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Author Topic: Did Palamas believe Mary to be Mediatrix of All Grace?  (Read 11608 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 15, 2007, 01:44:59 PM »

Excerpts from the Homily on the Dormition
http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/dormition.html

Quote
For this reason she pours forth from thence abundant grace upon those who honor her-for she is a receptacle of great graces-and she grants us even our ability to look towards her. Because of her goodness she lavishes sublime gifts upon us and never ceases to provide a profitable and abundant tribute in our behalf. If a man looks towards this concurrence and dispensing of every good, he will say that the Virgin is for virtue and those who live virtuously, what the sun is for perceptible light and those who live in it.


Quote
...in the endless age to come, without her mediation, every emanation of illuminating divine light, every revelation of the mysteries of the Godhead, every form of spiritual gift, will exceed the capacity of every created being. She alone has received the all-pervading fulness of Him that filleth all things, and through her all may now contain it, for she dispenses it according to the power of each, in proportion and to the degree of the purity of each. Hence she is the treasury and overseer of the riches of the Godhead. For it is an everlasting ordinance in the heavens that the inferior partake of what lies beyond being, by the mediation of the superior, and the Virgin Mother is incomparably superior to all. It is through her that as many as partake of God do partake

Quote
O divine, and now heavenly, Virgin, how can I express all things which pertain to thee? ... The eye of the intellect is through thee made limpid, and through thee the spirit of a man is illumined by the sojourning of the Spirit of God, since thou hast become the steward of the treasury of divine gifts and their vault, and this, not in order to keep them for thyself, but so that thou mightest make created nature replete with grace. Indeed, the steward of those inexhaustible treasuries watches over them so that the riches may be dispensed; and what could confine that wealth which wanes not? Richly, therefore, bestow thy mercy and thy graces upon all thy people, this thine inheritance, O Lady! Dispel the perils which menace us. See how greatly we are expended by our own and by aliens, by those without and by those within. Uplift all by thy might: mollify our fellow citizens one with another and scatter those who assault us from without-like savage beasts. Measure out thy succor and healing in proportion to our passions, apportioning abundant grace to our souls and bodies, sufficient for every necessity. And although we may prove incapable of containing thy bounties, augment our capacity and in this manner bestow them upon us, so that being both saved and fortified by thy grace,... Amen.


It seems to me that Palamas is saying that she is mediatrix of all grace by physical instrumental causality and not merely morally by way of prayer. What is your interpretation?
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2007, 02:20:09 PM »

Where does 'CoRedemptrix' come in to play here?
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2007, 03:32:18 PM »

Where does 'CoRedemptrix' come in to play here?

I changed the title of the thread for you because I dont want this to get sidetracked.
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2007, 06:40:18 PM »

It seems to me that Palamas is saying that she is mediatrix of all grace by physical instrumental causality and not merely morally by way of prayer. What is your interpretation?
Again, you seem to miss the point.
The Theotokos does not only pray for us, she is the means by which God entered our own Time and Space. The Uncircumscribable God was circumscribed within her. This is what St. Gregory Palamas is talking about when he says: "She alone has received the all-pervading fulness of Him that filleth all things"
Our Redemption is achieved through her, because without her, there would be no Incarnation. Therefore, since through her God entered the world, then through her Grace entered the world.
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2007, 05:45:32 AM »

Here is a tradition in Orthodoxy. That when the church of the
Dormition was built, a request was made by the builder some ruler or
other, for a relic, meaning body part, of the Theotokos. There was
none, because she had been resurrected and taken to heaven by Jesus.

Until that time, some 500 years after the event, the Assumption of the
 Virgin was rumored and some local feast existed, but the matter
wasn't universal.

It seems she had ASKED THAT THE EVENT BE KEPT SECRET because
she didn't want to distract attention from her Son.

That being the case, maybe we should look more to the origin of
these graces, Jesus Christ, than to her. Without ignoring her of course.
Even Luther held her in higher esteem than the average Protestant.

Palamas in any case is not saying she is the ONLY mediator of virtues,
like the RC say, in depicting a divine economy that has her as the
only distributor of graces originating with God. Just that she is the only
one who was filled with all of them and has great power.

And her icon does point to Jesus. So maybe we need to follow her
example and seek the virtue to be more Christlike.

St. Cyril Bishop of Jerusalem told his catechumens, to check
everything he said against Scripture, and reject whatever didn't
match. Palamas et. al., have great merit, but are not the last word.

If we want to honor The Theotokos we should do as she wants, and
I think that would include redirecting some of the titles and praises
usually sent in her direction to her Son. After all, she had requested
no one tell anyone about her resurrection and assumption SO AS NOT TO DISTRACT FROM JESUS.

Just some thoughts from an Orthodox in training. Those church
legends are very instructive.
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2007, 11:07:32 AM »

Again, you seem to miss the point.
The Theotokos does not only pray for us, she is the means by which God entered our own Time and Space. The Uncircumscribable God was circumscribed within her. This is what St. Gregory Palamas is talking about when he says: "She alone has received the all-pervading fulness of Him that filleth all things"
Our Redemption is achieved through her, because without her, there would be no Incarnation. Therefore, since through her God entered the world, then through her Grace entered the world.

No Im not missing the point. In the quotes I gave Palamas is not merely talking about her past work of obedience on earth but about her power now and for eternity in heaven. Please read:

Quote
Hence, as it was through the Theotokos alone that the Lord came to us, appeared upon earth and lived among men, being invisible to all before this time, so likewise in the endless age to come, without her mediation, every emanation of illuminating divine light, every revelation of the mysteries of the Godhead, every form of spiritual gift, will exceed the capacity of every created being. She alone has received the all-pervading fulness of Him that filleth all things, and through her all may now contain it, for she dispenses it according to the power of each, in proportion and to the degree of the purity of each. Hence she is the treasury and overseer of the riches of the Godhead. For it is an everlasting ordinance in the heavens that the inferior partake of what lies beyond being, by the mediation of the superior, and the Virgin Mother is incomparably superior to all. It is through her that as many as partake of God do partake

She *dispenses* grace now. This is done neither by her past obedience or by the historical incarnation in her womb. To me the only explanation is physical instrumental causality. She physically hands out the grace that is in her physical body.
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2007, 11:55:33 AM »

No Im not missing the point. In the quotes I gave Palamas is not merely talking about her past work of obedience on earth but about her power now and for eternity in heaven. Please read:

She *dispenses* grace now. This is done neither by her past obedience or by the historical incarnation in her womb. To me the only explanation is physical instrumental causality. She physically hands out the grace that is in her physical body.

I would speculate as to say that St Gregory here utilises strong prose to emphasise the blessed state St Mary had reached and as such the great power of her intercessions.

I suppose in a somewhat related fashion we can ask how the concept of co-mediation or co-redemption differs from prayers and intercessions offered on behalf of others. This contrast and distinction may perhaps help to clarify our theology.
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2007, 02:19:21 PM »



She *dispenses* grace now. This is done neither by her past obedience or by the historical incarnation in her womb. To me the only explanation is physical instrumental causality. She physically hands out the grace that is in her physical body.

Your correct. except for this (or by the historical incarnation in her womb)
Christ recieved his human nature through his mother alone.
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2007, 05:30:12 PM »

God bless!

I think there is no problem to call the Allholy Theotokos Mediatrix of all graces for orthodox!
We can find many similar "terms" in the writings of the Holy Fathers. I think without the Mediation of the Theotokos it is impossible to come to God.
I think all the "new" terms of the catholic church;like Redemptrix, Mediatrix......are not contrary to orthodoxy - with the right interpretation !
We also call her Saviour of Souls, or Salvation of the christian race, in Greece in the middle ages many hill chapels were dedicated to the Panhagia Sotira ( Allholy Saviour), the fathers often used such expressions.

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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2007, 10:44:29 PM »

God bless!

I think there is no problem to call the Allholy Theotokos Mediatrix of all graces for orthodox!
We can find many similar "terms" in the writings of the Holy Fathers. I think without the Mediation of the Theotokos it is impossible to come to God.
I think all the "new" terms of the catholic church;like Redemptrix, Mediatrix......are not contrary to orthodoxy - with the right interpretation !
We also call her Saviour of Souls, or Salvation of the christian race, in Greece in the middle ages many hill chapels were dedicated to the Panhagia Sotira ( Allholy Saviour), the fathers often used such expressions.

In CHRIST

yes but the enthusiasts under Rome mean things we don't:

http://www.voxpopuli.org/

I'll say for the record here, as I did on ECF on CAF: THE ORHTODOX DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE COREDEMTRIX.

Please, any Orthodox post a counter statement.

This statement is necessary, as we are told that we believed in the Assumption until the pope dogmatized it, in the Immaculate Conception until the pope dogmatized it, etc.



As for her playing a pivotal role in salvation: for us, that's a given.  And that's what St. Gregory is speaking of.
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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2007, 11:02:13 PM »

Hello,

Again, you seem to miss the point.
The Theotokos does not only pray for us, she is the means by which God entered our own Time and Space. The Uncircumscribable God was circumscribed within her. This is what St. Gregory Palamas is talking about when he says: "She alone has received the all-pervading fulness of Him that filleth all things"
Our Redemption is achieved through her, because without her, there would be no Incarnation. Therefore, since through her God entered the world, then through her Grace entered the world.
That sounds like what Catholics mean when they say Mary Co-Redemptrix.


yes but the enthusiasts under Rome mean things we don't:

http://www.voxpopuli.org/

I'll say for the record here, as I did on ECF on CAF: THE ORHTODOX DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE COREDEMTRIX.

Please, any Orthodox post a counter statement.

This statement is necessary, as we are told that we believed in the Assumption until the pope dogmatized it, in the Immaculate Conception until the pope dogmatized it, etc.



As for her playing a pivotal role in salvation: for us, that's a given.  And that's what St. Gregory is speaking of.
Huh The site says: When the Church invokes Mary under the title, "Coredemptrix", she means that Mary uniquely participated in the redemption of the human family by Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour. At the Annunciation (cf.Lk.1:38) Mary freely cooperated in giving the Second Person of the Trinity his human body which is the very instrument of redemption, as Scripture tells us: "We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb.10:10).
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2007, 01:29:58 AM »

Why must she be Mediatrix of ALL Grace? Why not just some?? (I am not trying to mock anyone; I'm serious about these questions)

Also, doesn't this cause grace to seem more like a commodity God gives, rather than the actual energy of God?
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« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2007, 06:01:10 AM »

Why must she be Mediatrix of ALL Grace? Why not just some?? (I am not trying to mock anyone; I'm serious about these questions)
Good question.
If the Theotokos is the "Mediatrix of all Grace", then is she the Mediatrix of the Grace with which the Gospel says she herself was filled?
Also, what does this mean in terms of the Orthodox understanding of Grace as being the Uncreated Energies of God? Does the Theotokos act as some sort of "Administrator" of the Divine Energies?
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« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2007, 08:55:33 AM »

yes but the enthusiasts under Rome mean things we don't:

http://www.voxpopuli.org/

I'll say for the record here, as I did on ECF on CAF: THE ORHTODOX DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE COREDEMTRIX.

Please, any Orthodox post a counter statement.

This statement is necessary, as we are told that we believed in the Assumption until the pope dogmatized it, in the Immaculate Conception until the pope dogmatized it, etc.



As for her playing a pivotal role in salvation: for us, that's a given.  And that's what St. Gregory is speaking of.

God bless!

That's true we have a different understanding of these Terms but we can also call Her Salvation, Saviour.....to ask her save us. Everyone who saves is a Saviour ( but of course there is only one).

I think it would be interesting to quote some Fathers:

St. Gregory Palamas:

"She alone stands between God and the whole human race, making God the son of man and men the sons of  God. She is the source and root of the race of Liberty, her  Body, the Temple of God is the saving Balsam for our race and She alone dwells on the frontier between created and uncreated natures, and those who know God recognize also Her in the habitation of the infinite".

St. Theophanes the Graptos: "It cannot happenn that ayone, of Angels or of men, can come otherwise, in any way whatsoever to participation in the divine gifts flowing from what has been divinely assumed, from the Son of God save through his mother".
The Theotokos is the Dispenser and Distributer of all the wondrous uncreated gifts of the divine Spirit.
As the fountain, the Beginning of Life, She receives wholly the hidden grace of the Spirit and amply distributes it and shares it with others, thus manifesting it.
All things are created for Her and are governed through Her. No one attains the fullness and the goal of life in Christ without Her cooperation or without the Spirit's help.

St. John of Kronstadt: "  She is the highest of all creatures, the Mediatrix for the whole human race.

St. Germanos: "No one is filled with the knowledge of God save through thee O Most Holy One."
No one is saved except through thee, O Theotokos, no one is ransomed save through thee, Mother of God, no one secured a gift of mercy save through thee, who holds God,....in thee all peoples of the earth have obtained blessing, for there is not place where thy name is not held in honor".

St. Terasios:" She is the cause of Salvation of all mortals, the reconciler in the second regeneration with God, She is the restoration of the whole world, the expiation of Adam's curse, the price of Eve's debt and the one who free's us from the curse pronounced against our first parent Eve. She is the Queen of the Universe, the Mediatress of all who are under heaven."
St. Joseph the Hymnographer: Through thee our earthly and corruptible nature is made heavenly !

St. Photios: " The Lord is with thee, delivering through thee the whole race from its ancient sorrow and curse!

St.John of Damaskos:"Thou hast brought together what had been seperated. To serve the Theotokos and to be Her courtier is the greatest honor one can possible possess, for to serve the Queen of Heaven is already to reign there, and to live under her commands is more than to govern."
She has won for us all good things.Through Her, our reconciliation with God has been consecrated, and peace and grace have been bestowed.

St.Ambrose of Milan: Alone Mary has worked the Salvation of the world and conceived the Redemption of all.

St. Jerome: Through Eve death and THROUGH Mary life !

St. Irenaeus: For what the Virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the Virgin Mary set free through faith.

St. Gregory Palamas: She cooperated and suffered with that divine emptying ( kenosis) and condescension in His incarnation, when he took the form of a servant. She is also rightly glorified and exalted together with him.She divinized the human race.

St. Andrew: Every creature is filled with thy Glory. All things have been made holy by the odor ot thy fragrance, through thee the occasion of sin has been abolished, the woes of the first parent have been transformed into joy.

St. Ignatios the Godbearer: " He who is devout to the Theotokos will certainly never be lost".

St. John of Kronstadt: The Mother of God is one flesh and blood, and one spirit with the Saviour, as his Mother. She gave him Her mostholy and mostpure flesh, nourishing him with her Allholy Milk, carrying him in her arms, clothing him, caring inevery way for him in his infancy, kissiing him over and over again and caressing him. O Lord, who can describe the greatness of the Theotokos Virgiin ? She is one with God.....

God sent forth His Son, made of a woman(Gal4,4). Christ was "made" of a woman and He took Her flesh so Christ's saving flesh is the flesh from the Theotokos. I think this is also the reason why we after receiving communion say also thanksgiving prayers to the Theotokos. Because when we receive Christs Allpure flesh we are also united with the Theotokos from whom Christ took the flesh.

"We prais thee the Mediatress for the Salvation of our race, o Virgin Theotokos, for thy Son and our God hath deigned to endure the Passion in the flesh taken from thee, and hath redeemed us from corruption, since he is the friend of man".

"By giving Birth to the Giver of Life, O Virigin thou didst rescue Adam from sin and thou didst grant Eve joy instead of sorrow, for the God  and Man who was incarnate of thee guided back to life those that had fallen away therefrom!.

St. Romanos the Melode: The Theotokos speaking of Herself:
For I am not simply thy Mother, O merciful Saviour,...but I supplicate thee in behalf of all men. Thou hast made me the pride and boast of all my race, for thy Universe considers me as a powerful protection, rampart and stay. May those that were cast from the joys of Paradies look to me that I may direct them to a perception of all things. Grant this to me who gave birth to thee a newborn child, the pre-eternal God".

"As the treasury of our Salvation, O Allhymned One, do thou lead forth from the pit and abyss of offenses them that hope in thee, for those that were guilty because of sin hast thou saved by giving birth to Salvation..."

"Unto thee I do ever ascribe my Salvation, in thee do I hope to be saved..."

Allholy Saviour of Souls save us!


The Panhagia Psyschosostria !
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« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2007, 09:09:23 AM »

we can also call Her Salvation, Saviour.....to ask her save us. Everyone who saves is a Saviour ( but of course there is only one).

Thats quite a contradiction.
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« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2007, 09:16:48 AM »

Also, what does this mean in terms of the Orthodox understanding of Grace as being the Uncreated Energies of God? Does the Theotokos act as some sort of "Administrator" of the Divine Energies?

If she is Mediatrix of ALL grace then she must by necessity be Mediatrix of ALL divine energies. Palamas even says that she dispenses them at her own will, to who she wills, and in the proportion that she wills. This is very interesting when we consider the character of the divine energies. They are God's own activity, are uncreated, and fill the entire universe.

Personally I only have one God.
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« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2007, 09:29:54 AM »

If she is Mediatrix of ALL grace
She isn't. And as I explained, St. Gregory Palamas doesn't say she is either.  I challenge you to find anywhere where St. Gregory Palamas says the Theotokos administers all the Uncreated Energies.
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« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2007, 09:34:13 AM »

Thats quite a contradiction.

God bless!

No it's not ! It depends on the interpretation and how u understand it. When St. Ambrose said that only the Theotokos alone worked the Salvation for the human race - how will u interprete it - do u think that St. Ambrose forgot Christ ?

Like in Holy Scripture is written: There is only one Mediator between God and Man- so there is only one Saviour !
But also the Theotokos and all the Saints are Mediators ! But they received their power of Mediating from Him !

Let me qoute:

A mediator or mediatress in religion, is one who acts as an intermediary between God and Man. Christ is the perfect Mediator as the Son of God and true Man, for he partakes both natures. St. John Chrysostom comments that "Christ would no longer be a mediator, if he were connected with one nature but seperated from the other".
However, Christ also works and rests in His Saints, thus, vouchsafing them the role of mediator or mediatress. Therefore when we read the words of St. Paul that "there is one God and one (eis) Mediator between God and Man, the man Christ Jesus, Who gave himslef a ransom for all"
we understand the use of the word "one" as emphasizing our Saviour's transcendence as a Mediator.
The word "one" was translated from greek word "eis" meaning the numeral "one" and not "monos" meaning "only" or "alone".

So there is no contradiction !

In CHRIST

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« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2007, 09:58:59 AM »

If she is Mediatrix of ALL grace then she must by necessity be Mediatrix of ALL divine energies. Palamas even says that she dispenses them at her own will, to who she wills, and in the proportion that she wills. This is very interesting when we consider the character of the divine energies. They are God's own activity, are uncreated, and fill the entire universe.

Personally I only have one God.

God bless!

Theophanes the Graptos: "It cannot happenn that ayone, of Angels or of men, can come otherwise, in any way whatsoever to participation in the divine gifts flowing from what has been divinely assumed, from the Son of God save through his mother".The Theotokos is the Dispenser and Distributer of all the wondrous uncreated gifts of the divine Spirit.As the fountain, the Beginning of Life, She receives wholly the hidden grace of the Spirit and amply distributes it and shares it with others, thus manifesting it.All things are created for Her and are governed through Her. No one attains the fullness and the goal of life in Christ without Her cooperation or without the Spirit's help.

Do you read here that She is the Dispenser and Distributer of all wondrous UNCREATED gifts of the Divine Spirit ! Yes she is the Mediatrix of all uncreated graces of the Trinity. But this makes her not a Godess or complete God equal- thatS a wrong interpretation. God wants to give us his Energys and Grace through Her - He wants to-but he did not need to ! There is a difference. It is like a Ladder or Hierarchy - on the Top is God and from him the uncreated energies are flowing through the whole Hierarchy first through the Theotokos and the Saints and the Angels and to us ...so where is the problem ?

If u like I can quote many many others of all the great Fathers and Pillars of orthodoxy ?

St. Theophanes also calls her the "Neck" when Christ is the Head, so no one will come to the head without the neck !

In CHRIST
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« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2007, 10:08:11 AM »

Hello,

If the Theotokos is the "Mediatrix of all Grace", then is she the Mediatrix of the Grace with which the Gospel says she herself was filled?
Good question, and I don't have a solid answer for it at this time. But I would ask a commenting question as a reply now:

We can say that Mary, by her accepting the will of God and bearing Christ, is a Co-Redemptrix - that is she participated in the salvation and redemption of men by saying yes to God. Since Mary, too, needed a Redeemer, redemption and salvation, then is she the Co-Redemptrix of her own redemption?
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« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2007, 10:09:19 AM »

"St. Theophanes also calls her the "Neck" when Christ is the Head, so no one will come to the head without the neck !"


Wow that sounds like Toula's mother in  My Big fat Greek Wedding "The man is the Head but the woman is the neck.  He will go where ever she turns him" Grin  Now I know where she got it!

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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2007, 10:10:13 AM »

Hello,

AMEN Christodoulos! And thanks for the wonderful quotes.
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« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2007, 10:24:54 AM »

Hello,
Good question, and I don't have a solid answer for it at this time. But I would ask a commenting question as a reply now:

We can say that Mary, by her accepting the will of God and bearing Christ, is a Co-Redemptrix - that is she participated in the salvation and redemption of men by saying yes to God. Since Mary, too, needed a Redeemer, redemption and salvation, then is she the Co-Redemptrix of her own redemption?

God bless!

You have to make a difference; of course the Theotokos was not always the Queen of Heaven but she became ! So the same with the Mediatress of all uncreated gifts - she became it through her godpleasing life.

The fathers say that Christ began his economy of Salvation with the Salvation of the Theotokos ! She need to be prepared by God to minister in the Salvation of man. God choose her before the ages to be his Allholy Mother.

In CHRIST
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« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2007, 10:32:51 AM »

We can say that Mary, by her accepting the will of God and bearing Christ, is a Co-Redemptrix - that is she participated in the salvation and redemption of men by saying yes to God. Since Mary, too, needed a Redeemer, redemption and salvation, then is she the Co-Redemptrix of her own redemption?
In what sense? Since God cannot force salvation on anyone, but requires our assent, our repentance, our co-operation with Grace- doesn't that mean that each of us is a "Co-Redeemer" by that definition?
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« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2007, 10:46:27 AM »

In what sense? Since God cannot force salvation on anyone, but requires our assent, our repentance, our co-operation with Grace- doesn't that mean that each of us is a "Co-Redeemer" by that definition?

God bless!

Be careful with your words !
Or will u say that u are like a second Theotokos a bearer of God ? Did God also take flesh from your flesh for the Salvation. Did God choose u also before the ages to be his beloved Allholy Mother ?
Did u also consecrate your whole being to God and to minister in the Salvation of the human race ?
You make great mistakes !!! She was not saved for her own but for the whole human race, without her we wouldn't have received Salvation. Can u say the same of your own ? She also was saved for u and that u can receive Salvation ! It was her Son -of her flesh who suffered on the cross and resurrected from the dead to deliver all- can u say the same of your son ?

The fathers say that no one can "know" the greatness and Super-glory of the Theotokos only God knows.

In CHRIST
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« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2007, 10:49:26 AM »

Hello,

God bless!

You have to make a difference; of course the Theotokos was not always the Queen of Heaven but she became ! So the same with the Mediatress of all uncreated gifts - she became it through her godpleasing life.

The fathers say that Christ began his economy of Salvation with the Salvation of the Theotokos ! She need to be prepared by God to minister in the Salvation of man. God choose her before the ages to be his Allholy Mother.

In CHRIST

I know, it is a mediocre analogy at best. But, it was all that came to mind at the time.
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« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2007, 12:46:11 PM »

Neat Discussion!

I don't really have anything to offer but Neat Discussion! (did I already say that  laugh)
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« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2007, 01:19:51 PM »

Thats quite a contradiction.

I agree.  There needs to be a good explanation of uncreated grace and how it is dispensed.

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« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2007, 05:22:00 PM »

Good question.
If the Theotokos is the "Mediatrix of all Grace", then is she the Mediatrix of the Grace with which the Gospel says she herself was filled?
Also, what does this mean in terms of the Orthodox understanding of Grace as being the Uncreated Energies of God? Does the Theotokos act as some sort of "Administrator" of the Divine Energies?

That I am afraid is where the Vox Populi are going.  Though they call it the final dogma (and are almost apocalyptic about that), I doubt it, and see no reason why it should stop there.

I've heard Mark I. Miravalle, S.T.D (sorry, I chuckle when that's mentioned. I worked in hospital settings for years) speak on this time after time.  It strikes me a lot like Sophiology, which I regret to say, given that Bulgakov's "The Orthodox Church" was instrumental in me coming.

As for an administrator, I remember the priest who christmated me (a convert, formally under Rome) told me that in seminary (he converted after his ordination by Rome) he was told literally that "the Church is the Body, Christ is the Head, and Mary is the neck."  Now in some ways, this I believe is Orthodox and accurate.  But in a way it makes her an administrator as you said.  I remember in the early 90s when this hadn't become so hot yet, on of the regulars on EWTN said he had no problem with the idea that Mary held the purse of merits, but not with the idea that she (and not her Son) dispensed them.
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« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2007, 06:39:56 PM »

That I am afraid is where the Vox Populi are going.  Though they call it the final dogma (and are almost apocalyptic about that), I doubt it, and see no reason why it should stop there.

I've heard Mark I. Miravalle, S.T.D (sorry, I chuckle when that's mentioned. I worked in hospital settings for years) speak on this time after time.  It strikes me a lot like Sophiology, which I regret to say, given that Bulgakov's "The Orthodox Church" was instrumental in me coming.

As for an administrator, I remember the priest who christmated me (a convert, formally under Rome) told me that in seminary (he converted after his ordination by Rome) he was told literally that "the Church is the Body, Christ is the Head, and Mary is the neck."  Now in some ways, this I believe is Orthodox and accurate.  But in a way it makes her an administrator as you said.  I remember in the early 90s when this hadn't become so hot yet, on of the regulars on EWTN said he had no problem with the idea that Mary held the purse of merits, but not with the idea that she (and not her Son) dispensed them.

What is in Mary's pocketbook? Merits!
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« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2007, 09:01:00 PM »

Be careful with your words !
Or will u say that u are like a second Theotokos a bearer of God ?
Aren't we all called to bear Christ into the world?

It was her Son -of her flesh who suffered on the cross and resurrected from the dead to deliver all-
That's right. Not her.

can u say the same of your son ?
Why don't you have this same feeling for Sts. Joachim and Anna? Can you say the same of your Grandson? Why aren't they the same kind of Superheroes you think the Theotokos is?

The fathers say that no one can "know" the greatness and Super-glory of the Theotokos only God knows.
This sounds like Mariolatry to me. The Theotokos does not have an "unknowable nature" like God. She is a creature.

The All HOly Theotokos is "more honourable than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim. But she is not the fourth member of the Trinity, nor is she Mediatrix of all Grace, nor is she Co-Redemptrix. She is nothing without Christ. This is why she always points to Christ in her Icons.

What is in Mary's pocketbook? Merits!
Yep, and that's the other problem with this "dogma". If the Theotokos does not administer all the Uncreated Energies, but people insist that she administers something, then all they are left with is that she administers the "Treasury" of Merit...which doesn't exst in Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2007, 11:55:50 PM »

Aren't we all called to bear Christ into the world?

But only one has the Right to do so through Her perfection begotten of Her own Will, independent of the divine. Salvation comes from the divine, but Our Lady's perfection came through her personal effort which required God, if he were to remain just and not condemn perfection, to come into the World through Her, and by Her Flesh bring Salvation to all humanity.

Quote
That's right. Not her.

Her flesh and God's flesh are one and the same, to say otherwise is to renounce the Virgin Birth.

Quote
Why don't you have this same feeling for Sts. Joachim and Anna? Can you say the same of your Grandson? Why aren't they the same kind of Superheroes you think the Theotokos is?

Because they did not achieve perfection (though they may very well have come close) through their will alone, and it was a mixture of their flesh, neither of their flesh in its purness, which became the flesh of the divine.

Quote
This sounds like Mariolatry to me. The Theotokos does not have an "unknowable nature" like God. She is a creature.

The All HOly Theotokos is "more honourable than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim. But she is not the fourth member of the Trinity, nor is she Mediatrix of all Grace, nor is she Co-Redemptrix. She is nothing without Christ. This is why she always points to Christ in her Icons.

She is that, and so much more. As St. Cyril taught:

'Rejoice, Mary Theotokos, venerable treasure of the whole world, light unextinguished, crown of virginity, scepter of Orthodoxy, indestructible temple, which contains the uncontainable:...It is through theee that the Holy Trinity is glorified and adored; through thee, the precious Cross is venerated and adored throughout the whole world; through the that heaven is in gladness, that angels and archangels rejoice, and that demons are put to flight; through thee that the temper, the devil, is cast down from heaven; through thee that the fallen creature cast down from heqaven; through thee that all creation, once imprisoned in idolatry, as reachecd knowledge fo the truth, that the faithful obtain baptism and th eoil of job, churches have been founded in the whole world, and that peoples are led to conversion.' (Hom. IV Ephesi in Nestorium habita..., in PG 77, 992BC)

Quote
Yep, and that's the other problem with this "dogma". If the Theotokos does not administer all the Uncreated Energies, but people insist that she administers something, then all they are left with is that she administers the "Treasury" of Merit...which doesn't exst in Orthodoxy.

Well, according to St. Gregory Palamas, 'the  Virgin Mother alone dwells on the fronteir between created and uncreated natures, and those who know God reconize also in her the habitation of the infinite.' (Hom. 14, PG 151, 177A).

And to quote St. Theophanes the Palamite, 'It cannot happen that anyone, of angels or of men, can come otherwise, in any way whatsoever to participation in the divine gifts flowing from what has been divinely assumed, from the Son of God, save through His Mother.' (Sermon, in Deiparam, cited in Marianum (Rome, 1964) 5, p. 55). He also taught that Our Lady is the 'dispenser and distributor of all the wonderous uncreated gifts of the divine Spirit' (Ibid. 4, 55; 15; 205).

It would seem that She does distribute the Uncreated Energies, which cannot come into the world save through the Theotokos as it was Her Will and Her Flesh which compelled the Incarnation; She became, by Her own Power, a god, compelling the Word, by Divine Justice to become incarnate, thus making, to reference St. Athanasios, all men gods. As her Akathist proclaims, She truly brough Salvation, by Her own Will, to all humanity.
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« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2007, 12:09:48 AM »

Her flesh and God's flesh are one and the same, to say otherwise is to renounce the Virgin Birth.
Yes. But His Divine Nature is not her Nature.

It would seem that She does distribute the Uncreated Energies,
No. It seems that Theophanes says she does so. One theologian's opinion does not a dogma make. Wink
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« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2007, 12:21:52 AM »

No. It seems that Theophanes says she does so. One theologian's opinion does not a dogma make. Wink

No, of course not; but one theologian's opinion and a cool revolutionary ring to the doctrine does a dogma make. Grin j/k
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« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2007, 07:59:37 PM »

Aren't we all called to bear Christ into the world?
 That's right. Not her.
Why don't you have this same feeling for Sts. Joachim and Anna? Can you say the same of your Grandson? Why aren't they the same kind of Superheroes you think the Theotokos is?
This sounds like Mariolatry to me. The Theotokos does not have an "unknowable nature" like God. She is a creature.

The All HOly Theotokos is "more honourable than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim. But she is not the fourth member of the Trinity, nor is she Mediatrix of all Grace, nor is she Co-Redemptrix. She is nothing without Christ. This is why she always points to Christ in her Icons.
 Yep, and that's the other problem with this "dogma". If the Theotokos does not administer all the Uncreated Energies, but people insist that she administers something, then all they are left with is that she administers the "Treasury" of Merit...which doesn't exst in Orthodoxy.

God bless!

Yes we should bear Christ but not like the Theotokos were there was an hypostatic union. Or do u think that in your womb als such an hypostatic union will happen ?

St. Joachim and Anna are perhaps the greatest Saints and the grandparents(ancesters) of Christ ? In the orthodox Church every service ends with the comemmoration.

Your way of speaking of the Mostholy Theotokos is improper - please stop it !

Yes she is a Mediatrix of All gifts ( I have to confess I do not like such terms) but it is true the fathers often speak in such language - humble yourself and stay close to them and not your opinion.

May God forgive to call her in this way! Yes She is a "Superhero" and u will find nothing like Her in whole universe ( of course beside God) St. John wrote the same ! And yes it was "her" flesh - Christ received his flesh from Her - the fruit of her womb so we can say it was also her flesh.

You fall from one extreme into the other. I did not say that she has an absolute "unknowable" nature but we will never "understand" her greatness and god given glory - that is what the fathers say.

Please do not divide the Theotokos from Christ because u will loose both !

Your opinion sounds really protestant and not orthodox ! I think a devout orthodox would never speak in such "tone" about our Allglorious Lady Theotokos !

In CHRIST
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« Reply #35 on: November 14, 2007, 08:08:24 PM »

Yes. But His Divine Nature is not her Nature.
No. It seems that Theophanes says she does so. One theologian's opinion does not a dogma make. Wink

God bless!

There is a difference between the Divine Nature and the Human Nature - Christ received his human Nature from the Theotokos - flesh from her flesh ! These both Natures were united in One Person (Hypostase) and this union was made in the womb of the Theotokos - oh it is hard to imagine God dwells in a womb for nine months - what miracle ! Glory to thee o God, glory to thee !

In CHRIST
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« Reply #36 on: November 14, 2007, 08:52:54 PM »

Yes she is a Mediatrix of All gifts ( I have to confess I do not like such terms) but it is true the fathers often speak in such language - humble yourself and stay close to them and not your opinion.
No she isn't, and no, the Fathers do not "often speak in such language"...in fact they never do. You have picked one quote from one Orthodox Theologian- the same one which Roman Catholic lobbyists of the "dogma" of the Mediatrix of All Graces keep using, and your whole case rests on that. Find me the other "Fathers" who say the same thing, otherwise perhaps it is you who needs to "humble yourself".
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« Reply #37 on: November 14, 2007, 09:32:28 PM »

God bless !

From the Sermons of St. John of Damascus:

Neither human tongue nor angelic mind is able worthily to praise her through whom it is given to us to look clearly upon the Lord's glory. What then? Shall we be silent through fear of our insufficiency? Certainly not. Shall we be trespassers beyond our own boundaries, and freely handle ineffable mysteries, putting off all restraint? By no means. Mingling, rather, fear with desire, and weaving them into one crown, with reverent hand and longing soul, let us show forth the poor first-fruits of our intelligence in gratitude to our Queen and Mother, the benefactress of all creation as a repayment of our debt.

What shall we say, O Queen? What words shall we use? What praise shall we pour upon thy sacred and glorified head, thou giver of good gifts and of riches, the pride of the human race, the glory of all creation, through whom it is truly blessed.

Thou, who didst take flesh of the Blessed Virgin, vivified by a reasoning soul, having first abided in her undefiled and immaculate womb, creating Thyself, and causing her to exist in Thee, didst become perfect man,, not ceasing to be perfect God, equal to Thy Father, but taking upon Thyself our weakness through ineffable goodness.

The Son made all creation serve His Mother.

She opened to us the unspeakable abyss of God's love for us. Through her the old enmity against the Creator is destroyed. Through her our reconciliation with Him is strengthened, peace and grace are given to us, men are the companions of angels, and we, who were in dishonour, are made the children of God. From her we have plucked the fruit of life. From her we have received the seed of immortality. She is the channel of all our goods. In her God was man and man was God. What more marvellous or more blessed? I approach the subject in fear and trembling.

"Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Hail, inexhaustible ocean of grace. Hail, sole refuge in grief. Hail, cure of hearts. Hail, through whom death is expelled and life is installed

Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Hail, predestined Mother of God. Hail, thou chosen one in the design of God from all eternity, most sacred hope of earth, resting-place of divine fire, holiest delight of the Spirit, fountain of living water, paradise of the tree of life, divine vine-branch, bringing forth soul-sustaining nectar and ambrosia. Full river of spiritual graces, fertile land of the divine pastures, rose of purity, with the sweet fragrance of grace, lily of the royal robe, pure Mother of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, token of our redemption, handmaid and Mother, surpassing angelic powers." Come, let us stand round that pure tomb and draw grace to our hearts. Let us raise the ever-virginal body with spiritual arms, and go with her into the grave to die with her. Let us renounce our passions, and live with her in purity, listening to the divine canticles of angels in the heavenly courts. Let us go in adoring, and learn the wondrous mystery by which she is assumed to heaven, to be with her Son, higher than all the angelic choirs. No one stands between Son and Mother. This, O Mother of God, is my third sermon on thy departure, in lowly reverence to the Holy Trinity to whom thou didst minister, the goodness of the Father, the power of the Spirit, receiving the Uncreated Word, the Almighty Wisdom and Power of God. Accept, then, my good-will, which is greater than my capacity, and give us salvation. Heal our passions, cure our diseases, help us out of our difficulties, make our lives peaceful, send us the illumination of the Spirit. Inflame us with the desire of thy son. Render us pleasing to Him, so that we may enjoy happiness with Him, seeing thee resplendent with thy Son's glory, rejoicing for ever, keeping feast in the Church with those who worthily celebrate Him who worked our salvation through thee, Christ the Son of God, and our God.

In CHRIST


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« Reply #38 on: November 14, 2007, 09:37:25 PM »

No she isn't, and no, the Fathers do not "often speak in such language"...in fact they never do. You have picked one quote from one Orthodox Theologian- the same one which Roman Catholic lobbyists of the "dogma" of the Mediatrix of All Graces keep using, and your whole case rests on that. Find me the other "Fathers" who say the same thing, otherwise perhaps it is you who needs to "humble yourself".

God bless !

No please forgive but they use often such language ! If u want I will post some but I have to look.
The fathers can not even find words for Her praise - it is hard to believe that u do not know.

In CHRIST

Will be continued......
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« Reply #39 on: November 14, 2007, 10:06:26 PM »

God bless!

From Bishop Kallistos Ware:

The same three questions may well be asked about the current proposal to define Mary as Co-Redeemer.

Is it true? The answer to that question depends on the way in which we interpret the title "Co-Redeemer", along with the related titles "Mediator of All Graces" and "Advocate of the People of God". As a member of the Orthodox Church I have no objection to these three titles in themselves – provided that they are rightly understood.

Indeed, closely similar language occurs in the prayers and hymns used in the Christian East. With the greatest frequency in Orthodox worship we say to the Virgin Mary, "Most Holy Mother of God, save us". In our invocations to other members of the Communion of Saints, including St John the Baptist, except on very rare occasions we never say more than ". . . pray for us".

This is not an isolated example. In the preparation before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy we address Mary in parallel terms: "Open to us the door of compassion, blessed Mother of God; setting our hope in you, may we not go astray; through you may we be delivered from distress; for you are the salvation of the Christian people." Our evening prayers include the petition, "All my hope I put in you, Mother of God: guard me under your protection". And at the end of the highly popular Paraklisis or Service of Intercession to the Theotokos (Mother of God) we sing, "Queen of the world, become our mediator" (mesitria).

Such language is not new. It has been used by Eastern Christians for many centuries, and scarcely ever has it given rise to scandal or controversy. The phrases are thoroughly traditional, just as the titles which the Pope is now being asked to endorse have a long history in the Latin West.

Mary, however, is Co-Redeemer in a particular and outstanding way; for, as Mother of the Saviour, she is involved with a unique nearness in her son’s work of salvation. ........

I will post some quote from the Fathers.

IN CHRIST
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« Reply #40 on: November 15, 2007, 12:28:06 AM »

Your way of speaking of the Mostholy Theotokos is improper - please stop it !
So, no one can have a sincere theological discussion with you because your way is right and to speak one's disagreement with it is blasphemy?

Quote
Yes she is a Mediatrix of All gifts ( I have to confess I do not like such terms) but it is true the fathers often speak in such language - humble yourself and stay close to them and not your opinion.
Sometimes reading your posts, I get the impression that your knowledge of the Fathers has actually made you somewhat proud.  How else do you presume to teach us so?

Case in point:
Quote
May God forgive to call her in this way!
Is this not a judgment of those who speak opinions different from yours?

Quote
Your opinion sounds really protestant and not orthodox ! I think a devout orthodox would never speak in such "tone" about our Allglorious Lady Theotokos !
As also is this?  You just defined what "devout" means to you and essentially stated that those who don't venerate Mary as you do are not devout.
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« Reply #41 on: November 15, 2007, 05:39:43 AM »

No please forgive but they use often such language ! If u want I will post some but I have to look.
I await your evidence.

The fathers can not even find words for Her praise - it is hard to believe that u do not know.
Ummm.... that's not the point. The All Holy Theotokos is, as I myself said in this thread, "more honourable than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim". I have no problem with the fact that she is the Greatest of all Creatures, and I venerate her as such. What I have a problem with is proclaiming a dogma that she is "Mediatrix of All Graces". It ain't gonna happen in the Orthodox Church. Never has, never will, and I'd be surprised if it happens in the Roman Catholic Church. The Vincentian Canon should preclude even that possibility.
In the meantime I look forward to the multitude of your quotes from the Orthodox Fathers that prove your case that the All-holy Theotokos is "Mediatrix of All Grace."
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« Reply #42 on: November 15, 2007, 08:49:50 AM »

So, no one can have a sincere theological discussion with you because your way is right and to speak one's disagreement with it is blasphemy?
Sometimes reading your posts, I get the impression that your knowledge of the Fathers has actually made you somewhat proud.  How else do you presume to teach us so?

Case in point:Is this not a judgment of those who speak opinions different from yours?
As also is this?  You just defined what "devout" means to you and essentially stated that those who don't venerate Mary as you do are not devout.

God bless!

Thank u for your "nice post", it is always a pleasure to read them - you always look how u can disagree with my posts and say anything contrary - I think u like that ?

There is not problem in a different opinion but we should write in a proprer manner when speaking about the Theotokos ! I think ( I hope) u will agree and I can not help but his post sound a bit improper for me.

When it sounds proud for u what I wrote-I am sorry about but the "topic" of the Veneration of the Mostholy Theotokos Mary is one of my "favorite" topics of our Holy Faith and I studied the church fathers for years and I often could read some similar expressions !

But I know u will again find any reason not to agree and try to blame my words ! I think you still "angry" about our discussion of the Tradition in the orthodox church and so want in this topic to go on with that behavier. I think u accuse me of your own behavier - when I do not agree with u than I am proud and teachc others.........I hope u can stop this ??

In CHRIST
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« Reply #43 on: November 15, 2007, 12:58:09 PM »

God bless!

We have spoken already of two great Pillars of Orthodoxy-using similar expression:

St. Gregory Palamas ( he often wrote about her as the Mediatress of all that is good)
St. Theophan the branded

Then I posted some short quotes of St. John of Damascus !

the benefactress of all creation as a repayment of our debt.

Hail, inexhaustible ocean of grace

She is the channel of all our blessings.

For our sake she became Mediatrix of all blessings, in her God became man and man became God.

If we firmly abstain, then from past vices annd love the virtues with all our hearrt, taking them as our companions in life, the Virgin will frequently visit us bringing all manners of Graces.

O daughter of Joachim and anna, O mostholy Lady receive the word of a sinful servant, who nerverless burns wiwth love and places in you his only hope of joy, in you he finds the guardian of life, not only a Mediatrix in your Son's presence but a sure pledge of SALVATION.

She is all beautiful, all near to God. For she,surpasses the cherubim, exalted beyind the seraphim, is placed near God.

St. Andrew of crete:

O how marvelous it is ! She acts as mediatrix between the loftiness of God and the lowliness of the flesh.

O mistress of all man oh thou provider of life, life of the living, O holy One, holier without compare than all the Saints,supremly holy treasury of all that makes us holy....All creation is full of thy Glory,all things are made holy through thee,...all universe owns u as its common Altar of cleansing sacrifice...aside from God you are the highest being...

St. Cyrill -every good gift comes from God through the Theotokos:

Through you the Trinity is glorified, the precious cross is celebrated and adored thoughout the world, heaven exults, the angles and archangles rjoice, the demos are put to flight because of you the devil the tempter falls from heaven, the fallen creation is brought back to paradise.....

Through you holy baptism and the oil of gladness are administered !!!!!!!! to the believers, through you the churches are established throughout the world, the people are led to conversion through you. What more shall I say HuhHuh? Through you the Trintiy reigns......!!!!

Through you, every faithful soul achieves the Salvation.

St. John of Thessalonica:

The mistress of the whole universe, through her all creation has received Salvation.
She is the Benefactress of the whole world....She is only second to the Trinity, we shall show worthy of all HER gifts......

She has free access to God and bestows on us the spiritual gifts, she gives grace to our words, she teaches wisdom, She is the Mother of wisdom....she bestowed upon the world the price of peace....While she lived on earth, she watched over us all, and was a kind of universal providence for her subjects. Now she has been taken up into heaven, she is the unassailable fortificatiion for the whole human race, and the intercessor for all.....

St. Modestus_

By the grace that came forth from her, every spiritual and intellectual nature shares eternal life.....Since u abide in his presence with full freedom of acces....paradise is given to the Saints through your Mediation....so that through you he might open up for us a means of acces to him......and we have gained the gifts of the Spirit and eternal blessings through you.........

St. Germanos:

O Mother of God because of you...it is that the human person is now made a full citizien of heaven through your immacualte flesh.....
No one is saved except through you, O All-Holy One, No one is delivered from evil except throgh you O All chaste One, No one obtains the grace of mercy except throgh you O All-honorable One.....She is the Mediatrix of all sinners...

St. John of Kronstadt:
She is the highest of all creation, She is the Mediatrix for the whole human race......she prepares eternal glory for us......Our Lady the Mostholy Mother of God is the most beautiful adorned Temple of the Trinity, She is after God the treasury of ALL BLESSING, of purity holiness, of all true wisdom, the source of spiritual power and constancy.

St. Theophan:( already written)
The Mother of God is the Dispenser and Distributer of all the wondros uncreated gifts of the Divine Spirit....she distibutes it and shares with others thus manifesting it..... All things were created for her and are goverened through her. No one attains the goal of life in Christ without her cooperation.....no one can participate in the divine gifts save through the Theotokos......

I think in these few ( I could go on and on) quotes we can clearly see that every blessing and grace comes from God through her. So it is not contrary to orthodox understanding to call her Mediatrix of all graces, or co-redeemer........ but you are right we do not need any new Dogma !


At Vespers on the forefeast of the Nativity of the Theotokos:

The spiritual beams of universal joy have dawned for the world, at your nativity, O All-pure One, foreshadowing for all the sun of glory, Christ God. For you have been declared the Mediatrix of the true gladness and grace.

St. Gregory the wonderworker:

For from Mary, the divine fountain of the ineffable Godhead, gushes forth grace and free gift of the Holy Spirit... because with her are quickened and live, all the treasures of Grace....

IN CHRIST
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« Reply #44 on: November 15, 2007, 01:16:18 PM »

Christodoulos,
When it comes to citations, translation and context is everything. One of the tricks the promoters of the doctrine of "Mediatrix of All Graces" (and other heterodox teachings) use is to take quotes from the Fathers out of context and mistranslate them. For example, let's look at just one of your quotes:
For from Mary, the divine fountain of the ineffable Godhead, gushes forth grace and free gift of the Holy Spirit... because with her are quickened and live, all the treasures of Grace....
This comes from "The Homily of St. Gregory the Wonder-worker, concerning the Holy Mother of God, ever-virgin." Here it is in context:
"Wherefore even with one voice let us sing the praises of God the Word, that according to the worthiness of each is cause and promoter of salvation, unto young men and old, and unto children and women. For from Mary, the divine fountain of the ineffable Godhead, gushes forth grace and free gift of the Holy Spirit. From a single Holy Virgin the Pearl of much price proceeded, in order to make alive once more the first-created man that was dead through sin."
Do you see what this Father of the Church is actually saying? He is talking about the Godhead, the Word, the "Pearl of Great Price" coming from the Theotokos. The "grace and free gift of the Holy Spirit" came through the Theotokos at the Incarnation. That is what St. Gregory is talking about.
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