Pray for Emilie, as she continues her journey to the Orthodox Church!
My name is Emilie and I was born in France. My father is a Roman catholic but my mother is an atheist. At the age of 8, my father decided that I should be baptized as a Roman Catholic and sent me to the church school. I just loved it. I still remember that at this age, I really believed in God, I went to church every day. I had pictures of Jesus all around my room. I read and colored so many books about Jesus and during all my free time. I was just passing my time to pray. I totally loved Jesus and God at this age.
But at the age of 13 my father got sick and left my home, I stayed with my mother, I moved of city, went to a new church. But I did not to like anymore to attend the church, since I did not like what the priest preached and lost my faith. I totally lost faith, I didn’t believe in God at all.
Since the age of 22, I was reading a book about angels, and the angels talked to me during my nights, during one month, every night almost. And after this time, suddenly, in one minute, I was walking in the street, it’s just fall on me, I believed in God again.
I went to the Roman Catholic Church again but I didn’t feel it was for me anymore. I tried meditation, I felt nothing. I read books about Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jew. I read a lot of different things, I fond everything very interesting but not for me.
Until one day, a friend talked to me about Subud, an international spiritual organization. Here all religions worship God together. It’s not a meditation, it’s not a technique, it’s just a receiving. During the “latihan”( it’s an Indonesian word that we use to call what we practice), we receive the power of God directly in us. Immediately, I knew I have found my way. I start to feel really God acting in myself, I was to be able to pray again, I started to change, to get rid off of my bad habits and I just began to be happy.
In Subud, we keep our own religion, the “latihan” practice help us, in a way, to deepen our understanding of our own religion. But for me, even if I was catholic, I didn’t feel like a Roman Catholic. But I really wanted to have a religion.
And one day with my Subud friend called Philippe, we entered in a Russian library in France. I was studying Russian literature. My friend opened a book and he read the sentence “what you were doing Philippe, we were waiting for you”. It was an Orthodox Christian book. My friend was looking for a religion too. So he went to an orthodox church and I followed him. I liked it a lot there. Few months after he got baptized, he was not baptized at all before. I didn’t convert because I didn’t want to just follow him, I wanted to really feel for myself if it was right for me.
But I sometimes accompany him to the church and I started to pray as an orthodox. Its 4 years now I’m praying as an orthodox without being converted yet.
Last year I went to live in Kalimantan, working as a teacher in a Subud community in the “jungle”. In Kalimantan, I felt very happy; it’s a very quiet place, with few people and few entertainments. It’s a good place to be quiet and find your way. But in Kalimantan, there are no orthodox church but it did not bother me, I continue to pray as an orthodox and observe the holy lent.
But this year when I observed the lent, I started to feel lonely in my practice. And just as the lent was starting, I met an orthodox friend on facebook living in Jakarta and I asked him if I could go to the church with him. At this time, I felt finally that I wanted to be converted to orthodoxy. My soul was crying to become an Orthodox Christian; all the words of the prayers became so holy. So now, it’s just obvious I really want to become an orthodox and now I just waiting the good time because I still live in the middle of the jungle and it’s not so easy for me to go to Jakarta and follow catechism. The priest said he will send me some material lesson.
So now, I guess I’m on my way.
What a powerful story Emilie. I just love how dedicated you are to God, it is very inspirational. =) I will pray that God will guide you on your path to where he wants you to be and please do the same for me.
Jade Coleman says
Powerful story. God bless you, Emile.
May God bless you in in your “homecoming”. I pray that the All-Holy Mother of God and St Mary Magdalene will intercede for you and and ease your way “home”.
I made that same journey 12 years ago and have not regretted it.
Mara-na-tha – even so, come Lord Jesus
You are in the midst of the jungle, but you are not alone! When you observed the Lent my friend, you were not alone! May your journey continue to Orthodoxy and may you someday find the joy in your heart that you will feel when you make the conversion to know the truth. One of my favorite books is “Prayers by the Lake” by Bishop Nikolai. One of his passages read:
“When I pose questions to people, I await answers from You. When things speak, I listen to You. When I look at nature, I am looking for You.
When people see me pensive, they suppose that I am thinking about them, while I am actually thinking about You. When they see me loving to labor, they think that I am laboring for people, but I am laboring for You.”
Emilie, Please know that as you observe Lent and you pray in the midst of the jungle, God is with you. You are never alone.
Wishing you the best,
Marianne Poulos says
Christ’s Blessings to you. I write you from Chicago all the way into the jungle! You sound like a person who is so full of love. Like Paul says in scripture there are many gifts, but the greatest of these is LOVE. It sounds like you have had such an amazing journey and I wish I could pick you up by helicopter and go to a Divine Liturgy. Did you know that many Orthodox churches in American have live Divine Liturgy online on Sunday mornings? At least that could help during the weeks you wait to go to Jakarta. Also, I read the daily epistle and gospel online at http://www.goarch.org I have this site on my toolbar and everyday go straight to the daily passages to keep scripture in my heart.
Yes, Marianne is right. Here is one that people listen to online. Just click on the link at the left.