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Author Topic: GREGORY NYSSA on filioque  (Read 6722 times) Average Rating: 0
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nonchal
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« on: November 22, 2006, 12:46:44 AM »

Did GREGORYNYSSA admit a filioque on the level of essence? (I guess this would work thus: the Spirit receives his essence from the Father; but the Father and Son have the same essence; therefore the Spirit also receives his essence from the Son.) A quote from BasiltheGreat that I posted on another thread proved to be forged. I wonder if these quotes from GREGNYSSA were also forged:

"If, however, any one cavils at our argument, on the ground that by not admitting the difference of nature it leads to a mixture and confusion of the Persons, we shall make to such a charge this answer;--that while we confess the invariable character of the nature, we do not deny the difference in respect of cause, and that which is caused, by which alone we apprehend that one Person is distinguished from another;-by our belief, that is, that one is the Cause, and another is of the Cause; and again in that which is of the Cause we recognize another distinction. For one is directly from the first Cause, and another by that which is directly from the first Cause; so that the attribute of being Only-begotten abides without doubt in the Son, and the interposition of the Son, while it guards His attribute of being Only-begotten, does not shut out the Spirit from His relation by way of nature to the Father."
To Ablabius-There are not three gods(A.D. 375),in NPNF2,V:336

"For the plea will not avail them in their self-defence, that He is delivered by our Lord to His disciples third in order, and that therefore He is estranged from our ideal of Deity. Where in each case activity in working good shows no diminution or variation whatever, how unreasonable it is to suppose the numerical order to be a sign of any diminution or essential variation! It is as if a man were to see a separate flame burning on three torches(and we will suppose that the third flame is caused by that of the first being transmitted to the middle, and then kindling the end torch), and were to maintain that the heat in the first exceeded that of the others; that that next it showed a variation from it in the direction of the less; and that the third could not be called fire at all, though it burnt and shone just like fire, and did everything that fire does. But if there is really no hindrance to the third torch being fire, though it has been kindled from a previous flame, what is the philosophy of these men, who profanely think that they can slight the dignity of the Holy Spirit because He is named by the Divine lips after the Father and the Son?"
Against Macedonians,6(A.D. 377),in NPNF2,V:317

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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2006, 01:53:47 AM »

Did GREGORYNYSSA admit a filioque on the level of essence? (I guess this would work thus: the Spirit receives his essence from the Father; but the Father and Son have the same essence; therefore the Spirit also receives his essence from the Son.)

[. . .]
No, the Holy Spirit does not receive the Father's essence from the Son; instead, the Spirit receives the divine essence from the Father through the Son, and this signifies the consubstantial communion that eternally exists between the three divine hypostaseis.  Nevertheless, it is important to avoid any terminology -- both at the level of hypostasis and at the level of essence (or better - energy) -- that would involve making the Son a "cause" within the inner life of the Holy Trinity, because as St. John Damascene said, ". . . we do not speak of the Spirit as from the Son, but yet we call Him the Spirit of the Son." [St. John Damascene, "De Fide Orthodoxa," Book I, Chapter VIII]  The Father alone is the hypostatic cause of the other two divine hypostaseis.

God bless,
Todd
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2006, 02:20:02 AM »

Fr Romanides said that there IS a procession on the level of essence. He calls this the Orthodox Roman Filioque in contradistinction to the Heretical Frankish Filioque which used the words "cause" and "caused." Romanides also said that Augustine was Orthodox on the Filioque! Several other modern EO theologians have said the same.

When JohnDamasus and MaximusConfessor said "not from the Son" the context was ekporeusis. ALSO: the essence is neither cause nor caused. So procession on the level of essence does not jeopardize this.


Greek Fathers who taught a Filioque on the level of essence:

"For He, as as been said, gives to the Spirit, and whatever the Spirit hath, He hath from the Word."
Athanasius
 
"The Holy Spirit ... is ever with the Father and the Son, and is from God, proceeding from the Father and receiving of the Son."
Epiphanius
 
"The Spirit is God, from the Father and the Son."
Epiphanius     
 
"[N]either does any know the Spirit but the Father and the Son, the Persons from whom he proceeds and from whom He receives."
Epiphanius
 
"God ... is Life, the Son Life from Life, and the Holy Spirit flows from both; the Father is Light, the Son is Light, the Holy Spirit the third from Father and Son."
Epiphanius         
 
"The Father always existed and the Son always existed, and the Spirit breathes forth from the Father and the Son..."
Epiphanius
 
"Our Lord teaches that the being of the Spirit is derived not from the Spirit Himself, but from the Father and the Son; He goes forth from the Son, proceeding from the Truth; He has no subsistence but that which is given Him by the Son."
Didymus the Blind

"Since the Holy Spirit when he is in us effects our being conformed to God, and He actually proceeds from Father and Son, it is abundantly clear that He is of the divine essence, in it in essence and proceeding from it."
Cyril of Alexandria
 
"Inasmuch as the Son is God and is by nature from God, the Spirit is His own, and is both in Him and from Him."
Cyril of Alexandria
 
"He is the Spirit both of the Father and of the Son, seeing that He is poured forth in a way of essence from Both or in other words, from the Father through the Son."
Cyril of Alexandria
 
"For he [ie. the Holy Spirit] is called the Spirit of Truth, and Christ is the Truth, and he is poured forth from him [ie. the Son] just as he is also from God the Father."
Cyril of Alexandria

AND THE LATIN FATHERS ARE TOO NUMEROUS TO POST. If there is not a filioque on the level of essence then tons of fathers were in horrible error. I cannot admit this. It is time for the EO to renounce their extreme Photianism.
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2006, 02:42:08 AM »

I respectfully disagree.  The divine essence is the Father's essence, and the Son and Spirit both receive their "participation" (for lack of a better word) in it from the Father alone.  That is why the Son and Spirit are "proper" to the Father, as St. Athanasios would say.  In other words, the Spirit receives both His hypostatic existence from the Father alone, while also receiving His "participation" in the divine essence only from the Father, but in the latter case (i.e., in the consubstantial communion of energy), the divine essence is said to flow to the Holy Spirit from the Father through the Son.

One of the things that must be borne in mind is that the divine essence is the Father's essence, and so He alone is the source of His own being.
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2006, 02:49:58 AM »

nonchal,

I would have to see all of the various quotations that you have supplied in their original form (and language) in order to determine their proper meaning.  Simply taking a large number of quotations out of context is not a valid theological argument.

God bless,
Todd
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2006, 10:10:13 AM »

Your attempt to attribute your ditheistic heresy to St. Gregory of Nyssa is sorely misplaced. Have you actually read the philosophical tradition from which St. Gregory of Nyssa derived his theology? There is only one source of being, there is one one cause, there is only one unmoving mover. In so far as something else is an ontological cause it is simply participating in the being (or non-being) of the One, it has not usurped that which is the One. To claim that there are two sources of being or that there are two ontological causes is nothing more than some gnostic ditheism. To present a small part of the relevant context here is an excerpt from the Second Tractate of the Fifth Ennead of Plotinus, perhaps this will help you understand where St. Gregory of Nyssa is comming from:

Quote
The One is all things and no one of them; the source of all things is not all things; all things are its possession — running back, so to speak, to it — or, more correctly, not yet so, they will be.

But a universe from an unbroken unity, in which there appears no diversity, not even duality?

It is precisely because that is nothing within the One that all things are from it: in order that Being may be brought about, the source must be no Being but Being’s generator, in what is to be thought of as the primal act of generation. Seeking nothing, possessing nothing, lacking nothing, the One is perfect and, in our metaphor, has overflowed, and its exuberance has produced the new: this product has turned again to its begetter and been filled and has become its contemplator and so an Intellectual-Principle.

That station towards the one [the fact that something exists in presence of the One] establishes Being; that vision directed upon the One establishes the Intellectual-Principle; standing towards the One to the end of vision, it is simultaneously Intellectual-Principle and Being; and, attaining resemblance in virtue of this vision, it repeats the act of the One in pouring forth a vast power.

This second outflow is a Form or Idea representing the Divine Intellect as the Divine Intellect represented its own prior, The One.

This active power sprung from essence [from the Intellectual-Principle considered as Being] is Soul.

Soul arises as the idea and act of the motionless Intellectual-Principle — which itself sprang from its own motionless prior — but the soul’s operation is not similarly motionless; its image is generated from its movement. It takes fulness by looking to its source; but it generates its image by adopting another, a downward, movement.
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2006, 06:45:25 PM »

Your attempt to attribute your ditheistic heresy to St. Gregory of Nyssa is sorely misplaced. Have you actually read the philosophical tradition from which St. Gregory of Nyssa derived his theology? There is only one source of being, there is one one cause, there is only one unmoving mover. In so far as something else is an ontological cause it is simply participating in the being (or non-being) of the One, it has not usurped that which is the One. To claim that there are two sources of being or that there are two ontological causes is nothing more than some gnostic ditheism.

Yikes. You have just called FR ROMANIDES and numerous TRADITIONAL EO theologians heretics. These theologians are adament that the Son is not "cause" but that nevertheless there is an Orthodox Roman Filioque (Roman = Roman Empire rather than Roman church) in contradistinction to the Heretical Frankish Filioque. Keep in mind that this has nothing to do with ekporeusis. So it would be heretical to interpolate this into the Creed.

Photian polemic is a direct insult to the most blessed saint Cyril of Alexandria who is the seal of the Fathers. I could never join the EO communion. Heres a tip: if the EO explained the Orthodox doctrine from the Alexandrian perspective to the RC then the RC might then comprehend what the many many Orthodox West Roman Fathers meant in their use of the Filioque clause.


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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2006, 07:28:42 PM »

Yikes. You have just called FR ROMANIDES and numerous TRADITIONAL EO theologians heretics.

If they believe that there are two primordial causes, then yes, I will call them heretics, for my God is not amongst the gods worshiped by such people. Of course, I believe you are putting words into the mouths of others and are attributing your gnostic theology to them.

Quote
These theologians are adament that the Son is not "cause" but that nevertheless there is an Orthodox Roman Filioque (Roman = Roman Empire rather than Roman church) in contradistinction to the Heretical Frankish Filioque. Keep in mind that this has nothing to do with ekporeusis. So it would be heretical to interpolate this into the Creed.

If this has nothing to do with εκπόρευσις, then what are we talking about? Of course, no matter what term you decide to use, if we are talking about anything ontologically coming forth, proceeding, emanating, resulting, being caused, existing, being, originating, being generated, flowing, springing, moving, arising, being begotten, etc. apart from or by the One, such a belief is ditheism and a denial of the Christian God.

Quote
Photian polemic is a direct insult to the most blessed saint Cyril of Alexandria who is the seal of the Fathers. I could never join the EO communion. Heres a tip: if the EO explained the Orthodox doctrine from the Alexandrian perspective to the RC then the RC might then comprehend what the many many Orthodox West Roman Fathers meant in their use of the Filioque clause.

Cyril had an issue with language, he never could quite express himself appropriately. Fortunately for him, he made up for this by being a good politician. I fail to see any difficulities with the writings of St. Photios the Great on the issue of the filioque and it seems rather clear to me that by virtue of opposing such writings one is proclaiming themselves to be at least a ditheist; and, quite frankly, if I was going to be a polytheist, there are many religions out their that are much cooler than Roman Catholicism.
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2006, 11:47:05 PM »


Cyril had an issue with language, he never could quite express himself appropriately. Fortunately for him, he made up for this by being a good politician. I fail to see any difficulities with the writings of St. Photios the Great on the issue of the filioque and it seems rather clear to me that by virtue of opposing such writings one is proclaiming themselves to be at least a ditheist; and, quite frankly, if I was going to be a polytheist, there are many religions out their that are much cooler than Roman Catholicism.

I'm gona back GiC up on this point especially.  Cyril definately had his own terminology that he used interchangeably.  Even the patristic greek that he used was unique, as well as his gramar.  In fact there is going to be an entirely new book that is comming out soon which deals only and uniquely with Cyril, his vocabulary, and his grammar. 
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2006, 12:44:18 AM »

Quote
Of course, I believe you are putting words into the mouths of others and are attributing your gnostic theology to them.

Fr John Romanides, The Filioque in the Dublin Agreed Statement 1984:

Quote
"... the old west Roman Orthodox Filioque defended by such Popes as Leo III which is AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE ORTHODOX TRADITION."

"All the doctrinal and terminological parts of the west Roman Filioque are both complete and Orthodox: 1) Three persons/substances, with their substantial/personal properties, whereby the Father is cause without cause, the Son is caused by the Father via generation and the Holy Spirit is caused by the Father via procession, 2) The one essence with its natural glory from the Father to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. It is here that the west Roman term "procedere" has its second meaning of essential mission ("PROΪENAI"/missio), whereby the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and/through the Son, in no way to be confused with personal/substantial/hypostatic "procedere". It is Augustine's filioque alone which can be considered a theologoumenon, but an orthodox one, because of the confused manner in which he managed to adjust his already published works to conditions described in paragraphs 9-11. Augustine identified both generation and procession with the receipt of essence from the Father (De Trinitate XV, 26.47), which simply means he did not fully understand the imperial instructions he was trying to comply with. Given his own meaning of these terms he is perfectly correct."

"Augustine is correct in saying that the Father and the Son are one "principle," of the Holy Spirit, since he means essential principle. ... If one were a law abiding Roman one would then agree with Gregory of Nyssa who has written so much on the subject. In any case, having the cause of his existence from the Father the Holy Spirit simultaneously has his essence and its natural glory from the Father and./through the Son."

"Also the west Roman Orthodox Filioque is such an expression and not the private opinion of either Maximus the Confessor or Anastasius the Librarian. They both report it as the official position of the Roman papacy and of all Orthodox Churches in the west."

Romanides, Filioque:

Quote
"It is within such a context that Augustine should be understood when he speaks about the Holy Spirit as receiving His being (essence) and as proceeding principally from the Father, but also from the Son. This is exactly what the East Roman Fathers mean by the Holy Spirit receiving His essence and energy from the Father through or even and (St. Gregory Palamas) the Son simultaneously with His procession or reception of His proper or individual existence of hypostasis from the Father."

loannis Zizioulas, Metropolitan of Pergamon, One Single Source:An Orthodox response to the Clarification on the Filioque:

Quote
It is historically true that in the Greek tradition a clear distinction was always made between eκπορεύσθαι and προϊέναι, the first of these two terms denoting exclusively the Spirit's derivation from the Father alone, whereas προϊέναι was used to denote the Holy Spirit's dependence on the Son owing to the common essence or ουσία which the Spirit in deriving from the Father alone as Person or υπόστασις receives from the Son, too, as ουσιωδώς that is, with regard to the one ουσία common to all three persons (Cyril of Alexandria, Maximus the Confessor et al). On the basis of this distinction one might argue that there is a kind of Filioque on the level of ουσία, but not of υπόστασις.
 
However, as the document points out, the distinction between eκπορεύσθαι and προϊέναι was not made in Latin theology,which used the same term, procedere to denote both realities. Is this enough to explain the insistence of the Latin tradition on the Filioque? Saint Maximus the Confessor seems to think so. For him the Filioque was not heretical because its intention was to denote not the eκπορεύσθαι but the προϊέναι of the Spirit.


Hmm..
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2006, 04:30:46 AM »

You are not winning me over, nonchal. And I don't think your second citation above really supports your case.
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2006, 10:42:24 PM »

Here is the answer to the original post on GregNssa...

His Eminence John Zizioulas of Pergamon writes:

Quote
"The Filioque can be understood Orthodoxically, and it can become accepted by Orthodoxy...

Despite all the above, the Greek Fathers do make a certain distinction. They allow a particular role to the Son, during the “procession” of the Holy Spirit. In one of the passages by Saint Gregory of Nyssa, which is a key passage for this subject, he says:  “We do not deny the difference between Him (the Father), who exists as the Causer, and Him, Who is of the Causer”.  ...  Gregory continues his “key passage”, by saying: “as for that which is of the causer (=the Son), we acknowledge a further difference (that for both the Son and the Spirit, “the Causer” is the Father, while the Son and the Spirit are both “of the Causer”). One difference is that the Son originates immediately, directly from the First, from the Cause, whereas the other, the Spirit, originates via the One who originates directly from the First; through the intervention, the mediation of the Son.” ...

According to Gregory, this compels us to “attribute” to the Son a characteristic, an intermediary role –a mediation– in the “procedure” of the Spirit. This mediation preserves the essential relationship of the Spirit with the Father. This is what led many to the idea that there is an “orthodox Filioque” and that the Filioque is admissible, provided it doesn’t refer to the Personae; in other words, that the Spirit does not proceed from the (Persona of the) Son also, but that it proceeds from the Essence of the Father, which is common between Father and Son. ...

As for the status of the Essence, well, it could be considered a “dependency” by the Son…This is in a certain way correct. ...

In the passage we just mentioned, there is a certain truth in the fact that the Filioque can somehow become acceptable. ...

Since we do not recognize the role of Causer in the Son, one could say that any other role of the Son in the procedure of the Spirit is permissible.

In conclusion, the Filioque would be acceptable, under the condition that the Son does not become the Causer of the Spirit...

If we interpret the Filioque in a way that does not make the Son the Cause, but reserves the role of Causer exclusively for the Father, then the Filioque can be taken into consideration for theologizing and become accepted."

(http://www.oodegr.com/english/dogmatiki1/D2d.htm)

There we go. Too bad EO theologians would not admit this until the modern era. A millenium of radical Photianism is silenced.

NONCHAL

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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2006, 10:56:40 PM »

Here is the answer to the original post on GregNssa...

His Eminence John Zizioulas of Pergamon writes:

There we go. Too bad EO theologians would not admit this until the modern era. A millenium of radical Photianism is silenced.

NONCHAL

Basically what Romanides and Zizioulas say is that if we redefind the filioque to mean something completely different than what is really says (basically redefine 'from' to mean 'through') then it's ok. This was put forward at ecumenical gatherings and the westerners ate it up because it gave them a chance to progress the dialogue without losing face for proclaming a thousand years of heresy. It's good politics.

Alternatively, Zizioulas recommends that we could regard the references to the Father and the Son as references to the Nature of the Father and the Son (which are, of course, one and the same) then it's ok too, it's just redundant. Of course the difficulity with this is that 'Father' and 'Son' are personal, not natural, terms, it might help if we could make them into adjectives. But then we run into the problem that the Son has two natures, so such a change could imply a participation of the Human Nature of the Son in the procession of the Holy Spirit, which would be creating an even bigger mess.

Bottom line, the west got themselves into a mess by becomming dogmatically ditheists (even if their practice never evolved to match their theology), now we're trying to help them fix the mess without losing too much face.
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2006, 07:08:15 AM »

nonchal,

There is nothing in the statements made by Fr. Romanides or Met. Zizioulas that can in way be seen as condemned by St. Photios in his Mystogogy.  That being said, the problem is not in what St. Photios taught, nor is the there a problem in what Fr. Romanides and Met. Zizioulas have said; rather, the problem is in your misinterpretation of their comments.  Clearly, none of these Orthodox theologians accepts the false Western notion of a hypostatic procession (εκπορεύεται) of the Spirit from the Father and the Son; instead, they are accepting a manifestation of the Spirit from the Father through the Son as energy, but not as person (hypostasis).  Moreover, as Met. Zizioulas indicates, this energetic manifestation (πέμπεται) of the Spirit through the Son, does not involve the hypostasis (i.e., the existence or the existential origin) of either the Son or the Spirit.  In other words, the Son and the Spirit both receive their hypostatic existence from the Father alone as sole cause within the Trinity, but the Spirit is manifested through the Son as energy in the oikonomia, and this reveals the consubstantial communion of the Tri-hypostatic Godhead.

God bless,
Todd
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2006, 08:26:55 AM »

Here is the answer to the original post on GregNssa...

His Eminence John Zizioulas of Pergamon writes:

There we go. Too bad EO theologians would not admit this until the modern era. A millenium of radical Photianism is silenced.

NONCHAL

You just don't get it.  Learn how to read theological-speak, and you'll notice like 5 qualifiers in there that basically say that the way filioque can be understood and accepted by the Orthodox must be very different than how the Latins do.  Maybe it isn't "radical" Photianism, but he's still not accepting the Latin understanding of filioque.

Also, when quoting from other sources and having sections bolded, bold-underlined or even italicized, not to exclude ALL CAPS or different sizes, you are to note whether the EMPHASIS is your doing, or is part of the author's original work.  I only mention this because you did a poor job of highlighting the post of Fr. Romanidis especially, highlighting what you agreed with while leaving clauses that contradict your statements untouched.  Just an observation, and a suggestion for you to improve your methodology.
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« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2006, 02:57:53 PM »

In nomine Iesu I offer you all peace,

Could anyone offer me Orthodox Commentary on the 5th Chapter 19th verse from the Gospel of John?

I know in Lectio Divina I often ponder what enfluence this verse had on our beloved Latin Religious in forming the infamous "filioque".  Wink

Then Jesus answered, and said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you, the Son cannot do any thing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doth, these the Son also doth in like manner. - John 5:19 DRB

For those who find my comments offensive or challenging, please pardon me. I am not seeking an argument.

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« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2006, 11:05:04 PM »

This text from the Gospel of John (cf. John 5:19) concerns the unity of power (dunatai) of the Father and the Son to "do" (poiein, which means to make or create) things within the economy (oikonomia).  Thus, the text has nothing to do with the inner life of the Godhead, i.e., with the hypostatic origin of the Holy Spirit, or of the hypostatic origin of the Son for that matter, but instead concerns only the outer manifestation of the Triune God.  In other words, the text is an assertion of the unity of power (dunamiV) and energy (energeia) within the Trinity.
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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2006, 12:32:16 AM »

This text from the Gospel of John (cf. John 5:19) concerns the unity of power (dunatai) of the Father and the Son to "do" (poiein, which means to make or create) things within the economy (oikonomia).  Thus, the text has nothing to do with the inner life of the Godhead, i.e., with the hypostatic origin of the Holy Spirit, or of the hypostatic origin of the Son for that matter, but instead concerns only the outer manifestation of the Triune God.  In other words, the text is an assertion of the unity of power (dunamiV) and energy (energeia) within the Trinity.

In nomine Iesu I offer you Apotheoun peace,

Pardon my cynicism but why would one make a distinction, so clearly and so forcefully, concerning the inner and outer 'life of the Godhead'? Is there any early Church Father whom speak of such a narrow interpretation of this verse? Just curious...

Regardless it appears to be a well thought out and rehersed response, are you taught this specially in seminary? Again just curious...

Have you heard this verse mentioned before with regard to illuminating our understanding of the 'nature' shared between the Son and the Father?

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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2006, 12:46:42 AM »

All the Church Fathers prior to Augustine make the distinction between the economic and immanent life of God.  I recommend the books "Energies of the Spirit," "Theology of the Gap," "Athanasius: The Coherence of his Thought," and "The Power of God:  Dynamis in Gregory of Nyssa's Trinitarian Theology," for patristic citations in support of this truth.

May God bless you,
Todd
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« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2006, 01:54:57 AM »

All the Church Fathers prior to Augustine make the distinction between the economic and immanent life of God.  I recommend the books "Energies of the Spirit," "Theology of the Gap," "Athanasius: The Coherence of his Thought," and "The Power of God:  Dynamis in Gregory of Nyssa's Trinitarian Theology," for patristic citations in support of this truth.

In nomine Iesu I offer you Apotheoun continued peace,

Let be say, off topic, that I have found my dialogues with the Orthodox Brothers and Sisters of late to be inspiring examples of kindness and courtesy. I wonder if it is not the product of your fast being observed since The Solemnity of The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary? If so you are all to be commended for your effects in the Work of the Spirit. God continued to bless you in your endeavors. Amen.

But let us return to the topic at hand if you don't mind...

Truly I do understand our beloved Greek Fathers preferred the 'subordinating formula': ex Patre per Filium [from the Father through the Son], you and I both understand that our Latin Fathers preferred the 'co-ordinating formula': ex Patre et Filio [from the Father and the Son].

I believe that the Latin Fathers warmed to the co-ordinating formula largely due to what they saw as not only the Spirit of the Father:

For it is not you that speak, but the spirit of your Father that speaketh in you. - Matthew 10:20 DRB,

but also the Spirit of the Son:

And because you are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying: Abba, Father. - Galatians 4:6 DRB

the Spirit of Jesus:

And when they were come into Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia: and the Spirit of Jesus suffered them not. - Acts 16:7 DRB

the Spirit of Christ:

But you are not in the flesh, but the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. - Romans 8:9 DRB

the Spirit of Jesus Christ:

For I know that this shall fall out to me unto salvation, through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, - Philippians 1:19 DRB

If the description 'spirit of the Father' expresses an original reference to the Father (spiratus a Patre), as our beloved Greek Fathers argue, then the expression 'Spirit of the Son' must also express a connection (spiratus a Filio), would you agree?

I have no doubt that our beloved St. Gregory of Nyssa favored the 'subordinating formula' along with our own Latin St. Hilary but I humbly question the rigorist rejection of its addition to the Credo by Patriarch Photius and The Constantinople Synod of 879 AD in light to what I believe to be sound evidence within Holy Scripture. As I believe Holy Scripture share a certain infallibility, in the etymological sense that Scripture 'does not fail' for the essential saving purposes for which it was given by God I have to believe it has a certain sufficiency to provide the fullness of saving truth as our beloved St. Athanasios affirmed. I am ever cautious when our Theological affirmations appear to contradict Holy Writ.

I welcome your thoughts on this matter and I endeavor to yield to them deep reflection and consideration.

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« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2006, 06:25:40 AM »

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, but -- as St. John Damascene pointed out -- the Spirit is not from Christ as far as His existential origin is concerned.  The problem with the Scholastic doctrine of the filioque is that it confuses the economic Trinity (i.e., how God is manifested in the world), with the immanent Trinity (i.e., how He exists in His inner and incommunicable being).  To put it another way, the Western Church confuses the procession (ἐκπόρευσις) of origin of the Holy Spirit as hypostasis, with the manifestation (προιεναι) of the Spirit as energy in the economy of salvation.  The Eastern Fathers (and the pre-Augustinian Western Fathers) make this distinction, and by doing so they affirm the monarchy of the Father as the sole source of divinity. 

Thus, the "per filium" concerns only the economic Trinity, i.e., it concerns God's energetic manifestation, and not the existential origin of any one of the three divine hypostaseis, because as St. John Damascene said, ". . . we do not speak of the Father as derived from any one, but we speak of Him as the Father of the Son. And we do not speak of the Son as Cause or Father, but we speak of Him both as from the Father, and as the Son of the Father. And we speak likewise of the Holy Spirit as from the Father, and call Him the Spirit of the Father. And we do not speak of the Spirit as from the Son: but yet we call Him the Spirit of the Son" [St. John Damascene, "De Fide Orthodoxa," Book I, Ch. VIII], and St. John confirmed this distinction yet again, when -- in another treatise -- he wrote that, we speak of ". . . the Holy Spirit of God the Father, as proceeding from Him, who is also said to be of the Son, as through Him [i.e., the Son] manifest and bestowed on the creation, but not as taking His existence from Him" [St. John Damascene, "Sabbat." 4:21-23], and elsewhere he said that, ". . . the Word is a real offspring, and therefore Son; and the Spirit is a real procession and emanation from the Father, of the Son but not from the Son, as breath from a mouth, proclaiming God the Word" [St. John Damascene, "Trisagion" 28:40-43].

Blessings to you,
Todd
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« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2006, 06:37:37 AM »

[. . .]

I have no doubt that our beloved St. Gregory of Nyssa favored the 'subordinating formula' along with our own Latin St. Hilary but I humbly question the rigorist rejection of its addition to the Credo by Patriarch Photius and The Constantinople Synod of 879 AD in light to what I believe to be sound evidence within Holy Scripture.

[. . .]
St. Gregory of Nyssa would never have supported the "per filium" formula as that formula is understood in the Scholastic West, because the Western formula destroys the monarchy of the Father and in the process it leads to ditheism by making the Son a secondary "cause" of the Spirit, or to Sabellian modalism by combining the hypostaseis of the Father and the Son into a single principle of subsistence in connection with the procession (ἐκπόρευσις) of the Holy Spirit as person.  Moreover, it should be borne in mind that the filioque formula was rejected by the Council of Constantinople (879 A.D.), and that this council received the approval of Pope John VIII.  Thus, the filioque formula as it has been taught in the West -- since the rise of philosophical theology with the Scholastics -- must not be confused with the true theology of the Fathers of the Church.

God bless,
Todd
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« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2006, 12:30:40 PM »

I imagine most people have already read this statement, but I thought I would post a few paragraphs in it that are particularly relevant to this discussion. (You can read the whole thing here: http://www.geocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/consult_agreed_statement.html)

The Filioque: A Church-Dividing Issue?
An Agreed Statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation
Saint Paul's College, Washington, DC
October 25, 2003


2) The Substantive Issues

Clearly two main issues separate the Eastern and Western Churches in their history of debating the Filioque: one theological, in the strict sense, and one ecclesiological.

a) Theological:

If theology is understood in its Patristic sense, as reflection on God as Trinity, the theological issue behind this dispute is whether the Son is to be thought of as playing any role in the origin of the Spirit, as a hypostasis or divine person, from the Father, who is the sole ultimate source of the divine Mystery. The Greek tradition, as we have seen, has generally relied on John 15.26 and the formulation of the Creed of 381 to assert that all we know of the Spirit's hypostatic origin is that he proceeds from the Father, in a way distinct from, but parallel to, the Son's generation from the Father (e.g., John of Damascus, On the Orthodox Faith 1.8 ). However, this same tradition acknowledges that the mission of the Spirit in the world also involves the Son, who receives the Spirit into his own humanity at his baptism, breathes the Spirit forth onto the Twelve on the evening of the resurrection, and sends the Spirit in power into the world, through the charismatic preaching of the Apostles, at Pentecost. On the other hand, the Latin tradition since Tertullian has tended to assume that since the order in which the Church normally names the persons in the Trinity places the Spirit after the Son, he is to be thought of as coming forth from the Father through the Son. Augustine, who in several passages himself insists that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, because as God he is not inferior to the Son (De Fide et Symbolo 9.19; Enchiridion 9.3), develops, in other texts, his classic understanding that the Spirit also proceeds from the Son because he is, in the course of sacred history, the Spirit and the gift of both Father and Son (e.g., On the Trinity 4.20.29; Tractate on Gospel of John 99.6-7), the gift that begins in their own eternal exchange of love (On the Trinity 15.17.29). In Augustine's view, this involvement of the Son in the Spirit's procession is not understood to contradict the Father's role as the single ultimate source of both Son and Spirit, but is itself given by the Father in generating the Son: the Holy Spirit, in turn, has this from the Father himself, that he should also proceed from the Son, just as he proceeds from the Father (Tractate on Gospel of John 99.8 ).

Much of the difference between the early Latin and Greek traditions on this point is clearly due to the subtle difference of the Latin procedere from the Greek ekporeuesthai: as we have observed, the Spirit's coming forth is designated in a more general sense by the Latin term, without the connotation of ultimate origin hinted at by the Greek. The Spirit's procession from the Son, however, is conceived of in Latin theology as a somewhat different relationship from his procession from the Father, even when — as in the explanations of Anselm and Thomas Aquinas — the relationship of Father and Son to the Holy Spirit is spoken of as constituting a single principle of the Spirit's origin: even in breathing forth the Spirit together, according to these later Latin theologians, the Father retains priority, giving the Son all that he has and making possible all that he does...

The Greek and Latin theological traditions clearly remain in some tension with each other on the fundamental issue of the Spirit's eternal origin as a distinct divine person. By the Middle Ages, as a result of the influence of Anselm and Thomas Aquinas, Western theology almost universally conceives of the identity of each divine person as defined by its relations of opposition — in other words, its mutually defining relations of origin - to the other two, and concludes that the Holy Spirit would not be hypostatically distinguishable from the Son if the Spirit proceeded from the Father alone. In the Latin understanding of processio as a general term for origin, after all, it can also be said that the Son proceeds from the Father by being generated from him. Eastern theology, drawing on the language of John 15.26 and the Creed of 381, continues to understand the language of procession (ekporeusis) as denoting a unique, exclusive, and distinctive causal relationship between the Spirit and the Father, and generally confines the Son's role to the manifestation and mission of the Spirit in the divine activities of creation and redemption. These differences, though subtle, are substantial, and the very weight of theological tradition behind both of them makes them all the more difficult to reconcile theologically with each other.

b) Ecclesiological:

The other issue continually present since the late eighth century in the debate over the Filioque is that of pastoral and teaching authority in the Church — more precisely, the issue of the authority of the bishop of Rome to resolve dogmatic questions in a final way, simply in virtue of his office. Since the Council of Ephesus (431), the dogmatic tradition of both Eastern and Western Churches has repeatedly affirmed that the final norm of orthodoxy in interpreting the Christian Gospel must be the faith of Nicaea. The Orthodox tradition sees the normative expression of that faith to be the Creeds and canons formulated by those Councils that are received by the Apostolic Churches as ecumenical: as expressing the continuing and universal Apostolic faith. The Catholic tradition also accepts conciliar formulations as dogmatically normative, and attributes a unique importance to the seven Councils that are accepted as ecumenical by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. However, in recognizing the universal primacy of the bishop of Rome in matters of faith and of the service of unity, the Catholic tradition accepts the authority of the Pope to confirm the process of conciliar reception, and to define what does and does not conflict with the faith of Nicaea and the Apostolic tradition. So while Orthodox theology has regarded the ultimate approval by the Popes, in the eleventh century, of the use of Filioque in the Latin Creed as a usurpation of the dogmatic authority proper to ecumenical Councils alone, Catholic theology has seen it as a legitimate exercise of his primatial authority to proclaim and clarify the Church's faith. As our own common study has repeatedly shown, it is precisely at times in which issues of power and control have been of concern to our Churches that the question of the Filioque has emerged as a central concern: held out as a condition for improving relations, or given as a reason for allowing disunity to continue unhealed.

As in the theological question of the origin of the Holy Spirit discussed above, this divergence of understanding of the structure and exercise of authority in the Church is clearly a very serious one: undoubtedly Papal primacy, with all its implications, remains the root issue behind all the questions of theology and practice that continue to divide our communions. In the continuing discussion of the Filioque between our Churches, however, we have found it helpful to keep these two issues methodologically separate from one another, and to recognize that the mystery of the relationships among the persons in God must be approached in a different way from the issue of whether or not it is proper for the Western Churches to profess the faith of Nicaea in terms that diverge from the original text of the Creed of 381.
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« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2006, 12:40:14 PM »

There is also a very good article by His Eminence Metropolitan John Zizioulas on this topic (perhaps even more to the point than the Statement above). This article is a response to The Vatican's Clarification on the Filioque, which was printed in L'Osservatore Romano in 1995. (Again, I post it just in case you haven't read it)


One Single Source
An Orthodox response to the Clarification on the Filioque

This is a very valuable statement on the thorny issue of the Filioque, which clarifies many aspects of the position of the Roman Catholic theology on this matter. I am sure that this statement will play a very important role in the official theological dialogue between the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Church when it comes to the point of discussing this issue. My reaction as an Orthodox theologian to this document can be summarized in the following observations:

1) It is with deep satisfaction that I read in the document the emphatic assertion that no confession of faith belonging to a particular liturgical tradition can contradict the expression of faith of the Second Ecumenical Council (Constantinople 381) which has been taught and professed by the undivided Church. This is a very good basis for discussion.

2) It is extremely important, in my judgment, to clarify the point concerning the source (πηγή) or principle (αρχή) or cause (αιτία) in the Holy Trinity. This is crucial, perhaps decisive. The document of the Vatican sees no difference between the monarchia of the Father, i.e. the idea that the Father is the sole principle in God's Trinitarian being, an idea strongly promoted by the Greek Fathers, and St. Augustine's expression that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father principaliter. However, before we can come to the conclusion that the two traditions, Eastern and Western, understand this matter in the same way, we must raise the following questions:

a) Does the expression principaliter necessarily preclude making the Son a kind of secondary cause in the ontological emergence of the Spirit? The Filioque seems to suggest two sources of the Spirit's personal existence, one of which (the Father) may be called the first and original cause (principaliter), while the other one (the Son) may be regarded as a secondary (not principaliter) cause, but still a cause albeit not principaliter.
 
The discussions both at the time of St. Photius and at Lyons and Florence-Ferrara seem to have paid special attention to this delicate point. It is not accidental that the Greek theologians ever since the time of Photius insisted on the expression: μόνος αίτιος ο Πατήρ, i.e. the Father is the sole cause of the Son as well as of the Spirit. This concern does not seem to be fully covered by the Augustinian expression principaliter. The second Council of Lyons is unclear on this matter when it says that the Father as Father of His Son is together with Him the single principle from which the Spirit proceeds.

b) In the light of this observation it would be important to evaluate the use of the idea of cause (αιτία) in Trinitarian theology. It was not without reason that the Cappadocian Fathers introduced this term next to the words πηγή and αρχή (source and principle) which were common since St. Athanasius at least both in the West and in the East.
 
The term cause when applied to the Father, indicates a free, willing and personal agent, whereas the language of source or principle can convey a more natural and thus impersonal imagery (the homoousios was interpreted in this impersonal way by several people in the fourth century). This point acquires crucial significance in the case of the Filioque issue.
 
In the Byzantine period the Orthodox side accused the Latin speaking Christians, who supported the Filioque, of introducing two Gods, precisely because they believed that the Filioque implied two causes — not simply two sources or principles — in the Holy Trinity. The Greek Patristic tradition, at least since the Cappadocian Fathers, identified the one God with the person of the Father, whereas, St. Augustine seems to identify Him with the one divine substance (the deitas or divinitas).
 
It is of course true that, as the Vatican document points out, the Fourth Lateran Council excludes any interpretation that would make divine substance the source or cause, of the Son's generation and the, Spirit's procession. And yet the Cappadocian idea of cause seems to be almost absent in the Latin theological tradition.
 
As Saint Maximus the Confessor insisted, however, in defence of the Roman use of the Filioque, the decisive thing in this defence lies precisely in the point that in using the Filioque the Romans do not imply a cause other than the Father. The notion of cause seems to be of special significance and importance in the Greek Patristic argument concerning the Filioque. If Roman Catholic theology would be ready to admit that the Son in no way constitutes a cause (αιτία) in the procession of the Spirit, this would bring the two traditions much closer to each other with regard to the Filioque.

c) Closely related to the question of the single cause is the problem of the exact meaning of the Son's involvement in the procession of the Spirit. Saint Gregory of Nyssa explicitly admits a mediating role of the Son in the procession of the Spirit from the Father. Is this role to be expressed with the help of the preposition δία (through) the Son (εκ Πατρός δι 'Υιού), as Saint Maximus and other Patristic sources seem to suggest? The Vatican statement notes that this is the basis that must serve for the continuation of the current theological dialogue between Catholic and Orthodox. I would agree with this, adding that the discussion should take place in the light of the single cause principle to which I have just referred.

3) Another important point in the Vatican document is the emphasis it lays on the distinction between εκπόρευσις and processio. It is historically true that in the Greek tradition a clear distinction was always made between εκπορεύσθαι and προϊέναι, the first of these two terms denoting exclusively the Spirit's derivation from the Father alone, whereas προϊέναι was used to denote the Holy Spirit's dependence on the Son owing to the common essence or ουσία which the Spirit in deriving from the Father alone as Person or υπόστασις receives from the Son, too, as ουσιωδώς that is, with regard to the one ουσία common to all three persons (Cyril of Alexandria, Maximus the Confessor et al). On the basis of this distinction one might argue that there is a kind of Filioque on the level of ουσία, but not of υπόστασις.
 
However, as the document points out, the distinction between εκπορεύσθαι and προϊέναι was not made in Latin theology,which used the same term, procedere to denote both realities. Is this enough to explain the insistence of the Latin tradition on the Filioque? Saint Maximus the Confessor seems to think so. For him the Filioque was not heretical because its intention was to denote not the εκπορεύσθαι but the προϊέναι of the Spirit.
 
This remains a valid point, although the subsequent history seems to have ignored it. The Vatican statement underlines this by referring to the fact that in the Roman Catholic Church today the Filioque is omitted whenever the Creed is used in its Greek original which contains the word εκπορεύσθαι.
 
Is this enough? Or should we still insist that the Filioque be removed also from the Latin text of the Creed? It would seem difficult to imagine a situation whereby Greek and Latin Christians would recite the Creed together without using a common text. At the level of theologians, however, the clarifications made by the Vatican statement with regard to this matter are extremely helpful and can be very useful for the theological dialogue between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.

4) The last part of the document, which describes the Spirit as the Gift of love from the Father to the Son and tries to expand on the Augustinian nexus amoris, presents considerable difficulties to me.
 
On the one hand the document refers to the irreversible Trinitarian order according to which the Spirit can be called the Spirit of the Son while the Son can never be called the Son of the Spirit (Gregory of Nyssa, Maximus etc.). On the other hand, however, the same document describes the Spirit as the eternal gift of love from the Father to the Son on the basis of Biblical texts all of which clearly refer to the divine economy, and not to the immanent Trinity.
 
We seem to encounter here the usual difficulty between Western and Eastern theological tradition, namely the problem of the distinction between the eternal and the economic level of God's being. The implications of this difficulty are far-reaching and cannot be analyzed here. Suffice it to say that the Filioque at the level of the economy presents no difficulty whatsoever to the Orthodox, but the projection of this into the immanent Trinity creates great difficulties.
 
The reference to the well-known passage from Saint Gregory Palamas describing the Spirit as some kind of love (έρος) of the Father towards the Son or to that from St. John of Damascus who speaks of the Spirit as resting (αναπαυόμενον) in the Son, should not be justified on the ground of the economy.
 
Neither of these two theologians base the above references to the Spirit's relation to the Son on the relation of these two Persons in the Economy, as St. Augustine seems to do and as the Vatican document also does. The Filioque in no way can be projected from the Economy into the immanent Trinity, and the same is true also of any form of Spirituque that might be detected — this is in fact possible — from the relation of Christ to the Spirit in the history of salvation.
 
This makes it difficult to subscribe to the statements of the document such as this: This role of the Spirit in the innermost human existence of the Son of God made man derives from an eternal Trinitarian relationship through which the Spirit, in his mystery as Gift of love, characterizes the relation between the Father as source of love, and his beloved Son.

5) When it refers to the work of the Spirit in relation to that of Christ at the level of the Economy the Vatican statement is in my opinion extremely helpful. The idea that the Spirit brings us into the filial relationship of the Father and the Son making us sons of the Father by grace through the spirit of sonship and that the constant invocation of the Spirit is necessary for the realization of the work of Christ in us, shows that the East and the West can reach a common ground in many areas of Pneumatology in spite of any obscurities and difficulties that may still remain with regard to the Filioque issue.

In conclusion, the Vatican document on the procession of the Holy Spirit constitutes an encouraging attempt to clarify the basic aspects of the Filioque problem and show that a rapprochement between West and East on this matter is eventually possible. An examination of this problem in depth within the framework of a constructive theological dialogue can be greatly helped by this document.
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« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2006, 07:01:21 PM »

In nomine Iesu I offer you all peace,

Let me offer my deepest appreciation toward Apotheoun and pensateomnia for the very thought provoking and challenging posts. May God continued to bless you both with much patience and filial charity while we discuss this most weighty issue. Amen.

Apotheoun, in your reply discussing the details of energetic manifestation and existential origin by our beloved St. John of Damascus you wrote:

Quote
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, but -- as St. John Damascene pointed out -- the Spirit is not from Christ as far as His existential origin is concerned. The problem with the Scholastic doctrine of the filioque is that it confuses the economic Trinity (i.e., how God is manifested in the world), with the immanent Trinity (i.e., how He exists in His inner and incommunicable being).  To put it another way, the Western Church confuses the procession (ἐκπόρευσις) of origin of the Holy Spirit as hypostasis, with the manifestation (προιεναι) of the Spirit as energy in the economy of salvation.  The Eastern Fathers (and the pre-Augustinian Western Fathers) make this distinction, and by doing so they affirm the monarchy of the Father as the sole source of divinity.

I would humbly say that I believe this assertion to be in error.

Yes, St. John of Damascus rejected the notion that the Holy Spirit is from the Son, nevertheless he teaches that He is the Spirit of the Son and that He proceeds through the Son from the Father (De fide Orthodoxa). In saying this he does not deny that the Son is ‘a’ Principle of the Holy Spirit, but only that unlike the Father He is not ‘the’ Primitive Principle.

The Latin Fathers teach us:

By procession is understood the origin of one from another. One distinguishes external procession (procession ad extra or per transiens), and internal procession inwards (procession ad intra or per immanans). A procession is said to be external when the terminus of the procession goes outside the principle from which it proceeds. Thus creatures proceed by external procession from God, their Primary Origin, but the processions of the Son and the Holy Spirit are an immanent act of the Most Holy Trinity. An internal-Divine Procession signifies the origin of a Divine person form another through the communication of the numerically one Divine Essence.

I believe we both agree that the credo teaches us that there are two internal Divine Processions: the Begetting of the Son and the Procession of the Holy Ghost. By reason of these processions there are in God three Hypostases or Persons really distinct from one another.

The expression “Procession” or “Issue” (ἐκπόρευσις, processio) comes from Holy Scripture… “From God I proceeded” (Ego ex Deo processi); John 8:42 and here, “The Spirit of Truth who proceedeth from the Father” (Spiritum veritatis, qui a Patre procedit); John 15:26. According to the context, however, both passages are to be referred, not to the Eternal Processions of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, but to their temporal missions into this world. These missions, however, are the reflected images of the eternal processions.

Perhaps it is here in this italized sentence which Greek and Latin Fathers differ. Why? Well, I believe the reason lies in the Latin Fathers holding to an absolute simplicity of God. The acceptance of a real distinction (distinction realis) would lead to acceptance of a composition in God, and with that to a dissolution of the Godhead. The Greek insistence to ‘affirm the monarchy of the Father as the sole source of divinity’ is at the heart of the difficulty. I believe the Latin Fathers saw in the Greek Fathers affirmations a ‘complexity’ or ‘composite’ God centering around the Father alone and thus creating the opening which Arianism and other heresies would and did take advantage by attributing ‘creaturehood’ to the Son and all manner of other distortions. From the Latin point-of-view these distortions where and continue to be fed by the apparent lack of equality in the Greek articulation of the Godhead. Further clarity was seen as a necessity for the Latin Fathers and such clarity was ultimately given.

Regardless, I continue to reflect and seek deeper understanding of this most grand of mysteries and I hold great respect for the Greek Tradition and Teachings. I will seek out the books you have referenced and study them to more firmly grasp the Orthodox Criticism of the Latin Position regarding the filioque

Pax Vobiscum



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« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2006, 08:02:00 PM »

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I believe we both agree that the credo teaches us that there are two internal Divine Processions: the Begetting of the Son and the Procession of the Holy Ghost. By reason of these processions there are in God three Hypostases or Persons really distinct from one another.
These two acts (i.e., the generation of the hypostasis of the Son, and the procession of the hypostasis of the Holy Spirit) are proper to the hypostasis of the Father alone.  Thus, I cannot agree with your assertion that the Holy Spirit proceeds (ἐκπόρευσις) from the Father and the Son; in fact, I hold that assertion to be heretical.  The Father alone is the cause of the other two hypostaseis of the Trinity.

Quote
The expression “Procession” or “Issue” (ἐκπόρευσις, processio) comes from Holy Scripture… “From God I proceeded” (Ego ex Deo processi); John 8:42 and here, “The Spirit of Truth who proceedeth from the Father” (Spiritum veritatis, qui a Patre procedit); John 15:26. According to the context, however, both passages are to be referred, not to the Eternal Processions of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, but to their temporal missions into this world. These missions, however, are the reflected images of the eternal processions.
I disagree.  There is a real distinction between the economic Trinity (i.e., the Trinity as it acts in history) and the immanent Trinity (i.e., the inner processions of origin of the Son and the Spirit), and to deny this truth is to fall into theological error.  Moreover, the Roman Church itself -- in a clarification issued by the Vatican in the mid 1990s -- accepts the fact that the term ἐκπόρευσις expresses exclusively the Father's role as cause of the Holy Spirit; and so, your comments do not conform to the teaching of the modern Roman Magisterium.

Sadly, you continue to labor under the error of confusing the economic activities of the Trinity with the immanent life of the three divine hypostaseis.  Clearly, we will never agree on this matter, because I will never again accept as orthodox the Scholastic theory of the Trinity.

God bless,
Todd
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« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2006, 08:16:16 PM »

[. . .]

Regardless, I continue to reflect and seek deeper understanding of this most grand of mysteries and I hold great respect for the Greek Tradition and Teachings. I will seek out the books you have referenced and study them to more firmly grasp the Orthodox Criticism of the Latin Position regarding the filioque

Pax Vobiscum
I wish you the best as you continue your research on this topic, and I thank you for your participation in this cordial discussion.

May God bless you on this day,
the Commemoration of the Holy Prophet Habakkuk,
Todd
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« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2006, 08:37:32 PM »

The following books -- in addition to those I have already listed -- supply information on the Triadological doctrine of the Eastern Church, with an emphasis upon the doctrine of the existential procession (ἐκπόρευσις) of the Holy Spirit from the Father alone:


Fr. Michael Azkoul. The Teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church. Buena Vista, CO: Dormition Skete Publications, 1986. Volume 1.

David Bradshaw. Aristotle East and West: Metaphysics and the Division of Christendom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.  Pages 214-220 concern the filioque.

Richard Haugh. Photius and the Carolingians: The Trinitarian Controversy. Belmont, MA: Nordland Publishing Company, 1975.

Aristeides Papadakis. Crisis in Byzantium: The Filioque Controversy in the Patriarchate of Gregory II of Cyprus (1283-1289). New York: Fordham University Press, 1983.

Aristeides Papadakis. The Church in History: The Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1994.
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« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2006, 09:03:36 PM »

Perhaps it is here in this italized sentence which Greek and Latin Fathers differ. Why? Well, I believe the reason lies in the Latin Fathers holding to an absolute simplicity of God. The acceptance of a real distinction (distinction realis) would lead to acceptance of a composition in God, and with that to a dissolution of the Godhead. The Greek insistence to ‘affirm the monarchy of the Father as the sole source of divinity’ is at the heart of the difficulty. I believe the Latin Fathers saw in the Greek Fathers affirmations a ‘complexity’ or ‘composite’ God centering around the Father alone and thus creating the opening which Arianism and other heresies would and did take advantage by attributing ‘creaturehood’ to the Son and all manner of other distortions. From the Latin point-of-view these distortions where and continue to be fed by the apparent lack of equality in the Greek articulation of the Godhead. Further clarity was seen as a necessity for the Latin Fathers and such clarity was ultimately given.

[. . .]
The Triadological doctrine of the Eastern Church is predicated upon making real distinctions within the Godhead, because as St. Gregory Palamas said, "Three realities pertain to God: essence, energy, and the triad of divine hypostaseis." [St. Gregory Palamas, Capita Physica, no. 75]  In other words, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are really distinct from each other through their different modes of origin (tropos hyparxeos), and are not merely distinct through a philosophical concept of "relations of opposition."  In fact, there can be no opposition in God, because God is essentially adiastemic, i.e., He is beyond the dialectical categories of human thought and predication.  Thus, the divine essence is really distinct from the three divine hypostaseis, while also being really distinct from the enhypostatic energies that flow out from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as a gift of uncreated grace to man. 

Now, as far as the divine simplicity is concerned, the Eastern Church rejects the philosophical doctrine of divine simplicity that has dominated Western theology since the Scholastic period, and holds in its place a doctrine of divine simplicity that declares the divine essence to be indivisibly divided among the three divine hypostaseis, and the many uncreated divine energies that flow out from the Father, through the Son, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, as a gift to created beings.  Thus, as I have already indicated, all of these distinctions are real, but they are not divisions or separations within the Godhead, because God is beyond composition; in fact, God is not only beyond composition, He is beyond being (hyperousios) itself.  Sadly, the Western Church's philosophical theology has reduced God to a category of being that is accessible to human thought and predication, and this theological reductionism is simply foreign to the doctrinal tradition of the Eastern Church.

God bless,
Todd
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« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2006, 09:35:28 PM »

[. . .]

I believe the Latin Fathers saw in the Greek Fathers affirmations a ‘complexity’ or ‘composite’ God centering around the Father alone and thus creating the opening which Arianism and other heresies would and did take advantage by attributing ‘creaturehood’ to the Son and all manner of other distortions. From the Latin point-of-view these distortions where and continue to be fed by the apparent lack of equality in the Greek articulation of the Godhead. Further clarity was seen as a necessity for the Latin Fathers and such clarity was ultimately given.

[. . .]
The Eastern Fathers accepted real distinctions in the Godhead, but rejected the idea that these real distinctions cause any kind of "composition" or "complexity" in God.  Moreover, St. Athanasios the Great defeated the Arian heretics by making a real distinction between the divine essence and the divine will (and energy), because -- as he pointed out -- the Son is proper to the Father's essence (i.e., the Son is homoousios with the Father), while created beings come from the divine will.  Thus, as far as St. Athanasios was concerned, to fail to make a real distinction between the divine essence and the divine will was to become an Arian heretic, because the Arians believed that the Logos was a created effect of the divine will, while St. Athanasios insisted that the Logos (i.e., the Son) is eternally generated by the hypostasis of the Father, and -- as a consequence -- the Son is proper to the Father's essence.

God bless,
Todd

P.S. - Khaled Anatolios deals with this aspect of the theology of St. Athanasios in his book "Athanasius: The Coherence of his Thought."
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« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2006, 11:40:28 PM »

These two acts (i.e., the generation of the hypostasis of the Son, and the procession of the hypostasis of the Holy Spirit) are proper to the hypostasis of the Father alone.

In nomine Iesu I offer you continued peace and much filial affection Apotheoun,

Let me say that I believe the Latin Fathers wouldn't disagree with you or the Greek Fathers on this.

The Catholic Church teaches us:

Because the three Persons of the Trinity are coeternal, we cannot speak of the Trinity as having a temporal beginning. But we can speak of an ontological beginning or source [Primitive Principle] of the Trinity. That source [Primitive Principle] is the Father, who begets the Son and who, together with the Son [Principle], spirates the Holy Spirit, but who himself is unbegotten or ingenerate. We can speak of the Father, therefore, as the source of everything, including the Trinity itself, for he is, as some of the Church Fathers pointed out, the "unoriginated origin". - Encyclopedia of Catholic Doctrine pg. 684

Text in RED added to emphasize terms I've already use to aid consistancy.

Quote
Thus, I cannot agree with your assertion that the Holy Spirit proceeds (ἐκπόρευσις) from the Father and the Son; in fact, I hold that assertion to be heretical.  The Father alone is the cause of the other two hypostaseis of the Trinity.

I understand your opposition and your affirmation of this position to be heretical.

Quote
I disagree.  There is a real distinction between the economic Trinity (i.e., the Trinity as it acts in history) and the immanent Trinity (i.e., the inner processions of origin of the Son and the Spirit), and to deny this truth is to fall into theological error.  Moreover, the Roman Church itself -- in a clarification issued by the Vatican in the mid 1990s -- accepts the fact that the term ἐκπόρευσις expresses exclusively the Father's role as cause of the Holy Spirit; and so, your comments do not conform to the teaching of the modern Roman Magisterium.

I will have to look into this clarification by the Vatican but I believe it might further detail the Latin Fathers' understanding of the Father as 'primitive principle' of the Trinity as I quoted from The Encyclopedia of Catholic Doctrine but I am not a scholar nor am I even well studied in Catholic Theology. I ultimately spend most of my religious activity in dialogue, service and prayer.

Quote
Sadly, you continue to labor under the error of confusing the economic activities of the Trinity with the immanent life of the three divine hypostaseis.  Clearly, we will never agree on this matter, because I will never again accept as orthodox the Scholastic theory of the Trinity.

Perhaps but I would kindly ask that we leave labeling the Latin Fathers as merely one Scholastic School of thought on the subject. I believe that to be unjust.

Regardless I will endeavor to continue to reflect and study the subject although I ultimately question either Traditions 'clarity' on the matter of the inner life of the Godhead.

Pax Vobiscum
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« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2006, 01:03:08 AM »



Regardless I will endeavor to continue to reflect and study the subject although I ultimately question either Traditions 'clarity' on the matter of the inner life of the Godhead.

Pax Vobiscum

Francis-Christopher, please do correct me if I am wrong, but are we as Catholics not required to believe in the Filoque. It is my understanding that it was defined as a matter of faith that as a single spiration, the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son, at the council of Florence. Again, correct me if I am wrong. Many Blessings in Christ.
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« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2006, 01:40:39 AM »

Francis-Christopher, please do correct me if I am wrong, but are we as Catholics not required to believe in the Filoque. It is my understanding that it was defined as a matter of faith that as a single spiration, the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son, at the council of Florence. Again, correct me if I am wrong. Many Blessings in Christ.

In nomine Iesu I offer you Papist continued peace and much filial affection,

This is a question properly answered by a Theologian but I will offer my limited opinion on the matter.

The Catholic Church teaches us:

The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son as from a Single Principle through a Single Spiration. (De Fide.)

From my limited understanding of both the historic teaching at the Second General Council of Lyons (1374 AD) and more recent articulations the Catholic Chuch continues to assert procession from "the Father and from the Son as from a Single Principle through a Single Spiration". Terminology has changed but it appears to be a binding dogma on the faithful.

With that said this is a very tricky topic concerning the most mysterious of the Mysteries of the Church and few if anyone grasps the depth of these declarations in my humble opinion. From what I have grasped from my dialogue with our Orthodox Brothers and Sisters is that both Latin and Greek Fathers appear to have conflicting exegesis in which they have interpret Holy Scripture and erect an impressive philosophical thesis illuminating the inner life of the Godhead. It is one's faith in the Latin or Greek Exegesis and the accompanying philosophical thesis which ultimately decides the issue for the individual. Without the overarching exegesis biasing one toward a Latin or Greek interpretation of the passages referenced by either side, at the moment, I fail to see a clear winner on the weight of reason alone. As a Latin, I must admit I am biased, but I fail to see any rationale, outside of blanket acceptence of the Greek Exegesis, to interpret the Holy Scriptures to support their claim. Of course, we are only speaking about rationale here and as a largely comtemplative Catholic I don't recognize reason alone as a superior authority to personal revelation. In fact, I see such encounters with the Divine Nature of a higher order of authority than reasonable argument but I continue to desire to understand their criticism of the Latin position regardless.

Pax Vobiscom
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« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2006, 01:44:29 AM »

In nomine Iesu I offer you Papist continued peace and much filial affection,

This is a question properly answered by a Theologian but I will offer my limited opinion on the matter.

The Catholic Church teaches us:

The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son as from a Single Principle through a Single Spiration. (De Fide.)

From my limited understanding of both the historic teaching at the Second General Council of Lyons (1374 AD) and more recent articulations the Catholic Chuch continues to assert procession from "the Father and from the Son as from a Single Principle through a Single Spiration". Terminology has changed but it appears to be a binding dogma on the faithful.

With that said this is a very tricky topic concerning the most mysterious of the Mysteries of the Church and few if anyone grasps the depth of these declarations in my humble opinion. From what I have grasped from my dialogue with our Orthodox Brothers and Sisters is that both Latin and Greek Fathers appear to have conflicting exegesis in which they have interpret Holy Scripture and erect an impressive philosophical thesis illuminating the inner life of the Godhead. It is one's faith in the Latin or Greek Exegesis and the accompanying philosophical thesis which ultimately decides the issue for the individual. Without the overarching exegesis biasing one toward a Latin or Greek interpretation of the passages referenced by either side, at the moment, I fail to see a clear winner on the weight of reason alone. As a Latin, I must admit I am biased, but I fail to see any rationale, outside of blanket acceptence of the Greek Exegesis, to interpret the Holy Scriptures to support their claim. Of course, we are only speaking about rationale here and as a largely comtemplative Catholic I don't recognize reason alone as a superior authority to personal revelation. In fact, I see such encounters with the Divine Nature of a higher order of authority than reasonable argument but I continue to desire to understand their criticism of the Latin position regardless.

Pax Vobiscom
So you are more of a Christian Existentialist than an objectivist? Can I ask if you have found that method of epistemology to more useful? If so, has this existentialist epistemology helped you to maintain orthodoxy with regard to the filioque? Thank you very much for your time.
Many Blessings in Christ.
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« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2006, 02:05:55 AM »

So you are more of a Christian Existentialist than an objectivist? Can I ask if you have found that method of epistemology to more useful? If so, has this existentialist epistemology helped you to maintain orthodoxy with regard to the filioque? Thank you very much for your time.

In nomine Iesu I offer you Papist continued peace and much filial affection,

Let me say that I'm not particularly interested in labels. Such things bind one to philosophical frameworks which can led one astray from what is of ultimate importance. That being the acquiring of virtue through the Graces of God. Amen.

I believe, for the sake of respectful dialogue, I can restrain my own beliefs in order to grasp the criticisms and positions of others but I don't claim that such restrain is a natural state but one which I impose upon my religious life for the sake of respectful dialogue.

With regard to the filioque I have always simply accepted the teaching of the Church but I am ever open to reach new depths of understanding of my faith, my person and my God.

Pax Vobiscum
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« Reply #35 on: December 03, 2006, 02:15:18 AM »

In nomine Iesu I offer you Papist continued peace and much filial affection,

Let me say that I'm not particularly interested in labels. Such things bind one to philosophical frameworks which can led one astray from what is of ultimate importance. That being the acquiring of virtue through the Graces of God. Amen.

I believe, for the sake of respectful dialogue, I can restrain my own beliefs in order to grasp the criticisms and positions of others but I don't claim that such restrain is a natural state which I impose upon my religious life.

With regard to the filioque I have always simply accepted the teaching of the Church but I am ever open to reach new depths of understanding of my faith, my person and my God.

Pax Vobiscum
Dear Brother in Christ. This is funny. We are like polar opposites. You sound like the mystic (although I am sure you are well educated in the faith), whereas I am more of the scholastic (although I need to further my education in theology and philosophy). Good thing that the Church is big so that there can room for the both of us. LOL. Seriously, I think that both of our types bring something important to the Church.
Many blessings in Christ.
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« Reply #36 on: December 03, 2006, 11:39:14 AM »

Dear Brother in Christ. This is funny. We are like polar opposites. You sound like the mystic (although I am sure you are well educated in the faith), whereas I am more of the scholastic (although I need to further my education in theology and philosophy). Good thing that the Church is big so that there can room for the both of us. LOL. Seriously, I think that both of our types bring something important to the Church.

In nomine Iesu Papist I offer you continued peace and much filial affection,

For as in one body we have many members, but all the members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ; and every one members one of another: - Romans 12:4-5 DRB

Personally I don't think of myself as 'a mystic'... more of a compassionate librarian.  Embarrassed

Pax Vobiscum
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« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2006, 01:17:37 AM »

a compassionate librarian.  Embarrassed

What does this mean?
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« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2006, 04:03:37 PM »

What does this mean?

In nomine Iesu I offer you peace,

amoare librarius - Lover of Books...

Pax Vobiscum
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« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2006, 07:15:21 PM »

Francis-Christopher, please do correct me if I am wrong, but are we as Catholics not required to believe in the Filoque. It is my understanding that it was defined as a matter of faith that as a single spiration, the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son, at the council of Florence. Again, correct me if I am wrong. Many Blessings in Christ.

I would think it would be necessary to define required in this context.  By required do you mean bound by sin?  I cannot see how.  The Orthodox East have never accepted in any way that I know the canons of Florence, and certainly reject the filioque, and yet Rome has made clear that all such are welcome to commune in our churches.  I cannot see how you or I could be barred from communion by holding to the same faith that does not preclude 300 million Orthodox from so doing.  This is how this strikes me anyway.

Patrick
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« Reply #40 on: December 05, 2006, 12:54:11 AM »

I would think it would be necessary to define required in this context.  By required do you mean bound by sin?  I cannot see how.  The Orthodox East have never accepted in any way that I know the canons of Florence, and certainly reject the filioque, and yet Rome has made clear that all such are welcome to commune in our churches.  I cannot see how you or I could be barred from communion by holding to the same faith that does not preclude 300 million Orthodox from so doing.  This is how this strikes me anyway.

Patrick
It is my understanding that we must submitt to the Churches in all matters of faith. I think the offering of communion to the Eastern Orthodox is a bad idea for the very reason that Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox do not share the same faith and that difference in faith includes the matter of the filioque. That being said, I Know that I am at odds with many modern Catholic theologians on this matter and I myself am not a theologian. I am just a math teacher. LOL.
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« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2012, 12:05:16 PM »


Cyril had an issue with language, he never could quite express himself appropriately. Fortunately for him, he made up for this by being a good politician. I fail to see any difficulities with the writings of St. Photios the Great on the issue of the filioque and it seems rather clear to me that by virtue of opposing such writings one is proclaiming themselves to be at least a ditheist; and, quite frankly, if I was going to be a polytheist, there are many religions out their that are much cooler than Roman Catholicism.

I'm gona back GiC up on this point especially.  Cyril definately had his own terminology that he used interchangeably.  Even the patristic greek that he used was unique, as well as his gramar.  In fact there is going to be an entirely new book that is comming out soon which deals only and uniquely with Cyril, his vocabulary, and his grammar. 
Did this book come out, Father?
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                           and both come out of your mouth
Cyrillic
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« Reply #42 on: December 12, 2012, 01:18:48 PM »


Cyril had an issue with language, he never could quite express himself appropriately. Fortunately for him, he made up for this by being a good politician. I fail to see any difficulities with the writings of St. Photios the Great on the issue of the filioque and it seems rather clear to me that by virtue of opposing such writings one is proclaiming themselves to be at least a ditheist; and, quite frankly, if I was going to be a polytheist, there are many religions out their that are much cooler than Roman Catholicism.

I'm gona back GiC up on this point especially.  Cyril definately had his own terminology that he used interchangeably.  Even the patristic greek that he used was unique, as well as his gramar.  In fact there is going to be an entirely new book that is comming out soon which deals only and uniquely with Cyril, his vocabulary, and his grammar. 
Did this book come out, Father?

I want to know, too.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #43 on: December 12, 2012, 01:34:05 PM »


Cyril had an issue with language, he never could quite express himself appropriately. Fortunately for him, he made up for this by being a good politician. I fail to see any difficulities with the writings of St. Photios the Great on the issue of the filioque and it seems rather clear to me that by virtue of opposing such writings one is proclaiming themselves to be at least a ditheist; and, quite frankly, if I was going to be a polytheist, there are many religions out their that are much cooler than Roman Catholicism.

I'm gona back GiC up on this point especially.  Cyril definately had his own terminology that he used interchangeably.  Even the patristic greek that he used was unique, as well as his gramar.  In fact there is going to be an entirely new book that is comming out soon which deals only and uniquely with Cyril, his vocabulary, and his grammar. 
Did this book come out, Father?

I want to know, too.
For one thing, I'm curious as to any Coptic influence (linguistic, not theological) in the uniqueness of his vocabulary and its use.  Could explain a lot.
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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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