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Author Topic: Redemptive Suffering  (Read 8219 times) Average Rating: 0
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elijahmaria
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« on: May 13, 2010, 09:30:20 AM »

For years I have been told that Orthodoxy has no teaching of redemptive suffering.  I've been told it is another way to cut Christ out of Catholic teaching.  I have been told that it is just another aspect of the false teaching of indulgences.  And I've been told it has NO meaning in Orthodoxy because Orthodoxy has no teaching of purgatory...with the usual links to something about original sin, etc.

So then I find the following at the Mystagogy Blog this morning and I wonder if someone here can shed light on whether or not this is true Orthodox teaching:

Thursday, February 4, 2010
We Ought To Repent for the Sins of Others

by St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Impose upon yourself some form of penance [Epitimia] for the sins of others. If you have judged someone or punished someone, impose upon yourself a form of penance. You should also suffer voluntarily for the sins of sinners. This is pleasing to God. This mystery was known by the saints who condemned themselves for the sins of others. Even non-Christian peoples perceived this mystery. There exists this custom in China: when an executioner beheads a criminal who is sentenced to death, he then approaches the judge and informs him that the verdict was carried out. The judge then reimburses him with a silver coin because he killed the criminal and orders that the executioner be whipped forty lashes because he killed a man. Christian saints profoundly understood the mystery of sin and human injustice. For the saints, all human sin has as long a history as there is distance from us to Adam.
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elijahmaria
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 05:28:15 PM »

Is this an Orthodox teaching?

For years I have been told that Orthodoxy has no teaching of redemptive suffering.  I've been told it is another way to cut Christ out of Catholic teaching.  I have been told that it is just another aspect of the false teaching of indulgences.  And I've been told it has NO meaning in Orthodoxy because Orthodoxy has no teaching of purgatory...with the usual links to something about original sin, etc.

So then I find the following at the Mystagogy Blog this morning and I wonder if someone here can shed light on whether or not this is true Orthodox teaching:

Thursday, February 4, 2010
We Ought To Repent for the Sins of Others

by St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Impose upon yourself some form of penance [Epitimia] for the sins of others. If you have judged someone or punished someone, impose upon yourself a form of penance. You should also suffer voluntarily for the sins of sinners. This is pleasing to God. This mystery was known by the saints who condemned themselves for the sins of others. Even non-Christian peoples perceived this mystery. There exists this custom in China: when an executioner beheads a criminal who is sentenced to death, he then approaches the judge and informs him that the verdict was carried out. The judge then reimburses him with a silver coin because he killed the criminal and orders that the executioner be whipped forty lashes because he killed a man. Christian saints profoundly understood the mystery of sin and human injustice. For the saints, all human sin has as long a history as there is distance from us to Adam.
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Cosmos
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010, 06:07:29 PM »


Hi Mary:

You might find this article interesting and insightful relevant to your topic here:

https://www.classjump.com/ravin/documents/Redemptive%20suffering%20and%20Pauls%20thone%20in%20the%20Flesh.pdf

Cosmos

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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2010, 06:30:44 PM »

Imposing penances upon oneself for others' sins seems odd to me. Don't we have our work cut out with just our own?  Undecided
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2010, 07:00:48 PM »

That is a very protestant approach.  It is clearly written by someone who does not have the communion of saints to guide them.  It's sad because this is how we get moral relativism alive and well among Christians.  If you are not seeking a painless passage then you are a sadistic Catholic... angel

It happens even among Catholics now.  Emotional and physical pain have surpassed all other forms of evil to become the grand-daddy of all evils.

M.


Hi Mary:

You might find this article interesting and insightful relevant to your topic here:

https://www.classjump.com/ravin/documents/Redemptive%20suffering%20and%20Pauls%20thone%20in%20the%20Flesh.pdf

Cosmos


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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2010, 07:03:33 PM »

Sadly, you are making a lot of judgments about someone you have never met, much less know anything about. I was always taught the teachings of Christ to "take up one's cross, deny oneself" etc. in the strictest sense-to literally give up all "worldly" pleasures-to be completely separate from the world. Lord have mercy on us all.
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2010, 07:06:42 PM »

Are you quite sure of that?  Perhaps it is you who is judging that which you do not know...Is that possible do you think?

Mary

Sadly, you are making a lot of judgments about someone you have never met, much less know anything about. I was always taught the teachings of Christ to "take up one's cross, deny oneself" etc. in the strictest sense-to literally give up all "worldly" pleasures-to be completely separate from the world. Lord have mercy on us all.
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2010, 07:10:06 PM »

If you are not seeking a painless passage then you are a sadistic Catholic...

An Orthodox Christian who is not suffering is on their way to Hell.
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2010, 07:14:36 PM »

If you are not seeking a painless passage then you are a sadistic Catholic...

An Orthodox Christian who is not suffering is on their way to Hell.

Indeed, life is full of suffering, and the Orthodox Church recognizes and honours suffering like no other church I've known.
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2010, 07:14:58 PM »

If you are not seeking a painless passage then you are a sadistic Catholic...

An Orthodox Christian who is not suffering is on their way to Hell.

I don't think you are going to find a preponderance of Orthodox faithful agreeing with this...Even I would qualify that bold statement in a number of ways but I am sure I sympathize with what you are saying and in broad terms I think you are closer to true than false in that statement.

M.
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2010, 10:03:39 PM »



Perhaps more typical of historical Orthodox thinking is the acknowledgment that Christ endured redemptive suffering once and for ALL through His passion and death, thereby eliminating the need of further sacrifices at the Temple, and also eliminating the need for anyone else to suffer for the sins of others.

In one sense, therefore, the notion of enduring redemptive suffering for the sins of others is seen as an unnecessary negation of the redemptive suffering of Jesus on the cross, as if it were insufficient in some way. The sins of all mankind were forgiven by Christ's living sacrifice as only He could accomplish as the Redeeming Messiah.

Cosmos
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2010, 10:39:14 PM »

That is a very protestant approach and besides which the Saint that I use to introduce the topic is an Orthodox saint...

M.



Perhaps more typical of historical Orthodox thinking is the acknowledgment that Christ endured redemptive suffering once and for ALL through His passion and death, thereby eliminating the need of further sacrifices at the Temple, and also eliminating the need for anyone else to suffer for the sins of others.

In one sense, therefore, the notion of enduring redemptive suffering for the sins of others is seen as an unnecessary negation of the redemptive suffering of Jesus on the cross, as if it were insufficient in some way. The sins of all mankind were forgiven by Christ's living sacrifice as only He could accomplish as the Redeeming Messiah.

Cosmos
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2010, 11:27:05 PM »

That is a very protestant approach and besides which the Saint that I use to introduce the topic is an Orthodox saint...


That line of argumentation did not work well with you when I wanted to talk about the Quasi-Incarnation of the Spirit as taught by the Polish Saint Maximilian Kolbe and advocated by Steubenville University and some of its professors!
 laugh laugh
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2010, 11:37:50 PM »

I imagine that there is a need for a very solid doctrinal base of co-redemptive suffering in order to promulgate the new dogma of Mary as Co-Redeemer?
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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2010, 12:36:16 AM »

For years I have been told that Orthodoxy has no teaching of redemptive suffering.  I've been told it is another way to cut Christ out of Catholic teaching.  I have been told that it is just another aspect of the false teaching of indulgences.  And I've been told it has NO meaning in Orthodoxy because Orthodoxy has no teaching of purgatory...with the usual links to something about original sin, etc.

So then I find the following at the Mystagogy Blog this morning and I wonder if someone here can shed light on whether or not this is true Orthodox teaching:

Thursday, February 4, 2010
We Ought To Repent for the Sins of Others

by St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Impose upon yourself some form of penance [Epitimia] for the sins of others. If you have judged someone or punished someone, impose upon yourself a form of penance. You should also suffer voluntarily for the sins of sinners. This is pleasing to God. This mystery was known by the saints who condemned themselves for the sins of others. Even non-Christian peoples perceived this mystery. There exists this custom in China: when an executioner beheads a criminal who is sentenced to death, he then approaches the judge and informs him that the verdict was carried out. The judge then reimburses him with a silver coin because he killed the criminal and orders that the executioner be whipped forty lashes because he killed a man. Christian saints profoundly understood the mystery of sin and human injustice. For the saints, all human sin has as long a history as there is distance from us to Adam.

Now that I have read this piece attentively and soulfully, it is obvious from the tone of Saint Nikolaj's writing that he is not expounding a definitively held church teaching.  But he is, however, speaking out of his own experiences, the time of utter misery when he was imprisoned in the German concentration camp of Dachau.  There he must bave seen the depths of human suffering and he must have struggled acutely to make sense of it..

As he says there is something in the human soul which responds to the hope of redemptive suffering...... the wife who foregoes all secular pleasures such as the theatre and balls while her husband is a prisoner in Iraq.  The little boy who denies himself sweets because he wants his mother to recover from cancer.....

But you will not find any developed teaching of redemptive suffering of this nature in the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2010, 12:41:55 AM »

I am trying to understand what you are asking.

First, could you tell me exactly what it means for suffering to be redemptive?
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« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2010, 01:31:25 AM »

Is this an Orthodox teaching?

I don't know.   Undecided

However, I don't believe a lot of things I read on blogs because I am unable to discern whether or not the blog entry was taken out of context to fulfill the blogger's agenda.
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« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2010, 02:48:42 AM »

I can't Picture The Lord Rejoicing at some ones suffering intentionally to please him ,just can't...
Some Saints did extream stuff not to please The Lord Or to Bring Him Joy in there suffering but to discipline there flesh to subdue it's desire ........
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« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2010, 03:40:10 AM »

But you will not find any developed teaching of redemptive suffering of this nature in the Orthodox Church.

Well maybe not anything highly-developed but is there something intrinsically wrong with it?
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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2010, 03:48:15 AM »

Some Saints did extream stuff not to please The Lord Or to Bring Him Joy in there suffering but to discipline there flesh to subdue it's desire ........

I think that's a very important distinction you bring up.

And I don't know about this concept of "[imposing] upon yourself some form of penance for the sins of others," unless that penance just amounts to praying for the people in question.
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« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2010, 04:30:29 AM »

But you will not find any developed teaching of redemptive suffering of this nature in the Orthodox Church.

Well maybe not anything highly-developed but is there something intrinsically wrong with it?

I find that I cannot answer that - and that in itself is an answer!  It indicates I have never been asked the question before and never been taught about it.

I can imagine that if a soldier comes to confession and says:  "Father, I have to go back for a second term of duty in Afghanistan.  It's a total hell hole of suffering and I am going to offer the suffering to Jesus Christ for the sake of my sister who is working as a prostitute.  Maybe my suffering will redeem her in some way."    I would give him a blessing to do this although I would NOT want to get into any discussion on how it will operate.

Example two:  Six ladies come to me and say; " We are going to form a small sisterhood and what we plan is to flagellate ourselves between 3pm and 3:15pm every Friday.  We will offer this suffering to God to help to redeem our sisters who have had abortions and for the doctors and medical staff who perform them."   I am rather sure I would ask them NOT to commence this type of redemptive suffering.  In this case I would certainly NOT agree with Saint Nikolaj, "Impose upon yourself some form of penance [Epitimia] for the sins of others."

It seems to me that Mary could help us if she clarified what she has in mind by "redemptive suffering."

An example of a whip used by Roman Catholics for inflicting self-suffering

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« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2010, 04:43:16 AM »

Redemptive suffering is a mystery (small "m"). The principle of redemptive suffering is inherent throughout nature. Beauty, life, and growth all come about as the result of struggle, pain, and sacrifice.

We will all suffer. The question is whether we will suffer for righteousness sake or for sin's sake. The choice is ours. And God may very well use our sacrificial suffering in His plan of redemption. We do not  know. We do know that Christ alone redeems, but He also allows us to participate in that redemption. After all, we choose to receive Our Lord or deny Him.

It is better to suffer now, for a while, than to suffer eternally. It is better to personally suffer so that others may find peace, rather than to seek personal peace at the expense of our fellow man.

I would appear that the Scriptures teach redemptive suffering:

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down his life for his friends." [St. John 15:13]

"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain." [St. John 12:24]


"If any man will come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me." [St. Luke 9:23]


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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2010, 05:06:52 AM »

Gebre,

Do you see a justification for, say, self-flagellation in those verses? What types of self-imposed suffering are you advocating, exactly?
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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2010, 08:46:38 AM »

The basis of all redemptive suffering would be Colosians 1:
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1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ at Colos'sae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. 3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love which you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing--so among yourselves, from the day you heard and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 as you learned it from Ep'aphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit. 9 And so, from the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; 16 for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. 19 For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 21 And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him, 23 provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, striving with all the energy which he mightily inspires within me. 2:1 For I want you to know how greatly I strive for you, and for those at La-odice'a, and for all who have not seen my face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in love, to have all the riches of assured understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, of Christ, 3 in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this in order that no one may delude you with beguiling speech. 5 For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. 6 As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him,

Living in Him means sharing in His kenosis (Phillippians 1):
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1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philip'pi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 thankful for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to feel thus about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. 12 I want you to know, brethren, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ; 14 and most of the brethren have been made confident in the Lord because of my imprisonment, and are much more bold to speak the word of God without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel; 17 the former proclaim Christ out of partisanship, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice. 19 Yes, and I shall rejoice. For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I shall not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If it is to be life in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. 27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear omen to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict which you saw and now hear to be mine. 2:1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured as a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

When we fast, it is not so much centered on depriving ourselves for our own sake.  Rather it is to empty out our riches so that others may share in our wealth (hence why fasting is always combined with almsgiving).  When we suffer, since we are members of Christ's Body, we suffer as He did and does for the not yet redeemed world.  Not that the redemption hasn't been accomplished, but not yet consumated:
Quote
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 "For God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "All things are put in subjection under him," it is plain that he is excepted who put all things under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things under him, that God may be everything to every one.
Redemptive suffering is no different from any other prayer offered on another's behalf: Christ saves. If we have put on Christ, we save.  If we suffer as He did unjustly, it accomplishes the same end.  My thing about self flagelation is that is somewhat presumes that one has no sin.  It is a mystery, so we let God sort it out.  Hence at the consecration I pray "O Lord! Purify my sufferings from my sins, that they may be offered on Your Cross."

A favorite example:
Quote
Christ appears to St. Martin.
ACCORDINGLY, at a certain period, when he had nothing except his arms and his simple military dress, in the middle of winter, a winter which had shown itself more severe than ordinary, so that the extreme cold was proving fatal to many, he happened to meet at the gate of the city of Amiens a poor man destitute of clothing. He was entreating those that passed by to have compassion upon him, but all passed the wretched man without notice, when Martin, that man full of God, recognized that a being to whom others showed no pity, was, in that respect, left to him. Yet, what should he do? He had nothing except the cloak in which he was clad, for he had already parted with the rest of his garments for similar purposes. Taking, therefore, his sword with which he was girt, he divided his cloak into two equal parts, and gave one part to the poor man, while he again clothed himself with the remainder. Upon this, some of the by-standers laughed, because he was now an unsightly object, and stood out as but partly dressed. Many, however, who were of sounder understanding, groaned deeply because they themselves had done nothing similar. They especially felt this, because, being possessed of more than Martin, they could have clothed the poor man without reducing themselves to nakedness. In the following night, when Martin had resigned himself to sleep, he had a vision of Christ arrayed in that part of his cloak with which he had clothed the poor man. He contemplated the Lord with the greatest attention, and was told to own as his the robe which he had given. Ere long, he heard Jesus saying with a clear voice to the multitude of angels standing round -- "Martin, who is still but a catechumen, clothed me with this robe."
http://www.users.csbsju.edu/~eknuth/npnf2-11/sulpitiu/lifeofst.html#tp
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« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2010, 10:22:17 AM »

Ah...finally!  A comment of real value.  Thank you so much and if I don't do too much damage to your reputation, permit me to say it is beautifully done.

M.


Redemptive suffering is a mystery (small "m"). The principle of redemptive suffering is inherent throughout nature. Beauty, life, and growth all come about as the result of struggle, pain, and sacrifice.

We will all suffer. The question is whether we will suffer for righteousness sake or for sin's sake. The choice is ours. And God may very well use our sacrificial suffering in His plan of redemption. We do not  know. We do know that Christ alone redeems, but He also allows us to participate in that redemption. After all, we choose to receive Our Lord or deny Him.

It is better to suffer now, for a while, than to suffer eternally. It is better to personally suffer so that others may find peace, rather than to seek personal peace at the expense of our fellow man.

I would appear that the Scriptures teach redemptive suffering:

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down his life for his friends." [St. John 15:13]

"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain." [St. John 12:24]


"If any man will come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me." [St. Luke 9:23]


Selam
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« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2010, 10:24:45 AM »

That is a very protestant approach and besides which the Saint that I use to introduce the topic is an Orthodox saint...


That line of argumentation did not work well with you when I wanted to talk about the Quasi-Incarnation of the Spirit as taught by the Polish Saint Maximilian Kolbe and advocated by Steubenville University and some of its professors!
 laugh laugh

It seems to me that Quasi-Incarnation is much like the Orthodox claim that we are all hypostatic unions.

M.
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« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2010, 10:33:46 AM »

That is a very protestant approach and besides which the Saint that I use to introduce the topic is an Orthodox saint...


That line of argumentation did not work well with you when I wanted to talk about the Quasi-Incarnation of the Spirit as taught by the Polish Saint Maximilian Kolbe and advocated by Steubenville University and some of its professors!
 laugh laugh

It seems to me that Quasi-Incarnation is much like the Orthodox claim that we are all hypostatic unions.
No, as your saint claims some such thing, and we claim no such thing.
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« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2010, 10:42:05 AM »

That is a very protestant approach and besides which the Saint that I use to introduce the topic is an Orthodox saint...


That line of argumentation did not work well with you when I wanted to talk about the Quasi-Incarnation of the Spirit as taught by the Polish Saint Maximilian Kolbe and advocated by Steubenville University and some of its professors!
 laugh laugh

It seems to me that Quasi-Incarnation is much like the Orthodox claim that we are all hypostatic unions.
No, as your saint claims some such thing, and we claim no such thing.

You need to read a bit more broadly then.

M.
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« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2010, 11:13:35 AM »

That is a very protestant approach and besides which the Saint that I use to introduce the topic is an Orthodox saint...


That line of argumentation did not work well with you when I wanted to talk about the Quasi-Incarnation of the Spirit as taught by the Polish Saint Maximilian Kolbe and advocated by Steubenville University and some of its professors!
 laugh laugh

It seems to me that Quasi-Incarnation is much like the Orthodox claim that we are all hypostatic unions.

M.

Well, if an apparition can appear and make the somewhat surprising claim "I Am The Immaculate Conception"  I suppose some other equally odd people may claim "I am a hypostatic union." Both would be seriously wrong! 

What most Orthodox probably do not know is that apparitions continue to appear all over the world.  Quite large numbers of them in fact.  Some have received Vatican approval and others have not.   Has any appeared claiming "I am the Co-Redeemer"?

These apparitions have a direct bearing on this thread since the woman who appears nearly always stresses co-redemptive suffering.  "You must do penance for the sins of the world.  You must make reparation to my Immaculate Heart and to Jesus' heart."   This is always accompanied by some form of threat that if her wishes are not carried out God will visit the world with something quite horrible.
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« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2010, 11:29:46 AM »

That is a very protestant approach and besides which the Saint that I use to introduce the topic is an Orthodox saint...


That line of argumentation did not work well with you when I wanted to talk about the Quasi-Incarnation of the Spirit as taught by the Polish Saint Maximilian Kolbe and advocated by Steubenville University and some of its professors!
 laugh laugh

It seems to me that Quasi-Incarnation is much like the Orthodox claim that we are all hypostatic unions.

M.

Well, if an apparition can appear and make the somewhat surprising claim "I Am The Immaculate Conception"  I suppose some other equally odd people may claim "I am a hypostatic union." Both would be seriously wrong! 

What most Orthodox probably do not know is that apparitions continue to appear all over the world.  Quite large numbers of them in fact.  Some have received Vatican approval and others have not.   Has any appeared claiming "I am the Co-Redeemer"?

These apparitions have a direct bearing on this thread since the woman who appears nearly always stresses co-redemptive suffering.  "You must do penance for the sins of the world.  You must make reparation to my Immaculate Heart and to Jesus' heart."   This is always accompanied by some form of threat that if her wishes are not carried out God will visit the world with something quite horrible.

You keep right on laughin' Father Ambrose.

Here's one and there's loads more if you need me to go on out there and do your research for you, but it is not at all uncommon for Orthodox theology and spiritual writers to refer to theosis or deification as "hypostatic union"....NOT just the archetype in Christ but also deification in the rest of mankind!!

So scoff-on!!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://www.greekorthodox.org.au/general/spirituality/theosis

The Incarnation

In the East, the fact that the Word became flesh and died for us has not meant that humankind has been simply justified from God's anger, but rather has assumed an intimate and hypostatical unity with divinity itself. The essence of our redemption lies in the lifting up of human nature into the everlasting communion with the divine life which was realized by Christ's redeeming work. The whole emphasis of the Greek fathers centered around this foundational conception: the Incarnation of the Word as Redemption. The whole destiny and history of humankind was completed in the Incarnation. The Incarnation is not to be seen as a reduction of Christ's divinity but on the contrary, a lifting-up of human persons, the deification or theosis of human nature. The East has always seen the Incarnation as the union of the divine majesty with human frailty and therefore the ultimate redemptive act of God.

As it has been stated above, the Greek fathers see the Incarnation as that which begins the whole process of our redemption. But more than that, the fathers speak of the original destiny of human nature as one leading to a hypostatic union with the divine Logos in Christ - ie our deification. Christ, who as the perfect union of divine and human opened the way for our human nature to participate in the divine. For this reason many fathers interpret the Incarnation of the Logos not as a simple consequence of the fall, but as the fulfillment of the original will of God - namely that in the person of the Logos, human nature is capable of being united with the divine. The deification of Christ's human nature made possible our deification as well. In his book, Deification in Christ, Nellas wonderfully sums it up in this way: "Christ is not the result of an act of Satan. The union of the divine and human natures took place because it fulfilled the eternal will of God..... Prior to the hypostatic union of the divine nature with the human, man even before the fall was anterior to Christ, a fact which means that even then, in spite of not having sinned, man had need of salvation, since he was an imperfect and incomplete "child". This teaching lies at the core of the theology of St Irenaeus. Human nature could not have been completed simply by its tendency; it had to attain union with the Archetype. Since Christ is "the head of the body, the Church" (Col. 1.18), a fact which means in patristic thought that Christ is the head of true humanity, as long as human nature had not received the hypostasis of the Logos it was in some way without real hypostasis - it lacked real substance". Nellas implies that the deification of humanity, even if humanity had not sinned, needed the hypostatic union of the divine and human natures of Christ in the Logos.

The hypostatic union of divine and human accomplished in Christ, was the very foundation of the deification of humanity. Since Christ took on human nature and bestowed upon it the fullness of grace, he made humanity capable of ascending to God. Therefore St Athanasius could say that "God became human so that humanity may become God". It is the gift of the Incarnation which gives humanity the possibility of deification. Since the first Adam went astray and deprived himself of the gratuitous gift of union with God, the Second Adam, the divine Logos achieved this union of the two natures in his person. Therefore the Incarnation of Christ does not simply redeem humanity from the effects of the fall but completes the pre-fallen nature of humanity by deifying it. For the fathers the deification of Christ's human nature becomes the vessel by which our human nature too can be deified. This is the basis of the theology of deification which is found in the fathers. Meyendorff describes it in this way:

"The hypostatic union of divinity and humanity in Jesus Christ is the very foundation of salvation, and therefore of deification: in Christ humanity has already participated in the uncreated life of God because the 'flesh' has truly become 'the flesh of God'".

Such is the fundamental position of the Incarnation of the Word for a credible and contemporary teaching on redemption. The Incarnation of the Logos has opened to all human persons the possibility of restoring their unity with God. And the death of Christ was effective in humanity's redemption, not because it satisfied a transcendent Justice which required retribution for humanity's sins but because it was the death of the Son of God in the flesh (ie, in virtue of the hypostatic union). Fr Georges Florovsky writes that

"the death of of the Cross was effective, not as a death of an Innocent One, but as the death of the Incarnate Lord".

The Orthodox notion of redemption is clearly not simply an act to satisfy a legal requirement, but one which destroys death by his death and opens the way for our immortality. For this reason many fathers would view the mystery of the Incarnation independent of the Fall. This hypostatic, complete mingling of created and uncreated natures without division or confusion had as its immediate consequence the deification of the nature created in Christ and by extension human nature in general. And it is to this doctrine of deification that we now turn.
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« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2010, 11:34:39 AM »


St Paisius Velichkovsky - translator of various texts of the Philokalia into Slavonic

St Ilias the Presbyter wrote: "Suffering deliberately embraced cannot free the soul totally from sin unless the soul is also tried in the fire of suffering that comes unchosen. For the soul is like a sword: if it does not go 'through fire and water' (Psalm 66:12, LXX) -- that is, by suffering deliberately embraced and suffering that comes unchosen -- it cannot but be shattered by the blows of fortune" (Ilias the Presbyter, Philokalia III).

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« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2010, 11:43:46 AM »

/\ /\ I had to sit up and pay serious attention. This was a notion I have never encountered before.  But I confess that after two readings I do not see a claim that human beings become "hypostatic unions."  I'll keep on reading it though, hoping to see what you have seen.

May I strongly suggest that you, and the other members following this thread, read the ENTIRE essay because its second half speaks of deification in such a way that nobody could think it involves a human being becoming a "hypostatic union" of Christ and that human being.  

Here is the whole essay from a Greek chap in Australia
http://www.greekorthodox.org.au/general/spirituality/theosis

"A Credible Presentation of Redemption for Today"
Mr. Philip Kariatlis
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« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2010, 11:50:24 AM »

/\ /\ I had to sit up and pay serious attention. This was a notion I have never encountered before.  But I confess that after two readings I do not see a claim that human beings become "hypostatic unions."  I'll keep on reading it though, hoping to see what you have seen.

May I strongly suggest that you, and the other members following this thread, read the ENTIRE essay because its second half speaks of deification in such a way that nobody could think it involves a human being becoming a "hypostatic union" of Christ and that human being.  

Here is the whole essay from a Greek chap in Australia
http://www.greekorthodox.org.au/general/spirituality/theosis

"A Credible Presentation of Redemption for Today"
Mr. Philip Kariatlis


Yes, the passage EM cites is only refering to the fact that the Incarnation was not a remedy for the Fall (though it did that) but the plan all along.  In Christ all humans are united with divinity.  That doesn't make multiple hypostatic unions (of which, by necessity, there is only one).
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« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2010, 11:55:15 AM »



The following links are of interest relative to the concept of hypostatic union:

http://www.aliveandpowerful.com/pdf/Doc%20of%20Hypostasis-Kenosis.pdf

http://www.saint-mary.net/services/Evangelism/%5CEnglish%5CBlessed19.pdf

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« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2010, 12:03:38 PM »

Yes.  Then you have my point.  Very often strong analogous language is made to draw comparisons and show strength of relationships between the human and the divine.

My attitude is that if Orthodoxy can do it, the Catholic Church should be able to show some of the same kinds of writing without being mocked or poked at as though it is some sort of strange heresy.

St. Louis de Montfort suggests we become slaves to Jesus through Mary.  

You would mock it.  I would understand it and do my best to follow it, even though I know it is hyper-text.  In some sense of it, it is a true and worthy exhortation.

Mary

/\ /\ I had to sit up and pay serious attention. This was a notion I have never encountered before.  But I confess that after two readings I do not see a claim that human beings become "hypostatic unions."  I'll keep on reading it though, hoping to see what you have seen.

May I strongly suggest that you, and the other members following this thread, read the ENTIRE essay because its second half speaks of deification in such a way that nobody could think it involves a human being becoming a "hypostatic union" of Christ and that human being.  

Here is the whole essay from a Greek chap in Australia
http://www.greekorthodox.org.au/general/spirituality/theosis

"A Credible Presentation of Redemption for Today"
Mr. Philip Kariatlis

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« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2010, 12:16:28 PM »

Yes.  Then you have my point.  Very often strong analogous language is made to draw comparisons and show strength of relationships between the human and the divine.

My attitude is that if Orthodoxy can do it, the Catholic Church should be able to show some of the same kinds of writing without being mocked or poked at as though it is some sort of strange heresy.

I would think that the idea that a human being becomes a hypostatic union with Christ is indeed a strange heresy.
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« Reply #36 on: May 14, 2010, 12:21:10 PM »

What can I say?  That language is used over and over again in Orthodox teachings on theosis/divinization, and on personhood and human nature.

If you are going to talk about meaning when Orthodox do it, then you need to be prepared to accept the talk about meaning when Catholics do it...

Well you don't have to do you?  But your arguments would have more integrity if you did.

I realize that is not your aim here but...I thought I'd try one more time to point you in that direction.

M.

Yes.  Then you have my point.  Very often strong analogous language is made to draw comparisons and show strength of relationships between the human and the divine.

My attitude is that if Orthodoxy can do it, the Catholic Church should be able to show some of the same kinds of writing without being mocked or poked at as though it is some sort of strange heresy.

I would think that the idea that a human being becomes a hypostatic union with Christ is indeed a strange heresy.

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« Reply #37 on: May 14, 2010, 01:03:41 PM »


What can I say?  That language is used over and over again in Orthodox teachings on theosis/divinization, and on personhood and human nature.


What can you say?  Well, firstly you can say that the passage you quoted does not uphold your assertion that a human being forms a hypostatic union with Christ or any other member of the Trinity.

Secondly, if you really wish to say that this forms some sort of known theme in Orthodox theology, you had better substantiate it.

-oOo-

Here is the essay from which you quoted

http://www.greekorthodox.org.au/general/spirituality/theosis

"A Credible Presentation of Redemption for Today"
Mr. Philip Kariatlis
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« Reply #38 on: May 14, 2010, 01:13:42 PM »

I would think that the idea that a human being becomes a hypostatic union with Christ is indeed a strange heresy.


Agreed. To the best of my humble knowledge, the term 'hypostatic union' is used in Orthodox theology only in reference to the complete union of Christ's divine and human natures as uniquely both God and man.

As such, 'hypostatic union' is not used in reference to the 'union' of the human soul with God through Theosis, since the personal deification of Theosis is a union of the human soul with the 'energies' of God only, not with the 'One Essence' of God, which is reserved for Christ alone as the sole possessor of full human and divine natures both, and thus the sole Son of God.

The concept of humans becoming totally immersed in God as One spiritually is more akin to the theology of certain Eastern religions like Hinduism in which this idea is referred to as Nirvikalpa Samadhi. This concept has always been foreign to Orthodox spirituality and theology.

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« Reply #39 on: May 14, 2010, 01:44:44 PM »


What can I say?  That language is used over and over again in Orthodox teachings on theosis/divinization, and on personhood and human nature.


What can you say?  Well, firstly you can say that the passage you quoted does not uphold your assertion that a human being forms a hypostatic union with Christ or any other member of the Trinity.



What I did was give you an example where an Orthodox text uses the term hypostatic union as an analog for theosis.  That is what I actually did, and what I said I did and in fact the text does do that.

So when you can play fair I'll be back.

Mary
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« Reply #40 on: May 14, 2010, 01:59:26 PM »


What can I say?  That language is used over and over again in Orthodox teachings on theosis/divinization, and on personhood and human nature.


What can you say?  Well, firstly you can say that the passage you quoted does not uphold your assertion that a human being forms a hypostatic union with Christ or any other member of the Trinity.



What I did was give you an example where an Orthodox text uses the term hypostatic union as an analog for theosis.  That is what I actually did, and what I said I did and in fact the text does do that.

So when you can play fair I'll be back.

Dear Mary, I have to apologise to you but now, having studied both the extract you sent as well as the whole essay, I truly do not see what you have derived from it.   Blame it on my old mind, foggy with too many medications and not enough blood flowing through...!  Sad  I accept that you do of course see in the text what you have described.
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« Reply #41 on: May 14, 2010, 02:10:27 PM »


What can I say?  That language is used over and over again in Orthodox teachings on theosis/divinization, and on personhood and human nature.


What can you say?  Well, firstly you can say that the passage you quoted does not uphold your assertion that a human being forms a hypostatic union with Christ or any other member of the Trinity.



What I did was give you an example where an Orthodox text uses the term hypostatic union as an analog for theosis.  That is what I actually did, and what I said I did and in fact the text does do that.

So when you can play fair I'll be back.

Dear Mary, I have to apologise to you but now, having studied both the extract you sent as well as the whole essay, I truly do not see what you have derived from it.   Blame it on my old mind, foggy with too many medications and not enough blood flowing through...!  Sad  I accept that you do of course see in the text what you have described.

That's fine.  I've spent all the time I have on this for the moment.  I'll keep it in mind for later.

Here is the sentence with the precise analogous use:

But more than that, the fathers speak of the original destiny of human nature as one leading to a hypostatic union with the divine Logos in Christ - ie our deification.

If the language is not clear enough here, I really am not sure what would be.

M.

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« Reply #42 on: May 14, 2010, 02:14:07 PM »

But more than that, the fathers speak of the original destiny of human nature as one leading to a hypostatic union with the divine Logos in Christ - ie our deification.

How are you interpreting this?
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« Reply #43 on: May 14, 2010, 02:21:10 PM »

But more than that, the fathers speak of the original destiny of human nature as one leading to a hypostatic union with the divine Logos in Christ - ie our deification.

How are you interpreting this?

Huh?  Are you tracking this discussion?... laugh

I know you are not.  Neither is anyone else.

It is analogous language.

So is Father Kolbe's use of the phrase quasi-Incarnation.

It is meant to show the strength and direction of human relationships with the divine.

It is not an unusual way of speaking in theological or spiritual terms for either Catholics or Orthodox.

That is my point.

Very simple.

M.
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« Reply #44 on: May 14, 2010, 02:30:14 PM »

What I did was give you an example where an Orthodox text uses the term hypostatic union as an analog for theosis.  That is what I actually did, and what I said I did and in fact the text does do that.
Hello Mary:

You did indeed give such an example. However, the hypostatic union of Theosis has been exhaustively addressed by Orthodox theologians, and has been clearly defined as a union with Divine Energies only, not a union with Divine Essence. As such, Theosis allows us to achieve only a limited personal deification, due to our inherent imperfection, but not a complete and total deification as manifested by Christ alone.

Thus, the term hypostatic union has to be understood in this context as differing in degree from the hypostatic union of human and divine natures manifested in the Incarnation of Christ.

Warm regards ~

Cosmos
« Last Edit: May 14, 2010, 02:33:51 PM by Cosmos » Logged

Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, ἐλέησόν με!
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