Orthodoxy is a wild journey with a beautiful destination; Eternity in the Presence of God.
For someone who did not grow up in the Orthodox Church, I have a steep learning curve. As I mentioned before HERE, I did not grow up venerating icons and Mary was especially taboo. I’ve been listening to podcasts about, Mary on the Ancient Faith website and it’s helping quite a bit. I’ve also requested several books from my local library and from the Inter Library Loan system or, ILL. One that came in recently is: The Orthodox Veneration of the Mother of God. Another book I checked out from my local library is; Sacred Doorways: A Beginner’s Guide to icons, and lastly; Thirty Steps to heaven.
I also have coming a couple of books about the Orthodox teachings on psychology.
If you were not aware of it, there is a system for checking out books from other libraries around the US if your library doe snot carry a particular title. Your library may or may not have it, you’ll need to ask them about the ILL system.
It’s always a good idea to do your own research whenever possible and within reason. What’s ‘within reason’ mean? There will be times when you’ve reached the end of the research road. When that happens, one must trust in the knowledge of those who have gone on before down the same road. Western minds believe in reinventing something when they feel it no longer applies to them or their lifestyle choices. Heresy in the church comes form within the church and not from outside the church. It comes when we try to convince ourselves we can conform God to our will and not ourselves to His. When reading and researching the ancient church and church fathers, try not to talk yourself out of the wonderment of God. Be childlike. Be in awe of the One who created you.
Lord have mercy.