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Author Topic: Cor ad Cor Loquitor: Heart Theology East and West  (Read 4479 times) Average Rating: 0
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elijahmaria
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« on: February 05, 2011, 09:06:00 PM »

Perhaps it will be possible to have a more sober discussion of heart theology, east and west.  Attention to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the west is older than Bernard of Clairvaux.  If this thread does not degenerate I will find the text that St. Bernard is said to have authored about the Sacred Heart of Jesus and share it here.

Please compare the two sets of texts below.  One is from the encyclical from Pope Pius the Twelfth "Haurietis Aquas" and the other is from Father Andrew Louth, Orthodox priest and spiritual writer/translator.

It should be significant to note that the segment from Father Andrew is a re-vision of his original work on mysticism that draws heavily on Origen and Evagrius and Pseudo-Dionysius, while essentially and initially by-passing the "heart theology" of Pseudo-Macarius.  At the end of the 2007 edition of his earlier text he revises his initial work to include the embodiment of the mystical experience.

You will see below how he begins the essay that revises his entire approach to mysticism, but first read what is said on the same subject by Pope Pius XII.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_15051956_haurietis-aquas_en.html

Haurietis Aquas

40. Nothing, then, was wanting to the human nature which the Word of God united to Himself. Consequently He assumed it in no diminished way, in no different sense in what concerns the spiritual and the corporeal: that is, it was endowed with intellect and will and the other internal and external faculties of perception, and likewise with the desires and all the natural impulses of the senses. All this the Catholic Church teaches as solemnly defined and ratified by the Roman Pontiffs and the general councils. "Whole and entire in what is His own, whole and entire in what is ours."(37) "Perfect in His Godhead and likewise perfect in His humanity."(38) "Complete God is man, complete man is God."(39)

41. Hence, since there can be no doubt that Jesus Christ received a true body and had all the affections proper to the same, among which love surpassed all the rest, it is likewise beyond doubt that He was endowed with a physical heart like ours; for without this noblest part of the body the ordinary emotions of human life are impossible. Therefore the Heart of Jesus Christ, hypostatically united to the divine Person of the Word, certainly beat with love and with the other emotions- but these, joined to a human will full of divine charity and to the infinite love itself which the Son shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit, were in such complete unity and agreement that never among these three loves was there any contradiction of or disharmony.(40)

42. However, even though the Word of God took to Himself a true and perfect human nature, and made and fashioned for Himself a heart of flesh, which, no less than ours could suffer and be pierced, unless this fact is considered in the light of the hypostatic and substantial union and in the light of its complement, the fact of man' s redemption, it can be a stumbling block and foolishness to some, just as Jesus Christ, nailed to the Cross, actually was to the Jewish race and to the Gentiles.(41)

61. But after His glorified body had been re-united to the soul of the divine Redeemer, conqueror of death, His most Sacred Heart never ceased, and never will cease, to beat with calm and imperturbable pulsations. Likewise, it will never cease to symbolize the threefold love with which He is bound to His heavenly Father and the entire human race, of which He has every claim to be the mystical Head.

70. Even before He ate the Last Supper with His disciples Christ Our Lord, since He knew He was about to institute the sacrament of His body and blood by the shedding of which the new covenant was to be consecrated, felt His heart roused by strong emotions, which He revealed to the Apostles in these words: "With desire have I desired to eat this Pasch with you before I suffer."(71) And these emotions were doubtless even stronger when "taking bread, He gave thanks, and broke, and gave to them, saying, 'This is My body which is given for you, this do in commemoration of Me.' Likewise the chalice also, after He had supped, saying, 'This chalice is the new testament in My blood, which shall be shed for you.'"(72)

71. It can therefore be declared that the divine Eucharist, both the sacrament which He gives to men and the sacrifice in which He unceasingly offers Himself from the rising of the sun till the going down thereof,"(73) and likewise the priesthood, are indeed gifts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

++++++++++++++++++

Father Andrew Louth:

… the more I have read and thought about the phenomenon of ‘mysticism’, the more I have become convinced that the cluster of ideas associated with mysticism is not in the least a matter of ‘facts’, but rather strategies of thought and interpretation with a real, though not always focused, agenda. Furthermore, the more I have read the Fathers, the more the notion of the ‘mystical’ has come to be called into question – not in the sense that I feel inclined now to dismiss mysticism (as in Newman’s quip about mysticism beginning in mist and ending in schism), but rather that I have begun to realize that the mystical dimension is much more serious than our current ideas of mysticism envisage. Ultimately, a recovery of the patristic notion of the mystical involves a reconfiguration of what is involved in committing ourselves to be transformed by God’s grace – in the language of the Fathers, ‘deified’. As my original book made clear, for the Fathers this transformation certainly involved a reconstitution of individual human beings, but it is no individual quest, but rather the rediscovery of our humanity in Christ – the ecclesial and sacramental dimensions are part of the mystical, not to be contrasted with it. ‘Mysticism’, in this sense, is not esoteric but exemplary, not some kind of flight from the bodily but deeply embedded (not to say: embodied), not about special ‘experiences’ of God but about a radical opening of ourselves to God...


...If the ‘mysticism’ of the Fathers is what these various uses of mystikos refer to, then it is very different from what we call mysticism nowadays: it does not refer to some elite group, or elite practice, within Christianity, it simply refers to the lived reality of Christianity itself. It is not something separate from the institutions of Christianity: it is the meaning that these institutions enshrine. It is not something distinct from the dogmas of Christianity, for the ‘mystical’ meaning of Scripture, in this sense, is often enough precisely such dogmas, which are the hidden meaning of the Scriptures. ‘Mystical’ and ‘sacramental’, from this perspective, are interchangeable: which is hardly surprising, as sacramentum is the Latin word used to translate mysterion...


...At its heart is the understanding of Christ as the divine mysterion: an idea central to the epistles of the Apostle Paul. This secret is a secret that has been told; but despite that it remains a secret, because what has been declared cannot be simply grasped , since it is God’s secret, and God is beyond any human comprehension. The secret of the Gospel is the hidden meaning of the Scriptures: for Christians the whole of what they call the ‘Old Testament’ finds its true meaning in Christ. God’s plan for humankind to which the Scriptures bear witness is made plain in the Incarnation. And this is the most common context, as we have seen, for the use of the word mystikos: it refers therefore to the hidden meaning of the Scriptures, the true meaning that is revealed in Christ, a meaning that remains mysterious, for it is no simple message, but the life in Christ that is endless in its implications. Christians, however, share in the life of Christ pre-eminently through the sacraments – mysteria in Greek – and the word mystikos is used therefore in relation to the sacraments as a way of designating the hidden reality, encountered and shared through the sacraments. The final use of the word mystikos refers to the hidden reality of the life of baptized Christians: a reality which is, as St Paul put it, ‘hid with Christ in God’ (Col. 3: 3). (205)...

Andrew Louth, “Afterword” to the new edition of his The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition: From Plato to Denys (Oxford, 2007).
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2011, 10:59:22 PM »

Perhaps it will be possible to have a more sober discussion of heart theology, east and west.  Attention to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the west is older than Bernard of Clairvaux.

DOCTOR MELLIFLUUS - St. Bernard was referred to as the "last of the Fathers."

There is not a reference to current RC teaching on the Sacred Heart of Jesus in a Papal Encyclical released less than 6 decades ago.

No mention of St. Bernard of Clariveux is found in Haurietis Aquas, which I guess is the current RC teaching on the Sacred Heart of Jesus.   Sad
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2011, 11:56:29 PM »

Perhaps it will be possible to have a more sober discussion of heart theology, east and west.  Attention to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the west is older than Bernard of Clairvaux.  If this thread does not degenerate I will find the text that St. Bernard is said to have authored about the Sacred Heart of Jesus and share it here.

Please compare the two sets of texts below.  One is from the encyclical from Pope Pius the Twelfth "Haurietis Aquas" and the other is from Father Andrew Louth, Orthodox priest and spiritual writer/translator.

It should be significant to note that the segment from Father Andrew is a re-vision of his original work on mysticism that draws heavily on Origen and Evagrius and Pseudo-Dionysius, while essentially and initially by-passing the "heart theology" of Pseudo-Macarius.  At the end of the 2007 edition of his earlier text he revises his initial work to include the embodiment of the mystical experience.

You will see below how he begins the essay that revises his entire approach to mysticism, but first read what is said on the same subject by Pope Pius XII.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_15051956_haurietis-aquas_en.html

Haurietis Aquas

40. Nothing, then, was wanting to the human nature which the Word of God united to Himself. Consequently He assumed it in no diminished way, in no different sense in what concerns the spiritual and the corporeal: that is, it was endowed with intellect and will and the other internal and external faculties of perception, and likewise with the desires and all the natural impulses of the senses. All this the Catholic Church teaches as solemnly defined and ratified by the Roman Pontiffs and the general councils. "Whole and entire in what is His own, whole and entire in what is ours."(37) "Perfect in His Godhead and likewise perfect in His humanity."(38) "Complete God is man, complete man is God."(39)

41. Hence, since there can be no doubt that Jesus Christ received a true body and had all the affections proper to the same, among which love surpassed all the rest, it is likewise beyond doubt that He was endowed with a physical heart like ours; for without this noblest part of the body the ordinary emotions of human life are impossible. Therefore the Heart of Jesus Christ, hypostatically united to the divine Person of the Word, certainly beat with love and with the other emotions- but these, joined to a human will full of divine charity and to the infinite love itself which the Son shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit, were in such complete unity and agreement that never among these three loves was there any contradiction of or disharmony.(40)

42. However, even though the Word of God took to Himself a true and perfect human nature, and made and fashioned for Himself a heart of flesh, which, no less than ours could suffer and be pierced, unless this fact is considered in the light of the hypostatic and substantial union and in the light of its complement, the fact of man' s redemption, it can be a stumbling block and foolishness to some, just as Jesus Christ, nailed to the Cross, actually was to the Jewish race and to the Gentiles.(41)

61. But after His glorified body had been re-united to the soul of the divine Redeemer, conqueror of death, His most Sacred Heart never ceased, and never will cease, to beat with calm and imperturbable pulsations. Likewise, it will never cease to symbolize the threefold love with which He is bound to His heavenly Father and the entire human race, of which He has every claim to be the mystical Head.

70. Even before He ate the Last Supper with His disciples Christ Our Lord, since He knew He was about to institute the sacrament of His body and blood by the shedding of which the new covenant was to be consecrated, felt His heart roused by strong emotions, which He revealed to the Apostles in these words: "With desire have I desired to eat this Pasch with you before I suffer."(71) And these emotions were doubtless even stronger when "taking bread, He gave thanks, and broke, and gave to them, saying, 'This is My body which is given for you, this do in commemoration of Me.' Likewise the chalice also, after He had supped, saying, 'This chalice is the new testament in My blood, which shall be shed for you.'"(72)

71. It can therefore be declared that the divine Eucharist, both the sacrament which He gives to men and the sacrifice in which He unceasingly offers Himself from the rising of the sun till the going down thereof,"(73) and likewise the priesthood, are indeed gifts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

++++++++++++++++++

Father Andrew Louth:

… the more I have read and thought about the phenomenon of ‘mysticism’, the more I have become convinced that the cluster of ideas associated with mysticism is not in the least a matter of ‘facts’, but rather strategies of thought and interpretation with a real, though not always focused, agenda. Furthermore, the more I have read the Fathers, the more the notion of the ‘mystical’ has come to be called into question – not in the sense that I feel inclined now to dismiss mysticism (as in Newman’s quip about mysticism beginning in mist and ending in schism), but rather that I have begun to realize that the mystical dimension is much more serious than our current ideas of mysticism envisage. Ultimately, a recovery of the patristic notion of the mystical involves a reconfiguration of what is involved in committing ourselves to be transformed by God’s grace – in the language of the Fathers, ‘deified’. As my original book made clear, for the Fathers this transformation certainly involved a reconstitution of individual human beings, but it is no individual quest, but rather the rediscovery of our humanity in Christ – the ecclesial and sacramental dimensions are part of the mystical, not to be contrasted with it. ‘Mysticism’, in this sense, is not esoteric but exemplary, not some kind of flight from the bodily but deeply embedded (not to say: embodied), not about special ‘experiences’ of God but about a radical opening of ourselves to God...


...If the ‘mysticism’ of the Fathers is what these various uses of mystikos refer to, then it is very different from what we call mysticism nowadays: it does not refer to some elite group, or elite practice, within Christianity, it simply refers to the lived reality of Christianity itself. It is not something separate from the institutions of Christianity: it is the meaning that these institutions enshrine. It is not something distinct from the dogmas of Christianity, for the ‘mystical’ meaning of Scripture, in this sense, is often enough precisely such dogmas, which are the hidden meaning of the Scriptures. ‘Mystical’ and ‘sacramental’, from this perspective, are interchangeable: which is hardly surprising, as sacramentum is the Latin word used to translate mysterion...


...At its heart is the understanding of Christ as the divine mysterion: an idea central to the epistles of the Apostle Paul. This secret is a secret that has been told; but despite that it remains a secret, because what has been declared cannot be simply grasped , since it is God’s secret, and God is beyond any human comprehension. The secret of the Gospel is the hidden meaning of the Scriptures: for Christians the whole of what they call the ‘Old Testament’ finds its true meaning in Christ. God’s plan for humankind to which the Scriptures bear witness is made plain in the Incarnation. And this is the most common context, as we have seen, for the use of the word mystikos: it refers therefore to the hidden meaning of the Scriptures, the true meaning that is revealed in Christ, a meaning that remains mysterious, for it is no simple message, but the life in Christ that is endless in its implications. Christians, however, share in the life of Christ pre-eminently through the sacraments – mysteria in Greek – and the word mystikos is used therefore in relation to the sacraments as a way of designating the hidden reality, encountered and shared through the sacraments. The final use of the word mystikos refers to the hidden reality of the life of baptized Christians: a reality which is, as St Paul put it, ‘hid with Christ in God’ (Col. 3: 3). (205)...

Andrew Louth, “Afterword” to the new edition of his The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition: From Plato to Denys (Oxford, 2007).
The Cleansing of the Heart that Prof. Andrew Louth (and the Fathers) talks about has nothing to do with the cult

that you supreme pontiff is promoting. And attempts to sneak it in like these


(and why, btw, does a Latin cathedral have these on its home page http://sacredheartak.org/SacredHeart1.jpg in the Vatican's Diocese of North Alaska? Trying to fool the locals?)
doesn't split enough hairs to change that.

Btw, "Cor" and "Cor Loquitor," is that what they teach you "Ruthenians"?  Not too Latin. LOL.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 11:59:56 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2011, 12:18:37 AM »

izzy, thank you for posting those beautiful icons. Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2011, 12:21:40 AM »

izzy, thank you for posting those beautiful icons. Smiley

His next response will be that they aren't really icons Wink

Interesting thread though...
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 12:21:54 AM by Asteriktos » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2011, 12:33:47 AM »

izzy, thank you for posting those beautiful icons. Smiley


Knock yourself out.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 12:39:16 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2011, 01:30:21 AM »

When someone injures us in whatever way, whether with slander or with insults, we should think of him as our brother who has been taken hold of by the enemy…. We need to have compassion for him and entreat God to have mercy both on us and on him… A person who condemns others does not love Christ. Our egoism is at fault. - Elder Porphyrios
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2011, 07:46:17 AM »

What exactly is the "heart" supposed to be? Is it the seat/source of love as the quotes in the OP suggest? We all know on a rational level this is not the case. Love doesn't live in the heart. The romantic idea that the source of love is the heart comes from a simple error of perception. When we love someone, we care for their well-being, and if that well-being is threatened somehow, for instance, if someone you love is being assaulted, the "fight or flight" response kicks in and your adrenal glands on your kidneys release the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline) and the effect of adrenaline on the heart is to strengthen and increase the rate of coronary muscle contraction, which we experience as palpitations. This is an autonomic (involuntary) response- we have no voluntary control over it. The same thing happens when we "fall in love" - when we see our lover (sometimes even when we just think of them), we become aroused and again the adrenaline rush sends our heart racing and causes involuntary tremors etc. Because of these palpable, autonomic responses, it was thought that the source of love was the heart. As the understanding of human anatomy and physiology progressed, people realized the truth about what was going on. However, the metaphor remained that the heart was the source of love. Now that's fine, and there is no problem with metaphors, just so long as we don't start taking them literally. I think worshipping a metaphor is actually taking it a bit too literally. We could call this "metaphorolatry".
The reality is that Love (by which I mean agape) is not a feeling, but an act of will involving the whole person. It doesn't come from a part of us, nor is Love contained in neurotransmitters in the brain- it is an act of will of the whole being. Hence, to locate Love's source in a part of a being is misleading.
Yet, even Christ spoke of the "heart"- so what did He mean? When He says "Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8 ) what is He asking us to purify? When Christ says "But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean'" (Matthew 15:18) what does He mean? In the former quote, it seems the heart is something which, if it is pure, we are able to see God, and in the latter quote He seems to be talking about the heart as some deep, hidden recess within the person from which good or bad acts of speech (i.e. verbalized thoughts) originate. Neither example is talking about the heart as being the seat of love, rather, it seems Christ is using the heart as a metaphor for something related to intellect. By "intellect", I don't mean "reasoning" (dianoia), but rather, I mean "nous", that is, the organ of spiritual perception/contemplation and simple cognition which is the highest faculty in a human being. It is through the intellect or "nous" that we directly perceive God. But for this to happen, the intellect must be purified- we can't see through a dirty window. So when Christ says "Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God" it makes perfect sense. If the seat of the Intellect (nous) is pure, then the intellect is pure and the direct apprehension of God can take place. Of course the pure of heart shall see God- it couldn't be any other way! If we carry this understanding through to the next quote ("But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean'") shows us what happens when the seat of the intellect is not pure- our impure intellections get verbalised and cause our whole being to sin.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 07:52:26 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2011, 11:30:54 AM »

izzy, thank you for posting those beautiful icons. Smiley


Knock yourself out.
You are a sicko.
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2011, 11:49:13 AM »

izzy, thank you for posting those beautiful icons. Smiley


Knock yourself out.
You are a sicko.
I'm a sicko?

Do go on. When you say "Immaculate Heart", what you really mean is....
And aren't these doctrines of the "Immaculate Heart" and the "Sacred Heart" based on yet more "private revelation" which supposedly Roman Catholics are not "obliged" to believe?
Tell us, can you image yourself kneeling next to those Spaniards?
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2011, 04:37:15 PM »

Izzy, yes you are a sicko to be taking such pleasure in those murderous images. At this point i'm convinced that you are not a Christian but, rather, a wolf in sheep's clothing.
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2011, 05:12:57 PM »

Izzy, yes you are a sicko to be taking such pleasure in those murderous images. At this point i'm convinced that you are not a Christian but, rather, a wolf in sheep's clothing.
You didn't answer the question, papist.
Tell us, can you image yourself kneeling next to those Spaniards?
I'm just watching our flock, watching out for western wolves, in their own skins or eastern ones.

Forget for the moment a comparison with the Orthodox of the East. Compare these cults to the Church in the West when it confessed the Orthodox Faith.  Do we see this obsession with "visionaries," this fascination with body parts and gore, this mutliplication of cults, this dogmatization of the Theotokos on her own before the 11th century in the West?
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2011, 05:20:42 PM »

Izzy, yes you are a sicko to be taking such pleasure in those murderous images. At this point i'm convinced that you are not a Christian but, rather, a wolf in sheep's clothing.

A bold statement.
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2011, 05:42:24 PM »

Izzy, yes you are a sicko to be taking such pleasure in those murderous images. At this point i'm convinced that you are not a Christian but, rather, a wolf in sheep's clothing.

I quite agree with you, Papist.  The whole thing is quite evil.  It not only blasphemes the western Catholic tradition of the Sacred Heart but also the western Orthodox tradition which comes from the same root and has Orthodox adherents as well as Catholic adherents.  I've been hearing from some of them this morning.  Seems that the grand-standing has had something of a negative effect among the Orthodox.  So he'll take images that are not particularly widespread in the Church and destroy a tradition in the west that pre-dates Bernard of Clairvaux.

Won't even allow it to be talked about for all his "shouting" with that over-lay of images.

I said I would participate in a dialogue but I won't be a dung heap for someone who has so little knowledge and even less empathy for any other, including his own.
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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2011, 06:07:18 PM »

Izzy, yes you are a sicko to be taking such pleasure in those murderous images. At this point i'm convinced that you are not a Christian but, rather, a wolf in sheep's clothing.

I quite agree with you, Papist.  The whole thing is quite evil.  It not only blasphemes the western Catholic tradition of the Sacred Heart

How does one blaspheme a blasphemy?  And it is not a Catholic tradition of the Orthodox West.

but also the western Orthodox tradition which comes from the same root and has Orthodox adherents as well as Catholic adherents.
Forget for the moment a comparison with the Orthodox of the East. Compare these cults to the Church in the West when it confessed the Orthodox Faith.  Do we see this obsession with "visionaries," this fascination with body parts and gore, this mutliplication of cults, this dogmatization of the Theotokos on her own before the 11th century in the West?
Show us those roots you boast of.

The Western Rite Orthodox are the Catholic adherents of the Tradition of the West.

I've been hearing from some of them this morning.  Seems that the grand-standing has had something of a negative effect among the Orthodox.  So he'll take images that are not particularly widespread in the Church and destroy a tradition in the west that pre-dates Bernard of Clairvaux.
Forget for the moment a comparison with the Orthodox of the East. Compare these cults to the Church in the West when it confessed the Orthodox Faith.  Do we see this obsession with "visionaries," this fascination with body parts and gore, this mutliplication of cults, this dogmatization of the Theotokos on her own before the 11th century in the West?
Show us those roots you boast of.

You forgot the word "yet" in the "not particularly widespread" in the Vatican's ecclesiastical community.

Won't even allow it to be talked about for all his "shouting" with that over-lay of images.
Show us an image of the "sacred heart," or for that matter any other image painted at the command of a "visionary" before the 11th century.

I said I would participate in a dialogue but I won't be a dung heap for someone who has so little knowledge and even less empathy for any other, including his own.
Are those roots you boast of sprouted deep in that dung heap?

If by "my own" you mean the WRO, if they keep "the sacred heart" and other assorted visionary cults, they are mistaken.  They were not part of the patrimony of the Orthodox West. There is no reason why they should want them to be so.  The Fathers, East and West, warn against seeking visions. I have no empathy for those who embrace such distractions.
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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2011, 07:05:24 PM »

There is a "Devotion to the Sacred Heart" in a popular Western Rite prayer book called The St. Ambrose Prayerbook, which is not the official publication of any Orthodox entity, but is a prayer book for any and all "traditional" Western Christians, albeit from an Orthodox perspective. It was compiled by the Very Reverend Fr. John G. Winfrey, an Orthodox archpriest of the Antiochian Church.

Here is what he had to say about it:  "The Western Orthodox use of this devotion--although the devotion didn't develop until the 17th century, long after the schism between East and West--is directed to the compassion of Jesus Christ, represented by His Sacred Heart. The devotion does parallel the Eastern Rite devotion found in The Akathist to the Sweetest Lord Jesus, which has been popular among Eastern Christians for centuries. It is not a devotion to a specific physical organ and body part anymore than when we say of ourselves, 'my heart within me is troubled,' but to Our Lord's compassionate love for us. The heart is long been taken to be the symbolic seat of love and the Heart of Jesus reveals the fundamental fact of Christianity that God loves us. Devotion to the Sacred Heart bestows a deeper insight into the Divine love and a surer confidence in it. As we see something of God's love, we shall want to make a return in terms of love and this devotion enables us to express the love of our own hearts."

I do not use this devotion personally, but in this context does it bother you Ialmisry? I believe there is certainly a biblical precedent for understanding the heart in this manner, as "the seat of compassion" and in that sense, I could see this being a beneficial devotion for some, although I don't plan on making it a part of my prayer life any time soon.

I admit I don't know much about the history of the Sacred Heart devotion or the intentions behind it, but I thought some might find this interesting.
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« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2011, 07:58:08 PM »

There is a "Devotion to the Sacred Heart" in a popular Western Rite prayer book called The St. Ambrose Prayerbook, which is not the official publication of any Orthodox entity, but is a prayer book for any and all "traditional" Western Christians, albeit from an Orthodox perspective. It was compiled by the Very Reverend Fr. John G. Winfrey, an Orthodox archpriest of the Antiochian Church.

Here is what he had to say about it:  "The Western Orthodox use of this devotion--although the devotion didn't develop until the 17th century, long after the schism between East and West--is directed to the compassion of Jesus Christ, represented by His Sacred Heart. The devotion does parallel the Eastern Rite devotion found in The Akathist to the Sweetest Lord Jesus,
Acually, no it does not.  The Akathists I've seen are prefaced by icons such as this

not images like this

Do go on. When you say "Immaculate Heart", what you really mean is....
And aren't these doctrines of the "Immaculate Heart" and the "Sacred Heart" based on yet more "private revelation" which supposedly Roman Catholics are not "obliged" to believe?
Tell us, can you image yourself kneeling next to those Spaniards?

which has been popular among Eastern Christians for centuries. It is not a devotion to a specific physical organ and body part anymore than when we say of ourselves, 'my heart within me is troubled,' but to Our Lord's compassionate love for us. The heart is long been taken to be the symbolic seat of love and the Heart of Jesus reveals the fundamental fact of Christianity that God loves us. Devotion to the Sacred Heart bestows a deeper insight into the Divine love and a surer confidence in it. As we see something of God's love, we shall want to make a return in terms of love and this devotion enables us to express the love of our own hearts."
That heart above is not "symbolic."

I do not use this devotion personally, but in this context does it bother you Ialmisry?
The context of iilusions unknown, much less promoted, by the West before the eleventh century.
Quote
With all the Soul: Emotional Delusion

If we have realised that the intellectual is ultimately an illusion, a process which can take a few weeks or a few decades depending on our weaknesses, we can pass on to this next stage of divesting ourselves of our self-delusion. This means overcoming emotional illusions, renouncing our passionate feelings. As we have said above, this stage may precede the intellectual stage. In other words, depending on the individual, either intellectual or emotional delusions may come after physical delusions.

The danger at this stage is that we confuse our emotions with spiritual reality. In general, this temptation is more common among women, both younger and older. Victims of emotional delusions fail to see that beautiful singing, sweet-smelling incense, priestly clothing, all the aesthetic side of the Church, are only a means to an end. In extreme cases, this temptation can actually lead to people mistaking dreams and ‘visions’ for reality, claiming that they have seen God, the Virgin or the saints. Ascetically, this is commonly called spiritual delusion or illusion (illusio in Latin, prelest in Slavonic, plani in Greek). Although it is particularly ingrained outside the Orthodox Church, that is, outside the sacramental presence of the Holy Spirit, in Roman Catholicism, with its Francises and Teresas and their delusions, and in Protestant revivalism (nowadays called Charismaticism), it can and does affect those who live on the fringes of the Orthodox Church. These, often converts, think that they are Orthodox, but in fact they are not.

Emotional delusions lead very quickly to pseudo-mysticism, a feeling that we are superior to the Church, that our ‘revelations’, always exotic and esoteric, allow us to change the services and Church architecture, tampering with the Tradition. Iconographically, their icons will be ‘soft-focus’ and emotional. These delusions often lead their victims into liberalism, modernism and ecumenism. For the victims of these delusions are actually suffering from delusions similar to those which exist among Non-Orthodox. Therefore they have much in common. As they say: ‘Birds of a feather flock together’. These delusions lead to the pride of those who tell you that, ‘in our Church we do not have the errors of others, we have reformed everything and we do everything properly’. Such arrogant pride often turns its victims into snobs with obvious pretentiousness. Here, the psychic (from the Greek ‘psyche’, meaning soul, the seat of the emotions) is mistaken for the spiritual.

The victims of emotional delusion may often have apparently overcome the physical temptations of the first stage of the Faith, even be apparently ‘advanced’, they may even have an outward experience of monastic life, but they generally give up any authentic monastic life. Some may get married – these are the more worthy examples, because more honest. Others may fall into fornication with mistresses or fall into other sexual, homosexual or, worse still, pedophile scandals. In general, the failure to pass through this stage will inevitably bring us back to the first stage, that of temptation through overeating (obesity), drinking (alcohol), excessive sleep and rest (sloth) or else sexual temptations. We have come across very many instances of emotional delusion, which have all led to great scandal in the Church. Nearly all of them involve or involved monastics.

In reality, we are called to love God with our souls, to purify our souls from our ‘selfness’, from everything that comes from ourselves. This means purifying our souls, not cultivating the images in our souls, which in reality are only reflections of our own passions. Obedience to the Church authorities and the Church Tradition is the true remedy for the disease of emotional delusion.
http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/contrap.htm
(I don't agree with all the details above, e.g. that women are more susceptible, but with the main thrust about following illusions). These

have the same problem of being rooted in "private revelations," but have nowhere near the problems that the sacred heart and the immaculate heart cults have in being a disconnect from and without roots in the Orthodoxy of the West.

I believe there is certainly a biblical precedent for understanding the heart in this manner, as "the seat of compassion" and in that sense,

not in this sense



I could see this being a beneficial devotion for some, although I don't plan on making it a part of my prayer life any time soon.
Promoting the chasing of illusions and all the pitfalls that entails, no one would benefit from it, except perhaps an atheist. But even then, I have my doubts.

I admit I don't know much about the history of the Sacred Heart devotion or the intentions behind it, but I thought some might find this interesting.
Yes, it would help to have more WRO imput on this question.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 08:01:38 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2011, 08:40:39 PM »

I don't believe Fr. Winfrey was intending his description of the devotion to be the same as that of the Roman Catholics. In fact, in the introduction to the prayerbook, he says, "Considerable work has been expended to ensure that the prayers and devotions herein are thoroughly Orthodox. This has sometimes given the happy experience of reviewing long-established western devotions and gaining a new understanding of them as they are seen through Orthodox eyes. Occasionally the older western emphasis has been put back into proper balance or entirely replaced in given devotions. One such example is the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. (emphasis mine).

As I understand it, he is drawing a clear distinction between the Orthodox understanding of this devotion as opposed to that of the Roman Catholic tradition from whence it came. But again, I'm not familiar enough with this devotion to know what those differences might be. He is but one man, but I think it's interesting that an Orthodox Archpriest would look upon the devotion and find it suitable to express Orthodox faith.
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« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2011, 09:31:55 PM »

I guess izzy can't help but ruin a thread.
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« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2011, 09:37:54 PM »

I guess izzy can't help but ruin a thread.

This thread involves and invites positive thoughts about Catholicism, and ialmisry is programmed to seek and destroy anything positive having to do with Catholicism.  Lips Sealed
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« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2011, 10:02:21 PM »

I guess izzy can't help but ruin a thread.
The truth put this thread into cardiac arrest.

The OP posts a statement of the Vatican which not only has absolutely nothing to with the Orthodox quote in the same post, but nothing to do with the Orthodox Tradition of the Catholic West.  Sorry if pointing that little fact out gives the attempt to conflate the two ("we both believe the same thing") a heart attack. Cor mentiēns ad Cor veritatis non Loquitor.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 10:12:15 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2011, 10:10:27 PM »

I guess izzy can't help but ruin a thread.

This thread involves and invites positive thoughts about Catholicism, and ialmisry is programmed to seek and destroy anything positive having to do with Catholicism.  Lips Sealed
I'm not even programmed to destroy anything positive having to do with the Vatican, let alone Catholicism.

This thread's OP tries to coopt a modern Orthodox theologian and several Orthodox Fathers as authorities for the Vatican's promotion, stated in its supreme pontiff's pronouncement (also posted), of a cult fraught with illusions.  As Ozgeorge stated so eloquently
I couldn't care less what Catholics choose to believe; they are free to believe whatever they want to believe. However when they start claiming that the Eastern Orthodox believe the same thing or that their heretical doctrines are somehow no different to Eastern Orthodoxy, and that we reject them simply because we "misunderstand them", I take issue.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 10:11:08 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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