I started attending the Orthodox church more frequently. It was a great time of discovery. It wasn’t long until I made the decision to become a catechumen. My priest asked me if I might wait until my wife was ready to convert. I considered the possibility remote, so he agreed to allow me to enter the catechumenate. This was late 2004.
I looked forward to becoming an Orthodox Christian, and my efforts to lead an “orthodox” life were increased. It was not easy, as I felt that my wife was very uncomfortable with me doing such things as praying before an icon. My efforts to accommodate weren’t reciprocated, and soon the accommodating began to feel a lot like sneaking around. I began to build up a wall of resentment toward my wife which truly hampered not only my move into Orthodoxy, but my marriage as well.
As the months wore on, I was fully expecting to become Orthodox during the upcoming Easter. As the day approached, and my priest was not mentioning it, I felt like I had to ask. “Probably later this year – the Fall maybe.” This ‘maybe’ hung over my head. Would I ever be Orthodox? I was truly longing to experience the Eucharist – to participate in this sacramental theology rather than simply study it.
During this time I was continuing this study. One of my friends on Theology Web began to search the Catholic Church, and I was frequently involved in not only trying to convince him to ‘try Orthodoxy’, but I was frequently involved in polemics against Catholicism. But in attacking the Catholic Church, I came to see that all that had been presented to me in my childhood and all that I learned in coming to the Orthodox Church was not what it had seemed. My views were changing, and I was quickly leaning toward a more hopeful view of Roman Catholicism.
One major push in this direction was the blog Pontifications by an Episcopal priest searching for his place in the True Church. He honestly was trying to investigate the claims of both East and West. The discussions on this blog were very helpful in forcing me to think in new ways. Ultimately Fr. Al found his place in the Catholic Church. I still remember the profound disappointment I felt. I could be more hopeful about Catholics, but there was no way I was going to become one.