OrthodoxChristianity.net
July 31, 2014, 05:26:40 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Orthodoxy - the communal tool box  (Read 3632 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
howdydave
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit
Posts: 46


WWW
« on: May 03, 2008, 02:00:07 PM »

Howdy!

This is an illustration that was used by my priest to covey an idea to me as a catechumen which I thought would be beneficial in this forum.

We are all building "the house of God" and we draw our tools from one big common toolbox called "Orthodoxy."

Each person uses every tool necessary in order to attain their own personal salvation.

The person wiring the house (for electricity) will use a different set of tools than the person who is installing the plumbing. The plumber will use a different set of tools than the roofer.

While we each may use a different set of tools, we are all doing the same work -- building a house.

As a protestant convert, I may not need the "tool" of the intercession of the Theotokos as much as a cradle.

HOWEVER (the following is my own personal addition)

As a choir member, I am duty-bound to sing her praises during the Divine Liturgy. If I don't I will be doing a great dis-servce to the person standing across the aisle for whom prayers to the Theotokos are an essential element of their personal faith. If I did otherwise, I would be denying a fellow worker access to a tool which is necessary for them to finish their work.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2008, 08:41:57 AM by Thomas » Logged

Dave

Recognition of the vastness of one's own ignorance
is the first step on the road to true wisdom!
BrotherAidan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,568

OC.net


« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2008, 11:15:31 PM »

I think that what your priest told you may be a good piece of pastoral advice, for YOU, in your circumstance for where you are now in your journey in Orthodoxy.

I am not sure that I like the analogy generalized, as if we could pick and choose from Holy Tradition.

Please forgive me in advance if any of this sounds judgmental or critical, because I do not mean to be.

I would rather say that Holy Tradition and scripture are our diet. We may not like spinach, but we must eat it anyway, as much as steak and ice cream. Got to eat a balance meal and not pick and choose.

You may not feel like you need the intecessions of the Mother of God, but the Church says that you do and offers you prayers to do so. (sorry particularly here to sound bossy or over-bearing)

I am a convert and I personally both need and desire her intercessions and am thankful to the Church for making St. Mary more than a vague acquaintance from the Christmas pageant and introducing her to me as my spiritual mother and all the saints to me as my spiritual mentors, friends, and intercessors.
Logged
howdydave
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit
Posts: 46


WWW
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2008, 11:27:37 PM »

It could very well have been specifically geared for my mindset at this particular time in my transformation.

Then again...
On my path one of the essential parts of the faith for me is to pray The Hours.

Although this is an essential element on my path, it may not be on yours.

You hit the nail right on the head in your last paragraph.
The key word that you used is "personally"!
« Last Edit: May 03, 2008, 11:50:35 PM by howdydave » Logged

Dave

Recognition of the vastness of one's own ignorance
is the first step on the road to true wisdom!
Vasileious
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 7


« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2008, 06:41:55 PM »

Do you think maybe that because of your background you are not comfortable asking for her intersessions? I know this was a problem for me. But, I came to the conclusion that just because I may not like something doesn't make it not good or not beneficial. So I purposefully made extra effort to ask her intersessions, now I have not problem. 

I think you might be misapplying what your priest said in this case. Prayers to her are in almost every service, if not every, which leads me to believe it's quite important!  I'm also of the opinion that converts are especially in need of her intersessions!

Basil
Logged
howdydave
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit
Posts: 46


WWW
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2008, 12:44:22 AM »

Howdy Basil!

Note: I had a rationalistic argument here but I removed it due to the fact that rationalism is no longer a part of my belief system. It was my knee-jerk response after having been a Protestant for more than half a century.

The issue is not whether or not something is "good or beneficial."

The issue is whether something is "necessary for my own personal salvation."

Big difference between beneficial and necessary!

After all... praying the hours is also "good and beneficial."
That doesn't make it necessary for everybody!

Ask me again in about a decade after I have had some time to develop an Orthodox mindset!
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 01:11:01 AM by howdydave » Logged

Dave

Recognition of the vastness of one's own ignorance
is the first step on the road to true wisdom!
prodromas
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Under the Green Pope
Posts: 1,239

Greek Orthodox


« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2008, 09:48:48 AM »

Howdy Basil!

Note: I had a rationalistic argument here but I removed it due to the fact that rationalism is no longer a part of my belief system. It was my knee-jerk response after having been a Protestant for more than half a century.

The issue is not whether or not something is "good or beneficial."

The issue is whether something is "necessary for my own personal salvation."

Big difference between beneficial and necessary!

After all... praying the hours is also "good and beneficial."
That doesn't make it necessary for everybody!

Ask me again in about a decade after I have had some time to develop an Orthodox mindset!

Orthodoxy isn't completely absent of rationalism!:D
Logged

The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ 1920-1914, never again,
השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again
wynd
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 501


Transfiguration


« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2008, 10:31:06 AM »

Howdy!

This is an illustration that was used by my priest to covey an idea to me as a catechumen which I thought would be beneficial in this forum.

We are all building "the house of God" and we draw our tools from one big common toolbox called "Orthodoxy."

Each person uses every tool necessary in order to attain their own personal salvation.

The person wiring the house (for electricity) will use a different set of tools than the person who is installing the plumbing. The plumber will use a different set of tools than the roofer.

While we each may use a different set of tools, we are all doing the same work -- building a house.

As a protestant convert, I may not need the "tool" of the intercession of the Theotokos as much as a cradle.

HOWEVER (the following is my own personal addition)

As a choir member, I am duty-bound to sing her praises during the Divine Liturgy. If I don't I will be doing a great dis-servce to the person standing across the aisle for whom prayers to the Theotokos are an essential element of their personal faith. If I did otherwise, I would be denying a fellow worker access to a tool which is necessary for them to finish their work.

It would seem to me that the farther along one is in his spiritual walk, the more he realizes he needs all the help he can get. The great saints of the Church are the first to advocate prayer to the Theotokos or other saints, attending services, praying before the icons, etc., not just for themselves but for everyone.
Logged
howdydave
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit
Posts: 46


WWW
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2008, 10:23:47 PM »

Howdy wynd!

Absolutely! But we don't all necessarily need the same help.

The thing that we need to keep in mind is that we are not all on the same route.

The objective of each of us is to reach the top of the mountain.
We must also keep in mind that while you may be going up the north side of the mountain, I may be going up the west side of the mountain.

The end objective is the same, but the paths may be very different and require different tools. One of us may be climbing up the cliff face while the other is walking up the fire road.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 10:31:39 PM by howdydave » Logged

Dave

Recognition of the vastness of one's own ignorance
is the first step on the road to true wisdom!
ytterbiumanalyst
Professor Emeritus, CSA
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the Midwest
Posts: 8,790



« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2008, 03:08:54 PM »

^ Yet, to use your analogy, I would not leave a tool at home just because I felt it would not be necessary. You don't want to be halfway up the mountain and realize you need it.
Logged

"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
Órëlaurëa
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the midwest
Posts: 520



« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2008, 10:16:08 PM »

I have to agree with Mr. Y. At this particular moment asking for the intercessions of the Theotokos may not be something that your priest stresses simply because he can see that you are not ready to embrace it. Indeed, you may be working on something else that requires different tools. However, I suspect that there will come a time that you will have a shift in attitude. I know it happened to me about 5-6 months after I became serious about conversion. Where I was once suspicious regarding the Theotokos and the honor and veneration accorded her, now I have deep and complex feelings of reverence and love for her. The reverence is for her faith--it was her perfect faith in God that allowed her to say "Let it be to me according to your word." She did not waver, or consider how it would affect her life. She simply placed her faith in God. It is her example of perfect faith that we should all strive to embody. As she received Christ into her womb, we must accept Christ into our innermost being. And the love? Well, that came on gradually, as I learned more about her, and as I grew in my understanding of what it means to be Orthodox. I have to say as well, if you see a person every day (in my icons at home, and in my parish), you begin to develop a relationship with her. When I look at my icons and pray, I use them to think of the person with whom I am conversing. Thus by praying and learning I came to know the Theotokos, and to love her. I cannot imagine how anyone could get to know her and not love her. She is an amazing person, someone I would like to emulate if possible.

Hope this makes sense. 
Logged

Domine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei, miserere mei, peccatricis.

órë: noun \"heart"\ (inner mind),   laurëa: adjective \"golden, like gold"\ http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/quenya.htm
BrotherAidan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,568

OC.net


« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2008, 12:20:07 AM »

I cannot imagine being Orthodox and not venerating the Theotokos.

Do NOT be a Calvinsit here and take God's respect for human free will for granted. It is not like God had 10 or 15 potential Jewish virgins in view and He would go to the next one and the next one and the next one until He found one that would succumb to His will. Or that He would manipulate the will of one to bear His Son. It was THIS VIRGIN.
Her yes or no mattered. It was not tangential to our salvation.

She said yes!

Honor her, venerate her, love her!
Logged
aurelia
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 588


« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2008, 02:38:46 PM »

I have this horrible feeling I'm going to get it for this, but it has been bothering me for a bit, and I guess I simply must ask. Somehow it really seems to tie into this post, at least for me.

We venerate the Theotokos. I get that, don't have a problem with it (probably stemming from my days as a goddess loving Pagan). BUT and bear with me, it is hard to put it in words, where does the line between venerate and worship lie?  And why do we need to have her intercede for us, if God is always listening?  Or is that in case as seems to be my problem, God seems to be tuning us out?  I'm also having problems lately with Jesus, I don't have any problem whatsoever yapping away at God the Father, but Jesus seems like this untouchable (dont have the word for it) aspect. Maybe that is stemming from the years my parents were raising me Jewish (no Jesus!). I dunno, it may sound like rambling, but it is a big problem for me right now.  My toolbox is a mess, I guess.  Undecided  Typical convert, right?

posting before i can change my mind...


edit to add that just because I am having issues with the unreachability of Jesus doesn NOT mean I don't believe. Just wanted to clarify that.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 02:47:59 PM by aurelia » Logged
BrotherAidan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,568

OC.net


« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2008, 10:59:25 PM »

I have this horrible feeling I'm going to get it for this, but it has been bothering me for a bit, and I guess I simply must ask. Somehow it really seems to tie into this post, at least for me.

We venerate the Theotokos. I get that, don't have a problem with it (probably stemming from my days as a goddess loving Pagan). BUT and bear with me, it is hard to put it in words, where does the line between venerate and worship lie?  And why do we need to have her intercede for us, if God is always listening?  Or is that in case as seems to be my problem, God seems to be tuning us out?  I'm also having problems lately with Jesus, I don't have any problem whatsoever yapping away at God the Father, but Jesus seems like this untouchable (dont have the word for it) aspect. Maybe that is stemming from the years my parents were raising me Jewish (no Jesus!). I dunno, it may sound like rambling, but it is a big problem for me right now.  My toolbox is a mess, I guess.  Undecided  Typical convert, right?


 
posting before i can change my mind...


edit to add that just because I am having issues with the unreachability of Jesus doesn NOT mean I don't believe. Just wanted to clarify that.

We are a Church of the saints in heaven and those striving on earth. We pray for each other. When commemorating/venerating a saint we are recognizing God's work in him or her (the honor/veneration passes through that saint, just like an icon, to the Lord Himself). Likewise, when we pray "to" a saint we are really asking him/her to pray for us. We ask each other to pray as broken and weak as we each are. When we ask a saint to pray for us (pray to a saint) we are asking the prayers of someone already perfected in heaven in God's presence.

Mary is the first and foremost among the saints. She is the first Christian and she is intricately a part of the mystery of the Incarnation.
 
Interesting that you find Jesus untouchable. The Incarnation made the Son VERY accessible. Sometimes, for me, the Father and Spirit are more remote and conceptual for me. But the Son is always very real because He was one of us.

That girl singer sang that song several years back, "what if God was one of us?" Well He was one of us and still is - the Son is God and man even in heaven (for clarification, I believe in a real heaven, but I do not know exactly "where" it is; for convenience I use the old cosmology of heaven above and hell below).

Anyway, hope this helps.

Logged
BrotherAidan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,568

OC.net


« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2008, 11:12:21 PM »

I think the line between veneration and worship is in our hearts.

At the folk level has it sometimes gotten confused? Probably so. But God is always gentle with the humble masses of His people.

Was it a failure of proper instruction in the faith? Probably.
Should we strive to make sure every parishoner understands the difference? Absolutley.

But abuse (or misunderstanding) is never a conclusive argument for disuse (the protestant solution).

But even in the example I gave above, did those humble villagers in the old countries REALLY look to Mary for salvation and eternal life, worshipping her in that sense? I really doubt it. I think they looked to Christ and belived in the Holy Trinity.

Sometimes it's just easier to ask for prayer (praying to a saint, or asking your priest to pray for you) than to pray to God yourself. Which might have been the case of our hypothetical humble villagers.

Deep down, I am not sure if one can REALLY confuse veneration with worship. Not accidentally anyway. Deep down, a person knows the difference based on who in the end they are ultimately looking to for salvation.

Also, some one trapped in serfdom doesn't talk to the Lord of the Manor; they talk to the foreman or butler or maid and the message/request gets relayed upward. So it would be natural to talk to a saint or Mary to pass your request on up to Jesus or the Father.

Even today, an entry level employee meets and talks to middle managers; middle managers to upper management; upper management to the top brass (by and large; I know there are exceptions; most notably dot-com companies with ping-pong tables, catered lunches for all employees, nap rooms, etc. - must be nice!)

I think the question sorts itself out in this way when you really think about it.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 11:19:38 PM by BrotherAidan » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,611


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2008, 12:20:31 AM »

That girl singer sang that song several years back, "what if God was one of us?"
Alanis Morissette
Logged
Órëlaurëa
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the midwest
Posts: 520



« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2008, 02:17:20 AM »

Alanis Morissette

Actually, it was Joan Osborne. You can listen to it here.
Logged

Domine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei, miserere mei, peccatricis.

órë: noun \"heart"\ (inner mind),   laurëa: adjective \"golden, like gold"\ http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/quenya.htm
Thomas
Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,761



« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2008, 08:43:49 AM »

In view of this discussion perhaps we should call this topic "I may not need the "tool" of the intercession of the Theotokos", What do you think?"

Thomas
Convert issues Board Moderator
« Last Edit: May 15, 2008, 12:53:35 PM by Thomas » Logged

Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas
howdydave
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit
Posts: 46


WWW
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2008, 12:32:53 PM »

Serves me right for giving just one example, eh?
Logged

Dave

Recognition of the vastness of one's own ignorance
is the first step on the road to true wisdom!
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,611


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2008, 12:50:41 PM »

Actually, it was Joan Osborne. You can listen to it here.
Alanis Morissette did indeed sing a cover of this track a few years ago, but you are right that Joan Osborne was the first to record the song in 1995.  I was not aware of this fact.  Now back to the topic at hand. Smiley
« Last Edit: May 15, 2008, 01:23:08 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Bridget
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 31


« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2008, 01:51:18 PM »

I also can't imagine not venerating the Theotokos. I do feel I should have a stronger relationship with her than I do, but I guess her role in everything is just so obvious to me that it's hard to imagine not honoring her. She is our Mother, and I would never cut off a relationship with my Mother just because I didn't "need" her to achieve my goals as an adult.

So I suppose it depends on how you look at what's essential. If we are talking about bare bones minimum of getting into heaven, maybe we don't "need" her, but if you're talking about being part of the body of Christ and having a full and complete spiritual life, it seems like choosing to leave her out would be very limiting. 

Not sure I'm expressing this very well, though.

Bridget
Logged
admiralnick
Cardinal, Editor for Photogalleries
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,880


« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2008, 01:59:29 PM »

I think that what your priest told you may be a good piece of pastoral advice, for YOU, in your circumstance for where you are now in your journey in Orthodoxy.

I am not sure that I like the analogy generalized, as if we could pick and choose from Holy Tradition.

Please forgive me in advance if any of this sounds judgmental or critical, because I do not mean to be.

I would rather say that Holy Tradition and scripture are our diet. We may not like spinach, but we must eat it anyway, as much as steak and ice cream. Got to eat a balance meal and not pick and choose.

You may not feel like you need the intecessions of the Mother of God, but the Church says that you do and offers you prayers to do so. (sorry particularly here to sound bossy or over-bearing)

I am a convert and I personally both need and desire her intercessions and am thankful to the Church for making St. Mary more than a vague acquaintance from the Christmas pageant and introducing her to me as my spiritual mother and all the saints to me as my spiritual mentors, friends, and intercessors.

When was the Blessed Mother canonized?

-Nick
Logged

The ORIGINAL: "NULL"
Thomas
Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,761



« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2008, 03:01:57 PM »

When was the Blessed Mother canonized?

-Nick

About the same time as St Peter, Paul etc. She is called by the same prefix title as other saints ie the greek word for holy. The Council of Ephesus decreed in 431, that Mary is Theotokos because her son Jesus is one person who is both God and man, divine and human. This gives her the additional title of Theokos beyond Ayios (gr. "holy one" usually translated in English as Saint)> Her Title could also be translated therefor as the Most Saintly  Lady Theotokos Mary instead of its usual title Most Holy Lady Theotokos Mary or even more directly Most Holy Lady the God bearer Mary.


Thomas
« Last Edit: May 16, 2008, 10:25:57 AM by Thomas » Logged

Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.091 seconds with 49 queries.