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Author Topic: Did Palamas believe Mary to be Mediatrix of All Grace?  (Read 13035 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: November 30, 2011, 06:04:03 PM »

I don't think the Orthodox teaching is equivalent. But the Theotokos does have he title of Mediatrix in our hymns.

Only in weird American Antiochian [possibly Eastern Catholic convert] translations. You don't translate from Russian/Greek/Arabic into English and get a Latin word; we don't say in saecula saeculorum during the Divine Liturgy, after all. It should be mediator or mediatress, and does not imply the Roman Catholic doctrinal beliefs ascribed to Mary as Mediatrix.



1) First of all, I already said I don't think the teachings are the same.
2) Second of all, Mediatrix and Mediatress are the same word. Mediatrix is a female mediator. You could use either word in the English language. The title of Mediatrix is distinct from the idea of Co-Redemptrix.
3) Third of all, saecula saeculorum is simply the Latin equivalent of  αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. I don't understand what point you are attempting to make. We have lots of words in English that are borrowed directly from Latin. We call the Third Person the Holy Spirit, not the Holy Pnevma.

Would you like it if I called you a "weird Antiochian convert?" Actually, you're still a catechumen.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 06:08:06 PM by samkim » Logged

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« Reply #91 on: November 30, 2011, 06:12:10 PM »

I don't think the Orthodox teaching is equivalent. But the Theotokos does have he title of Mediatrix in our hymns.

Only in weird American Antiochian [possibly Eastern Catholic convert] translations. You don't translate from Russian/Greek/Arabic into English and get a Latin word; we don't say in saecula saeculorum during the Divine Liturgy, after all. It should be mediator or mediatress, and does not imply the Roman Catholic doctrinal beliefs ascribed to Mary as Mediatrix.



1) First of all, I already said I don't think the teachings are the same.
2) Second of all, Mediatrix and Mediatress are the same word. Mediatrix is a female mediator. You could use either word in the English language. The title of Mediatrix is distinct from the idea of Co-Redemptrix.
3) Third of all, saecula saeculorum is simply the Latin equivalent of  αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. I don't understand what point you are attempting to make. We have lots of words in English that are borrowed directly from Latin. We call the Third Person the Holy Spirit, not the Holy Pnevma.

I think the "saecula saeculorum" remark is meant something along the lines that we don't translate "world without end" but instead "ages of ages"
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« Reply #92 on: November 30, 2011, 06:17:53 PM »

I don't think the Orthodox teaching is equivalent. But the Theotokos does have he title of Mediatrix in our hymns.

Only in weird American Antiochian [possibly Eastern Catholic convert] translations. You don't translate from Russian/Greek/Arabic into English and get a Latin word; we don't say in saecula saeculorum during the Divine Liturgy, after all. It should be mediator or mediatress, and does not imply the Roman Catholic doctrinal beliefs ascribed to Mary as Mediatrix.



1) First of all, I already said I don't think the teachings are the same.
2) Second of all, Mediatrix and Mediatress are the same word. Mediatrix is a female mediator. You could use either word in the English language. The title of Mediatrix is distinct from the idea of Co-Redemptrix.
3) Third of all, saecula saeculorum is simply the Latin equivalent of  αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. I don't understand what point you are attempting to make. We have lots of words in English that are borrowed directly from Latin. We call the Third Person the Holy Spirit, not the Holy Pnevma.

I think the "saecula saeculorum" remark is meant something along the lines that we don't translate "world without end" but instead "ages of ages"

Which is itself an incorrect translation of saecula saeculorum. Saecula means age. -orum is a plural genitive ending. So literally, saecula saeculorum means "to the ages of ages," which is what we say.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 06:19:39 PM by samkim » Logged

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« Reply #93 on: November 30, 2011, 06:19:57 PM »

I don't think the Orthodox teaching is equivalent. But the Theotokos does have he title of Mediatrix in our hymns.

Only in weird American Antiochian [possibly Eastern Catholic convert] translations. You don't translate from Russian/Greek/Arabic into English and get a Latin word; we don't say in saecula saeculorum during the Divine Liturgy, after all. It should be mediator or mediatress, and does not imply the Roman Catholic doctrinal beliefs ascribed to Mary as Mediatrix.



1) First of all, I already said I don't think the teachings are the same.
2) Second of all, Mediatrix and Mediatress are the same word. Mediatrix is a female mediator. You could use either word in the English language. The title of Mediatrix is distinct from the idea of Co-Redemptrix.
3) Third of all, saecula saeculorum is simply the Latin equivalent of  αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. I don't understand what point you are attempting to make. We have lots of words in English that are borrowed directly from Latin. We call the Third Person the Holy Spirit, not the Holy Pnevma.

I think the "saecula saeculorum" remark is meant something along the lines that we don't translate "world without end" but instead "ages of ages"

Which is itself an incorrect translation of saecula saeculorum. Saecula means age. -orum is a genitive ending. So literally, saecula saeculorum means "to the ages of ages," which is what we say.

Hey, don't look at me, I'm not the one that translated the Roman Mass!  Cheesy
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« Reply #94 on: November 30, 2011, 06:34:41 PM »

Would you like it if I called you a "weird Antiochian convert?" Actually, you're still a catechumen.
I was referring to St. Alexis Toth-era converts from the unia, before you or I were born. I also called the translation weird and not the people.

Mediatrix is a female mediator. You could use either word in the English language.
Mediatrix is a latin word that has one common meaning in English: The RC beliefs about Mary as Mediatrix.

My point was that, as we say "sacrament" and not "sacramentum", "mystery" instead of "mysterion", we ought to say mediator or mediatress in English. There is no justifiable reason to use Mediatrix in a translation from Greek, Arabic or Russian, where it does not appear, into English unless you are implying the Roman Catholic belief.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 06:38:27 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #95 on: November 30, 2011, 07:10:11 PM »

Would you like it if I called you a "weird Antiochian convert?" Actually, you're still a catechumen.
I was referring to St. Alexis Toth-era converts from the unia, before you or I were born. I also called the translation weird and not the people.

Mediatrix is a female mediator. You could use either word in the English language.
Mediatrix is a latin word that has one common meaning in English: The RC beliefs about Mary as Mediatrix.

My point was that, as we say "sacrament" and not "sacramentum", "mystery" instead of "mysterion", we ought to say mediator or mediatress in English. There is no justifiable reason to use Mediatrix in a translation from Greek, Arabic or Russian, where it does not appear, into English unless you are implying the Roman Catholic belief.

Mediatrix has one meaning in the English language: a female mediator. That is what you find in a dictionary.

I suppose you think we shouldn't call the Theotokos Immaculate either, lest we run the risk of sounding Catholic? Either way, I don't think it matters if we sound like Catholics or not. I have no inferiority complexes about my Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #96 on: November 30, 2011, 07:36:27 PM »

Would you like it if I called you a "weird Antiochian convert?" Actually, you're still a catechumen.
I was referring to St. Alexis Toth-era converts from the unia, before you or I were born. I also called the translation weird and not the people.

Mediatrix is a female mediator. You could use either word in the English language.
Mediatrix is a latin word that has one common meaning in English: The RC beliefs about Mary as Mediatrix.

My point was that, as we say "sacrament" and not "sacramentum", "mystery" instead of "mysterion", we ought to say mediator or mediatress in English. There is no justifiable reason to use Mediatrix in a translation from Greek, Arabic or Russian, where it does not appear, into English unless you are implying the Roman Catholic belief.

Mediatrix has one meaning in the English language: a female mediator. That is what you find in a dictionary.

I suppose you think we shouldn't call the Theotokos Immaculate either, lest we run the risk of sounding Catholic? Either way, I don't think it matters if we sound like Catholics or not. I have no inferiority complexes about my Orthodoxy.

I wasn't going to get into this because I think is it a wash.

But for you to say that mediatrix only has one meaning in the English language is outlandish. Without any sophistication, you would be hard pressed to find a word with a "single" definition.

You might not even find mediatrix in your crummy dictionary or even a decent single volume one. If you have a multi-volume English dictionary it will probably mention the various meanings it has in RC. Heck, my spell check doesn't recognize it.

And have you have ever heard or used it outside the context of which is being discussed?

I know people who work in mediation. Never. Not once. Have I heard a woman referred to as a mediatrix.

To my ears, I hear female mediator having had some Latin. But its use in the English language I would bet you 100-1, I am serious, if we take a look at the descriptive lexical database Oxford uses to more precisely define English words and their frequency of use, mediatrix would come back being used within documents and discussions about RC than anything else.

I am serious about those odds.

Unlike many, I put my money where my mouth is.

And the finest single volume American English dictionary doesn't even contain it as an entry as yet.

And there is always google. Please count the first 1000 results you get when googling it. Remove any uses of it as a brand or the like. Almost all the rest are going to be used with in a RC context.

Mediatrix is bound up with two RC theological notions which may or not maybe Orthodox.

In the OCA, we use mediator. I would opt for mediatrix over the horror mediatress. But mediator is just fine.

We use Theotokos instead of whatever ugly locution you would have to use in English. I see the sense behind it.

Theotokos and Mother of God, our mediator, pray for us!
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« Reply #97 on: November 30, 2011, 07:37:22 PM »

You're conflating denotation and connotation, samkim.
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« Reply #98 on: November 30, 2011, 07:38:55 PM »

We use Theotokos instead of whatever ugly locution you would have to use in English. I see the sense behind it.

I don't think that 'Mother of God' would be an ugly locution.
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« Reply #99 on: November 30, 2011, 07:40:50 PM »

I suppose you think we shouldn't call the Theotokos Immaculate either, lest we run the risk of sounding Catholic?

When referring to her conception, absolutely not. We don't believe in the dogma which has been given the proper name Immaculate Conception, so best to avoid confusion on that one.

Although nearly every non-seminarian RC I've known tends to think the IC refers to Jesus' conception.

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« Reply #100 on: November 30, 2011, 07:42:01 PM »

We use Theotokos instead of whatever ugly locution you would have to use in English. I see the sense behind it.

I don't think that 'Mother of God' would be an ugly locution.
"Mother of God" is Mater Theou in Greek, that's what the letters on icons of her stand for. Theotokos would be "bearer/birth-giver/the one who gave birth to God."
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« Reply #101 on: November 30, 2011, 07:42:34 PM »

We use Theotokos instead of whatever ugly locution you would have to use in English. I see the sense behind it.

I don't think that 'Mother of God' would be an ugly locution.

Watch how smart I am:

Theotokos and Mother of God, our mediator, pray for us!

Theotokos and Mother of God are two different things. She is both.
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« Reply #102 on: November 30, 2011, 07:44:14 PM »

We use Theotokos instead of whatever ugly locution you would have to use in English. I see the sense behind it.

I don't think that 'Mother of God' would be an ugly locution.
"Mother of God" is Mater Theou in Greek, that's what the letters on icons of her stand for. Theotokos would be "bearer/birth-giver/the one who gave birth to God."

Knock it off, I set up the point in my post for someone to make this argument so I could quote myself and elaborate later and seem clever.

Please send your posts to me for review in the future, Crystal, before posting them to the board.
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« Reply #103 on: November 30, 2011, 07:45:37 PM »

We use Theotokos instead of whatever ugly locution you would have to use in English. I see the sense behind it.

I don't think that 'Mother of God' would be an ugly locution.
"Mother of God" is Mater Theou in Greek, that's what the letters on icons of her stand for. Theotokos would be "bearer/birth-giver/the one who gave birth to God."
What is the difference between the one who gave birth to God and God's mother?
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« Reply #104 on: November 30, 2011, 07:48:20 PM »

We use Theotokos instead of whatever ugly locution you would have to use in English. I see the sense behind it.

I don't think that 'Mother of God' would be an ugly locution.
"Mother of God" is Mater Theou in Greek, that's what the letters on icons of her stand for. Theotokos would be "bearer/birth-giver/the one who gave birth to God."
What is the difference between the one who gave birth to God and God's mother?

William actually, I think there is a lovely difference. This is once place where theology is truly beautiful.

You can't imagine the difference?
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« Reply #105 on: November 30, 2011, 07:51:39 PM »

You can't imagine the difference?

That's why I asked. Smiley
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« Reply #106 on: November 30, 2011, 07:52:38 PM »

We use Theotokos instead of whatever ugly locution you would have to use in English. I see the sense behind it.

I don't think that 'Mother of God' would be an ugly locution.
"Mother of God" is Mater Theou in Greek, that's what the letters on icons of her stand for. Theotokos would be "bearer/birth-giver/the one who gave birth to God."

Knock it off, I set up the point in my post for someone to make this argument so I could quote myself and elaborate later and seem clever.

Please send your posts to me for review in the future, Crystal, before posting them to the board.

You never let me have anything nice!  Cry
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« Reply #107 on: November 30, 2011, 08:03:56 PM »

You can't imagine the difference?

That's why I asked. Smiley

I have to do a few things, so I can't amplify as I would like. But I will leave you with a comment of mine in a thread that is currently locked, so I can't give you the quote with an embedded URL:

Quote
FWIW, I've always understood "Theotokos" as glossed as "God-Bearer" or the like. "Mother of God" and "God-Bearer" are not necessarily the same thing. The latter seems to definitively uphold the Incarnation, while the former might elliptically do so, I believe it speaks more clearly to the personal relationship between the person of Jesus Christ and his mother Mary. Again both are not completely exclusive in their meaning, but I do believe each underscores a particular relationship the person of Mary had with her son and thus God.

Joseph after all was Jesus' father and had a fatherly personal relationship to him, although he did not beget him.

In the end, we are better off with both IMVHO. And Theotokos sounds better to these English ears than "God-Bearer". And "Birth-Giver" (which sounds equally as bad as "God-Bearer") is not quite like "God-Bearer". Mary bore God; she did not just give birth to Him. The English word "bear" here is quite felicitous due to its many shades of meanings which nuance Mary's role from the Conception till the end of the age.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bear


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27405.msg519865.html#msg519865

I have a lot more to say on the issue. Perhaps I will here or in one of the five books I am writing currently.

EDIT: Look through that entire thread. After all the name is sorta the issue you are asking about.

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« Reply #108 on: November 30, 2011, 08:51:40 PM »

Good points!
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« Reply #109 on: November 30, 2011, 08:58:39 PM »

I still use proprietrix, benefactrix and executrix in my documents and am castigated by my supervisors for so doing.

Long live wanky Latin suffixes!

On topic: still not buying that all this Mary passing out grace to the angelic orders like eggs in a basket stuff was received from the Apostles. I'm sorry for being flippant, but it all just strikes me as somehow unreal and foreign.
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« Reply #110 on: November 30, 2011, 09:58:19 PM »


Although nearly every non-seminarian RC I've known tends to think the IC refers to Jesus' conception.


Interesting, because I don't know a single Catholic seminarian who is that uneducated in his faith, and quite a few of my friends and acquaintances have gone off to seminary.
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« Reply #111 on: November 30, 2011, 10:17:08 PM »

Would you like it if I called you a "weird Antiochian convert?" Actually, you're still a catechumen.
I was referring to St. Alexis Toth-era converts from the unia, before you or I were born. I also called the translation weird and not the people.

Mediatrix is a female mediator. You could use either word in the English language.
Mediatrix is a latin word that has one common meaning in English: The RC beliefs about Mary as Mediatrix.

My point was that, as we say "sacrament" and not "sacramentum", "mystery" instead of "mysterion", we ought to say mediator or mediatress in English. There is no justifiable reason to use Mediatrix in a translation from Greek, Arabic or Russian, where it does not appear, into English unless you are implying the Roman Catholic belief.

Mediatrix has one meaning in the English language: a female mediator. That is what you find in a dictionary.

I suppose you think we shouldn't call the Theotokos Immaculate either, lest we run the risk of sounding Catholic? Either way, I don't think it matters if we sound like Catholics or not. I have no inferiority complexes about my Orthodoxy.

I wasn't going to get into this because I think is it a wash.

But for you to say that mediatrix only has one meaning in the English language is outlandish. Without any sophistication, you would be hard pressed to find a word with a "single" definition.

You might not even find mediatrix in your crummy dictionary or even a decent single volume one. If you have a multi-volume English dictionary it will probably mention the various meanings it has in RC. Heck, my spell check doesn't recognize it.

And have you have ever heard or used it outside the context of which is being discussed?

I know people who work in mediation. Never. Not once. Have I heard a woman referred to as a mediatrix.

To my ears, I hear female mediator having had some Latin. But its use in the English language I would bet you 100-1, I am serious, if we take a look at the descriptive lexical database Oxford uses to more precisely define English words and their frequency of use, mediatrix would come back being used within documents and discussions about RC than anything else.

I am serious about those odds.

Unlike many, I put my money where my mouth is.

And the finest single volume American English dictionary doesn't even contain it as an entry as yet.

And there is always google. Please count the first 1000 results you get when googling it. Remove any uses of it as a brand or the like. Almost all the rest are going to be used with in a RC context.

Mediatrix is bound up with two RC theological notions which may or not maybe Orthodox.

In the OCA, we use mediator. I would opt for mediatrix over the horror mediatress. But mediator is just fine.

We use Theotokos instead of whatever ugly locution you would have to use in English. I see the sense behind it.

Theotokos and Mother of God, our mediator, pray for us!


1) I know the word Mediatrix can have different meanings in different contexts. The only reason I was so strong in my language was because I was mirroring the language of my interlocutor.

2) The dictionary definition of Mediatrix is still a female mediator.

3) Calm down. We are on the same page. The Theotokos is our Mediator/Mediatrix and our Salvation.
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« Reply #112 on: November 30, 2011, 10:18:33 PM »


Although nearly every non-seminarian RC I've known tends to think the IC refers to Jesus' conception.


Interesting, because I don't know a single Catholic seminarian who is that uneducated in his faith, and quite a few of my friends and acquaintances have gone off to seminary.
No, he's saying the only RCs he knows who know what the IC is are the seminarians.
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« Reply #113 on: November 30, 2011, 10:22:18 PM »

I suppose you think we shouldn't call the Theotokos Immaculate either, lest we run the risk of sounding Catholic?

When referring to her conception, absolutely not. We don't believe in the dogma which has been given the proper name Immaculate Conception, so best to avoid confusion on that one.




OK of course.... But at least in my jurisdiction, we have no problem with "immaculate" and "mediatrix" because we know what they mean. Maybe some don't, but we ought not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Let me state my position for the nth time: I am not defending any Roman Catholic doctrines.
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« Reply #114 on: November 30, 2011, 10:26:40 PM »

You're conflating denotation and connotation, samkim.

No I'm not. The denotation of Mediatrix is female mediator. It may have RC connotations, which, once again, I am not defending. My interlocutor is conflating denotation and connotation.

Just FYI, I'm not saying this to be rude or out of pride or anything (that would be dumb), but so that your minds will be at ease: my undergraduate academic background is in philosophy and theology, so there is no need to instruct me on the difference between denotation and connotation. I am genuinely not saying this in a sour mood or anything.
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« Reply #115 on: November 30, 2011, 10:26:55 PM »


3) Calm down. We are on the same page. The Theotokos is our Mediator/Mediatrix and our Salvation.
Are we? I don't recall orthonorm agreeing to the notion that she is some kind of first step conduit in God's relay race of Grace. She mediates and saves with her prayers and her role in bringing Christ into the world and maybe with the occasional miracle, but that's all.
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« Reply #116 on: November 30, 2011, 10:29:17 PM »


3) Calm down. We are on the same page. The Theotokos is our Mediator/Mediatrix and our Salvation.
Are we? I don't recall orthonorm agreeing to the notion that she is some kind of first step conduit in God's relay race of Grace. She mediates and saves with her prayers and her role in bringing Christ into the world and maybe with the occasional miracle, but that's all.

I'm just curious, what position do you think I'm defending? Can you state it? This is probably my fault, my lack of clarity.

There's an extreme lack of charity on internet forums...
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« Reply #117 on: November 30, 2011, 10:35:17 PM »


3) Calm down. We are on the same page. The Theotokos is our Mediator/Mediatrix and our Salvation.
Are we? I don't recall orthonorm agreeing to the notion that she is some kind of first step conduit in God's relay race of Grace. She mediates and saves with her prayers and her role in bringing Christ into the world and maybe with the occasional miracle, but that's all.

And yes, it is BY HER PRAYERS that she saves us. But prayer is more than petitioning God. Pure prayer is illumination by the ucreated energies.
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« Reply #118 on: November 30, 2011, 10:36:59 PM »


3) Calm down. We are on the same page. The Theotokos is our Mediator/Mediatrix and our Salvation.
Are we? I don't recall orthonorm agreeing to the notion that she is some kind of first step conduit in God's relay race of Grace. She mediates and saves with her prayers and her role in bringing Christ into the world and maybe with the occasional miracle, but that's all.

I'm just curious, what position do you think I'm defending? Can you state it? This is probably my fault, my lack of clarity.

There's an extreme lack of charity on internet forums...
Every grace of God goes to her first since she is the supreme created being, she gives it (part of it?) to Michael the second greatest in creation, Michael to Gabriel the third, and so on down the ladder to one of us.
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« Reply #119 on: November 30, 2011, 10:37:48 PM »

On topic: still not buying that all this Mary passing out grace to the angelic orders like eggs in a basket stuff was received from the Apostles. I'm sorry for being flippant, but it all just strikes me as somehow unreal and foreign.

I understand. However, keep in mind that grace passes through every member of the Church. Salvation is corporate. No man is saved without his brother. All the baptized are interconnected. Our baptism also connects us to incorporeal realities. Grace doesn't just pass through the Theotokos, but every being in God's creation in a unique way.
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« Reply #120 on: November 30, 2011, 10:38:37 PM »


3) Calm down. We are on the same page. The Theotokos is our Mediator/Mediatrix and our Salvation.
Are we? I don't recall orthonorm agreeing to the notion that she is some kind of first step conduit in God's relay race of Grace. She mediates and saves with her prayers and her role in bringing Christ into the world and maybe with the occasional miracle, but that's all.

And yes, it is BY HER PRAYERS that she saves us. But prayer is more than petitioning God. Pure prayer is illumination by the ucreated energies.
And what exactly is the means by which we pass on the energies?
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« Reply #121 on: November 30, 2011, 10:47:13 PM »

On topic: still not buying that all this Mary passing out grace to the angelic orders like eggs in a basket stuff was received from the Apostles. I'm sorry for being flippant, but it all just strikes me as somehow unreal and foreign.

I understand. However, keep in mind that grace passes through every member of the Church. Salvation is corporate. No man is saved without his brother. All the baptized are interconnected. Our baptism also connects us to incorporeal realities. Grace doesn't just pass through the Theotokos, but every being in God's creation in a unique way.

Thanks, Sam.

Lots to think about. I'll keep following the discussion.
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The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
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« Reply #122 on: November 30, 2011, 10:58:40 PM »


3) Calm down. We are on the same page. The Theotokos is our Mediator/Mediatrix and our Salvation.
Are we? I don't recall orthonorm agreeing to the notion that she is some kind of first step conduit in God's relay race of Grace. She mediates and saves with her prayers and her role in bringing Christ into the world and maybe with the occasional miracle, but that's all.

And yes, it is BY HER PRAYERS that she saves us. But prayer is more than petitioning God. Pure prayer is illumination by the ucreated energies.
And what exactly is the means by which we pass on the energies?

This is simply my interpretation, and it is a bit of an aside, but....

One of the themes explored in the Brothers Karamozov is the interconnectedness of all human beings, that we are responsible for everything and everyone. That no man is innocent when atrocities occur. Many of the Holy Fathers talk about this idea as well, that the true penitent feels responsible for every sin ever committed. Also, joy becomes universal. We rejoice with those who rejoice, as well as mourn with those who mourn. This is because we all share a common nature. We also share our "createdness" with the angels in heaven, and all creation in general. That's why when God became man, that meant salvation for all beings and all creation. Remember that Adam was supposed to unite heaven and earth within himself. He was supposed to become a God by grace, "passing on" sanctification to the rest of creation. This is possible because, once again, we share a common essence, or at least a common created reality.

The saints and angels, out of compassion for our suffering and sinning, pray for us. They "feel" for us. In the same way that monasticism "energizes" the secular world, the heavenly hosts "energize" us by their prayers.

The Theotokos, in perfect imitation of her son, emptied herself in voluntary kenosis, so that the only thing that remained in her was love for God and compassion for the world. She has become, as our prayers say, the Mother of the Christian race, the one who hears the cries of the world. All our prayers and hymns laud her as the greatest of the Saints, so, if we were to crudely draw up some sort of spectrum, she is the closest created being to God, "More honorable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim." If she is the most holy saint, she is the most like her son. She is the first to "feel" compassion for those in the world. And like a great wave that starts at a single point, the "feeling" sweeps through the heavenly host, because all share a common created nature.

We receive no grace without the Theotokos, because we receive no grace without any of the saints and angels, or the whole of the Church, or creation in general. It passes through all of us. But our Lady is the still the closest to God.

I mean, this is my very non-theological somewhat romanticized explanation. Maybe it's wrong. But its an approximation of what I think the Divine Hierarchy is all about.
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« Reply #123 on: November 30, 2011, 11:04:34 PM »

I loved your explanation Samkim.  It is difficult to convey in words that which is beyond our comprehension.  Thank you.
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« Reply #124 on: November 30, 2011, 11:09:30 PM »

And let me just say this: a lot of militant Orthodox are very willing and ready to criticize caricatures of Roman Catholic doctrine. To be sure, our faiths are different, and the Catholics have done their fair share of evil things to us.

But all Catholics I know love God and love the Theotokos. God will deal with them as he pleases.

"You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins... I will tell you one thing, however: should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever." St. Theophan the Recluse

"People feel in their souls when they are doing the proper thing, believing in Jesus Christ, revering the Mother of God and the Saints, whom they call upon in prayer, so if you condemn their faith they will not listen to you…. But if you were to confirm that they were doing well to believe in God and honor the Mother of God and the Saints; that they are right to go to church, and say their prayers at home, read the Divine word, and so on; and then gently point out their mistakes and show them what they ought to amend, then they would listen to you, and the Lord would rejoice over them. And this way by God’s mercy we shall all find salvation…. God is love, and therefore the preaching of His word must always proceed from love. Then both preacher and listener will profit. But if you do nothing but condemn, the soul of the people will not heed you, and no good will come of it." St. Silouan

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« Reply #125 on: November 30, 2011, 11:14:15 PM »

I think another story from St. Silouan illustrates how mediation works:

Quote
In the beginning I prayed with tears of compassion for Nicholas, for his young wife, for the little child, but as I was praying the sense of the divine presence began to grow on me and at a certain moment it grew so powerful that I lost sight of Nicholas, his wife, his child, his needs, their village, and I could be aware only of God, and I was drawn by the sense of the divine presence deeper and deeper, until of a sudden, at the heart of this presence, I met the divine love holding Nicholas, his wife, and his child, and now it was with the love of God that I began to pray for them again, but again I was drawn into the deep and in the depths of this I again found divine love. And so,' he said, 'I spend my days, praying for each of them in turn...'

I imagine this is what the Theotokos does in heaven.
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« Reply #126 on: December 01, 2011, 11:12:10 AM »

I still use proprietrix, benefactrix and executrix in my documents and am castigated by my supervisors for so doing.

Long live wanky Latin suffixes!

On topic: still not buying that all this Mary passing out grace to the angelic orders like eggs in a basket stuff was received from the Apostles. I'm sorry for being flippant, but it all just strikes me as somehow unreal and foreign.

In American legal usage the words 'executor' and 'executrix' are still in use, although the other two appear to have passed the way of the dodo, in my experience!  Wink  (You will occasionally come across 'testator' and 'testatrix', but that is about it....)
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« Reply #127 on: December 01, 2011, 01:05:23 PM »

I still use proprietrix, benefactrix and executrix in my documents and am castigated by my supervisors for so doing.

Long live wanky Latin suffixes!

On topic: still not buying that all this Mary passing out grace to the angelic orders like eggs in a basket stuff was received from the Apostles. I'm sorry for being flippant, but it all just strikes me as somehow unreal and foreign.

ya...patristic consensus is a good thing!
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