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Author Topic: The Eucharist?  (Read 9461 times) Average Rating: 0
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Christianus
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« on: March 28, 2010, 12:55:26 AM »

if the Eucharist is not symbolic, and actually is the body of Christ, then are we really cannibals?
is it cannibalism? Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh
 Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh
Someone answer for the benefit of my soul.   Cry
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2010, 01:15:24 AM »

We are partaking of God so we can be like God.

As St. Athanasius says, "God became man so that man may become God."
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2010, 03:08:30 AM »

I found this thread, which deals somewhat with the topic:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9876.0.html

If I understand correctly, cannibalism is eating the dead flesh of a dead person.  In the Eucharist, we are partaking of the Living, Resurrected God.

I also would be interested in hearing a fuller explanation from someone more knowledgeable about these things.
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2010, 03:11:35 AM »

if the Eucharist is not symbolic, and actually is the body of Christ, then are we really cannibals?
is it cannibalism? Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh
 Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh
Someone answer for the benefit of my soul.   Cry

I think you need to ask the Lord to give you peace, and see the Eucharist for the great Mystery it is, instead of looking at it on such a grossly base and fleshly level.  Forgive me, I am not trying to be insulting; many have had difficulties with this.  Perhaps I should have said that you should ask God for the wisdom and Grace to perceive this Mystery in the proper way and to give you reassurance.  You could read John 6:25-69 for a good start.  Remember that the text of the Divine Liturgy refers to the "reasonable and bloodless worship" of the Eucharistic sacrifice and the "mystical supper."  Also, during the liturgy we slowly ascend to the eternal  Kingdom of God for a time.  It is only in the Kingdom that bread and wine can become the Body and Blood of Christ: in our fallen world it is impossible for this to happen.  

Paradoxically, of course, we are trying to bring God's Kingdom into this world in order to sanctify and save it, to "actualise" God's Kingdom now, but this does not really have to do with your question.

« Last Edit: March 28, 2010, 02:42:04 PM by Pravoslavbob » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2010, 06:58:34 AM »

The word in Greek for the meaning of the "change," is metasiosis," a change in essence, not in substance.  "Send down Thy Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts here spread forth.  And make this bread the precious Body of Christ, and that which is in this Cup, the precious Blood of Christ, changing them by The Holy Spirit, Amen, Amen, Amen."

Holy Communion is "the Very Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2010, 01:59:06 PM »

The word in Greek for the meaning of the "change," is metasiosis," a change in essence, not in substance.  "Send down Thy Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts here spread forth.  And make this bread the precious Body of Christ, and that which is in this Cup, the precious Blood of Christ, changing them by The Holy Spirit, Amen, Amen, Amen."

Holy Communion is "the Very Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

I think I might understand what you are getting at here, but I am not sure if your point is clear to the OP or if it provides answers to his question.

What is the point you are trying to make?
« Last Edit: March 28, 2010, 02:39:02 PM by Pravoslavbob » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2010, 08:51:01 PM »

The word in Greek for the meaning of the "change," is metasiosis," a change in essence, not in substance.  "Send down Thy Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts here spread forth.  And make this bread the precious Body of Christ, and that which is in this Cup, the precious Blood of Christ, changing them by The Holy Spirit, Amen, Amen, Amen."

Holy Communion is "the Very Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

I think I might understand what you are getting at here, but I am not sure if your point is clear to the OP or if it provides answers to his question.

What is the point you are trying to make?

Hmm, I'm beginning to suspect this forum doesn't have any experts in the faith.
I've learned more about orthodoxy from reading books written by orthodox priests, and monks, than here.
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2010, 08:55:09 PM »

I've learned more about orthodoxy from reading books written by orthodox priests, and monks, than here.

I'd be pretty worried if you learned more about Orthodoxy on an open discussion forum than from academic books written by experts.
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2010, 08:58:14 PM »

I found this thread, which deals somewhat with the topic:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9876.0.html

If I understand correctly, cannibalism is eating the dead flesh of a dead person.  In the Eucharist, we are partaking of the Living, Resurrected God.

I also would be interested in hearing a fuller explanation from someone more knowledgeable about these things.

So we're eating bread that's actually living? and are we eating God's spiritual body or/and Christ's earthly and spiritual body?
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2010, 09:01:34 PM »

So we're eating bread that's actually living? and are we eating God's spiritual body or/and Christ's earthly and spiritual body?

We are eating the flesh of Christ's resurrected human body. But because it is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2010, 09:02:08 PM by Orthodox11 » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2010, 09:01:40 PM »

I've learned more about orthodoxy from reading books written by orthodox priests, and monks, than here.

I'd be pretty worried if you learned more about Orthodoxy on an open discussion forum than from academic books written by experts.
I"d expect everyone to know here, or at least give me links, or materials.
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2010, 09:13:28 PM »

Hmm, I'm beginning to suspect this forum doesn't have any experts in the faith.

You're asking a question, but then judging the credentials of those whom you ask?  What madness is this?

I've learned more about orthodoxy from reading books written by orthodox priests, and monks, than here.

I'm glad you've learned much elsewhere.  Your answer is already contained in this thread; to wit:

Your Question:
if the Eucharist is not symbolic, and actually is the body of Christ, then are we really cannibals?
is it cannibalism?

Answer 1:
We are partaking of God so we can be like God.

Amen.  You don't eat food/flesh to become one with the dead plant/animal/man/woman - you do it to consume them, and eliminate them to give yourself energy.  You partake of the Body and Blood of Christ to be One with Him - you do not destroy His Body and Blood, but rather become one with them and Him.  So no, it's not cannibalism.

Answer 2
If I understand correctly, cannibalism is eating the dead flesh of a dead person.  In the Eucharist, we are partaking of the Living, Resurrected God.

Amen.  The Body and Blood of Christ are not dead, but Life Eternal; they are not subject to decay, but instead are the source of Everlasting Existence.  What you partake of is not rotting, decaying, decrepit, like all your other food - it is Life, Power, the Body and Blood of Christ.  So no, it's not cannibalism.

Answer 3:
I think you need to ask the Lord to give you peace, and see the Eucharist for the great Mystery it is, instead of looking at it on such a grossly base and fleshly level.  Forgive me, I am not trying to be insulting; many have had difficulties with this.  Perhaps I should have said that you should ask God for the wisdom and Grace to perceive this Mystery in the proper way and to give you reassurance.  You could read John 6:25-69 for a good start.  Remember that the text of the Divine Liturgy refers to the "reasonable and bloodless worship" of the Eucharistic sacrifice and the "mystical supper."  Also, during the liturgy we slowly ascend to the eternal  Kingdom of God for a time.  It is only in the Kingdom that bread and wine can become the Body and Blood of Christ: in our fallen world it is impossible for this to happen. 

Amen.  Let me give you first the passage from scripture Pravoslavbob has referenced:

Quote from: NIV
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?"  Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."  Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"  Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."  So they asked him, "What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"  Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."  "Sir," they said, "from now on give us this bread."

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."  At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?"

"Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"  Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. 

On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"  Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!  The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.  Yet there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him."  From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.  "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."

If you have a question about His Body and Blood, why not see what He has to say about it first?  If you have further questions after reading Christ's words above, then read it again twice.  If the questions persist, then ask them here, and be prepared for the answer - it may be what you expect, and it may not be; pray only that the Holy Spirit guide those who seek to help you grow in your faith.
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2010, 10:50:51 PM »

You're awesome, Fr. George.   Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2010, 07:22:54 PM »

Christianus,

Satan always assails Holy Mysteries and sacred teachings with accusations such as this. But reverse the question and you will have your answer. Cannibalism is actually a perversion of the sacred Mystery of the Holy Eucharist, not the other way around.

Some claim that the Mystery of the Resurrection and the Mystery of the Eucharist are spurious beliefs that mimic vampirism (rising from the dead, drinking life-giving blood). But vampirism is actually a gross perversion and mockery of God's Holy Mysteries.

So, when you encounter arguments and questions that cast aspersion on holy things, do not doubt or lose faith. Affirm the Mysteries, and know that if they were not holy and divine then they would not be attacked so ferociously.

Peace to you.

Selam
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2010, 06:03:26 PM »

I'm a closet orthodox now.... "
I've been to the orthodox church in my area today where they read the Bible aloud in Latin: when I heard them reading it, I became very happy, and I thought to myself that the Orthodox church respects/venerate my Latin culture. even though most modern day romans don't understand their ancient culture.

What kind of body do the orthodox eat in divine liturgy?
is it a spiritual body, or the physical earthly body of Christ???
What?
Someone tell me exactly what you're all eating.
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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2010, 06:17:16 PM »

What kind of body do the orthodox eat in divine liturgy?
is it a spiritual body, or the physical earthly body of Christ???
What?
Someone tell me exactly what you're all eating.

"The body which was born of the Virgin Mary, without any stain, without destruction of her virginity, without opening of the womb, without presence of man, and which was crucified by the unbelieving Jews out of spite and envy, and which arose after three days from death, and sits upon the right hand of God the father in heaven, in glory and in dignity before the angels of heaven.  It is the body the same as it is in this great glory, which the righteous consume off God's table, that is, off the holy altar.  For this body is the rich medicine of the faithful, who journey through the paths of pilgrimage and repentance of this world to the heavenly homeland.  This is the seed of the resurrection in the life eternal to the righteous." (From the Leabhar Breac, 7th or 8th century)

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« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2010, 10:30:11 PM »

What kind of body do the orthodox eat in divine liturgy?
is it a spiritual body, or the physical earthly body of Christ???

It is the physical earthly body of Christ, except that unlike your body and mine, it has been transformed (or "transfigured"). When it has undergone this transformation or transfiguration, it acquired some very peculiar properties, of which we can have only approximate understanding. For example, it became able to appear in more than one place at a single time (Christ is simultaneously on earth as well as in Heaven, and He is in every single Chalice during the Divine Liturgies served in thousands of different parishes). Also, our human senses, as we have them now (in our fallen state) are unable to detect this body; instead, they detect bread and wine, even though there is no bread and no wine in the Chalice after the Epiklesis - rather, only Christ's true Body and Christ's true Blood.

Father Ambrose - I am surprised that you could not give the answer I gave. The answer you gave is not rationally comprehensible for all I know (of course not that I know anything...)
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« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2010, 11:20:03 PM »

What kind of body do the orthodox eat in divine liturgy?
is it a spiritual body, or the physical earthly body of Christ???

It is the physical earthly body of Christ, except that unlike your body and mine, it has been transformed (or "transfigured"). When it has undergone this transformation or transfiguration, it acquired some very peculiar properties, of which we can have only approximate understanding. For example, it became able to appear in more than one place at a single time (Christ is simultaneously on earth as well as in Heaven, and He is in every single Chalice during the Divine Liturgies served in thousands of different parishes). Also, our human senses, as we have them now (in our fallen state) are unable to detect this body; instead, they detect bread and wine, even though there is no bread and no wine in the Chalice after the Epiklesis - rather, only Christ's true Body and Christ's true Blood.

Father Ambrose - I am surprised that you could not give the answer I gave. The answer you gave is not rationally comprehensible for all I know (of course not that I know anything...)


I am sorry if this sounded contentious or disrespectful, but this whole story about the body of Christ and the bodies of resurrected humans is really bothering me as it is contradictory to the extreme. One of the Holy Fathers of the Church, St. John of Damascus, says, in his "Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Fath," that Christ, having ascended to heaven, sits BODILY on the right hand of the Fahter (meaning, of course, that He is sitting in a position of glory, for Father, being without body, does not have the literal right side - and yet, nonetheless, He, Christ, has our body with its spacial limitations, and so He indeed sits BODILY, literally, on a certain throne). Flying in the face of this, a paragraph from doctrinal writings on the OCA web page says that (I quote from memory and, therefore, not literally - but anyone can check) that "Christ sitting on the right hand of the Father certainly does not mean that He has a literal body and literally sits on a literal throne.". In our recent discussions here on OC.net, Witega, one of the most erudite posters I know, wrote that he was not sure whether the body of resurrected Christ was (is) "material," in that it has any elements of matter, like cells or molecules or atoms. It's all utterly confusing and simply strange... Is MATTER saved? Can anyone give a plain answer, and if yes - is our resurrected body MATTER - like, ahem, hydrogen, oxygen, covalent bonds, nuclei, neitrons, protons, bozons, gluons, and whatever it is out there? Or NOT? And if not - what will it be? And what is this Body of Christ that we chew on...?
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« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2010, 11:24:05 PM »

^^ Moderators, I am sorry, this perhaps goes beyond the scope of the Converts' page of this forum; please feel free to meove anywhere you see fit, just do not delete please...
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« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2010, 12:13:30 AM »


Father Ambrose - I am surprised that you could not give the answer I gave. The answer you gave is not rationally comprehensible for all I know...


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Dear Heorhij,

I could not give the answer you gave because you were anwering a question which had not been asked!!

The question which was asked was:  "Someone tell me exactly what you're all eating."  and my quote in message 35 gave a precise answer to the question.   You, on the other hand, ventured into other unasked fields of the hows and the whys and the wherefores and the manner thereof...   I simply answered the question.


I was raised in the typical reticence of Orthodoxy and prefer it to the over abundant explications offered by the West.   So long as the belief is stated clearly - as it was in the quote I gave and which you see as "not rationally comprehensible" - that is usually sufficient.


To quote Saint John of Damascus...


Concerning the holy and immaculate Mysteries of the Lord.


"To the divinity (of Christ) is united the body which took its origin from
the holy virgin. Not that because this body which has been received into
heaven, descends, but because the bread and wine are changed into the Body
and Blood of God. If you want to know how this is done let it suffice for
you to hear that it is done by the Holy Spirit, just as the Lord took to
Himself flesh from the Mother of God, which subsisted in Himself. We do not
need to see or to go further than the fact that the word of God is true and
efficacious and can do all things; the matter cannot be investigated
further."


"On the Orthodox Faith" by St John of Damascus Chapter 13.
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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2010, 08:30:32 AM »

^^He is risen indeed! Thank you, Father.

Well, I am not "Western" in my upbringing or in my mentality. But I am not Orthodox either, perhaps, or not the kind of Orthodox you and St. John of Damascus seem to mean.

This "not venturing in the hows and whys" leads to confusion and contention. A simple and fundamental question, is MATTER to be saved, is not being answered straightforwardly. We are not explained by our theological authorities, is the body of Christ material or not. We are not explained, will our resurrected bodies be material or not. When ancients attempt to give answers, these answers are verbose beatings about the bush, and they contradict each other and especially modern excerpts from catechisms (the modern ones seeming to be more "anti-material" than the ancient).

Yes, I admit that these questions were not asked by the OP in their straightforward form, but they are being asked, and they remain unanswered.
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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2010, 10:16:11 AM »

^^He is risen indeed! Thank you, Father.

Well, I am not "Western" in my upbringing or in my mentality. But I am not Orthodox either, perhaps, or not the kind of Orthodox you and St. John of Damascus seem to mean.

This "not venturing in the hows and whys" leads to confusion and contention. A simple and fundamental question, is MATTER to be saved, is not being answered straightforwardly. We are not explained by our theological authorities, is the body of Christ material or not. We are not explained, will our resurrected bodies be material or not. When ancients attempt to give answers, these answers are verbose beatings about the bush, and they contradict each other and especially modern excerpts from catechisms (the modern ones seeming to be more "anti-material" than the ancient).

Yes, I admit that these questions were not asked by the OP in their straightforward form, but they are being asked, and they remain unanswered.

Christ is risen!ХРИСТОС ВОСКРЕС!

http://books.google.com/books?id=uG7YAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA415&lpg=PA415&dq=I+confess+that+in+this+flesh+we+shall+rise+again+Eutychius&source=bl&ots=EB6pVP0hPE&sig=R9wT9-nE7bsG7CHciPlAEFdeqkg&hl=en&ei=5u65S_TsJYuyNqLR9KQE&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBEQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=I%20confess%20that%20in%20this%20flesh%20we%20shall%20rise%20again%20Eutychius&f=false
A dictionary of christian biography, literature, sects and ..., Volume 1 By Henry Wace, p. 415.

Quote
Toward the end of his life, Eutychius maintained an opinion that after the resurrection the body will be "more subtle than air" and no longer a tangible thing. This was considered heretical, because it was taken as a denial of the doctrine of physical, corporeal resurrection. The future Pope Gregory the Great, then residing at Constantinople as Apocrisiarius, opposed this opinion, citing Luke 24:39. Emperor Tiberius talked to the disputants separately, and tried to reconcile them, but the breach was persistent.

Eutychius died quietly on the Sunday after Easter, at the age of 70. Some of his friends later told Pope Gregory that a few minutes before his death he touched the skin of his hand and said, "I confess that in this flesh we shall rise again", a rough quote of Job 19:26
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarch_Eutychius_of_Constantinople
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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2010, 02:21:23 PM »

A simple and fundamental question, is MATTER to be saved, is not being answered straightforwardly.

Yes. Creation itself, which is groaning for redemption (Rom 8:19), will be set aright. There will be "a new earth, in which righteousness will be established" (2 Peter 3:13). Or, as Fr. Hopko says in the rainbow series:

Quote
The Orthodox Church does not believe merely in the immortality of the soul, and in the goodness and ultimate salvation of only spiritual reality. Following the Scriptures, Orthodox Christians believe in the goodness of the human body and of all material and physical creation. Thus, in its faith in resurrection and eternal life, the Orthodox Church looks not to some "other world" for salvation, but to this very world so loved by God, resurrected and glorified by Him, tilled with His own divine presence.

At the end of the ages God will reveal His presence and will fill all creation with Himself. For those who love Him it will be paradise. For those who hate Him it will be hell. And all physical creation, together with the righteous, will rejoice and be glad in His coming.

We are not explained, will our resurrected bodies be material or not.

"What we shall be has not yet been disclosed, but we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2).

We know Christ after his resurrection was material in some way. And St. Paul confirms that our resurrection, like Christ's, will be material. How the molecules will be arranged is not clear and questions of the actual material composition are totally ignored in the Scriptures. The critical thing, according to St. Paul, is that our bodies, just like our minds, are currently psychikon, whereas upon resurrection they will be pneumatikon. In the context of the letter to the Corinthians, psychikon means conformed to the mindset or reality of this age, whereas pneumatikon means conformed to the reality of the new creation.

Anything more than that is impossible to say, really. Even from a scientific perspective, our bodies are in a state of constant change on a molecular level, so our diachronic body is not even a single entity. Given that, science is just as hard pressed as theology to explain how the embodied self can be "one." I don't know too much about Physics, but, especially if you throw some Quantum Mechanics in there, the very idea of "matter" becomes difficult. In the very least, we and all of the universe are in a state of constant transformation, no?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 02:23:26 PM by pensateomnia » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2010, 02:24:45 PM »

We are not cannibals because

1- People practising cannibalism turn physical human body to food/bread. In the Eucharistic celebration, however, the food/bread is turned into Jesus' body.

2- When cannibals eat human flesh, humans die; but in the Eucharistic celebration Jesus' body is not dead. We receive Jesus' risen and living body.

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« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2010, 04:33:35 PM »

So we're eating bread that's actually living? and are we eating God's spiritual body or/and Christ's earthly and spiritual body?

We are eating the flesh of Christ's resurrected human body. But because it is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. (John 6:63)

Sometimes Western heterodox read this passage as meaning the Eucharist is a "mere symbol," i.e., that the Eucharist is not Christ's true Body and Blood. I prefer to read it as an expression of this sentiment from the Akathist to Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos:

Having beheld a strange nativity, let us estrange ourselves from the world and transport our minds to heaven; for the Most High God appeared on earth as a lowly man, because He wished to draw to the heights them that cry to Him: Alleluia!

The Jews were understanding eating Christ's Body and Blood in carnal terms. While not denying His literal, physical, real presence in the Eucharist, our Lord is reminding the disciples not to think in fallen, carnal categories.

"What then, is not His flesh, flesh?" Most certainly. "How then saith He, that the flesh profiteth nothing?" He speaketh not of His own flesh, (God forbid!) but of those who received His words in a carnal manner. But what is "understanding carnally"? It is looking merely to what is before our eyes, without imagining anything beyond. This is understanding carnally. But we must not judge thus by sight, but must look into all mysteries with the eyes within. This is seeing spiritually. He that eateth not His flesh, and drinketh not His blood, hath no life in him. How then doth "the flesh profit nothing," if without it we cannot live? Seest thou that the words, "the flesh profiteth nothing," are spoken not of His own flesh, but of carnal hearing? (John the Goldenmouthed, HOMILY XLVII: JOHN vi. 53, 54.)

In the Orthodox Church we speak of the Most Holy Sacrament as both true/real and mystical.

This is my understanding. Wiser folks, please correct any errors I make:

Christ's resurrected body is a spiritual body, which in no way means that it is an immaterial or non-physical body. However, we should not understand the Holy Mysteries in carnal terms because what we know as matter is fallen matter, which has become alienated so to speak from the spiritual. In Christ's Eternal Kingdom, of which the Mysteries are a foretaste, matter, the whole created realm, and especially man, all of which God created good and as a temple of His Presence, will be restored and elevated to its true state. Christ became material in part to divinize and spiritualize matter.

In terms of the Eucharist, the flesh truly would profit nothing were Christ's body merely flesh, were Christ a mere man. But we know that Jesus Christ is both Perfect Man and Perfect God! If it is the spirit that quickeneth, how much will we be quickened by God's Holy Spirit which comes to us in the Body and Blood of His Anointed! As Orthodox11 writes, "because [the Eucharist] is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine!" (quoted above)

***

It seems to me the important thing is to believe that Jesus of Nazareth is truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, Who came into the world to save sinners, and that the Holy Mysteries are truly His immaculate Body and truly His precious Blood, which we receive unto remission of sins and unto life everlasting.

fixed source per request of author - Arimethea
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 03:06:37 PM by arimethea » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2010, 12:51:20 AM »

So we're eating bread that's actually living? and are we eating God's spiritual body or/and Christ's earthly and spiritual body?

We are eating the flesh of Christ's resurrected human body. But because it is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. (John 6:63)

Sometimes Western heterodox read this passage as meaning the Eucharist is a "mere symbol," i.e., that the Eucharist is not Christ's true Body and Blood. I prefer to read it as an expression of this sentiment from the Akathist to Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos:

Having beheld a strange nativity, let us estrange ourselves from the world and transport our minds to heaven; for the Most High God appeared on earth as a lowly man, because He wished to draw to the heights them that cry to Him: Alleluia!

The Jews were understanding eating Christ's Body and Blood in carnal terms. While not denying His literal, physical, real presence in the Eucharist, our Lord is reminding the disciples not to think in fallen, carnal categories.

"What then, is not His flesh, flesh?" Most certainly. "How then saith He, that the flesh profiteth nothing?" He speaketh not of His own flesh, (God forbid!) but of those who received His words in a carnal manner. But what is "understanding carnally"? It is looking merely to what is before our eyes, without imagining anything beyond. This is understanding carnally. But we must not judge thus by sight, but must look into all mysteries with the eyes within. This is seeing spiritually. He that eateth not His flesh, and drinketh not His blood, hath no life in him. How then doth "the flesh profit nothing," if without it we cannot live? Seest thou that the words, "the flesh profiteth nothing," are spoken not of His own flesh, but of carnal hearing? (John the Goldenmouthed, HOMILY XLVII: JOHN vi. 53, 54.)

In the Orthodox Church we speak of the Most Holy Sacrament as both true/real and mystical.

This is my understanding. Wiser folks, please correct any errors I make:

Christ's resurrected body is a spiritual body, which in no way means that it is an immaterial or non-physical body. However, we should not understand the Holy Mysteries in carnal terms because what we know as matter is fallen matter, which has become alienated so to speak from the spiritual. In Christ's Eternal Kingdom, of which the Mysteries are a foretaste, matter, the whole created realm, and especially man, all of which God created good and as a temple of His Presence, will be restored and elevated to its true state. Christ became material in part to divinize and spiritualize matter.

In terms of the Eucharist, the flesh truly would profit nothing were Christ's body merely flesh, were Christ a mere man. But we know that Jesus Christ is both Perfect Man and Perfect God! If it is the spirit that quickeneth, how much will we be quickened by God's Holy Spirit which comes to us in the Body and Blood of His Anointed! As Christianus writes, "because [the Eucharist] is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine!" (quoted above)

***

It seems to me the important thing is to believe that Jesus of Nazareth is truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, Who came into the world to save sinners, and that the Holy Mysteries are truly His immaculate Body and truly His precious Blood, which we receive unto remission of sins and unto life everlasting.
I think I'm starting to understand more about the Eucharist. so...
If Christ's body were only carnal as ours, then it would be cannibalism?
But because his body is a physical spiritual body then it's not really cannibalism?
hmm so Christ's body was a physical spiritual body right?
not a physical worldly corpus/ body?
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« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2010, 01:04:14 AM »

So we're eating bread that's actually living? and are we eating God's spiritual body or/and Christ's earthly and spiritual body?

We are eating the flesh of Christ's resurrected human body. But because it is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. (John 6:63)

Sometimes Western heterodox read this passage as meaning the Eucharist is a "mere symbol," i.e., that the Eucharist is not Christ's true Body and Blood. I prefer to read it as an expression of this sentiment from the Akathist to Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos:

Having beheld a strange nativity, let us estrange ourselves from the world and transport our minds to heaven; for the Most High God appeared on earth as a lowly man, because He wished to draw to the heights them that cry to Him: Alleluia!

The Jews were understanding eating Christ's Body and Blood in carnal terms. While not denying His literal, physical, real presence in the Eucharist, our Lord is reminding the disciples not to think in fallen, carnal categories.

"What then, is not His flesh, flesh?" Most certainly. "How then saith He, that the flesh profiteth nothing?" He speaketh not of His own flesh, (God forbid!) but of those who received His words in a carnal manner. But what is "understanding carnally"? It is looking merely to what is before our eyes, without imagining anything beyond. This is understanding carnally. But we must not judge thus by sight, but must look into all mysteries with the eyes within. This is seeing spiritually. He that eateth not His flesh, and drinketh not His blood, hath no life in him. How then doth "the flesh profit nothing," if without it we cannot live? Seest thou that the words, "the flesh profiteth nothing," are spoken not of His own flesh, but of carnal hearing? (John the Goldenmouthed, HOMILY XLVII: JOHN vi. 53, 54.)

In the Orthodox Church we speak of the Most Holy Sacrament as both true/real and mystical.

This is my understanding. Wiser folks, please correct any errors I make:

Christ's resurrected body is a spiritual body, which in no way means that it is an immaterial or non-physical body. However, we should not understand the Holy Mysteries in carnal terms because what we know as matter is fallen matter, which has become alienated so to speak from the spiritual. In Christ's Eternal Kingdom, of which the Mysteries are a foretaste, matter, the whole created realm, and especially man, all of which God created good and as a temple of His Presence, will be restored and elevated to its true state. Christ became material in part to divinize and spiritualize matter.

In terms of the Eucharist, the flesh truly would profit nothing were Christ's body merely flesh, were Christ a mere man. But we know that Jesus Christ is both Perfect Man and Perfect God! If it is the spirit that quickeneth, how much will we be quickened by God's Holy Spirit which comes to us in the Body and Blood of His Anointed! As Christianus writes, "because [the Eucharist] is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine!" (quoted above)

***

It seems to me the important thing is to believe that Jesus of Nazareth is truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, Who came into the world to save sinners, and that the Holy Mysteries are truly His immaculate Body and truly His precious Blood, which we receive unto remission of sins and unto life everlasting.
I think I'm starting to understand more about the Eucharist. so...
If Christ's body were only carnal as ours, then it would be cannibalism?
But because his body is a physical spiritual body then it's not really cannibalism?
hmm so Christ's body was a physical spiritual body right?
not a physical worldly corpus/ body?


I don't think it's spiritually beneficial to speculate on such matters too much. We know that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Our Lord. We know the What. We do not know How this can be. It is a Mystery. Other than that...become Orthodox and you will experience it for yourself. Otherwise, I don't find it helpful to speak in such detail regarding the Holy Mysteries. They are there to be experienced, not to be overanalysed, explained, and dissected.
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« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2010, 01:11:51 AM »

So we're eating bread that's actually living? and are we eating God's spiritual body or/and Christ's earthly and spiritual body?

We are eating the flesh of Christ's resurrected human body. But because it is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. (John 6:63)

Sometimes Western heterodox read this passage as meaning the Eucharist is a "mere symbol," i.e., that the Eucharist is not Christ's true Body and Blood. I prefer to read it as an expression of this sentiment from the Akathist to Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos:

Having beheld a strange nativity, let us estrange ourselves from the world and transport our minds to heaven; for the Most High God appeared on earth as a lowly man, because He wished to draw to the heights them that cry to Him: Alleluia!

The Jews were understanding eating Christ's Body and Blood in carnal terms. While not denying His literal, physical, real presence in the Eucharist, our Lord is reminding the disciples not to think in fallen, carnal categories.

"What then, is not His flesh, flesh?" Most certainly. "How then saith He, that the flesh profiteth nothing?" He speaketh not of His own flesh, (God forbid!) but of those who received His words in a carnal manner. But what is "understanding carnally"? It is looking merely to what is before our eyes, without imagining anything beyond. This is understanding carnally. But we must not judge thus by sight, but must look into all mysteries with the eyes within. This is seeing spiritually. He that eateth not His flesh, and drinketh not His blood, hath no life in him. How then doth "the flesh profit nothing," if without it we cannot live? Seest thou that the words, "the flesh profiteth nothing," are spoken not of His own flesh, but of carnal hearing? (John the Goldenmouthed, HOMILY XLVII: JOHN vi. 53, 54.)

In the Orthodox Church we speak of the Most Holy Sacrament as both true/real and mystical.

This is my understanding. Wiser folks, please correct any errors I make:

Christ's resurrected body is a spiritual body, which in no way means that it is an immaterial or non-physical body. However, we should not understand the Holy Mysteries in carnal terms because what we know as matter is fallen matter, which has become alienated so to speak from the spiritual. In Christ's Eternal Kingdom, of which the Mysteries are a foretaste, matter, the whole created realm, and especially man, all of which God created good and as a temple of His Presence, will be restored and elevated to its true state. Christ became material in part to divinize and spiritualize matter.

In terms of the Eucharist, the flesh truly would profit nothing were Christ's body merely flesh, were Christ a mere man. But we know that Jesus Christ is both Perfect Man and Perfect God! If it is the spirit that quickeneth, how much will we be quickened by God's Holy Spirit which comes to us in the Body and Blood of His Anointed! As Christianus writes, "because [the Eucharist] is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine!" (quoted above)

***

It seems to me the important thing is to believe that Jesus of Nazareth is truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, Who came into the world to save sinners, and that the Holy Mysteries are truly His immaculate Body and truly His precious Blood, which we receive unto remission of sins and unto life everlasting.
I think I'm starting to understand more about the Eucharist. so...
If Christ's body were only carnal as ours, then it would be cannibalism?
But because his body is a physical spiritual body then it's not really cannibalism?
hmm so Christ's body was a physical spiritual body right?
not a physical worldly corpus/ body?


I don't think it's spiritually beneficial to speculate on such matters too much. We know that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Our Lord. We know the What. We do not know How this can be. It is a Mystery. Other than that...become Orthodox and you will experience it for yourself. Otherwise, I don't find it helpful to speak in such detail regarding the Holy Mysteries. They are there to be experienced, not to be overanalysed, explained, and dissected.
Well, what do you experience when you eat the eucharist?
When you take it, do you feel like you've become better person?
or what?
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« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2010, 01:15:40 AM »

So we're eating bread that's actually living? and are we eating God's spiritual body or/and Christ's earthly and spiritual body?

We are eating the flesh of Christ's resurrected human body. But because it is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. (John 6:63)

Sometimes Western heterodox read this passage as meaning the Eucharist is a "mere symbol," i.e., that the Eucharist is not Christ's true Body and Blood. I prefer to read it as an expression of this sentiment from the Akathist to Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos:

Having beheld a strange nativity, let us estrange ourselves from the world and transport our minds to heaven; for the Most High God appeared on earth as a lowly man, because He wished to draw to the heights them that cry to Him: Alleluia!

The Jews were understanding eating Christ's Body and Blood in carnal terms. While not denying His literal, physical, real presence in the Eucharist, our Lord is reminding the disciples not to think in fallen, carnal categories.

"What then, is not His flesh, flesh?" Most certainly. "How then saith He, that the flesh profiteth nothing?" He speaketh not of His own flesh, (God forbid!) but of those who received His words in a carnal manner. But what is "understanding carnally"? It is looking merely to what is before our eyes, without imagining anything beyond. This is understanding carnally. But we must not judge thus by sight, but must look into all mysteries with the eyes within. This is seeing spiritually. He that eateth not His flesh, and drinketh not His blood, hath no life in him. How then doth "the flesh profit nothing," if without it we cannot live? Seest thou that the words, "the flesh profiteth nothing," are spoken not of His own flesh, but of carnal hearing? (John the Goldenmouthed, HOMILY XLVII: JOHN vi. 53, 54.)

In the Orthodox Church we speak of the Most Holy Sacrament as both true/real and mystical.

This is my understanding. Wiser folks, please correct any errors I make:

Christ's resurrected body is a spiritual body, which in no way means that it is an immaterial or non-physical body. However, we should not understand the Holy Mysteries in carnal terms because what we know as matter is fallen matter, which has become alienated so to speak from the spiritual. In Christ's Eternal Kingdom, of which the Mysteries are a foretaste, matter, the whole created realm, and especially man, all of which God created good and as a temple of His Presence, will be restored and elevated to its true state. Christ became material in part to divinize and spiritualize matter.

In terms of the Eucharist, the flesh truly would profit nothing were Christ's body merely flesh, were Christ a mere man. But we know that Jesus Christ is both Perfect Man and Perfect God! If it is the spirit that quickeneth, how much will we be quickened by God's Holy Spirit which comes to us in the Body and Blood of His Anointed! As Christianus writes, "because [the Eucharist] is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine!" (quoted above)

***

It seems to me the important thing is to believe that Jesus of Nazareth is truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, Who came into the world to save sinners, and that the Holy Mysteries are truly His immaculate Body and truly His precious Blood, which we receive unto remission of sins and unto life everlasting.
I think I'm starting to understand more about the Eucharist. so...
If Christ's body were only carnal as ours, then it would be cannibalism?
But because his body is a physical spiritual body then it's not really cannibalism?
hmm so Christ's body was a physical spiritual body right?
not a physical worldly corpus/ body?


I don't think it's spiritually beneficial to speculate on such matters too much. We know that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Our Lord. We know the What. We do not know How this can be. It is a Mystery. Other than that...become Orthodox and you will experience it for yourself. Otherwise, I don't find it helpful to speak in such detail regarding the Holy Mysteries. They are there to be experienced, not to be overanalysed, explained, and dissected.
Well, what do you experience when you eat the eucharist?
When you take it, do you feel like you've become better person?
or what?

Have you been baptised and chrismated an Orthodox Christian??
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« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2010, 02:08:13 AM »

So we're eating bread that's actually living? and are we eating God's spiritual body or/and Christ's earthly and spiritual body?

We are eating the flesh of Christ's resurrected human body. But because it is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. (John 6:63)

Sometimes Western heterodox read this passage as meaning the Eucharist is a "mere symbol," i.e., that the Eucharist is not Christ's true Body and Blood. I prefer to read it as an expression of this sentiment from the Akathist to Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos:

Having beheld a strange nativity, let us estrange ourselves from the world and transport our minds to heaven; for the Most High God appeared on earth as a lowly man, because He wished to draw to the heights them that cry to Him: Alleluia!

The Jews were understanding eating Christ's Body and Blood in carnal terms. While not denying His literal, physical, real presence in the Eucharist, our Lord is reminding the disciples not to think in fallen, carnal categories.

"What then, is not His flesh, flesh?" Most certainly. "How then saith He, that the flesh profiteth nothing?" He speaketh not of His own flesh, (God forbid!) but of those who received His words in a carnal manner. But what is "understanding carnally"? It is looking merely to what is before our eyes, without imagining anything beyond. This is understanding carnally. But we must not judge thus by sight, but must look into all mysteries with the eyes within. This is seeing spiritually. He that eateth not His flesh, and drinketh not His blood, hath no life in him. How then doth "the flesh profit nothing," if without it we cannot live? Seest thou that the words, "the flesh profiteth nothing," are spoken not of His own flesh, but of carnal hearing? (John the Goldenmouthed, HOMILY XLVII: JOHN vi. 53, 54.)

In the Orthodox Church we speak of the Most Holy Sacrament as both true/real and mystical.

This is my understanding. Wiser folks, please correct any errors I make:

Christ's resurrected body is a spiritual body, which in no way means that it is an immaterial or non-physical body. However, we should not understand the Holy Mysteries in carnal terms because what we know as matter is fallen matter, which has become alienated so to speak from the spiritual. In Christ's Eternal Kingdom, of which the Mysteries are a foretaste, matter, the whole created realm, and especially man, all of which God created good and as a temple of His Presence, will be restored and elevated to its true state. Christ became material in part to divinize and spiritualize matter.

In terms of the Eucharist, the flesh truly would profit nothing were Christ's body merely flesh, were Christ a mere man. But we know that Jesus Christ is both Perfect Man and Perfect God! If it is the spirit that quickeneth, how much will we be quickened by God's Holy Spirit which comes to us in the Body and Blood of His Anointed! As Christianus writes, "because [the Eucharist] is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine!" (quoted above)

***

It seems to me the important thing is to believe that Jesus of Nazareth is truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, Who came into the world to save sinners, and that the Holy Mysteries are truly His immaculate Body and truly His precious Blood, which we receive unto remission of sins and unto life everlasting.
I think I'm starting to understand more about the Eucharist. so...
If Christ's body were only carnal as ours, then it would be cannibalism?
But because his body is a physical spiritual body then it's not really cannibalism?
hmm so Christ's body was a physical spiritual body right?
not a physical worldly corpus/ body?


I don't think it's spiritually beneficial to speculate on such matters too much. We know that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Our Lord. We know the What. We do not know How this can be. It is a Mystery. Other than that...become Orthodox and you will experience it for yourself. Otherwise, I don't find it helpful to speak in such detail regarding the Holy Mysteries. They are there to be experienced, not to be overanalysed, explained, and dissected.
Well, what do you experience when you eat the eucharist?
When you take it, do you feel like you've become better person?
or what?

Have you been baptised and chrismated an Orthodox Christian??
no.why do you ask?
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« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2010, 02:34:47 AM »


Have you been baptised and chrismated an Orthodox Christian??
no.why do you ask?
Christ is Risen!
Ta Criost eirithe!

 
He asks because for some things it can make quite a difference. The 3rd century Saint Hippolytus of Rome says that there are things which cannot be understood adequately unless one is inside the Church, living the life of the Church.
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« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2010, 02:44:21 AM »

So we're eating bread that's actually living? and are we eating God's spiritual body or/and Christ's earthly and spiritual body?

We are eating the flesh of Christ's resurrected human body. But because it is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. (John 6:63)

Sometimes Western heterodox read this passage as meaning the Eucharist is a "mere symbol," i.e., that the Eucharist is not Christ's true Body and Blood. I prefer to read it as an expression of this sentiment from the Akathist to Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos:

Having beheld a strange nativity, let us estrange ourselves from the world and transport our minds to heaven; for the Most High God appeared on earth as a lowly man, because He wished to draw to the heights them that cry to Him: Alleluia!

The Jews were understanding eating Christ's Body and Blood in carnal terms. While not denying His literal, physical, real presence in the Eucharist, our Lord is reminding the disciples not to think in fallen, carnal categories.

"What then, is not His flesh, flesh?" Most certainly. "How then saith He, that the flesh profiteth nothing?" He speaketh not of His own flesh, (God forbid!) but of those who received His words in a carnal manner. But what is "understanding carnally"? It is looking merely to what is before our eyes, without imagining anything beyond. This is understanding carnally. But we must not judge thus by sight, but must look into all mysteries with the eyes within. This is seeing spiritually. He that eateth not His flesh, and drinketh not His blood, hath no life in him. How then doth "the flesh profit nothing," if without it we cannot live? Seest thou that the words, "the flesh profiteth nothing," are spoken not of His own flesh, but of carnal hearing? (John the Goldenmouthed, HOMILY XLVII: JOHN vi. 53, 54.)

In the Orthodox Church we speak of the Most Holy Sacrament as both true/real and mystical.

This is my understanding. Wiser folks, please correct any errors I make:

Christ's resurrected body is a spiritual body, which in no way means that it is an immaterial or non-physical body. However, we should not understand the Holy Mysteries in carnal terms because what we know as matter is fallen matter, which has become alienated so to speak from the spiritual. In Christ's Eternal Kingdom, of which the Mysteries are a foretaste, matter, the whole created realm, and especially man, all of which God created good and as a temple of His Presence, will be restored and elevated to its true state. Christ became material in part to divinize and spiritualize matter.

In terms of the Eucharist, the flesh truly would profit nothing were Christ's body merely flesh, were Christ a mere man. But we know that Jesus Christ is both Perfect Man and Perfect God! If it is the spirit that quickeneth, how much will we be quickened by God's Holy Spirit which comes to us in the Body and Blood of His Anointed! As Christianus writes, "because [the Eucharist] is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine!" (quoted above)

***

It seems to me the important thing is to believe that Jesus of Nazareth is truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, Who came into the world to save sinners, and that the Holy Mysteries are truly His immaculate Body and truly His precious Blood, which we receive unto remission of sins and unto life everlasting.
I think I'm starting to understand more about the Eucharist. so...
If Christ's body were only carnal as ours, then it would be cannibalism?
But because his body is a physical spiritual body then it's not really cannibalism?
hmm so Christ's body was a physical spiritual body right?
not a physical worldly corpus/ body?


I don't think it's spiritually beneficial to speculate on such matters too much. We know that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Our Lord. We know the What. We do not know How this can be. It is a Mystery. Other than that...become Orthodox and you will experience it for yourself. Otherwise, I don't find it helpful to speak in such detail regarding the Holy Mysteries. They are there to be experienced, not to be overanalysed, explained, and dissected.
Well, what do you experience when you eat the eucharist?
When you take it, do you feel like you've become better person?
or what?

Have you been baptised and chrismated an Orthodox Christian??
no.why do you ask?

Because if you wish to know what the experience is like, then you should become Orthodox. Otherwise, as I stated above, in my personal opinion it is a Mystery of the Church and is restricted to its members only. That restriction is in place for a reason. The Eucharist is not something to trifled with. As you are not Orthodox, you should seek God with all your heart, attend Orthodox services as much as possible, and consult regularly with an Orthodox priest. I find many inquirers have a certain affliction--I had this affliction as an inquirer--whereas they are still caught up in the "Western" mode of thinking. There is not an explanation for everything, the limitations of language and our minds can not fully comprehend the Glory that is God. Yet, when we fall into this affliction...when we seek to know every thing there is to know, and read all the books out there, and try to put everything into words, then there is a tendency to limit God, to bring Him down to our level and place Him inside our minds in a tidy little box. Such an approach can get us into alot of trouble. I am not saying this is you, but from my experience this is a danger you should be aware of. Pray. Go to Church. Remember God. You will fall, and stumble, and make mistakes. We all do. Talk with a priest. When you feel called to do so, be received into the Church. After that, start going to confession and receiving the Eucharist. The oceans of Orthodoxy are wide and deep. Often we try to drink too much....and we drown. Take small sips at a time.
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« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2010, 08:28:43 AM »

Quote
Toward the end of his life, Eutychius maintained an opinion that after the resurrection the body will be "more subtle than air" and no longer a tangible thing. This was considered heretical, because it was taken as a denial of the doctrine of physical, corporeal resurrection. The future Pope Gregory the Great, then residing at Constantinople as Apocrisiarius, opposed this opinion, citing Luke 24:39. Emperor Tiberius talked to the disputants separately, and tried to reconcile them, but the breach was persistent.

Eutychius died quietly on the Sunday after Easter, at the age of 70. Some of his friends later told Pope Gregory that a few minutes before his death he touched the skin of his hand and said, "I confess that in this flesh we shall rise again", a rough quote of Job 19:26
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarch_Eutychius_of_Constantinople

Isa, thank you so much for this; for me, this is very helpful, indeed.

However! High-positioned hierarchs of the Orthodox Church seem to either misunderstand this, or conscientiously deny this.

Here is a quote (in Russian) from Metr. +HILARION of Vienna and all Austria, from his book, published online, under the title, "The Mystery of Faith: an Introduction into the Orthodox Dogmatic Theology:"

"Новое, "прославленное" тело человека будет подобно телу Христа после Его Воскресения, когда Он являлся ученикам, проходя сквозь запертые двери (Ин. 20:19, 26). Оно будет нематериальным, световидным и легким, однако сохранит "образ" земного материального тела, причем никакие недостатки материального тела, как, например, различные увечья, признаки старения и пр., не будут ему присущи." http://www.wco.ru/biblio/books/alfeev2/Main.htm, Chapter XI.

My translation:  "The new, "glorified" body of a human being will be similar to the body of Christ after His resurrection, when He appeared to His disciples passing through locked doors (Jn. 20:19, 26). It will be non-material (or not made of matter), similar to light and without weight, even though it will preserve a certain "image" of the earthly material body; no shortcomings of the material body, such as various handicaps or signs of aging, etc. will be characteristic to it."

Clearly, an Orthodox bishop banishes matter from the resurrected body. In the passage above, he is not talking about transfiguration or transformation of matter; rather, he OPPOSES the new "immaterial" body to the OLD, EARTHY, MATERIAL body.

And this is what, as I have seen many-many times, my fellow Ukrainians accept immediately and believe wholeheartedly. When I as much a allude that MATTER, substance, atoms, electrons, protons, gluons and what not will be transformed in the Kingdom, they inevitably conclude that I am just insane, or unbelievably stupid.

As for the Eucharist, I think most of my fellow Ukrainians believe that it is simply bread and wine. When you have faith, then *FOR YOU* the Eucharist begins to have some "spiritual" value. Again, the idea that when a priest calls the Holy Spirit in epiclesis, and the Holy Spirit REALLY transforms the matter of the Gifts into the flesh and blood of resurrected and ascended Christ, is COMPLETELY foreign to them. When I voiced it on the Maidan forum, the unanimous reaction was that I am, again, unbelievably stupid and that I am compromising the Church, giving the Church a bad reputation because of expressing such insane, anti-Christian, cannibalistic, and, worst of all, "MATERIALISTIC" ideas.
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« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2010, 10:15:00 AM »

"Новое, "прославленное" тело человека будет подобно телу Христа после Его Воскресения, когда Он являлся ученикам, проходя сквозь запертые двери (Ин. 20:19, 26). Оно будет нематериальным, световидным и легким, однако сохранит "образ" земного материального тела, причем никакие недостатки материального тела, как, например, различные увечья, признаки старения и пр., не будут ему присущи." http://www.wco.ru/biblio/books/alfeev2/Main.htm, Chapter XI.

My translation:  "The new, "glorified" body of a human being will be similar to the body of Christ after His resurrection, when He appeared to His disciples passing through locked doors (Jn. 20:19, 26). It will be non-material (or not made of matter), similar to light and without weight, even though it will preserve a certain "image" of the earthly material body; no shortcomings of the material body, such as various handicaps or signs of aging, etc. will be characteristic to it."

After his resurrection, Jesus specifically tells his disciples that he has "flesh and bones" (Lk. 24:39 ff). However, it's obvious from the Gospels and St. Paul that those glorified flesh and bones are not like what they were. They are able to walk through locked doors, can appear out of nowhere -- and yet that same body ate fish made of normal molecules! So, you do the math. It's a body and yet a totally different kind of body. Or, as St. John says in his Epistle, it's something we know exists, we just don't quite know how it works.

Regarding glorified bodies, we say they are truly flesh and bone. How that works on a molecular level, we don't know. Regarding the Eucharist, we say it is truly the body and blood of Christ. How that works on a molecular level, we don't know.

Here's the last stanza of a poem called "The Glorified Body" by Patricia Barone:

"Have you anything here to eat?"
Jesus came from death to ask for breakfast.
The disciples, mouths gaping,
followed his every bite--
broiled fish and raw honey.
"Feel me and see--a spirit doesn't have
flesh and bones like mine"
(What sort of body is this)
Not a ventriloquist's
dummy for the soul, oh no--
his body is his voice,
music every cell,
but his hands are as solid as
the bread with its honeycombed holes.
He is impossible, he is
a wave, a particle, his hands
feed the fire, turn the fish.
He hurtles through space
while he is still
here with us. We're slow.
We used to think
if we knew where we were
we'd never know for sure
how fast we're going.
Even the glorified
body is not what we think.
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« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2010, 12:25:30 PM »

^^^Great poem, thank you!
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« Reply #35 on: April 06, 2010, 01:20:22 PM »

So we're eating bread that's actually living? and are we eating God's spiritual body or/and Christ's earthly and spiritual body?

We are eating the flesh of Christ's resurrected human body. But because it is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. (John 6:63)

Sometimes Western heterodox read this passage as meaning the Eucharist is a "mere symbol,"

Then that blood He shed on the Cross was a mere symbol too, and they are still lost in their sins.
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« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2010, 01:49:46 PM »

So we're eating bread that's actually living? and are we eating God's spiritual body or/and Christ's earthly and spiritual body?

We are eating the flesh of Christ's resurrected human body. But because it is flesh belonging to the Person of God the Logos, it is life-giving and divine.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. (John 6:63)

Sometimes Western heterodox read this passage as meaning the Eucharist is a "mere symbol,"

Then that blood He shed on the Cross was a mere symbol too, and they are still lost in their sins.

Pretty much, though they of course wouldn't want to admit that.
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« Reply #37 on: April 06, 2010, 06:36:51 PM »


Have you been baptised and chrismated an Orthodox Christian??
no.why do you ask?
Christ is Risen!
Ta Criost eirithe!

 
He asks because for some things it can make quite a difference. The 3rd century Saint Hippolytus of Rome says that there are things which cannot be understood adequately unless one is inside the Church, living the life of the Church.

Right! Through baptism and Chrismation our sins are washed away and we receive the illumination of the Holy Spirit. Holy Mysteries are only theoroetical to those who have not been empowered to understand them by the Holy Spirit.


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« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2010, 08:07:16 PM »

St. Paul says somewhere that our flesh will be "spiritualized" that is will be powered by the spirit, but that doesn't mean the flesh will be immaterial.  It will be the same material as it was before, but with different properties and actions, or more accurately transcendent properties and actions.
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« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2010, 11:36:11 AM »

St. Paul says somewhere that our flesh will be "spiritualized" that is will be powered by the spirit, but that doesn't mean the flesh will be immaterial.  It will be the same material as it was before, but with different properties and actions, or more accurately transcendent properties and actions.

Can you imagine that an Orthodox bishop like His Eminence +HILARION (Alfeev) does not know it? Nevertheless, he writes, in a very straightforward fashion, that the body will NOT be made of matter. And he opposes the "earthy" body as material to the resurrected body that is not... I can't understand this... He just gives a huge "thumbs up" and free pass to all sorts of Manicheans and Monophysitists (and among those Orthodox Ukrainians whom I know, almost all seem to be them).
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« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2010, 11:45:27 AM »

St. Paul says somewhere that our flesh will be "spiritualized" that is will be powered by the spirit, but that doesn't mean the flesh will be immaterial.  It will be the same material as it was before, but with different properties and actions, or more accurately transcendent properties and actions.

Can you imagine that an Orthodox bishop like His Eminence +HILARION (Alfeev) does not know it? Nevertheless, he writes, in a very straightforward fashion, that the body will NOT be made of matter. And he opposes the "earthy" body as material to the resurrected body that is not... I can't understand this... He just gives a huge "thumbs up" and free pass to all sorts of Manicheans and Monophysitists (and among those Orthodox Ukrainians whom I know, almost all seem to be them).

Do you have a source for this?
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« Reply #41 on: April 07, 2010, 12:53:55 PM »

St. Paul says somewhere that our flesh will be "spiritualized" that is will be powered by the spirit, but that doesn't mean the flesh will be immaterial.  It will be the same material as it was before, but with different properties and actions, or more accurately transcendent properties and actions.

Can you imagine that an Orthodox bishop like His Eminence +HILARION (Alfeev) does not know it? Nevertheless, he writes, in a very straightforward fashion, that the body will NOT be made of matter. And he opposes the "earthy" body as material to the resurrected body that is not... I can't understand this... He just gives a huge "thumbs up" and free pass to all sorts of Manicheans and Monophysitists (and among those Orthodox Ukrainians whom I know, almost all seem to be them).
Do you have a source for this?

Yes, as I wrote above in this thread (reply #32):

"Here is a quote (in Russian) from Metr. +HILARION of Vienna and all Austria, from his book, published online, under the title, "The Mystery of Faith: an Introduction into the Orthodox Dogmatic Theology:"

"Новое, "прославленное" тело человека будет подобно телу Христа после Его Воскресения, когда Он являлся ученикам, проходя сквозь запертые двери (Ин. 20:19, 26). Оно будет нематериальным, световидным и легким, однако сохранит "образ" земного материального тела, причем никакие недостатки материального тела, как, например, различные увечья, признаки старения и пр., не будут ему присущи." http://www.wco.ru/biblio/books/alfeev2/Main.htm, Chapter XI.

My translation:  "The new, "glorified" body of a human being will be similar to the body of Christ after His resurrection, when He appeared to His disciples passing through locked doors (Jn. 20:19, 26). It will be non-material (or not made of matter), similar to light and without weight, even though it will preserve a certain "image" of the earthly material body; no shortcomings of the material body, such as various handicaps or signs of aging, etc. will be characteristic to it."
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« Reply #42 on: April 07, 2010, 01:22:38 PM »


My translation:  "The new, "glorified" body of a human being will be similar to the body of Christ after His resurrection, when He appeared to His disciples passing through locked doors (Jn. 20:19, 26). It will be non-material (or not made of matter), similar to light and without weight, even though it will preserve a certain "image" of the earthly material body; no shortcomings of the material body, such as various handicaps or signs of aging, etc. will be characteristic to it."

And it will eat fish of course  Shocked
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« Reply #43 on: April 07, 2010, 01:56:57 PM »

The Russian word for "non-material"...could it mean anything else?

If the words cannot be misconstrued, maybe this should be reported to the Moscow Patriarchate.

Is this the Metropolitan:

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/03/metropolitan-hilarion-shouted-down-as.html
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« Reply #44 on: April 07, 2010, 02:15:18 PM »

The Russian word for "non-material"...could it mean anything else?

If the words cannot be misconstrued, maybe this should be reported to the Moscow Patriarchate.

Is this the Metropolitan:

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/03/metropolitan-hilarion-shouted-down-as.html

I am not sure what the difficulty is here.  Non-material may simply mean that the material of the glorified body is not precisely the same as currently recognizable, testable, dateable, puncturable flesh and bone...etc.

EM
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« Reply #45 on: April 07, 2010, 03:22:38 PM »

The Russian word for "non-material"...could it mean anything else?

If the words cannot be misconstrued, maybe this should be reported to the Moscow Patriarchate.

Is this the Metropolitan:

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/03/metropolitan-hilarion-shouted-down-as.html

I am not sure what the difficulty is here.  Non-material may simply mean that the material of the glorified body is not precisely the same as currently recognizable, testable, dateable, puncturable flesh and bone...etc.

EM

That's your interpretation.Smiley Very "Orwellian," like "War is Peace," etc. (see "1984).

It is written in Met. +H.'s catechism, "non-material." Meaning, NOT MADE OF MATTER. As opposed to the "earthly" body that is made of matter.
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« Reply #46 on: April 07, 2010, 03:26:45 PM »

The Russian word for "non-material"...could it mean anything else?

No. Нeматeриальный, -ая, -оe can mean only one thing: not made of matter, or made of something else, not of matter (like a spirit). 

If the words cannot be misconstrued, maybe this should be reported to the Moscow Patriarchate.

Let's try it! I don't hold my breath, most likely no answer will be given, but... who knows?


Yes.
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« Reply #47 on: April 07, 2010, 04:56:55 PM »

Ya, he doesn't seem like a well-liked man among those who disagree with his ecclesiological theology.  I guess now they can have something else to disagree with as well.  Wink
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« Reply #48 on: April 07, 2010, 05:51:09 PM »

Ya, he doesn't seem like a well-liked man among those who disagree with his ecclesiological theology.  I guess now they can have something else to disagree with as well.  Wink

Which is kind of sad, because he seems to be a very well-educated and pleasant man. I heard only good things from people who saw him in person and heard him talk. And I really enjoyed reading his catechism, except of course the fragment I quoted.
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« Reply #49 on: April 07, 2010, 05:56:06 PM »

Ya, he doesn't seem like a well-liked man among those who disagree with his ecclesiological theology.  I guess now they can have something else to disagree with as well.  Wink

Which is kind of sad, because he seems to be a very well-educated and pleasant man. I heard only good things from people who saw him in person and heard him talk. And I really enjoyed reading his catechism, except of course the fragment I quoted.

Then send a message to the Metropolitan first.  Perhaps he can clarify these teachings and let him know what you learned to be the correct Orthodox theology.
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« Reply #50 on: April 07, 2010, 09:10:03 PM »

Ya, he doesn't seem like a well-liked man among those who disagree with his ecclesiological theology.  I guess now they can have something else to disagree with as well.  Wink

Which is kind of sad, because he seems to be a very well-educated and pleasant man. I heard only good things from people who saw him in person and heard him talk. And I really enjoyed reading his catechism, except of course the fragment I quoted.

Then send a message to the Metropolitan first.  Perhaps he can clarify these teachings and let him know what you learned to be the correct Orthodox theology.

It might be salutary to consult a primary source before we take up pitchforks and storm this particular castle. The following is written by Metropolitan Hilarion himself. My comments are in blue.

"THE EUCHARIST

The Eucharist (Greek eucharistia, ‘thanksgiving’), or the sacrament of Holy Communion, is ‘the sacrament of sacraments’, ‘the mystery of mysteries’. The Eucharist has a central significance in the life of the Church and of every Christian. It is not merely one of many sacred actions or ‘a means of receiving grace’: it is the very heart of the Church, her foundation, without which the existence of the Church cannot be imagined. Anything amiss here?

The sacrament of the Eucharist was instituted by Christ at the Last Supper. The Last Supper of Christ with the disciples was, in its outward ritual, the traditional Jewish Paschal meal when the members of every family in Israel gathered to taste of the sacrificial lamb. This Supper was attended by Christ’s disciples: not His relatives in the flesh, but that family which would later grow into the Church. Instead of the lamb, Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice ‘like that of a lamb without blemish or spot’, ‘He was destined before the foundation of the world’ for the salvation of people (1 Peter 1:19-20). At the Last Supper Christ transformed the bread and wine into His Body and Blood, communicated the apostles and commanded them to celebrate this sacrament in remembrance of Him. After His death on the Cross and His Resurrection the disciples would gather on the first day of the week (the so called ‘day of the sun’, or Sunday) for the ‘breaking of bread’. I don't find this objectionable, do you?

Originally the Eucharist was a meal accompanied by readings from Scripture, a sermon and prayer. It would sometimes continue through the night. Gradually, as the Christian communities grew, the Eucharist was transformed from an evening supper to a divine service. Ditto!

The most ancient elements that constitute the Eucharistic rite are the reading from Holy Scripture, prayers for all of the people, the kiss of peace, thanksgiving to the Father (to which the people reply ‘Amen’), the fraction (breaking of bread), and Communion. In the early Church each community had its own Eucharist, but all of these elements were present in every eucharistic rite. The bishop’s prayer was originally improvised, and only later were the eucharistic prayers written down. In the early Church a multitude of eucharistic rites were used: they were called ‘Liturgies’ (Greek leitourgia means ‘common action’, ‘work’, ‘service’). Orthodox!

The eucharistic offering has the sense of a sacrifice in which Christ Himself is ‘the Offerer and the Offered, the Receiver and the Received’. Christ is the one true celebrant of the Eucharist: He is invisibly present in the church and acts through the priest. For Orthodox Christians the Eucharist is not merely a symbolic action performed in remembrance of the Mystical Supper; it is rather the Mystical Supper itself, renewed daily by Christ and continuing uninterruptedly in the Church from that Paschal night when Christ reclined at the table with His disciples. ‘Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, accept me this day as a partaker’, says the believer as he approaches Holy Communion. Orthodox!!!

The Orthodox Church believes that in the Eucharist the bread and wine become not only a symbol of Christ’s presence, but the real Body and Blood of Christ. This belief has been held in the Christian Church from the very beginning. Christ Himself says: ‘For My Flesh is food indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me, and I in him’ (John 6:55-56). No problemo!

The union of the believer with Christ in the Eucharist is not symbolic and figurative, but genuine, real and integral. As Christ suffuses the bread and wine with Himself, filling them with His divine presence, so He enters into the human person, filling his flesh and blood with His life-giving presence and divine energy. In the Eucharist we become of the same body with Christ, Who enters us as He entered the womb of the Virgin Mary. Our flesh in the Eucharist receives a leaven of incorruption, it becomes deified, and when it dies and becomes subject to corruption, this leaven becomes the pledge of its future resurrection. Amen!

Because of the Eucharist’s uniqueness the Church attaches to it a special significance in the cause of the salvation of humanity. Beyond the Eucharist there can be no salvation, no deification, no true life, no resurrection in eternity: ‘Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you; he who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day’ (John 6:53-54). Hence the church Fathers advise Christians never to decline the Eucharist and to take Communion as often as possible. ‘Endeavour to gather more often for the Eucharist and the glorification of God’, says St Ignatius of Antioch. The words from the Lord’s prayer ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ (Matt.6:11) were sometimes interpreted as a call to daily reception of the Eucharist. This may be somewhat controversial as some churches evidently do not practice frequent communion. I agree with the Metropolitan.

The Church reminds us that all those who approach Holy Communion must be ready to encounter Christ. Hence the necessity of proper preparation, which should not be limited to the reading of a certain number of prayers and abstinence from particular types of food. In the first instance readiness for Communion is conditioned by a pure conscience, the absence of enmity towards our neighbours or a grievance against anyone, by peace in our relationships with all people. Obstacles to Communion are particular grave sins committed by a person who should repent of them in confession. Orthodox aussi!

The contrition that comes from a sense of one’s own sinfulness is a necessary condition for Communion. This does not, however, prevent the Christian from receiving the Eucharist as a celebration of joy and thanksgiving. By its very nature the Eucharist is a solemn thanksgiving, fundamental to which is praise of God. Herein lies the paradox and mystery of the Eucharist: it has to be approached with both repentance and joy. With repentance from a sense of one’s unworthiness, and with joy at the fact that the Lord in the Eucharist cleanses, sanctifies and deifies the human person, renders him worthy in spite of his unworthiness. In the Eucharist not only the bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, but also the communicant himself is transformed from an old into a new person; he is freed from the burden of sin and illumined by divine light." Amen, amen and amen!

If I may appear a bit irreverent in my remarks, I assure you that I am and I did so to point out the silliness in relying on one fragment of a sentence before we form an opinion.
Source: http://en.hilarion.orthodoxia.org/5_1#EUCHARIST
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« Reply #51 on: April 07, 2010, 09:41:02 PM »

Ya, he doesn't seem like a well-liked man among those who disagree with his ecclesiological theology.  I guess now they can have something else to disagree with as well.  Wink

Which is kind of sad, because he seems to be a very well-educated and pleasant man. I heard only good things from people who saw him in person and heard him talk. And I really enjoyed reading his catechism, except of course the fragment I quoted.

Then send a message to the Metropolitan first.  Perhaps he can clarify these teachings and let him know what you learned to be the correct Orthodox theology.

It might be salutary to consult a primary source before we take up pitchforks and storm this particular castle. The following is written by Metropolitan Hilarion himself. My comments are in blue.

"THE EUCHARIST

The Eucharist (Greek eucharistia, ‘thanksgiving’), or the sacrament of Holy Communion, is ‘the sacrament of sacraments’, ‘the mystery of mysteries’. The Eucharist has a central significance in the life of the Church and of every Christian. It is not merely one of many sacred actions or ‘a means of receiving grace’: it is the very heart of the Church, her foundation, without which the existence of the Church cannot be imagined. Anything amiss here?

The sacrament of the Eucharist was instituted by Christ at the Last Supper. The Last Supper of Christ with the disciples was, in its outward ritual, the traditional Jewish Paschal meal when the members of every family in Israel gathered to taste of the sacrificial lamb. This Supper was attended by Christ’s disciples: not His relatives in the flesh, but that family which would later grow into the Church. Instead of the lamb, Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice ‘like that of a lamb without blemish or spot’, ‘He was destined before the foundation of the world’ for the salvation of people (1 Peter 1:19-20). At the Last Supper Christ transformed the bread and wine into His Body and Blood, communicated the apostles and commanded them to celebrate this sacrament in remembrance of Him. After His death on the Cross and His Resurrection the disciples would gather on the first day of the week (the so called ‘day of the sun’, or Sunday) for the ‘breaking of bread’. I don't find this objectionable, do you?

Originally the Eucharist was a meal accompanied by readings from Scripture, a sermon and prayer. It would sometimes continue through the night. Gradually, as the Christian communities grew, the Eucharist was transformed from an evening supper to a divine service. Ditto!

The most ancient elements that constitute the Eucharistic rite are the reading from Holy Scripture, prayers for all of the people, the kiss of peace, thanksgiving to the Father (to which the people reply ‘Amen’), the fraction (breaking of bread), and Communion. In the early Church each community had its own Eucharist, but all of these elements were present in every eucharistic rite. The bishop’s prayer was originally improvised, and only later were the eucharistic prayers written down. In the early Church a multitude of eucharistic rites were used: they were called ‘Liturgies’ (Greek leitourgia means ‘common action’, ‘work’, ‘service’). Orthodox!

The eucharistic offering has the sense of a sacrifice in which Christ Himself is ‘the Offerer and the Offered, the Receiver and the Received’. Christ is the one true celebrant of the Eucharist: He is invisibly present in the church and acts through the priest. For Orthodox Christians the Eucharist is not merely a symbolic action performed in remembrance of the Mystical Supper; it is rather the Mystical Supper itself, renewed daily by Christ and continuing uninterruptedly in the Church from that Paschal night when Christ reclined at the table with His disciples. ‘Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, accept me this day as a partaker’, says the believer as he approaches Holy Communion. Orthodox!!!

The Orthodox Church believes that in the Eucharist the bread and wine become not only a symbol of Christ’s presence, but the real Body and Blood of Christ. This belief has been held in the Christian Church from the very beginning. Christ Himself says: ‘For My Flesh is food indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me, and I in him’ (John 6:55-56). No problemo!

The union of the believer with Christ in the Eucharist is not symbolic and figurative, but genuine, real and integral. As Christ suffuses the bread and wine with Himself, filling them with His divine presence, so He enters into the human person, filling his flesh and blood with His life-giving presence and divine energy. In the Eucharist we become of the same body with Christ, Who enters us as He entered the womb of the Virgin Mary. Our flesh in the Eucharist receives a leaven of incorruption, it becomes deified, and when it dies and becomes subject to corruption, this leaven becomes the pledge of its future resurrection. Amen!

Because of the Eucharist’s uniqueness the Church attaches to it a special significance in the cause of the salvation of humanity. Beyond the Eucharist there can be no salvation, no deification, no true life, no resurrection in eternity: ‘Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you; he who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day’ (John 6:53-54). Hence the church Fathers advise Christians never to decline the Eucharist and to take Communion as often as possible. ‘Endeavour to gather more often for the Eucharist and the glorification of God’, says St Ignatius of Antioch. The words from the Lord’s prayer ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ (Matt.6:11) were sometimes interpreted as a call to daily reception of the Eucharist. This may be somewhat controversial as some churches evidently do not practice frequent communion. I agree with the Metropolitan.

The Church reminds us that all those who approach Holy Communion must be ready to encounter Christ. Hence the necessity of proper preparation, which should not be limited to the reading of a certain number of prayers and abstinence from particular types of food. In the first instance readiness for Communion is conditioned by a pure conscience, the absence of enmity towards our neighbours or a grievance against anyone, by peace in our relationships with all people. Obstacles to Communion are particular grave sins committed by a person who should repent of them in confession. Orthodox aussi!

The contrition that comes from a sense of one’s own sinfulness is a necessary condition for Communion. This does not, however, prevent the Christian from receiving the Eucharist as a celebration of joy and thanksgiving. By its very nature the Eucharist is a solemn thanksgiving, fundamental to which is praise of God. Herein lies the paradox and mystery of the Eucharist: it has to be approached with both repentance and joy. With repentance from a sense of one’s unworthiness, and with joy at the fact that the Lord in the Eucharist cleanses, sanctifies and deifies the human person, renders him worthy in spite of his unworthiness. In the Eucharist not only the bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, but also the communicant himself is transformed from an old into a new person; he is freed from the burden of sin and illumined by divine light." Amen, amen and amen!

If I may appear a bit irreverent in my remarks, I assure you that I am and I did so to point out the silliness in relying on one fragment of a sentence before we form an opinion.
Source: http://en.hilarion.orthodoxia.org/5_1#EUCHARIST

My point was that in his catechism, Metr. Hilarion talks about the resurrected body of a human being as something immaterial, rid of matter, or not made of matter (H, He, Na, Ca, Si, C, O, N, P, S, protons, electrons, electron orbitals, mesons, gluons etc.). If he is right, than matter as we know it will not be saved.
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« Reply #52 on: April 07, 2010, 10:59:38 PM »

That matter is saved is an important dogma of the Church.  We still struggle with Origenism in theological writings.  What a shame.   As for the op...

"My flesh is food indeed..." In other words, it is not given as cannibalistic flesh, but as food--the true Body of the Bread of life "as food for the faithful."  Thus, it appears as bread, not as an accident upon its being changed.  Rather, it is common bread that has truly been changed into and become the Bread of Life.  Christ is risen!
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« Reply #53 on: April 07, 2010, 11:07:17 PM »

The Vigil for the coming feast of Thomas' Sunday has quite a bit to say about Christ's resurrected body:

From Vespers:

When the doors were shut, You came, O Christ to your Disciples. Thomas, by divine dispensation, was not with them then; for he said ‘I will not believe, unless I too see the Master; see the side from which came the blood, the water, baptism; see the wound by which the deep wound, humanity, was healed; see that He was not like some spirit, but flesh and bones’. O Lord who trampled on death, and satisfied Thomas, glory to You.

From the Litia:

O Lord, when doors were shut You came in the unbearable blaze of Your Godhead, and standing among Your Disciples You bared Your side. You showed them the scars of the wounds in Your hands and feet, and banishing their dejection You cried out clearly: ‘The way You see me, my friends, I bear, not a spirit’s nature, but the flesh which I assumed’. To the doubting Disciple, ‘you were ready to handle Me with dread’, He said, ‘you investigate all things, come then, do not hesitate’. But he, sensing with his hand Your double being, with fear cried out in faith: ‘My Lord and my God, glory to You.’

From Matins:
Ode 6:

The Saviour said, ‘Handle Me and see that I have bones and flesh. I am not changed’.

Exaposteilarion:

Having examined the wounds in My limbs with your hand, Thomas, do not doubt Me, who was wounded for you. Be of one mind with the Disciples and proclaim a living God.

From the Praises:

After Your dread Rising from the tomb, O Giver of life, just as You did not break the seals of the grave, O Christ, so You came when the doors were shut to Your all-famed Apostles, filling them with joy, and at once You gave them Your Spirit, in Your measureless mercy.

‘As you wish, handle Me’, Christ cried to Thomas. ‘Put in your hand and know that I have bones and an earthly body; and do not be unbelieving, but believe like the rest’. But he cried out, ‘You are my Lord and my God; glory to Your Rising’.

As I allus' say, look at the Church's hymnody for the answers to many questions.
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« Reply #54 on: April 08, 2010, 02:09:30 AM »

Ya, he doesn't seem like a well-liked man among those who disagree with his ecclesiological theology.  I guess now they can have something else to disagree with as well.  Wink

Which is kind of sad, because he seems to be a very well-educated and pleasant man. I heard only good things from people who saw him in person and heard him talk. And I really enjoyed reading his catechism, except of course the fragment I quoted.

Then send a message to the Metropolitan first.  Perhaps he can clarify these teachings and let him know what you learned to be the correct Orthodox theology.

It might be salutary to consult a primary source before we take up pitchforks and storm this particular castle. The following is written by Metropolitan Hilarion himself. My comments are in blue.

"THE EUCHARIST

The Eucharist (Greek eucharistia, ‘thanksgiving’), or the sacrament of Holy Communion, is ‘the sacrament of sacraments’, ‘the mystery of mysteries’. The Eucharist has a central significance in the life of the Church and of every Christian. It is not merely one of many sacred actions or ‘a means of receiving grace’: it is the very heart of the Church, her foundation, without which the existence of the Church cannot be imagined. Anything amiss here?

The sacrament of the Eucharist was instituted by Christ at the Last Supper. The Last Supper of Christ with the disciples was, in its outward ritual, the traditional Jewish Paschal meal when the members of every family in Israel gathered to taste of the sacrificial lamb. This Supper was attended by Christ’s disciples: not His relatives in the flesh, but that family which would later grow into the Church. Instead of the lamb, Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice ‘like that of a lamb without blemish or spot’, ‘He was destined before the foundation of the world’ for the salvation of people (1 Peter 1:19-20). At the Last Supper Christ transformed the bread and wine into His Body and Blood, communicated the apostles and commanded them to celebrate this sacrament in remembrance of Him. After His death on the Cross and His Resurrection the disciples would gather on the first day of the week (the so called ‘day of the sun’, or Sunday) for the ‘breaking of bread’. I don't find this objectionable, do you?

Originally the Eucharist was a meal accompanied by readings from Scripture, a sermon and prayer. It would sometimes continue through the night. Gradually, as the Christian communities grew, the Eucharist was transformed from an evening supper to a divine service. Ditto!

The most ancient elements that constitute the Eucharistic rite are the reading from Holy Scripture, prayers for all of the people, the kiss of peace, thanksgiving to the Father (to which the people reply ‘Amen’), the fraction (breaking of bread), and Communion. In the early Church each community had its own Eucharist, but all of these elements were present in every eucharistic rite. The bishop’s prayer was originally improvised, and only later were the eucharistic prayers written down. In the early Church a multitude of eucharistic rites were used: they were called ‘Liturgies’ (Greek leitourgia means ‘common action’, ‘work’, ‘service’). Orthodox!

The eucharistic offering has the sense of a sacrifice in which Christ Himself is ‘the Offerer and the Offered, the Receiver and the Received’. Christ is the one true celebrant of the Eucharist: He is invisibly present in the church and acts through the priest. For Orthodox Christians the Eucharist is not merely a symbolic action performed in remembrance of the Mystical Supper; it is rather the Mystical Supper itself, renewed daily by Christ and continuing uninterruptedly in the Church from that Paschal night when Christ reclined at the table with His disciples. ‘Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, accept me this day as a partaker’, says the believer as he approaches Holy Communion. Orthodox!!!

The Orthodox Church believes that in the Eucharist the bread and wine become not only a symbol of Christ’s presence, but the real Body and Blood of Christ. This belief has been held in the Christian Church from the very beginning. Christ Himself says: ‘For My Flesh is food indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me, and I in him’ (John 6:55-56). No problemo!

The union of the believer with Christ in the Eucharist is not symbolic and figurative, but genuine, real and integral. As Christ suffuses the bread and wine with Himself, filling them with His divine presence, so He enters into the human person, filling his flesh and blood with His life-giving presence and divine energy. In the Eucharist we become of the same body with Christ, Who enters us as He entered the womb of the Virgin Mary. Our flesh in the Eucharist receives a leaven of incorruption, it becomes deified, and when it dies and becomes subject to corruption, this leaven becomes the pledge of its future resurrection. Amen!

Because of the Eucharist’s uniqueness the Church attaches to it a special significance in the cause of the salvation of humanity. Beyond the Eucharist there can be no salvation, no deification, no true life, no resurrection in eternity: ‘Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you; he who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day’ (John 6:53-54). Hence the church Fathers advise Christians never to decline the Eucharist and to take Communion as often as possible. ‘Endeavour to gather more often for the Eucharist and the glorification of God’, says St Ignatius of Antioch. The words from the Lord’s prayer ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ (Matt.6:11) were sometimes interpreted as a call to daily reception of the Eucharist. This may be somewhat controversial as some churches evidently do not practice frequent communion. I agree with the Metropolitan.

The Church reminds us that all those who approach Holy Communion must be ready to encounter Christ. Hence the necessity of proper preparation, which should not be limited to the reading of a certain number of prayers and abstinence from particular types of food. In the first instance readiness for Communion is conditioned by a pure conscience, the absence of enmity towards our neighbours or a grievance against anyone, by peace in our relationships with all people. Obstacles to Communion are particular grave sins committed by a person who should repent of them in confession. Orthodox aussi!

The contrition that comes from a sense of one’s own sinfulness is a necessary condition for Communion. This does not, however, prevent the Christian from receiving the Eucharist as a celebration of joy and thanksgiving. By its very nature the Eucharist is a solemn thanksgiving, fundamental to which is praise of God. Herein lies the paradox and mystery of the Eucharist: it has to be approached with both repentance and joy. With repentance from a sense of one’s unworthiness, and with joy at the fact that the Lord in the Eucharist cleanses, sanctifies and deifies the human person, renders him worthy in spite of his unworthiness. In the Eucharist not only the bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, but also the communicant himself is transformed from an old into a new person; he is freed from the burden of sin and illumined by divine light." Amen, amen and amen!

If I may appear a bit irreverent in my remarks, I assure you that I am and I did so to point out the silliness in relying on one fragment of a sentence before we form an opinion.
Source: http://en.hilarion.orthodoxia.org/5_1#EUCHARIST

I found nothing wrong with that article, but that doesn't answer the question.  The question is what does His Eminence believe the flesh and blood of Christ to be?  Is it immaterial?  Are we going to rise up from the dead immaterial?  If that's what he believes, then I think that's a very serious issue.  We believe, we will rise up with the same flesh as before, and that the Christ risen now is still consubstantial with us now, only in a much more transcendent human nature than before.
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« Reply #55 on: April 08, 2010, 08:30:57 AM »

That matter is saved is an important dogma of the Church.  We still struggle with Origenism in theological writings.  What a shame. 

So, the body Jesus Christ have now contains quarks, electrons, protons, neutrons, H, Na, Ca, P, S, H2O, C6H12O6, amino acids, fatty acids, mitochondria, ribosomes, phospholipid bilayers, ion channels, solute transporters, etc.?

Or it doesn't?

Unless the Church answers this in a straightforward fashion, the struggle you mention will continue and Origenism will prevail. Especially since the history of anti-Origenist anaphemas is pretty dark and political. Sad
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« Reply #56 on: April 08, 2010, 08:34:11 AM »

As I allus' say, look at the Church's hymnody for the answers to many questions.

But just recently, I asked this question, are there elementary particles in the body Jesus Christ has today, and one of our most erudite posters, Witega, immediately said that it is unknown... Why is it unknown?
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« Reply #57 on: April 08, 2010, 10:03:14 AM »

Ya, he doesn't seem like a well-liked man among those who disagree with his ecclesiological theology.  I guess now they can have something else to disagree with as well.  Wink

Which is kind of sad, because he seems to be a very well-educated and pleasant man. I heard only good things from people who saw him in person and heard him talk. And I really enjoyed reading his catechism, except of course the fragment I quoted.

Then send a message to the Metropolitan first.  Perhaps he can clarify these teachings and let him know what you learned to be the correct Orthodox theology.

It might be salutary to consult a primary source before we take up pitchforks and storm this particular castle. The following is written by Metropolitan Hilarion himself. My comments are in blue.

"THE EUCHARIST

The Eucharist (Greek eucharistia, ‘thanksgiving’), or the sacrament of Holy Communion, is ‘the sacrament of sacraments’, ‘the mystery of mysteries’. The Eucharist has a central significance in the life of the Church and of every Christian. It is not merely one of many sacred actions or ‘a means of receiving grace’: it is the very heart of the Church, her foundation, without which the existence of the Church cannot be imagined. Anything amiss here?

The sacrament of the Eucharist was instituted by Christ at the Last Supper. The Last Supper of Christ with the disciples was, in its outward ritual, the traditional Jewish Paschal meal when the members of every family in Israel gathered to taste of the sacrificial lamb. This Supper was attended by Christ’s disciples: not His relatives in the flesh, but that family which would later grow into the Church. Instead of the lamb, Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice ‘like that of a lamb without blemish or spot’, ‘He was destined before the foundation of the world’ for the salvation of people (1 Peter 1:19-20). At the Last Supper Christ transformed the bread and wine into His Body and Blood, communicated the apostles and commanded them to celebrate this sacrament in remembrance of Him. After His death on the Cross and His Resurrection the disciples would gather on the first day of the week (the so called ‘day of the sun’, or Sunday) for the ‘breaking of bread’. I don't find this objectionable, do you?

Originally the Eucharist was a meal accompanied by readings from Scripture, a sermon and prayer. It would sometimes continue through the night. Gradually, as the Christian communities grew, the Eucharist was transformed from an evening supper to a divine service. Ditto!

The most ancient elements that constitute the Eucharistic rite are the reading from Holy Scripture, prayers for all of the people, the kiss of peace, thanksgiving to the Father (to which the people reply ‘Amen’), the fraction (breaking of bread), and Communion. In the early Church each community had its own Eucharist, but all of these elements were present in every eucharistic rite. The bishop’s prayer was originally improvised, and only later were the eucharistic prayers written down. In the early Church a multitude of eucharistic rites were used: they were called ‘Liturgies’ (Greek leitourgia means ‘common action’, ‘work’, ‘service’). Orthodox!

The eucharistic offering has the sense of a sacrifice in which Christ Himself is ‘the Offerer and the Offered, the Receiver and the Received’. Christ is the one true celebrant of the Eucharist: He is invisibly present in the church and acts through the priest. For Orthodox Christians the Eucharist is not merely a symbolic action performed in remembrance of the Mystical Supper; it is rather the Mystical Supper itself, renewed daily by Christ and continuing uninterruptedly in the Church from that Paschal night when Christ reclined at the table with His disciples. ‘Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, accept me this day as a partaker’, says the believer as he approaches Holy Communion. Orthodox!!!

The Orthodox Church believes that in the Eucharist the bread and wine become not only a symbol of Christ’s presence, but the real Body and Blood of Christ. This belief has been held in the Christian Church from the very beginning. Christ Himself says: ‘For My Flesh is food indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me, and I in him’ (John 6:55-56). No problemo!

The union of the believer with Christ in the Eucharist is not symbolic and figurative, but genuine, real and integral. As Christ suffuses the bread and wine with Himself, filling them with His divine presence, so He enters into the human person, filling his flesh and blood with His life-giving presence and divine energy. In the Eucharist we become of the same body with Christ, Who enters us as He entered the womb of the Virgin Mary. Our flesh in the Eucharist receives a leaven of incorruption, it becomes deified, and when it dies and becomes subject to corruption, this leaven becomes the pledge of its future resurrection. Amen!

Because of the Eucharist’s uniqueness the Church attaches to it a special significance in the cause of the salvation of humanity. Beyond the Eucharist there can be no salvation, no deification, no true life, no resurrection in eternity: ‘Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you; he who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day’ (John 6:53-54). Hence the church Fathers advise Christians never to decline the Eucharist and to take Communion as often as possible. ‘Endeavour to gather more often for the Eucharist and the glorification of God’, says St Ignatius of Antioch. The words from the Lord’s prayer ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ (Matt.6:11) were sometimes interpreted as a call to daily reception of the Eucharist. This may be somewhat controversial as some churches evidently do not practice frequent communion. I agree with the Metropolitan.

The Church reminds us that all those who approach Holy Communion must be ready to encounter Christ. Hence the necessity of proper preparation, which should not be limited to the reading of a certain number of prayers and abstinence from particular types of food. In the first instance readiness for Communion is conditioned by a pure conscience, the absence of enmity towards our neighbours or a grievance against anyone, by peace in our relationships with all people. Obstacles to Communion are particular grave sins committed by a person who should repent of them in confession. Orthodox aussi!

The contrition that comes from a sense of one’s own sinfulness is a necessary condition for Communion. This does not, however, prevent the Christian from receiving the Eucharist as a celebration of joy and thanksgiving. By its very nature the Eucharist is a solemn thanksgiving, fundamental to which is praise of God. Herein lies the paradox and mystery of the Eucharist: it has to be approached with both repentance and joy. With repentance from a sense of one’s unworthiness, and with joy at the fact that the Lord in the Eucharist cleanses, sanctifies and deifies the human person, renders him worthy in spite of his unworthiness. In the Eucharist not only the bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, but also the communicant himself is transformed from an old into a new person; he is freed from the burden of sin and illumined by divine light." Amen, amen and amen!

If I may appear a bit irreverent in my remarks, I assure you that I am and I did so to point out the silliness in relying on one fragment of a sentence before we form an opinion.
Source: http://en.hilarion.orthodoxia.org/5_1#EUCHARIST

My point was that in his catechism, Metr. Hilarion talks about the resurrected body of a human being as something immaterial, rid of matter, or not made of matter (H, He, Na, Ca, Si, C, O, N, P, S, protons, electrons, electron orbitals, mesons, gluons etc.). If he is right, than matter as we know it will not be saved.

Well, I am a few months short of Medicare eligibility so I am not as sharp as I used to be. I cannot find where in the English version of his catechism (see my link above) Metropolitan Hilarion has written what you claim he did. Can you help me out please?

However, I think it is essentially a scholastic argument that we are entertaining here. Metropolitan Hilarion, along with countless other Orthodox theologians, has defined the Eucharist as a mystery and affirmed the real presence of Christ in complete consonance with the words of Christ himself. I fail to see how one can further explore this mystery, how one can rationalize it and subject it to scientific analysis.

BTW, it may help to once again refer to the institution of this mystery. At the Last Supper, Jesus is physically present and specifically designates bread as His body and wine as His blood. Look at this another way--and I apologize for being gross: he did not slice off a piece of his body and opened up his veins. So, it was mystery then and so it is now. We should accept this in faith and quit speculating.

Bottom line: does it really matter if our resurrected body is of one sort or another? If we are a lamb, we will be so happy that we will not care or may be not even notice. Conversely, if we are a goat, we will be so sad and so much in pain that we will also not care.
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« Reply #58 on: April 08, 2010, 10:41:49 AM »

^^^In the chapter titled, "Death and resurrection":

"According to many church Fathers, the new body will be immaterial and incorruptible, like the body of Christ after His resurrection. However, as St Gregory of Nyssa points out, there will still be an affinity between a person’s new immaterial body and the one he had possessed in his earthly life."

In the Russian version, as I quoted, this notion of "immateriality" is even more strongly emphasized, and there is no "according to many" part - the immateriality is presented as an axiom.

Why analyze this, well... Like I said, in my home country, Ukraine, from among the people whom I know and who think they are Orthodox or Eastern Rite Catholic, virtually no one will agree that we will rise in our own material bodies. Also no one agrees that Christ ascended into Heaven as a human being who had material body. When I say this, people invariably react to this, "he must be completely crazy, nuts, an imbecile who just discredits the Church by selling some nutty ideas as the teaching of the Church. The Church simply cannot teach that material body of Christ flew up into the sky. The Church simply cannot teach that we will be in heaven or in hell having eyes, eyebrows, hands, fingernails, intestines etc. The Church simply cannot teach that the matter of the bread that we swallow during the Eucharist is the matter of Christ's body (i.e. of His fat? lard? hair? toenails?). The Church simply cannot teach that the wine we swallow during the Eucharist is a true human blood, because it is enough to look at it for a split second under the microscope to be convinced that it does not have red and white blood cells or platelets. So, the guy is nuts." And people continue to believe that Christ was man only when He walked on earth, but right now He is only God. And the pure immaterial souls of the righteous are in Heaven and will remain there, while the bad souls of sinners are being tormented in hell, and will be.
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« Reply #59 on: April 08, 2010, 10:59:18 AM »

^

Thank you so much for the reference. I got a different take than you did. It seems to me that Metropolitan Hilarion's main emphasis is not in what the resurrected body will be but on what it will not. I am citing a larger context and bolding the relevant words.

"According to many church Fathers, the new body will be immaterial and incorruptible, like the body of Christ after His resurrection. However, as St Gregory of Nyssa points out, there will still be an affinity between a person’s new immaterial body and the one he had possessed in his earthly life. Gregory sees the proof of this in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus: the former would not have recognized the latter in Hell if no physical characteristics remained that allowed people to identify each other. There is what Gregory calls the ‘seal’ of the former body imprinted on every soul. The appearance of one’s new incorruptible body will in a fashion resemble the old material body. It is also maintained by St Gregory that the incorruptible body after the resurrection will bear none of the marks of corruption that characterized the material body, such as mutilation, aging, and so on.
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« Reply #60 on: April 08, 2010, 11:24:01 AM »

That matter is saved is an important dogma of the Church.  We still struggle with Origenism in theological writings.  What a shame.  
So, the body Jesus Christ have now contains quarks, electrons, protons, neutrons, H, Na, Ca, P, S, H2O, C6H12O6, amino acids, fatty acids, mitochondria, ribosomes, phospholipid bilayers, ion channels, solute transporters, etc.?

Yes, it contains quarks, electrons, protons, neutrons, etc.   You are correct, Heorhij, in pointing out errors in such writings.   St. John of Damascus points out that even the created spirits (angels, human souls), although we call them "incorporeal" and "immaterial," yet we are doing so only with reference to the body which is "dense matter."   "For in reality only the Deity is immaterial and incorporeal" (On the Orthodox Faith 2.3).

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« Reply #61 on: April 08, 2010, 11:31:09 AM »

As I allus' say, look at the Church's hymnody for the answers to many questions.

But just recently, I asked this question, are there elementary particles in the body Jesus Christ has today, and one of our most erudite posters, Witega, immediately said that it is unknown... Why is it unknown?

It is not unknown.  The answer is yes.  It is truly His "flesh and bones" truly and fully deified without change in essence (i.e. material).  This is at the very heart of the Christological controversies and the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils.   The 7th Council reasoned that Christ can be depicted in icons because in His human nature He is circumscribed--his body is material.   
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« Reply #62 on: April 08, 2010, 11:45:25 AM »

That matter is saved is an important dogma of the Church.  We still struggle with Origenism in theological writings.  What a shame.  
So, the body Jesus Christ have now contains quarks, electrons, protons, neutrons, H, Na, Ca, P, S, H2O, C6H12O6, amino acids, fatty acids, mitochondria, ribosomes, phospholipid bilayers, ion channels, solute transporters, etc.?

Yes, it contains quarks, electrons, protons, neutrons, etc.   You are correct, Heorhij, in pointing out errors in such writings.   St. John of Damascus points out that even the created spirits (angels, human souls), although we call them "incorporeal" and "immaterial," yet we are doing so only with reference to the body which is "dense matter."   "For in reality only the Deity is immaterial and incorporeal" (On the Orthodox Faith 2.3).



Speaking of St. John of Damascus, he also writes that right now, Christ is BODILY sitting on a throne in heaven. But one can read on the official OCA web page that "is seated on the right hand of the Father" does NOT mean that Christ is literally sitting on a literal throne.. (I'll find the link if people want me to)
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« Reply #63 on: April 08, 2010, 11:46:29 AM »

As I allus' say, look at the Church's hymnody for the answers to many questions.

But just recently, I asked this question, are there elementary particles in the body Jesus Christ has today, and one of our most erudite posters, Witega, immediately said that it is unknown... Why is it unknown?

It is not unknown.  The answer is yes.  It is truly His "flesh and bones" truly and fully deified without change in essence (i.e. material).  This is at the very heart of the Christological controversies and the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils.   The 7th Council reasoned that Christ can be depicted in icons because in His human nature He is circumscribed--his body is material.   


Then why does a high-positioned Orthodox bishop write that His body after resurrection is immaterial and our risen bodies will be immaterial?
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« Reply #64 on: April 08, 2010, 12:04:53 PM »

Then why does a high-positioned Orthodox bishop write that His body after resurrection is immaterial and our risen bodies will be immaterial?

It's quite clear from the extended quote that His Eminence is merely reporting the various teachings of the Church Fathers. Reading the full quote, I am reminded that St. Gregory of Nyssa did indeed speculate on these things more than others, and he did so from within the most advanced scientific consensus of his time, which held that there was such a thing as ethereal or light or less-mattery matter.

The body, according to late antique science, was made of heavy, gooey, coarse material, but was pervious to the light, refined, rarefied matter that interpenetrated it and the cosmos. Nowadays, we actually believe something similar -- that little atoms of a wide variety enter into our bodies through our pores, our nostrils, our mouths, and, eventually replace the atoms that had previously constituted our bodies -- we just don't think there's any elemental difference between one category and the other.

Even in late antique cosmology, though, rarified matter is still a "thing" of this universe, so the spiritual body is likewise a "thing" -- just a better thing.
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« Reply #65 on: April 08, 2010, 12:30:13 PM »

I do not read Russian and so am restricted to the English translation of The Mystery of Faith, but I am quite sure that Archbishop Hilarion's intentions regarding the assertion of the immateriality of the resurrected body have been misunderstood by Heorhij.  In fact, the Archbishop devotes very little attention in his book to the resurrection of Jesus and the nature of resurrection bodies.  This might be appropriately judged a weakness of his book, but of course an author can only say so much in any given volume.  Hilarion does not define for us precisely what he means by "immateriality," though he does, as already noted, state that "the incorruptible body after the resurrection will bear none of the marks of corruption that characterized the material body, such as mutilation, aging, and so on."  Clearly, he is attempting to assert the mystery of continuity and discontinuity that characterizes the resurrection of Christ (and of our future resurrection):  Jesus was not resuscitated; he was raised to a transformed, eschatological mode of existence about which we can speak very little.  Why can we speak very little about it?  Because the general resurrection has not yet happened!  Ask any physicist what matter is, and he will hem and haw.  We think we know what matter is, but in fact scientists find it very difficult to speak about it.  How much more difficult must it be for us, on this side of the resurrection, to speak about matter in the life of the world to come.  It is silly and unwise to pretend to a scientific knowledge of the Eschaton we do not presently have.

Does Hilarion believe that our corporeality is transformed and transfigured in the resurrection?  Yes!  He addresses this directly in chapter ten, "Deification," where he clearly affirms that our bodies participate in theosis, including the final transfiguration (p. 192).  

It's all mystery.  We can identify the boundaries of this mystery.  We can identify the beliefs that distort and misrepresent the mystery, but the mystery itself must be respected.      

      
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« Reply #66 on: April 08, 2010, 12:50:59 PM »


Speaking of St. John of Damascus, he also writes that right now, Christ is BODILY sitting on a throne in heaven. But one can read on the official OCA web page that "is seated on the right hand of the Father" does NOT mean that Christ is literally sitting on a literal throne.. (I'll find the link if people want me to)

Here is what St John of Damascus writes:
Quote
We hold, moreover, that Christ sits in the body at the right hand of God the Father, but we do not hold that the right hand of the Father is actual place. For how could He that is uncircumscribed have a right hand limited by place? Right hands and left hands belong to what is circumscribed. But we understand the right hand of the Father to be the glory and honour of the Godhead in which the Son of God, who existed as God before the ages, and is of like essence to the Father, and in the end became flesh, has a seat in the body, His flesh sharing in the glory. For He along with His flesh is adored with one adoration by all creation.

What is important to not here is the dual insistence that Christ is bodily risen and that his body transcends spatial location.  Here is mystery.  The only way to speak of this mystery is by way of paradox and metaphor. 

It should be noted that the Western tradition differs from the Eastern tradition precisely on this point.  From Augustine on, Western theologians have generally accepted the view that our Lord's resurrected body is spatially located in Heaven. The challenge then becomes how do we explain the presence of his Body and Blood in the Eucharist.  How do we overcome the spatial barriers?  The medieval teaching of Transubstantiation sought to provide an answer.  Martin Luther broke with the Western tradition and rejected the idea that Heaven may be thought of as a "place." 

For a 20th century Orthodox discussion of these matters, I recommend Sergius Bulgakov's essay "The Eucharistic Dogma," published in The Holy Grail and the Eucharist
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« Reply #67 on: April 08, 2010, 02:02:53 PM »

I do not read Russian and so am restricted to the English translation of The Mystery of Faith, but I am quite sure that Archbishop Hilarion's intentions regarding the assertion of the immateriality of the resurrected body have been misunderstood by Heorhij.  In fact, the Archbishop devotes very little attention in his book to the resurrection of Jesus and the nature of resurrection bodies.  This might be appropriately judged a weakness of his book, but of course an author can only say so much in any given volume.  Hilarion does not define for us precisely what he means by "immateriality," though he does, as already noted, state that "the incorruptible body after the resurrection will bear none of the marks of corruption that characterized the material body, such as mutilation, aging, and so on."  Clearly, he is attempting to assert the mystery of continuity and discontinuity that characterizes the resurrection of Christ (and of our future resurrection):  Jesus was not resuscitated; he was raised to a transformed, eschatological mode of existence about which we can speak very little.  Why can we speak very little about it?  Because the general resurrection has not yet happened!  Ask any physicist what matter is, and he will hem and haw.

I don't think that this "hemming and hawing" is so hopeless. We know something about matter. In fact, all the "positive" (empirical) knowledge we have is the knowledge about matter, because non-material things cannot be known through our sensory organs. So, we have learned that there exist chemical elements (hydrogen, helium, sodium, potassium, oxygen etc.), each element consisting of atoms with a unique positive charge (number of protons). Atoms form chemical bonds with each other, creating molecules (water, acids, bases, salts, glucose, amino acids, lipids, proteins etc.). We - I mean those of us who believe in God - believe that this is what God made, and that this is by itself "very good" (Genesis 1:31). Will all that be replaced by something entirely different in resurrected bodies? Why should it be? And why, then, early Fathers (St. John Chrysostomos for example) were so strong, so big on insisting that the resurrected body will be the SAME in terms of its "essence," just incorruptible? St. Gregory of Nyssa even speaks about God gathering the "stikhia" of our bodies (which St. Gregory understood as particles of water, earth, air and fire - but we now understand as molecules and atoms). I dunno, I am not a theologian but I just cannot but notice that Met. +HILARION's term "immaterial" is in sharp contrast with St. John and St. Gregory. (And again, like I said, in the Russian version of his book he does not write that the risen body will be immaterial according to some Fathers - he just plainly states, as an axiom, that it will not be made of matter, period. Believe me, I was born and raised in the former USSR and Russian together with Ukrainian is my first language; I know all the tiniest nuances of it.)
  
It's all mystery.  We can identify the boundaries of this mystery.  We can identify the beliefs that distort and misrepresent the mystery, but the mystery itself must be respected.  

But there is subjectivism also. I agree about respect, but if we cannot clearly say even such a basic thing as whether or not God saves matter, whether or not matter (any matter!) will be even present in the risen bodies - then any person can create his or her own eschatology. I happen to know one person who very seriously says, for example, that our risen bodies, being purely spiritual, will not have any size or shape or any outward appearance known by senses. Pure Origenism? Yes, but he adds: read holy Fathers and show me in them, where exactly do they say anything about God saving matter, transforming electrons or protons, etc.? Nowhere. So, we will see contours of each other exclusively due to the beautific vision. No matter will be present in the Kingdom of God, no borders, shapes, sizes, weights, lengths, minutes, hours, notheing. Pure Spirit. Smiley    
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« Reply #68 on: April 08, 2010, 02:44:52 PM »

Dogmatic Horos of the 6th Ecumenical Council:

"For as his most holy and immaculate animated flesh was not destroyed because it was deified but continued in its own state and nature, so also his human will, although deified, was not suppressed, but was rather preserved according to the saying of Gregory Theologus: 'His will [i.e., the Saviour's] is not contrary to God but altogether deified.'"   
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« Reply #69 on: April 08, 2010, 02:50:52 PM »

5th Ecumenical Council:

"IF anyone shall say that the future judgment signifies the destruction of the body and that the end of the story will be an immaterial [body], and that thereafter there will no longer be any matter, but only spirit: let him be anathema."  (Anathema 11 against Origen)

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« Reply #70 on: April 08, 2010, 03:23:21 PM »

Dogmatic Horos of the 6th Ecumenical Council:

"For as his most holy and immaculate animated flesh was not destroyed because it was deified but continued in its own state and nature, so also his human will, although deified, was not suppressed, but was rather preserved according to the saying of Gregory Theologus: 'His will [i.e., the Saviour's] is not contrary to God but altogether deified.'"   

On this Metr. Hilarion's defenders might say, but just what IS this true "state and nature?" Maybe it is not atoms of hydrogen or sodium with their protons and neutrons and electrons? See, Akimel even claims that physicists do not know what matter is...
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« Reply #71 on: April 08, 2010, 03:25:32 PM »

5th Ecumenical Council:

"IF anyone shall say that the future judgment signifies the destruction of the body and that the end of the story will be an immaterial [body], and that thereafter there will no longer be any matter, but only spirit: let him be anathema."  (Anathema 11 against Origen)



I heard from some Ukrainian Eastern Rite Catholics who call me a degenerate perverter of the true teaching of the Church (because I am a "materialist") that these so-called anathemas against Origen, written centuries after Origen's death, were not even discussed by the Council but added to the proceedings of the Council because emperor Justinian hated Origen... Some people do not want to consider these anathemas as reflections of the Church's teaching.
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« Reply #72 on: April 08, 2010, 03:29:23 PM »

Dogmatic Horos of the 6th Ecumenical Council:

"For as his most holy and immaculate animated flesh was not destroyed because it was deified but continued in its own state and nature, so also his human will, although deified, was not suppressed, but was rather preserved according to the saying of Gregory Theologus: 'His will [i.e., the Saviour's] is not contrary to God but altogether deified.'"   

On this Metr. Hilarion's defenders might say, but just what IS this true "state and nature?" Maybe it is not atoms of hydrogen or sodium with their protons and neutrons and electrons? See, Akimel even claims that physicists do not know what matter is...

That's right.  We don't know really what either matter or energy is.  We talk a great deal about how it behaves and how to measure how it behaves but have precious nothing to say about what either one 'is'...

In that light Met. Hilarion is simply saying that the body won't be what we know of it today.  The material world we experience won't be what we experience of it today...period.  And in just that much...he is correct.  And so I still don't see what all this is about...

EM
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« Reply #73 on: April 08, 2010, 03:39:08 PM »

Dogmatic Horos of the 6th Ecumenical Council:

"For as his most holy and immaculate animated flesh was not destroyed because it was deified but continued in its own state and nature, so also his human will, although deified, was not suppressed, but was rather preserved according to the saying of Gregory Theologus: 'His will [i.e., the Saviour's] is not contrary to God but altogether deified.'"   

On this Metr. Hilarion's defenders might say, but just what IS this true "state and nature?" Maybe it is not atoms of hydrogen or sodium with their protons and neutrons and electrons? See, Akimel even claims that physicists do not know what matter is...

That's right.  We don't know really what either matter or energy is.  We talk a great deal about how it behaves and how to measure how it behaves but have precious nothing to say about what either one 'is'...

In that light Met. Hilarion is simply saying that the body won't be what we know of it today.  The material world we experience won't be what we experience of it today...period.  And in just that much...he is correct.  And so I still don't see what all this is about...

EM

It's abot the question, does God save matter, or is matter doomed. Again, of Ukrainians whom I know and who consider themselves Orthodox, practically all believe the latter.
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« Reply #74 on: April 08, 2010, 03:47:09 PM »


In that light Met. Hilarion is simply saying that the body won't be what we know of it today.  The material world we experience won't be what we experience of it today...period.  And in just that much...he is correct.  And so I still don't see what all this is about...

EM

It's abot the question, does God save matter, or is matter doomed. Again, of Ukrainians whom I know and who consider themselves Orthodox, practically all believe the latter.

All right.  Thanks for your patience!! 

So you say that most Ukrainians, Catholic and Orthodox, have an understanding that what...says that all that we know in life everlasting will be...what?...How does one dig down beneath believing that we will not be material, to see what people understand by "material".....They all may just be thinking of a very limited understanding...I ask?

Its interesting because both confessions are very clear that there will be a material world of some kind in life everlasting.  We simply cannot say what kind or how it will behave.

So it is interesting to note an entire culture sees it slightly askew...yes?

EM
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« Reply #75 on: April 08, 2010, 03:47:21 PM »

This conversation will become very difficult because the term matter has been used in different ways, to signify different things, and has carried different nuances throughout the ages.
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« Reply #76 on: April 08, 2010, 04:03:21 PM »


In that light Met. Hilarion is simply saying that the body won't be what we know of it today.  The material world we experience won't be what we experience of it today...period.  And in just that much...he is correct.  And so I still don't see what all this is about...

EM

It's abot the question, does God save matter, or is matter doomed. Again, of Ukrainians whom I know and who consider themselves Orthodox, practically all believe the latter.

All right.  Thanks for your patience!! 

So you say that most Ukrainians, Catholic and Orthodox, have an understanding that what...says that all that we know in life everlasting will be...what?...How does one dig down beneath believing that we will not be material, to see what people understand by "material".....They all may just be thinking of a very limited understanding...I ask?

Its interesting because both confessions are very clear that there will be a material world of some kind in life everlasting.  We simply cannot say what kind or how it will behave.

So it is interesting to note an entire culture sees it slightly askew...yes?

EM

Maybe not the entire culture, but a lot of people. I remember that when I was at a cemetary with my wife and mother-in-law a few years ago, I said something about the resurrection of the body, and my mother-in-law became shocked, because she (an Orthodox, though not a regular churchgoer) have believed all her life that only souls or spirits live in paradise or hell. She never even heard about resurrection of the body, not once. And she is not entirely a product of the Soviet atheist upbringing because she is from Western Ukraine, from the part of Ukraine that became Soviet only in 1939 (she was born in 1931).

I have a little booklet of Ukrainian prayers to the saints on various occasions - and again, the vast majority of these prayers contain praises to various martyrs that they despised the body, as it should be despised, and taught us to think about the soul.
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« Reply #77 on: April 08, 2010, 04:03:31 PM »

We know something about matter. In fact, all the "positive" (empirical) knowledge we have is the knowledge about matter, because non-material things cannot be known through our sensory organs. So, we have learned that there exist chemical elements (hydrogen, helium, sodium, potassium, oxygen etc.), each element consisting of atoms with a unique positive charge (number of protons). Atoms form chemical bonds with each other, creating molecules (water, acids, bases, salts, glucose, amino acids, lipids, proteins etc.).

But in fact if you speak to a physicist--and I've spoken to several precisely on this question--one discovers that matter is no easy matter (excuse the pun) about which to speak, much less analyze.  Even a cursory review of the Wikipedia article on matter reveals the complexity of the debate between scientists.  And things become even more complicated when one asks scientists and philosophers precisely what a "body" is.      

Quote
We - I mean those of us who believe in God - believe that this is what God made, and that this is by itself "very good" (Genesis 1:31). Will all that be replaced by something entirely different in resurrected bodies? Why should it be?

The Apostle Paul was compelled to address the continuity and discontinuity of our resurrection bodies in 1 Cor 15.  Consider how little information he in fact provides us.  He says that there is a difference between a physical body and a spiritual body; but he does not tell us any more that.  I see no need to go beyond what the Apostle himself has affirmed.  I do not eschew speculation but I think the Church is wise not to dogmatize speculations.  We must stay within the apostolic revelation.  God has not provided us a book describing the physics of the Eschaton.  What we are given is the good news of our Lord's bodily resurrection from the dead and the promise that we too shall be bodily raised with him in a transfigured creation.  God does not abolish or annihilate that which he has made, but he does, and will, transform it beyond all our imaginings.  

But how can we speak any further than this?  We have no experience of eschatological matter; indeed, the only direct experience we have of matter is matter in its fallen state, matter divorced from life immortal.  The Eastern Fathers teach that the bodies of Adam and Eve in Paradise were different from the bodies we know today.  As patristics scholar Fr Irenaeus (Matthew Steenberg) writes:

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In the vision of the fathers, the originally-created state of the human creature was bodily, and thus material; but the materiality of this first-fashioned man was not identical to the base materiality experienced today. Materiality and bodily nature as we experience it now has been affected by sin, which alters its state somewhat. This is a critical dimension to how the fathers understand the created nature of human existence--and it is one that is often not considered.

Thus St Maximus the Confessor says that after the Fall human flesh became "denser, mortal, and tough."   What does this mean for our own understanding of matter?   

Quote
And why, then, early Fathers (St. John Chrysostomos for example) were so strong, so big on insisting that the resurrected body will be the SAME in terms of its "essence," just incorruptible? St. Gregory of Nyssa even speaks about God gathering the "stikhia" of our bodies (which St. Gregory understood as particles of water, earth, air and fire - but we now understand as molecules and atoms). I dunno, I am not a theologian but I just cannot but notice that Met. +HILARION's term "immaterial" is in sharp contrast with St. John and St. Gregory. (And again, like I said, in the Russian version of his book he does not write that the risen body will be immaterial according to some Fathers - he just plainly states, as an axiom, that it will not be made of matter, period. Believe me, I was born and raised in the former USSR and Russian together with Ukrainian is my first language; I know all the tiniest nuances of it.)

I do not feel any obligation to defend Archbishop Hilarion on the point in question, but I do believe that you are interpreting him too rigidly.  I doubt very seriously he intends to teach anything contrary to what Sts. John and Gregory taught.  We would need to ask him precisely what he means by "immateriality."  I certainly do not read him as asserting that God does not save matter in the resurrection of Christ.  As already observed, he clearly states that theosis includes the divinization of the body.  The words theologians use are often conditioned by arguments with others.  Perhaps he is simply arguing against those who see the resurrection as a return to life as we know it, with the added bonus of immortality.  But in any case, Archbishop Hilarion must speak for himself.  He is an excellent theologian and deserves a charitable reading.  

Of course we must emphatically proclaim the resurrection of the body--we are not gnostics or Platonists--but we must be careful not to dogmatize on the physics of the Eschaton, as if we know more about these matters than the Apostles.  "Behold!" declares St Paul, "I tell you a mystery."  

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« Reply #78 on: April 08, 2010, 04:43:17 PM »

I'd like to return to the original question:  Are Christians guilty of cannibalism?  As ably explained by others in this thread, the charge of cannibalism does not really apply.  But I would also like to suggest that we should not dismiss the charge too hastily.   We truly do believe and confess that in the Holy Eucharist we eat the body of Christ and drink the blood of Christ.  The graphic language of eating and drinking is deeply and inescapably rooted in the New Testament, the Church Fathers, and the liturgical prayers and hymns.  The following passage from St John Chrysostom has long been one of my favorites:

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Those men then at that time reaped no fruit from what was said, but we have enjoyed the benefit in the very realities. Wherefore it is necessary to understand the marvel of the Mysteries, what it is, why it was given, and what is the profit of the action. We become one Body, and "members of His flesh and of His bones." Let the initiated  follow what I say. In order then that we may become this not by love only, but in very deed, let us be blended into that flesh. This is effected by the food which He has freely given us, desiring to show the love which He has for us. On this account He has mixed up Himself with us; He has kneaded up  His body with ours, that we might be a certain One Thing, like a body joined to a head. For this belongs to  them who love strongly; this, for instance, Job implied, speaking of his servants, by whom he was beloved so exceedingly, that they desired to cleave unto his flesh. For they said, to show the strong love which they felt, "Who would give us to be satisfied with his flesh?" Wherefore this also Christ has done, to lead us to a closer friendship, and to show His love for us; He has given to those who desire Him not only to see Him, but even to touch, and eat Him, and fix their teeth in His flesh, and to embrace Him, and satisfy all their love.

Is this cannibalism?  No ... yet the scandal and offense remains.  We truly do orally partake of Christ. 
 
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« Reply #79 on: April 08, 2010, 05:42:09 PM »

5th Ecumenical Council:

"IF anyone shall say that the future judgment signifies the destruction of the body and that the end of the story will be an immaterial [body], and that thereafter there will no longer be any matter, but only spirit: let him be anathema."  (Anathema 11 against Origen)



I heard from some Ukrainian Eastern Rite Catholics who call me a degenerate perverter of the true teaching of the Church (because I am a "materialist") that these so-called anathemas against Origen, written centuries after Origen's death, were not even discussed by the Council but added to the proceedings of the Council because emperor Justinian hated Origen... Some people do not want to consider these anathemas as reflections of the Church's teaching.

That seems hard to justify considering that we have statement like this in the acts of the council:  "And we found that many others had been anathematised after death, also even Origen; and if any one were to go back to the times of Theophilus of blessed memory or further he would have found him anathematised after death; which also now your holiness and Vigilius, the most religious Pope of Old Rome has done in his case." Not to mention his condemnation in the 11th Capitula which was not called into question until modern times. 
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« Reply #80 on: April 08, 2010, 05:44:46 PM »

Also Canon 1 of the 6th Ecumenical Council (in Trullo):

"Also we recognize as inspired by the Spirit the pious voices of the one hundred and sixty-five God-beating fathers who assembled in this imperial city in the time of our Emperor Justinian of blessed memory, and we teach them to those who come after us; for these synodically anathematized and execrated Theodore of Mopsuestia (the teacher of Nestorius), and Origen, and Didymus, and Evagrius, all of whom reintroduced feigned Greek myths, and brought back again the circlings of certain bodies and souls, and deranged turnings [or transmigrations] to the wanderings or dreamings of their minds, and impiously insulting the resurrection of the dead. Moreover [they condemned] what things were written by Theodoret against the right faith and against the Twelve Chapters of blessed Cyril, and that letter which is said to have been written by Ibas."

Even if Byzantine Catholics try to call this into question, there can be no doubt of their authority in Orthodoxy.   
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« Reply #81 on: April 08, 2010, 06:09:37 PM »

Also Canon 1 of the 6th Ecumenical Council (in Trullo):

"Also we recognize as inspired by the Spirit the pious voices of the one hundred and sixty-five God-beating fathers who assembled in this imperial city in the time of our Emperor Justinian of blessed memory, and we teach them to those who come after us; for these synodically anathematized and execrated Theodore of Mopsuestia (the teacher of Nestorius), and Origen, and Didymus, and Evagrius, all of whom reintroduced feigned Greek myths, and brought back again the circlings of certain bodies and souls, and deranged turnings [or transmigrations] to the wanderings or dreamings of their minds, and impiously insulting the resurrection of the dead. Moreover [they condemned] what things were written by Theodoret against the right faith and against the Twelve Chapters of blessed Cyril, and that letter which is said to have been written by Ibas."

Even if Byzantine Catholics try to call this into question, there can be no doubt of their authority in Orthodoxy.   

Father,

It's likely that I am not a typical Catholic, much less typical eastern Catholic, but I cannot ever remember at any time in my life as a Catholic being told by any teacher that I respected that I could readily ignore any local councils.

This falls into a beside-the-point category and I don't mean to start a rabbit trail here.

EM
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« Reply #82 on: April 08, 2010, 06:12:39 PM »

Also Canon 1 of the 6th Ecumenical Council (in Trullo):

"Also we recognize as inspired by the Spirit the pious voices of the one hundred and sixty-five God-beating fathers who assembled in this imperial city in the time of our Emperor Justinian of blessed memory, and we teach them to those who come after us; for these synodically anathematized and execrated Theodore of Mopsuestia (the teacher of Nestorius), and Origen, and Didymus, and Evagrius, all of whom reintroduced feigned Greek myths, and brought back again the circlings of certain bodies and souls, and deranged turnings [or transmigrations] to the wanderings or dreamings of their minds, and impiously insulting the resurrection of the dead. Moreover [they condemned] what things were written by Theodoret against the right faith and against the Twelve Chapters of blessed Cyril, and that letter which is said to have been written by Ibas."

Even if Byzantine Catholics try to call this into question, there can be no doubt of their authority in Orthodoxy.   

Father,

It's likely that I am not a typical Catholic, much less typical eastern Catholic, but I cannot ever remember at any time in my life as a Catholic being told by any teacher that I respected that I could readily ignore any local councils.

This falls into a beside-the-point category and I don't mean to start a rabbit trail here.

EM
I am totally with ya there elijahmaria. I can think a particular local that holds considerable weight with Catholics: The council of Orange (spelling?), because of its condemnation of pelagianism.
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« Reply #83 on: April 08, 2010, 08:28:56 PM »

Also Canon 1 of the 6th Ecumenical Council (in Trullo):

"Also we recognize as inspired by the Spirit the pious voices of the one hundred and sixty-five God-beating fathers who assembled in this imperial city in the time of our Emperor Justinian of blessed memory, and we teach them to those who come after us; for these synodically anathematized and execrated Theodore of Mopsuestia (the teacher of Nestorius), and Origen, and Didymus, and Evagrius, all of whom reintroduced feigned Greek myths, and brought back again the circlings of certain bodies and souls, and deranged turnings [or transmigrations] to the wanderings or dreamings of their minds, and impiously insulting the resurrection of the dead. Moreover [they condemned] what things were written by Theodoret against the right faith and against the Twelve Chapters of blessed Cyril, and that letter which is said to have been written by Ibas."

Even if Byzantine Catholics try to call this into question, there can be no doubt of their authority in Orthodoxy.   

Father,

It's likely that I am not a typical Catholic, much less typical eastern Catholic, but I cannot ever remember at any time in my life as a Catholic being told by any teacher that I respected that I could readily ignore any local councils.

This falls into a beside-the-point category and I don't mean to start a rabbit trail here.

EM

Good to hear!  I was actually just referring to Heorhij's comment about Easter rite Catholics saying he was a perverter of truth, so I was referring to them.  Perhaps should have inserted the word "certain" or "those particular" into my sentence.  I hope no offense was taken due to my poor choice of words.   
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« Reply #84 on: April 08, 2010, 09:40:32 PM »


Good to hear!  I was actually just referring to Heorhij's comment about Easter rite Catholics saying he was a perverter of truth, so I was referring to them.  Perhaps should have inserted the word "certain" or "those particular" into my sentence.  I hope no offense was taken due to my poor choice of words.   


I do my level best never to take offense Father, even when it is intended, so its a breeze when its not!!  I thought you might be pleased to hear though that some of us are trained pretty well!  Smiley....It's difficult to tell sometimes for all the "noise."

EM
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« Reply #85 on: April 09, 2010, 03:38:53 AM »

Whether the message is misunderstood or not, it seems that the congregants who read His Eminence's word erroneously believe in an spirit form of body, and not a material form.  For this, I think His Eminence needs to clarify to help not have congregants go astray, as is clear from Heorhij's experiences.
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« Reply #86 on: April 09, 2010, 11:39:09 AM »

Whether the message is misunderstood or not, it seems that the congregants who read His Eminence's word erroneously believe in an spirit form of body, and not a material form.  For this, I think His Eminence needs to clarify to help not have congregants go astray, as is clear from Heorhij's experiences.

Would there be a problem if Metropolitan Hilarion, a Russian prelate, offered corrective advice to Ukrainians--as congregants?
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« Reply #87 on: April 09, 2010, 11:51:51 AM »

Whether the message is misunderstood or not, it seems that the congregants who read His Eminence's word erroneously believe in an spirit form of body, and not a material form.  For this, I think His Eminence needs to clarify to help not have congregants go astray, as is clear from Heorhij's experiences.

Would there be a problem if Metropolitan Hilarion, a Russian prelate, offered corrective advice to Ukrainians--as congregants?

I am afraid patriotic Ukrainians will not listen to him because he is from the Moscow Patriarchate (a.k.a. KGB-FSB Patriarchate or the Kremlin's Department of Religious Affairs). On the other hand, Ukrainian Orthodox who are faithful to the Moscow Patriarchate (the canonical folks) are way too busy hating Ukraine to bother themselves with insignificant things like body, matter, spirit, the Eucharist etc. Smiley (Mods, this is HUMOR, IRONY! Please do not move to "Politics"! Smiley))
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« Reply #88 on: May 01, 2012, 01:12:09 PM »

I am an ex-Catholic, currently a catechumen in the Greek Orthodox Church. The discussion re: 'transubstantiation' is very helpful to me. In the discussion regarding the 'spatial' presence of The Risen Christ in the context of His enthronement at the right hand of the Father and his Precious Body and Blood present to us in Holy Communion at the Divine Liturgy, 2 scriptures came to mind. John 3:13 and 20:26. I have also wondered for many years what was meant in scripture when Christ's post-resurrection appearances were described using the language... "He appeared in ANOTHER FORM".

I would sincerely appreciate someone commenting on what I have written here. Your help is very much appreciated. I understand and rejoice in the reality of 'mystery'... it invites wonder, prayer and a more earnest seeking of 'understanding' (but not 'understanding' as an end in and of itself).

Christ is Risen!

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« Reply #89 on: May 01, 2012, 02:02:46 PM »

I am an ex-Catholic, currently a catechumen in the Greek Orthodox Church. The discussion re: 'transubstantiation' is very helpful to me. In the discussion regarding the 'spatial' presence of The Risen Christ in the context of His enthronement at the right hand of the Father and his Precious Body and Blood present to us in Holy Communion at the Divine Liturgy, 2 scriptures came to mind. John 3:13 and 20:26. I have also wondered for many years what was meant in scripture when Christ's post-resurrection appearances were described using the language... "He appeared in ANOTHER FORM".

I would sincerely appreciate someone commenting on what I have written here. Your help is very much appreciated. I understand and rejoice in the reality of 'mystery'... it invites wonder, prayer and a more earnest seeking of 'understanding' (but not 'understanding' as an end in and of itself).

Christ is Risen!

Ivanov


Hi Ivanov,

I'm not sure exactly what you are looking for commentary on? The one clear question in your post is with regards to "another form". To the best of my knowledge this phrase is used once in St. Mark's account of His encounter with the disciples on the road to Emmaus (though I could be misremembering or you could be thinking of a  different translation than the ones I'm most familiar with). As that passage makes clear at least part of what 'another form' means is simply that Christ looked like a different person so the disciples didn't not immediately recognize him. And as far as I can recall that is all the Fathers take from this passage--this isn't even necessarily tied to His risen, glorified form as there are passages from His pre- resurrection ministry where His enemies sought to lay hands on Him and suddenly  couldn't find Him. The passages are a little vague as to whether they are talking  about Him disguising His appearance, messing His pursuer's perceptions so they couldn't see him, or actual invisibility, but it's pretty clear He exerted some degree of His miraculous power to make sure they couldn't lay hands on Him before His time had come even when He was standing right in front of them.
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« Reply #90 on: May 01, 2012, 04:36:09 PM »

Thanks for your response. I can see how finding my question could be difficult :>) I should have included the quote(s) I was responding to.

Thanks again!

Ivanov
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« Reply #91 on: May 01, 2012, 05:05:05 PM »

Ivanov, you might find of interest Sergius Bulgakov's discussion of the resurrection appearances in his essay "The Eucharistic Dogma," in The Holy Grail & the Eucharist

I think sometimes we read the resurrection accounts too literally, as if our Lord's glorified body is just like his his mortal body, only no longer subject to death.  But of course there are hints in all the accounts of the mystery and transcendent nature of Christ's risen corporeality.  Of course he appeared to his disciples in the form of the body that they would personally recognize and which they would understand as the fulfillment of the eschatological hope of the resurrection from the dead (as opposed to a ghostly continuation, for example).  But surely the resurrection involves a transfiguration of material reality that we cannot possibly imagine, comprehend, or literally verbalize.  There is continuity but also radical discontinuity.  Our language necessarily breaks down when speaking of the resurrection.       
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« Reply #92 on: May 01, 2012, 07:32:45 PM »

Thank you Father. I made a note earlier today to look up 'The Eucharistic Dogma' (saw it referenced on the thread I was reading through). In my reading, another question came up (this is probably covered in another thread... just need to find it) regarding sin, confession and Holy Communion. In my RC experience, I was taught that I could receive Holy Communion as long as I wasn't 'in mortal sin'. They defined mortal sin and gave you 3 criteria that needed to be met in order for mortal sin to be present, which helped, at least practically. I'm growing in my understanding of the Orthodox teaching regarding sin and how its consequences are dealt with, but it is difficult to reconcile (in the Orthodox context) that I cannot receive Holy Communion if I have sinned and placed myself outside the Church, and at the same time what I pray in my Orthodox Prayer Book each morning to my Angel Guardian..."How can I beg forgiveness for all my bitter, evil and wicked sins which  I COMMIT EACH DAY, EACH NIGHT AND AT EVERY HOUR"? I was reading what a Priest had written (on an Orthodox Q&A) site, and he said that "IF" (my emphasis) someone had sinned , then... (as I referenced above). On the one hand it's "if" I sin... on the other it's, I sin virtually constantly! Can you refer me to the right thread or provide a concise answer when you have the time to answer this question. I do not at all desire to presume on your time by asking it.

Your time and desire to help are deeply appreciated! God bless you for your kindness!

Ivanov
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« Reply #93 on: May 01, 2012, 07:54:59 PM »

Perhaps the following citation from St John Cassian might be helpful to you:

"We must not avoid communion because we deem ourselves to be sinful. We must approach it more often for the healing of the soul and the purification of the spirit, but with such humility and faith that considering ourselves unworthy, we would desire even more the medicine for our wounds. Otherwise it is impossible to receive communion once a year, as certain people do, considering the sanctification of heavenly Mysteries as available only to saints. It is better to think that by giving us grace, the sacrament makes us pure and holy. Such people manifest more pride than humility, for when they receive, they think themselves as worthy. It is much better if, in humility of heart, knowing that we are never worthy of the Holy Mysteries we would receive them every Sunday for the healing of our diseases, rather than, blinded by pride, think that after one year we become worthy of receiving them."
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« Reply #94 on: May 02, 2012, 11:25:24 AM »

Thank you, Father. So very true. I received Holy Communion at least once a week, sometimes more often when I was a RC. The crux of my question/concern is if the Orthodox Church doesn't distinguish between venial and mortal (sin that disallows Holy Communion) sin, then how does one know when one's sins are such that he should refrain from Holy Communion and hasten to prayer and confession? Practically, I don't think (and I'm sure the Church doesn't teach) that I could go through each day wondering if I'm in or out, or in again... but maybe out again, ad infinitum, of communion with the Church... given that we are not wise or humble enough at times to see where we have sinned against God in a "communion-breaking" way. This would be a psychologically torturous dilemma that no christian could honestly hide under a cloak of pretended peace or joy. Now I say all of that, having at times been enslaved by what I've just described (mostly through my own ignorance and lack of faith) so that I can find the healing I need in this regard from the Truth now being given to me by the hand of the Orthodox Church in Christ's Name.

I hope that's a bit clearer. I do tie myself up in knots with too many words, too often :>) Thank you so very much for any help you can give.

Glory to our Risen Savior!

Ivanov
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« Reply #95 on: May 02, 2012, 05:15:04 PM »

Despite modern writings to the contrary, the Orthodox Church does distinguish between pardonable sins, sin not unto death, and sin unto death (mortal sin).   This is true from Scripture onward:  all sin is unrighteousness, but not all sin is unto death.  The Kollyvades Fathers show how in the earlier Church Fathers sin actually has seven levels, the most grievous being sin unto death or mortal sin.  St. Nikodemos gives examples. 
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« Reply #96 on: May 03, 2012, 01:49:55 PM »

Thank you, Father. So very true. I received Holy Communion at least once a week, sometimes more often when I was a RC. The crux of my question/concern is if the Orthodox Church doesn't distinguish between venial and mortal (sin that disallows Holy Communion) sin, then how does one know when one's sins are such that he should refrain from Holy Communion and hasten to prayer and confession? Practically, I don't think (and I'm sure the Church doesn't teach) that I could go through each day wondering if I'm in or out, or in again... but maybe out again, ad infinitum, of communion with the Church... given that we are not wise or humble enough at times to see where we have sinned against God in a "communion-breaking" way. This would be a psychologically torturous dilemma that no christian could honestly hide under a cloak of pretended peace or joy. Now I say all of that, having at times been enslaved by what I've just described (mostly through my own ignorance and lack of faith) so that I can find the healing I need in this regard from the Truth now being given to me by the hand of the Orthodox Church in Christ's Name.

I hope that's a bit clearer. I do tie myself up in knots with too many words, too often :>) Thank you so very much for any help you can give.

Glory to our Risen Savior!

Ivanov

Dear Ivanov.

Obviously the fathers here can give you better counsel than I can (we are fortunate to have so many priests on the forum), but my advice would be "when in doubt, talk with your priest".  He should be able to clear up the confusion for you.  I have an arrangement with my priest to confess once a month if I want to commune each week.  Of course, I can (and do) confess anytime I feel the conviction that I have something that I really need to confess to father.  I hope this helps.
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