OrthodoxChristianity.net
November 23, 2014, 07:30:51 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 »   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Indulgences, Temporal Punishment, Purgatory, etc  (Read 181686 times) Average Rating: 5
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #1395 on: April 21, 2010, 05:32:49 PM »


Let me give you a hypothetical, just for fun!  Wink

A man comes to see his priest for confession.  The priest blesses him, pulls out a list, reads aloud all the sins the man has (let's assume the list is accurate), assigns a penance then prays the Absolution Prayer.

Did the man make a confession?

[/font][/size]

Father, when you find it in your heart to stop mocking,  then I will be happy to talk to you.  Till then, I won't be paying much attention.  I've been at this kind of discussion for a long time and I am not interested in wasting my breath.  Thanks for thinkin' of me though.... angel

Mary

How am I mocking?  I'm trying to make a point in a manner you find agreeable.

You challenged with a hypothetical, now here is another.  Smiley

Though you are clearly a 'battle-hardened old timer' perhaps you can extend a bit of charity. Wink

After all, you must admit that I have not been engaging in any name-calling.  I am interested in learning just as much as you are.


All right.  Perhaps if it is St. Seraphim of Sarov who is the attending confessor, one might call it a sacramental absolution, for if the saint could read his sins he could read his heart which be the only way that he would dare give the man absolution.  Discernment of spirits is a miraculous grace. 

Technically I personally would have a hard time saying that the man confessed in the traditional sense.

Mary
Logged

stanley123
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Roman Catholic
Posts: 3,809


« Reply #1396 on: April 21, 2010, 05:55:33 PM »


Thank you for demonstrating that the Catholic Church has never had an official teaching on the matter of material vs. metaphorical fire.


I am sure that all the Catholics on this Forum who contend so well for their faith are aware of the Jesuit priest Fr Hardon (recently deceased and already on track for beatification.)  Fr Hardon has been one of the pre-eminent apologists of the Catholic Faith over the last 40 years.  His works are everywhere, on EWTN, etc., etc.  Fr Hardon served as a consultant for the drafting of the Catechism of the Catholic Church promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1992.

He flatly contradicts what you are saying....

"Writers in the Latin tradition are quite unanimous that the fire of purgatory is real and not metaphorical. They argue from the common teaching of the Latin Fathers, of some Greek Fathers, and of certain papal statements like that of Pope Innocent IV, who spoke of “a transitory fire” (DB 456)."

"The Doctrine of Purgatory"
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Eschatology/Eschatology_006.htm

Dear Father Ambrose:
      I think that the implied fallacy here is that the Roman Catholic Tradition includes only the Latin Fathers and the Latin tradition. As I understand it to be, Roman Catholics can study and learn from the Eastern Fathers as well, and in fact there have been several Greek Popes. In other words, Catholics are open to learning from the Eastern tradition and Fathers and are not restricted solely and exclusively to the Latin tradition. 
Logged
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #1397 on: April 21, 2010, 06:08:40 PM »


Thank you for demonstrating that the Catholic Church has never had an official teaching on the matter of material vs. metaphorical fire.


I am sure that all the Catholics on this Forum who contend so well for their faith are aware of the Jesuit priest Fr Hardon (recently deceased and already on track for beatification.)  Fr Hardon has been one of the pre-eminent apologists of the Catholic Faith over the last 40 years.  His works are everywhere, on EWTN, etc., etc.  Fr Hardon served as a consultant for the drafting of the Catechism of the Catholic Church promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1992.

He flatly contradicts what you are saying....

"Writers in the Latin tradition are quite unanimous that the fire of purgatory is real and not metaphorical. They argue from the common teaching of the Latin Fathers, of some Greek Fathers, and of certain papal statements like that of Pope Innocent IV, who spoke of “a transitory fire” (DB 456)."

"The Doctrine of Purgatory"
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Eschatology/Eschatology_006.htm

Dear Father Ambrose:
      I think that the implied fallacy here is that the Roman Catholic Tradition includes only the Latin Fathers and the Latin tradition. As I understand it to be, Roman Catholics can study and learn from the Eastern Fathers as well, and in fact there have been several Greek Popes. In other words, Catholics are open to learning from the Eastern tradition and Fathers and are not restricted solely and exclusively to the Latin tradition. 

Again the key in Father Hardon's statement is in his use of the term "real" rather than "literal" when referring to fire. 

I have experienced the burning fire of love but I am certainly not going to tell you my pectoral muscles burst into literal flame.

It is much the same way that we speak of the real presence, rather than the literal presence of Christ in Eucharist.

Also the meaning of metaphor is that one concept stands in the place of another concept.  So that when one conceptualizes hell-fire one should not expect to do anything BUT to burn!!  Was the burning bush any less real, for the fact that it did not consume?  Is the burning bush a stand in for some other concept?  Was the burning bush on fire?  Were the flame struck fingers of the deified desert father, a metaphor?...or was there real flame dancing at the tips of his upraised fingers?

Mary
Logged

John Larocque
Catholic
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox
Posts: 530


« Reply #1398 on: April 21, 2010, 06:53:45 PM »

Christos voskrese!

I ordered this during Lent but it's now arrived in the mail. For those who already have high view of +Hilarion of Volokolamsk, this will likely be a welcome addition to one's library. I don't think it has been mentioned in this thread before, but it's topical. The Western section (about 10% of the book) covers Augustine, Gregory the Great, Thomas Aquinas and Dante (!) The topic isn't purgatory, but Christ's descent into Hades on Holy Saturday, and the cosmic scope of the event.

http://www.svspress.com/product_info.php?products_id=4170
http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/14/177.aspx#_Toc251061657



Quote
Christ’s descent into Hades is a most mysterious event in the New Testament history. The book includes texts from the New Testament, apocrypha, and early Christian poetry dealing with the theme, a review of the relevant works by the Holy Fathers and a short discourse into the Western theological tradition. Hymns by St. Ephraem  the Syrian and St. Romanus the Melodist that have formed the basis of other liturgical texts and are still used in the Orthodox Church are reviewed, as well as the liturgical texts from the Octoechos, the Lenten Triodion, and the Festal Triodion  telling about Christ’s descent into Hell and His victory over death. The author’s studies into the dogmatic contents of the texts are very important to the comprehension of the Orthodox faith, as the dogmas become an object of contemplation in prayer for Christians rather than abstract speculative truths.

There are many Greek, Syrian, and Latin texts never translated into Russian in the book. Some of them have not been used by the authors working on the theme of Christ’s descent into Hell.

The book was first published in Russian in 2001and reprinted in 2005. It has been translated into Italian and Romanian.

Here's just a few sentences from the Western section:

Quote
From the fifth century onward, however, substantial differences become ever more noticeable. In the West the very idea of a conversion post mortem is rejected by several authors as heretical, and a juridical approach gradually begins to prevail. This approach gives increasingly more weight to notions of predestination (Christ delivered from hell those predestined for salvation from the beginning) and original sin (Christ's salvation as deliverance from the "universal" [original] sin, rather than from the "personal" [individual] sins). The range of those to whom the saving action of the descent into Hades extends becomes even more restricted. First, those who might have believed in Christ when he descended into hell are excluded; then, sinners doomed to eternal torment, those in purgatory, and finally unbaptized infants are eliminated... [From the Western perspective] Christ delivered *only* the Old Testament righteous, while leaving all the rest in hell to eternal torment. In the East, Adam is viewed as a symbol of the entire human race redeemed by Christ: the Old Testament righteous led by Adam *first* followed Christ, and *then* followed those who responded to Christ's preaching in hell.

« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 06:57:32 PM by John Larocque » Logged
FatherGiryus
You are being watched.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch - NA
Posts: 2,122



« Reply #1399 on: April 21, 2010, 07:03:32 PM »


Let me give you a hypothetical, just for fun!  Wink

A man comes to see his priest for confession.  The priest blesses him, pulls out a list, reads aloud all the sins the man has (let's assume the list is accurate), assigns a penance then prays the Absolution Prayer.

Did the man make a confession?

[/font][/size]

Father, when you find it in your heart to stop mocking,  then I will be happy to talk to you.  Till then, I won't be paying much attention.  I've been at this kind of discussion for a long time and I am not interested in wasting my breath.  Thanks for thinkin' of me though.... angel

Mary

How am I mocking?  I'm trying to make a point in a manner you find agreeable.

You challenged with a hypothetical, now here is another.  Smiley

Though you are clearly a 'battle-hardened old timer' perhaps you can extend a bit of charity. Wink

After all, you must admit that I have not been engaging in any name-calling.  I am interested in learning just as much as you are.


All right.  Perhaps if it is St. Seraphim of Sarov who is the attending confessor, one might call it a sacramental absolution, for if the saint could read his sins he could read his heart which be the only way that he would dare give the man absolution.  Discernment of spirits is a miraculous grace. 

Technically I personally would have a hard time saying that the man confessed in the traditional sense.

Mary

OK, Mary, now we are getting somewhere, and I promise it will not be disrespectful or mocking!   Smiley

In your account of dealing with the anger towards your mother, you very accurately described the hard work of forgiveness and the heal you received by learning to forgive.

However, most of us in the world (other than those precious few saints who work hard in their confession) leave things we would rather not think about.  We avoid and ignore.

Based on the overall accounts, it seems to me that after death, many souls do not go to their rest, but are bothered by something for which our prayers and offerings help.  In this case, I believe that it is not the assignment of God's condemnation for their sins, but rather the completion of their own struggle from which we all benefit in life.

The picture we receive from various accounts, the demons are likened to 'tax collectors' or 'toll-houses' (I am not a literalist in this regard, but I think that the experience of death is different for different people based on their own abilities to perceive), who hound the living, while the saints and angels intercede on our behalf to remind us of the good we have done and of God's mercy.

For some, the trauma leaves them realizing that they have done much for which they have not repented, but now, having seen their consciences clearly for the first time, are so bothered that they experience grave suffering that may be likened to flames, pain, etc.  Our prayers and alms on their behalf help them to accept their reconciliation to God.

The reason I brought up the scenario that I did at the beginning of our exchange is to demonstrate how I see the idea of purgatory if it is not based on a free will decision to self-penaance, which I think is more reflective of the various points of post-mortem suffering made by various Orthodox at various times.  I do not see how an assigned punishment by God can perfect the human soul unless the human first comes to the conclusion that it is helpful.

Furthermore, I also see a problem that if God indeed assigns a punishment, then it would be perfect in and of itself and would not be shortened by any human activity, since it would be necessary as assigned.  The shortening of post-mortem suffering by man's intervention makes humans somehow more merciful than God.  I have a hard time with that, even if one were to argue that God is the most merciful because He opens Paradise to the undeserving like me.  Still, to have men shortening a Divine sentence just seems odd from my side.  This may not be how you see it, but that is how I do.

True confession comes not when someone else gives us a list of our sins, but rather we take up the hard work of wrestling with ourselves and arriving at the proper conclusion.  That was the point.  Yes, some saints have demonstrated clairvoyant moments, but many newbies to Orthodoxy expect every confession to be some sort of mind-reading game.  It should not be, and you so eloquently stated earlier.  It is a struggle.  I believe that struggle is finished at death.  For those perfected here, they step right into Paradise, while others may take a bit longer.  God does not force men into His rest, but neither does He force men to repent.  At the Last Judgement, there is no repentance because the assumption that anyone will, by that point, have any questions.  They have seen their consciences stripped naked.  They either have repented or thrown up their excuses.

Anyway, I'm not calling this an official Orthodox 'dogmatic teaching,' but I think it best sums up the conclusions that I have reached from reading through the conflicting and sometimes confusing accounts throughout the ages.

That's pretty much all I have to say. I think.
Logged

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
Shlomlokh
主哀れめよ!
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Bulgarian
Posts: 1,299



« Reply #1400 on: April 21, 2010, 07:12:52 PM »


I get the feeling that there are specific teachings within the RCC, and that they have changed over time, and that Pope Benedict is making further alterations to the official communication of these teachings.  Is that a fair assessment?


A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

I continue to listen to my Church tell me what she means, Father.  For some very good and evident reasons I do not turn to Orthodoxy to learn Catholic history or doctrine.

Christus Resurrexit, Alleluia

Dear Mary,

Coming from someone who is believe is a member of the Russian Byzantine Catholic Church, your approach to this matter seems decidedly odd.

All of this nonsense does nothing but cover for the fact that you all asked for evidence of fact that there's been no change in Catholic teaching.

I gave you that evidence and your game's really quite up.

So I don't think I need say more since it only sets me up to be the butt of your jokes.  You and your con-frere.

Thanks for the fun but till I find room to offer more light on the subject, I've got nothing else to say.

Mary
Christ is risen!

Wow, is this how you talk to your priest?  Sad

In Christ,
Andrew
Logged

"I will pour out my prayer unto the Lord, and to Him will I proclaim my grief; for with evils my soul is filled, and my life unto hades hath drawn nigh, and like Jonah I will pray: From corruption raise me up, O God." -Ode VI, Irmos of the Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,902


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #1401 on: April 21, 2010, 07:52:13 PM »


I get the feeling that there are specific teachings within the RCC, and that they have changed over time, and that Pope Benedict is making further alterations to the official communication of these teachings.  Is that a fair assessment?


A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

I continue to listen to my Church tell me what she means, Father.  For some very good and evident reasons I do not turn to Orthodoxy to learn Catholic history or doctrine.

Christus Resurrexit, Alleluia

Dear Mary,

Coming from someone who is believe is a member of the Russian Byzantine Catholic Church, your approach to this matter seems decidedly odd.

All of this nonsense does nothing but cover for the fact that you all asked for evidence of fact that there's been no change in Catholic teaching.

I gave you that evidence and your game's really quite up.

So I don't think I need say more since it only sets me up to be the butt of your jokes.  You and your con-frere.

Thanks for the fun but till I find room to offer more light on the subject, I've got nothing else to say.

Mary
Christ is risen!

Wow, is this how you talk to your priest?  Sad

In Christ,
Andrew
It seems that Fr. Ambrose and elijahmaria have forged a rather strong offline friendship, so what we see here may be a carryover of how they relate to each other when they're not posting here.  I would therefore not be so quick to be offended by the apparently disrespectful manner in which elijahmaria addresses Fr. Ambrose here on OCnet.

From earlier on this thread:
This discussion is starting to delve into the realm of ad hominem.  Watch it, folks, or this thread will be locked and offenders may find themselves in the OC.NET version of Purgatory

-Schultz
Religious Topics section moderator


Thank you Moderator Schultz.   Father Ambrose and I do truly love one another as brother and sister in Christ.  All toughness between us is the toughness of love.  Others must not see that toughness, and presume to take advantage of a relationship that has been forged over many many years and no small measure of personal insight and care-taking through prayer and sacrifice.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 07:57:31 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #1402 on: April 21, 2010, 08:49:23 PM »



OK, Mary, now we are getting somewhere, and I promise it will not be disrespectful or mocking!   Smiley

In your account of dealing with the anger towards your mother, you very accurately described the hard work of forgiveness and the heal you received by learning to forgive.

However, most of us in the world (other than those precious few saints who work hard in their confession) leave things we would rather not think about.  We avoid and ignore.

Based on the overall accounts, it seems to me that after death, many souls do not go to their rest, but are bothered by something for which our prayers and offerings help.  In this case, I believe that it is not the assignment of God's condemnation for their sins, but rather the completion of their own struggle from which we all benefit in life.

The picture we receive from various accounts, the demons are likened to 'tax collectors' or 'toll-houses' (I am not a literalist in this regard, but I think that the experience of death is different for different people based on their own abilities to perceive), who hound the living, while the saints and angels intercede on our behalf to remind us of the good we have done and of God's mercy.

For some, the trauma leaves them realizing that they have done much for which they have not repented, but now, having seen their consciences clearly for the first time, are so bothered that they experience grave suffering that may be likened to flames, pain, etc.  Our prayers and alms on their behalf help them to accept their reconciliation to God.

The reason I brought up the scenario that I did at the beginning of our exchange is to demonstrate how I see the idea of purgatory if it is not based on a free will decision to self-penaance, which I think is more reflective of the various points of post-mortem suffering made by various Orthodox at various times.  I do not see how an assigned punishment by God can perfect the human soul unless the human first comes to the conclusion that it is helpful.

Furthermore, I also see a problem that if God indeed assigns a punishment, then it would be perfect in and of itself and would not be shortened by any human activity, since it would be necessary as assigned.  The shortening of post-mortem suffering by man's intervention makes humans somehow more merciful than God.  I have a hard time with that, even if one were to argue that God is the most merciful because He opens Paradise to the undeserving like me.  Still, to have men shortening a Divine sentence just seems odd from my side.  This may not be how you see it, but that is how I do.

True confession comes not when someone else gives us a list of our sins, but rather we take up the hard work of wrestling with ourselves and arriving at the proper conclusion.  That was the point.  Yes, some saints have demonstrated clairvoyant moments, but many newbies to Orthodoxy expect every confession to be some sort of mind-reading game.  It should not be, and you so eloquently stated earlier.  It is a struggle.  I believe that struggle is finished at death.  For those perfected here, they step right into Paradise, while others may take a bit longer.  God does not force men into His rest, but neither does He force men to repent.  At the Last Judgement, there is no repentance because the assumption that anyone will, by that point, have any questions.  They have seen their consciences stripped naked.  They either have repented or thrown up their excuses.

Anyway, I'm not calling this an official Orthodox 'dogmatic teaching,' but I think it best sums up the conclusions that I have reached from reading through the conflicting and sometimes confusing accounts throughout the ages.

That's pretty much all I have to say. I think.


Dear Father,

I began to see what you were driving at more clearly from your post under the other heading on Orthodox teaching.  And also please allow me to thank you for giving me room to be mistrustful.  It says a great deal about you as a man and as a priest.  I am far more confident of you now.

At any rate, you've come to the crux of things here and I will say something as an assertion and I hope you trust the truth of it...and then we'll see where we go from there.

Poena is translated in most formal translations from he Latin, as I demonstrated in the formal texts that I presented yesterday, as "penalty" rather than as "punishment."  

The penalties of sin are not God-imposed.  The penalties of sin are inherent to the sin itself.

Following on my example of my relationship with my mother, I suffered from her sins, and added my own to them.  Two of my sins resulted in children.  A boy and a girl.  They without guilt of their own have lived the penalties of my libertine behavior in my youth.  My daughter does not punish me for it.  My son does.  But both of them continue to struggle with the consequences/penalties/residual effects of my sin, which follows in a direct line from my mother and has passed on to my daughter's children since she tends to be too accommodating of their bad behavior.  She is unwilling to show tough mother-love since she lacked all mother-love as a child for I was not able to be with her.  And so her sons suffer because there is no brake on their own little-boy sins.  And so then their behavior impact back on their mother who does not always react in a way that is blessed.

And on and on it goes.  

ALL of our acts have consequences...intended and unintended, known and unknown.  We bear the marks in our faces as they show forth our inner being, in our body's ability to withstand disease or not, in our psyche's ability to achieve something by grace that resembles our original integrity, and our souls show forth the wages of our sins through our words and deeds, and their consequences.

All of it must be burnished away before we are able to stand in the presence of our Creator.  Sometimes we are tried in the crucible here on earth.  Sometimes the sacrifice of others works for our purification here and in the hereafter.  Sometimes our faith alone sets us free.  The Gospels are full of all of the different ways in which Christ forgives sins and heals, or simply heals, when that is all that needs to be done.

God imposes no punishments according to Catholic teaching.  Human choice and the evil inherent in each sin that goes far beyond just one moment in time....that is what the penalties are, the wages of sin.

So there is no formal understanding in Catholic teaching that says that God punishes us by fire.

Mary

« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 08:53:34 PM by elijahmaria » Logged

akimel
Fr Aidan
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR (Western Rite)
Posts: 520



WWW
« Reply #1403 on: April 22, 2010, 12:59:49 AM »

Perhaps the following from Byzantine Catholic theologian Anthony Dragani may be of relevance to this discussion:


Purgatory:  Could you please explain the differences among Latin theology concerning the Dogma of Purgatory and that of the various Eastern Churches? Purgatory

As a general rule, all Eastern Christians do not use the word "Purgatory." This includes both Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians. The word "Purgatory" is specific to the Latin tradition, and carries some specific historical baggage that makes Eastern Christians uncomfortable.

In the Medieval West, many popular theologians defined Purgatory as a specific place, where people essentially sat around and suffered. Some theologians went so far as to imply that a literal fire burns those who suffer in Purgatory. It was also popular to tally periods of time that people spent in purgatory for various offences. It is worth noting that contemporary Roman Catholic theology has (thankfully) moved beyond this approach, to a more Patristic understanding of Purgatory.

In the Catholic understanding, only two points are necessary dogma concerning "purgatory": 1) There is a place of transition/transformation for those en-route to Heaven, and 2) prayer is efficacious for the dead who are in this state.

The Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches agree with the Latin Church fully on both of these points. In practice, we routinely celebrate Divine Liturgies for the dead, and offer numerous prayers on their behalf. We would not do so if we did not agree with the above two dogmatic points.

But again, we do not use the word "Purgatory" for two reasons. First, it is a Latin word first used in the Medieval West, and we use Greek words to describe our theology. Second, the word "Purgatory" still carries specific Medieval baggage that we aren't comfortable with.

It is noteworthy that my own Byzantine Catholic Church has never been required to use the word Purgatory. Our act of reunion with Rome, "The Treaty of Brest," which was formally accepted by Pope Clement VIII, does not require us to accept the Western understanding of Purgatory.

Article V of the Treaty of Brest states "We shall not debate about purgatory..." implying that both sides can agree to disagree on the specifics of what the West calls "Purgatory."

In the East, we tend to have a much more positive view of the transition from death to Heaven. Rather than "Purgatory," we prefer to call it "the Final Theosis." This refers to the process of deification, in which the remnants of our humans nature are transformed, and we come to share in the divine life of the Trinity. Rather than seeing this as a place to "sit and suffer," the Eastern Fathers of the Church described the Final Theosis as being a journey. While this journey can entail hardships, there are also powerful glimpses of joy.

Interestingly, Mother Angelica has repeatedly expressed a very positive understanding of "Purgatory" being a joyful state, rather than a place of suffering. In some ways her description lines up well with the Eastern understanding of the Final Theosis.

Although we do not use the same words, Eastern Orthodox/Catholics and Latin Catholics do essentially believe the same thing on this important point.

Please note: Eastern theology teaches that theosis is an infinite process, and does not cease when a person enters into heaven. The term "final theosis" is not intended to imply otherwise.
Logged

FatherGiryus
You are being watched.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch - NA
Posts: 2,122



« Reply #1404 on: April 22, 2010, 01:43:58 AM »

Dear Father,

I began to see what you were driving at more clearly from your post under the other heading on Orthodox teaching.  And also please allow me to thank you for giving me room to be mistrustful.  It says a great deal about you as a man and as a priest.  I am far more confident of you now.

At any rate, you've come to the crux of things here and I will say something as an assertion and I hope you trust the truth of it...and then we'll see where we go from there.

Poena is translated in most formal translations from he Latin, as I demonstrated in the formal texts that I presented yesterday, as "penalty" rather than as "punishment."  

The penalties of sin are not God-imposed.  The penalties of sin are inherent to the sin itself.

Following on my example of my relationship with my mother, I suffered from her sins, and added my own to them.  Two of my sins resulted in children.  A boy and a girl.  They without guilt of their own have lived the penalties of my libertine behavior in my youth.  My daughter does not punish me for it.  My son does.  But both of them continue to struggle with the consequences/penalties/residual effects of my sin, which follows in a direct line from my mother and has passed on to my daughter's children since she tends to be too accommodating of their bad behavior.  She is unwilling to show tough mother-love since she lacked all mother-love as a child for I was not able to be with her.  And so her sons suffer because there is no brake on their own little-boy sins.  And so then their behavior impact back on their mother who does not always react in a way that is blessed.

And on and on it goes.  

ALL of our acts have consequences...intended and unintended, known and unknown.  We bear the marks in our faces as they show forth our inner being, in our body's ability to withstand disease or not, in our psyche's ability to achieve something by grace that resembles our original integrity, and our souls show forth the wages of our sins through our words and deeds, and their consequences.

All of it must be burnished away before we are able to stand in the presence of our Creator.  Sometimes we are tried in the crucible here on earth.  Sometimes the sacrifice of others works for our purification here and in the hereafter.  Sometimes our faith alone sets us free.  The Gospels are full of all of the different ways in which Christ forgives sins and heals, or simply heals, when that is all that needs to be done.

God imposes no punishments according to Catholic teaching.  Human choice and the evil inherent in each sin that goes far beyond just one moment in time....that is what the penalties are, the wages of sin.

So there is no formal understanding in Catholic teaching that says that God punishes us by fire.

Mary

Dear Mary,

I've thought about the points you raise here regarding natural consequences.  Obviously, it is not an unreasonable position.

In my own reading, I tend towards a slightly different approach, since the natural consequences of sin are, based on my reading of the Scriptures, death.

Therefore, the ultimate consequences for our sins is not in any post-mortem punishment or suffering, God-directed or not, but in death itself.

However, the post-mortem suffering we see witnessed again and again in various forms is the natural consequence of repentance.  After all, a man who does not regret his actions does not feel the pain of his conscience.  The torment of the unrepentant is entirely different than that of the repentant.

Where this seems to play out has to do with the benefits of prayer and alms offered for the dead.  If we take what I will call a 'naturalist' approach (i.e. that post-mortem suffering for sins is a natural consequence of sin), then prayers, merits, offerings, etc. that shorten the suffering of the dead are, by extension, unnatural acts.  For example, a medicine that cures a disease treats an unnatural condition of the body.

On the other hand, if we assume that the post-mortem suffering is unnatural and not a consequence of sin but rather the repentance of sin, then the prayers and offerings become the natural cure of what is unnatural (i.e. the suffering).  In a nutshell, death is the 'natural consequence' of sin rather than suffering.  Suffering is the human awareness of his unnatural state of dying, that is, being apart from God.  Therefore, suffering is not a benefit in and of itself unless it becomes a motivation for change towards a natural state.

This brings me back to the notion of post-mortem suffering as a necessary part of one's return to God.  Since man has already paid the greater penalty by undergoing physical death, further torment of the soul is unnecessary.  The testimony of many saints reveals that death removes the distractions we once had that prevent us from examining our consciences.  Therefore the person either offers excuses or becomes aware of the suffering that he actually bore in this life due to his separation from God.  There is no additional suffering needed to cleanse the person after this life, because the suffering has been there all along, which we call the Passions.

The post-mortem suffering, therefore, is a final release of these unnatural passions.  They are not added to the penitent, and there is no removal of sin through the suffering, since it is the suffering itself that is being removed.  The passions subside and the dead finally are ready to accept the Peace of Christ.  repentance is the removal of what is unnatural, which is the suffering of the Passions.  The prayers of the Church alleviate the suffering by removing their reasons for remaining with the penitent.

Anyway, it is late and I am tired and have gone on too long (please pardon any grammatical errors, but I am too tired to proof this right now).  I hope you can see a bit about where I am coming from on this.  Again, I am not insisting this is 'the' Orthodox position, though I do believe I can say with some certainty that it does not contradict the dogmas of the Orthodox Church.  As for Roman Catholics, I'm not sure where I stand in regards to RCC tradition.  I won't even guess.
Logged

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #1405 on: April 22, 2010, 02:00:57 AM »

Perhaps the following from Byzantine Catholic theologian Anthony Dragani may be of relevance to this discussion:

No, Father, not relevant at all.  Look at the outstanding error of the equation of "Purgatory" with "The Final Theosis."   There is simply no such beast as "The Final Theosis" - it is a ludicrous concept. 

Anthony Dragani has posted in this Forum about his article.  He says that it was written when he was a theological neophyte and it needs redoing.


Quote

As a general rule, all Eastern Christians do =topic=13820.msg426825#msg426825 date=1271912389]
Perhaps the following from Byzantine Catholic theologian Anthony Dragani may be of relevance to this discussion:


Purgatory:  Could you please explain the differences among Latin theology concerning the Dogma of Purgatory and that of the various Eastern Churches? Purgatory

As a general rule, all Eastern Christians do not use the word "Purgatory." This includes both Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians. The word "Purgatory" is specific to the Latin tradition, and carries some specific historical baggage that makes Eastern Christians uncomfortable.

In the Medieval West, many popular theologians defined Purgatory as a specific place, where people essentially sat around and suffered. Some theologians went so far as to imply that a literal fire burns those who suffer in Purgatory. It was also popular to tally periods of time that people spent in purgatory for various offences. It is worth noting that contemporary Roman Catholic theology has (thankfully) moved beyond this approach, to a more Patristic understanding of Purgatory.

In the Catholic understanding, only two points are necessary dogma concerning "purgatory": 1) There is a place of transition/transformation for those en-route to Heaven, and 2) prayer is efficacious for the dead who are in this state.

The Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches agree with the Latin Church fully on both of these points. In practice, we routinely celebrate Divine Liturgies for the dead, and offer numerous prayers on their behalf. We would not do so if we did not agree with the above two dogmatic points.

But again, we do not use the word "Purgatory" for two reasons. First, it is a Latin word first used in the Medieval West, and we use Greek words to describe our theology. Second, the word "Purgatory" still carries specific Medieval baggage that we aren't comfortable with.

It is noteworthy that my own Byzantine Catholic Church has never been required to use the word Purgatory. Our act of reunion with Rome, "The Treaty of Brest," which was formally accepted by Pope Clement VIII, does not require us to accept the Western understanding of Purgatory.

Article V of the Treaty of Brest states "We shall not debate about purgatory..." implying that both sides can agree to disagree on the specifics of what the West calls "Purgatory."

In the East, we tend to have a much more positive view of the transition from death to Heaven. Rather than "Purgatory," we prefer to call it "the Final Theosis." This refers to the process of deification, in which the remnants of our humans nature are transformed, and we come to share in the divine life of the Trinity. Rather than seeing this as a place to "sit and suffer," the Eastern Fathers of the Church described the Final Theosis as being a journey. While this journey can entail hardships, there are also powerful glimpses of joy.

Interestingly, Mother Angelica has repeatedly expressed a very positive understanding of "Purgatory" being a joyful state, rather than a place of suffering. In some ways her description lines up well with the Eastern understanding of the Final Theosis.

Although we do not use the same words, Eastern Orthodox/Catholics and Latin Catholics do essentially believe the same thing on this important point.

Please note: Eastern theology teaches that theosis is an infinite process, and does not cease when a person enters into heaven. The term "final theosis" is not intended to imply otherwise.

In the Medieval West, many popular theologians defined Purgatory as a specific place, where people essentially sat around and suffered. Some theologians went so far as to imply that a literal fire burns those who suffer in Purgatory. It was also popular to tally periods of time that people spent in purgatory for various offences. It is worth noting that contemporary Roman Catholic theology has (thankfully) moved beyond this approach, to a more Patristic understanding of Purgatory.

In the Catholic understanding, only two points are necessary dogma concerning "purgatory": 1) There is a place of transition/transformation for those en-route to Heaven, and 2) prayer is efficacious for the dead who are in this state.

The Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches agree with the Latin Church fully on both of these points. In practice, we routinely celebrate Divine Liturgies for the dead, and offer numerous prayers on their behalf. We would not do so if we did not agree with the above two dogmatic points.

But again, we do not use the word "Purgatory" for two reasons. First, it is a Latin word first used in the Medieval West, and we use Greek words to describe our theology. Second, the word "Purgatory" still carries specific Medieval baggage that we aren't comfortable with.

It is noteworthy that my own Byzantine Catholic Church has never been required to use the word Purgatory. Our act of reunion with Rome, "The Treaty of Brest," which was formally accepted by Pope Clement VIII, does not require us to accept the Western understanding of Purgatory.

Article V of the Treaty of Brest states "We shall not debate about purgatory..." implying that both sides can agree to disagree on the specifics of what the West calls "Purgatory."

In the East, we tend to have a much more positive view of the transition from death to Heaven. Rather than "Purgatory," we prefer to call it "the Final Theosis." This refers to the process of deification, in which the remnants of our humans nature are transformed, and we come to share in the divine life of the Trinity. Rather than seeing this as a place to "sit and suffer," the Eastern Fathers of the Church described the Final Theosis as being a journey. While this journey can entail hardships, there are also powerful glimpses of joy.

Interestingly, Mother Angelica has repeatedly expressed a very positive understanding of "Purgatory" being a joyful state, rather than a place of suffering. In some ways her description lines up well with the Eastern understanding of the Final Theosis.

Although we do not use the same words, Eastern Orthodox/Catholics and Latin Catholics do essentially believe the same thing on this important point.

Please note: Eastern theology teaches that theosis is an infinite process, and does not cease when a person enters into heaven. The term "final theosis" is not intended to imply otherwise.
[/quote]
Logged
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #1406 on: April 22, 2010, 08:57:12 AM »


Dear Mary,

I've thought about the points you raise here regarding natural consequences.  Obviously, it is not an unreasonable position.

In my own reading, I tend towards a slightly different approach, since the natural consequences of sin are, based on my reading of the Scriptures, death.

Therefore, the ultimate consequences for our sins is not in any post-mortem punishment or suffering, God-directed or not, but in death itself.

Indeed.  We are told that one of the wages of sin is death.  But we are more than body and mind...we are body, mind, heart and soul [I include heart here because there is no clear teaching that heart and soul is one and the same or that mind and heart are one and the same so I include heart because it is so central in the east and in western apophaticism as the eye of the soul]. 

At any rate, the entire person must be purified from all effects of what we do and what we do not do in this life that allows evil to come into our lives and the lives of those whom we love, and those whose names we'll never know.

We leave bodily corruption behind, but as I said earlier, and to avoid a heretical dualism of the person, we must conclude, from those true premises concerning the person,  that there are some effects of our actions here that are carried over in our person to the life after life on earth.

Few of us let go of everything for God.  Most of us shy away from the parable of the rich young man and heaven.  The fruits of that reluctance are what we suffer in the immediacy of our death and passing over. We also suffer it in life as well, of course.

So you are not far off base in your thinking.  How could you be?  You simply might want to consider the whole person and what the implications are of the ancestral sin on the loss of integrity for the whole person that must be regained before we enter fully into the Kingdom.

So when we are absolved, we are absolved of guilt, but we are not absolved of sin's effects in the wholeness of our persons.

Mary

PS: I am a horrid one for missing errors even when I do proof!!...no need to apologize to me  Smiley  Would be wasted on this editor's nightmare.
Logged

FatherGiryus
You are being watched.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch - NA
Posts: 2,122



« Reply #1407 on: April 22, 2010, 12:38:17 PM »

Indeed.  We are told that one of the wages of sin is death.  But we are more than body and mind...we are body, mind, heart and soul [I include heart here because there is no clear teaching that heart and soul is one and the same or that mind and heart are one and the same so I include heart because it is so central in the east and in western apophaticism as the eye of the soul]. 

At any rate, the entire person must be purified from all effects of what we do and what we do not do in this life that allows evil to come into our lives and the lives of those whom we love, and those whose names we'll never know.

We leave bodily corruption behind, but as I said earlier, and to avoid a heretical dualism of the person, we must conclude, from those true premises concerning the person,  that there are some effects of our actions here that are carried over in our person to the life after life on earth.

Few of us let go of everything for God.  Most of us shy away from the parable of the rich young man and heaven.  The fruits of that reluctance are what we suffer in the immediacy of our death and passing over. We also suffer it in life as well, of course.

So you are not far off base in your thinking.  How could you be?  You simply might want to consider the whole person and what the implications are of the ancestral sin on the loss of integrity for the whole person that must be regained before we enter fully into the Kingdom.

So when we are absolved, we are absolved of guilt, but we are not absolved of sin's effects in the wholeness of our persons.

Mary

PS: I am a horrid one for missing errors even when I do proof!!...no need to apologize to me  Smiley  Would be wasted on this editor's nightmare.

Dear Mary,

It is precisely for that reason (the integrity of personhood as Body, Soul and Spirit and their equal participation in sin thus any 'guilt') that I oppose the idea of post-mortem punishment for sin prior to the General Resurrection or the absolution of sin without the body through post-mortem suffering.  I mentioned this in the other thread, but I don't think most people got it at the time.  I'm very glad to see that you have such an idea, though maybe not to the conclusion I have taken it.

In essence, there can be no real 'theosis' in one part of the person without the other parts.  We believe that prayer and the other elements of the spiritual life are carried out by all three elements of personhood.  It is for this reason that I don't believe that any perfecting of the person occurs after death other than the elimination of what is unnatural, namely the passions and their suffering.

However, there is no 'instrument,' be it described as fire or torture or anything else done to the person in order to elicit suffering.  The suffering is what the person has always had with him, now exposed by the condition of death.

That being said, the soul and the spirit of the person do bear in them the balance of the conscience, so at death, while the body disintegrates (which is not the 'addition' of anything to the body, but rather the loss of its fallen order) the soul and spirit lose their unnatural additions.

However, if one were to speak of perfecting of the person, then the body must be part of the improvement.  The body cannot suffer disinegration while the soul and spirit are being 'perfected,' which I submit may have been part of why the Cyril of Alexandria idea of souls being 'schooled' after death did not gain acceptance in either the East or the West.

Theosis demands full and equal particiation of the body and the soul and the spirit.  The perfecting of the person requires integrity.  Therefore, there can be no completion of any undone penance after death, since a penance requires all three elements of the person (for example, a priest does not penance the body of a penitent, but the entire person).

So, allow me to go back to the matter you raised regarding your passing from this life.  Rather than being 'burnished' and your penance being completed, I would say at death you would finally experience the suffering you now carry that you did not realize due to the distractions of the world.  As your body suffers corruption and loss of its order, so your soul and spirit suffer the pains of the conscience which are now the matter of debate between the angels and the demons.  Ultimately, it comes down to whether you love God and accept His forgiveness (which you have always had but never fully realized) or whether you reject it with excuses and prove yourself to be a God-hater.  In the case of the former, your 'period of affliction' will vary based on what is coming out of you.  In the case of the latter, your affliction will be very different, in that your passions will remain to torment you without abatement because you have chosen to keep them.

Anyway, I know that this is a heavily-nuanced position, but it is the best I have come up with based on the readings I have completed thus far on the topic.  The Orthodox sources I have at my disposation generally seem to describe much of exterior of this process, but few 'lift the hood' to see how it might operate based on what amounts, in my case in particular, an 'educated guess.'

I suppose I won't know for sure until I do it myself!
Logged

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
Rufus
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: leet


Nafpliotis with sunglasses and a cigar.


« Reply #1408 on: April 22, 2010, 01:18:24 PM »

Indeed. We are told that one of the wages of sin is death. But we are more than body and mind...we are body, mind, heart and soul [I include heart here because there is no clear teaching that heart and soul is one and the same or that mind and heart are one and the same so I include heart because it is so central in the east and in western apophaticism as the eye of the soul].  

At any rate, the entire person must be purified from all effects of what we do and what we do not do in this life that allows evil to come into our lives and the lives of those whom we love, and those whose names we'll never know.

We leave bodily corruption behind, but as I said earlier, and to avoid a heretical dualism of the person, we must conclude, from those true premises concerning the person, that there are some effects of our actions here that are carried over in our person to the life after life on earth.

Few of us let go of everything for God. Most of us shy away from the parable of the rich young man and heaven. The fruits of that reluctance are what we suffer in the immediacy of our death and passing over. We also suffer it in life as well, of course.

So you are not far off base in your thinking. How could you be? You simply might want to consider the whole person and what the implications are of the ancestral sin on the loss of integrity for the whole person that must be regained before we enter fully into the Kingdom.

So when we are absolved, we are absolved of guilt, but we are not absolved of sin's effects in the wholeness of our persons.

Mary

PS: I am a horrid one for missing errors even when I do proof!!...no need to apologize to me  Smiley Would be wasted on this editor's nightmare.

Dear Mary,

It is precisely for that reason (the integrity of personhood as Body, Soul and Spirit and their equal participation in sin thus any 'guilt') that I oppose the idea of post-mortem punishment for sin prior to the General Resurrection or the absolution of sin without the body through post-mortem suffering.  I mentioned this in the other thread, but I don't think most people got it at the time.  I'm very glad to see that you have such an idea, though maybe not to the conclusion I have taken it.

In essence, there can be no real 'theosis' in one part of the person without the other parts.  We believe that prayer and the other elements of the spiritual life are carried out by all three elements of personhood.  It is for this reason that I don't believe that any perfecting of the person occurs after death other than the elimination of what is unnatural, namely the passions and their suffering.

However, there is no 'instrument,' be it described as fire or torture or anything else done to the person in order to elicit suffering.  The suffering is what the person has always had with him, now exposed by the condition of death.

That being said, the soul and the spirit of the person do bear in them the balance of the conscience, so at death, while the body disintegrates (which is not the 'addition' of anything to the body, but rather the loss of its fallen order) the soul and spirit lose their unnatural additions.

However, if one were to speak of perfecting of the person, then the body must be part of the improvement.  The body cannot suffer disinegration while the soul and spirit are being 'perfected,' which I submit may have been part of why the Cyril of Alexandria idea of souls being 'schooled' after death did not gain acceptance in either the East or the West.

Theosis demands full and equal particiation of the body and the soul and the spirit.  The perfecting of the person requires integrity.  Therefore, there can be no completion of any undone penance after death, since a penance requires all three elements of the person (for example, a priest does not penance the body of a penitent, but the entire person).

So, allow me to go back to the matter you raised regarding your passing from this life.  Rather than being 'burnished' and your penance being completed, I would say at death you would finally experience the suffering you now carry that you did not realize due to the distractions of the world.  As your body suffers corruption and loss of its order, so your soul and spirit suffer the pains of the conscience which are now the matter of debate between the angels and the demons.  Ultimately, it comes down to whether you love God and accept His forgiveness (which you have always had but never fully realized) or whether you reject it with excuses and prove yourself to be a God-hater.  In the case of the former, your 'period of affliction' will vary based on what is coming out of you.  In the case of the latter, your affliction will be very different, in that your passions will remain to torment you without abatement because you have chosen to keep them.

Anyway, I know that this is a heavily-nuanced position, but it is the best I have come up with based on the readings I have completed thus far on the topic.  The Orthodox sources I have at my disposition generally seem to describe much of exterior of this process, but few 'lift the hood' to see how it might operate based on what amounts, in my case in particular, an 'educated guess.'

I suppose I won't know for sure until I do it myself!

Fr. Giryus brings up an excellent point. Indeed, the deification of one part of the person poses quite a problem. As the Lord said, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Paul also says in Romans 7 that he does not do what he wants to do on account of the sinfulness of his flesh--the law in his members warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into captivity to the law of sin, which is in his members (v. 23).

If sin is done through the body, then how can purification from sin be done without the body? How can the soul apart from the body be considered in and of itself to be sinful? Isn't this something St. Mark of Ephesus brought up in his rebuttal against Purgatory?

I will be interested to see where this discussion goes.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 01:21:08 PM by Rufus » Logged
FatherGiryus
You are being watched.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch - NA
Posts: 2,122



« Reply #1409 on: April 22, 2010, 01:29:31 PM »

Fr. Giryus brings up an excellent point. Indeed, the deification of one part of the person poses quite a problem. As the Lord said, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Paul also says in Romans 7 that he does not do what he wants to do on account of the sinfulness of his flesh--the law in his members warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into captivity to the law of sin, which is in his members (v. 23).

If sin is done through the body, then how can purification from sin be done without the body? How can the soul apart from the body be considered in and of itself to be sinful? Isn't this something St. Mark of Ephesus brought up in his rebuttal against Purgatory?

I will be interested to see where this discussion goes.

Dear Rufus,

My only hope is that folks will stay focussed on the topic and not allow this to degenerate into ad hominem attacks.  Frankly, I am not interested in scoring points 'for' or 'against' anyone here.  I have close RC friends whom I have the utmost respect for and so I treat RCs here like I do my friends.

That does not mean that I always agree with what they believe, but I do not insist that they agree with me.  What I do want above all else is clarity.  I hope that people will represent what they believe not just to please this person or group or offend that person or group, but that we can see the truth without persona;lities and passions getting in the way.
Logged

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #1410 on: April 22, 2010, 01:40:00 PM »

Fr. Giryus brings up an excellent point. Indeed, the deification of one part of the person poses quite a problem. As the Lord said, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Paul also says in Romans 7 that he does not do what he wants to do on account of the sinfulness of his flesh--the law in his members warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into captivity to the law of sin, which is in his members (v. 23).

If sin is done through the body, then how can purification from sin be done without the body? How can the soul apart from the body be considered in and of itself to be sinful? Isn't this something St. Mark of Ephesus brought up in his rebuttal against Purgatory?

Grace and Peace,

Our Lord clearly illuminated that sin is present in the Will (soul) not simply in our actions (body). Even if we look at another with lust in our hearts we commit adultery do we not? The whole point of a pursuit of discipline is to master our minds so that we might then master our bodies. Yes the body is a wild horse but our minds are the reigns which must restrain and tame it.

I remember a dialogue on a muslim forum concerning this very same line of thinking. It was their rationale for doing all sorts of tyrannical things to 'protect' others from committing sin... I argued that even if you physically restrained someone from physically committing a sin... if they truly 'willed' to commit it, they have sinned already.

Thus, it would be more argument that sin isn't simply something in the flesh but a willingness to do what is sin. The soul must be moved to flee sin or sin is ever it's companion.
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
FatherGiryus
You are being watched.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch - NA
Posts: 2,122



« Reply #1411 on: April 22, 2010, 01:50:50 PM »

Grace and Peace,

Our Lord clearly illuminated that sin is present in the Will (soul) not simply in our actions (body). Even if we look at another with lust in our hearts we commit adultery do we not? The whole point of a pursuit of discipline is to master our minds so that we might then master our bodies. Yes the body is a wild horse but our minds are the reigns which must restrain and tame it.

I remember a dialogue on a muslim forum concerning this very same line of thinking. It was their rationale for doing all sorts of tyrannical things to 'protect' others from committing sin... I argued that even if you physically restrained someone from physically committing a sin... if they truly 'willed' to commit it, they have sinned already.

Thus, it would be more argument that sin isn't simply something in the flesh but a willingness to do what is sin. The soul must be moved to flee sin or sin is ever it's companion.

Dear Ignatius,

I think we can all agree that the guilt of sin is tied equally to body, soul and spirit because the guilt is with the integrated person and not with a part.  Each part makes its contribution to the problem, and some may weigh more heavily with one sin than another, but they are all part of the same person who is guilty and so all bare equal 'blame.'

Just as much as we need to reign in the 'flesh' in terms of the body, we must also do so in terms of the mind.

In terms of 'temporal punishment,' my opposition to it stems from the fact that the soul and spirit are punished without the body.  This seems to assign blame or guilt to one member of the person which then unnaturally divides the personhood of the person by assigning unequal guilt or, even worse, opening one up to the charge that the soul is superior to the body, which is a Gnostic teaching.


Logged

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #1412 on: April 22, 2010, 01:57:43 PM »

Indeed.  We are told that one of the wages of sin is death.  But we are more than body and mind...we are body, mind, heart and soul [I include heart here because there is no clear teaching that heart and soul is one and the same or that mind and heart are one and the same so I include heart because it is so central in the east and in western apophaticism as the eye of the soul]. 

At any rate, the entire person must be purified from all effects of what we do and what we do not do in this life that allows evil to come into our lives and the lives of those whom we love, and those whose names we'll never know.

We leave bodily corruption behind, but as I said earlier, and to avoid a heretical dualism of the person, we must conclude, from those true premises concerning the person,  that there are some effects of our actions here that are carried over in our person to the life after life on earth.

Few of us let go of everything for God.  Most of us shy away from the parable of the rich young man and heaven.  The fruits of that reluctance are what we suffer in the immediacy of our death and passing over. We also suffer it in life as well, of course.

So you are not far off base in your thinking.  How could you be?  You simply might want to consider the whole person and what the implications are of the ancestral sin on the loss of integrity for the whole person that must be regained before we enter fully into the Kingdom.

So when we are absolved, we are absolved of guilt, but we are not absolved of sin's effects in the wholeness of our persons.

Mary

PS: I am a horrid one for missing errors even when I do proof!!...no need to apologize to me  Smiley  Would be wasted on this editor's nightmare.

Dear Mary,

It is precisely for that reason (the integrity of personhood as Body, Soul and Spirit and their equal participation in sin thus any 'guilt') that I oppose the idea of post-mortem punishment for sin prior to the General Resurrection or the absolution of sin without the body through post-mortem suffering.  I mentioned this in the other thread, but I don't think most people got it at the time.  I'm very glad to see that you have such an idea, though maybe not to the conclusion I have taken it.

In essence, there can be no real 'theosis' in one part of the person without the other parts.  We believe that prayer and the other elements of the spiritual life are carried out by all three elements of personhood.  It is for this reason that I don't believe that any perfecting of the person occurs after death other than the elimination of what is unnatural, namely the passions and their suffering.

However, there is no 'instrument,' be it described as fire or torture or anything else done to the person in order to elicit suffering.  The suffering is what the person has always had with him, now exposed by the condition of death.

That being said, the soul and the spirit of the person do bear in them the balance of the conscience, so at death, while the body disintegrates (which is not the 'addition' of anything to the body, but rather the loss of its fallen order) the soul and spirit lose their unnatural additions.

However, if one were to speak of perfecting of the person, then the body must be part of the improvement.  The body cannot suffer disinegration while the soul and spirit are being 'perfected,' which I submit may have been part of why the Cyril of Alexandria idea of souls being 'schooled' after death did not gain acceptance in either the East or the West.

Theosis demands full and equal particiation of the body and the soul and the spirit.  The perfecting of the person requires integrity.  Therefore, there can be no completion of any undone penance after death, since a penance requires all three elements of the person (for example, a priest does not penance the body of a penitent, but the entire person).

This is essentially the foundational argument for soul-sleep after death, which both Orthodoxy and the Catholic Church reject for the same reasons.  You have to be very careful here because the logical conclusion is that the person can do nothing, has no animation, without the body and the soul united.

So there is a teaching in the Church, supported in Scripture by what Jesus says when Mary reaches out to touch him, that after death the soul has a conveyance that appears as human form but is not the now-dead body, nor is it the glorified body.  We don't know what it is but it is not yet raised.

Quote
So, allow me to go back to the matter you raised regarding your passing from this life.  Rather than being 'burnished' and your penance being completed, I would say at death you would finally experience the suffering you now carry that you did not realize due to the distractions of the world.  As your body suffers corruption and loss of its order, so your soul and spirit suffer the pains of the conscience which are now the matter of debate between the angels and the demons.  Ultimately, it comes down to whether you love God and accept His forgiveness (which you have always had but never fully realized) or whether you reject it with excuses and prove yourself to be a God-hater.  In the case of the former, your 'period of affliction' will vary based on what is coming out of you.  In the case of the latter, your affliction will be very different, in that your passions will remain to torment you without abatement because you have chosen to keep them.

I cannot see anything in this thinking that would run counter to what the Catholic Church teaches formally about purgation.

Mary
Logged

ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #1413 on: April 22, 2010, 02:01:58 PM »

Grace and Peace,

Our Lord clearly illuminated that sin is present in the Will (soul) not simply in our actions (body). Even if we look at another with lust in our hearts we commit adultery do we not? The whole point of a pursuit of discipline is to master our minds so that we might then master our bodies. Yes the body is a wild horse but our minds are the reigns which must restrain and tame it.

I remember a dialogue on a muslim forum concerning this very same line of thinking. It was their rationale for doing all sorts of tyrannical things to 'protect' others from committing sin... I argued that even if you physically restrained someone from physically committing a sin... if they truly 'willed' to commit it, they have sinned already.

Thus, it would be more argument that sin isn't simply something in the flesh but a willingness to do what is sin. The soul must be moved to flee sin or sin is ever it's companion.

Dear Ignatius,

I think we can all agree that the guilt of sin is tied equally to body, soul and spirit because the guilt is with the integrated person and not with a part.  Each part makes its contribution to the problem, and some may weigh more heavily with one sin than another, but they are all part of the same person who is guilty and so all bare equal 'blame.'

Just as much as we need to reign in the 'flesh' in terms of the body, we must also do so in terms of the mind.

In terms of 'temporal punishment,' my opposition to it stems from the fact that the soul and spirit are punished without the body.  This seems to assign blame or guilt to one member of the person which then unnaturally divides the personhood of the person by assigning unequal guilt or, even worse, opening one up to the charge that the soul is superior to the body, which is a Gnostic teaching.




With all due respect, I'm not clear that we 'must' look at the human person as a composite of Soul, Spirit and Body. You are hanging your opposition to 'any' salvation after death on this notion?
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
FatherGiryus
You are being watched.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch - NA
Posts: 2,122



« Reply #1414 on: April 22, 2010, 02:26:40 PM »


With all due respect, I'm not clear that we 'must' look at the human person as a composite of Soul, Spirit and Body. You are hanging your opposition to 'any' salvation after death on this notion?

Well, from the Holy Fathers and the Scriptures we have the idea that man is composite (c.f. Genesis and the account of man's creation).

As for your second statement, I'm not sure what you are getting at.  I do believe that there is salvation after death.  I do believe some of us suffer after death as the passions are uncovered and need to be released.  I do believe that some who hate 'God' in this life (in this case, the false 'God' fund in heretical teachings which are inaccurate descriptions of Him) will encounter the truth only after death and will repent.  I do believe that the wages of sin is death, and so there is no additional punishment needed for salvation.  I do believe that those who truly hate God as He is cannot be convinced otherwise against their wills.  I do believe that prayers and offerings of alms made on behalf of the dead help them to accept God's mercy and pass to their rest.

I hope some of this clears up your concerns. 
Logged

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #1415 on: April 22, 2010, 02:32:43 PM »


With all due respect, I'm not clear that we 'must' look at the human person as a composite of Soul, Spirit and Body. You are hanging your opposition to 'any' salvation after death on this notion?

Well, from the Holy Fathers and the Scriptures we have the idea that man is composite (c.f. Genesis and the account of man's creation).

As for your second statement, I'm not sure what you are getting at.  I do believe that there is salvation after death.  I do believe some of us suffer after death as the passions are uncovered and need to be released.  I do believe that some who hate 'God' in this life (in this case, the false 'God' fund in heretical teachings which are inaccurate descriptions of Him) will encounter the truth only after death and will repent.  I do believe that the wages of sin is death, and so there is no additional punishment needed for salvation.  I do believe that those who truly hate God as He is cannot be convinced otherwise against their wills.  I do believe that prayers and offerings of alms made on behalf of the dead help them to accept God's mercy and pass to their rest.

I hope some of this clears up your concerns. 


Sometimes the inherently logical conclusions to some of our beliefs and suppositions can lead to some very strange theology.  I think that is all that is being said in this case.

Sometimes in trying to avoid stepping in mud on one side we fall into a swamp instead on the other.

This is not a slap at you or your thinking in any way.  It is something of a generic follow-up on my note just above this one.

M.
Logged

ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #1416 on: April 22, 2010, 02:37:00 PM »


With all due respect, I'm not clear that we 'must' look at the human person as a composite of Soul, Spirit and Body. You are hanging your opposition to 'any' salvation after death on this notion?

Well, from the Holy Fathers and the Scriptures we have the idea that man is composite (c.f. Genesis and the account of man's creation).

As for your second statement, I'm not sure what you are getting at.  I do believe that there is salvation after death.  I do believe some of us suffer after death as the passions are uncovered and need to be released.  I do believe that some who hate 'God' in this life (in this case, the false 'God' fund in heretical teachings which are inaccurate descriptions of Him) will encounter the truth only after death and will repent.  I do believe that the wages of sin is death, and so there is no additional punishment needed for salvation.  I do believe that those who truly hate God as He is cannot be convinced otherwise against their wills.  I do believe that prayers and offerings of alms made on behalf of the dead help them to accept God's mercy and pass to their rest.

I hope some of this clears up your concerns. 


Whew... I was beginning to worry there for a minute... thank you for clarifying. Don't we also see 2-part composite analogies as well?
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #1417 on: April 22, 2010, 03:03:03 PM »


With all due respect, I'm not clear that we 'must' look at the human person as a composite of Soul, Spirit and Body. You are hanging your opposition to 'any' salvation after death on this notion?

Well, from the Holy Fathers and the Scriptures we have the idea that man is composite (c.f. Genesis and the account of man's creation).

As for your second statement, I'm not sure what you are getting at.  I do believe that there is salvation after death.  I do believe some of us suffer after death as the passions are uncovered and need to be released.  I do believe that some who hate 'God' in this life (in this case, the false 'God' fund in heretical teachings which are inaccurate descriptions of Him) will encounter the truth only after death and will repent.  I do believe that the wages of sin is death, and so there is no additional punishment needed for salvation.  I do believe that those who truly hate God as He is cannot be convinced otherwise against their wills.  I do believe that prayers and offerings of alms made on behalf of the dead help them to accept God's mercy and pass to their rest.

I hope some of this clears up your concerns. 


Whew... I was beginning to worry there for a minute... thank you for clarifying. Don't we also see 2-part composite analogies as well?

I just caught something here.  Not even the wayward Catholics teach that death is a "punishment" for sin.  It is a direct consequence, perhaps even a penalty, but not a punishment!!

What does Orthodoxy mean when they talk about punishment?   I think I may have been missing an important part of this dialogue for years.  Something that as a Catholic never even crossed my mind.

Mary
Logged

Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,359


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #1418 on: April 22, 2010, 03:15:11 PM »

For the Eastern Orthodox who believe that it is possible for one to repent and be saved after death, I have the following question. Is it more difficult to repent and be saved after death than before?
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #1419 on: April 22, 2010, 03:16:55 PM »

For the Eastern Orthodox who believe that it is possible for one to repent and be saved after death, I have the following question. Is it more difficult to repent and be saved after death than before?

How is it even possible when the soul is separated from the body?

M.
Logged

ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #1420 on: April 22, 2010, 03:22:30 PM »

For the Eastern Orthodox who believe that it is possible for one to repent and be saved after death, I have the following question. Is it more difficult to repent and be saved after death than before?

How is it even possible when the soul is separated from the body?

M.

Perhaps... it isn't a work of the penitent but the Mercy of God?
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #1421 on: April 22, 2010, 03:48:05 PM »

For the Eastern Orthodox who believe that it is possible for one to repent and be saved after death, I have the following question. Is it more difficult to repent and be saved after death than before?

How is it even possible when the soul is separated from the body?

M.

Perhaps... it isn't a work of the penitent but the Mercy of God?

Careful...If you push this one it becomes the heresy of works.

NO sanctification comes without the mercy...and grace....of God.

Not even any healing after death.

Purgatory is not an act of the penitent.  It is the penitent yielding to the mercy of God.

Also and in addition, God's mercy, contrary to popular demand, does not always feel good.  Smiley

M.
Logged

FatherGiryus
You are being watched.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch - NA
Posts: 2,122



« Reply #1422 on: April 22, 2010, 04:33:01 PM »


I just caught something here.  Not even the wayward Catholics teach that death is a "punishment" for sin.  It is a direct consequence, perhaps even a penalty, but not a punishment!!

What does Orthodoxy mean when they talk about punishment?   I think I may have been missing an important part of this dialogue for years.  Something that as a Catholic never even crossed my mind.

Mary


Dear Mary,

I think many Orthodox do sense that punishment is an element in RCC teachings regarding Purgatory.  Now, while I know this isn't an offical statement of RCC doctrine, I found this in the 'Catholic Encyclopedia':

Purgatory (Lat., "purgare", to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God's grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.


Again, I know that it is probably not an official teaching of the RCC, but, just as you posted the quote from St. John Maximovich that would give indication that Toll Houses have a place somehow in Orthodox discussion of the post-mortem condition, the element of 'punishment' arises in some discussion by Catholics regarding death and purgatory.  I'm sure that a careful reading would prove otherwise as far as official doctrine (most certainly now under Pope Benedict) is concerned.

Again, I am NOT saying that this is an official RCC stand, but I do think that it is this rather powerful language that arises within some RCC quarters has led to Orthodox wholesale condemnation of anything even remotely like Purgatory to avoid seeming as though we were or are condoning post-mortem punishment.
Logged

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #1423 on: April 22, 2010, 04:55:59 PM »


I just caught something here.  Not even the wayward Catholics teach that death is a "punishment" for sin.  It is a direct consequence, perhaps even a penalty, but not a punishment!!

What does Orthodoxy mean when they talk about punishment?   I think I may have been missing an important part of this dialogue for years.  Something that as a Catholic never even crossed my mind.

Mary


Dear Mary,

I think many Orthodox do sense that punishment is an element in RCC teachings regarding Purgatory.  Now, while I know this isn't an offical statement of RCC doctrine, I found this in the 'Catholic Encyclopedia':

Purgatory (Lat., "purgare", to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God's grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.


Again, I know that it is probably not an official teaching of the RCC, but, just as you posted the quote from St. John Maximovich that would give indication that Toll Houses have a place somehow in Orthodox discussion of the post-mortem condition, the element of 'punishment' arises in some discussion by Catholics regarding death and purgatory.  I'm sure that a careful reading would prove otherwise as far as official doctrine (most certainly now under Pope Benedict) is concerned.

Again, I am NOT saying that this is an official RCC stand, but I do think that it is this rather powerful language that arises within some RCC quarters has led to Orthodox wholesale condemnation of anything even remotely like Purgatory to avoid seeming as though we were or are condoning post-mortem punishment.

What I am driving at is this.  Punishment can be understood in several different ways.  I am only going to point out three of them here.

1. Punishment can be seen in the sense of rules and practices that are established consequential to an act.  If I do THIS, then THAT will happen.  Sort of the parenting image of God the Father.  We tend not to see these things as punishments but they are all encompassed under the Latin "poena" which is often translated as punishment.

2. Punishment can be something inflicted AFTER the consequences have been satisfied.  IF I steal the car keys from my dad, after he's said that I cannot take the car, and I wreck the car badly, and smash up myself in the process, and THEN on top of that I am grounded for six months to show me that I have done more than just a slight wrong...then that is punishment that is above and beyond the consequences of my initial actions.

3. Punishments can be extended beyond consequences, and beyond punitive enlightenment, to reflect retributive intentions.  IF I am in school and some punks come at me and knock me down and spit on me and curse me,  IF I do nothing or IF I yell names at them from a distance, and THEN they come after me to beat me up either because I did nothing or because I dared to yell back at them from a safe distance, that is retribution...It is pay-back meted out in anger and by dint of force.

When a Catholic references "poena" as "punishment" in terms of the doctrine of purgation, they are referring to No. 1 above.

I am wondering what Orthodox faithful mean when they think of or talk about punishment? 

Mary

Logged

ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #1424 on: April 22, 2010, 05:07:03 PM »


I just caught something here.  Not even the wayward Catholics teach that death is a "punishment" for sin.  It is a direct consequence, perhaps even a penalty, but not a punishment!!

What does Orthodoxy mean when they talk about punishment?   I think I may have been missing an important part of this dialogue for years.  Something that as a Catholic never even crossed my mind.

Mary


Dear Mary,

I think many Orthodox do sense that punishment is an element in RCC teachings regarding Purgatory.  Now, while I know this isn't an offical statement of RCC doctrine, I found this in the 'Catholic Encyclopedia':

Purgatory (Lat., "purgare", to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God's grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.


Again, I know that it is probably not an official teaching of the RCC, but, just as you posted the quote from St. John Maximovich that would give indication that Toll Houses have a place somehow in Orthodox discussion of the post-mortem condition, the element of 'punishment' arises in some discussion by Catholics regarding death and purgatory.  I'm sure that a careful reading would prove otherwise as far as official doctrine (most certainly now under Pope Benedict) is concerned.

Again, I am NOT saying that this is an official RCC stand, but I do think that it is this rather powerful language that arises within some RCC quarters has led to Orthodox wholesale condemnation of anything even remotely like Purgatory to avoid seeming as though we were or are condoning post-mortem punishment.

Father... you seem to be arguing that God doesn't punish evil or bad behavior and thus any theology which has punishment as a consequence to our behavior isn't correct. Is this true Father?
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
FatherGiryus
You are being watched.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch - NA
Posts: 2,122



« Reply #1425 on: April 22, 2010, 05:32:25 PM »

Father... you seem to be arguing that God doesn't punish evil or bad behavior and thus any theology which has punishment as a consequence to our behavior isn't correct. Is this true Father?

No.  What I am saying is that punishment for sins in unnecessary as a pre-condition to entering into the Heavenly Kingdom.  If God has forgiven us, His forgiveness is sufficient.  Therefore, he does not need to chastise us once we have died, since the idea that we will continue to sin in heaven simply is not in any Christian tradition I am aware of, East or West.  That is, if we define the 'punishment' of Purgatory as corrective in terms of teaching us not to sin.

Remember also that many sinners live wildly sinful lives without any sign of chastisement or punishment in this life.  Therefore, it seems that God has reserved true 'punishment' for the Last Judgment, 'when He will reward each according to his deeds.'
Logged

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
FatherGiryus
You are being watched.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch - NA
Posts: 2,122



« Reply #1426 on: April 22, 2010, 05:35:05 PM »

What I am driving at is this.  Punishment can be understood in several different ways.  I am only going to point out three of them here.

1. Punishment can be seen in the sense of rules and practices that are established consequential to an act.  If I do THIS, then THAT will happen.  Sort of the parenting image of God the Father.  We tend not to see these things as punishments but they are all encompassed under the Latin "poena" which is often translated as punishment.

2. Punishment can be something inflicted AFTER the consequences have been satisfied.  IF I steal the car keys from my dad, after he's said that I cannot take the car, and I wreck the car badly, and smash up myself in the process, and THEN on top of that I am grounded for six months to show me that I have done more than just a slight wrong...then that is punishment that is above and beyond the consequences of my initial actions.

3. Punishments can be extended beyond consequences, and beyond punitive enlightenment, to reflect retributive intentions.  IF I am in school and some punks come at me and knock me down and spit on me and curse me,  IF I do nothing or IF I yell names at them from a distance, and THEN they come after me to beat me up either because I did nothing or because I dared to yell back at them from a safe distance, that is retribution...It is pay-back meted out in anger and by dint of force.

When a Catholic references "poena" as "punishment" in terms of the doctrine of purgation, they are referring to No. 1 above.

I am wondering what Orthodox faithful mean when they think of or talk about punishment? 

Mary

Well, Mary, as we have already established, it would seem that many Orthodox hold many different views.

In the case of official RCC doctrine as you see it, which of these three definitions is in play when speaking of Purgatory?
Logged

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #1427 on: April 22, 2010, 05:58:19 PM »

What I am driving at is this.  Punishment can be understood in several different ways.  I am only going to point out three of them here.

1. Punishment can be seen in the sense of rules and practices that are established consequential to an act.  If I do THIS, then THAT will happen.  Sort of the parenting image of God the Father.  We tend not to see these things as punishments but they are all encompassed under the Latin "poena" which is often translated as punishment.

2. Punishment can be something inflicted AFTER the consequences have been satisfied.  IF I steal the car keys from my dad, after he's said that I cannot take the car, and I wreck the car badly, and smash up myself in the process, and THEN on top of that I am grounded for six months to show me that I have done more than just a slight wrong...then that is punishment that is above and beyond the consequences of my initial actions.

3. Punishments can be extended beyond consequences, and beyond punitive enlightenment, to reflect retributive intentions.  IF I am in school and some punks come at me and knock me down and spit on me and curse me,  IF I do nothing or IF I yell names at them from a distance, and THEN they come after me to beat me up either because I did nothing or because I dared to yell back at them from a safe distance, that is retribution...It is pay-back meted out in anger and by dint of force.

When a Catholic references "poena" as "punishment" in terms of the doctrine of purgation, they are referring to No. 1 above.

I am wondering what Orthodox faithful mean when they think of or talk about punishment? 

Mary

Well, Mary, as we have already established, it would seem that many Orthodox hold many different views.

In the case of official RCC doctrine as you see it, which of these three definitions is in play when speaking of Purgatory?


A variation of the first one, only set in ancient understandings of the meaning of good and evil, and predicated on the fact that it would be self-contradictory for God to do evil...but He may, it is revealed, allow evil to happen.

So God does not inflict punishment.  What happens is that we do evil and suffer the consequences.  God redeemed us and he saves us, but He does not always rescue us from the consequences, once we, through our free will set evil in motion. 

M
Logged

Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #1428 on: April 22, 2010, 06:55:17 PM »

Father... you seem to be arguing that God doesn't punish evil or bad behavior and thus any theology which has punishment as a consequence to our behavior isn't correct. Is this true Father?

No.  What I am saying is that punishment for sins in unnecessary as a pre-condition to entering into the Heavenly Kingdom.  If God has forgiven us, His forgiveness is sufficient.  Therefore, he does not need to chastise us once we have died, since the idea that we will continue to sin in heaven simply is not in any Christian tradition I am aware of, East or West.  That is, if we define the 'punishment' of Purgatory as corrective in terms of teaching us not to sin.
'

Christ is Risen!

In the revamping of the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory over the last 50 years, the reason for the existence of Purgatory has been obscured.

Purgatory exists to deal with the expiation of the temporal punishment due to post-baptismal personal sin, that part of the punishment which the person has not been able to expiate while on earth.

As Fr Giryus rightly points out, the Church does NOT believe in temporal punishment.  It believes that all punishment was dealt with by the suffering and death of the Saviour.  There is no part of the punishment excluded from the salvific action of Christ.  There is no part which a person must expiate later personally.   Because of this Orthoodx belief, a doctrine of a purgatorial state for the expiation of the punishment due to sin is without sense in Orthodox theology.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 06:57:21 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #1429 on: April 22, 2010, 07:01:38 PM »

Father... you seem to be arguing that God doesn't punish evil or bad behavior and thus any theology which has punishment as a consequence to our behavior isn't correct. Is this true Father?

No.  What I am saying is that punishment for sins in unnecessary as a pre-condition to entering into the Heavenly Kingdom.  If God has forgiven us, His forgiveness is sufficient.  Therefore, he does not need to chastise us once we have died, since the idea that we will continue to sin in heaven simply is not in any Christian tradition I am aware of, East or West.  That is, if we define the 'punishment' of Purgatory as corrective in terms of teaching us not to sin.
'


At some point you need to accept that there's been no revamping and theat
Christ is Risen!

In the revamping of the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory over the last 50 years, the reason for the existence of Purgatory has been obscured.

Purgatory exists to deal with the expiation of the temporal punishment due to post-baptismal personal sin, that part of the punishment which the person has not been able to expiate while on earth.

As Fr Giryus rightly points out, the Church does NOT believe in temporal punishment.  It believes that all punishment was dealt with by the suffering and death of the Saviour.  There is no part of the punishment excluded from the salvific action of Christ.  There is no part which a person must expiate later personally.   Because of this Orthoodx belief, a doctrine of a purgatorial state for the expiation of the punishment due to sin is without sense in Orthodox theology.

This doesn't make sense in light of actual Catholic teaching.  It is something that you promote and have promoted for years.  But that does not make it accurate at all.

Mary
Logged

Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #1430 on: April 22, 2010, 07:11:50 PM »

Father... you seem to be arguing that God doesn't punish evil or bad behavior and thus any theology which has punishment as a consequence to our behavior isn't correct. Is this true Father?

No.  What I am saying is that punishment for sins in unnecessary as a pre-condition to entering into the Heavenly Kingdom.  If God has forgiven us, His forgiveness is sufficient.  Therefore, he does not need to chastise us once we have died, since the idea that we will continue to sin in heaven simply is not in any Christian tradition I am aware of, East or West.  That is, if we define the 'punishment' of Purgatory as corrective in terms of teaching us not to sin.
'


At some point you need to accept that there's been no revamping and theat
Christ is Risen!

In the revamping of the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory over the last 50 years, the reason for the existence of Purgatory has been obscured.

Purgatory exists to deal with the expiation of the temporal punishment due to post-baptismal personal sin, that part of the punishment which the person has not been able to expiate while on earth.

As Fr Giryus rightly points out, the Church does NOT believe in temporal punishment.  It believes that all punishment was dealt with by the suffering and death of the Saviour.  There is no part of the punishment excluded from the salvific action of Christ.  There is no part which a person must expiate later personally.   Because of this Orthoodx belief, a doctrine of a purgatorial state for the expiation of the punishment due to sin is without sense in Orthodox theology.

This doesn't make sense in light of actual Catholic teaching.  It is something that you promote and have promoted for years.  But that does not make it accurate at all.

I can understand that you, as an Eastern Catholic, may not be fully conversant with the Roman Catholic teaching, but what I have said above is what has been taught by Roman Catholic Popes, the Magisterium, theologians and Saints for centuries.  If that teaching has been rejected by the modern Catholic Church I would require proof of the rejection/alteration of the teaching before I will believe it.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 07:14:39 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #1431 on: April 22, 2010, 07:17:11 PM »

Father... you seem to be arguing that God doesn't punish evil or bad behavior and thus any theology which has punishment as a consequence to our behavior isn't correct. Is this true Father?

No.  What I am saying is that punishment for sins in unnecessary as a pre-condition to entering into the Heavenly Kingdom.  If God has forgiven us, His forgiveness is sufficient.  Therefore, he does not need to chastise us once we have died, since the idea that we will continue to sin in heaven simply is not in any Christian tradition I am aware of, East or West.  That is, if we define the 'punishment' of Purgatory as corrective in terms of teaching us not to sin.
'


At some point you need to accept that there's been no revamping and theat
Christ is Risen!

In the revamping of the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory over the last 50 years, the reason for the existence of Purgatory has been obscured.

Purgatory exists to deal with the expiation of the temporal punishment due to post-baptismal personal sin, that part of the punishment which the person has not been able to expiate while on earth.

As Fr Giryus rightly points out, the Church does NOT believe in temporal punishment.  It believes that all punishment was dealt with by the suffering and death of the Saviour.  There is no part of the punishment excluded from the salvific action of Christ.  There is no part which a person must expiate later personally.   Because of this Orthoodx belief, a doctrine of a purgatorial state for the expiation of the punishment due to sin is without sense in Orthodox theology.

This doesn't make sense in light of actual Catholic teaching.  It is something that you promote and have promoted for years.  But that does not make it accurate at all.

I can understand that you, as an Eastern Catholic, may not be fully conversant with the Roman Catholic teaching, but what I have said above is what has been taught by Roman Catholic Popes, the Magisterium, theologians and Saint for centuries.  If that teaching has been rejected by the modern Catholic Church I would require proof of the rejection/alteration of the teaching before I will believe it.

You are simply wrong in your presentation and in your putative understandings.  You are a first rate mind, and we are not that far apart in age, so can almost assert without fear that you know what I know and are doing your almighty best to divert attention and present a false image of Catholic teaching.

You also know my background so this posturing is ALL for show.

Mary
Logged

Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #1432 on: April 22, 2010, 07:35:57 PM »

Father... you seem to be arguing that God doesn't punish evil or bad behavior and thus any theology which has punishment as a consequence to our behavior isn't correct. Is this true Father?

No.  What I am saying is that punishment for sins in unnecessary as a pre-condition to entering into the Heavenly Kingdom.  If God has forgiven us, His forgiveness is sufficient.  Therefore, he does not need to chastise us once we have died, since the idea that we will continue to sin in heaven simply is not in any Christian tradition I am aware of, East or West.  That is, if we define the 'punishment' of Purgatory as corrective in terms of teaching us not to sin.
'


At some point you need to accept that there's been no revamping and theat
Christ is Risen!

In the revamping of the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory over the last 50 years, the reason for the existence of Purgatory has been obscured.

Purgatory exists to deal with the expiation of the temporal punishment due to post-baptismal personal sin, that part of the punishment which the person has not been able to expiate while on earth.

As Fr Giryus rightly points out, the Church does NOT believe in temporal punishment.  It believes that all punishment was dealt with by the suffering and death of the Saviour.  There is no part of the punishment excluded from the salvific action of Christ.  There is no part which a person must expiate later personally.   Because of this Orthoodx belief, a doctrine of a purgatorial state for the expiation of the punishment due to sin is without sense in Orthodox theology.

This doesn't make sense in light of actual Catholic teaching.  It is something that you promote and have promoted for years.  But that does not make it accurate at all.

I can understand that you, as an Eastern Catholic, may not be fully conversant with the Roman Catholic teaching, but what I have said above is what has been taught by Roman Catholic Popes, the Magisterium, theologians and Saints for centuries.  If that teaching has been rejected by the modern Catholic Church I would require proof of the rejection/alteration of the teaching before I will believe it.

Mary,

Would this help you to see that what I wrote was 100% accurate...

"The purpose of purgatory is the expiation of sin, or the discharge of the debt of temporal punishment (Trent, Session 6, Canon 30). The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks about "those who are expiating their sins in purgatory" (paragraph 1475). To "expiate" means to make reparation for an offence or injury. This expiation is achieved through suffering of the soul. Unless completed on earth, "expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments." And again, those "who had not made satisfaction with adequate penance of their sins and omissions are cleaned after death with punishments designed to purge away their debt" (Vatican II, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, 1967)."

http://www.justforcatholics.org/a93.htm

Logged
stanley123
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Roman Catholic
Posts: 3,809


« Reply #1433 on: April 22, 2010, 07:50:23 PM »

Father... you seem to be arguing that God doesn't punish evil or bad behavior and thus any theology which has punishment as a consequence to our behavior isn't correct. Is this true Father?

No.  What I am saying is that punishment for sins in unnecessary as a pre-condition to entering into the Heavenly Kingdom.  If God has forgiven us, His forgiveness is sufficient.  Therefore, he does not need to chastise us once we have died, since the idea that we will continue to sin in heaven simply is not in any Christian tradition I am aware of, East or West.  That is, if we define the 'punishment' of Purgatory as corrective in terms of teaching us not to sin.

Remember also that many sinners live wildly sinful lives without any sign of chastisement or punishment in this life.  Therefore, it seems that God has reserved true 'punishment' for the Last Judgment, 'when He will reward each according to his deeds.'

Dear Father:
Suppose that there are lesser sins, which have not as yet been forgiven. What happens then, according to Orthodox belief?
Logged
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #1434 on: April 22, 2010, 07:54:46 PM »


Mary,

Would this help you to see that what I wrote was 100% accurate...

"The purpose of purgatory is the expiation of sin, or the discharge of the debt of temporal punishment (Trent, Session 6, Canon 30). The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks about "those who are expiating their sins in purgatory" (paragraph 1475). To "expiate" means to make reparation for an offence or injury. This expiation is achieved through suffering of the soul. Unless completed on earth, "expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments." And again, those "who had not made satisfaction with adequate penance of their sins and omissions are cleaned after death with punishments designed to purge away their debt" (Vatican II, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, 1967)."

http://www.justforcatholics.org/a93.htm



No.  This helps nothing.  You will continue to promote your version of the teaching and nothing but an act of God is going to stop you.

There was a time when I became frustrated with you but no longer.

I just take things as far as I can take them by way of explanation, see that now and them somebody catches on to the realities and meanings,  and then I am happy to move on till next time.

Its become a very familiar path.

Mary
Logged

LBK
No Reporting Allowed
Moderated
Toumarches
************
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 11,441


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #1435 on: April 22, 2010, 08:30:52 PM »

Dear Father:
Suppose that there are lesser sins, which have not as yet been forgiven. What happens then, according to Orthodox belief?

The Orthodox funeral service has, towards its end, a prayer of absolution of sins, which, IIRC, is essentially the same, if not identical, as that which is pronounced at confession. The Orthodox Church does not distinguish between mortal and venial sins. And, if sins have been forgiven, be it at confession, or at one's funeral, they're forgiven. Period. As I recall saying several pages ago, either God has forgiven sins at absolution, or He hasn't. If He has, then there's no need for purgatory. If He hasn't, then it makes a mockery of the sacrament of absolution. God cannot be a liar.
Logged
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #1436 on: April 22, 2010, 09:03:11 PM »

Dear Father:
Suppose that there are lesser sins, which have not as yet been forgiven. What happens then, according to Orthodox belief?

The Orthodox funeral service has, towards its end, a prayer of absolution of sins, which, IIRC, is essentially the same, if not identical, as that which is pronounced at confession. The Orthodox Church does not distinguish between mortal and venial sins. And, if sins have been forgiven, be it at confession, or at one's funeral, they're forgiven. Period. As I recall saying several pages ago, either God has forgiven sins at absolution, or He hasn't. If He has, then there's no need for purgatory. If He hasn't, then it makes a mockery of the sacrament of absolution. God cannot be a liar.

There is never a question of forgiveness of sin guilt or not in the considerations addressed by purgation.  So if you suggest that purgation has anything to do with sin-guilt then you don't understand the teaching...which is not surprising or a bad thing necessarily.

Mary
Logged

FatherGiryus
You are being watched.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch - NA
Posts: 2,122



« Reply #1437 on: April 22, 2010, 09:21:31 PM »

Dear Father:
Suppose that there are lesser sins, which have not as yet been forgiven. What happens then, according to Orthodox belief?

The Orthodox funeral service has, towards its end, a prayer of absolution of sins, which, IIRC, is essentially the same, if not identical, as that which is pronounced at confession. The Orthodox Church does not distinguish between mortal and venial sins. And, if sins have been forgiven, be it at confession, or at one's funeral, they're forgiven. Period. As I recall saying several pages ago, either God has forgiven sins at absolution, or He hasn't. If He has, then there's no need for purgatory. If He hasn't, then it makes a mockery of the sacrament of absolution. God cannot be a liar.



Let me quote to you the Prayer of Absolution from the Byzantine Rite:

Let us pray to the Lord:  O Lord God of the salvation of Thy servants, Who art merciful, compassionate and long-suffering, Who repentest concerning our evil deeds, Who desirest not the death of a sinner, but that he should turn from his way and live: Do Thou Thyself now be merciful unto Thy servant, N., and grant unto him (her) an image of repentance, pardon and remission of sins, forgiving him (her) every transgression, whether voluntary or involuntary.  Reconcile and unite him (her) to Thy Holy Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord, with Whom is due unto Thee power and majesty, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
May God Who pardoned David through Nathan the Prophet when he confessed his sins, Peter who wept bitterly for his denial, the Harlot weeping at His feet, the Publican and the Prodigal, forgive thee (†) all things through e a sinner, both in this world and in the world to come, and set thee uncondemned before His terrible Judgment Seat. Now, having no further care for the sins which thou hast confessed, depart in peace.
It is truly meet to bless thee, O Theotokos, who art ever blessed and most pure and the Mother of our God, more honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim. Thou who without defilement gavest birth to God the Word. True Theotokos, we magnify thee.
Glory... now.. Amen.


The prayer finalizes the process of repentance, and there is no mention in Orthodoxy regarding further 'expiation.'  Those sins one has not confessed, or those sins which one has difficulty releasing, are the sources of the passions.  These passions must be released at death, and this process of reconciling the conscience can be painful when one must see one's sins all over again and hear the accusations by the demons.  Yet, if we remember God's mercy, and accept His forgiveness, then we can pass to our rest in Him.

Someone asked if this is an easy process, or easier than repenting in this life, and it seems from the testimony of the Fathers that it is better and easier to repent in this life rather than having to deal with the conscience at death.  In some cases, saints have repented and lived such holy lives that the gates of paradise open right there in their cells as they die.  Others, perhaps more sinful like me, will have a bit of a struggle.

What is clear from the writings of the Fathers is that good works we do in this life also are very helpful even if our consciences are troubled at death. 

In the end, procrasination does not pay well.  Repent now and you will have less to worry about later.
Logged

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #1438 on: April 22, 2010, 09:30:04 PM »

Dear Father:
Suppose that there are lesser sins, which have not as yet been forgiven. What happens then, according to Orthodox belief?

The Orthodox funeral service has, towards its end, a prayer of absolution of sins, which, IIRC, is essentially the same, if not identical, as that which is pronounced at confession. The Orthodox Church does not distinguish between mortal and venial sins. And, if sins have been forgiven, be it at confession, or at one's funeral, they're forgiven. Period. As I recall saying several pages ago, either God has forgiven sins at absolution, or He hasn't. If He has, then there's no need for purgatory. If He hasn't, then it makes a mockery of the sacrament of absolution. God cannot be a liar.



Let me quote to you the Prayer of Absolution from the Byzantine Rite:

Let us pray to the Lord:  O Lord God of the salvation of Thy servants, Who art merciful, compassionate and long-suffering, Who repentest concerning our evil deeds, Who desirest not the death of a sinner, but that he should turn from his way and live: Do Thou Thyself now be merciful unto Thy servant, N., and grant unto him (her) an image of repentance, pardon and remission of sins, forgiving him (her) every transgression, whether voluntary or involuntary.  Reconcile and unite him (her) to Thy Holy Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord, with Whom is due unto Thee power and majesty, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
May God Who pardoned David through Nathan the Prophet when he confessed his sins, Peter who wept bitterly for his denial, the Harlot weeping at His feet, the Publican and the Prodigal, forgive thee (†) all things through e a sinner, both in this world and in the world to come, and set thee uncondemned before His terrible Judgment Seat. Now, having no further care for the sins which thou hast confessed, depart in peace.
It is truly meet to bless thee, O Theotokos, who art ever blessed and most pure and the Mother of our God, more honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim. Thou who without defilement gavest birth to God the Word. True Theotokos, we magnify thee.
Glory... now.. Amen.


The prayer finalizes the process of repentance, and there is no mention in Orthodoxy regarding further 'expiation.'  Those sins one has not confessed, or those sins which one has difficulty releasing, are the sources of the passions.  These passions must be released at death, and this process of reconciling the conscience can be painful when one must see one's sins all over again and hear the accusations by the demons.  Yet, if we remember God's mercy, and accept His forgiveness, then we can pass to our rest in Him.

Someone asked if this is an easy process, or easier than repenting in this life, and it seems from the testimony of the Fathers that it is better and easier to repent in this life rather than having to deal with the conscience at death.  In some cases, saints have repented and lived such holy lives that the gates of paradise open right there in their cells as they die.  Others, perhaps more sinful like me, will have a bit of a struggle.

What is clear from the writings of the Fathers is that good works we do in this life also are very helpful even if our consciences are troubled at death.  

In the end, procrasination does not pay well.  Repent now and you will have less to worry about later.


Again, purgation is not a doctrine specifically developed to address the guilt of sin that has been repented and resolved.  That cannot be stressed strongly enough.

Unless you step outside of that box, you'll miss the meaning of purgation entirely.

From the removal of Adam and Eve from Paradise, to the fact that we still die in the flesh after we are Redeemed and Baptised, we learn in a variety of ways that although we are redeemed and forgiven and absolved of sin, there are still consequences of those evils that mark us and change us and to which we remain subjected no matter what.

It is to those residual consequences that purgation is directed.

M.

M.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 09:31:26 PM by elijahmaria » Logged

Rufus
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: leet


Nafpliotis with sunglasses and a cigar.


« Reply #1439 on: April 22, 2010, 09:42:07 PM »

I just wish to make it clear that I am not polemicizing (as some people seem to mistakenly think). I am just trying very hard to sort out what the Orthodox faith is, what the Roman Catholic faith is, where they are the same, and where they are different. I think we could all benefit from knowing these things.

Fr. Giryus brings up an excellent point. Indeed, the deification of one part of the person poses quite a problem. As the Lord said, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Paul also says in Romans 7 that he does not do what he wants to do on account of the sinfulness of his flesh--the law in his members warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into captivity to the law of sin, which is in his members (v. 23).

If sin is done through the body, then how can purification from sin be done without the body? How can the soul apart from the body be considered in and of itself to be sinful? Isn't this something St. Mark of Ephesus brought up in his rebuttal against Purgatory?

Grace and Peace,

Our Lord clearly illuminated that sin is present in the Will (soul) not simply in our actions (body). Even if we look at another with lust in our hearts we commit adultery do we not? The whole point of a pursuit of discipline is to master our minds so that we might then master our bodies. Yes the body is a wild horse but our minds are the reigns which must restrain and tame it.

I remember a dialogue on a muslim forum concerning this very same line of thinking. It was their rationale for doing all sorts of tyrannical things to 'protect' others from committing sin... I argued that even if you physically restrained someone from physically committing a sin... if they truly 'willed' to commit it, they have sinned already.

Thus, it would be more argument that sin isn't simply something in the flesh but a willingness to do what is sin. The soul must be moved to flee sin or sin is ever it's companion.

That’s a good point. Although I think you have firmly rebutted part of what I was saying, I also get the sense that I might not have been totally clear. I’m certainly not saying that only external actions are sins. Sin can take the form of desires, thoughts, words, and deeds, all of which occur in the physical body (either as external actions, or in the brain). However, as you have pointed out, the soul still plays an integral part in sin.

We all agree that the soul, after death, can repent, pray, be forgiven, and believe when it did not have the opportunity to believe in its lifetime. We also believe that the departed Saints can act on our behalf, and even appear (like Marian apparitions). Of course, the mere continued existence of the soul is contingent upon being sustained by God, so it would probably be wise to be conservative about declaring what the soul can do after death. I suppose it can only do specifically what God allows it to do (but now I am speculating).

Now we also both believe that the soul experiences a “reward” or “punishment” after death. I think, as Father Giryus said, that the common Patristic teaching is that the bliss/torment is the soul’s own conscience as it becomes aware of its true condition. It is a foretaste of the reward/punishment at the Last Judgment, but it is not the Judgment itself, which it can only experience when reunited with the body. The torment of the soul’s conscience, however, metaphorically represented by fire, is not seen as something that is “purifying” the soul. Although the soul may repent/be converted after death, I do not believe Orthodox teaching ever suggests that the fire plays a part in this, or is purifying the soul in any other sense. It is simply the torment of the conscience.

I am wondering where Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic doctrine would agree with this, and where we diverge. Since I am no expert theologian (ha, ha, ha), I hope the more learned Orthodox in this thread will not hesitate to correct any doctrinal errors or distortions I have written.
Logged
Tags: indulgences purgatory Hell forgiveness after death toll houses apokatastasis 
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 »   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.256 seconds with 72 queries.