Author Topic: Original Sin, Orthodox and Catholic Teaching  (Read 24238 times)

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Offline Melodist

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Re: Original Sin, Orthodox and Catholic Teaching
« Reply #90 on: May 29, 2010, 05:04:03 PM »
I don't know if the Roman Rite baptismal ceremony includes this line or not but it may be of interest in another discussion.

You set at liberty the generations of our nature, you sanctified a virgin womb by your birth.
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

Made Perfect in Weakness - Latest Post: The Son of God

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: Original Sin, Orthodox and Catholic Teaching
« Reply #91 on: May 29, 2010, 05:26:05 PM »
Catholic understanding of sanctifying grace, from Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD, 42:

"Jesus tells us to abide in Him because we have been grafted on to Him.  This spiritual engrafting, an accomplished fact, was made possible for all men by Christ's death on the Cross, and it became effective for each one of us at the time of our Baptism.  Christ grafted us into Himself, at the cost of His precious Blood [and pure Body]. Therefore we are in Him, [by sanctifying grace], but He insists further that we abide in him and bring forth fruit.

Baptism is sufficient to graft us into Christ, and [the smallest] degree of grace will permit us to abide in Him like living branches, but we should not be content with this union only.  We must show our gratitude for the immense gift we have received by endeavoring to become more and more firmly grafted into Christ.  We must live with this union with Christ, making Him the center, the sun of our interior life.  

"Abide in me" is not a chance expression.  Christ wished to show us that our life in Him requires our personal collaboration with Him, that we are to employ all our strength and mind and will and our heart that we may live in Him and by Him.  The more we try to abide in Christ the deeper our little branch will grow into Him, because it will be nourished more abundantly by the sap of grace.

"Abide in me, and I in you." The more closely we are united to Christ by faith, charity and good works done with the intention of pleasing God, the more intensely will He live in us and bestow on us continually a new life of grace.  Thus we shall become not merely living branches but branches laden with fruit, the fruit of sanctity destined to bring joy to the Heart of God, for Jesus has said: "In this is My Father glorified, that you bring forth very much fruit [John 15:8]."
« Last Edit: May 29, 2010, 05:29:02 PM by elijahmaria »

Offline akimel

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Re: Original Sin, Orthodox and Catholic Teaching
« Reply #92 on: May 30, 2010, 02:18:38 PM »

These quotes, one of whoch is from the epistle reading, all say something about baptism as it relates to the fall. Sin and death came about as a result of the fall. Sin and death are only overcome through Christ's death and resurrection. We are joined to Christ's death and resurrection through baptism.

The fall did something to our nature. Christ undid this something. We are joined to Christ through baptism. Baptism udoes something that was done by the fall. The question isn't whether or not baptism undoes something done in the fall, but rather what does baptism undo and how does it affect us in this life.

Orthodoxy teaches that we are born into corruption because of the fall and through our baptism receive a "garment of incorruption" (we receive this garment according to the service referenced above).

Catholicism teaches that we are born deprived of "sanctifying grace" because of the fall, which we receive at baptism (CCC Par 1266).

I'm not saying whether they teach the same thing or not, only that this is how they teach baptism in relation to the effects of the fall.

Baptism gives us more than what Adam and Eve had in the garden and gives us more than just what they lost. Where they were created "in the image and likeness of God", through baptism we are united to God through Jesus Christ who shares the fullness of both divine and human nature fully united together. Baptism unites us to Him and in so doing unites us directly to God through Christ, who was God in the flesh, and gives us a greater gift than what humanity had in the garden.

So while I admit baptism does more than simply reverse the fall, its effects still include repairing and restoring what was lost in the fall.

This seems like an accurate interpretation of the Orthodox baptismal liturgy, at least I this Westerner reads the text. 

Now compare this interpretation with the modern Catholic rite of Holy Baptism

One immediately notes the absence in the liturgy of the term "sanctifying grace."  This is not surprising, as the term belongs not to the primary language of liturgy but to second order theological reflection.  The liturgy itself prefers to employ the language of Holy Scripture and Tradition.  The one difference between the Eastern and Latin rites that jumped at me is the petition in the Latin rite "set him (her) free from original sin."  Note that it is a petition to "set free," rather than to forgive; moreover, the petition is included (and I think this is significant) in the prayer that introduces the exorcism:

Almighty and ever-living God, you sent your only Son into the world to cast out the power of Satan, spirit of evil, to rescue man from the kingdom of darkness, and bring him into the splendor of your kingdom of light. We pray for this child: set him (her) free from original sin, make him (her) a temple of your glory, and send your Holy Spirit to dwell with him (her). We ask this through Christ our Lord.

In other words, original sin betokens that condition of enslavement and alienation into which we have been born and from which we are delivered by the Holy Trinity through the baptismal sacrament.  It might be noted that the term "original sin" is not included in the traditional Latin baptismal rite.   

A cursory comparison of the two rites does not reveal, at least as far as I can see, any significant differences in substantive theological understanding.