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It's not aimed at prompting religious feelings but at performing an objective duty." Yet there is something in Orthodoxy that offers "a deep masculine romance. Most romance in our age is pink, but this is a romance of swords and gallantry." From a deacon: "Evangelical churches call men to be passive and nice (think ' Mr. Orthodox churches call men to be courageous and act (think ' Braveheart'). What draws men to Orthodoxy is not simply that it's challenging or mysterious. He is the center of everything the Church does or says.
In contrast to some other churches, "Orthodoxy offers a robust Jesus" (and even a robust Virgin Mary, for that matter, hailed in one hymn as "our Captain, Queen of War").
I got to thinking about how a stronger grounding in tradition would help." "It infuriated me on my last Ash Wednesday that the priest delivered a homily about how the real meaning of Lent is to learn to love ourselves more.
It forced me to realize how completely sick I was of bourgeois, feel-good American Christianity." A convert priest says that men are drawn to the dangerous element of Orthodoxy, which involves "the self-denial of a warrior, the terrifying risk of loving one's enemies, the unknown frontiers to which a commitment to humility might call us.
A catechumen wrote that he was finding icons helpful in resisting unwanted thoughts.
"If you just close your eyes to some visual temptation, there are plenty of stored images to cause problems.
When you get to the end you feel that you've faced down a challenge." "Orthodoxy appeals to a man's desire for self-mastery through discipline." "In Orthodoxy, the theme of spiritual warfare is ubiquitous; saints, including female saints, are warriors. We are called to be 'strugglers' against sin, to be 'athletes' as St. "People begin learning immediately through ritual and symbolism, for example, by making the sign of the cross.
This regimen of discipline makes one mindful of one's relation to the Trinity, to the Church, and to everyone he meets." A Goal.
Western Christianity has lost the ascetic, that is, the athletic aspect of Christian life.
Men also appreciate that this challenge has a goal: union with God. " Orthodoxy preserves and transmits ancient Christian wisdom about how to progress toward this union, which is called "theosis." Every sacrament or spiritual exercise is designed to bring the person, body and soul, further into continual awareness of the presence of Christ within, and also within every other human being.
One said that in a previous church "I didn't feel I was getting anywhere in my spiritual life (or that there was anywhere to get to — I was already there, right? As a cloth becomes saturated with dye by osmosis, we are saturated with God by theosis.
Eventually they faced the question of which of the two most ancient churches, the Roman Catholic or the Orthodox, makes the most convincing claim of being the original Church of the Apostles.
A lifelong Orthodox says that what men like is "stability: Men find they can trust the Orthodox Church because of the consistent and continuous tradition of faith it has maintained over the centuries." A convert says, "The Orthodox Church offers what others do not: continuity with the first followers of Christ." This is continuity, not archeology; the early church still exists, and you can join it.