Author Topic: The importance of the sacraments  (Read 651 times)

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Offline William

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The importance of the sacraments
« on: November 17, 2011, 06:31:42 PM »
St. John the Baptist never received a sacrament. At the point in which she was chosen to be the Throne of the uncircumscribable God, the Theotokos had never partaken of a sacrament. St. Mary of Egypt only received Communion and Confession once each.

Yet participation in the sacraments is clearly essential to salvation and theosis (John 6). Why, then, have some of the Church's greatest saints almost never participated in them?
Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Offline LBK

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Re: The importance of the sacraments
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2011, 06:42:29 PM »
Quote
At the point in which she was chosen to be the Throne of the uncircumscribable God, the Theotokos had never partaken of a sacrament
.

What greater sacrament could there be than her overshadowing by the Holy Spirit to conceive God Himself? What greater sacrament could there be than to have God literally dwelling in her body?
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline William

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Re: The importance of the sacraments
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2011, 06:46:17 PM »
Quote
At the point in which she was chosen to be the Throne of the uncircumscribable God, the Theotokos had never partaken of a sacrament
.

What greater sacrament could there be than her overshadowing by the Holy Spirit to conceive God Himself? What greater sacrament could there be than to have God literally dwelling in her body?
That only happened after she had been called full of grace and found to be sinless, though.
Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Offline ialmisry

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Re: The importance of the sacraments
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2011, 06:49:17 PM »
Quote
At the point in which she was chosen to be the Throne of the uncircumscribable God, the Theotokos had never partaken of a sacrament
.

What greater sacrament could there be than her overshadowing by the Holy Spirit to conceive God Himself? What greater sacrament could there be than to have God literally dwelling in her body?
The Eucharist.  In pregnancy, she nourished Him.  In the Eucharist, He nourished her.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: The importance of the sacraments
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2011, 07:35:03 PM »
Yet participation in the sacraments is clearly essential to salvation and theosis (John 6). Why, then, have some of the Church's greatest saints almost never participated in them?

Solomon, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Sampson, etc. didn't participate in the sacraments as we know them, yet are in the Lord's Kingdom.  He laid out a path, they followed it.  Our path has been laid out by Him, and it includes the sacraments. 

St. Mary of Egypt didn't partake much, but when she did it was of "high efficacy."  That doesn't make her more/less important than those who communed frequently (Sts. Basil, John Chrysostom, Athanasios, Demetrios, Peter, Paul, Nektarios, etc.).  For us, the way with the sacraments is the "sure way," and the way without the sacraments is Mirkwood - you can theoretically get through it, but it's tough, with a lot of distractions, a lot of demons, fatigue, hallucinations, and a high chance of perishing.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 07:35:33 PM by Fr. George »
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Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline William

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Re: The importance of the sacraments
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2011, 02:32:53 PM »
Bump.
Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Offline mabsoota

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Re: The importance of the sacraments
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2011, 04:06:23 PM »
john the baptist died preaching that Jesus Christ is the Way.
1 peter 3 says that Jesus went to hades (place of the dead) to preach to the spirits.
we can be sure john the baptist and the other early saints responded to that (john the baptist was called by Jesus the 'greatest among the sons of men') - theirs was a special case and one we can't fully understand.
saint mary the virgin took Holy Communion many times; you find her in the acts of the apostles every time 'the women' are mentioned. we know from tradition she had a very important role in the early church and the apostles looked up to her faith and courage.
saint mary of egypt lived in the desert naked praising God continually and fasting very often, forsaking all comfort.
i suppose if u can do that, u don't need to live a normal life like we do!

remember there are many many saints that took part regularly in the sacraments, many more than these 3 examples; eg. saint john chrysostom, saint anthony of egypt, saint athanasius the apostolic (the once who wrote the nicene bit of the nicene-constantinople creed), saint simon the stylite (lived a lot of 'normal' years before retiring to the pillar) etc.etc.

i suggest you read a book of the saints from your church.
here is some more information about saint athanasius (we commemorated him yesterday):
http://www.copticchurch.net/classes/synex.php?month=3&day=9&btn=View&lang=

Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: The importance of the sacraments
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2011, 06:27:33 PM »
Orthodox belief is that God reveals his saints through miracles and answered prayers.  It usually is a locality that recognizes these things, then it is presented before the jurisdictional/regional synod of bishops.  If agreed upon, then the individual is honored in a glorification service and recognized on a calendar day (usually).

It's more or less that the church doesn't "make" somebody a saint but rather recognizes the existence of the saint that was already there...

Not all saints especially in very early Eastern Orthodoxy had the sacraments that they received documented either. 

Remember that the church teaches that the saints are still alive in heaven, so we cannot limit their time as only "what they did on Earth".
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