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Author Topic: Gebre Menfes Kidus  (Read 10259 times) Average Rating: 0
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PoorFoolNicholas
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« on: May 07, 2009, 11:18:36 AM »

Here is a little about his life:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gebre_Manfas_Qeddus
Now I am aware that there are many extraordinary happenings in the lives of the saints, which I completely believe, but the things spoken of regarding Saint Gebre Menfes Kidus sound like complete fantasy. Am I missing something?
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2009, 03:12:19 PM »

Am I missing something?

Yes. Hagiography, likewise iconography and hymnography, is not history. It's not about historical facts. It's about theological truth.
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2009, 03:27:12 PM »

Am I missing something?

Yes. Hagiography, likewise iconography and hymnography, is not history. It's not about historical facts. It's about theological truth.
So no one should care about the historical Gebre Menfes Kidus? We shouold just wade around in the sea of fantasy? Hardly.
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2009, 03:36:27 PM »

Christ is Risen

Am I missing something?

Yes. Hagiography, likewise iconography and hymnography, is not history. It's not about historical facts. It's about theological truth.

I don't think this dichotomy between history and theology/spirituality is compatible with the Orthodox worldview.

From an OO perspective, the doctrine of the One Nature of God Incarnate challenges all such dichotomies--be it between history and revelation, nature and grace, substance and form etc.

History is transfigured by and through Christ. If we are to take seriously the fact God entered human history and truly became man; that Divinity became one with Humanity taken from the historical person of the Holy Virgin and expressed historically through a certain Jesus of Nazareth, then I don't see why anything about St Gebre Manfas Qeddus' life should be beyond belief.
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2009, 03:44:16 PM »

So no one should care about the historical Gebre Menfes Kidus? We shouold just wade around in the sea of fantasy? Hardly.

Rather: we shouldn't be scandalized if there is any discrepancy between historical and hagiographical accounts on Gebre Menfes Kidus.
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2009, 03:49:50 PM »

Truly He is risen!

. . .I don't see why anything about St Gebre Manfas Qeddus' life should be beyond belief.

Neither do I. For God, everything is possible.
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2009, 09:28:38 AM »

You are all making very valid points, I admit. I have read many lives of saints, but this life seems just way, way, way too fantastical. Things such as this raise my eyebrow a bit:

When he was 300 years of age the Lord ordered Gabra Manfas Qeddus to go to Ethiopia to preach to the people there. He travelled there on a winged chariot, accompanied by his leopards and lions.

Or:

Some manuscripts recount a visit to heaven, where Manfas Qeddus was kissed by the Holy Trinity

Do I think that he was a holy miracle worker? Absolutely. Do I think that he knew many different languages? Yes. But the above quotes seem beyond belief, to me anyway.
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2009, 11:21:34 AM »

You are all making very valid points, I admit. I have read many lives of saints, but this life seems just way, way, way too fantastical. Things such as this raise my eyebrow a bit:

When he was 300 years of age the Lord ordered Gabra Manfas Qeddus to go to Ethiopia to preach to the people there. He travelled there on a winged chariot, accompanied by his leopards and lions.

Or:

Some manuscripts recount a visit to heaven, where Manfas Qeddus was kissed by the Holy Trinity

Do I think that he was a holy miracle worker? Absolutely. Do I think that he knew many different languages? Yes. But the above quotes seem beyond belief, to me anyway.

I won't comment on the historicity of  of this or any other saint's lives. I will only say that there are just as many "fantastical" stories about EO saints as with this Ethiopian saint. Why single out this one saint? Heck look at the OT where people supposedly lived 900 years etc.... I know many Christians take that to be "literal" while others do not.

 I personally have a hard time believing many things about EO saints, numbers of miracles etc... For example, I completely trust and believe St. John of San Francisco was a saint, who performed miracles. But as more and more hagiography is written about him, his miracles seem to increase dramatically. Just from a practical perspective, if any human on the planet in the 20th century were to have performed as many miracles as some of his biographies claim, he most certainly would have been on the news all over the world.  (one book I read had his miracles listed in the hundreds, maybe close to a thousand, I think one book said he performed "tens of thousands" or something.......heck even the Apostles and even Jesus Himself aren't recorded to have performed so many miracles)

Now could he have performed so many miracles? Could Jonah have literally been swallowed by a "great fish", could the patriarchs have lived 900 years? Sure. God can do anything He wants. And my point is not to argue which parts of a saint's  life is literal history, or spiritual reality, and how these 2 things can be opposites, but also the same thing...only that the Ethiopian Church doesn't have a monopoly on seemingly fantastic things written about their saints, or events in Church history in general.

In the end I have no doubt God COULD have done all these things, saints could live 300 years, have light flow from their finger tips, literally move mountains, "talk" with animals.......OTH, when I hear of saints "talking" with animals, I don't think of it like in Narnia, but I DO believe they are communicating with them on some other level, telepathically, on another plane or whatever. But are the animals literally talking back to them in English, or Russian or Arabic? I doubt it. (but again, it COULD happen) I actually think the former interpretation of "talking with animals" actually helps me personally more in my spiritual life, and is probably what happened in history. St. Herman is another, whom I really admire, but I don't think the animals were talking to him in Russian, but that he, the saint had reached a point in union with God that he had regained the ability to "communicate" with the animals, on a spiritual or mental level like Adam and Eve originally were able to do, and of course that also was just one of his gifts, since not all saints have that ability. Saint francis is about another saint (I know some Orthodox don't consider him a saint, but bear with me) who's historical life is a little different than things that were later, in fact, much later written about him. And so I understand your point that sometimes the "real" history is more interesting and illuminating than the hagiographic history.....however that's just my opinion, and I do not speak for the Ethiopian Church on this.

I just think God works a little more subtly in history and I think that lines up pretty well with what we see in Scripture. (for the most part) But again, God can do anything He wants, and for all I know these things literally happened exactly as they are described. But it's not necessary to take them at their literal face value, because perhaps what we now see as "literal" is not what people then thought of when reading it.

Anyways, he looks like an interesting saint, and I'm going to try and learn more about him.

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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2009, 02:44:37 PM »

You are all making very valid points, I admit. I have read many lives of saints, but this life seems just way, way, way too fantastical. Things such as this raise my eyebrow a bit:

When he was 300 years of age the Lord ordered Gabra Manfas Qeddus to go to Ethiopia to preach to the people there. He travelled there on a winged chariot, accompanied by his leopards and lions.

Or:

Some manuscripts recount a visit to heaven, where Manfas Qeddus was kissed by the Holy Trinity

Do I think that he was a holy miracle worker? Absolutely. Do I think that he knew many different languages? Yes. But the above quotes seem beyond belief, to me anyway.

I won't comment on the historicity of  of this or any other saint's lives. I will only say that there are just as many "fantastical" stories about EO saints as with this Ethiopian saint. Why single out this one saint? Heck look at the OT where people supposedly lived 900 years etc.... I know many Christians take that to be "literal" while others do not.

 I personally have a hard time believing many things about EO saints, numbers of miracles etc... For example, I completely trust and believe St. John of San Francisco was a saint, who performed miracles. But as more and more hagiography is written about him, his miracles seem to increase dramatically. Just from a practical perspective, if any human on the planet in the 20th century were to have performed as many miracles as some of his biographies claim, he most certainly would have been on the news all over the world.  (one book I read had his miracles listed in the hundreds, maybe close to a thousand, I think one book said he performed "tens of thousands" or something.......heck even the Apostles and even Jesus Himself aren't recorded to have performed so many miracles)

Now could he have performed so many miracles? Could Jonah have literally been swallowed by a "great fish", could the patriarchs have lived 900 years? Sure. God can do anything He wants. And my point is not to argue which parts of a saint's  life is literal history, or spiritual reality, and how these 2 things can be opposites, but also the same thing...only that the Ethiopian Church doesn't have a monopoly on seemingly fantastic things written about their saints, or events in Church history in general.

In the end I have no doubt God COULD have done all these things, saints could live 300 years, have light flow from their finger tips, literally move mountains, "talk" with animals.......OTH, when I hear of saints "talking" with animals, I don't think of it like in Narnia, but I DO believe they are communicating with them on some other level, telepathically, on another plane or whatever. But are the animals literally talking back to them in English, or Russian or Arabic? I doubt it. (but again, it COULD happen) I actually think the former interpretation of "talking with animals" actually helps me personally more in my spiritual life, and is probably what happened in history. St. Herman is another, whom I really admire, but I don't think the animals were talking to him in Russian, but that he, the saint had reached a point in union with God that he had regained the ability to "communicate" with the animals, on a spiritual or mental level like Adam and Eve originally were able to do, and of course that also was just one of his gifts, since not all saints have that ability. Saint francis is about another saint (I know some Orthodox don't consider him a saint, but bear with me) who's historical life is a little different than things that were later, in fact, much later written about him. And so I understand your point that sometimes the "real" history is more interesting and illuminating than the hagiographic history.....however that's just my opinion, and I do not speak for the Ethiopian Church on this.

I just think God works a little more subtly in history and I think that lines up pretty well with what we see in Scripture. (for the most part) But again, God can do anything He wants, and for all I know these things literally happened exactly as they are described. But it's not necessary to take them at their literal face value, because perhaps what we now see as "literal" is not what people then thought of when reading it.

Anyways, he looks like an interesting saint, and I'm going to try and learn more about him.
I agree. I just don't know why there is a need to put completely false information into the life of a saint.
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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2009, 06:05:50 PM »

I agree. I just don't know why there is a need to put completely false information into the life of a saint.

Sticking strictly to mere facts is a modern invention. For thousands of years it functioned in quite a different way, but no-one back then considered it lying, so we also shouldn't make a great deal of it.
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2009, 12:17:12 AM »

Christ is Risen

I don't think this dichotomy between history and theology/spirituality is compatible with the Orthodox worldview.

From an OO perspective, the doctrine of the One Nature of God Incarnate challenges all such dichotomies--be it between history and revelation, nature and grace, substance and form etc.

History is transfigured by and through Christ. If we are to take seriously the fact God entered human history and truly became man; that Divinity became one with Humanity taken from the historical person of the Holy Virgin and expressed historically through a certain Jesus of Nazareth, then I don't see why anything about St Gebre Manfas Qeddus' life should be beyond belief.

This is a good and accurate statement.

St. Gebre Menfes Kidus is my Patron Saint, and also my baptism name. When I read the life of this holy Saint, then I feel completely unworthy to bear the same name. Sometimes I feel that it is impossible for a human being to have lived such a devout and miraculous life, but then I realize this is simply due to my spiritual ignorance and lack of faith. For nothing is impossible with God. (St. Luke 1:37)

The lives of the Saints should not bring us discouragement, but rather their examples are written for our edification and strength. Those of us who live in a secular society like America fight demons just as real as those fought by St. Gebre Menfes Kidus. We wrestle with the demons of materialism, lust, entertainment, and many other satanic forces that wage war against our souls. It is nothing less than a miracle that we are not completely consumed and ravaged by these very things. The fact that we persevere in this iniquitous society, and continue with our Christian Faith intact, is proof that God's holy angels are just as present with us as they were with the Saints of antiquity. We too are in a wilderness, and the devil is as vigilant against us as he was against St. Gebre Menfes Kidus. But we are still here, in spite of failures and temporary defeats. We are still under the mighty wings of Our Lord and God, and by the power of the Cross we shall be victorious.

So, glory to God in the Highest! Let us keep pressing forward in repentance and faith. The Saints are with us, so let us not neglect to beseech them for intercession. And let us not neglect to bear one another's burdens as we strive to live Christian lives in a godless society.

Selam 
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2009, 01:45:45 AM »

Christ is Risen

I agree. I just don't know why there is a need to put [information that challenges my rational sensibilities] into the life of a saint.

Smiley

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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2009, 01:07:16 PM »

I find the life of this Saint facinating. Does anyone know of anywhere else I could find out more about him?
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2009, 03:22:03 PM »

His life was also posted in the OO saints thread, reply 59:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10363.msg290349.html#msg290349
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« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2009, 03:54:38 PM »

His life was also posted in the OO saints thread, reply 59:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10363.msg290349.html#msg290349


Wonderful! Thank you very much.
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« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2009, 10:12:25 AM »

Christ is Risen

I agree. I just don't know why there is a need to put [information that challenges my rational sensibilities] into the life of a saint.

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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2009, 10:00:03 AM »

I personally don’t find any of the accounts in the life of St. Gebre-MenfesQidus and other saints “beyond belief” simply because those stories that are considered by some as “fantasy” are happening even now in our age and witnessed by many!

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« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2009, 10:14:29 AM »

Christ is Risen

I don't think this dichotomy between history and theology/spirituality is compatible with the Orthodox worldview.

From an OO perspective, the doctrine of the One Nature of God Incarnate challenges all such dichotomies--be it between history and revelation, nature and grace, substance and form etc.

History is transfigured by and through Christ. If we are to take seriously the fact God entered human history and truly became man; that Divinity became one with Humanity taken from the historical person of the Holy Virgin and expressed historically through a certain Jesus of Nazareth, then I don't see why anything about St Gebre Manfas Qeddus' life should be beyond belief.

This is a good and accurate statement.

St. Gebre Menfes Kidus is my Patron Saint, and also my baptism name. When I read the life of this holy Saint, then I feel completely unworthy to bear the same name. Sometimes I feel that it is impossible for a human being to have lived such a devout and miraculous life, but then I realize this is simply due to my spiritual ignorance and lack of faith. For nothing is impossible with God. (St. Luke 1:37)

The lives of the Saints should not bring us discouragement, but rather their examples are written for our edification and strength. Those of us who live in a secular society like America fight demons just as real as those fought by St. Gebre Menfes Kidus. We wrestle with the demons of materialism, lust, entertainment, and many other satanic forces that wage war against our souls. It is nothing less than a miracle that we are not completely consumed and ravaged by these very things. The fact that we persevere in this iniquitous society, and continue with our Christian Faith intact, is proof that God's holy angels are just as present with us as they were with the Saints of antiquity. We too are in a wilderness, and the devil is as vigilant against us as he was against St. Gebre Menfes Kidus. But we are still here, in spite of failures and temporary defeats. We are still under the mighty wings of Our Lord and God, and by the power of the Cross we shall be victorious.

So, glory to God in the Highest! Let us keep pressing forward in repentance and faith. The Saints are with us, so let us not neglect to beseech them for intercession. And let us not neglect to bear one another's burdens as we strive to live Christian lives in a godless society.

Selam 

It seems to me that whatever discrepancies may exist between the hagiography and "historical" texts is a question of genre.  hagiographies as a genre always tend to be fantastic, while historical descriptions and etc. are subject to historical analysis and etc. 

I think at the end of the day we just have to keep in mind that the mind of the church has spoken on this, and he has been declared a saint, someone who is an Icon of Christ.  We should pray to him to enlighten us as to how he is an icon of christ, and leave the details to exactly that...details. 

Am I ever going to "ride on a chariot"...probably not, but I want to know what it is that THIS saint did for God to have done that for him/someone to write it down


p.s.  I got really confused by the OP because I thought of you immediately, and I was like "um...isn't he still alive?"  lol. 
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« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2009, 12:12:31 PM »

Christ is Risen

I don't think this dichotomy between history and theology/spirituality is compatible with the Orthodox worldview.

From an OO perspective, the doctrine of the One Nature of God Incarnate challenges all such dichotomies--be it between history and revelation, nature and grace, substance and form etc.

History is transfigured by and through Christ. If we are to take seriously the fact God entered human history and truly became man; that Divinity became one with Humanity taken from the historical person of the Holy Virgin and expressed historically through a certain Jesus of Nazareth, then I don't see why anything about St Gebre Manfas Qeddus' life should be beyond belief.

This is a good and accurate statement.

St. Gebre Menfes Kidus is my Patron Saint, and also my baptism name. When I read the life of this holy Saint, then I feel completely unworthy to bear the same name. Sometimes I feel that it is impossible for a human being to have lived such a devout and miraculous life, but then I realize this is simply due to my spiritual ignorance and lack of faith. For nothing is impossible with God. (St. Luke 1:37)

The lives of the Saints should not bring us discouragement, but rather their examples are written for our edification and strength. Those of us who live in a secular society like America fight demons just as real as those fought by St. Gebre Menfes Kidus. We wrestle with the demons of materialism, lust, entertainment, and many other satanic forces that wage war against our souls. It is nothing less than a miracle that we are not completely consumed and ravaged by these very things. The fact that we persevere in this iniquitous society, and continue with our Christian Faith intact, is proof that God's holy angels are just as present with us as they were with the Saints of antiquity. We too are in a wilderness, and the devil is as vigilant against us as he was against St. Gebre Menfes Kidus. But we are still here, in spite of failures and temporary defeats. We are still under the mighty wings of Our Lord and God, and by the power of the Cross we shall be victorious.

So, glory to God in the Highest! Let us keep pressing forward in repentance and faith. The Saints are with us, so let us not neglect to beseech them for intercession. And let us not neglect to bear one another's burdens as we strive to live Christian lives in a godless society.

Selam 

It seems to me that whatever discrepancies may exist between the hagiography and "historical" texts is a question of genre.  hagiographies as a genre always tend to be fantastic, while historical descriptions and etc. are subject to historical analysis and etc. 

I think at the end of the day we just have to keep in mind that the mind of the church has spoken on this, and he has been declared a saint, someone who is an Icon of Christ.  We should pray to him to enlighten us as to how he is an icon of christ, and leave the details to exactly that...details. 

Am I ever going to "ride on a chariot"...probably not, but I want to know what it is that THIS saint did for God to have done that for him/someone to write it down


p.s.  I got really confused by the OP because I thought of you immediately, and I was like "um...isn't he still alive?"  lol. 

Ha! laugh I'm still here. Not performing any miracles, and no chariot has swooped me up yet. But by the power and prayers of my patron Saint, and by the power of the Holy Cross, I am still a Christian struggling in the wilderness of this world.

Selam 
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« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2010, 02:22:09 AM »





Selam
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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2010, 02:49:43 AM »

This seems so unreal, I'd be willing to believe that he lived 300-500 years, but the guy would be called a mad man in our society, wearing nothing but his own hair as clothes.
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« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2010, 03:37:23 AM »

This seems so unreal, I'd be willing to believe that he lived 300-500 years, but the guy would be called a mad man in our society, wearing nothing but his own hair as clothes.

Well, St. John the Baptist, the Prophets, and Our Lord Himself were considered "mad men."

When I read the Synaxarium (The Lives of the Saints), it seems too fantastic to believe. The miracles, the tortures endured, the lengthy lives, etc. But then I ask myself, why do I accept the biblical record but intellectually stumble over the Lives of the Saints?

I think it's because I haven't attained theosis. I haven't even approached it. Therefore, the holiness and miracles of the Saints seems impossible to my subjective perspective and sin-stained reality. And therein is the problem. The "Lives of the Saints" is not too fantastic to believe, but rather my sin is so great that it obfuscates my faith.



Selam
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« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2010, 05:59:54 PM »

@ PoorFoolNicholas, Don't get lost without the BIG PICTURE !
The primary goal of Christians was to be PERFECT like Adam, of course, before he sinned.
Matthew 5:48 "Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect".
Tradition has retained that Adam was able to run faster than birds, communicate with all animals/the snake talked with Eve/, had no clothes ...
The coming of Christ is mainly to bring that Grace/PERFECTNESS, like God our father/ back to man kind.
When a man starts following righteousness, he will grow up to a perfectness path.
In Ethiopia, mostly known in the monastic community, there are 10 levels/hierarchies of this holy life.
I am unable to list out all the ten levels right now/I have not the literal translations and the explanations, please email me if you need them/
But among them, I remember, were -
1.Tearing - continuously crying day and night remembering Jesus Christ and all His gifts and His love.
2.Purity of flesh - That one stops committing sins, even if, his heart is not fully settled.
.
.
3. Purity of Soul - Your heart fully dislikes sin. While in purity of flesh, even if you abstain from adultery, if you get well nourished, your sensuality may rise. But after Purity of Soul, you will become like a child
.
.
.
10. Sight of The Holy Trinity - The holy man reaching this level, can do unbelievable wondrous things.
Recorded in the bible is St. Stephen who saw The Son, Jesus Christ, by the right of His Father.
This levels are not all achievable by, even monastic monks, let alone the laity in this world.
Hermits, however, may reach to the most holiest level, the 10th level.
So, why do you wonder about living for 500 years, for this Great Hermit, who left His family at Childhood?
Why do you think the Angel said to John the Apostle "Then said he to me, See you do it not: for I am your fellow servant" (Revelation 22:8-9), when He bowed in front of the Angel, while other angels said nothing when Daniel, Lot, etc bowed to them?
In EOTC, this was defined in terms of these hierarchies.
Therefore, St. John the apostle was literally, equally Graceful to Angels, by the time He was seeing the Revelation.
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« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2010, 06:13:24 PM »

It's not about historical facts. It's about theological truth.
This is what a modernist Roman Catholic professor told me about the virginity of Mary...

I think it is really dangerous to introduce that kind of distinction.
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« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2010, 06:49:28 PM »

How could he literally be kissed by the Holy Trinity if only one among them even has lips?
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« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2010, 06:50:48 PM »

I'm assuming it's a figure of speech.   Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2010, 08:15:15 PM »

I'm assuming it's a figure of speech.   Smiley

Well then, isn't there some truth then to the contention that some of it is fantastical and not 100% literally true?
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« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2010, 08:46:55 PM »

@ PoorFoolNicholas, Don't get lost without the BIG PICTURE !
The primary goal of Christians was to be PERFECT like Adam, of course, before he sinned.
Matthew 5:48 "Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect".
Tradition has retained that Adam was able to run faster than birds, communicate with all animals/the snake talked with Eve/, had no clothes ...
The coming of Christ is mainly to bring that Grace/PERFECTNESS, like God our father/ back to man kind.
When a man starts following righteousness, he will grow up to a perfectness path.
In Ethiopia, mostly known in the monastic community, there are 10 levels/hierarchies of this holy life.
I am unable to list out all the ten levels right now/I have not the literal translations and the explanations, please email me if you need them/
But among them, I remember, were -
1.Tearing - continuously crying day and night remembering Jesus Christ and all His gifts and His love.
2.Purity of flesh - That one stops committing sins, even if, his heart is not fully settled.
.
.
3. Purity of Soul - Your heart fully dislikes sin. While in purity of flesh, even if you abstain from adultery, if you get well nourished, your sensuality may rise. But after Purity of Soul, you will become like a child
.
.
.
10. Sight of The Holy Trinity - The holy man reaching this level, can do unbelievable wondrous things.
Recorded in the bible is St. Stephen who saw The Son, Jesus Christ, by the right of His Father.
This levels are not all achievable by, even monastic monks, let alone the laity in this world.
Hermits, however, may reach to the most holiest level, the 10th level.
So, why do you wonder about living for 500 years, for this Great Hermit, who left His family at Childhood?
Why do you think the Angel said to John the Apostle "Then said he to me, See you do it not: for I am your fellow servant" (Revelation 22:8-9), when He bowed in front of the Angel, while other angels said nothing when Daniel, Lot, etc bowed to them?
In EOTC, this was defined in terms of these hierarchies.
Therefore, St. John the apostle was literally, equally Graceful to Angels, by the time He was seeing the Revelation.


Tenestalin HaileMaryam!

Welcome to the forum! Thank you for these wonderful teachings!


Selam,

Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2010, 08:57:13 PM »

I'm assuming it's a figure of speech.   Smiley

Well then, isn't there some truth then to the contention that some of it is fantastical and not 100% literally true?

Can we literally see God when Christ taught, "Blessed are the pure in heart"?
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« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2010, 08:59:30 PM »

I'm assuming it's a figure of speech.   Smiley

Well then, isn't there some truth then to the contention that some of it is fantastical and not 100% literally true?

Can we literally see God when Christ taught, "Blessed are the pure in heart"?


Yes.
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« Reply #30 on: August 29, 2010, 09:54:29 PM »

This seems so unreal, I'd be willing to believe that he lived 300-500 years, but the guy would be called a mad man in our society, wearing nothing but his own hair as clothes.

Saint Mary of Egypt wore her own hair as clothes, and on youtube you can see a 150 year old Ethiopian monk being cared fore on a bed in someone's home.
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« Reply #31 on: August 29, 2010, 10:01:57 PM »

I'm thinking of the divinity, but okay, yes, we can see God the Logos incarnate.

I'm just trying to make sense of "being kissed by the Trinity."
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« Reply #32 on: August 29, 2010, 10:16:55 PM »

I'm thinking of the divinity, but okay, yes, we can see God the Logos incarnate.

I'm just trying to make sense of "being kissed by the Trinity."


Mina, you should know better than to try and "make sense" of such divinely mysterious things.


Selam
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« Reply #33 on: August 29, 2010, 10:20:34 PM »

Wasn't Moses "kissed by God" when he died, or something?  I don't recall where that is recorded in the Bible.  Does anyone know what I'm talking about?
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« Reply #34 on: August 29, 2010, 10:36:50 PM »

I looked in Deuteronomy at the death of Moses recorded in it, and I didn't see anything about him being kissed.  Though it may be elsewhere.
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« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2010, 10:40:07 PM »

Wasn't Moses "kissed by God" when he died, or something?  I don't recall where that is recorded in the Bible.  Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

I found this:

From the Ve’zot Haberachach, the final portion in the Torah:

So Moses the servant of the Lord died there, in the land of Moab, at the command of the Lord. He buried him in the valley of Moab, near Beit Peor; and no one knows his burial place to this day. (Deuteronomy 34:5-6)

Readers of the Torah often comment on the seeming unfairness of God’s decree that Moses must die before he can enter the Promised Land. But when we reach the final verses of the Torah, the tone feels anything but untimely or tragic. Rather, God’s treatment of Moses in his final moments hints at a spirit of love and tenderness.

Commentators have made much of the words “al pi adonai” – “at the command of the Lord,” which literally means “at the mouth of the Lord.” In the midrashic imagination, this verse is commonly read: “Moses died…at the kiss of God.” Some have pointed out the poignant symmetry of this image: just as God breathes life into the first human, God reclaims Moses’ soul with through a similar loving act.

http://rabbibrant.com/2007/10/05/gods-kiss/


Selam
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« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2010, 11:12:04 PM »

That's interesting; thanks for looking it up.  It seems it's a Jewish tradition.  I wonder where I heard it.  The imagery is touching.  
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« Reply #37 on: August 29, 2010, 11:44:58 PM »

I'm thinking of the divinity, but okay, yes, we can see God the Logos incarnate.

I'm just trying to make sense of "being kissed by the Trinity."


Mina, you should know better than to try and "make sense" of such divinely mysterious things.


Selam

Well Gebre, I was only thinking along the terms of your last post about God's kiss to Moses.  That's how it "makes sense" to me.
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« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2010, 11:57:28 PM »

I'm assuming it's a figure of speech.   Smiley

Well then, isn't there some truth then to the contention that some of it is fantastical and not 100% literally true?

I guess we have to look to the Church to see what in our tradition is literal or not.  Like when Christ said "I am the door," we know he's not saying that He is an actual plank of wood.  However, when He says "This is my Body" we know He means that the Eucharist is truly His Body and Blood.  We know these things because of Tradition. 

I guess in the case of this saint, we would have to look to see how the Ethiopian Orthodox Church over the centuries has interpreted the various things that are said about him.  I would imagine that their Fathers have written about this saint being kissed by the Holy Trinity.  It would be interesting to see what they have to say about it and what it means.
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« Reply #39 on: August 30, 2010, 01:08:48 AM »

I'm thinking of the divinity, but okay, yes, we can see God the Logos incarnate.

I'm just trying to make sense of "being kissed by the Trinity."


Mina, you should know better than to try and "make sense" of such divinely mysterious things.


Selam

Well Gebre, I was only thinking along the terms of your last post about God's kiss to Moses.  That's how it "makes sense" to me.

Yeah, I'm not a Torah scholar, but I found that interesting. I just looked it up and posted it after Salpy raised the question. I had never heard of Moses being "kissed by God" before.

BTW, I meant no offense by my previous remarks. I speak to myself as well when saying such things. I guess we all struggle find that balance between knowing how and when to search out these holy mysteries and how and when to simply defer to Divine Transcendence.


Selam
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« Reply #40 on: August 30, 2010, 04:29:25 AM »

@deusveritasest
Pls dont make 'irresponsible' comments for things you dont know very well. I am afraid, you are trying to define religion by scientific calculation, which is not possible!
This is the same case with the existence of Mose's Ark of  Covenant, in Ethiopia.
While God orders and is willing, this ancient Holy Relic to be served by only a 'Single Virgin Monk', historians make 'meaningless' comments. Shall we expose it to public and act against the will of God? OR Keep it according to God's will, and deter from pleasing the world? Even the patriarch of the Church hasn't ever seen the Mose's Ark! Because its divine will. It will be kept until the Creator did something on it, whether the world believes or not, pleased or not....!
Assume, if we expose the Ark to public museums, then there will be said,'this Ark is constructed in Ethiopia sometime, this shouldn't be the Original Ark given to Moses'.
Because, once you stop 'believing' that God could make things in the way we cant bear, then nothing stops you from commenting far into His Creations. God makes things 'abnormal' to us, because He is God, NOT HUMAN.
When we come to your comments, things won't stop from happening, whether you believe or not. The problem is with us, and not with the Spiritual System. We are far from it, and need more materialistic reasoning to believe in it. Better pray on it.

Where is the Trinity living? Is there any limited place for them to dwell? Aren't we living in God's body?
God is space, and no space beyond His body. While we assume His shape, He is 'infinite'/He is much wider than we can think !/ and hosts all creatures. What is the Size of God? Actually, His Shape is like ours. He made us in His image /Gen 1:26/
If God is that much bigger, how did He breathed into Adam's nostrils(Genesis 2:7)?
Is that a surprise, The Holy Trinity Kissed this beloved lifelong Hermit, who even heard no sin, let alone committing!
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« Reply #41 on: August 30, 2010, 05:05:57 AM »

@deusveritasest
Pls dont make 'irresponsible' comments for things you dont know very well. I am afraid, you are trying to define religion by scientific calculation, which is not possible!
This is the same case with the existence of Mose's Ark of  Covenant, in Ethiopia.
While God orders and is willing, this ancient Holy Relic to be served by only a 'Single Virgin Monk', historians make 'meaningless' comments. Shall we expose it to public and act against the will of God? OR Keep it according to God's will, and deter from pleasing the world? Even the patriarch of the Church hasn't ever seen the Mose's Ark! Because its divine will. It will be kept until the Creator did something on it, whether the world believes or not, pleased or not....!
Assume, if we expose the Ark to public museums, then there will be said,'this Ark is constructed in Ethiopia sometime, this shouldn't be the Original Ark given to Moses'.
Because, once you stop 'believing' that God could make things in the way we cant bear, then nothing stops you from commenting far into His Creations. God makes things 'abnormal' to us, because He is God, NOT HUMAN.
When we come to your comments, things won't stop from happening, whether you believe or not. The problem is with us, and not with the Spiritual System. We are far from it, and need more materialistic reasoning to believe in it. Better pray on it.

Where is the Trinity living? Is there any limited place for them to dwell? Aren't we living in God's body?
God is space, and no space beyond His body. While we assume His shape, He is 'infinite'/He is much wider than we can think !/ and hosts all creatures. What is the Size of God? Actually, His Shape is like ours. He made us in His image /Gen 1:26/
If God is that much bigger, how did He breathed into Adam's nostrils(Genesis 2:7)?
Is that a surprise, The Holy Trinity Kissed this beloved lifelong Hermit, who even heard no sin, let alone committing!



Well said HaileMaryam!


Selam
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« Reply #42 on: August 30, 2010, 05:14:12 AM »

It's not about historical facts. It's about theological truth.
This is what a modernist Roman Catholic professor told me about the virginity of Mary...

I think it is really dangerous to introduce that kind of distinction.

So if we have, say, three Vitae of one saint (I'm not writing about any particular one) and we know that they were written a couple hundreds of years after his death, and that they were based on some recognizable myths and legends, and that they contradict each other, we are still to believe that they contain historical facts?

(Edited for style and spelling.)
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« Reply #43 on: August 30, 2010, 05:31:16 AM »

It's not about historical facts. It's about theological truth.
This is what a modernist Roman Catholic professor told me about the virginity of Mary...

I think it is really dangerous to introduce that kind of distinction.

So if we have, say, three Vitae of one saint (I'm not writing about any particular one) and we know that they were written a couple hundreds of years after his death, and that they were based on some recogizable myths and legends, and that they condtradict each other, we are still to believe them as being about historical facts?

Seems easier to believe than accepting something that ostensibley occurred "x" billion years ago as scientific fact. Wink


Selam
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« Reply #44 on: August 30, 2010, 08:15:18 AM »

It's not about historical facts. It's about theological truth.
This is what a modernist Roman Catholic professor told me about the virginity of Mary...

I think it is really dangerous to introduce that kind of distinction.

So if we have, say, three Vitae of one saint (I'm not writing about any particular one) and we know that they were written a couple hundreds of years after his death, and that they were based on some recognizable myths and legends, and that they contradict each other, we are still to believe that they contain historical facts?

(Edited for style and spelling.)

Since there is no dogma involved, we can leave the issue to God. But I would say it is problematic to proclaim knowledge of this being not true, how would we know it is not true? It sure transcends our experience, but is God not able to do such a thing?

And as I said, it is especially dangerous to say "historically false, theologically true", this would mean to have a theology which contradicts historical fact.
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