ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY
Jorge’s Journey from Roman Catholic Spain to Wisconsin Orthodox
Jorge Luque, USA
JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY
I was born in a nominally Roman Catholic family, though they did not practice their faith. I was baptised in the RC church, and some years later, about the age of nine, had my first communion. And that was all my Christian formation, those two separate instances without anything in between. My family did not go to church, except for baptisms, weddings, and funerals.
I was more or less like them until I was a teenager, when I converted, or rather came back, to the Roman Catholic faith.
I was 16 years old when, after undergoing a severe and long depression, I turned back to the faith of my “forefathers”. That was my thought back then, that is, to make a turn around, returning to my cultural and religious roots. The love for tradition was very strong in me, and was leading me step by step to the true faith, though not directly, for I had to go first through a period in my life dominated by the Roman Catholic faith.
I was sitting in a public library when, reading the first words of the first chapter of St. John’s Gospel, something, finally, changed in me. That was a turning point for me, the moment in which I decided to turn to God.
Months later I went on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Apostle St. James in Spain. After reaching my destination and praying at the apostle’s tomb, I visited and then joined a nearby Roman Catholic monastery of the Trappist order.
I stayed there for a year as a postulant. I was 18 to 19 years old.
It was one of the best periods of my life, that monastery was like a school where to learn about my recently embraced faith. But I could not stay there, for I felt clearly that monasticism was not my calling, and I desired very strongly to get married and start my own family. So I decided to leave before making any vows. After that year in the monastery, my life was like walking through a wasteland, spiritually speaking. I had no contact whatsoever with other Christians. I used to go to mass every Sunday, even on a daily basis sometimes? but those churches were almost empty, except for some elderly people. After a few years I stopped going to church and abandoned all my personal devotions ( I used to pray the psalms and to say the Jesus prayer.) It was a very long and dark period of my life. Somehow, I clung to my faith, but my heart was getting colder and colder, to the point where I almost stopped feeling.
It was then, when I could not bear it any longer, and my heart was almost drained, that I finally found the Orthodox faith.
I was about to turn 35 years old, and all that I knew about the Orthodox Church I had learned in that Roman Catholic monastery in two 2 books: the Way of the Pilgrim, and the Sayings of the Desert Fathers.
One day I came across a random article on the internet about the fall of the papacy into heresy, and the schism of the West from the Orthodox East. It was just a mediocre article, but for some reason it set off something within me. I began to doubt what I had been told regarding the Roman Catholic dogmas about the pope (papal supremacy, infallibility, and his primacy)
The whole building of my Roman Catholic beliefs fell apart overnight. When that happened I saw myself swimming in a rough sea without any boat, I turn to the Orthodox Church, running away from the chaos in which I was immersed.
A month later, after rejecting the pope and his lies, I embraced my Orthodox faith, though it took me longer to walk into an Orthodox church.
I found a Russian Orthodox Church in Spain, under the Patriarchate of Moscow, about 50 miles from my home, an hour and a half each way by bus. One Sunday I went to this church and spoke Continue reading “Jorge’s Journey from Roman Catholic Spain to Wisconsin Orthodox – By Jorge Luque, USA”