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Author Topic: Servitude vs slavery to the Theotokos  (Read 6763 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ortho_cat
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« on: December 21, 2010, 11:40:01 AM »

Split off from Brown Scapular - Schultz


Quote
Like the rosary, this scapular has become the badge of the devout Catholic and the true servant of Mary.


Hmm the 'servant' part threw me off...

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other."
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 12:24:12 PM by Schultz » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2010, 01:36:02 PM »

Quote
Like the rosary, this scapular has become the badge of the devout Catholic and the true servant of Mary.


Hmm the 'servant' part threw me off...

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other."

Must make it real rough on bishops then...you know...having to choose between serving his flock and serving Christ...eh?
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2010, 04:25:58 PM »

Quote
Like the rosary, this scapular has become the badge of the devout Catholic and the true servant of Mary.


Hmm the 'servant' part threw me off...

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other."

Our Lady's will is completely that of Christ, so serving Our Lady is serving Christ.

Respectfully, the above post has the air of Protestant polemics.
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Ortho_cat
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2010, 04:29:16 PM »

Quote
Like the rosary, this scapular has become the badge of the devout Catholic and the true servant of Mary.


Hmm the 'servant' part threw me off...

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other."

Our Lady's will is completely that of Christ, so serving Our Lady is serving Christ.

Respectfully, the above post has the air of Protestant polemics.

St. Epiphanius of Cyprus: "There is an equal harm in both these heresies, both when men demean the Virgin and when, on the contrary, they glorify Her beyond what is proper"
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2010, 04:30:25 PM »

Quote
Like the rosary, this scapular has become the badge of the devout Catholic and the true servant of Mary.


Hmm the 'servant' part threw me off...

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other."

Must make it real rough on bishops then...you know...having to choose between serving his flock and serving Christ...eh?

Hey don't look at me, I didn't write the verse! Wink
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2010, 05:48:41 PM »

Quote
Like the rosary, this scapular has become the badge of the devout Catholic and the true servant of Mary.


Hmm the 'servant' part threw me off...

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other."

Must make it real rough on bishops then...you know...having to choose between serving his flock and serving Christ...eh?

Hey don't look at me, I didn't write the verse! Wink

Don't interpret it too well either.
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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2010, 06:55:27 PM »

Quote
Like the rosary, this scapular has become the badge of the devout Catholic and the true servant of Mary.


Hmm the 'servant' part threw me off...

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other."
Cease being Protestant and become Orthodox/Catholic>
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2010, 10:27:13 PM »

I am an Orthodox Christian who is a servant of the Mother of God.  angel
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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2010, 10:38:49 PM »

I am an Orthodox Christian who is a servant of the Mother of God.  angel

As for me and my House Hold ,we will serve the Holy Orthodox Christ with out adding or taking away and Honoring and Venerate The Orthodox Most Blessed Theotokos with out adding or taking away ,and use her as a role model ,in saying thy will be done Lord and ask for her help ...Amen Amen
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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2010, 11:07:23 PM »

I Knew it...
The Catholic Pagan Goddess Mary ,want's to be served ,even worshiped...

Orthodox prayers say:

O Lady, accept the prayer of Thy slaves, and deliver us from every need and sorrow.
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« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2010, 11:12:25 PM »

I Knew it...
The Catholic Pagan Goddess Mary ,want's to be served ,even worshiped...

Orthodox prayers say:

O Lady, accept the prayer of Thy slaves, and deliver us from every need and sorrow.

In serbian Prayers we use the word sluga, means servant ,but even i know it doesn't actually mean where slaves and servants of hers. God is the only one one serves......

Ill take correction if i erred , from our living  saintly  poster Fr. Amborse aka Irish Hermit...He tells it like it is... Grin
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2010, 06:27:19 AM »

I am an Orthodox Christian who is a servant of the Mother of God.  angel

In this way we pull the same plough!!
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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2010, 11:59:03 AM »

Quote
Like the rosary, this scapular has become the badge of the devout Catholic and the true servant of Mary.


Hmm the 'servant' part threw me off...

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other."

Must make it real rough on bishops then...you know...having to choose between serving his flock and serving Christ...eh?

Hey don't look at me, I didn't write the verse! Wink

Don't interpret it too well either.

Perhaps you would care to assist me with the proper interpretation?
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« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2010, 12:00:23 PM »

Quote
Like the rosary, this scapular has become the badge of the devout Catholic and the true servant of Mary.


Hmm the 'servant' part threw me off...

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other."
Cease being Protestant and become Orthodox/Catholic>

So in order to become Orthodox I have to acknowledge my servitude to Mary?

BTW, perhaps we could split this topic while include Stashko's, mine, and other relevant posts? I want to get other's opinions on this issue of 'servitude' and 'slavery'.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 12:06:13 PM by Ortho_cat » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2010, 12:37:39 PM »

Ortho_cat,
Do thy ever sing the Paraklesis in your church?
"To the Theotokos, let us run now most fervently,
As sinners and lowly ones,
Let us fall down in repentance,
Crying from the depths of our soul:
Lady, come and help us,
Have compassion upon us;
Hasten now for we are lost
In the host of our errors;
Do not turn your servants away,
For you alone are a hope to us."
"O Theotokos, we shall not cease from speaking of all your mighty acts, all we the unworthy ones; for if
you had not stood to intercede for us, who would have delivered us from such numerous dangers? Who
would have preserved us all until now in true freedom? O Lady, we shall not turn away from you; for you
always save your servants from all manner of grief. "
"You shelter, all those who in faith flee to you, with your mighty hand, O pure one, as you are good; no one
else have we who sin as a perpetual intercession with our God in dangers and sorrows, we who have been
burdened with our abundant sins, Theotokos in the highest. Therefore, we all fall down before you; rescue
us, your servants from adversities."
"You are the joy of all that sorrow, and of the oppressed a guardian, and nurture of all the poor, comfort to
the estranged, a support you are to the blind, visitation of all the sick, a shelter and succour to those
brought down by pain, helper of orphaned ones: you are Theotokos in the Highest, O spotless Maiden; , we beg you, to redeem your slaves."
"Lady, receive the supplications of your slaves, and deliver us from every affliction and necessity. "

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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2010, 12:42:20 PM »

Quote
Like the rosary, this scapular has become the badge of the devout Catholic and the true servant of Mary.


Hmm the 'servant' part threw me off...

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other."

Our Lady's will is completely that of Christ, so serving Our Lady is serving Christ.

Respectfully, the above post has the air of Protestant polemics.

So along this same line of thinking, could we not also say that by worshipping her, we are worshipping Christ? (by worship I am implying the modern interpretation of the word).
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 12:43:04 PM by Ortho_cat » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2010, 12:44:18 PM »

Ortho_cat,
Do thy ever sing the Paraklesis in your church?
"To the Theotokos, let us run now most fervently,
As sinners and lowly ones,
Let us fall down in repentance,
Crying from the depths of our soul:
Lady, come and help us,
Have compassion upon us;
Hasten now for we are lost
In the host of our errors;
Do not turn your servants away,
For you alone are a hope to us."
"O Theotokos, we shall not cease from speaking of all your mighty acts, all we the unworthy ones; for if
you had not stood to intercede for us, who would have delivered us from such numerous dangers? Who
would have preserved us all until now in true freedom? O Lady, we shall not turn away from you; for you
always save your servants from all manner of grief. "
"You shelter, all those who in faith flee to you, with your mighty hand, O pure one, as you are good; no one
else have we who sin as a perpetual intercession with our God in dangers and sorrows, we who have been
burdened with our abundant sins, Theotokos in the highest. Therefore, we all fall down before you; rescue
us, your servants from adversities."
"You are the joy of all that sorrow, and of the oppressed a guardian, and nurture of all the poor, comfort to
the estranged, a support you are to the blind, visitation of all the sick, a shelter and succour to those
brought down by pain, helper of orphaned ones: you are Theotokos in the Highest, O spotless Maiden; , we beg you, to redeem your slaves."
"Lady, receive the supplications of your slaves, and deliver us from every affliction and necessity. "



I've read the prayer before, yet have not encountered it in a service as of yet. The quote from St. Epiphanius comes to mind whenever I do read it, however.
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« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2010, 01:08:37 PM »

    "To Thee, the champion leader, do we Thy servants dedicate a hymn of victory and thanksgiving, as ones who have been delivered from eternal death by the Grace of Christ our God Who was born of Thee and by Thy maternal mediation before Him. As Thou dost have invincible might, free us from all misfortunes and sorrowful circumstances who cry aloud:

    Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of Grace, Joy of all who sorrow!"

In serving the Theotokos (and all the saints) we are serving and honoring our Lord.
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« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2010, 01:56:03 PM »

I am an Orthodox Christian who is a servant of the Mother of God.  angel

Amen.
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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2010, 03:33:08 PM »

I Knew it...
The Catholic Pagan Goddess Mary ,want's to be served ,even worshiped...

Orthodox prayers say:

O Lady, accept the prayer of Thy slaves, and deliver us from every need and sorrow.

What do the Greeks say? In the NT, there are various Greek words which could be rendered as servant, slave, among other words in English and often are in English versions of the NT even when translating the same word to adhere to the English stylistic convention of avoiding "repetitious" use of a word.

And one must remember that slavery in that time could be very different than what most folks think of slavery as now.
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« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2010, 04:17:24 PM »

I am an Orthodox Christian who is a servant of the Mother of God.  angel
Thanks be to God Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2010, 10:08:45 PM »

Perhaps then someone could clarify what you mean/imply by using the word servant. Is this a servant-master type of relationship? The use of 'slave' here also seems to imply this...
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 10:10:50 PM by Ortho_cat » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2010, 10:47:43 PM »

Perhaps then someone could clarify what you mean/imply by using the word servant. Is this a servant-master type of relationship? The use of 'slave' here also seems to imply this...

Even Christ  calls us friends, not slaves or servants but brothers and sisters or Family...If our Lord says this about us,curious  how can anyone say other wise..... Huh Huh Example ,Even our earthly mothers don't treat us like servants or slaves but children they do things for us out of love ,and we Children would do like wise out of love for our Mother.....


 
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« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2010, 11:05:42 PM »

Last time I checked, the Pauline epistles were still part of the New Testament.

Romans 1:1, "I, Paul, a slave [doulos] of Jesus Christ."

Here's chunks of Romans 6:

Quote
Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,

And having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.

But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift [= grace] of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And the beloved disciple.

Quote
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John

And "bondservants of God" (Rev 7:3)

Rev 10:7 - "then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants [doulous] the prophets."

« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 11:11:33 PM by John Larocque » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2010, 11:13:10 PM »

Last time I checked, the Pauline epistles were still part of the New Testament.

Romans 1:1, "I, Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ."

Here's chunks of Romans 6:

Quote
Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,

And having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.

But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift [= grace] of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


I see no mention in whats written  Roll Eyes, topic being servants/slaves to the Blessed Mother ....
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 11:26:04 PM by stashko » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2010, 11:29:48 PM »

Quote
Even Christ  calls us friends, not slaves or servants but brothers and sisters or Family...If our Lord says this about us,curious  how can anyone say other wise.

There are many instances in the New Testament in which they use the term 'doulos' or indentured servant (i.e. slave). That includes all of the above examples.

"Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus"
"Paul, a slave of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ"

Here's a link that goes into the term a bit, in conjunction with the Annunciation.
www.gocanada.org/youth/documents/saints/annunciation.pdf
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 11:42:43 PM by John Larocque » Logged
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« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2010, 11:53:33 PM »

Here's a number of prayers, which would make most Protestants blush. The English here uses "servant", albeit from the Slavic tradition, not Greek.

http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/pages/Orthodox_Life/theotokos_prayers.htm

"O My most holy Mistress, the Theotokos, who art far more honorable than the angels and archangels, cherubim and seraphim, and far more holy than all the saints, 0 Virgin Mother of God! Save me, thy humble and sinful servant, for thou knowest, all-merciful Lady, that, alter God, I place all my hope in thee, and that I have no other refuge of salvation but thee, O all-good one."

"To thee do I entrust my life for protection and, on thee, alter God, do I place all hope of my salvation, O Mistress and Virgin Theotokos. I, thy servant, pray thee, despise not me who have many sins, but behold my sorrow and my perplexity over them and grant me relief and consolation, that I not perish to the end."

"Yea, my Mistress, permit not my soul to see the terrible and fearsome threat and torment of the demons prepared for sinners, but do thou go before me and save me thy servant in that terrible hour, that I may glorify thee unto the ages, mine only hope and the Mediatress of my salvation. Amen."

The language here would not look out of place in any Roman Catholic prayerbook.
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« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2010, 06:34:22 PM »

How do we then reconcile the concept of servant with this verse:

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

http://bible.cc/matthew/6-24.htm

Are there any ECF's who referred to themselves as a servant (or slave) to the Theotokos?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2010, 06:35:05 PM by Ortho_cat » Logged
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« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2010, 06:40:47 PM »

Why would the Blessed Theotokos need anything from us or us being  her slaves,,She Has it all in heaven ..Only thing i can think of would be, that where Obedient to Her beloved Son our lord and Saviour and God ..... Huh
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« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2010, 07:01:58 PM »

The Theotokos being the primary intercessor for us before Christ God, it is entirely understandable that she is in some way a guide to us and we her obedient servants.
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« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2010, 07:10:39 PM »

How do we then reconcile the concept of servant with this verse:

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

http://bible.cc/matthew/6-24.htm

Are there any ECF's who referred to themselves as a servant (or slave) to the Theotokos?
The choice is between money and God, not between the Lord's Mother and God.
So, what is there to be reconciled? 
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« Reply #31 on: December 23, 2010, 07:13:25 PM »

How do we then reconcile the concept of servant with this verse:

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

http://bible.cc/matthew/6-24.htm

Are there any ECF's who referred to themselves as a servant (or slave) to the Theotokos?

It goes along with how a house divided against itself cannot stand. But since the Theotokos and the Lord Jesus Christ are part of the same house, a servant/slave of one is a servant of the other.

Christians are also all slaves and servants to one another. We wash each other's feet and bear each other's burdens, having everything in common. My service to a brother in need is not in conflict to my service to God, it is my service to God. What I do unto the least of them, I do unto Him. Likewise, all superiors are served in deference. I am a servant of the abbot if a monastic, and I am a servant of the king if I reside in his domain.

We are slaves of all creation, to the Mother of God, and ultimately to Christ Himself. There is no conflict in the "two masters" dichotomy you're setting up, because we are all One House, One Union, and One Communion in the Church; the Kingdom of God. To serve anything outside of the kingdom is to be in treason, but to serve the Mother of our Lord is to serve the Lord.

This is merely a Protestant hangup which is uncomfortable with the use of certain words in a "religious" setting, but comfortable with them in a "secular" one. Words like praise, serve, beseech, exalt, extol, magnify and the like are meant to be only for God in this mentality, which is ridiculous. We praise the virtues of people all the time (So-and-so is such a great actor. As they get the award, let us stand in applause). We draw attention to (magnify, as in literally blow-up the image of)  people of significance through song and story. We have requests of people constantly, every single day (Did you get those reports to me, Wilson?). It's just that in the Protestant mind, the only thing "out there" in the realm beyond our immediate material reality is either God or the demonic, so I think this concern of yours is coming from the Mother of God not being God, thus other, thus bad. Two masters comes in and you immediately think anything other than God Himself under any circumstances, and we find this unnecessary predicament.
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« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2010, 07:28:33 PM »

How do we then reconcile the concept of servant with this verse:

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

http://bible.cc/matthew/6-24.htm

Are there any ECF's who referred to themselves as a servant (or slave) to the Theotokos?

It goes along with how a house divided against itself cannot stand. But since the Theotokos and the Lord Jesus Christ are part of the same house, a servant/slave of one is a servant of the other.

Christians are also all slaves and servants to one another. We wash each other's feet and bear each other's burdens, having everything in common. My service to a brother in need is not in conflict to my service to God, it is my service to God. What I do unto the least of them, I do unto Him. Likewise, all superiors are served in deference. I am a servant of the abbot if a monastic, and I am a servant of the king if I reside in his domain.

We are slaves of all creation, to the Mother of God, and ultimately to Christ Himself. There is no conflict in the "two masters" dichotomy you're setting up, because we are all One House, One Union, and One Communion in the Church; the Kingdom of God. To serve anything outside of the kingdom is to be in treason, but to serve the Mother of our Lord is to serve the Lord.

This is merely a Protestant hangup which is uncomfortable with the use of certain words in a "religious" setting, but comfortable with them in a "secular" one. Words like praise, serve, beseech, exalt, extol, magnify and the like are meant to be only for God in this mentality, which is ridiculous. We praise the virtues of people all the time (So-and-so is such a great actor. As they get the award, let us stand in applause). We draw attention to (magnify, as in literally blow-up the image of)  people of significance through song and story. We have requests of people constantly, every single day (Did you get those reports to me, Wilson?). It's just that in the Protestant mind, the only thing "out there" in the realm beyond our immediate material reality is either God or the demonic, so I think this concern of yours is coming from the Mother of God not being God, thus other, thus bad. Two masters comes in and you immediately think anything other than God Himself under any circumstances, and we find this unnecessary predicament.

I do see where you're coming from, and I thank you for your input.  However, evidentally St. Epiphanius saw the need to make mention in his writings the danger of extolling the virgin beyond what is proper, no doubt because people were tempted to do so during his time. The impression that I've gotten from the forums and elsewhere is that it is impossible to give the Lady too much glory (because when you give her glory, Christ receives it, etc.) Clearly, St. Epiphanius disagrees with this. So my question then is: what would be considered proper glory attributed to her, and what would be considered improper?

St. Epiphanius of Cyprus: "There is an equal harm in both these heresies, both when men demean the Virgin and when, on the contrary, they glorify Her beyond what is proper"
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« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2010, 07:33:13 PM »

May be the word slave or servant means different then ,in how it's being used  today......

I have Serbian cirillica prayer book i read ,not as often as i use to ,it mentions in quite a few prayers slaves/servant,i interpreted it as part or like some of the flowery language like the great praises to the Mother of God........ Huh
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« Reply #34 on: December 23, 2010, 07:40:02 PM »

I do see where you're coming from, and I thank you for your input.  However, evidentally St. Epiphanius saw the need to make mention in his writings the danger of extolling the virgin beyond what is proper, no doubt because people were tempted to do so during his time. The impression that I've gotten from the forums and elsewhere is that it is impossible to give the Lady too much glory (because when you give her glory, Christ receives it, etc.) Clearly, St. Epiphanius disagrees with this. So my question then is: what would be considered proper glory attributed to her, and what would be considered improper?

Well, there is the simple possibility that the saint is wrong. You might agree with him, but then you might be wrong. I'm not really sure, because I'm not God.

If we are to assume that he is right in this matter, then the entire Orthodox theological and liturgical deposit seems to convey something like this (I'm making these up off the top of my head, by the way):

Proper Glory: You are the Queen of Heaven, the Mother of God, the Protectress and Intercessor of Christians at the throne of God. We praise and exalt your wonderful acts through the ages, for you are more honorable than the whole host of angels and the greatest of the saints, because who among them was chosen as a dwelling place for God? Your womb is more spacious than the heavens and the cosmos, because the universe cannot contain the glory of God, yet by a great mystery this glory is contained in you. We love you and we serve you, and ask that you deliver us from every need and sorrow by your prayers to your Son.

Improper Glory: Mother Mary, You are the most perfect goddess and we adore You as our Creator and Redeemer, for you have saved us from our sins by taking them upon yourself. We adore you as the Ultimate Reality, and we confess You as Goddess and give you all honor and worship. We offer sacrifices and oblations to You, that you may find favor with us and grant us eternal life by Your awesome power. True Goddess of Life, we worship and adore You.
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« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2010, 08:02:36 PM »

How do we then reconcile the concept of servant with this verse:

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

http://bible.cc/matthew/6-24.htm

Are there any ECF's who referred to themselves as a servant (or slave) to the Theotokos?

It goes along with how a house divided against itself cannot stand. But since the Theotokos and the Lord Jesus Christ are part of the same house, a servant/slave of one is a servant of the other.

Christians are also all slaves and servants to one another. We wash each other's feet and bear each other's burdens, having everything in common. My service to a brother in need is not in conflict to my service to God, it is my service to God. What I do unto the least of them, I do unto Him. Likewise, all superiors are served in deference. I am a servant of the abbot if a monastic, and I am a servant of the king if I reside in his domain.

We are slaves of all creation, to the Mother of God, and ultimately to Christ Himself. There is no conflict in the "two masters" dichotomy you're setting up, because we are all One House, One Union, and One Communion in the Church; the Kingdom of God. To serve anything outside of the kingdom is to be in treason, but to serve the Mother of our Lord is to serve the Lord.

This is merely a Protestant hangup which is uncomfortable with the use of certain words in a "religious" setting, but comfortable with them in a "secular" one. Words like praise, serve, beseech, exalt, extol, magnify and the like are meant to be only for God in this mentality, which is ridiculous. We praise the virtues of people all the time (So-and-so is such a great actor. As they get the award, let us stand in applause). We draw attention to (magnify, as in literally blow-up the image of)  people of significance through song and story. We have requests of people constantly, every single day (Did you get those reports to me, Wilson?). It's just that in the Protestant mind, the only thing "out there" in the realm beyond our immediate material reality is either God or the demonic, so I think this concern of yours is coming from the Mother of God not being God, thus other, thus bad. Two masters comes in and you immediately think anything other than God Himself under any circumstances, and we find this unnecessary predicament.

I do see where you're coming from, and I thank you for your input.  However, evidentally St. Epiphanius saw the need to make mention in his writings the danger of extolling the virgin beyond what is proper, no doubt because people were tempted to do so during his time. The impression that I've gotten from the forums and elsewhere is that it is impossible to give the Lady too much glory (because when you give her glory, Christ receives it, etc.) Clearly, St. Epiphanius disagrees with this. So my question then is: what would be considered proper glory attributed to her, and what would be considered improper?

St. Epiphanius of Cyprus: "There is an equal harm in both these heresies, both when men demean the Virgin and when, on the contrary, they glorify Her beyond what is proper"

Something to keep in mind is that when you look for a spiritual guide, you are to serve that guide.  You are given a godmother, a priest, a bishop, a patriarch, and all that is asked of you is obedience.

One of the highest spiritual guides is the Theotokos.  We don't serve the Theotokos in the same way we serve Christ.  I serve her like I would serve anyone who carries the authority of Christ in them.  Does not St. Paul say, "Imitate me?"  That requires obedience and service to St. Paul.  It is said in one verse, "Call no man father," and yet in other verses St. Paul addresses to his flock calling them "children," and we also at the very least address our own biological father, "father."  Do we not serve our own parents and honor them?  In one place it says, "he who does not hate his father, mother..." and yet in another it says "honor your father and mother."  Things have to be taken in context of what is said.  As long as one differentiates between serving the Theotokos and serving Christ, then I don't see any problem with someone saying, "a servant to the Theotokos."  We have many Arabic names with "abd" in them (meaning servant), so sometimes people have names like Abd el Salib (servant of the Cross), Abd el Shaheed (servant of the martyr), etc. that have long traditions.  We serve those who served Christ that we may know how to serve Christ best.
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« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2010, 11:46:42 PM »

What then does it mean to serve the Theotokos? I understand how we can serve those on earth, by following their guidance and obeying them (or in another way, giving them what they need, in the case of serving the poor). However, what type of service are we supposed to render to the Theotokos or the rest of the saints? Is this done merely by imitating their obedience to her Son?
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« Reply #37 on: December 24, 2010, 01:31:54 AM »

What then does it mean to serve the Theotokos? I understand how we can serve those on earth, by following their guidance and obeying them (or in another way, giving them what they need, in the case of serving the poor). However, what type of service are we supposed to render to the Theotokos or the rest of the saints? Is this done merely by imitating their obedience to her Son?

Yes, imitate the Theotokos.  We respect her for her humility, her obedience, her readiness, her prayerfulness, her love towards God and the cause of salvation to mankind, her undying support to the Lord even in the midst of the hostility against Christ in His suffering and crucifixion, her motherhood, her bearing God (physically and spiritually), and her service and prayers for the human race.
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« Reply #38 on: December 24, 2010, 01:39:23 AM »

What then does it mean to serve the Theotokos? I understand how we can serve those on earth, by following their guidance and obeying them (or in another way, giving them what they need, in the case of serving the poor). However, what type of service are we supposed to render to the Theotokos or the rest of the saints? Is this done merely by imitating their obedience to her Son?

Yes, imitate the Theotokos.  We respect her for her humility, her obedience, her readiness, her prayerfulness, her love towards God and the cause of salvation to mankind, her undying support to the Lord even in the midst of the hostility against Christ in His suffering and crucifixion, her motherhood, her bearing God (physically and spiritually), and her service and prayers for the human race.

So this is all that slavery and servanthood mean in this context? Imitation? I suppose I can buy that.
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« Reply #39 on: December 24, 2010, 01:48:58 AM »

What then does it mean to serve the Theotokos? I understand how we can serve those on earth, by following their guidance and obeying them (or in another way, giving them what they need, in the case of serving the poor). However, what type of service are we supposed to render to the Theotokos or the rest of the saints? Is this done merely by imitating their obedience to her Son?

Yes, imitate the Theotokos.  We respect her for her humility, her obedience, her readiness, her prayerfulness, her love towards God and the cause of salvation to mankind, her undying support to the Lord even in the midst of the hostility against Christ in His suffering and crucifixion, her motherhood, her bearing God (physically and spiritually), and her service and prayers for the human race.

So this is all that slavery and servanthood mean in this context? Imitation? I suppose I can buy that.

Yes.  Take it in this form that to imitate the saint in her holiness is as if obeying her commands to be righteous before God.  Every church building that is named after a saint dedicates their service in imitating that particular kind of holiness of that saint.  When reading the New Testament, whatever command St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Jude gives us, and we obey, we serve them as well.  We serve Christ therefore through the imitation and obedience of His saints and the Church.
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« Reply #40 on: December 24, 2010, 03:59:17 PM »

What then does it mean to serve the Theotokos? I understand how we can serve those on earth, by following their guidance and obeying them (or in another way, giving them what they need, in the case of serving the poor). However, what type of service are we supposed to render to the Theotokos or the rest of the saints? Is this done merely by imitating their obedience to her Son?

Yes, imitate the Theotokos.  We respect her for her humility, her obedience, her readiness, her prayerfulness, her love towards God and the cause of salvation to mankind, her undying support to the Lord even in the midst of the hostility against Christ in His suffering and crucifixion, her motherhood, her bearing God (physically and spiritually), and her service and prayers for the human race.

So this is all that slavery and servanthood mean in this context? Imitation? I suppose I can buy that.

Yes.  Take it in this form that to imitate the saint in her holiness is as if obeying her commands to be righteous before God.  Every church building that is named after a saint dedicates their service in imitating that particular kind of holiness of that saint.  When reading the New Testament, whatever command St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Jude gives us, and we obey, we serve them as well.  We serve Christ therefore through the imitation and obedience of His saints and the Church.

Apparently this was not a Catholic versus Orthodox issue after all.  I did not think it was.
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« Reply #41 on: December 24, 2010, 09:36:34 PM »

I would be rather concerned if we were to insist on limiting the manner in which the Theotokos can guide us to simply be as a model to imitate.
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« Reply #42 on: December 24, 2010, 10:59:14 PM »

If you are someone's slave, that someone's mother, or wife, or child is also your master.
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« Reply #43 on: December 24, 2010, 11:04:13 PM »

What then does it mean to serve the Theotokos? I understand how we can serve those on earth, by following their guidance and obeying them (or in another way, giving them what they need, in the case of serving the poor). However, what type of service are we supposed to render to the Theotokos or the rest of the saints? Is this done merely by imitating their obedience to her Son?

Yes, imitate the Theotokos.  We respect her for her humility, her obedience, her readiness, her prayerfulness, her love towards God and the cause of salvation to mankind, her undying support to the Lord even in the midst of the hostility against Christ in His suffering and crucifixion, her motherhood, her bearing God (physically and spiritually), and her service and prayers for the human race.

So this is all that slavery and servanthood mean in this context? Imitation? I suppose I can buy that.

Yes.  Take it in this form that to imitate the saint in her holiness is as if obeying her commands to be righteous before God.  Every church building that is named after a saint dedicates their service in imitating that particular kind of holiness of that saint.  When reading the New Testament, whatever command St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Jude gives us, and we obey, we serve them as well.  We serve Christ therefore through the imitation and obedience of His saints and the Church.

Apparently this was not a Catholic versus Orthodox issue after all.  I did not think it was.


If anyone made it so, they're crossing the line, and I would really question that person's Romophobia.
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« Reply #44 on: December 25, 2010, 02:01:39 PM »

I would be rather concerned if we were to insist on limiting the manner in which the Theotokos can guide us to simply be as a model to imitate.

How else can we 'serve' her, then?
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