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From Atheist to Orthodox Christian: Mother Siluana’s Inspiring Journey | Marxism, Raja Yoga

In this video, Mother Siluana (Vlad) talks about her captivating journey from atheism to Orthodox Christianity. Explore her profound encounters with philosophy, atheism, and divine intervention that led to a transformative connection with God. Discover the joy of serving Christ’s pain and find inspiration for your own spiritual quest. Discover how Orthodoxy chose her, leading her through the depths of philosophy, atheism, and existentialism to a profound encounter with God. Mother Siluana’s story unfolds as she navigates the challenges of searching for true worship, finding love, and experiencing God’s mercy in unexpected places. #OrthodoxConversion #SpiritualJourney #MotherSiluana My journey to Orthodoxy via Atheism, Marxism and Raja Yoga | Mother Siluana of Romania

Video source: ASCOR Cluj, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, May 10th, 2019
Watch the full lecture here: https://youtu.be/YbCMX1dPZfk (in Romanian)

Mother Siluana:

Q: Please tell us about your conversion and why you chose Orthodox Christianity?

A: It chose me, not me choosing it. Orthodoxy chose me. I was born in an Eastern Orthodox family, they baptized me… I emancipated myself, renounced the faith, I became an atheist, a philosopher, a Marxist… Thank God that being Orthodox I was smart… you know that Orthodoxy makes you smart, right? In the meanwhile, my grandmothers prayed for me… My conversion came at the moment when I realized that was so smart that I could not be the product of this stupid matter. Matter is something that has laws, it has… but it doesn’t think… you talk to it and it doesn’t answer you… or I was very smart and said: “I cannot be the result of this!” Someone made me smarter… My mom… Well, she’s smart, but not like me… My dad… No way, I’m much smarter… I’m smarter than everyone in the family, so they didn’t create me… Then who made me? There must be someone smarter than me. And I started searching and I found Him. Slowly… it was not easy. What was interesting, as during the time of Marxism, we studied Marxist philosophy, and… I had access to some books [hard to find at that time in Communist Romania] and I loved existentialism and had some non-Marxist views during an exam, I had a work by Hegel or Feuerbach or Marx, he had written against someone called Proudhon. I was also delighted by what Proudhon said and they said: “But do you agree with Proudhon?” I said “Yes”, because it was interesting what he said…

As an atheist I discovered the first fragments of the Bible and so I wanted to read the Bible and I read it and somehow I met God, I began to understand that He made me. What I could not find was the way where I could pray, worship. [Deep] in us there is the need to worship, to offer ourselves… I can’t explain it, it’s a comprehensive experience and activity, body, soul and mind, with everything, it’s a bowing down, a fall before the One smarter than you, and better and more beautiful, who wants you to be like Him. And I was searching for a way to worship Him, so to speak… And it seemed to me that Orthodoxy doesn’t work, “I don’t hear anything, I don’t understand anything…” And I prayed, “Lord, guide me…” What I knew was that I wanted to know Him , to love Him and to serve Him in the way that seems to Him the most suitable for me. And God arranged that a friend of mine died, I went to her funeral and there I saw God’s mercy, I felt God’s love for my friend, dead, in a casket in the church. I felt a burning desire take her place. So much love came through that [church] service, I heard all the words, but it was not the words, but the Spirit that came through the words, the love of God that came through the words. And I said: “That’s it!” So, there I understood that this is the love I was looking for, this is God. And before that, I was reading about Rāja yoga, I was doing some breathing exercises, I never liked yoga and all that with the guru, and such… if I saw myself as the smartest, what was it like to believe in someone who pretended to be smarter like me… It doesn’t work… and then the books convinced me.

But I had meetings with really smart and faithful people who saved me… Well, I had reached very far with meditation, I had calmed my thoughts, I had no thoughts, I was no longer afraid of dogs, that is, I was breathing correctly and a lot of very interesting things happened to me… And I was in a friend’s yard and a tenant from her building, Mr. John [Ion], a bit of a dodderer and drunker, passed by us. And from the height of serenity that I already reached, I looked at Mr. John and suddenly I realized that I don’t want to be okay without him. I realized that I need a religion that John can fit into. Whether he wants to or not, John must come with me… and what is the faith in which John comes with me? This is our Holy Church, where you bring John with you, and if he doesn’t want to, you put him on a stretcher, write his name on the list of names [to be commemorated at the Church services], and you bring him like that… You pray for those who don’t know God… And this is how God worked with me and brought me Home. But I didn’t come empty-handed, I collected all kinds of goodies from my journeys… like the Jews did with the gold and silver plates from slavery, they brought them with them and built the temple. All the gifts we earn outside of our relationship with God are all God’s goods, earned in the slavery of sin and we bring them to God and build the temple within us. I discovered that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, it became dear to me and finally, I made peace with myself and with my body. I didn’t argue with my old self very much. I’m more stubborn and I don’t listen if you take me by force, it’s better if you take me gently… and I reconciled it with me, I give it something good from time to time, I let it sleep longer, but without laziness… Understanding its powerlessness and slowly, slowly, God enters this dark area of ours and enlightens us. But what led me was this thirst for meaning and the need to love. If we do not love, we are sad and unhappy and lack love… And then we need God: “Lord, put your love in us, Lord, give us love” And a gift that God gave me was that I felt human pain, until then I was full of my pain…

And I said it many times, once, when I was crossing a street, I was between the lanes, and I saw this mess, some people were going this way, some people that way… and I felt how much pain, how much disorder, how much unhappiness there is in the world… and suddenly the pain came to me, a pain that was not mine, it was the pain of Christ, he gave me a little taste of it… if it lasted a little longer I would die, so strong it was… and since then, no pain compares to this and it humbled me, it settled me, internally, and I said: “Lord, I want to be the servant of this pain!”. And even if I hurt you, shout at you, argue with you, make fun of you… I actually feel your pain and I serve it with my weakness, praying… I don’t know if God listens to my prayer, but I am the servant of this pain for that’s where joy comes from. Let each one of us be the apostle of our pain, our sorrows, our weaknesses, let us call God in them and that way we will also help those around us. I love you, thank you…

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