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Orthodox-Catholic Discussion / Re: Amoris Laetitia and My Crisis of Faith
« Last post by Mor Ephrem on Yesterday at 11:24:15 AM »
  What I am discerning is whether the Orthodox is the one to have the fullness of the Church.[/size][/font]
I don't think so, in many ways they're a bigger fractured mess than Rome.


Faith Issues / Re: Can a saint fall into sin?
« Last post by youssef on Yesterday at 11:21:52 AM »
I think a saint it is who realise all his sin before his death and confess them.
I realize all my sins by the Grace of God though can't resist to sinning every day. Does that make me a saint? Or do you not know that you are a sinner?

I am a sinner, but i don't know how much i sin every day, sure that i do some stuff and don't realise that i am making a sin. I doubt thay you realise or your sin.
Oriental Orthodox Discussion / Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Last post by Alpha60 on Yesterday at 11:00:38 AM »
I was once in the ER after a relative had a minor fall, and saw a boy of about 11 on a ventillator.  The room he was in was on the corner, and the curtain was open; I don't look into hospital rooms, but when we were exiting after my relative was treated, we basically walked in front of it on our way out.  I could see the boy's father holding his hand.  Worst thing I've seen; I don't know if the boy recovered or not.  I can only imagine they were waiting for a room in the ICU to open up, or for an ambulance or helicopter transfer to a children's hospital with a pediatric ICU (probably the latter).
Faith Issues / Re: Trouble Preventing Masturbation
« Last post by BasileusOfRome on Yesterday at 10:40:05 AM »
Wise words.  But I understand your need to propel yourself away from this, and disgust with it/yourself when you do it, and an unwillingness to even begin to self-justify are also perfectly acceptable parts of the process of breaking free of an addiction. 

I had a different addiction that weaning failed to break, and I finally had to pray with evrything in me not only for God's help to stop the act, but to be remade into one who has never been addicted in that way.  Maybe that's just what I needed, because of my great weakness, but this what has come to pass and I find myself no longer tempted, even when I have opportunity (which with mine is daily).

I will follow your advice. I hope it is fruitful for me
Indeed so.  Another one I liked was his speech in A Taste of Armageddon, "We're human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands, but we can stop it. We can admit that we're killers, but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes. Knowing that we won't kill today."

We're not inheritors of original sin, but more importantly that's not how salvation works.

Whereas the Orthodox doctrine of original sin is not the Augustinian one, we still believe in it, although some have proposed alternative terminology.  What you say, in contrast, sounds Pelagian to me, denyimg tne fallen condition of humanity and ancestral sin. 

But Kirk was not talking about sin, which given his promiscuity is probably good, as that would make him rather a hypocrite, but instead, resisting the urge to murder someone.

Murder is hard, and even given the fallen human nature, hmans still find it instinctively, biologically difficult to commit murder.  We still do it, and we still wage war, in spite of the Gospel, so that is some egg on our face.


I wish that more radical Muslims had seen that episode, frankly.

Right. Because they're the only ones who kill, and all billion of them are killers. ::)

I dont believe there are a billion radical Muslims who want to kill Christians.   At most, maybe 50 million, and thats a high number.   I think a more realistic figure given the size of ISIL, its growth rate and historical factors would be 10-20 million radicals, and they also want to kill other Muslims.


... on this point he is completely wrong, because all homosexual acts are a form of fornication or adultery.  You cannot have gay sex without fornicating, or committing adultery.

Evidently by "completely wrong" you mean "not in technical conformance with useless pedantry."

Now, we don't need to harrangue homosexual couples, or picket funerals, or otherwise reduce ourselves to the level of Westboro Baptist Church.  But within the Orthodox Church, our homilies and catechesis cannot shy away from this truth.   We need to catechize our youth, who are being bombarded in entertainment media directed at them, and at school, with material advocating the benefits of gay marriage or celebrating homosexuality as a lifestyle choice, or now, increasingly, transgenderism, explaining to them that this activity is wrong, unnatural, and contrary to the teachings of the Church, and at the same time we should also stress that the same is true about heterosexual fornication and adultery.

Good luck. Talk isn't the way to save children.

So the Orthodox sunday school and youth educations presently run by a great many parishes, which do teach our youth about the Orthodox teachings on sex and marriage, among other things, you would discontinue?


"Orthosexuality," that is to say, procreative sex within a loving monogamous marriage, a marriage that either through reproduction or adoption will hopefully create a happy, loving family, that is an icon of the Holy Trinity, is the only form of sexuality the church blesses and encourages.  Everything else is a sin, which we can cleanse ourselves of through confession.

The Trinity is an icon of sexuality? Married sex that's not procreative is a sin? We have no recourse but confession against sin? I'm confused to put it mildly.

In his book, The Orthodox Way, Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, from your own Ecumenical Patriarchate, from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, says that humans are called to form an icon of the Holy Trinity in our relationships with other humans.  Every marriage, every family, every church parish, the Church as a whole, and every other form of human relationship should seek to develop the kind of altruistic love that exists between the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. 

This has nothing to do specifically with sexuality;  sex is an aspect of the marital union and married couples are to form an icon of the Trinity by virtue of their love for one another, to which normal sexuality, as opposed to sodomy (what I meant by "procreative sex") can contribute.  Sex is not love, however, and it is the love between the members of the Trinity that we are trying to emulate.  And this iconographic depiction or emulation of the divine love between the persons of the Trinity is, again, not confined to marriage, but should extend to all human relationships.

I am not Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, so Im not going to do as good a job expressing the concept as His Eminence did, so I suggest you read The Orthodox Way instead, the chapter God as Trinity, I think, or God as Love.   The Orthodox Way is my favorite book by His Eminence; its much more interesting and spiritually instructive than The Orthodox Church, which is more of an introductory text, a very good introductory text, by the way.
Faith Issues / Re: Can a saint fall into sin?
« Last post by ativan on Yesterday at 10:32:04 AM »
I think a saint it is who realise all his sin before his death and confess them.
I realize all my sins by the Grace of God though can't resist to sinning every day. Does that make me a saint? Or do you not know that you are a sinner?
Other Topics / Re: Random Postings
« Last post by RaphaCam on Yesterday at 10:30:41 AM »
How long has the editing window for posts been limited to ten or so minutes? I'm certain it used to be longer.
Oh, I thought I was crazy.
Faith Issues / Re: Can a saint fall into sin?
« Last post by ativan on Yesterday at 10:29:09 AM »
I cannot say I have read St Symeon or St Gabriel widely, but I have read enough of and about Elder Joseph the Hesychast to say that I would disagree with an interpretation of his life and thought that would claim that "saints" are incapable of sinning while living in this world.
There's a newly canonized saint of Georgia. His name is st Ilia the righteous. He is one of the most beloved poets and writers of Georgia who has fought for Georgia's independence. St Ilia the righteous wrote a poem about an ascetic. This ascetic was so advanced in his podvigs that he could see the evil approaching from afar. At the end, he is seduced by a woman and this ascetic falls into a grave sin. There's a real story related to this. St Gabirel once was walking and he was seen to be "irritated" by another holy man. The other asked to him: Gabriel what happened. St Gabriel loved St Ilia. He said, how could he wright such a thing? Did he not know that such a monk would never fall into sin?

I don't understand your point.  But maybe it's not necessary.  If the Church can make mistakes when canonising saints, I don't need to consider any of these examples.  Maybe they're not saints at all.
My point is st Gabriel said clearly and unambiguously that a monk Georgian poet has described will never sin.

As far as St Joseph the hesichast goes you can listen to this video which is the passage from one of the books of Ephraim of Arizona (who in my humble opinion is another leaving saint). Listen to it and you will see how clearly it is stated by this saint that once by God's Grace saints "step into" this supernatural state (which is infinitely beyond our imagination and logic) they no more sin. St Joseph talks about three states of man: fallen, natural (in which state Adam was) and supernatural. So, man by God's Grace becomes much more than Adam was and he can detect any evil approaching him far far away. .

I have read Elder Ephraim's biography of Elder Joseph from cover to cover, and in its pages I have not come across your view that saints cannot sin.  On the contrary, his emphasis on obedience to one's elder and constant vigilance and prayer reinforce the idea that, no matter how holy one has become, one is always capable of falling away without these and other virtues.
I've just finished reading st Joseph's letters "Monastic Wisdom". Yes, the saint emphasizes great importance of obedience but this is for those who are on the path of sainthood not for those who have already become perfect by the Grace of God through spiritual fathers. He also clearly says that once a man becomes permanent temple for Holy Spirit (at a stage that he calls perfection through perfecting Grace) he is out of all danger and he will not fall any more. You can read this in several places of his book "Monastic Wisdom" and especially the tenth letter to a monk where he talks about different state of human nature (against nature, natural, and above nature) and different aspects of Grace (purifying, illuminating and perfecting). I have linked a video in my previous posts. Same is said there. These are not my words. These are saint's words. Please, explain to me, how else can you interpret his words? (especially what he says after 17th minute to the end)
Liturgy / Re: Antiochian Holy Week - 1961
« Last post by Alpha60 on Yesterday at 10:15:53 AM »
What a beautiful rare find.   Memory eternal to Metropolitan Anthony Bashir and Metropolitan Philip Saliba!

Also, to Fr. Seraphim Nasser, whose Liturgikon is read from by the priest at one point (I own a fragile copy of the same print edition depicted), and which is being used as the main source of the English texts.

Of any of the younger clergy, including readers/choir boys depicted in that film, are any still alive and serving in the Church?
Faith Issues / Re: Can a saint fall into sin?
« Last post by ativan on Yesterday at 10:13:37 AM »
If this were the mechanism of life, there would be no mortal life. God foresees all, controls all, and man has no role? -- that's contrary to our experience and the experience of the saints. It's also contrary to sound theology. Even Christ in the garden gives us a powerful example of what mortal life is really like in relationship to God -- one of human will relating to God's will and that relationship having its ups and downs.
As Christ's human will is in full accord to His Divine Will so by the Grace of God saint's will is in full accord with God's will. How can a man sin when his will is always to fulfill God's will?
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