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Author Topic: To my dear Brother and Sister in Christ, CC, EC, EO, or COE  (Read 5145 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 14, 2008, 03:51:41 PM »

I understand that my posts tend come off as sounding harsh at times. I want you all to know that this is not because I hate Eastern Christians or their Churches. In fact, the parish that I attend is a Ruthenian Catholic parish. I have integrated certain aspects of Eastern Spirituality into my walk with God, especially prayer before Icons, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Crysostem, the Jesus prayer, etc. On the other hand there are still strong Western aspects of my spirituality. I still find great solace in participating in the Stations of the Cross and adoration and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in my old western Parish as well as praying the western form of the Rosary. This being said, the reason that my posts often come off as harsh is that I am really trying to understand the Eastern Position and for me, the best way to do so is to raise all the objection I can and if those objections are sufficiently answered then I can move on.
So far, I still have great reservations concerning Hesychast spirituality. I fear that the use of certain postions, forms of breathing, and repetition of the Jesus Prayer without meditating on the mysteries of God can lead to a psychosomatic response as this happens in a similar way in the Charismatic movement.
As for Palamas, I have less reservations than I did before. He is indeed on the Catholic Calander. And one of the strengths of the Catholic Church is that she is truely Catholic and makes room for both Palamas and Aquinas. Still, my biggest problem with Palamas his is support of the distinction between essence and energies. Now, Aquinas proved, by reason, that God is pure actuality and that there are no parts in God. On the other hand, a poster by the s/n of Ghosty, over at CAF, has explained to me how the Western understaning of God as simple and the Eastern understand of God as essence/energies can be really explaining the same mystery but in a different way. He seem to suggest that the essence and energies are not different things but simply actions, God relating in two different ways: essence:God relating to himself; engergies: God relating to creation. If that means that God is really simple and its just a way of explaining how he relates, then I might be able to accept it as a valid expression of the faith. HOWEVER, it still seems to destroy God's simplicity, which I think is problematic. For two major reasons that can be discussed later (1. Creates a contradition and 2. Starts from creations making demands of God and not vica versa). Anyway, this Sunday, we will celebrating the feast day of St. Gregory Palamas at my parish. I will accept the judgement of the Church for now (even though he was never infallibly cannonized) and venerate this man as a saint, even if I believe his theology to be flawed.
This being said, I want you all to know that I do love all Eastern Christians whether they be Catholic or Orthodox and I do pray and hope for the unity of all. Its just that I do believe that communion of Churches requires a unity of faith.
Many Blessings in Christ,
Chris
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2008, 03:55:19 PM »

Oh, I'm sensing a convert in the making...  Grin
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2008, 04:05:56 PM »

LOL. Not likely. I really do believe in the Papacy, Purgatory, the Immaculate Conception, etc. Plus, one thing that I am always shocked by is the fact that EOC has never developed something like Eucharistic adoration.
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2008, 04:08:08 PM »

LOL. Not likely. I really do believe in the Papacy, Purgatory, the Immaculate Conception, etc. Plus, one thing that I am always shocked by is the fact that EOC has never developed something like Eucharistic adoration.

As someone who did an all-night Eucharistic adoration with a bunch of Dominican friars last weekend, I'm telling you, it's a powerful source of grace. But to each his own.
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2008, 04:08:50 PM »

That's my point. I could never give up Eucharist adoration.
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2008, 05:14:58 PM »

That's my point. I could never give up Eucharist adoration.
Who says you'd have to?
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2008, 05:20:26 PM »

Who says you'd have to?
As far as I understand, Eucharistic Adoration, where the Eucharist is reserved in a tabernacle or monstrance specifically to be worshiped and prayed to (spending time with Jesus) is not practiced in the East. I think that I have heard Fr. Ambrose state that Eastern Christians should, rather, pray in front of icons.
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2008, 06:02:01 PM »

An interesting thing an Eastern Catholic Deacon told me once, the West may have Eucharistic adoration, but a majority of Roman Rite Catholics don't believe in the real presence (which is very sad IMO), whereas in the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches, the amount of people that believe in the real presence is much greater, and yet we don't have adoration.  Just kind of an interesting point he made, especially coming from an Eastern Catholic deacon.
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2008, 06:05:55 PM »

Refresh my memory- what is Eucharistic Adoration?
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2008, 06:36:00 PM »

As far as I understand, Eucharistic Adoration, where the Eucharist is reserved in a tabernacle or monstrance specifically to be worshiped and prayed to (spending time with Jesus) is not practiced in the East. I think that I have heard Fr. Ambrose state that Eastern Christians should, rather, pray in front of icons.

I am remember Fr. Ambrose writing when I said something about out of Divine Liturgy, we don't have much adoration of the Eucharist, that it sent a shiver up his spine.  I quickly clarified that I meant that it is not practiced much outside of Divine Liturgy.  At a presanctified Liturgy, instead of standing during the Great Entrance, we prostrate.  And we of course cross ourselves passing a Church because of the Tabernacle.

No, it's not practiced in the East, basically because the history of it is not there.  The iconoclasts, for instance, insisted that the Eucharist was the only image of Christ worship of veneration, because of it being consubstantial.

The Western Rite Orthodox practice it, I believe.  I've just been to my second Orthodox Mass, at Holy Incarnation in Taylor, Michigan.  Risked treacherous snow from Chicago and back, but it was worth it.  The TLM have nothing on them: quite a devout service.

Refresh my memory- what is Eucharistic Adoration?
Sort of like venerating an icon, only worshipping the Eucharist (since He is God, worship, not venerate, is the proper term).

Btw, what is CC and COE?
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2008, 06:49:33 PM »

As far as I understand, Eucharistic Adoration, where the Eucharist is reserved in a tabernacle or monstrance specifically to be worshiped and prayed to (spending time with Jesus) is not practiced in the East. I think that I have heard Fr. Ambrose state that Eastern Christians should, rather, pray in front of icons.

Hello Papist!

Peace from God in the name of His Son Christ Jesus our Savior ... Amen

I do not know all the abbreviations you have identified as your "brothers and sisters in Christ". Is it to much to ask that you write them out for clarity?

I am what is 'referred to' as OO on this forum (Oriental Orthodox).

That designation actually means absolutely nothing to me since the real truth is that we are all 'Orthodox'. We just need to stop arguing with each other over matters that does not edify Gods great commission to 'preach and teach the Gosple of Jesus Christ to ALL the world'.

St Paul taught us to "be of one mind" and "Above ALL things to love one another".

If we simply apply the above commandments we are all one faith and one Universal (Catholic), Apostolic Church of God.

The fact that our fathers have left us void of application of the above commandments is in itself a fall from true Apostolic order.

Our fathers argued over the nature of Christ, Who is the head of all the whole Church on earth, and the various doctrines and canons that came from these matters. While all this was going on our fathers failed to see that the meer fact that these arguments took place brought sin on the House of God which is The Church. It mattered not who was right or who was wrong or both. We see the results has created the rift in the faithful, scattered the flock of God, estranged the communion etc, etc.. This is sin!

Chalcedon produced only losers.

The Split between Rome and Constantinople produced only losers?

Any kind of split producers losers. Especially since the key to being a winner is to 'maintain' Oneness.

I use the terms 'winner' and 'loser' as a matter of speaking.

"One bad apple spoils the whole bunch."

I donot know where that saying comes from but it is very appropriate.

If any of the above produced a "winner" than the there would be NO division of any kind.

The Lord teaches "a house divided can not stand".

Christ Church is One house. If it is divided than NOBODY stands.

Too often we are driven by ego. Our fathers included.

We can not rebel against what is wrong with certain aspects of our fathers as an answer or resolve. Resolve is met by perservering...NOT neglecting (Luther and his kind could not understand this).

What we can do with each other is BE as our fathers 'should' be amongst themselves.

We can cherish our common faith forsaking everything and all things that could cause us to loose our oneness...this is a gift of the Holy Spirit to The Church that we are all bound together no matter what. Christ Church is not scattered, split, divided, or anythng like this. These issues are the product of man.

I spend time on this forum posting on issues that are far from what I thought in the begining this forum would present. I am not happy about that.

I am happy however that I am dialoging with my brothers and sisters in Christ openly in ways I never had before. I have been hurt and offended many times on this forum (I am sure I have dished out the same in some way to some person). But I have also gained a great sense of community of the 'One Church of Christ'. That is well worth the pain I have suffered to date.

I have agained a intimate knowledge of all or our communitiies. Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox.

You know; I realized that me and my brothers (blood family) do not have the same approach to life or share the same belief on things and over the years have faught over too much and too little. But we are still 'one family' who loves each other and are always there for each other.....various people albeit bearing one burden which is our family.  

Maybe this is unity?

Maybe our differences define us and are thus the 'spectrumology' of our oneness our unbroken union?

I am open to this hope that we are one faith undivided.

I hope that is your view......all of our view.

Thanks
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2008, 07:10:29 PM »

Refresh my memory- what is Eucharistic Adoration?

A piece of the consecrated communion bread is placed in a liturgical device called a monstrance and then put on the altar for people to do their own private devotions before.  There is a liturgical ceremony that goes with the putting out and the putting away (back into the tabernacle, where communion is stored in the RCC).  Local customs vary, some parishes do this once a month and have a 40 hour devotion, other have a perpetual devotion etc.

The more proper thing to say is there is no tradition of extra-liturgical eucharistic adoration among the Orthodox.  As the very pre-communion prayer, "I believe and confess..." is eucharistic adoration. 
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2008, 07:43:00 PM »



Btw, what is CC and COE?
CC = Catholic Church
COE = Church of the East or Ancient Church of the East
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2008, 07:46:42 PM »

A piece of the consecrated communion bread is placed in a liturgical device called a monstrance and then put on the altar for people to do their own private devotions before.  There is a liturgical ceremony that goes with the putting out and the putting away (back into the tabernacle, where communion is stored in the RCC).  Local customs vary, some parishes do this once a month and have a 40 hour devotion, other have a perpetual devotion etc.

The more proper thing to say is there is no tradition of extra-liturgical eucharistic adoration among the Orthodox.  As the very pre-communion prayer, "I believe and confess..." is eucharistic adoration. 
I apologize if I offended. I didn't mean to suggest that the EO Church does not adore the Eucharist. I know that you most certainly do, as you belive the Eucharist to be Christ himself. What meant is that there is not adoration of the Eucharist as in the Roman Church as you described above. Thank you for clarifying this point.
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« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2008, 07:48:21 PM »

I realized that i goofed on my abbreviations above. I mean to write: CC, EOC, OOC, and ACoE.
CC = Catholic Church
EOC = Eastern Orthodox Church
OOC = Oriental Orthodox Church
ACoE = Ancient Church of the East
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« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2008, 07:49:24 PM »

I realized that i goofed on my abbreviations above. I mean to write: CC, EOC, OOC, and ACoE.
CC = Catholic Church
EOC = Eastern Orthodox Church
OOC = Oriental Orthodox Church
ACoE = Ancient Church of the East

Do we have any ancient church of the East believers here?
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« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2008, 07:53:14 PM »

Do we have any ancient church of the East believers here?
Good question. I was wondering the same thing.
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« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2008, 08:16:17 PM »

Do we have any ancient church of the East believers here?

None that are regulars, as far as I know.
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« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2008, 10:03:37 PM »

.... one thing that I am always shocked by is the fact that EOC has never developed something like Eucharistic adoration.

Besides what Nektarios said, in many parishes where the consecration is said aloud, people semi-prostrate before the gifts after they are consecrated.  As you know, the priest prostrates completely at this time.  During the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, at the great entrance, everyone prostrates completely before the holy gifts in complete silence for a couple of minutes as they are brought out from behind the iconostasis, at least in the Eastern Slavic usage.  (GOA, Antiochian or GOC people, help me out on this one. Wink)

I believe that the Catholic Church developed Eucharistic adoration in response to Protestant non-belief in the real presence.  This was never an issue in the East, so there was never a need to develop such a rite.  Also, for us there is the real sense that the gifts are there for eating and drinking, not bowing to outside of the liturgical setting.  For us, it seems kind of a strange and out-of-context thing to create a rite to do this.  We will prostrate before them when  and we will bow or prostrate before the altar depending on the situation.  However, as one poster alluded to, it is much more usual for the Orthodox to pray in front of icons, including the Gospel and the Cross of the Lord.
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« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2008, 11:17:11 PM »

I must confess that when I am serving in the altar, one of my favourite things is how I am standing basically right next to the tabernacle the entire time, which reminds me of Eucharistic adoration...
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« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2008, 12:10:21 PM »

I just wanted everyone to know that I did attend my normal Byzantine parish this sunday for divine Liturgy and it was the feast day of Gregory Palamas. However, the priest harldy made a mention of Palamas during his sermon. So, not much happend with regard to Gregory.
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« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2008, 12:22:24 PM »

And your point is....what?
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« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2008, 01:39:56 PM »

And your point is....what?
Just an update on my journey to understand the issues regarding Gregory Palamas. You have a problem with this?
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« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2008, 06:11:32 PM »

Thought you had a huge thread for that already.

And yes, I do have a problem if you're starting another one in a thread which you start with an apology.
I do assume your "normal Byzantine parish" is not Orthodox.
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« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2008, 10:28:40 PM »

Thought you had a huge thread for that already.

And yes, I do have a problem if you're starting another one in a thread which you start with an apology.
I do assume your "normal Byzantine parish" is not Orthodox.
It seems to me that you are making up problems. At the beginning of the this thread I mentioned that I am in the process of discerning what I think I should believe with regard to Palamas. I am merely posting an update on that situation. My post was not intended to imply anything either way. It was just meant to say that my priest didn't mention much about Palamas.
And as for my Parish, it is not Eastern Orthodox but it is orthodox in the true sense of the word.
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« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2008, 11:10:33 PM »

And as for my Parish, it is not Eastern Orthodox but it is orthodox in the true sense of the word.

Just before you start getting into polemical mode again Wink, I wanted to say that I appreciated what you were trying to share with us at the beginning of this thread.  It shows that you are sincerely trying to seek out truth and you showed genuine humility in your post too.  I wish you a dynamic yet peaceful lent full of real spiritual growth.
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« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2008, 12:24:05 AM »

Just before you start getting into polemical mode again Wink, I wanted to say that I appreciated what you were trying to share with us at the beginning of this thread.  It shows that you are sincerely trying to seek out truth and you showed genuine humility in your post too.  I wish you a dynamic yet peaceful lent full of real spiritual growth.
Thanks for catching me before I jump off the deep end and your post is very much appreciated. Pray for me and I will pray for you.
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« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2008, 09:51:31 AM »

And as for my Parish, it is not Eastern Orthodox but it is orthodox in the true sense of the word.
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« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2008, 12:45:05 AM »

I have integrated certain aspects of Eastern Spirituality into my walk with God, especially prayer before Icons, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Crysostem, the Jesus prayer, etc. On the other hand there are still strong Western aspects of my spirituality. I still find great solace in participating in the Stations of the Cross and adoration and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in my old western Parish as well as praying the western form of the Rosary.

I use the Rosary occasionally. But the one uniquely Latin thing about my spirituality (there are lots of other things that overlap both East and West) is the moral theology: the distinction between mortal and venial sin as a guide to examining my conscience and going to Confession. The Anglicans I was born into, an old Irish monsignor (yes, really - he went to seminary in the 1940s) and another priest taught by the Romans in the nifty '50s passed it down to me and I for ever give that tradition credit for it.

I think the one uniquely Eastern Orthodox thing about me (there's lots of Orthodox stuff in my life but again it corresponds to things in Western Catholicism) is the understanding of icons as more than devotional pictures but a sacramental presence halfway between a statue or picture and having the Reserved Sacrament in the room with you.

That and there's an extra mystical kick to the orthodoxy of St Basil's, St John Chrysostom's and St John Damascene's long beautiful prayers. Rather like if you like Freddie Mercury/Queen you really like Gilbert & Sullivan, if you like the prose and orthodox stuff in the Book of Common Prayer you really like the Church Fathers.

('Catholic but non-papal' is classic Anglican.)

This being said, the reason that my posts often come off as harsh is that I am really trying to understand the Eastern Position and for me, the best way to do so is to raise all the objection I can and if those objections are sufficiently answered then I can move on.

That's legitimate: the way of the university debate.

So far, I still have great reservations concerning Hesychast spirituality. I fear that the use of certain postions, forms of breathing, and repetition of the Jesus Prayer without meditating on the mysteries of God can lead to a psychosomatic response as this happens in a similar way in the Charismatic movement.

Like J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey. Used properly, by a monk under an elder, it's fine. In 15 years of seriously following this stuff I've never met an Orthodox who does it!

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I believe that the Catholic Church developed Eucharistic adoration in response to Protestant non-belief in the real presence.

Close. It developed a few centuries before the Protestants when Berengarius in the West denied the real presence. That's why those devotions began in the Middle Ages not after the anti-Protestant Council of Trent.
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