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Author Topic: What is visible now about God for his people??  (Read 905 times) Average Rating: 5
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Poppy
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« on: June 24, 2011, 05:15:09 AM »

One God
Not seen

Invisible!!!
So Jesus is born and makes invisible God, visible.

And that's fine if you lived when he walked the earth.

Maybe then that was important for the Jews
Only now, Jesus is also invisible as well!!!
Not seen
God and Jesus are both invisible.
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 11:16:30 AM »

I hate to burst your bubble, but that's a big part of our faith and faith in general.

No, we don't see God or Jesus face-to-face, but we know them through the Bible, through the sacraments, through the Church. We see them in others, in their actions, in nature, in light. We feel like God is responsible for everything and that we are His images. Now, is that going to hold up in a scientific study? Probably not. That's where faith comes in. We have faith that it is Him and Him alone who created the world and everything in it.

Now, full disclosure here. I consider myself a fairly firm Christian (well, I would say that if you asked me on the street), but I have my moments, too. I have moments when I doubt that God even exists. I would venture a guess to say that many people on this board have those moments. But for me, the moments do not last very long (for the time being!), because I pray, walk outside, go to Church, look at art, and I'm comforted. I can't PROVE to you that it's Him, but I know that it's Him. Even when I have months where I feel like He's abandoned me, I'm angry at HIM. I am angry at God. I am angry, but I still believe in His existence.

That's why I don't spend a lot of time debating atheists, who want concrete proof that God exists. It's almost written into the code that many of us will never see the "concrete proof" with our eyes.

 (Taken from Wiki, sorry guys!)

Quote
Where is my faith? Even deep down ... there is nothing but emptiness and darkness ... If there be God—please forgive me. When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul ... How painful is this unknown pain—I have no Faith. Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal, ... What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.[85]
- Mother Teresa

As one of my RC priests said in a sermon, after her initial visions, she never saw one again and she struggled. Yet, she kept going because there was something inexplicable in her that still knew that God existed, even if SHE didn't believe in it at the time (does that make any sense? It does to me!).

We are called to more forward in the same way. Even when I question, in the bottom of my heart I still know. The story of Jesus and His death on the cross? I KNOW. That is not good enough for someone who doesn't believe in God, but it is more than good enough for me. And my faith isn't even mustard seed-size yet. I have a long way to go and I hope to strengthen my faith.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 11:17:23 AM by IsmiLiora » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 12:22:09 PM »

One God
Not seen

Invisible!!!
So Jesus is born and makes invisible God, visible.

And that's fine if you lived when he walked the earth.

Maybe then that was important for the Jews
Only now, Jesus is also invisible as well!!!
Not seen
God and Jesus are both invisible.

In the framework of how Christians view cosmology and creation. What you describe is called an intervention by Christ into the created world in order to repair what went wrong after the fall of Adam. Christian eschatology is based on the principal. That Christs intervention into the created order. Changed the outcome from the demise that Adam left it in.  Setting the course of creation towards salvation again. To understand what this means exactly. We need to create a scenario to make it more understandable.
  Everybody knows the story of Little red riding hood and how she set off to go to grandma's. Well, lets interject Adam into the story. Adam set off to go to heaven. Along that road he met the devil and the devil derailed his trip. Feeling bad for Adam God intervened for Adam by becoming him and setting him on the road to grandma's. Or in our case heaven. The thing is that we are on course to heaven but heaven isn't fully realized until judgment day. Grandma's house is judgment day. The church is Christ carrying us through the road to the eschaton into heaven. It's a real experience and certainly not gnostic in nature. We are dealing with physics here. The church exists here and now.
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2011, 01:38:28 PM »

I have seen Christ, and you can too.
He is lying in a hospital bed and waits for you to visit.
He is cramped with hunger pains in a refugee camp in Dafur and hasn't even the strength to lift His bowl.
He is holding His head in his hands in prison and waits for His name to be called to come to the visiting area.
He is lying bound, blindfolded, bruised, battered and tortured after his interrogation in Evin Prison in Tehran, hoping that someone is at least thinking of Him.
Christ is all around us, visible and crucified every day.
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2011, 06:35:56 PM »

One God
Not seen

Invisible!!!
So Jesus is born and makes invisible God, visible.

And that's fine if you lived when he walked the earth.

Maybe then that was important for the Jews
Only now, Jesus is also invisible as well!!!
Not seen
God and Jesus are both invisible.

So get an icon of Christ and you can see Him everyday.  Do you have all your family and friends living with you so that you see them everyday?  No, you have pics.  Problem solved.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 06:41:02 PM by joasia » Logged

Stillness,  prayer, love and self-control are a four-horsed chariot bearing the intellect to Heaven. (Philokalia 2: p.308 - #24) - St. Thalassios

The proper activity of the intellect is to be attentive at every moment to the words of God.   (Philokalia 2: p. 308 - # 30) - St. Thalassios
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2011, 06:39:15 PM »


So get an icon of Christ and you can see him everyday.  Do you have all your family and friends living with you so that you see them everyday?  No, you have pics.  Problem solved.
Uh, I wish it were that easy! Imagine how hard it can be for someone who was not raised with a belief in God or someone who recently believed that there was no God. Would putting up a Jesus icon work if it doesn't have meaning to you, yet?
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2011, 06:56:18 PM »


So get an icon of Christ and you can see him everyday.  Do you have all your family and friends living with you so that you see them everyday?  No, you have pics.  Problem solved.
Uh, I wish it were that easy! Imagine how hard it can be for someone who was not raised with a belief in God or someone who recently believed that there was no God. Would putting up a Jesus icon work if it doesn't have meaning to you, yet?

I think Poppy brings up alot of interesting questions and I think she is sincere in wanting to understand these issues.  And I feel it does mean something to her.
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Stillness,  prayer, love and self-control are a four-horsed chariot bearing the intellect to Heaven. (Philokalia 2: p.308 - #24) - St. Thalassios

The proper activity of the intellect is to be attentive at every moment to the words of God.   (Philokalia 2: p. 308 - # 30) - St. Thalassios
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2011, 07:01:18 PM »

I am speaking in general, for I don't fully know what Poppy's beliefs are.

I think that saying "problem solved" and suggesting to put an icon in your house to prove God's existence is an awfully simplistic approach that might not work for someone who never believed in God before. I WISH it was that easy for myself, as a CHRISTIAN, to believe in Him 24/7. I have several icons. I have Bibles. I have my prayer life. I now have THE Church. And I STILL struggle with His existence, on occasion. Just saying.
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2011, 07:06:46 PM »

I am speaking in general, for I don't fully know what Poppy's beliefs are.

I think that saying "problem solved" and suggesting to put an icon in your house to prove God's existence is an awfully simplistic approach that might not work for someone who never believed in God before. I WISH it was that easy for myself, as a CHRISTIAN, to believe in Him 24/7. I have several icons. I have Bibles. I have my prayer life. I now have THE Church. And I STILL struggle with His existence, on occasion. Just saying.

No worries. We all offer our point of views.  She can take from them what she wants. 
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Stillness,  prayer, love and self-control are a four-horsed chariot bearing the intellect to Heaven. (Philokalia 2: p.308 - #24) - St. Thalassios

The proper activity of the intellect is to be attentive at every moment to the words of God.   (Philokalia 2: p. 308 - # 30) - St. Thalassios
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2011, 08:14:22 PM »

You have really helpfull points of view and i'm glad to get any of them  Grin
I really appreciate all of them especially on this thread. There is some corkers!!!

I don't really have any set beliefs about God or religion, i don't have family pics either being raised in a kids home. But i do have some icons that JMC helped me choose. He has a really fierce icon-explaining blog, it's in his profile info.

I like the icons i have got more from a art point of view but also from JMC explainations i can see they teach alot so when you know what it IS you're looking at then to look at them WITH that knowledge is amazing. I have the Arch angel michal one with the huge lion on his arm and red cloak and black hair. Also i have got 2 Jesus ones. One where he has a wonky eye and a beaded bible, the other is of him in heaven from someones vision with a light blue sky.
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2011, 06:45:55 PM »



The Old Testament proclaimed the Father openly, and the Son more obscurely. The New manifested the Son, and suggested the Deity of the Spirit. Now the Spirit Himself dwells among us, and supplies us with a clearer demonstration of Himself. For it was not safe, when the Godhead of the Father was not yet acknowledged, plainly to proclaim the Son; nor when that of the Son was not yet received to burden us further (if I may use so bold an expression) with the Holy Ghost; lest perhaps people might, like men loaded with food beyond their strength, and presenting eyes as yet too weak to bear it to the sun's light, risk the loss even of that which was within the reach of their powers; but that by gradual additions, and, as David says, ascendancies, and advances and progress from glory to glory,  the Light of the Trinity might shine upon the more illuminated. For this reason it was, I think, that He [the Holy Spirit] gradually came to dwell in the Disciples, measuring Himself out to them according to their capacity to receive Him, at the beginning of the Gospel, after the Passion, after the Ascension, making perfect their powers, being breathed upon them, and appearing in fiery tongues.
- St Gregory the Theologian, On the Holy Spirit

(emphasis mine)

In other words: to know the Father, we look to the Son; to know the Son, we look to the Holy Spirit. In the same piece of work, St Gregory says:

The Father was the True Light which lightens every man coming into the world. The Son was the True Light which lightens every man coming into the world. The Other Comforter was the True Light which lightens every man coming into the world.... Light thrice repeated; but One Light and One God. This was what David [in the Psalms] represented to himself long before when he said, "In Your Light shall we see Light." And now we have both seen and proclaim concisely and simply the doctrine  of God the Trinity, comprehending out of Light (the Father), Light (the Son), in Light (the Holy Ghost).


The ironic thing, of course, is that the Holy Spirit is invisible! But St Gregory touches upon that in the first quote: the Holy Spirit enlightens people by dwelling in them. So again:

To know the Father, we look to the Son; to know the Son, we look to the Holy Spirit.... and to know the Holy Spirit we look to the Saints.

But always remember that the communion (with God) and holiness of the Saints is something we are all called to. So once we recognize the Saints and seek to follow them, we in turn will be indwelt with the Holy Spirit "according to our capacity to receive Him". Then we will know Christ, despite His apparent "absence", and in all probability recognize times in our past when He was with us but we didn't know at the time (this is my own experience). And gradually our capacity to receive the Holy Spirit will increase and we will gradually know and see Christ more and more in our lives.

===

The Icon of Christ you mention must be the one from St Catherine's monastery in Sinai:

http://shmuelson.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/christpantocratorsinaitp71.jpg

it's one of the oldest surviving images of Christ in that particular "pose" (called Pantokrator meaning "Almighty"). The wonky eyes are to represent His two natures, but more practically one side of His face looks stern, whilst the other looks gentle and compassionate. I suppose this effect only works if the icon is big enough so that you can only ever focus on one side of Christ's face at a time.

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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2011, 07:57:44 PM »

Quote
To know the Father, we look to the Son; to know the Son, we look to the Holy Spirit.... and to know the Holy Spirit we look to the Saints.
HA!! Of course the Saints

Quote
But always remember that the communion (with God) and holiness of the Saints is something we are all called to. So once we recognize the Saints and seek to follow them, we in turn will be indwelt with the Holy Spirit "according to our capacity to receive Him". Then we will know Christ, despite His apparent "absence", and in all probability recognize times in our past when He was with us but we didn't know at the time (this is my own experience). And gradually our capacity to receive the Holy Spirit will increase and we will gradually know and see Christ more and more in our lives.
When you explain it like that it sounds really allot easier. One thing leads on from the other. I don't know why i didn't think to carry on going after i read about the son shows us God. I think maybe because i refer to him as God and not father so then i don't always see the relationship between them all.

===
Quote
The Icon of Christ you mention must be the one from St Catherine's monastery in Sinai:

http://shmuelson.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/christpantocratorsinaitp71.jpg

Yeah it is, exactly that one
Quote
it's one of the oldest surviving images of Christ in that particular "pose" (called Pantokrator meaning "Almighty"). The wonky eyes are to represent His two natures, but more practically one side of His face looks stern, whilst the other looks gentle and compassionate. I suppose this effect only works if the icon is big enough so that you can only ever focus on one side of Christ's face at a time.


Yeah i noticed that. I just love the character in it and that its a strong image.
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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2011, 12:23:18 PM »

Quote
To know the Father, we look to the Son; to know the Son, we look to the Holy Spirit.... and to know the Holy Spirit we look to the Saints.
HA!! Of course the Saints

And not a day after this was posted, Fr Stephen puts this in his blog:

http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/saints-among-us/

...which may be useful.
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2011, 12:43:26 PM »

Hi Poppy,

I'm an inquirer into Orthodoxy too....i'd like to share my favorite poem with you.
It really speaks to me about Creation and how God in the presence of Jesus is all around us.
I hope you like it...it is by Joseph Plunkett

I see his blood upon the rose

I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.
 
I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice—and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.
 
All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.

Blessings to you - Gypsy
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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2011, 12:45:19 PM »

I also meant to say...not sure if this poem is 'Orthodox' in thought...perhaps someone more experienced might comment on that for me.  Thanks

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« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2011, 12:57:02 PM »

I also meant to say...not sure if this poem is 'Orthodox' in thought...perhaps someone more experienced might comment on that for me.  Thanks


When certain philosophers asked St Anthony the Great how he could spend his time in solitude without the pleasure of reading books, he replied that nature was his great book, and amply supplied the want of others.

I also think there are many similarities between the poem quoted and the Akathist of Thanksgiving by Metropolitan Tryphon of Turkestan:

How wonderful Thou art in the beauty of spring when all earth is being rejuvenated and thousands of sounds sing about Thee: Thou art the spring of life, Thou art the conqueror of death! In the pale moonlight with the song of the nightingale, the valleys and forests rest under a snowy white veil. The whole earth, Thy bride, is awaiting Thee, the Eternal Bridegroom. When Thou so clothest the grass of the field, how art Thou to adorn Thy chosen ones when they resurrect in the future age! How will then our bodies shine forth and our souls glitter!

(http://www.orthodox.net/akathists/akathist-thanksgiving.html)


Then there is St Paul:

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse
(Romans 1:20)

And Fr Alexander Men of blessed memory:

"I find more meaning in the wing of a bird and in the branch of a tree than in five hundred icons. God has given us two books: the Bible and Creation."

... oh, there's plenty more, but you get the idea Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2011, 01:03:52 PM »

Thank you JMC!  Those are beautiful references, how can we not acknowledge God with all creation around us.  I appreciate getting the links too.  That is very helpful..



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« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2011, 01:50:34 PM »

God is visible, certainly. In addition to what everyone else said (which are true and good), God also comes to us visibly in His actual flesh every time the Divine Liturgy is celebrated. I ate God's Flesh and drank His Blood only hours ago. How can this be? The Eucharist is truly a great Mystery.
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« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2011, 01:52:33 PM »

JMC

You only quoted a piece of that magnificent Athakist!
Poppy..you must read the whole thing...
It as quite taken my breath away...I just prayed it all...so lovely
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« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2011, 03:19:38 PM »

I have seen Christ, and you can too.
He is lying in a hospital bed and waits for you to visit.
He is cramped with hunger pains in a refugee camp in Dafur and hasn't even the strength to lift His bowl.
He is holding His head in his hands in prison and waits for His name to be called to come to the visiting area.
He is lying bound, blindfolded, bruised, battered and tortured after his interrogation in Evin Prison in Tehran, hoping that someone is at least thinking of Him.
Christ is all around us, visible and crucified every day.

As always, the Parable of the Last Judgement is quite powerful. Nicely made concrete and beautiful and sobering!
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« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2011, 05:23:48 PM »

JMC

You only quoted a piece of that magnificent Athakist!


Oh yes, it's far too long to post the whole thing here: it was just a taster.
I was blessed to have recently gone to a service where this Akathist was sung, followed by a blessing of the waters in a nearby spring. I have pictures of the chapel where the Akathist was sung if you would like to see it, though I won't post them on a public forum.

It rained, of course Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2011, 12:00:10 PM »

Quote
It rained, of course  Smiley

Thats just wonderfull England!!!!  Roll Eyes
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