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Author Topic: The sinlessness of the Theotokos, John the Baptist, and the Old Testament Saints  (Read 8375 times) Average Rating: 0
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Mardukm
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« Reply #90 on: September 25, 2010, 10:13:57 AM »

Dear brother Mina,

I’m pretty busy right now, so I only have time to address this short post from you for now:
Quote from: Mina
What other Catholic beliefs fit into the same category as the IC?  How do we know the difference between this category, and a category that cannot be denied, for example, the Trinity?  Or put it another way, which are necessary for faith, and which do not need to be necessary?

Other infallible dogmas in the Catholic Church that are on a similar “level” as the IC are Munificentissimus Deus (the Assumption, which has a nearly identical proscription – not an anathema - as the dogma on the IC) and Benedictus Deus (on the Beatific Vision of the righteous [physically] dead, which does not have a proscription at all).

In the Catholic Church, there is an hierarchy of Truths.  The central Truths are about God proper (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), and belief in these are necessary for salvation.  All other Truths exist insofar as they are an aid to reinforcing the central Truths about God.  Insofar as they serve that purpose, they are likewise necessary for salvation.  One can generally (though by no means concisely) gauge their relative necessity by the proscriptions attached to them. If they are anathemas, they have a special and unique relation to the Truths about God (for example, Truths about the teaching authority of the Church, without which our knowledge of God would suffer or not exist at all). If they are not anathemas (such as in Munificentissimus Deus and Ineffabilis Deus), that would normally mean that the Truth is not central (and thus not absolutely necessary for salvation), but necessary only insofar as it reinforces the central Truths.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The mutual connections between dogmas, and their coherence, can be found in the whole of the revelation of the Mystery of Christ. In Catholic doctrine there exists an hierarchy of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the Christian Faith…The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the “hierarchy of the truths of faith.”

I hope that helps.

Blessings,
Marduk
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« Reply #91 on: September 25, 2010, 10:19:06 AM »


In the Catholic Church, there is an hierarchy of Truths.  The central Truths are about God proper (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), and belief in these are necessary for salvation.


Is there some official statement on their necessity for salvation?   Are those who do not believe damned?  Jews? Muslims? Unbelievers in general?
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« Reply #92 on: September 25, 2010, 10:36:29 AM »

Dear brother Mina,

I’m pretty busy right now, so I only have time to address this short post from you for now:
Quote from: Mina
What other Catholic beliefs fit into the same category as the IC?  How do we know the difference between this category, and a category that cannot be denied, for example, the Trinity?  Or put it another way, which are necessary for faith, and which do not need to be necessary?

Other infallible dogmas in the Catholic Church that are on a similar “level” as the IC are Munificentissimus Deus (the Assumption, which has a nearly identical proscription – not an anathema - as the dogma on the IC) and Benedictus Deus (on the Beatific Vision of the righteous [physically] dead, which does not have a proscription at all).

In the Catholic Church, there is an hierarchy of Truths.  The central Truths are about God proper (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), and belief in these are necessary for salvation.  All other Truths exist insofar as they are an aid to reinforcing the central Truths about God.  Insofar as they serve that purpose, they are likewise necessary for salvation.  One can generally (though by no means concisely) gauge their relative necessity by the proscriptions attached to them. If they are anathemas, they have a special and unique relation to the Truths about God (for example, Truths about the teaching authority of the Church, without which our knowledge of God would suffer or not exist at all). If they are not anathemas (such as in Munificentissimus Deus and Ineffabilis Deus), that would normally mean that the Truth is not central (and thus not absolutely necessary for salvation), but necessary only insofar as it reinforces the central Truths.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The mutual connections between dogmas, and their coherence, can be found in the whole of the revelation of the Mystery of Christ. In Catholic doctrine there exists an hierarchy of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the Christian Faith…The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the “hierarchy of the truths of faith.”

I hope that helps.

Blessings,
Marduk


Dear Marduk,

I don't have time to search references on the Internet at the moment but I think that the Church makes clear that all of the truths of the faith are to be believed in their wholeness [catholicity] and that the hierarchy of truths is established so as to center the credal truths and establish the relationship of credal truth with other supporting and explanatory truths.

When one speaks of that which is necessary to salvation, what does that mean in reality?  We never really get to explore that in these kinds of contentious venues, and without some clear idea of what salvation is, what heaven is, what theology is, what Catholic means when one finally gets around to including God as the ultimate Catholic  Smiley  none of these parsings of this and that make a whole lot of sense.  Unity and union are alien to Catholic and Orthodox dialogues at any but the level of some of our bishops and monastics.  So one cannot expect there to be opportunity to actually define and discuss anything but the most rudimentary rule-based understandings of the faith.  We as Catholics have no faith you see, no wholeness, no union, no spirit filled life, and therefore no salvation.

So dialogue remains in fight mode and in many respects produces nothing but distortion and bad faith.

The truths of revelation are not established to be barriers to one another and to the faith.  They are gates, not gate-keepers though we often wield them like clubs at one another.

But I expect that we are expected to carry on to the best of our abilities.

In Christ,

Mary

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« Reply #93 on: September 25, 2010, 10:41:09 AM »


We as Catholics have no faith you see, no wholeness, no union, no spirit filled life, and therefore no salvation.


No salvation for Roman Catholics?  Mary, stop talking to those Jehovah's Witnesses!  Angry  Or is it the Pentecostals?  They must be depressing you.
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« Reply #94 on: September 25, 2010, 10:36:38 PM »


We as Catholics have no faith you see, no wholeness, no union, no spirit filled life, and therefore no salvation.


No salvation for Roman Catholics?  Mary, stop talking to those Jehovah's Witnesses!  Angry  Or is it the Pentecostals?  They must be depressing you.

Catholics are honest enough to admit that we believe non-Catholics can be saved but the relationship with God through eternity is not the same as those who have been Baptized into Christ.

Otherwise what is all this True Church vs Religious Organization all about?

Not to mention sacramental economy...

Not to mention the ascetic  life...

You cannot really have saints without graced sacraments and the Body of Christ.

These bricks Orthodoxy lobs across the green are not isolated moments of doctrine.

They are real judgments that have real consequences.

Does it depress me?

 Smiley

I am a Catholic.

M.
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« Reply #95 on: September 25, 2010, 11:28:29 PM »


No salvation for Roman Catholics?  Mary, stop talking to those Jehovah's Witnesses!  Angry  Or is it the Pentecostals?  They must be depressing you.

Catholics are honest enough to admit that we believe non-Catholics can be saved but the relationship with God through eternity is not the same as those who have been Baptized into Christ.


Pure Mary Lanserism.  Grin  Where is the magisterial teaching that non-Catholics have a different relationship with God through eternity?
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« Reply #96 on: September 25, 2010, 11:33:23 PM »


No salvation for Roman Catholics?  Mary, stop talking to those Jehovah's Witnesses!  Angry  Or is it the Pentecostals?  They must be depressing you.

Catholics are honest enough to admit that we believe non-Catholics can be saved but the relationship with God through eternity is not the same as those who have been Baptized into Christ.


Pure Mary Lanserism.  Grin  Where is the magisterial teaching that non-Catholics have a different relationship with God through eternity?

Why don't you address the real question here which is if all can be saved and are on equal footing through eternity, what the dickens is the purpose of all the fussing over doctrine and liturgy and grace or no-grace and all the rest of the nonsense that we seem to obsess on day to day.

Is it really just a matter of one-upmanship?

M.
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« Reply #97 on: September 25, 2010, 11:44:15 PM »


No salvation for Roman Catholics?  Mary, stop talking to those Jehovah's Witnesses!  Angry  Or is it the Pentecostals?  They must be depressing you.

Catholics are honest enough to admit that we believe non-Catholics can be saved but the relationship with God through eternity is not the same as those who have been Baptized into Christ.


Pure Mary Lanserism.  Grin  Where is the magisterial teaching that non-Catholics have a different relationship with God through eternity?

Why don't you address the real question here which is if all can be saved and are on equal footing through eternity, what the dickens is the purpose of all the fussing over doctrine and liturgy and grace or no-grace and all the rest of the nonsense that we seem to obsess on day to day.

Is it really just a matter of one-upmanship?

It would seem to be a matter of one-upmanship.  You are saying that Catholics have a higher quality of theosis or of the Beatific Vision in the afterlife than non-Catholics.

I find that preposterous and would ask you to justify it, either with magisterial statements from the Roman Catholic Church or even simply with statements from the Ruthenian Catholic Church.
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« Reply #98 on: September 25, 2010, 11:57:21 PM »


No salvation for Roman Catholics?  Mary, stop talking to those Jehovah's Witnesses!  Angry  Or is it the Pentecostals?  They must be depressing you.

Catholics are honest enough to admit that we believe non-Catholics can be saved but the relationship with God through eternity is not the same as those who have been Baptized into Christ.


Pure Mary Lanserism.  Grin  Where is the magisterial teaching that non-Catholics have a different relationship with God through eternity?

Why don't you address the real question here which is if all can be saved and are on equal footing through eternity, what the dickens is the purpose of all the fussing over doctrine and liturgy and grace or no-grace and all the rest of the nonsense that we seem to obsess on day to day.

Is it really just a matter of one-upmanship?

It would seem to be a matter of one-upmanship.  You are saying that Catholics have a higher quality of theosis or of the Beatific Vision in the afterlife than non-Catholics.

I find that preposterous and would ask you to justify it, either with magisterial statements from the Roman Catholic Church or even simply with statements from the Ruthenian Catholic Church.

You are ducking the question Father and it IS the crux of the matter.

If universal salvation is not only possible but also likely and if we all share in the same experience of God regardless of our fides here on earth...what the dickens is the point of all this Orthodox nonsense about we have graced sacraments and you don't....

In your scheme of things it doesn't matter!!  We all end up the same place the same way no matter what we do!!

That's even a better deal than once saved, always saved!! 

M.
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« Reply #99 on: September 26, 2010, 12:54:01 AM »

Dear brother Mina,

I’m pretty busy right now, so I only have time to address this short post from you for now:
Quote from: Mina
What other Catholic beliefs fit into the same category as the IC?  How do we know the difference between this category, and a category that cannot be denied, for example, the Trinity?  Or put it another way, which are necessary for faith, and which do not need to be necessary?

Other infallible dogmas in the Catholic Church that are on a similar “level” as the IC are Munificentissimus Deus (the Assumption, which has a nearly identical proscription – not an anathema - as the dogma on the IC) and Benedictus Deus (on the Beatific Vision of the righteous [physically] dead, which does not have a proscription at all).
The one which condemned the heresy of Pope John XXII?
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« Reply #100 on: September 26, 2010, 04:13:05 AM »


You are ducking the question Father and it IS the crux of the matter.

If universal salvation is not only possible but also likely and if we all share in the same experience of God regardless of our fides here on earth...what the dickens is the point of all this Orthodox nonsense about we have graced sacraments and you don't....

In your scheme of things it doesn't matter!!  We all end up the same place the same way no matter what we do!!

That's even a better deal than once saved, always saved!! 



Will the Heterodox Be Saved?
Metropolitan Philaret, of blessed memory, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (+1985)

<...>

The question: Can the heterodox, i.e. those who do, not belong to Orthodoxy-the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church-be saved, has become particularly painful and acute in our days.

In attempting to answer this question, it is necessary, first of all, to recall that in His Gospel the Lord Jesus Christ Himself mentions but one state of the human soul which unfailingly leads to perdition-i.e. blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:1-32). The Holy Spirit is, above all, the Spirit of Truth, as the Saviour loved to refer to Him. Accordingly, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is blasphemy against the Truth, conscious and persistent opposition to it. The same text makes it clear that even blasphemy against the Son of Man-i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God Himself may be forgiven men, as it may be uttered in error or in ignorance and, subsequently may be covered by conversion and repentance (an example of such a converted and repentant blasphemer is the Apostle Paul. (See Acts 26:11 and I Tim. 1:13.) If, however, a man opposes the Truth which he clearly apprehends by his reason and, conscience, he becomes blind and commits spiritual suicide, for he thereby likens himself to the devil, who believes in God and dreads Him, yet hates, blasphemes, and opposes Him.

Thus, man's refusal to accept the Divine Truth and his opposition thereto makes him a son of damnation. Accordingly, in sending His disciples to preach, the Lord told them: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mk. 16:16), for the latter heard the Lord's Truth and was called upon to accept it, yet refused, thereby inheriting the damnation of those who "believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thes. 2:12).

The Holy Orthodox Church is the repository of the divinely revealed Truth in all its fullness and fidelity to apostolic Tradition. Hence, he who leaves the Church, who intentionally and consciously falls away from it, joins the ranks of its opponents and becomes a renegade as regards apostolic Tradition. The Church dreadfully anathematized such renegades, in accordance with the words of the Saviour Himself (Matt. 18:17) and of the Apostle Paul (Gal. 1:8-9), threatening them with e ternal damnation and calling them to return to the Orthodox fold. It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics-i.e. those who knowingly pervert the truth...* They have been born and raised and are living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The Lord, "Who will have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4) and "Who enlightens every man born into the world" (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation In His own way.

<...>

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/metphil_heterodox.aspx

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« Reply #101 on: September 26, 2010, 05:53:49 AM »

If universal salvation is not only possible but also likely and if we all share in the same experience of God regardless of our fides here on earth...what the dickens is the point of all this Orthodox nonsense about we have graced sacraments and you don't....

In your scheme of things it doesn't matter!!  We all end up the same place the same way no matter what we do!!

That's even a better deal than once saved, always saved!! 


A few articles - to redress your unbalanced apprehension of my viewpoint.....

"Saint Isaac of Nineveh and Universal Salvation"

http://en.hilarion.orthodoxia.org/6_6_10

"Saint Gregory the Theologian and Eschatological Insights"

http://en.hilarion.orthodoxia.org/6_5_11

The Metropolitan writes these words on Saint Gregory's understanding in the latter article and I believe they are words of wisdom...

"It seems that Gregory Nazianzen is in agreement with Gregory of Nyssa that there will be a final restoration of all. However, unlike the Bishop of Nyssa, he never brings eschatological insights to their ultimate outcome: for him, eschatology is a realm of questions rather than answers, conjectures rather than definitions. ‘Restoration of all’ is an object of hope rather than a dogma of faith. He rejects neither the idea of eternal Hell, nor the idea of universal salvation: both concepts remain for him with a big question mark. Speaking of the resurrection of the dead, Gregory asks: ‘Is it that all will later encounter God?’, and leaves this question unanswered. Eschatological deification of humanity is one of the many mysteries of the Christian faith which are beyond the limits of rational comprehension. "

A google search with   apokatastasis hilarion   will produce more articles on this theme.

Finally I believe the sanest attitude is that of Saint Maximus the Confessor...

"One should pray that Apokatastasis is true, but one would be foolish to teach it as doctrine."


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« Reply #102 on: September 26, 2010, 08:48:05 AM »


You are ducking the question Father and it IS the crux of the matter.

If universal salvation is not only possible but also likely and if we all share in the same experience of God regardless of our fides here on earth...what the dickens is the point of all this Orthodox nonsense about we have graced sacraments and you don't....

In your scheme of things it doesn't matter!!  We all end up the same place the same way no matter what we do!!

That's even a better deal than once saved, always saved!! 



Will the Heterodox Be Saved?
Metropolitan Philaret, of blessed memory, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (+1985)

<...>

The question: Can the heterodox, i.e. those who do, not belong to Orthodoxy-the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church-be saved, has become particularly painful and acute in our days.

In attempting to answer this question, it is necessary, first of all, to recall that in His Gospel the Lord Jesus Christ Himself mentions but one state of the human soul which unfailingly leads to perdition-i.e. blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:1-32). The Holy Spirit is, above all, the Spirit of Truth, as the Saviour loved to refer to Him. Accordingly, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is blasphemy against the Truth, conscious and persistent opposition to it. The same text makes it clear that even blasphemy against the Son of Man-i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God Himself may be forgiven men, as it may be uttered in error or in ignorance and, subsequently may be covered by conversion and repentance (an example of such a converted and repentant blasphemer is the Apostle Paul. (See Acts 26:11 and I Tim. 1:13.) If, however, a man opposes the Truth which he clearly apprehends by his reason and, conscience, he becomes blind and commits spiritual suicide, for he thereby likens himself to the devil, who believes in God and dreads Him, yet hates, blasphemes, and opposes Him.

Thus, man's refusal to accept the Divine Truth and his opposition thereto makes him a son of damnation. Accordingly, in sending His disciples to preach, the Lord told them: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mk. 16:16), for the latter heard the Lord's Truth and was called upon to accept it, yet refused, thereby inheriting the damnation of those who "believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thes. 2:12).

The Holy Orthodox Church is the repository of the divinely revealed Truth in all its fullness and fidelity to apostolic Tradition. Hence, he who leaves the Church, who intentionally and consciously falls away from it, joins the ranks of its opponents and becomes a renegade as regards apostolic Tradition. The Church dreadfully anathematized such renegades, in accordance with the words of the Saviour Himself (Matt. 18:17) and of the Apostle Paul (Gal. 1:8-9), threatening them with e ternal damnation and calling them to return to the Orthodox fold. It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics-i.e. those who knowingly pervert the truth...* They have been born and raised and are living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The Lord, "Who will have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4) and "Who enlightens every man born into the world" (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation In His own way.

<...>

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/metphil_heterodox.aspx



He then ducks, as you are Father, the clear reality of the elephant in his theological livingroom.

IF Orthodoxy is the fullness of faith and salvation and it is held by none other, yet we are ALL destined for the SAME salvation and the SAME course through ever lasting life, what is the PURPOSE of all this fussing over this or that detail all about?

Why go through the troubles of living the Orthodox life and walking the Orthodox walk when it all comes out well in the end for ANYONE who professes Jesus Christ is Lord?...and even some of those who do not.

Why bother?  As you describe it and as it is described here it is really nothing more than a life-style choice.  So why argue about and why remain out of communion with those Christian brothers and sisters with whom you will spend life-everlasting IF our life-style choices have NO bearing on our salvation?Huh

M.
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« Reply #103 on: September 26, 2010, 08:53:14 AM »

If universal salvation is not only possible but also likely and if we all share in the same experience of God regardless of our fides here on earth...what the dickens is the point of all this Orthodox nonsense about we have graced sacraments and you don't....

In your scheme of things it doesn't matter!!  We all end up the same place the same way no matter what we do!!

That's even a better deal than once saved, always saved!! 


A few articles - to redress your unbalanced apprehension of my viewpoint.....

"Saint Isaac of Nineveh and Universal Salvation"

http://en.hilarion.orthodoxia.org/6_6_10

"Saint Gregory the Theologian and Eschatological Insights"

http://en.hilarion.orthodoxia.org/6_5_11

The Metropolitan writes these words on Saint Gregory's understanding in the latter article and I believe they are words of wisdom...

"It seems that Gregory Nazianzen is in agreement with Gregory of Nyssa that there will be a final restoration of all. However, unlike the Bishop of Nyssa, he never brings eschatological insights to their ultimate outcome: for him, eschatology is a realm of questions rather than answers, conjectures rather than definitions. ‘Restoration of all’ is an object of hope rather than a dogma of faith. He rejects neither the idea of eternal Hell, nor the idea of universal salvation: both concepts remain for him with a big question mark. Speaking of the resurrection of the dead, Gregory asks: ‘Is it that all will later encounter God?’, and leaves this question unanswered. Eschatological deification of humanity is one of the many mysteries of the Christian faith which are beyond the limits of rational comprehension. "

A google search with   apokatastasis hilarion   will produce more articles on this theme.

Finally I believe the sanest attitude is that of Saint Maximus the Confessor...

"One should pray that Apokatastasis is true, but one would be foolish to teach it as doctrine."


This has NOTHING to do with the reality of a  Christianity divided on core truths of the faith AND essential practices of the expression of the faith!!  Does not address it in the slightest. 

And it is not really necessary to profess apokatastasis to raise the question!!

IF we die outside the fullness of the faith, and my salvation and everlasting relationship will be the same as your own, why would you remain outside of communion with me, except as a life-style choice?

You can recommend several varieties of birth control pastorally, and I cannot....You can claim to be of the TRUE Church and you say I cannot.

Other than a few earthly perks, what is the big deal?

Mary
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« Reply #104 on: September 26, 2010, 09:08:05 AM »

I am dealing with this statement of yours:

Quote

Catholics are honest enough to admit that we believe non-Catholics can be saved but the relationship with God through eternity is not the same as those who have been Baptized into Christ.

You are simply refusing to address it and are trying to escape my enquiry.......  Are non-Catholics in heaven restricted to a lesser level of the Beatific Vision?   Or a lesser form of theosis?   I truly cannot imagine what you mean. 

I know that what you have asserted is not magisterial teaching and I am left wondering where you picked it up?


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« Reply #105 on: September 26, 2010, 09:15:53 AM »

I am dealing with this statement of yours:

Quote

Catholics are honest enough to admit that we believe non-Catholics can be saved but the relationship with God through eternity is not the same as those who have been Baptized into Christ.

You are simply refusing to address it and are trying to escape my enquiry.......  Are non-Catholics in heaven restricted to a lesser level of the Beatific Vision?   Or a lesser form of theosis?   I truly cannot imagine what you mean. 

I know that what you have asserted is not magisterial teaching and I am left wondering where you picked it up?

No Father...and this one is as plain as the egg on your face.

IF our salvation is NO different between the believers and non-believers, why are we not in communion with all Christians?

That is the real question that EVERY religious section on this forum ducks daily in the rush to Orthodox triumphalism.

What the heck to you all have to be triumphal ABOUT with all this one TRUE Church stuff?

Who cares?  We are all going to swing on the same cloud in any event.

Thank you, Father for you cogent address of the question of the ages.

M.
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« Reply #106 on: September 26, 2010, 09:22:11 AM »

I am hoping to be enlightened, not on the "question of the ages," but on your statement that heaven is somehow two-tiered.  There are the Catholics there who have a specific "Catholic" relationship with God and there are non-Catholics who have a different relationship.

Are you able to say more about that difference in relationship?

To bring it into focus... assuming you and I are both in heaven, in what way will your relationship with God differ from mine?
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« Reply #107 on: September 26, 2010, 01:05:21 PM »

I am hoping to be enlightened, not on the "question of the ages," but on your statement that heaven is somehow two-tiered.  There are the Catholics there who have a specific "Catholic" relationship with God and there are non-Catholics who have a different relationship.

Are you able to say more about that difference in relationship?

To bring it into focus... assuming you and I are both in heaven, in what way will your relationship with God differ from mine?

As I said it is this idea that there is NO difference between a pagan and a Christian or a Christian of one faith or another through eternity that forces the question of why we bother to make such clear distinctions here when there are no distinctions in the hereafter.

I can understand that you would not want to answer this question ...or cannot.

I just thought I would raise the issue because it is the question hidden behind all the posturing about trueness and only-oneness in Church.

Mary
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« Reply #108 on: October 05, 2010, 08:11:26 AM »

My priest suggested that there will be those who will enter the kingdom of God as sons and daughters of God, and there will be others who will be servants. I consider that even the latter is far more than I deserve.

John
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« Reply #109 on: October 05, 2010, 11:23:02 AM »

I remember in reading the life of (RC) St Therese of Liseux, her older sister used a charming analogy to help her understand how all of us could be equally happy in heaven despite our different amounts of faith.

The older sister set a thimble and a vase side by side, then filled both to the brim with water.  "Which is more full?" she asked Therese.  The little girl then understood that no matter how small our "cup of faith" might be, God will fill it to overflowing with His love.
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« Reply #110 on: October 05, 2010, 11:32:36 AM »

My priest suggested that there will be those who will enter the kingdom of God as sons and daughters of God, and there will be others who will be servants. I consider that even the latter is far more than I deserve.

John

Yes.  The last shall be first...and that sort of thing.  There's more than one instance in the New Testament where Jesus makes it plain that "fair" is on God's terms, not ours, and that we all are not equal in what we gain here on earth and through life everlasting. 

That does not mean we do not try.  It does mean we are fools to try for mere personal gain.  It means we never ought to compare our lot with that of another.  It does mean that the salvation of all should be our prayer, not because it is fair, but because it would be for the greater honor and glory of God.

This idea that we all are saved and saved with equal result is not supported in Scripture or in the teachings of the ascetic fathers.

Your priest is a wise man.

Mary
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« Reply #111 on: October 05, 2010, 02:25:49 PM »

I remember in reading the life of (RC) St Therese of Liseux, her older sister used a charming analogy to help her understand how all of us could be equally happy in heaven despite our different amounts of faith.

The older sister set a thimble and a vase side by side, then filled both to the brim with water.  "Which is more full?" she asked Therese.  The little girl then understood that no matter how small our "cup of faith" might be, God will fill it to overflowing with His love.

PERFECT!!

Thank you!

M.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #112 on: April 03, 2011, 02:41:52 PM »

I remember in reading the life of (RC) St Therese of Liseux, her older sister used a charming analogy to help her understand how all of us could be equally happy in heaven despite our different amounts of faith.

The older sister set a thimble and a vase side by side, then filled both to the brim with water.  "Which is more full?" she asked Therese.  The little girl then understood that no matter how small our "cup of faith" might be, God will fill it to overflowing with His love.

Great thought Smiley
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