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Author Topic: letter of St. Maximus to Marinus on Original Sin  (Read 3562 times) Average Rating: 0
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marlo
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« on: February 06, 2009, 07:03:33 AM »

does anybody has a copy of a complete letter of St. Maximus  the Confessor to the Priest Marinus,
I just noticed that in this letter there are two issues, 1. the filioque (will not be discussed in this thread)
2. Original Sin.

I really would want to know what does St. Maximus thought of the 2nd case. What is the issue with the Greeks and Pope Martin understanding of Original Sin.

here is the copy of a letter i found on the net. but only stopped on the filioque issue

thanks
marlo


“Those of the Queen of cities have attacked the synodal letter of the present very holy Pope (Martin I), not in the case of all the chapters that he has written in it, but only in the case of two of them. One relates to theology, because it says he says that ‘the Holy Spirit proceeds (ἐκπορεύεσθαι) also from the Son.’

“The other has to do with the divine incarnation, because he has written, ‘The Lord, as man, is without original sin.’
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2009, 07:16:35 AM »

“Those of the Queen of cities have attacked the synodal letter of the present very holy Pope (Martin I), not in the case of all the chapters that he has written in it, but only in the case of two of them. One relates to theology, because it says he says that ‘the Holy Spirit proceeds (ἐκπορεύεσθαι) also from the Son.’

Dear Marlo,

For several years we created many threads on CAF on the filioque.... and we never resolved anything and we never convinced anybody of anything.

The question is just too profound for the snippety way we communicate via e-Forums.

If you want a really great and profound analysis of Saint Maximus on the filioque, then Siecienski is the man to read.....

"The Use of Maximus the Confessor’s Writing on the Filioque at the Council of Ferrara-Florence (1438–1439)."
A. Edward Siecienski, Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Dissertation Services, 2005.

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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2009, 07:46:41 AM »



"Ancestral Guilt According to St. Maximus the Confessor: A Bridge Between Eastern and Western Conceptions"
Jean-Claude Larchet, Sobornost 20/1 (1998): 26-48.

"Original Sin According to St. Maximus the Confesssor"
John Boojamra St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 20 (1976): 19-30.
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2009, 11:14:02 PM »

Grace and Peace Fr. Ambrose,

These look like great resources to study. Thank you for suggesting them.

May you continue to be healthy and strong! Amen.
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2009, 04:54:36 PM »

The text of the whole letter in Greek can be found at the link below:

Letter of St. Maximos to Marinus

If the above link does not work, here is the url itself:  http://www.geocities.com/apotheoun/maximos_to_marinus
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2009, 05:10:25 PM »

"Those of the Queen of cities have attacked the synodal letter of the present very holy Pope (Martin I), not in the case of all the chapters that he has written in it, but only in the case of two of them. One relates to theology, because it says he says that 'the Holy Spirit proceeds (ἐκπορεύεσθαι) also from the Son.'"

In the quotation above St. Maximos is reproducing the accusation of some of the members of the Byzantine Church against the Romans, but in the next portion of the letter he explains that the Romans do not believe that the "ἐκπορεύσθαι" of the Spirit is from or through the Son, for as he explains: 

"With regard to the first matter, they (the Romans) have produced the unanimous evidence of the Latin Fathers, and also of Cyril of Alexandria, from the study he made of the gospel of St. John. On the basis of these texts, they have shown that they have not made the Son the cause (αἰτίαν) of the Spirit – they know in fact that the Father is the only cause (αἰτίαν) of the Son and the Spirit, the one by begetting (γέννησιν) and the other by procession (ἐκπόρευσιν) – but that they have manifested the progression (προϊέναι) through Him and have thus shown the unity and identity of the essence (οὐσίας)."

Sadly, most Westerners fail to grasp the true meaning of St. Maximos' position.
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2009, 05:30:25 PM »


Sadly, most Westerners fail to grasp the true meaning of St. Maximos' position.


Care to elaborate on what most Westerners fail to grasp?
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2009, 08:05:28 PM »


Sadly, most Westerners fail to grasp the true meaning of St. Maximos' position.


Care to elaborate on what most Westerners fail to grasp?
The Latins fail to grasp the fact that the terms "ekporeusis" and "proienai" have different meanings, and that the former term is reserved to the Father alone, who causes the Spirit's subsistence (i.e., His hypostasis) through procession (ekporeusis), while the latter term is a more general term that is used in connection with the Spirit's manifesting progression (proienai) not as person but as energy, which comes from the Father through the Son.
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2009, 11:29:41 PM »

The Latins fail to grasp the fact that the terms "ekporeusis" and "proienai" have different meanings, and that the former term is reserved to the Father alone, who causes the Spirit's subsistence (i.e., His hypostasis) through procession (ekporeusis), while the latter term is a more general term that is used in connection with the Spirit's manifesting progression (proienai) not as person but as energy, which comes from the Father through the Son.

Well you are aware that Latins don't make a distinction between God's 'essense' and 'energies' right? Understanding the Latin emphasis on the divine simplicity how would this distinction between Greek terms play a role in the Western tradition expressing the consubstantial communion between Father and Son first?
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2009, 12:53:47 AM »

The Latins fail to grasp the fact that the terms "ekporeusis" and "proienai" have different meanings, and that the former term is reserved to the Father alone, who causes the Spirit's subsistence (i.e., His hypostasis) through procession (ekporeusis), while the latter term is a more general term that is used in connection with the Spirit's manifesting progression (proienai) not as person but as energy, which comes from the Father through the Son.

Well you are aware that Latins don't make a distinction between God's 'essense' and 'energies' right? Understanding the Latin emphasis on the divine simplicity how would this distinction between Greek terms play a role in the Western tradition expressing the consubstantial communion between Father and Son first?
Yes, having been a Latin Catholic for 18 years before my transfer to the Eastern Church, I am aware that they do not make the distinction between essence and energy, which is why they do not understand what St. Maximos is actually saying in the letter to Marinus.
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« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2009, 02:23:38 AM »

The Latins fail to grasp the fact that the terms "ekporeusis" and "proienai" have different meanings, and that the former term is reserved to the Father alone, who causes the Spirit's subsistence (i.e., His hypostasis) through procession (ekporeusis), while the latter term is a more general term that is used in connection with the Spirit's manifesting progression (proienai) not as person but as energy, which comes from the Father through the Son.

Well you are aware that Latins don't make a distinction between God's 'essense' and 'energies' right? Understanding the Latin emphasis on the divine simplicity how would this distinction between Greek terms play a role in the Western tradition expressing the consubstantial communion between Father and Son first?
Yes, having been a Latin Catholic for 18 years before my transfer to the Eastern Church, I am aware that they do not make the distinction between essence and energy, which is why they do not understand what St. Maximos is actually saying in the letter to Marinus.

something rather odd in this letter: it uses the term "Romaios" for "Latin."  I don't think I've come across a post Constantine Greek document that so uses that term.
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« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2009, 02:27:30 PM »

Yes, having been a Latin Catholic for 18 years before my transfer to the Eastern Church, I am aware that they do not make the distinction between essence and energy, which is why they do not understand what St. Maximos is actually saying in the letter to Marinus.

Are you Orthodox or Byzantine Catholic? Also are you suggesting that there is an essential distinction within God, essence and energies? I think that I've been through this on this forum before but I've forgotten if the distinction between essence and engergies is a 'hard' distinction or not?
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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2009, 10:44:27 PM »

Yes, having been a Latin Catholic for 18 years before my transfer to the Eastern Church, I am aware that they do not make the distinction between essence and energy, which is why they do not understand what St. Maximos is actually saying in the letter to Marinus.

Are you Orthodox or Byzantine Catholic? Also are you suggesting that there is an essential distinction within God, essence and energies? I think that I've been through this on this forum before but I've forgotten if the distinction between essence and engergies is a 'hard' distinction or not?

I am Eastern Catholic. 

Now as far as the distinction between essence and energy is concerned, it is a real distinction (pragmatika diakrisis), but not a real division (pragmatike diaresis), within the Godhead.  I recommend reading St. Gregory Palamas' treatise entitled, "Dialogue Between an Orthodox and a Barlaamite", that is, if you are really interested in understanding this truth of faith better.
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2009, 11:34:45 PM »

I am Eastern Catholic. 

Now as far as the distinction between essence and energy is concerned, it is a real distinction (pragmatika diakrisis), but not a real division (pragmatike diaresis), within the Godhead.  I recommend reading St. Gregory Palamas' treatise entitled, "Dialogue Between an Orthodox and a Barlaamite", that is, if you are really interested in understanding this truth of faith better.

Yes that is the general explanation... fish in sea water and whatnot. I familiar with St. Gregory Palamas' works. So would you say that creation is an emanation of His Divine Energies or no?
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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2009, 12:01:42 AM »

I am Eastern Catholic. 

Now as far as the distinction between essence and energy is concerned, it is a real distinction (pragmatika diakrisis), but not a real division (pragmatike diaresis), within the Godhead.  I recommend reading St. Gregory Palamas' treatise entitled, "Dialogue Between an Orthodox and a Barlaamite", that is, if you are really interested in understanding this truth of faith better.

Yes that is the general explanation... fish in sea water and whatnot. I familiar with St. Gregory Palamas' works. So would you say that creation is an emanation of His Divine Energies or no?

The Father creates through the Son, and the creation exists in the energies of the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2009, 12:26:00 AM »

The Father creates through the Son, and the creation exists in the energies of the Holy Spirit.

Central to Plotinus' metaphysics is the process of ceaseless emanation and outflowing from the One.  Plotinus gives metaphors such as the radiation of heat from fire or cold from snow, fragrance from a flower or light from the sun. This looks very similar.

 "...With regard to the existence that is supremely perfect [i.e. "The One"], we must say it only produces the very greatest of the things that are found below it.  But that which after it is the most perfect, the second principle, is Intelligence (Nous).  Intelligence contemplates the One and needs nothing but it.  But the One has no need of Intelligence [i.e. being the Absolute Principle, it is totally self-sufficient].  The One which is superior to Intelligence produces Intelligence which is the best ex-istence after the One, since it is superior to all other beings.  The (World-)Soul is the Word (Logos) and a phase of the activity of Intelligence just as Intelligence is the logos and a phase of the activity of the One.  But the logos of the Soul is obscure being only an image of Intelligence.  The Soul therefore directs herself to Intelligence, just as the latter, to be Intelligence, must contemplate the One....Every begotten being longs for the being that begot it and loves it..."

What would be different from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the emanating of the divine energies and the One, Intelligence, and the World Soul and the emanating of creation?
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« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2009, 12:34:01 AM »

Understanding the Latin emphasis on the divine simplicity how would this distinction between Greek terms play a role in the Western tradition expressing the consubstantial communion between Father and Son first?

The East understands the simplicity of God differently than the West, because the East did not accept the pagan Greek notion of simplicity that ultimately influenced Scholastic theology in the high middle ages.

In Byzantine theology the divine essence is utterly simple and indivisible, and because of its simplicity and indivisibility it is incommunicable; while the same Tri-hypostatic God who is simple in His essence is truly manifold in His energies, and because He is manifold in His energies it becomes possible for us to participate in divinity.  The heretic Barlaam also was confused about the doctrine of divine simplicity and attacked St. Gregory on that issue, and in response to Barlaam's attack St. Gregory said the following:  "Hence, when we know His energy but not His essence, we do not commit an outrage to the supernatural character of His simplicity.  And when we participate in His energy but not in His essence, do we make the undivided divisible?  You heard him [St. Basil] also say: 'The energies of God are manifold, but His essence is simple.'  Just as He who is manifold according to His energies is not manifold and divided according to His essence, so in the same way, He will not be participable according to His essence although He is participated according to His energies" [St. Gregory Palamas, "Dialogue Between an Orthodox and a Barlaamite," no. 44].  For St. Gregory, and the Eastern Churches in general, the distinction between essence and energy in God must be real, and not merely noetic, because to deny the reality of this distinction – without a separation – would be to deny the reality of theosis.  There can be no participation in the divine essence because the divine essence is simple and participation in it implies division, which is not possible; while, on the other hand, God's energies, which come down to us as a gift of grace from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are manifold and consequently participable, and this very communicability is what allows for our real divinization.
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« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2009, 12:38:55 AM »

The Father creates through the Son, and the creation exists in the energies of the Holy Spirit.

Central to Plotinus' metaphysics is the process of ceaseless emanation and outflowing from the One.  Plotinus gives metaphors such as the radiation of heat from fire or cold from snow, fragrance from a flower or light from the sun. This looks very similar.

 "...With regard to the existence that is supremely perfect [i.e. "The One"], we must say it only produces the very greatest of the things that are found below it.  But that which after it is the most perfect, the second principle, is Intelligence (Nous).  Intelligence contemplates the One and needs nothing but it.  But the One has no need of Intelligence [i.e. being the Absolute Principle, it is totally self-sufficient].  The One which is superior to Intelligence produces Intelligence which is the best ex-istence after the One, since it is superior to all other beings.  The (World-)Soul is the Word (Logos) and a phase of the activity of Intelligence just as Intelligence is the logos and a phase of the activity of the One.  But the logos of the Soul is obscure being only an image of Intelligence.  The Soul therefore directs herself to Intelligence, just as the latter, to be Intelligence, must contemplate the One....Every begotten being longs for the being that begot it and loves it..."

What would be different from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the emanating of the divine energies and the One, Intelligence, and the World Soul and the emanating of creation?
The distinction between essence and energy is not Plotinian; instead, it is founded upon the theology of the Fathers (St. Athanasios, the Cappadocians, St. Maximos, and St. John Damascene, et al.), and so one must be careful not to confuse the use of similar terms with an uncritical acceptance of pagan philosophy into the doctrinal teaching of the Church.  The Eastern Churches explicitly rejected Greek pagan philosophy in the Synodikon of Orthodoxy

The divine energies flow out from God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) as divinity, but that does not make the world an emanation of God; instead, the world is created ex nihilo.  I thought you said that you were familiar with the writings of St. Gregory Palamas, but your comments so far evince ignorance of his theology.
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« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2009, 12:44:05 AM »

The Father creates through the Son, and the creation exists in the energies of the Holy Spirit.

Central to Plotinus' metaphysics is the process of ceaseless emanation and outflowing from the One.  Plotinus gives metaphors such as the radiation of heat from fire or cold from snow, fragrance from a flower or light from the sun. This looks very similar.

 "...With regard to the existence that is supremely perfect [i.e. "The One"], we must say it only produces the very greatest of the things that are found below it.  But that which after it is the most perfect, the second principle, is Intelligence (Nous).  Intelligence contemplates the One and needs nothing but it.  But the One has no need of Intelligence [i.e. being the Absolute Principle, it is totally self-sufficient].  The One which is superior to Intelligence produces Intelligence which is the best ex-istence after the One, since it is superior to all other beings.  The (World-)Soul is the Word (Logos) and a phase of the activity of Intelligence just as Intelligence is the logos and a phase of the activity of the One.  But the logos of the Soul is obscure being only an image of Intelligence.  The Soul therefore directs herself to Intelligence, just as the latter, to be Intelligence, must contemplate the One....Every begotten being longs for the being that begot it and loves it..."

What would be different from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the emanating of the divine energies and the One, Intelligence, and the World Soul and the emanating of creation?
It is the Scholastics, not the Eastern Fathers, who make the Logos a procession of intellect, and the Holy Spirit a procession of will, and this is far closer to the system of Plotinus than the doctrine of energies.  Intellect and will are energies of God and as such they are common to the three divine persons, so the Son cannot be a "procession of intellect" and the Spirit cannot be a "procession of will (or love)."  This Western theory ultimately confuses the hypostaseis with their common energies.
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« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2009, 01:10:37 AM »

The distinction between essence and energy is not Plotinian; instead, it is founded upon the theology of the Fathers (St. Athanasios, the Cappadocians, St. Maximos, and St. John Damascene, et al.), and so one must be careful not to confuse the use of similar terms with an uncritical acceptance of pagan philosophy into the doctrinal teaching of the Church.  The Eastern Churches explicitly rejected Greek pagan philosophy in the Synodikon of Orthodoxy.

I never said that the distinction between essence and energy is particularly Plotinian. Plotinus, as a pagan, doesn't need to worry about panentheism.

You do know that Origen was a peer of Plotinus and study under the same instructor in Alexandria. I see a lot of Plotinus in each of these particular Fathers.

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The divine energies flow out from God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) as divinity, but that does not make the world an emanation of God; instead, the world is created ex nihilo.  I thought you said that you were familiar with the writings of St. Gregory Palamas, but your comments so far evince ignorance of his theology.

Why would the creation of the world "ex nihilo" be a problem with the idea of emanation? Emanation does preclude such a creation. Why have I stated that seems ignorant? Most of my posts have been questions....
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« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2009, 02:40:52 AM »

brothers, please stop, the issue in not on the filioque, please see the original thread

I am wondering on the second issue, its about, Pope Martin's understanding of Original Sin, what was the issue with the byzantines and how did maximus resolved the issue

meanwhile, im gonna read the link provided by brother apotheun

thanks
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« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2009, 03:22:58 AM »

brother,, can you translate this ? is this the same as the letter spread on the internet?

The text of the whole letter in Greek can be found at the link below:

Letter of St. Maximos to Marinus

If the above link does not work, here is the url itself:  http://www.geocities.com/apotheoun/maximos_to_marinus
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Jurisdiction: Byzantine
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Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2009, 05:14:14 PM »

Understanding the Latin emphasis on the divine simplicity how would this distinction between Greek terms play a role in the Western tradition expressing the consubstantial communion between Father and Son first?

The East understands the simplicity of God differently than the West, because the East did not accept the pagan Greek notion of simplicity that ultimately influenced Scholastic theology in the high middle ages.

In Byzantine theology the divine essence is utterly simple and indivisible, and because of its simplicity and indivisibility it is incommunicable; while the same Tri-hypostatic God who is simple in His essence is truly manifold in His energies, and because He is manifold in His energies it becomes possible for us to participate in divinity.  The heretic Barlaam also was confused about the doctrine of divine simplicity and attacked St. Gregory on that issue, and in response to Barlaam's attack St. Gregory said the following:  "Hence, when we know His energy but not His essence, we do not commit an outrage to the supernatural character of His simplicity.  And when we participate in His energy but not in His essence, do we make the undivided divisible?  You heard him [St. Basil] also say: 'The energies of God are manifold, but His essence is simple.'  Just as He who is manifold according to His energies is not manifold and divided according to His essence, so in the same way, He will not be participable according to His essence although He is participated according to His energies" [St. Gregory Palamas, "Dialogue Between an Orthodox and a Barlaamite," no. 44].  For St. Gregory, and the Eastern Churches in general, the distinction between essence and energy in God must be real, and not merely noetic, because to deny the reality of this distinction – without a separation – would be to deny the reality of theosis.  There can be no participation in the divine essence because the divine essence is simple and participation in it implies division, which is not possible; while, on the other hand, God's energies, which come down to us as a gift of grace from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are manifold and consequently participable, and this very communicability is what allows for our real divinization.
I am curious. I am not sure we have pinned this down during our past conversation. Do you as an Eastern Catholic see Latins in grave error, or even heresy for rejecting the essence/energies distinction?
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You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
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