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Author Topic: Are my ideas un-Catholic/ Orthodox?  (Read 5458 times) Average Rating: 0
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Athanasios
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« Reply #45 on: November 21, 2007, 08:03:15 AM »

Hello,

The Church [Orthodox] prescribes for the laity certain days and seasons of fasting and she prescribes certain days when fasting is forbidden.  IMHO, this indicates that a balance between fasting in a spirit of penance and feasting with hearts of joy and thanksgiving is a higher ideal than just one without the other.

Ah, yes - balance is key!
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« Reply #46 on: November 21, 2007, 09:36:03 AM »

Patriarch Noah I,

May I ask your age? 

I ask because I did a search on your email address and came up with a user on another site who states there age as 15.  I do not discount what you are saying, but how I (and perhaps others) approach both your position and how we address it may vary based on your age.  Particularly given the apparent extremism some of your views/opinions seem to take.
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« Reply #47 on: November 21, 2007, 09:44:45 AM »

Well, to the all pleasure is sinful crowd, that idea's borderline heretical (and moves over that border at times), from the Synod of Gangra (ratified by the Penthekte Synod) there are a few anathemas of relevance:

1. If anyone disparages marriage, or abominates or disparages a woman sleeping with her husband, notwithstanding that she is faithful and reverent, as though she could not enter the Kingdom, let him be anathema.

2. If anyone criticize adversely a person eating meat with reverence and faith, as though he had no hope of partaking, let him be anathema.

4. If anyone discriminates against a married Presbyter, on the ground that he ought not to partake of the offering when that Presbyter is conducting the Liturgy, let him be anathema.

(here's a big one:)
9. If anyone should remain a virgin or observe continence as if, abominating marriage, he had become an anchorite, and not for the good standard and holy feature of virginity, let him be anathema.

(ah, another one we probably need to take note of here:)
10. If anyone leading a life of virginity for the Lord should regard married persons superciliously, let him be anathema.

14. If any woman should abandon her husband and wish to depart, because she abominates marriage, let her be anathema.

15. If anyone should abandon his own children, or fail to devote himself to feeding his children, and fail, as far as depends on them, to bring them up to be godly and to have respect for God, but, under the pretext of ascetic exercise, should neglect them, let him be anathema.

16. If any children of parents, especially of faithful ones, should depart, on the pretext of godliness, and should fail to pay due honor to their parents, godliness, that is to say, being preferred with them, i.e., among them, let them be anathema.

(with an encore:)
18. If anyone for the sake of supposedly ascetic exercise should fast on Sunday, let him be anathema.

Dear GiC,

That was strong... Could you please give any references to the writings of these Synods? Internet links or something? I know it's unlikely that even exact direct quotes with names of exact sources and pages will convince my Maidan gnostic-claiming-to-be-Eastern Rite Catholic opponent, but I still think I might try...
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« Reply #48 on: November 21, 2007, 12:10:22 PM »

Quote
2. If anyone criticize adversely a person eating meat with reverence and faith, as though he had no hope of partaking, let him be anathema.

I think this proves the point I was trying to make.


Maqhth:

Quote
Sounds like you think God wants you to be living in comfort and enjoyment, and killing your enemies...

That sounds VERY secular...

Well, you've an EXCELLENT job taking my post out of context. As Lubeltri stated:

Quote
A couple nights ago I spent a relaxing evening reclining in a comfy pub by a roaring fire and sipping a heavenly draught pint of Belhaven. And I was thinking about how much the Lord has graced me. What a blessing! I could not be more thankful. I was at peace.

This is certainly not sinful, and it was this context I was trying to get across in my first post. If God has given one the privilege to live in comfort, and one is thankful for it, there is nothing wrong.

You condemn others for sins of gluttony, yet are quite sanctimonious yourself.

As for killing enemies to protect others (not grudge killings):

If it was truly heinous in all times, then Orthodoxy would not permit its members to serve in the military, let along pray for their safe return in the liturgy.

-Will

« Last Edit: November 21, 2007, 12:43:40 PM by Simayan » Logged

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« Reply #49 on: November 21, 2007, 12:24:18 PM »

Dear GiC,

That was strong... Could you please give any references to the writings of these Synods? Internet links or something? I know it's unlikely that even exact direct quotes with names of exact sources and pages will convince my Maidan gnostic-claiming-to-be-Eastern Rite Catholic opponent, but I still think I might try...

Well the source would be the Synod itself, the most conventional way to cite synods would be in the Syntagma of Rhalles-Potles, but the work is only available in Greek (and unfortunately I don't have a copy, it's 6 volumes I believe and Gangra would probably be found in vol. 2, though perhaps vol. 3). Another choice would be the Pedalion, which is availabe in Greek as well as translations into English and a few Slavic languages, but the English version is rather difficult to come by. I only have an electronic copy of the English (sorry, no web address), but can't give you proper references out of it, someone else here might (I believe Fr. Chris has a copy); however, this evening I may be able to give you page numbers from the Greek version which I do have. But, as I said before, mentioning the Synod and Canons is generally enough, one is expected to know the sources where they could be looked up.
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« Reply #50 on: November 21, 2007, 12:26:53 PM »

Well, I don't know about you, but IMO this is only a partial picture of fasting.  Why?  (a) Abstention from certain foods is only part of fasting; that's why the monks never eat meat, but don't always fast.  (b) Fasting must include an increase in prayer.  (c) Fasting must also include almsgiving; I think it was St. John Chrysostom who said that fasting for the body alone is fasting of demons.  Demons never eat or drink - so do they fast?  They don't pray or give alms - and that's what sets fasting apart from abstinence.

I agree with Cleveland. Fasting must be done with proper guidance from the church. If you are new to the church do not trust your own judgement in this area. Go to your priest and let him help you. Our bishop just came for visit last weekend and encouraged us to fast for advent but he really emphasized the fast is not focused on the food. He wants us to fast from gossip, envy, anger, lust, etc. He also mentioned St. John Chrysostom's counsel on fasting as a medicine and medicine must be administered properly by a doctor (see the article below). I think it is important that those with an immature faith NEVER devise their own ideas or rules about fasting but should look to their Mother, the Church, for advise so they won't be lead into pride or health problems from overly zealous food fasting.

On Fasting

St. John Chrysostom

http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles4/ChrysostomFasting.php


Fasting is a medicine. But medicine, as beneficial as it is, becomes useless because of the inexperience of the user. He has to know the appropriate time that the medicine should be taken and the right amount of medicine and the condition of the body which is to take it, the weather conditions and the season of the year and the appropriate diet of the sick and many other things. If any of these things are overlooked, the medicine will do more harm than good. So, if one who is going to heal the body needs so much accuracy, when we care for the soul and are concerned about healing it from bad thoughts, it is necessary to examine and observe everything with every possible detail

Fasting is the change of every part of our life, because the sacrifice of the fast is not the abstinence but the distancing from sins. Therefore, whoever limits the fast to the deprivation of food, he is the one who, in reality, abhors and ridicules the fast. Are you fasting? Show me your fast with your works. Which works? If you see someone who is poor, show him mercy. If you see an enemy, reconcile with him. If you see a friend who is becoming successful, do not be jealous of him! If you see a beautiful woman on the street, pass her by.

In other words, not only should the mouth fast, but the eyes and the legs and the arms and all the other parts of the body should fast as well. Let the hands fast, remaining clean from stealing and greediness. Let the legs fast, avoiding roads which lead to sinful sights. Let the eyes fast by not fixing themselves on beautiful faces and by not observing the beauty of others. You are not eating meat, are you? You should not eat debauchery with your eyes as well. Let your hearing also fast. The fast of hearing is not to accept bad talk against others and sly defamations.

Let the mouth fast from disgraceful and abusive words, because, what gain is there when, on the one hand we avoid eating chicken and fish and, on the other, we chew-up and consume our brothers? He who condemns and blasphemes is as if he has eaten brotherly meat, as if he has bitten into the flesh of his fellow man. It is because of this that Paul frightened us, saying: "If you chew up and consume one another be careful that you do not annihilate yourselves."

You did not thrust your teeth into the flesh (of your neighbor) but you thrusted bad talk in his soul; you wounded it by spreading disfame, causing unestimatable damage both to yourself, to him, and to many others.

If you cannot go without eating all day because of an ailment of the body, beloved one, no logical man will be able to criticize you for that. Besides, we have a Lord who is meek and loving (philanthropic) and who does not ask for anything beyond our power. Because he neither requires the abstinence from foods, neither that the fast take place for the simple sake of fasting, neither is its aim that we remain with empty stomachs, but that we fast to offer our entire selves to the dedication of spiritual things, having distanced ourselves from secular things. If we regulated our life with a sober mind and directed all of our interest toward spiritual things, and if we ate as much as we needed to satisfy our necessary needs and offered our entire lives to good works, we would not have any need of the help rendered by the fast. But because human nature is indifferent and gives itself over mostly to comforts and gratifications, for this reason the philanthropic Lord, like a loving and caring father, devised the therapy of the fast for us, so that our gratifications would be completely stopped and that our worldly cares be transferred to spiritual works. So, if there are some who have gathered here and who are hindered by somatic ailments and cannot remain without food, I advise them to nullify the somatic ailment and not to deprive themselves from this spiritual teaching, but to care for it even more.

For there exist, there really exist, ways which are even more important than abstinence from food which can open the gates which lead to God with boldness. He, therefore, who eats and cannot fast, let him display richer almsgiving, let him pray more, let him have a more intense desire to hear divine words. In this, our somatic illness is not a hindrance. Let him become reconciled with his enemies, let him distance from his soul every resentment. If he wants to accomplish these things, then he has done the true fast, which is what the Lord asks of us more than anything else. It is for this reason that he asks us to abstain from food, in order to place the flesh in subjection to the fulfillment of his commandments, whereby curbing its impetuousness. But if we are not about to offer to ourselves the help rendered by the fast because of bodily illness and at the same time display greater indifference, we will see ourselves in an unusual exaggerated way. For if the fast does not help us when all the aforementioned accomplishments are missing so much is the case when we display greater indifference because we cannot even use the medicine of fasting. Since you have learned these things from us, I pardon you, those who can, fast and you yourselves increase your acuteness and praiseworthy desire as much as possible.

To the brothers, though, who cannot fast because of bodily illness, encourage them not to abandon this spiritual word, teaching them and passing on to them all the things we say here, showing them that he who eats and drinks with moderation is not unworthy to hear these things but he who is indifferent and slack. You should tell them the bold and daring saying that "he who eats for the glory of the Lord eats and he who does not eat for the glory of the Lord does not eat and pleases God." For he who fasts pleases God because he has the strength to endure the fatigue of the fast and he that eats also pleases God because nothing of this sort can harm the salvation of his soul, as long as he does not want it to. Because our philanthropic God showed us so many ways by which we can, if we desire, take part in God's power that it is impossible to mention them all.

We have said enough about those who are missing, being that we want to eliminate them from the excuse of shame. For they should not be ashamed because food does not bring on shame but the act of some wrongdoing. Sin is a great shame. If we commit it not only should we feel ashamed but we should cover ourselves exactly the same way those who are wounded do. Even then we should not forsake ourselves but rush to confession and thanksgiving. We have such a Lord who asks nothing of us but to confess our sins, after the commitment of a sin which was due to our indifference, and to stop at that point and not to fall into the same one again. If we eat with moderation we should never be ashamed, because the Creator gave us such a body which cannot be supported in any other way except by receiving food. Let us only stop excessive food because that attributes a great deal to the health and well-being of the body.

Let us therefore in every way cast off every destructive madness so that we may gain the goods which have been promised to us in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Father and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Abridged from St. John Chrysostom homilies "On Fasting"

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« Reply #51 on: November 21, 2007, 12:28:04 PM »

If it was truly heinous in all times, then Orthodoxy would not permit its members to serve in the military, let along pray for their safe return in the liturgy.

Or pray in orthros for the victory of the Imperial Armies over the Barbarians, for that matter. Wink
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« Reply #52 on: November 21, 2007, 01:36:45 PM »

Think of Abraham and Job in the Old Testament as examples of men who remained faithful and thankful through thick (great wealth) and thin (attempted sacrifice of Isaac, loss of family and possessions). God rewarded them with great wealth because of their faith under trial. They did not take it for granted and were generous with it.

To those whom more is given, more is expected, whether that be wealth or spiritual insight or intelligence.
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« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2007, 04:25:13 PM »

Well the source would be the Synod itself, the most conventional way to cite synods would be in the Syntagma of Rhalles-Potles, but the work is only available in Greek (and unfortunately I don't have a copy, it's 6 volumes I believe and Gangra would probably be found in vol. 2, though perhaps vol. 3). Another choice would be the Pedalion, which is availabe in Greek as well as translations into English and a few Slavic languages, but the English version is rather difficult to come by. I only have an electronic copy of the English (sorry, no web address), but can't give you proper references out of it, someone else here might (I believe Fr. Chris has a copy); however, this evening I may be able to give you page numbers from the Greek version which I do have. But, as I said before, mentioning the Synod and Canons is generally enough, one is expected to know the sources where they could be looked up.

Thank you! Is it a pre-Schism Synod? Otherwise my opponent might say, ah, you Orthodox schismatics, of course, you distort everything... Smiley
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« Reply #54 on: November 21, 2007, 04:28:34 PM »

Just found a link through Google:

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3804.htm

Is that it?
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« Reply #55 on: November 21, 2007, 05:17:08 PM »

Patriarch Noah I,

May I ask your age? 

I ask because I did a search on your email address and came up with a user on another site who states there age as 15.  I do not discount what you are saying, but how I (and perhaps others) approach both your position and how we address it may vary based on your age.  Particularly given the apparent extremism some of your views/opinions seem to take.
Yeah, I'm 15.
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« Reply #56 on: November 21, 2007, 05:32:08 PM »

Just found a link through Google:

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3804.htm

Is that it?

Yes, that would be the one.
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« Reply #57 on: November 21, 2007, 09:32:16 PM »

1. Every individual should strive for the greatest simplicity and refrain from any physical pleasure that is not a byproduct of something neccesary to maintain the body.

2. Killing is never justified, even in self-defense.

3. NFP and ABC are both unacceptable, as both seek pleasure without responsibility.

What say you?

I think 1. is gnostic.  I think 2. can be justifiable.  I think I would agree with your conclusion for 3. but with different reasoning.  I view NFP and ABC to both be wrong because they are both a rejection of divine providence.  Pleasure is not an evil thing.
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« Reply #58 on: November 21, 2007, 10:00:39 PM »

I would like to reassert that asceticism is not an end in itself.  Virtue isn't even an end in itself.  The end is theosis or union with God.  Everything we do is oriented toward that, not toward a rejection of pleasure.  If something gets in the way of this union then we do not do it.  Pleasure in itself does not contradict our union with God.

Monks might reject normal pleasures, but that is not because pleasure is evil.  They reject it for the sake of the pursuit of greater union with God.
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« Reply #59 on: November 22, 2007, 04:57:25 AM »

Yeah, I'm 15.

I'm young and idealistic too, so I understand where you are coming from and have been there myself.  Your third question will likely have no relevance to your life for some time - so why not ignore it for now and when the day comes deal with it then.  Unless you plan to enlist in the when you turn 17, your second question has a slim chance of being relevant to you.  As for number one - why not focus on the big things for the time being - not holding a grudge, controlling anger, maybe finding a local charity that you can help out at from time to time...things that I fumble miserably on - despite having kept the fasts and such to the letter. 

Enjoy your Thanksgiving  Cool
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« Reply #60 on: November 22, 2007, 05:13:21 AM »

I would like to reassert that asceticism is not an end in itself.  Virtue isn't even an end in itself.  The end is theosis or union with God.

For that matter, everyone's sense of pleasure is different.  The very act of asceticism can be pleasure inducing for certain people, such as deriving satisfaction from having fasted (in the same sense of accomplishment that a runner would have after a race).  Or for instance would it be wrong to enjoy the beauty of ecclesiastical music or the poetic value of out liturgical texts? 
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« Reply #61 on: November 22, 2007, 11:27:32 AM »

Or for instance would it be wrong to enjoy the beauty of ecclesiastical music or the poetic value of out liturgical texts? 

I tend to listen to chant more than any other type of music now. Heh.
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« Reply #62 on: November 23, 2007, 07:37:51 PM »

Just found a link through Google:

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3804.htm

Is that it?

Another (Protestant) site:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.viii.v.i.html

And we are going to get the Orthodox site when....? Angry
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« Reply #63 on: November 23, 2007, 08:10:33 PM »

Hello,

Another (Protestant) site:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.viii.v.i.html

And we are going to get the Orthodox site when....? Angry

You have Monachos.net, though half the time they link to New Advent or CCEL - and often enough they will tease you and tell you a writing is available and it turns out to be only a description or link no longer available. Sad

I would love it if their could be a massive online database (I could care less if it was Catholic run or Orthodox run) that had a comprehensive library of patristic writings. Even the most obscure writings of the Fathers should be made available for the whole world's access. Not even New Advent or CCEL are anywhere near comprehensive in my opinion.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2007, 08:11:39 PM by Athanasios » Logged

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