Orthodox friend agrees to attend Greek Catholic Divine Liturgy!
#1
Brothers and sisters in Christ, I have amazing news! One of my Eastern Orthodox friends has been showing interest in Catholicism for a while and after a short talk, he has agreed to come with me to a Greek Catholic Divine Liturgy. Please pray that everything goes well and the Holy Spirit will bless him with a desire to return to Rome. Also, how should I approach him about praying the Rosary frequently Liteblue? God bless ?
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#2
Depending on the ethnic dynamic, it may be better to go with Melkite rather than Ukrainian Greek Catholic, for example. You may find some relatively doctrinaire and politically-minded Ukrainians.
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#3
(01-09-2020, 11:38 AM)wekelsein Wrote: Brothers and sisters in Christ, I have amazing news! One of my Eastern Orthodox friends has been showing interest in Catholicism for a while and after a short talk, he has agreed to come with me to a Greek Catholic Divine Liturgy. Please pray that everything goes well and the Holy Spirit will bless him with a desire to return to Rome. Also, how should I approach him about praying the Rosary frequently? God bless ?


What area of the country are you in?  I might be able to recommend a good parish if you do not already have one in mind.

Also, there is no need for him to begin praying the rosary.  Let that desire come to him on his own.  The rosary is a primarily Western devotion that does not fit in well with Eastern spirituality (Please, everyone.  Spare me the "But the rosary is for everybody!" retorts).  There is an Eastern version attributed to Seraphim of Sarov, but most Orthodox are unaware of it.  In my opinion, the best way to evangelize the Orthodox is to show them that they can remain fully Orthodox, at least as far as their spiritual life is concerned, in communion with Rome.  If he does not have his own interest in praying the rosary, then suggesting to him that he ought to, and frequently, may give him the impression that he must become Latin in order to become Catholic.  This is a stumbling block for many Orthodox.
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#4
(01-09-2020, 01:44 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(01-09-2020, 11:38 AM)wekelsein Wrote: Brothers and sisters in Christ, I have amazing news! One of my Eastern Orthodox friends has been showing interest in Catholicism for a while and after a short talk, he has agreed to come with me to a Greek Catholic Divine Liturgy. Please pray that everything goes well and the Holy Spirit will bless him with a desire to return to Rome. Also, how should I approach him about praying the Rosary frequently? God bless ?


What area of the country are you in?  I might be able to recommend a good parish if you do not already have one in mind.

Also, there is no need for him to begin praying the rosary.  Let that desire come to him on his own.  The rosary is a primarily Western devotion that does not fit in well with Eastern spirituality (Please, everyone.  Spare me the "But the rosary is for everybody!" retorts).  There is an Eastern version attributed to Seraphim of Sarov, but most Orthodox are unaware of it.  In my opinion, the best way to evangelize the Orthodox is to show them that they can remain fully Orthodox, at least as far as their spiritual life is concerned, in communion with Rome.  If he does not have his own interest in praying the rosary, then suggesting to him that he ought to, and frequently, may give him the impression that he must become Latin in order to become Catholic.  This is a stumbling block for many Orthodox.
I would of course vehemently disagree that one can remain Orthodox but be in communion with Rome. Denzigers is clear on things like the rejection of the Essence/Energies distinction,  Absolute Divine Simplicity and Purgatory and no Orthodox can accept those things. 

Catholicism has a VERY different conception of who God is on a fundamental level than Orthodox based on what I mentioned above, not to mention we do not accept many of the Councils (Trent,Florence etc.) that basically dogmatize certain things in a Roman scholastic sense as being Ecumenical.


Where I will agree is on the Rosary. It's not a bad devotion but there's no reason to foist it on Easterners. Mixing rites and practices are spiritually perilous as I found out in my own life. 

I know you'll disagree with me on some of this Melkite but as an Orthodox I have to say it.
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon
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#5
(01-09-2020, 02:37 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: I would of course vehemently disagree that one can remain Orthodox but be in communion with Rome. Denzigers is clear on things like the rejection of the Essence/Energies distinction,  Absolute Divine Simplicity and Purgatory and no Orthodox can accept those things. 

Catholicism has a VERY different conception of who God is on a fundamental level than Orthodox based on what I mentioned above, not to mention we do not accept many of the Councils (Trent,Florence etc.) that basically dogmatize certain things in a Roman scholastic sense as being Ecumenical.


Where I will agree is on the Rosary. It's not a bad devotion but there's no reason to foist it on Easterners. Mixing rites and practices are spiritually perilous as I found out in my own life. 

I know you'll disagree with me on some of this Melkite but as an Orthodox I have to say it.

I know. I initially didn't write "at least as far as their spiritual life is concerned" part, but as I was, I thought of some of the same doctrinal issues you mention. You're right. Doctrinally, it is not possible for someone who is Orthodox to believe everything that is binding on Catholics. Some of those differences are logically irreconcilable. Personally, I get by this by realizing that most of these issues are complex theological issues that even theologians can't truly grasp, but are beyond intelligibility for the average person. The filioque is a great example. Whether the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son or the Father alone is interesting academically, but none of us can really grasp what either one truly means. So whichever one is ultimately true really doesn't have any bearing on how I relate to God or attempt to grow in holiness. An Eastern spiritual and liturgical life, on the other hand, can be fully lived out within the Catholic Church. This is ultimately all I intended to say.

Unless, of course, the doctrinal differences create more than a superficial difference in the way one lives a Byzantine spiritual life. In that case, I imagine it is just as impossible to discern whatever difference exists between a Greek Catholic and a Greek Orthodox spiritual life as it is to discern if you see what I see as blue, when you look at something orange.
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#6
(01-09-2020, 11:38 AM)wekelsein Wrote: Brothers and sisters in Christ, I have amazing news! One of my Eastern Orthodox friends has been showing interest in Catholicism for a while and after a short talk, he has agreed to come with me to a Greek Catholic Divine Liturgy. Please pray that everything goes well and the Holy Spirit will bless him with a desire to return to Rome. Also, how should I approach him about praying the Rosary frequently? God bless ?

Surely the angels are rejoicing today!
As for encouraging him to pray the rosary, that depends on his current prayer life. Does he pray on his prayer rope already everyday?
Vivat Jesu Rex!
Ave Maria!
Da pacem, Domine. In diebus nostris.

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#7
Honestly, I think the best option would be to just do whatever the parish does whether or not this fits in with your ideal, I think the biggest danger is not mixing rites, but becoming spiritually isolated.

Also, I think the drive to practice a pure, Orthodox-style version of Eastern spirituality in the Catholic Church is a thing only on the internet. Half my family is from rural Ukraine and all pray the rosary, kneel, and have what looks to us like a mixed Western-Eastern outlook. But to them that is simply the way Christianity has always been practiced, not the result of foreign Roman imposition, and to describe it as such would seem ridiculous to those who have lived in these communities all their lives. If you walked up to my Ukrainian family members and said that the rosary does not fit well into Eastern Catholicism they would look at you like you had two heads. I understand that not all Eastern Churches are like this, but in my experience (which is mostly limited to Ukrainians) this is the norm.
"If your heart comes to feel a natural hatred for sin, it has defeated the causes of sin and freed itself from them. Keep hell’s torments in mind; but know that your Helper is at hand. Do nothing that will grieve Him, but say to Him with tears: ‘Be merciful and deliver me, O Lord, for without Thy help I cannot escape from the hands of my enemies.’ Be attentive to your heart, and He will guard you from all evil."

- St. Isaias the Solitary

"Constant action overcomes cold; being still overcomes heat. Purity
and stillness give the correct law to all under heaven."

- Tao Te Ching 45
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#8
(01-09-2020, 04:59 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(01-09-2020, 02:37 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: I would of course vehemently disagree that one can remain Orthodox but be in communion with Rome. Denzigers is clear on things like the rejection of the Essence/Energies distinction,  Absolute Divine Simplicity and Purgatory and no Orthodox can accept those things. 

Catholicism has a VERY different conception of who God is on a fundamental level than Orthodox based on what I mentioned above, not to mention we do not accept many of the Councils (Trent,Florence etc.) that basically dogmatize certain things in a Roman scholastic sense as being Ecumenical.


Where I will agree is on the Rosary. It's not a bad devotion but there's no reason to foist it on Easterners. Mixing rites and practices are spiritually perilous as I found out in my own life. 

I know you'll disagree with me on some of this Melkite but as an Orthodox I have to say it.

I know.  I initially didn't write "at least as far as their spiritual life is concerned" part, but as I was, I thought of some of the same doctrinal issues you mention.  You're right.  Doctrinally, it is not possible for someone who is Orthodox to believe everything that is binding on Catholics.  Some of those differences are logically irreconcilable.  Personally, I get by this by realizing that most of these issues are complex theological issues that even theologians can't truly grasp, but are beyond intelligibility for the average person.  The filioque is a great example.  Whether the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son or the Father alone is interesting academically, but none of us can really grasp what either one truly means.  So whichever one is ultimately true really doesn't have any bearing on how I relate to God or attempt to grow in holiness.  An Eastern spiritual and liturgical life, on the other hand, can be fully lived out within the Catholic Church.  This is ultimately all I intended to say.

Unless, of course, the doctrinal differences create more than a superficial difference in the way one lives a Byzantine spiritual life.  In that case, I imagine it is just as impossible to discern whatever difference exists between a Greek Catholic and a Greek Orthodox spiritual life as it is to discern if you see what I see as blue, when you look at something orange.
I'm simply emphasizing that it's not really just a matter of being Orthodox in communion with Rome, it's more like being Roman Catholic while living that out through an Eastern Praxis since anyone in communion with Rome needs to actually believe in doctrines and dogmas of Christianity as defined by Rome in books like Denzingers.

I just think anyone who decides to go either East or West should take the theology questions as seriously as possible.  I suppose I also recognize that most people do not for various reasons. 

I would say that while a lot of the theology stuff is difficult, it's very important to try to understand.  The questions surrounding Absolute Divine Simplicity as the RC teaches it and the Orthodox view of Essence/ Energies are irreconcilable, and they are at the heart of almost all other theology questions, from Christology to Triadology.

I don't know, maybe I'm just eccentric about it.  I just think people on the fence need to know it's not just aesthetics,(I'm not implying you are saying that)   there's very real dogma/ doctrinal issues at stake.
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon
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