Testimonials

Tom’s Journey to Orthodoxy

As a convert to the Orthodox Church, I can say my spiritual journey has been what it needed to be.  There is a big difference between my friends who are born into Orthodox families and those who convert to the Orthodox faith.

Someone once said that there is a “God shaped vacuum within each of us, and if we do not fill it with the  love of God, then we will fill it with other things. I yearned for an authentic Christian life, and I could not find it in my local Protestant churches, which had since my youth devolved into rock concerts punctuated by a talk about how to live a more fulfilling life, than the story of Christ and his desire to save us from sin and eternal death.  There was a big disconnect between what I witnessed in the churches and what I knew that was a true relationship with Jesus Christ.

I read a small book called the “Way of the Pilgrim” which talked about a Russian peasant who sought the meaning of the admonition to pray without ceasing, and went to many wise men and went thru great struggles until finally he met a monk who would eventually become his spiritual father and teach him how to say the Jesus Prayer and gave him the disciplines he needed to experience unceasing prayer.  I found a spiritual father, began following his advice, and that is how my journey to Orthodoxy began in earnest.  It has been a most miraculous journey, taking me on pilgrimages to holy places, having meetings with men and women of the church that have what I want in my spiritual life. 

For me, that is what the Orthodox Church provides.  The mystical elements of the Orthodox church gives me the spiritual tools to pray without ceasing, and to undergo the spiritual change that I need to be able to become a godly person (Theosis).  It is a lifelong path, and now I have the means by which to walk that path.

Tom Valdriz