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Author Topic: Did Judas Repent? (Matt 27:3)  (Read 11391 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 29, 2008, 08:51:29 AM »

Hristos Anesti! 

After searching the archives and not finding a specific answer to this, I would like to ask:

Did Judas repent? 

I have puzzled over this since the Gospel reading of Matthew 27, specifically verses 3-10.  "Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful...saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood."

At first read it seems that Judas repented of his sin.  Yet in despair, took his own life.  I wonder what the Orthodox Church's teaching is on this?

Thank you in advance for all thoughtful replies.

Alithos Anesti!
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2008, 09:27:08 AM »

The Eastern Orthodox Holy Week services contrast the repentance and restoration of Peter with the despair of Judas. I highly encourage you to take a look at them in depth, especially the Matins of Holy Thursday.
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2008, 04:09:49 PM »

I've never understood the utter hatred towards Judas, myself. IMO, it would seem that he did repent for what he had done, even if he was wicked in many of his actions.

Guess the only way to know is when I get to talk to him myself. Heh.
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2008, 04:39:35 PM »

I've had the same thoughts, myself. I wonder how anyone could truly know his motives or if he repented. And despair can be pretty hard to over-come. But, then, maybe the general attitude toward him is correct? I just don't know. 

Maybe we should pray for Judas. Its not too late is it? While we generally say prayers for the those who recentlly died, I've never actually heard of a time limit. Imput anyone?
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2008, 04:40:05 PM »

I understand from the fathers and our Coptic prayers that Judas was a tragedy.  Remorseful is not repentance.  Remorseful can be a step to repentance, but it can also be a step to despair, feeling that you deserve not even to exist, giving up on life and on repentance.  Christ even said harsh words about Judas, that is it would have been better if he wasn't born.

In one of our commentaries of Holy Week in our Coptic services, we read from St. John Chrysostom that we should not grieve the betrayed and those who accept suffering, for Christ is now risen, ascended, and is sitting at the right hand of the Father and teaches us "Blessed are the persecuted for righteousness' sake, for their's is the Kingdom of Heaven," but the betrayer, for he has broken the law and is suffering in Hades.

God bless.
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2008, 04:58:25 PM »

I don't think there's a general consensus on this situation, either. I've heard many priests talk about dead souls all being before God, but the state of their being is what they make of it (i.e. Heaven or Hell, which is has been discussed at length in another topic, yet nobody is specifically in Hades with Satan).

Furthermore, none of us can KNOW if Judas repented or not, and even if he could no do so on Earth, God may have very well have forgiven him after his death. I feel that we should always pray for all souls, no matter how wicked, as that is the only thing we can do in good conscience without passing judgment, and thus sinning.
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2008, 06:47:48 PM »

The Eastern Orthodox Holy Week services contrast the repentance and restoration of Peter with the despair of Judas. I highly encourage you to take a look at them in depth, especially the Matins of Holy Thursday.

Thank you Deacon Anastasios.  It was the Matins of Holy Thursday that raised the question in the first place.  I guess I should have noted that in my post.  Forgive me.

I will endeavor to take a look at them again though.
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2008, 06:49:37 PM »

I understand from the fathers and our Coptic prayers that Judas was a tragedy.  Remorseful is not repentance.  Remorseful can be a step to repentance, but it can also be a step to despair, feeling that you deserve not even to exist, giving up on life and on repentance.

This, indeed, makes a lot of sense to me.  I am grateful that it is not my place to judge another.  Coming from the background that I do, and this being only my 3rd Pascha, I continue to learn and ask many questions.

I appreciate your input and that of the others.

faithfully, trudy
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008, 12:07:57 AM »

  Remorseful can be a step to repentance, but it can also be a step to despair, feeling that you deserve not even to exist, giving up on life and on repentance. 

Dispair is very closely akin to depression, but prehaps a bit more acute, whereas the latter is more chronic. And my, oh my, depression is a monster. I can't help but to pity any who succumb.
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2008, 12:41:00 AM »

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Judas in hell? Again there is the most ancient of traditions that Judas hung himself partly in despair but also out of a desire to meet Christ on the other side of death and ask His forgiveness. This is the teaching of Saint John Chrysostom and it is a generous and wonderful thought.

I know of the Scripture "not one of them have I lost except the son of perdition" but Saint John also knew this verse and he still felt able to teach that Judas had the hope of forgiveness and salvation after death.

Oops!  Someone has just said that this is not something from Saint John Chrysostom but from Origin.  Anybody able to help with any reference?
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2008, 01:25:30 AM »

The answer is a resounding no because Judas focused more on himself than on God.

St. Peter asked for and received repentance because his heart after sin (like King David's in the Old Testament) focused on repentance and subsequent consequences.

Judas, while remorseful for what he did, neither asked for repentance and committed suicide because he was self-absorbed.  Judas' heart and soul spilled out due to his rebelliousness and faithlessness and Judas received his Final Judgment in Hades, which explains why Judas didn't rise from the dead with Cain and others who never heard Jesus' preaching in Hades.
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2008, 01:34:34 AM »

... which explains why Judas didn't rise from the dead with Cain and others who never heard Jesus' preaching in Hades.
Just curious...  Where'd you hear this teaching?  I've never seen nor heard this before.

BTW, welcome to the forum. Grin
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2008, 01:37:09 AM »

The answer is a resounding no because Judas focused more on himself than on God.
*

Would you or anyone you know kill themselves on such a slight thing - a mere matter of "regret" or "remorse"?   "Hey, I've burnt the toast!"  Or " I killed the canary with too much flyspray!   I regret it and now plan to hang myself in the garage."

Judas' spiritual state obviously went much deeper than the superficial remorse that some here are ascribing to him.

When Christ descended into Hell and encountered Judas there, there is no proof that He refused to accept Judas' repentence.  There is no proof that He excluded Judas from His gracious act of redemption.

I look at the Christ who forgave Peter his triple denial and even assuaged Peter's grief in advance when He spoke to the women at the grave...."Go, and tell the disciples and Peter."  Notice the "and Peter."  This was the Saviour's wonderfully way of assuring Peter of His forgiveness and lifting the horror of his betrayal from his soul.  And then later He made the forgiveness quite concrete and returned Peter to the work of an Apostle with the triple "Lovest thou me..."

I believe that Christ the Saviour showed unto Judas the same forgiveness and compassion that He showed unto Peter... and to all of us.

We are not speaking of justifying Judas' perfidy, God forbid, but of the compassion of Christ for any soul which *repents* of its perfidy.  We are speaking of the power of Christ's redemptive work and the harrowing of Hell when He descended there after His crucifixion.



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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2008, 01:47:28 AM »

The Judas Tree
by Ruth Etchells

In Hell there grew a Judas Tree
Where Judas hanged and died
Because he could not bear to see
His Master crucified

Our Lord descended into Hell
And found his Judas there
For ever hanging on the tree
Grown from his own despair

So Jesus cut his Judas down
And took him in his arms
'It was for this I came' he said
'And not to do you harm

My Father gave me twelve good men
And all of them I kept
Though one betrayed and one denied
Some fled and others slept

In three days' time I must return
To make the others glad
But first I had to come to Hell
And share the death you had

My tree will grow in place of yours
Its roots lie here as well
There is no final victory
Without this soul from Hell'

So when we all condemn him
As of every traitor worst
Remember that of all his men
Our Lord forgave him first.


Now we may have varying opinions about the literary merit of this poem but there are four lines which leap out in theological terms...

But first I had to come to Hell
And share the death you had
....

There is no final victory
Without this soul from Hell


We know that the Saviour descended to Hell and "harrowed" it. Did He harrow it completely, did He empty it completely?

Did He accept the repentance of Judas His apostle when He met him in Hell?  After all, He accepted the repentance of Peter who also betrayed Him. Was the death of Jesus also redemptive for a repentant Judas?

"Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented..."
Matthew 27:3

Fr Ambrose

-oOo-
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2008, 01:48:10 AM »

Just curious...  Where'd you hear this teaching?  I've never seen nor heard this before.

BTW, welcome to the forum. Grin

Thank You.   Cool

The icon of the Resurrection has the noble Abel and both Kings David and Solomon (who both sinned and Solomon apostasized by worshipping foreign gods before his death).  Since Abel was raised from the dead, logic would dictate that Cain was probably not raised from the dead because he focused on himself just like Judas did.  The righteous rose from the dead with Christ and I did not see any Holy Tradition or anything else to indicate that Cain rose from the dead.  That would mean that other evil people from the OT rose from the dead like Jezebel, all the corrupt kings of Israel, the Pharaohs of Egypt and so on....
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2008, 01:54:06 AM »


Now we may have varying opinions about the literary merit of this poem but there are four lines which leap out in theological terms...

But first I had to come to Hell
And share the death you had
....

There is no final victory
Without this soul from Hell


We know that the Saviour descended to Hell and "harrowed" it. Did He harrow it completely, did He empty it completely?

Did He accept the repentance of Judas His apostle when He met him in Hell?  After all, He accepted the repentance of Peter who also betrayed Him. Was the death of Jesus also redemptive for a repentant Judas?

-oOo-


Peter and the other Disciples died by martyrdom as the Lord himself predicted.  Suicide was not martyrdom.
Judas made a choice by killing himself and the consequences were Hell.  At worst, he could have lived like Cain in the Old Testament, unrepentant.
Sinners create their own hell (according to an interview given by Bishop Hilarion of Russia).  While Jesus emptied Hell of the Righteousness by raising them from the dead, the unrighteousness continue to make themselves at home.  The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus explains the gap which exists between a place for the Righteousness (e.g. Heaven) and everyone else (e.g. Hell).
 
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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2008, 01:58:11 AM »

Irish Hermit,

Thank you so much for your posts. That poem is truly beautiful.  Cry
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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2008, 02:01:04 AM »

Peter and the other Disciples died by martyrdom as the Lord himself predicted.  Suicide was not martyrdom.
Judas made a choice by killing himself and the consequences were Hell.
*
What does the Church teach about the hope of forgiveness for souls who have taken their own lives?

Read the third of the Kneeling Prayers for the holy Feast of Pentecost-Trinity.

We cannot say that the Saviour who has power over both the living and the dead lacks the power to forgive Judas.
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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2008, 02:05:04 AM »

Dear Fr. Ambrose,

I've had the impression that St. John Chrysostom still felt pity for Judas' tragedy, and that he continues to exist in Hades.  At least in our Coptic prayers, we include homilies of St. John Chrysostom during the Holy Week, and many times did St. John show forth Judas as a representation of what is evil and sad.

I would be most interested to see if there are quotes that would rather show the opposite

God bless.

PS  Matthew 27:3 gave a translation of "remorseful," not "repentance."  Perhaps those learned in Greek may better help us in this verse.
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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2008, 02:11:51 AM »

What does the Church teach about the hope of forgiveness for souls who have taken their own lives?

A soul who takes his/her own life has forsaken God.  A priest will not allow a funeral of a person who committed suicide unless proof of a mental illness can be provided by a psychiatrist or other medical professional.  Such "economia" is appropriate and would not deny a person an opportunity for forgiveness and/or salvation depending on how that person lived his/her life up to the point of suicide.

Read the third of the Kneeling Prayers for the holy Feast of Pentecost-Trinity.

We cannot say that the Saviour who has power over both the living and the dead lacks the power to forgive Judas.

If Judas was forgiven, why wasn't he brought back from the dead and joined with the other 11 Disciples?  A resurrected person has a spiritual body - did Judas deserve a spiritual body for betraying the Lord and repenting?  Jesus surely could have brought Judas back from the dead except that Judas consciously took his own life and could not deserve resurrection given that the other 11 Apostles haven't received the fulfillment of the Father (e.g. Pentecost).  So, here are 11 human men awaiting the fulfillment and here is Judas risen from the dead because he repented to the Lord while in Hades?
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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2008, 02:18:22 AM »

Thank You.   Cool

The icon of the Resurrection has the noble Abel and both Kings David and Solomon (who both sinned and Solomon apostasized by worshipping foreign gods before his death).
But I don't think it quite within our Tradition to draw such strong dogmatic conclusions from one single icon.  Icons present plenty of symbolism, but this is not necessarily to be seen as statements of historical fact.

Quote
Since Abel was raised from the dead, logic would dictate that Cain was probably not raised from the dead because he focused on himself just like Judas did.  The righteous rose from the dead with Christ and I did not see any Holy Tradition or anything else to indicate that Cain rose from the dead.
Neither do I know of any evidence that points to anyone specific among the righteous rising from the dead during Christ's crucifixion and descent into Hades.  The Bible only says that many bodies of the saints arose during the great earthquake caused by Christ's death; it doesn't specify whom by name.  Besides, I'm not aware of the Orthodox using logic as a foundation for articulation of doctrines except maybe as was absolutely necessary (e.g., the Ecumenical Councils).

Quote
That would mean that other evil people from the OT rose from the dead like Jezebel, all the corrupt kings of Israel, the Pharaohs of Egypt and so on....
Again, do we have any evidence that anyone specifically named among the saints rose from the dead during Christ's death, burial, and harrowing of Hades, other than maybe in the icon of the Harrowing of Hell (our main Resurrection icon), your interpretation of which I may have refuted above?
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« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2008, 02:21:08 AM »

A soul who takes his/her own life has forsaken God.  A priest will not allow a funeral of a person who committed suicide unless proof of a mental illness can be provided by a psychiatrist or other medical professional.  Such "economia" is appropriate and would not deny a person an opportunity for forgiveness and/or salvation depending on how that person lived his/her life up to the point of suicide.
*
Our Lord Jesus Christ, in His divine omniscience, chose 12 Apostles.  Obviously He chose the 12  best men available for this task in Israel.  The fact that He chose Judas as one of His intimate disciples is a sign of Judas' spiritual stature in the Saviour's eyes.  So the fact that Judas betrayed Him is a sign of some aberration or mental illness, a sad lapse into sin, which overtook Judas temporarily.

Quote
If Judas was forgiven, why wasn't he brought back from the dead and joined with the other 11 Disciples?
No idea.  It's a speculative question, so any answers can only be speculative.
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« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2008, 02:21:45 AM »

If Judas was forgiven, why wasn't he brought back from the dead and joined with the other 11 Disciples?  A resurrected person has a spiritual body - did Judas deserve a spiritual body for betraying the Lord and repenting?  Jesus surely could have brought Judas back from the dead except that Judas consciously took his own life and could not deserve resurrection given that the other 11 Apostles haven't received the fulfillment of the Father (e.g. Pentecost).  So, here are 11 human men awaiting the fulfillment and here is Judas risen from the dead because he repented to the Lord while in Hades?
I think you're offering us a great deal of speculation that repentance while in Hades requires Jesus to raise the penitent from the dead, but is this not presuming to know the counsels of God?  Are you omniscient enough to do this?
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« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2008, 02:38:28 AM »

*
Our Lord Jesus Christ, in His divine omniscience, chose 12 Apostles.  Obviously He chose the 12  best men available for this task in Israel.  The fact that He chose Judas as one of His intimate disciples is a sign of Judas' spiritual stature in the Saviour's eyes.  So the fact that Judas betrayed Him is a sign of some aberration or mental illness, a sad lapse into sin, which overtook Judas temporarily.

Scripture says that satan entered him. What exactly would that mean with respect to his repentance?
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« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2008, 02:49:47 AM »

Scripture says that satan entered him. What exactly would that mean with respect to his repentance?

No repentance is possible once Satan enters someone unless Judas expressed remorse and asked for repentance while he was still alive.  There are plenty of examples where repentance was granted (e.g. King David's Census where there were 3 days of death throughout the land) and examples where repentance was not granted (e.g. the earth swallowing the sons of Korah who defied God by burning incense because they weren't Levite priests).

Based on icons, Holy Tradition, etc. - Judas is in Hades suffering eternal torment.  If he repented internally, this wasn't shared with anyone else while Judas was still alive.  If someone had seen Cain risen from the dead, no one would remember that he killed Abel and received forgiveness from Christ while in Hades.

The saints who rose from the dead accepted Jesus as the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies.  These saints arose with spiritual bodies and only lived no longer than a few years before dying a spiritual death rather than a physical one; these souls are already with the Holy Trinity in heaven....
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« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2008, 02:57:02 AM »

Scripture says that satan entered him. What exactly would that mean with respect to his repentance?
*
First of all, I do not subscribe to the idea that when Satan entered into Judas as the Scriptures say that Judas lost his free will to choose to sin or not to sin.  Judas always had the choice and he chose to betray Christ.  If that was the result of succumbing to a heavy assault by Satan then I would think that his subsequent repentance should be seen as a triumph for his eventual rejection of Satan's influence and power.
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« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2008, 02:57:52 AM »

I think you're offering us a great deal of speculation that repentance while in Hades requires Jesus to raise the penitent from the dead, but is this not presuming to know the counsels of God?  Are you omniscient enough to do this?

I never claimed to be omniscient - I simply trust faith.  Judas wasn't penitent; hence, he's still in Hades regardless of how modernists are trying to "restore" his image.

The Orthodox Memorial service constantly prays for the forgiveness of the soul awaiting its Final Judgment whether that soul was righteous or not upon the Earth.  Judas received his Final Judgement when he killed himself without expressing any penitence to anyone.

Pontius Pilate killed himself a few years after the crucifixation of Christ.  His wife is a saint but not Pilate.
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« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2008, 03:07:41 AM »

*
If that was the result of succumbing to a heavy assault by Satan then I would think that his subsequent repentance should be seen as a triumph for his eventual rejection of Satan's influence and power.

That is along the lines of what I was thinking.

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« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2008, 03:10:23 AM »

No repentance is possible once Satan enters someone unless Judas expressed remorse and asked for repentance while he was still alive. 
But this is not true.  Your attitude is too rigid and not appreciative enough of God's love and His desire for our salvation.

We have the example in Maccabees of God approving prayers and sacrifices for the dead soldiers who had been guilty of serious idolatry.  God shows us that He is willing to forgive this sin after death, even though those who had died had NOT sought forgiveness while still alive.

Please read the passage in Maccabees with careful attention.  

2 Maccabees, 12:40-46.

When Judas and his men came to take away for burial the bodies of their brethren who had fallen in the battle against Gorgias...

"they found under the coats of the slain some of the donaries of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbiddeth to the Jews: so that all plainly saw, that for this cause they were slain. Then they all blessed the just judgment of the Lord, who had discovered the things that were hidden. And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten...And making a gathering, he [Judas] sent twelve drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection (for if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead), and because he considered that they who had fallen asleep in godliness, had great grace laid up for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins."
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« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2008, 03:15:41 AM »

Based on icons, Holy Tradition, etc. - Judas is in Hades suffering eternal torment.
Where in our icons do you see this?  Again please be careful about making statements of fact from specific details written in the symbolic language of our icons.

Where in our Holy Tradition do you see this?  Name specific Fathers who taught this.

Quote
If he repented internally, this wasn't shared with anyone else while Judas was still alive.  If someone had seen Cain risen from the dead, no one would remember that he killed Abel and received forgiveness from Christ while in Hades.
Pure speculation on both points.  Again, can you name any Fathers who taught these points?

Quote
The saints who rose from the dead accepted Jesus as the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies.  These saints arose with spiritual bodies and only lived no longer than a few years before dying a spiritual death rather than a physical one; these souls are already with the Holy Trinity in heaven....
Again, where do you get these ideas from Holy Tradition?
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« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2008, 03:16:39 AM »

I never claimed to be omniscient - I simply trust faith.  Judas wasn't penitent; hence, he's still in Hades regardless of how modernists are trying to "restore" his image.

The Orthodox Memorial service constantly prays for the forgiveness of the soul awaiting its Final Judgment whether that soul was righteous or not upon the Earth.  Judas received his Final Judgement when he killed himself without expressing any penitence to anyone.

Pontius Pilate killed himself a few years after the crucifixation of Christ.  His wife is a saint but not Pilate.

There' no question that Judas committed an evil act and the Church is correct to remember him in the way she does. There is much to be learned about repentance and God's mercy from the comparisons between Judas and Peter. That being said none of us have a clue if Judas repented or not and I for one, and I believe the tradition of the Church backs me up on this one, am not willing to state anyone or anything is beyond the mercy of God, including Judas.


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« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2008, 03:21:50 AM »

I never claimed to be omniscient - I simply trust faith.  Judas wasn't penitent; hence, he's still in Hades regardless of how modernists are trying to "restore" his image.
1.  Whose faith are you trusting?
2.  Who's trying to restore Judas's image?
3.  Why are you trying to place this discussion within the framework of a defense against "modernism"?
4.  Why is this even important to our salvation?

Quote
The Orthodox Memorial service constantly prays for the forgiveness of the soul awaiting its Final Judgment whether that soul was righteous or not upon the Earth.  Judas received his Final Judgement when he killed himself without expressing any penitence to anyone.
It is my understanding that no one has yet received his/her final judgment, because Christ has not yet returned in glory to judge the living and the dead.

Quote
Pontius Pilate killed himself a few years after the crucifixation of Christ.  His wife is a saint but not Pilate.
Historical citations please...
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« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2008, 03:30:59 AM »

4.  Why is this even important to our salvation?
It has no direct bearing on our salvation but the question is important because it says a lot about who we believe God is. Is He a God of love and mercy or a God of wrath guided by the necessity of divine justice? The Orthodox are rightly sceptical of Roman Catholic attempts to over-define exactly what happens after death, there are some things God had chosen to keep largely hidden from us. I just don't understand how someone can state with such confidence that they know Judas was never given an opportunity to repent and is certainly in hell.  Huh


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« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2008, 03:36:42 AM »

I just don't understand how someone can state with such confidence that they know Judas was never given an opportunity to repent and is certainly in hell.  Huh

You are not alone in your lack of understanding of such a confident statment. Smiley
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« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2008, 03:37:49 AM »

You are not alone in your lack of understanding of such a confident statment. Smiley
Presumptuous, I've already said and will say again...
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« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2008, 03:42:20 AM »

Presumptuous, I've already said and will say again...

Indeed.
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« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2008, 05:01:39 AM »

The Orthodox Memorial service constantly prays for the forgiveness of the soul awaiting its Final Judgment whether that soul was righteous or not upon the Earth. 
Just had an interesting thought!

Anybody ever asked their priest to serve a Memorial service for Judas?


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« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2008, 05:53:10 AM »

Just had an interesting thought!

Anybody ever asked their priest to serve a Memorial service for Judas?

Under the Jewish system weren't family obligated to pray for the dead for a year or so? Not that that answers your question. I haven't heard of anyone asking for a memorial service, but Frank Schaeffer said something on one of his videos about a monk who had dedicated much time praying for Judas. That seemed to upset certain protestants in the audience.
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« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2008, 07:56:36 AM »

Some random thoughts...

1. People as a whole, love to have someone to hate and despise.

2. Humans absolutely cannot be certain what has happened with anyone after their death. The only information regarding the topic we can trust with absolute certainty is that information that was provided by God.

3. We seem to be having difficulty being sure what information God has provided. (the concept "provided" can be defined in several ways, which makes a difference)

4.  Despair and depression are very, very overwhelming. Have you felt it's true weight? And that is with ordinary faults. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to face the realization that YOU were responsible for Jesus's death? Remember, all the Apostles were having a great deal of trouble understanding Jesus would return. They seemed to see his death as a rather permanent thing. I know Jesus kept telling them otherwise, but I don't think they really got it.

5. To repent rather requires the definite certainty that you can get forgiveness. As in faith and trust of God. Now, we modern Christians don't have too much problem with that. Mostly it is the whole Resurrection event that helps us to have the certainty that we can get forgiveness. But Judas didn't have all the information that we now have. And, Jesus had to work on the trust and faith points with the disciples more than once I think.

6. This is my biggest thought. There is always hope of forgiveness. Time has not come to a close, and even in the very last moment of all time, there is still hope. For, aren't we taught that God deeply loves each and every one of his creations? So, I would think he would be receptive to even the latest of pleas for mercy and feelings of repentance. I do not, cannot, believe that any being has "run out of chances". To be honest, I feel that there is even hope yet for the evil one, for he did at one point in his existence know and love God. Slim hope, but hope nonetheless.

These are my thoughts. make of them what you will.
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« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2008, 11:01:05 AM »

Man, oh man...to those entertaining the idea of Judas being redeemed...boy, would I love to see the look on your faces during attendance at a Coptic Orthodox Church for the Holy Thursday and Friday Eve Pascha Week services.

From the 'Homily of Our Holy Father Saint John Chrysostom' read after the Blessing of the Waters on Holy Thursday: "My beloved, on this day our Lord Christ was betrayed; if you then hear about His betrayal, do not be disappointed. Let me tell you about whom you should be disappointed. Lament and cry over he who gave Him up; I mean Judas. For He who was betrayed sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven, and reigns over all, an everlasting reign. As for he who gave Him up, he has descended into the depths of Hades, and there shall he remain unto the end in anticipation of great grief and lament."

From the exposition of the Sixth Hour Gospel of Friday Eve: "....On the third occasion [Christ] came to His disciples and said: 'Are you sleeping? Behold the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. Behold, my betrayer is at hand. Woe to you Judas, more than anyone else, for your sins have multiplied. You rejected Grace and loved damnation; it will be with you unto the age of ages.'"

From the exposition of the Ninth Hour Gospel of Friday Eve: "Woe to you Judas, for you...anathematized yourself, and so your share will be with the corrupt o wicked one."

We actually do a "procession of rebuke" on Holy Thursday as well whereby we proceed around the Church in reverse (i.e. right to left) walking backwards, and chant a hymn lamenting the betrayal of Christ and condemning/rebuking Judas.

A short sermon on the subject by Abouna Anthony Messeh: http://video.google.com.au/videoplay?docid=8786162162171627271&q=coptic&ei=qtwZSMX0MojkqgPD4oTSBg&hl=en
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« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2008, 12:55:59 PM »

"And what is a merciful heart? It is the hearts burning for the sake of the entire creation, for men, for birds, for animals, for demons and for every created thing; and by the recollection and sight of them the eyes of a merciful man pour forth abundant tears. From the strong and vehement mercy which grips his heart and from his great compassion, his heart is humbled and he cannot bear to hear or see any injury or slight sorrow in creation. For this reason he continually offers up tearful prayer, even for irrational beasts, for the enemies of the truth and for those who harm him, that they be protected and receive mercy. And in like manner he even prays for the family of reptiles because of the great compassion that burns in his heart without measure in the likeness of God."
-St. Isaac of Nineveh, Homily 8

Judas, like Peter and each of us, have betrayed Christ at one point or another.  Rather than damn Judas to Hades, let us instead offer up prayer that he too may experience the deluge of Christ's bountiful mercy.
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« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2008, 01:17:40 PM »

I have to add that in my attempt to reconcile our practices in Church and what we do in spiritual practice today, that in our prayers, the mention of Judas represents a path we should avoid, which is why the name and mention of Judas always has a negative connotation.  Even implied by many who wish to see Judas as repentant is the idea that they're worried about Judas.  In spiritual practice, your worries are not without merit.  St. Isaac informs well that we should pray for all because of our love for all.  I can't forget the love St. Paul had for his own Jewish people that he was even willing to be condemned in Hades if they can be saved through Christ.  Obviously, the Jews represent a path that rejects the Messiah, something that even Paul could not fathom.
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« Reply #42 on: May 01, 2008, 03:23:08 PM »

Man, oh man...to those entertaining the idea of Judas being redeemed...boy, would I love to see the look on your faces during attendance at a Coptic Orthodox Church for the Holy Thursday and Friday Eve Pascha Week services.

From the 'Homily of Our Holy Father Saint John Chrysostom' read after the Blessing of the Waters on Holy Thursday: "My beloved, on this day our Lord Christ was betrayed; if you then hear about His betrayal, do not be disappointed. Let me tell you about whom you should be disappointed. Lament and cry over he who gave Him up; I mean Judas. For He who was betrayed sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven, and reigns over all, an everlasting reign. As for he who gave Him up, he has descended into the depths of Hades, and there shall he remain unto the end in anticipation of great grief and lament."

From the exposition of the Sixth Hour Gospel of Friday Eve: "....On the third occasion [Christ] came to His disciples and said: 'Are you sleeping? Behold the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. Behold, my betrayer is at hand. Woe to you Judas, more than anyone else, for your sins have multiplied. You rejected Grace and loved damnation; it will be with you unto the age of ages.'"

From the exposition of the Ninth Hour Gospel of Friday Eve: "Woe to you Judas, for you...anathematized yourself, and so your share will be with the corrupt o wicked one." 

We've got similar themes going on in our hymns:

From the Orthros of Holy Wed (chanted Holy Tues night, and repeated during the Wed Presanctified Liturgy):
"The harlot came to You, O Merciful Lord, pouring out on Your feet Myrrh, mixed with her tears, and was redeemed of her vices at Your command; but Your ungrateful Disciple, though he breathed Your grace, rejected it, and becoming mixed in he filthy mire4, he sells You in his greed.  O Christ, glory to Your Compassion."

From the same service, later on:
"O misery of Judas!  He saw the harlot kissing the feet, and with guile he meditated the kiss of betrayal.  She unloosed her tresses, and he bound himself with fur, bringing instead of myrrh, his foul wickedness; for envy knows not to appreciate even its own advantage.  O wretchedness of Judas!  From this, O God, deliver our souls."

We've got a few others that are more forceful in their language on other days.

Of course, if Judas had repented, Christ would have forgiven him - He had already forgiven those who has delivered Him up while He was on the Cross (asking the Father to forgive them in their ignorance).  He certainly did not repent while alive, and I'm unwilling to speculate as to his activity once dead.
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« Reply #43 on: May 01, 2008, 03:46:40 PM »

I never claimed to be omniscient - I simply trust faith.  Judas wasn't penitent; hence, he's still in Hades regardless of how modernists are trying to "restore" his image.

The Orthodox Memorial service constantly prays for the forgiveness of the soul awaiting its Final Judgment whether that soul was righteous or not upon the Earth.  Judas received his Final Judgement when he killed himself without expressing any penitence to anyone.

One of the Optina elders said that the "secret" to happiness is to "want what God gives". I realize that doesn't necessarily answer the question, but it does shed some light on the subject.

Welcome to the forum SolEX01. Wink
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« Reply #44 on: May 01, 2008, 04:12:15 PM »

Of course, if Judas had repented, Christ would have forgiven him - He had already forgiven those who has delivered Him up while He was on the Cross (asking the Father to forgive them in their ignorance).  He certainly did not repent while alive, and I'm unwilling to speculate as to his activity once dead.

I've had all night and most of today to ponder this discussion and I believe that Jesus opened the gates of Paradise and the penitent Thief was the first to enter Paradise even though he neither betrayed Christ nor initially believed in Christ.  Such confusion and ambivalence has resulted in erratic dogmas like Purgatory.

Again, most of these posters sound like the doubting Thomas in that they don't believe that Judas went permanently to Hades as a final judged soul and as the "Son of Perdition."  The demand for evidence sounds just like the doubting Thomas....
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« Reply #45 on: May 01, 2008, 04:27:48 PM »

One of the Optina elders said that the "secret" to happiness is to "want what God gives". I realize that doesn't necessarily answer the question, but it does shed some light on the subject.

Welcome to the forum SolEX01. Wink

Thank you.   Smiley
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« Reply #46 on: May 01, 2008, 04:28:44 PM »

I've had all night and most of today to ponder this discussion and I believe that Jesus opened the gates of Paradise and the penitent Thief was the first to enter Paradise even though he neither betrayed Christ nor initially believed in Christ.  Such confusion and ambivalence has resulted in erratic dogmas like Purgatory.

Again, most of these posters sound like the doubting Thomas in that they don't believe that Judas went permanently to Hades as a final judged soul and as the "Son of Perdition."  The demand for evidence sounds just like the doubting Thomas....

If Doubting Thomases are met with the Truth, they will become the most fervent proclaimers of the Faith.  The revelation to Thomas contains one of the very few instances of calling Jesus "My Lord and My God."
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« Reply #47 on: May 01, 2008, 04:51:33 PM »

If Doubting Thomases are met with the Truth, they will become the most fervent proclaimers of the Faith.  The revelation to Thomas contains one of the very few instances of calling Jesus "My Lord and My God."

The Samaritan Woman accepted Christ as her Savior and the fulfillment of the Old Testament quicker vs. resolving the issue about the status of Judas Iscariot.  Smiley
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« Reply #48 on: May 01, 2008, 04:57:34 PM »

The Samaritan Woman accepted Christ as her Savior and the fulfillment of the Old Testament quicker vs. resolving the issue about the status of Judas Iscariot.  Smiley 

I'm not worried about fast or slow - the result (i.e. coming to the knowledge of the Truth, and sharing it with the world) is priority #1.
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« Reply #49 on: May 01, 2008, 04:58:31 PM »

Discussion on praying for those who committed suicide has been split off:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15785.0.html
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« Reply #50 on: May 01, 2008, 10:35:06 PM »

IMO: The only intelligent answer that anybody can give to this question is: "I don't know!"

Did his mind snap when he realized what he had done?

Was his suicide a deranged form of penance?

Did he repent of his suicide between the time he hanged himself and the time that he died?

Was the betrayal by Judas an essential element in the passion of Christ?

Was Judas's intention the crucifixion of Jesus or an attempt to force His hand in establishing the new messianic kingdom?
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« Reply #51 on: May 01, 2008, 11:23:31 PM »

Man, oh man...to those entertaining the idea of Judas being redeemed...boy, would I love to see the look on your faces during attendance at a Coptic Orthodox Church for the Holy Thursday and Friday Eve Pascha Week services.
I would love to see the faces of the Byzantine Orthodox if they walk into a Coptic or Ethiopian church on 25th June when you are celebrating the Feast of Saint Pontius Pilate.
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« Reply #52 on: May 01, 2008, 11:32:03 PM »

Again, most of these posters sound like the doubting Thomas in that they don't believe that Judas went permanently to Hades as a final judged soul and as the "Son of Perdition."  The demand for evidence sounds just like the doubting Thomas....
*
I think that many of are are not willing to limit the divine love.  We recoil from stating with any certainty that Judas is in hell because that means we are pre-empting both the divine love and the divine judgement.  It is better to say that we don't know rather than to claim that we do and risk being wrong.
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« Reply #53 on: May 01, 2008, 11:35:34 PM »

Was Judas's intention the crucifixion of Jesus or an attempt to force His hand in establishing the new messianic kingdom?

I have been thinking about this, too - and speculating (a dangerous practice). Smiley

If Judas was the Zealot he is claimed to be, he would had high expectations of a Messianic Kingdom. This might answer the questions as to, firstly, why he betrayed Christ and, secondly, why he was so devastated by the outcome.

If Judas believed Christ to be the promised Messiah he would have been quite disappointed with His message of brotherly love. The Jews of the first century were expecting a Warrior King to wipe out their oppressors. Judas must have known of Christ's Power and in betraying Him, perhaps he was expecting to force His Hand. Would he truly have expected Christ to be crucified? Isn't it more likely that he was expecting Christ to turn His Power on His enemies, wipe out all opposition and establish the Messianic Kingdom?

Yes, Judas was the ultimate betrayer, but his subsequent despair, his actions with the priests after Christ's arrest, and suicide seem to be the actions of a man who was shocked by the outcome of what he had done. I suspect that in some way he repented of what he had done and couldn't live with the horror of it.

But, as I said, this is all speculation - and we really don't know what was going through his mind.
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« Reply #54 on: May 01, 2008, 11:36:34 PM »

Pontius Pilate killed himself a few years after the crucifixation of Christ.  His wife is a saint but not Pilate.

I would love to see the faces of the Byzantine Orthodox if they walk into a Coptic or Ethiopian church on 25th June when you are celebrating the Feast of Saint Pontius Pilate.

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« Reply #55 on: May 01, 2008, 11:44:09 PM »

*
I think that many of are are not willing to limit the divine love.  We recoil from stating with any certainty that Judas is in hell because that means we are pre-empting both the divine love and the divine judgement.  It is better to say that we don't know rather than to claim that we do and risk being wrong.

Well said.

I came upon this beautiful quote from one of St Isaac homilies. St Isaac believed in apokatostasis, so it might not be totally appropriate to the thread. But I thought it so lovely that I would share it, anyway.

I am of the opinion that He is going to manifest some wonderful outcome, a matter of immense and ineffable compassion on the part of the glorious Creator, with respect to the ordering of this difficult matter of [Gehenna's] torment: out of it the wealth of His love and power and wisdom will become known all the more - and so will the insistent might of the waves of His goodness.

It is not [the way of] the compassionate Maker to create rational beings in order to deliever them over mercilessly to unending affliction.
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« Reply #56 on: May 02, 2008, 12:15:02 AM »

I would love to see the faces of the Byzantine Orthodox if they walk into a Coptic or Ethiopian church on 25th June when you are celebrating the Feast of Saint Pontius Pilate.

First of all, the Coptic Orthodox Church doesn't have a feast of Pontius Pilate.

Second of all, the Ethiopian Orthodox commemoration of Pontius Pilate is based upon a particular tradition of his life which does not hold that he ever fell into despair or that he ever killed himself, but which, on the contrary holds that he repented and was martyred. So really, I don't see how this comment bears any relevance to anything. We all hold a common tradition as to the activities of Judas--there is no dispute about how his life ended; the Scriptures are clear on the point.

Quote
We recoil from stating with any certainty that Judas is in hell because that means we are pre-empting both the divine love and the divine judgement

I know this wasn't directed at me, but I would just like to emphasise what should already be implicit from my previous post, viz., that in our case we are not pre-empting the divine judgment because the divine judgment has already been declared and made known to the Church through spokespersons like St John Chrysostom and those inspired to compose our Pascha hymns and Gospel expositions, for the edification of future believers--so we can sharply appreciate the gravity of the consequences of his activities so as to avoid such betrayal in the course of our own lives, and more importantly, so as to always trust in God's Divine Mercy and Love even if we happen to so fall into such betrayal in one way or another.
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« Reply #57 on: May 02, 2008, 01:13:16 AM »

Looking at the quote below - at least Adam rose from the dead whether realistically or symbolically which leaves Judas lumped with the unrighteousness Catholic Popes.

In the history of mankind there are 3 falls: The fall of Adam, of Judas the Iscariot and that of the Pope. The essence of falling into sin is always the same: the desire to become God by oneself. In this manner, a man insensibly equates himself with the devil, because he also wants to become God by himself to replace God with himself...The fall of the Pope lies exactly in this very thing; to want to replace the God-man with the man..." Fr Justin Popovich of Serbia

http://www.orthodox.net/gleanings/roman_catholicism.html

Looking at the second quote - Judas went to perdition permanently.

"And yet, within a short span of time an exchange took place: the thief entered the Kingdom, while the Disciple went to perdition"

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/homily_anastasios.aspx
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« Reply #58 on: May 02, 2008, 01:52:05 AM »

Looking at the quote below - at least Adam rose from the dead whether realistically or symbolically which leaves Judas lumped with the unrighteousness Catholic Popes.

In the history of mankind there are 3 falls: The fall of Adam, of Judas the Iscariot and that of the Pope. The essence of falling into sin is always the same: the desire to become God by oneself. In this manner, a man insensibly equates himself with the devil, because he also wants to become God by himself to replace God with himself...The fall of the Pope lies exactly in this very thing; to want to replace the God-man with the man..." Fr Justin Popovich of Serbia

http://www.orthodox.net/gleanings/roman_catholicism.html
So now you're bringing the popes of Rome into this discussion. Roll Eyes  How is the fall of the papacy even relevant to what we're talking about here? Huh  I'm sorry, but I just don't see the connection.

Quote
Looking at the second quote - Judas went to perdition permanently.

"And yet, within a short span of time an exchange took place: the thief entered the Kingdom, while the Disciple went to perdition"

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/homily_anastasios.aspx
So, how is the opinion of one single hieromartyr, venerable as he may truly be, authoritative for us?  Why is it so important that you prove to us that Judas Iscariot is suffering for eternity in hell?  I don't see anyone here asserting with equal force that he truly did repent and has been received into God's Kingdom.  I just see people admittedly speculating on both sides but ultimately saying, "I really don't know, but I pray that at the last day the Lord will have mercy on Judas."  What's wrong with desiring that God have mercy on the chief of sinners?  Is this desire in and of itself a heresy against which the truth must be defended?
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« Reply #59 on: May 02, 2008, 01:53:47 AM »

It must be comforting to have absolute certainty about everything including the condition of the departed.
All I have is faith.
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« Reply #60 on: May 02, 2008, 01:59:38 AM »

It must be comforting to have absolute certainty about everything including the condition of the departed.
All I have is faith.

No absolute certainty was ever required - I have faith as well and I fell into the trap of trying to prove the unprovable.   Smiley 
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« Reply #61 on: May 02, 2008, 02:02:16 AM »

"And what is a merciful heart? It is the hearts burning for the sake of the entire creation, for men, for birds, for animals, for demons and for every created thing; and by the recollection and sight of them the eyes of a merciful man pour forth abundant tears. From the strong and vehement mercy which grips his heart and from his great compassion, his heart is humbled and he cannot bear to hear or see any injury or slight sorrow in creation. For this reason he continually offers up tearful prayer, even for irrational beasts, for the enemies of the truth and for those who harm him, that they be protected and receive mercy. And in like manner he even prays for the family of reptiles because of the great compassion that burns in his heart without measure in the likeness of God."
-St. Isaac of Nineveh, Homily 8

I don't know how I missed this post, but as I was going through the thread I discovered it. Belatedly I thank you for this beautiful quote from St Isaac.

Quote
Judas, like Peter and each of us, have betrayed Christ at one point or another.  Rather than damn Judas to Hades, let us instead offer up prayer that he too may experience the deluge of Christ's bountiful mercy.

I agree most wholeheartedly.
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« Reply #62 on: May 02, 2008, 02:04:53 AM »

As ozgeorge mentioned - all he has is faith and I've believed for a long time that Judas went straight to his own personal Hell and perhaps the analysis would have backed up that claim.  Perhaps my newness on the forum has resulted in being carried away in proving the unprovable where faith and grace suffice.  That sounds like a reasonable answer; after all, staying quiet is much harder than saying, "I don't know."

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« Reply #63 on: May 02, 2008, 02:17:13 AM »

"Once, the Abba Anthony was visited by certain elders and found Abba Joseph with him.  In his desire to test them, the elder quoted an excerpt from the Scriptures, and asked the younger visitors about the meaning of that excerpt.  Every one of them gave their reply, to the best of their ability. To each of them, the elder replied “You didn’t find it”.  Finally, he asked Abba Joseph: “What do you have to say about this excerpt?”  He replied: “I don’t know”.  Abba Anthony then said: “At least Abba Joseph has found the path, because he said ‘I don’t know’.”   
(From the Gerontikon)
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« Reply #64 on: May 02, 2008, 04:09:48 AM »

I just wanted to relate a thought that just came to mind:

It seems that those leaning to one direction or another on the question of Judas are focused on two different matters. Those wanting to entertain the idea that he repented after death and that he is potentially saved seem focused on the actual person of Judas, whereas those of us more inclined to a negative picture of Judas (as he is undoubtedly depicted in our patristic and liturgical texts) are more concerned with the nature of his actions, and their implications and consequences.

It would be a problem if one "side" presumed that the other "side" shared their focus. This would lead one "side" to falsely accuse the other side of being uncharitable, judgemental and pharisaic, and the other "side" to respond with false accusations of "liberalism."

The homily of St John Chrysostom read during the Coptic Great Thursday service strikes a nice balance I think. I don't think any of us would charge St John Chrysostom with being disingenuos; he means what he says when he asks us to lament over Judas. Indeed, the atmosphere intended to be created by the Coptic rites/hymns of Great Thursday is one of somberness/melancholy, as Fr. Anthony explains, rather than one of animosity/anger/hatred.
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« Reply #65 on: March 08, 2009, 10:22:51 AM »


Looking at the second quote - Judas went to perdition permanently.


Dear SolEx,

We cannot be certain of that.  There is a Church teaching that very soon after Judas arrived in Hell, less than 24 hours after he hung himself in remorse, the Saviour Himself arrived there and completely emptied it of all humans, leaving behind only the devil and the demons.

 
His Grace Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev has lectured on this.

See his "The Descent of Christ into Hades in Eastern and Western Theological Traditions"
A lecture delivered at St Mary's Cathedral, Minneapolis, USA, on 5 November 2002

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx
[For full article]

Extract:
__________________________________________
The descent of Christ into Hades is one of the most mysterious, enigmatic
and inexplicable events in New Testament history. In today's Christian
world, this event is understood differently. Liberal Western theology
rejects altogether any possibility for speaking of the descent of Christ
into Hades literally, arguing that the scriptural texts on this theme should
be understood metaphorically. The traditional Catholic doctrine insists that
after His death on the cross Christ descended to hell only to deliver the
Old Testament righteous from it. A similar understanding is quite widespread
among Orthodox Christians.

On the other hand, the New Testament speaks of the preaching of Christ in
hell as addressed to the unrepentant sinners: 'For Christ also died for sins
once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to
God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which
he went and preached to the spirit in prison, who formerly did not obey,
when God's patience waited.

However, many Church Fathers and liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church
repeatedly underline that having descended to hell, Christ opened the way to
salvation for all people, not only the Old Testament righteous. The descent
of Christ into Hades is perceived as an event of cosmic significance
involving all people without exception. They also speak about the victory of
Christ over death, the full devastation of hell and that after the descent
of Christ into Hades there was nobody left there except for the devil and
demons.
_________________________________________

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« Reply #66 on: March 08, 2009, 10:37:45 AM »

What does the Church teach about the hope of forgiveness for souls who have taken their own lives?

A soul who takes his/her own life has forsaken God.  A priest will not allow a funeral of a person who committed suicide unless proof of a mental illness can be provided by a psychiatrist or other medical professional.  Such "economia" is appropriate and would not deny a person an opportunity for forgiveness and/or salvation depending on how that person lived his/her life up to the point of suicide.

Dear SolEx,

I wonder if you would feel able to pray this prayer for suicides in the Akathist for the Repose of Those who have Fallen Asleep...

Forgive, O Lord, those who have died without repentance.  Save those who
have committed suicide in the darkness of their mind, that the flame of
their sinfulness may be extinguished in the ocean of Thy grace.

            O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have
                        fallen asleep.
Ikos 5

http://users.sisqtel.net/williams/akathist-repose.html

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« Reply #67 on: March 08, 2009, 01:12:05 PM »

^ Father, Why wait 10 months to dredge this up?

Judas had his chance to repent when he was in Hades with Christ.  Apparently, Judas refused and he's still there.

To answer your question ... I can pray the prayer you mentioned; However, I do not know of an Orthodox Church anywhere in the USA which has performed the Akathist you describe.

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« Reply #68 on: March 08, 2009, 06:20:25 PM »

We cannot be certain of that.  There is a Church teaching that very soon after Judas arrived in Hell, less than 24 hours after he hung himself in remorse, the Saviour Himself arrived there and completely emptied it of all humans, leaving behind only the devil and the demons.
Is this Church teaching or just a permissible theologoumen?
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« Reply #69 on: March 08, 2009, 06:21:20 PM »

Judas had his chance to repent when he was in Hades with Christ.  Apparently, Judas refused and he's still there.
How is this apparent?  What evidence makes it so?
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« Reply #70 on: March 08, 2009, 06:26:03 PM »

Quote
Is this Church teaching or just a permissible theologoumen?

Since according to Eastern Orthodox theology hell doesn't exist yet, I can't see how it'd be permissable...

Though that brings up another question. If Christ emptied hades (not hell), then why are people still held there, according to Orthodox theology? Did they come out and go back? Or did just some of them empty out?
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« Reply #71 on: March 08, 2009, 06:51:52 PM »

^ Father, Why wait 10 months to dredge this up?
 

The Forum's software manufactures a list of four or five related topics which it places at the bottom of a thread (in this case if was the Forgiveness thread.)   So I imagine that the Forum's creators are thinking some people may want to look at these related threads and add comments.  The Mods also suggest that people look at reviving threads which have the same focus instead of creating new ones on the same topic.  And in this case I thought that I had some comments to make which would be helpful to you.  I hope this explains.


Quote
However, I do not know of an Orthodox Church anywhere in the USA which has performed the Akathist you describe.

The Akathist is printed at Jordanville Monastery and has an episcopal Blessing.  It is sold there in the Monastery bookshop and presumably also in other Russian Church Abroad kiosks and bookshops.  Its performace in a USA church?  I do not have such details on USA church life and do not know.   I really have no idea which Akathists are performed in churches there.
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« Reply #72 on: March 08, 2009, 06:58:56 PM »

We cannot be certain of that.  There is a Church teaching that very soon after Judas arrived in Hell, less than 24 hours after he hung himself in remorse, the Saviour Himself arrived there and completely emptied it of all humans, leaving behind only the devil and the demons.
Is this Church teaching or just a permissible theologoumen?

Bishop Hilarion (a rising star of a theologian) sees it as permissible Church teaching, supported by our liturgical tradition and our patristic tradition.

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx

A theologoumenon?  I don't know. Possibly.  Since theologoumena have a plus and a negative side, the opposing theologoumenon would be what SolEx holds - namely, that Judas is irrevocably in hell.


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« Reply #73 on: March 08, 2009, 07:11:05 PM »

Quote
Is this Church teaching or just a permissible theologoumen?

Since according to Eastern Orthodox theology hell doesn't exist yet, I can't see how it'd be permissable...

Asteriktos,

Would you please expand on this. From what I understand hell seems to be a personal condition or state rather than an actual place and that some of the reposed would be experiencing a foretaste of such a conditon at the present time. (Horrible thought  Sad) Do you know of a reliable online source on the Orthodoxy teaching on hell?

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« Reply #74 on: March 08, 2009, 07:32:19 PM »

Quote
Is this Church teaching or just a permissible theologoumen?

Since according to Eastern Orthodox theology hell doesn't exist yet, I can't see how it'd be permissable...

There is a complete mishmash of theories and schemes about hell and hades and gehenna and sheol  in modern Orthodoxy, a lot of it occasioned by the writings of Fr Seraphim Rose who wanted to systematize it all.    The confusion comes in when you investigate the schemes of the afterlife and the personal visions and revelations of various Saints and theologians from various centuries and various countries.  They can contradict one another.
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« Reply #75 on: March 08, 2009, 08:25:57 PM »

^ Father, Why wait 10 months to dredge this up?

Judas had his chance to repent when he was in Hades with Christ.  Apparently, Judas refused and he's still there.

To answer your question ... I can pray the prayer you mentioned; However, I do not know of an Orthodox Church anywhere in the USA which has performed the Akathist you describe.



This akathist has been recommended by several Bishops, including mine, His Grace BASIL (Essey) of Witchita and Mid-America in the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America to converts who have parents and grandoarents who have died before  become aware of Orthodoxy. This Akathist would not be normally done within the Church itself, as the Church does not pray publically for those who are not her children.  The purpose of this The Akathist for those who have reposed but are not in the Church; it enables family members to pray for those who never knew the Church and those who have fallen away from the faith (such as a suicide)  in the hope that the mercy of God will be applied to them and grant them rest in the place where there is no sorrow or sighing.

As many people in Salvic and other Churches would tell you, Akathist is a prayer and hymn format, the most popular  version is the original to the Most Holy Theotokos. There are many other Akathists that are prayed primarily in the home  to certain saints and for specific purposes--- Akathist certain purposes.  You may find some of them on this  site: http://www.saintjonah.org/services/akathists.htm

Orthodoxwiki  notes that "An akathist (Greek, akathistos) is a hymn dedicated to a saint, holy event, or one of the persons of the Holy Trinity. The word akathist itself means "not sitting." The akathist par excellence is that written in the 6th century to the Theotokos. In its use as part of the Salutations to the Theotokos service (used in the Byzantine tradition during Great Lent), it is often known by its Greek or Arabic names, Chairetismoi and Madayeh, respectively.

The writing of akathists (occasionally spelled acathist) continues today as part of the general composition of an akolouthia, especially in the Slavic tradition, although not all are widely known nor translated beyond the original language. Isaac E. Lambertsen has done a large amount of translation work, including many different akathists. Most of the newer akathists are pastiche, that is, a generic form imitating the original 6th century akathist into which a particular saint's name is inserted. "  http://orthodoxwiki.org/Akathist

Hoping that you will have a blessed Lenten journey.

Thomas

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« Reply #76 on: March 08, 2009, 08:53:19 PM »

Judas had his chance to repent when he was in Hades with Christ.  Apparently, Judas refused and he's still there.
How is this apparent?  What evidence makes it so?

Does the Orthodox Church commemorate St. Jezebel?  St. Cain?  St. Judas the Iscariot?
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« Reply #77 on: March 08, 2009, 08:59:31 PM »

Sorry, I'm an idiot. Somehow, I repeated a post instead of editing it.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #78 on: March 09, 2009, 01:20:55 AM »

Judas had his chance to repent when he was in Hades with Christ.  Apparently, Judas refused and he's still there.
How is this apparent?  What evidence makes it so?

Does the Orthodox Church commemorate St. Jezebel?  St. Cain?  St. Judas the Iscariot?
Okay, you've lost me here. Huh  How does our refusal to glorify some persons as saints prove that those persons are in hell or Hades or wherever the current place of torment is?  Is the refusal to glorify the same thing as expressed condemnation?  Please consider your answer well before you offer it.
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« Reply #79 on: March 09, 2009, 11:14:31 AM »

Judas had his chance to repent when he was in Hades with Christ.  Apparently, Judas refused and he's still there.
How is this apparent?  What evidence makes it so?

Does the Orthodox Church commemorate St. Jezebel?  St. Cain?  St. Judas the Iscariot?
Okay, you've lost me here. Huh

In this thread, we have talked over each other quite a bit.  Until the thread was resurrected, I can accept that no one knows the state of Judas Iscariot.  However, there are precedents cited with Cain and Jezebel, those who have done evil and for what we know (other than Cain who was concerned about revenge), have never repented of said evil.

How does our refusal to glorify some persons as saints prove that those persons are in hell or Hades or wherever the current place of torment is?  Is the refusal to glorify the same thing as expressed condemnation?  Please consider your answer well before you offer it.

The answer to your question (bolded text) is no.  A quote from Bishop Hilarion (source already cited), focus on the bold text.

Quote
Besides, according to the teaching of the Orthodox Church, the fate of a person after death can be changed through the prayer of the Church. Thus, existence after death has its own dynamics. On the basis of what has been said above, we may say that after death the development of the human person does not cease, for existence after death is not a transfer from a dynamic into a static being, but rather continuation on a new level of that road which a person followed in his lifetime.... Nor do we know if every one will follow Him to the eschatological Heavenly Kingdom when He will become ‘all in all’.

What kind of road is Judas Iscariot likely to follow if he was a zealot and a betrayer in his past lifetime?  Sure, the Church can pray for the mercy of souls for sinners like Judas Iscariot, Jezebel, Cain and countless others except we still don't know if any of the 3 (or more) will follow Christ to the Heavenly Kingdon.

Therefore, the answer remains, "I don't know."   Smiley
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« Reply #80 on: March 09, 2009, 08:17:42 PM »

^ Father, Why wait 10 months to dredge this up?
 

The Forum's software manufactures a list of four or five related topics which it places at the bottom of a thread (in this case if was the Forgiveness thread.)   So I imagine that the Forum's creators are thinking some people may want to look at these related threads and add comments.  The Mods also suggest that people look at reviving threads which have the same focus instead of creating new ones on the same topic.  And in this case I thought that I had some comments to make which would be helpful to you.  I hope this explains.

I'm glad the system (of related threads stirring interest) worked in this case.
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« Reply #81 on: March 10, 2009, 12:37:35 AM »

^ Father, Why wait 10 months to dredge this up?
 

The Forum's software manufactures a list of four or five related topics which it places at the bottom of a thread (in this case if was the Forgiveness thread.)   So I imagine that the Forum's creators are thinking some people may want to look at these related threads and add comments.  The Mods also suggest that people look at reviving threads which have the same focus instead of creating new ones on the same topic.  And in this case I thought that I had some comments to make which would be helpful to you.  I hope this explains.

I'm glad the system (of related threads stirring interest) worked in this case.

Silly me for believing that Father Ambrose was picking on me, again.   Embarrassed
I agree with cleveland's explanation of the related threads and I apologize, once again, Father Ambrose.   Smiley
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« Reply #82 on: March 10, 2009, 03:03:14 AM »

Silly me for believing that Father Ambrose was picking on me, again.   Embarrassed
Me?!  Picking on you?!    I'm still bruised from the tattoo thread.   Shocked Roll Eyes Shocked

Quote
I agree with cleveland's explanation of the related threads and I apologize, once again, Father Ambrose.   Smiley

SolEx, one of my little missions in life is to free people, in my own bumbling ways and restricted spheres of influence, from the depressing and inhibiting influences of the Catholic and Protestant world as concerns life after death  - I have in mind the Catholic idea of death as a complete fixing point with no more possible progress and other things.  Instead the Orthodox are much more fluid on these matters and will speak of continuing theosis after death, forgiveness of sins and even liberation from hell, the redemption of suicides, etc.  Much of this is really alien to Western Christian thinking and so very liberating when you encounter it in Orthodoxy - in people such as Saint Isaac the Syrian and other holy Fathers, even the old Irish monks from the ancient Church, and, in modern times with His Grace Bishop Hilarion.

I'd like to tell you a special story from an old Russian Patericon but it might cause a meltdown.  Smiley

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« Reply #83 on: March 10, 2009, 03:20:11 AM »

I was reading an article recently by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev called "Orthodox Worship as a School of Theology", and I came across the following quote:-

Bishop Hilarion: Several years ago I came across a short article in a journal of the Coptic Church where it stated that this Church had decided to remove prayers for those held in hell from its service books, since these prayers “contradict Orthodox teaching”. Puzzled by this article, I decided to ask a representative of the Coptic Church about the reasons for this move. Recently I had the possibility to do so, and a Coptic Metropolitan replied that the decision was made by his Synod because, according their official doctrine, no prayers can help those in hell. I told the metropolitan that in the liturgical practice of the Russian Orthodox Church and other local Orthodox Churches there are prayers for those held in hell, and that we believe in their saving power. This surprised the Metropolitan, and he promised to study this question in more detail.

Here is the original article ...

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/12/1.aspx

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« Reply #84 on: March 10, 2009, 04:23:49 AM »

What does the Church teach about the hope of forgiveness for souls who have taken their own lives?

A soul who takes his/her own life has forsaken God.  A priest will not allow a funeral of a person who committed suicide unless proof of a mental illness can be provided by a psychiatrist or other medical professional.  Such "economia" is appropriate and would not deny a person an opportunity for forgiveness and/or salvation depending on how that person lived his/her life up to the point of suicide.

Dear SolEx,

I wonder if you would feel able to pray this prayer for suicides in the Akathist for the Repose of Those who have Fallen Asleep...

Forgive, O Lord, those who have died without repentance.  Save those who
have committed suicide in the darkness of their mind, that the flame of
their sinfulness may be extinguished in the ocean of Thy grace.

            O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have
                        fallen asleep.
Ikos 5

http://users.sisqtel.net/williams/akathist-repose.html



That is an interesting akathist.  Does anyone know the history behind this akathist?
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« Reply #85 on: March 10, 2009, 06:09:35 AM »

Just as an aside on the issue of Mental Illness and suicide- anyone who attempts or plans suicide in Australia is legally Mentally Ill.
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« Reply #86 on: March 10, 2009, 11:36:29 AM »

I was reading an article recently by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev called "Orthodox Worship as a School of Theology", and I came across the following quote:-

Bishop Hilarion: Several years ago I came across a short article in a journal of the Coptic Church where it stated that this Church had decided to remove prayers for those held in hell from its service books, since these prayers “contradict Orthodox teaching”. Puzzled by this article, I decided to ask a representative of the Coptic Church about the reasons for this move. Recently I had the possibility to do so, and a Coptic Metropolitan replied that the decision was made by his Synod because, according their official doctrine, no prayers can help those in hell. I told the metropolitan that in the liturgical practice of the Russian Orthodox Church and other local Orthodox Churches there are prayers for those held in hell, and that we believe in their saving power. This surprised the Metropolitan, and he promised to study this question in more detail.

Here is the original article ...

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/12/1.aspx

Yes, this has been discussed, debated (in heated ways) a few times before in oc.net.  Pretty much, the Synod has taken a stand based on St. John Chrysostom's teachings among others.  And I have a feeling the Metropolitan he was talking to was HE Metropolitan Bishoy.

HG Bishop Hilarion makes an excellent point.
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« Reply #87 on: March 10, 2009, 04:52:50 PM »

Just as an aside on the issue of Mental Illness and suicide- anyone who attempts or plans suicide in Australia is legally Mentally Ill.
I can see some good reasons for this. Usually it's not a sane thing to do. I can see a scenario in which a truly desperate person might attempt it in order to procure an insanity plea, but I can also imagine several other ways to obtain that would be far easier and far less deadly.
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« Reply #88 on: April 11, 2009, 09:51:34 PM »

Just as an aside on the issue of Mental Illness and suicide- anyone who attempts or plans suicide in Australia is legally Mentally Ill.

George, would this mean that the Australian Churches are willing to offer funeral services for suicides and allow their burial in consecrated ground?

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« Reply #89 on: April 28, 2009, 08:17:53 AM »

I'd like to tell you a special story from an old Russian Patericon but it might cause a meltdown.  Smiley

Come on, Father.  Don't tease us.

 Wink
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« Reply #90 on: April 28, 2009, 09:19:47 AM »

I'd like to tell you a special story from an old Russian Patericon but it might cause a meltdown.  Smiley

Come on, Father.  Don't tease us.

 Wink

OK!   Just a thought.....It is the common opinion of theologians that the fallen angels have had their eternal fate decided, and have irrevocably chosen against God.    Now while the theologians certainly have their common opinion but the Saints, always much better theologians, may be at odds with them.

For example, Saint Isaac the Syrian (7th century)wrote:

"What is a merciful heart? It is a heart that burns with love for the whole creation — for men, for birds, for beasts, for demons and for every creature."

Saint Isaac is not only wonderful and holy. He is also disturbing. I have no answers to this puzzle, but I do cherish the suspicion that our Lord expects us to mull it over a bit. Perhaps He has left us this Saint as a kind of gentle question mark placed over some of our certainties. Not over the essential ones, for Isaac himself is proof of those, but perhaps over others that we - not God - have declared certain.

See the web article
http://www.orthodoxeurope.org/theospirit/000013.php
"The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian"

by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev, The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian. Cistercian Studies Series, Number 175. Kalamazoo MI and Spencer MA: Cistercian Publications, 2000.


And here is the story from an ancient Patericon:

I love this story about the redemption of a demon.

Don't swoop on me..!! I know the theological pitfalls in
this story -- and it is probably mythological
but I *still* like this story!
It resonates in my old Irish heart.


...With the Sign of the Cross, the old monk Abba
Joseph trapped in his cell a dark and miserable demon
who had come to tempt him. "Release me, Father, and let
me go," pleaded the demon, "I will not come to tempt you
again". "I will gladly do that, but on one condition,"
replied the monk. "You must sing for me the song that
you sang before God's Throne on high, before your fall."

The demon responded, "You know I cannot do that; it will
cause me cruel torture and suffering. And besides, Father,
no human ear can hear its ineffable sweetness and live,
for you will surely die." "Then you will have to remain
here in my cell," said the monk, "and bear with me the
full struggle of repentance." "Let me go, do not force me
to suffer," pleaded the demon." "Ah, but then you must
sing to me the song you sang on high before your fall with Satan."

So the dark and miserable demon, seeing that there was
no way out, began to sing, haltingly, barely audible
at first, groping for words long forgotten. As he sang,
the darkness which penetrated and surrounded him began
slowly to dissipate. The song grew ever louder and
increasingly stronger, and soon the demon was caught
up in its sweetness, his voice fully lifted up in worship
and praise. Boldly he sang of the power and the honour
and the glory of the Triune God on High, Creator of the
Universe, Master of Heaven and Earth, of all things visible
and invisible. As the song sung on high before all ages
resounded in the fullness of its might, a wondrous and
glorious light penetrated the venerable Abba's humble cell,
and the walls which had enclosed it were no more. Ineffable
love and joy surged into the very depths of the being
of the radiant and glorious angel, as he ever so gently
stooped down and covered with his wings the lifeless body
of the old hermit who had liberated him from the abyss of hell.

                        -oOo-

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« Reply #91 on: November 26, 2012, 08:35:22 PM »

Guess the only way to know is when I get to talk to him myself. Heh.

Good luck with that one buddy.
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« Reply #92 on: November 26, 2012, 08:49:52 PM »

The answer is a resounding no because Judas focused more on himself than on God.
*

Would you or anyone you know kill themselves on such a slight thing - a mere matter of "regret" or "remorse"?   "Hey, I've burnt the toast!"  Or " I killed the canary with too much flyspray!   I regret it and now plan to hang myself in the garage."

Judas' spiritual state obviously went much deeper than the superficial remorse that some here are ascribing to him.

When Christ descended into Hell and encountered Judas there, there is no proof that He refused to accept Judas' repentence.  There is no proof that He excluded Judas from His gracious act of redemption.

I look at the Christ who forgave Peter his triple denial and even assuaged Peter's grief in advance when He spoke to the women at the grave...."Go, and tell the disciples and Peter."  Notice the "and Peter."  This was the Saviour's wonderfully way of assuring Peter of His forgiveness and lifting the horror of his betrayal from his soul.  And then later He made the forgiveness quite concrete and returned Peter to the work of an Apostle with the triple "Lovest thou me..."

I believe that Christ the Saviour showed unto Judas the same forgiveness and compassion that He showed unto Peter... and to all of us.

We are not speaking of justifying Judas' perfidy, God forbid, but of the compassion of Christ for any soul which *repents* of its perfidy.  We are speaking of the power of Christ's redemptive work and the harrowing of Hell when He descended there after His crucifixion.

Jesus did not descent into hell. He descended into Hades. which is the place of the dead. Jesus did not go to hell, neither through it. He went to hades and preached to the dead.
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