Author Topic: Begetting of the Son vs the Procession of the Holy Spirit  (Read 989 times)

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Offline William

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Begetting of the Son vs the Procession of the Holy Spirit
« on: April 18, 2011, 08:03:13 PM »
What is the difference between the Son being begotten of the Father and the Spirit's procession from Him?
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Begetting of the Son vs the Procession of the Holy Spirit
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2011, 08:15:44 PM »
What is the difference between the Son being begotten of the Father and the Spirit's procession from Him?

Saint John of Damascus wrote about this question over a thousand years ago...

'The mode of generation and the mode of procession are incomprehensible. We have learned that there is a difference between generation and procession, but the nature of the difference we in no wise understand.'

Offline jckstraw72

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Re: Begetting of the Son vs the Procession of the Holy Spirit
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2011, 10:22:07 PM »
was it St. Gregory the Theologian who said let us contemplate this and we can go mad together?

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Begetting of the Son vs the Procession of the Holy Spirit
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2011, 10:22:58 PM »
What is the difference between the Son being begotten of the Father and the Spirit's procession from Him?
Father beat me to it.

if we knew that, we would know God as He knows Himself, and be persons of the Holy Trinity.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Begetting of the Son vs the Procession of the Holy Spirit
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 10:27:17 PM »
What is the difference between the Son being begotten of the Father and the Spirit's procession from Him?

How can we know what the difference between them is if we don't even know what exactly each of them are in the first place?

The way I figure it, God likened the causation of the Son and the Spirit to the begetting and spiration of this world, not in an absolute manner, but as a symbol that reveals something of the reality. Given that "Begetting" and "Proceeding" are thus mere inklings of who the Son and the Spirit are, there really isn't room to say that we can know the exact difference between the two. All we can say is that there is something about the causation of the Son that is more like human begetting and something about the causation of the Spirit that is more like Spiration.

Nonetheless, it suffices to say that this amounts to there not being any real answer to your question.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2011, 10:27:28 PM by deusveritasest »
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Begetting of the Son vs the Procession of the Holy Spirit
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2011, 10:33:06 PM »
was it St. Gregory the Theologian who said let us contemplate this and we can go mad together?

Yes indeed. Saint Gregory the Theologian who died about 388 AD is an erudite representative of the Church Fathers on the subject of the origins of the three Persons of the Trinity. 
 
You hear that there is generation? Do not waste your time in seeking after the how. You hear that the Spirit proceeds from the Father? Do not busy yourself about the how" [Orat XX, 2]  "You ask what is the procession of the Holy Spirit? Do tell me first what is the unbegottenness of the Father, then I will explain to you the physiology of the Son's generation and the Spirit's procession and both of us shall be stricken with madness for prying into the mystery of God" [Orat XXXI, 8]
 
The Fifth Theological Oration.On the Holy
Spirit by St Gregory Nazianzen


In my opinion the Western world has been long stricken with the madness against which Saint Gregory cautions.