soldiers were eventually worn down in battle, and the walls breached, I too was overcome. I often feel like a lost sheep with nobody to guide and help me.
I have realised that what I have is spiritually too much for even some priests. I therefore have never spoken about it to anyone for many years. I don’t tell anyone because I’ve concluded it doesn’t matter. What I have is of no spiritual benefit to anyone. Telling them will not convert them, heal them or anything of the sort.
What I have is between me and God and sadly I will never truly even know if it’s from him until the day I die. Perhaps the not knowing is the Cross I must carry and it glorifies him that I do so with all the ups and downs I go through.
Whatever the case may be I wish God left me alone and converted me in a less extraordinary manner that he did. I envy people who live an ordinary Christian life full of faith. I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone. It’s too much to bear.
Please say a prayer for me.