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Author Topic: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?  (Read 13871 times) Average Rating: 0
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elijahmaria
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« on: January 12, 2012, 12:16:17 PM »

Is it possible to have a fruitful spiritual life if one is in communion with Rome?
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2012, 12:26:54 PM »

It is my personal belief that it is. I have read the Hagiography of many Catholic saints, and I have witnessed the spirituality of many Catholic family members. These people are much holier than I could ever hope to be.

When I think of someone like Saint Damien of Molokai, who willingly exposed himself to lepers so that they could have a priest, receive the sacraments, and hear the Gospel, that is a love for God's creation that I could only hope to aspire to. It brings tears to my eyes to think how this man was willing to expose himself to the disease that ultimately killed him just so the lepers could have a priest to love them as Christ would want.

I may not agree with all of the positions or doctrine of Rome, but I do believe there are Catholics in heaven, God hears and answers their prayers, etc., etc.

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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2012, 12:49:26 PM »

There came a point where I didn't think I could have a fruitful spiritual life if I was in communion with Rome because I couldn't believe those things that Rome wanted me to believe.  OTOH, some people seem to me to have had a very fruitful spiritual life in communion with Rome--Mother Teresa for instance.  Someone else mentioned Fr. Damien.  It seems like I could only aspire to something like that.
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2012, 12:50:29 PM »

You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2012, 02:22:09 PM »

Theosis is indeed possible for those in communion with the Pope of Rome if they turn from their error and enter the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. 
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2012, 02:36:47 PM »

Is it possible to have a fruitful spiritual life if one is in communion with Rome?

I hope so, or else all the fathers of the 4th ecumenical council are in trouble. 

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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2012, 02:37:45 PM »

Theosis is indeed possible for those in communion with the Pope of Rome if they turn from their error and enter the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. 

Ahh, There's one in every crowd.  laugh Roll Eyes

I was fully expecting Stashko to say this.

I must admit, I'm a bit disappointed.  Cry
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2012, 02:38:26 PM »

Is it possible to have a fruitful spiritual life if one is in communion with Rome?

I hope so, or else all the fathers of the 4th ecumenical council are in trouble. 



Not to mention many of our ancestors from Galicia, right, Father?
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2012, 02:49:49 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Is it possible to have a fruitful spiritual life if one is in communion with Rome?

I think that when push really comes to shove the most Orthodox response could be, "Its none of my business."

We've separated, both Orthodox and Oriental, and Orthodox and Latin, and for better or worse that is how it is.  So realistically, we have nothing to say about each other.  So long as Orthodox don't step on Latin toes, and so long as Latins don't step on Orthodox toes, and so long as Orientals don't step on Orthodox/Latin toes, and so long as Orthodox/Latin don't step on Oriental toes, and if any of us does step on anyone's toes we are all mutually all apologies, than that it the best we can pray for at this time.

Any directions we work together should be forward, we've spent enough centuries backpedaling..

I would say that if the Latins teach they their Sacramental life achieves Theosis, who am I to argue? I am grounded in my jurisdiction, I have no business leaving and less business judging the spiritual conditions of folks outside of my jurisdiction.  I can politely invite anyone to come visit and fellowship with us in Oriental Christendom, and hope for the same mutual hospitality elsewhere.

To answer the OP directly, yes, but only for themselves.  Its not an us or them issue, theosis is about an individual's communication with God, and so we can only worry about ourselves individually.  If an individual feels theosis in the Latin or Orthodox, that is where that individual should go.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2012, 03:27:14 PM »

From the illustrious Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos:


“Thus the heretics are incurably rotten limbs of the Church and are therefore cut off from the Body of the Church. The heretics must be examined in this light. In this way one can see the Church’s love for mankind. For, as we have emphasised elsewhere as well, when someone employs erroneous medical teaching, there are no therapeutic results, one can never achieve the cure. The same is true with the doctrines or the erroneous teaching. An erroneous teaching which is based on a wrong methodology can never lead man to deification.”

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b12.en.the_mind_of_the_orthodox_church.09.htm

“The fact that the Latin Tradition came to confuse these hypostatic properties and teaches that the Holy Spirit proceeds in essence from the Son as well shows the nonexistence of empirical theology. Also the fact that it reached the point of speaking about created grace, signifies that it does not have experience of the grace of God. For, when a man attains the experience of God, he then realizes well that this grace is uncreated. Since they did not reach this experience, it is obvious that there is no correct therapeutic method there. And, indeed, in the Latin tradition this therapeutic method -which we find in Orthodoxy- does not exist.”

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b05.en.the_illness_and_cure_of_the_soul.01.htm

"And again I must point out that heresy reverses the true way of man’s cure for reaching deification. If we think that purification of the heart, illumination of the nous is therapy in order for man to take the path to deification, then we understand that heresy reverses this way and leaves man permanently without a cure, without hope of cure and salvation."

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b12.en.the_mind_of_the_orthodox_church.09.htm


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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2012, 03:43:52 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

From the illustrious Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos:


“Thus the heretics are incurably rotten limbs of the Church and are therefore cut off from the Body of the Church. The heretics must be examined in this light. In this way one can see the Church’s love for mankind. For, as we have emphasised elsewhere as well, when someone employs erroneous medical teaching, there are no therapeutic results, one can never achieve the cure. The same is true with the doctrines or the erroneous teaching. An erroneous teaching which is based on a wrong methodology can never lead man to deification.”

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b12.en.the_mind_of_the_orthodox_church.09.htm

“The fact that the Latin Tradition came to confuse these hypostatic properties and teaches that the Holy Spirit proceeds in essence from the Son as well shows the nonexistence of empirical theology. Also the fact that it reached the point of speaking about created grace, signifies that it does not have experience of the grace of God. For, when a man attains the experience of God, he then realizes well that this grace is uncreated. Since they did not reach this experience, it is obvious that there is no correct therapeutic method there. And, indeed, in the Latin tradition this therapeutic method -which we find in Orthodoxy- does not exist.”

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b05.en.the_illness_and_cure_of_the_soul.01.htm

"And again I must point out that heresy reverses the true way of man’s cure for reaching deification. If we think that purification of the heart, illumination of the nous is therapy in order for man to take the path to deification, then we understand that heresy reverses this way and leaves man permanently without a cure, without hope of cure and salvation."

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b12.en.the_mind_of_the_orthodox_church.09.htm




We're glad you have read the Fathers, but you are perhaps a bit to in their spirit and not enough in God's spirit.  Remember, the Church is supposed to be inviting sinners to repentance, and if you so strongly feel that the Latins are in such grievous sin and error, and you say they need to come back to us in repentance, should you, me, and we all be a bit more hospitable? We don't badger sinners to repentance, we console them in love and polite admonishment.  The Fathers hard-line attitudes are for ourselves, internal housekeeping, so that Orthodox realize to stay loyal to Orthodox, which you faithfully and thankfully are, however, it doesn't give us a free pass to cast scathing blame on others.  Repentance is not about finger pointing (John 8 )


Tradition teaches us that those were our own sins which Jesus was pointing at as He wrote them in the earth..

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2012, 03:55:15 PM »

The Wisdom of Metropolitan Philaret of Blessed Memory and St. Theophan the Recluse

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.

With reference to the above question, it is particularly instructive to recall the answer once given to an inquirer by the Blessed Theophan the Recluse. The blessed one replied more or less thus: "You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins... I will tell you one thing, however: should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever."

http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/metphil_heterodox.aspx
Emphasis Mine!
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« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2012, 03:57:55 PM »

Remember, the Church is supposed to be inviting sinners to repentance, and if you so strongly feel that the Latins are in such grievous sin and error, and you say they need to come back to us in repentance, should you, me, and we all be a bit more hospitable? We don't badger sinners to repentance, we console them in love and polite admonishment.  The Fathers hard-line attitudes are for ourselves, internal housekeeping, so that Orthodox realize to stay loyal to Orthodox, which you faithfully and thankfully are, however, it doesn't give us a free pass to cast scathing blame on others.  Repentance is not about finger pointing (John 8 )

This thread does not have to do with the Orthodox Church’s handling of repentant sinners, but with the Orthodox Church’s understanding of the possibility of theosis for unrepentant members of heretical groups.  The direct question in the OP was deserving of a direct response.  Concerning hospitality, elijahmaria who initiated the thread is not a newbie who is ignorant of Orthodox teaching and interested in asking an innocent question, but a long time member and regular poster (almost 6,000 posts!) who is familiar with these teachings of our saints and Fathers but seems to prefer to ignore them. 
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« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2012, 04:08:03 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



This thread does not have to do with the Orthodox Church’s handling of repentant sinners, but with the Orthodox Church’s understanding of the possibility of theosis for unrepentant members of heretical groups.  The direct question in the OP was deserving of a direct response.  Concerning hospitality, elijahmaria who initiated the thread is not a newbie who is ignorant of Orthodox teaching and interested in asking an innocent question, but a long time member and regular poster (almost 6,000 posts!) who is familiar with these teachings of our saints and Fathers but seems to prefer to ignore them. 


But you are also seeming to ignore them, because again, the Fathers define sin for internal housekeeping, that we who are already Orthodox properly understand sin, sound doctrine, and acceptable theology.  However, as to regards to outsiders, all such sinners should be treated with kindness, and accepted with hospitality and love that they might be drawn to repentance.  The Church is a spiritual hospital, and when you go the ER the staff doesn't coerce you with finger-pointing and name-calling and a cosmic guilt trip, they simply get straight to work caring for the sick.  Sinners are spiritually sick, they need a little tender love and care, not to have the Book thrown at them Wink

The Fathers demand the repentant members of the Church to follow strict understandings of doctrine and theology, but the outsiders (who Latins are since the schism) are like all sinners, innocent as children, not knowing any better, until God brings them to repentance in His Church.  We are here to facilitate.  Once they repent, then you can pick up again reading folks the riot act and throwing the Book around..

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2012, 04:19:43 PM »

Short answer, yes.
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« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2012, 04:29:12 PM »

The initiation of theosis commences with the Sacraments of Illumination, with Baptism into Christ and Chrismation, the introduction of the Holy Spirit into the soul internally.

It is then nurtured by many many things but primarily by the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ which increases and strengthens our participation in His divine life.

So I suppose that those who believe Catholics possess the Sacraments would say they are in the process of theosis.  But I suppose the process of divinisation is horribly impeded by prelest, schism and heresy.

On the other hand, those who deny Catholic Sacraments must also deny theosis to Catholics (in this life.)

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« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2012, 04:31:53 PM »

Wow, leave the board for 6 years, and nothing much has changed.
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« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2012, 04:35:52 PM »

Wow, leave the board for 6 years, and nothing much has changed.

Well, to paraphrase someone else's comment elsewhere on this board: Change?  In *Orthodoxy*??  Is outrage!!!

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« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2012, 04:42:24 PM »

From the illustrious Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos:


“Thus the heretics are incurably rotten limbs of the Church and are therefore cut off from the Body of the Church. The heretics must be examined in this light. In this way one can see the Church’s love for mankind. For, as we have emphasised elsewhere as well, when someone employs erroneous medical teaching, there are no therapeutic results, one can never achieve the cure. The same is true with the doctrines or the erroneous teaching. An erroneous teaching which is based on a wrong methodology can never lead man to deification.”

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b12.en.the_mind_of_the_orthodox_church.09.htm

“The fact that the Latin Tradition came to confuse these hypostatic properties and teaches that the Holy Spirit proceeds in essence from the Son as well shows the nonexistence of empirical theology. Also the fact that it reached the point of speaking about created grace, signifies that it does not have experience of the grace of God. For, when a man attains the experience of God, he then realizes well that this grace is uncreated. Since they did not reach this experience, it is obvious that there is no correct therapeutic method there. And, indeed, in the Latin tradition this therapeutic method -which we find in Orthodoxy- does not exist.”

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b05.en.the_illness_and_cure_of_the_soul.01.htm

"And again I must point out that heresy reverses the true way of man’s cure for reaching deification. If we think that purification of the heart, illumination of the nous is therapy in order for man to take the path to deification, then we understand that heresy reverses this way and leaves man permanently without a cure, without hope of cure and salvation."

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b12.en.the_mind_of_the_orthodox_church.09.htm




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Jah777  He said it better than i could...He's Right ,Our Holy Orthodox Fathers Know Best ...... police
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« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2012, 05:11:11 PM »

I Agree With.....
Jah777  He said it better than i could...He's Right ,Our Holy Orthodox Fathers Know Best ...... police

There he is! See, I knew sooner or later he would turn up!!  laugh
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« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2012, 05:17:43 PM »

Is it possible to have a fruitful spiritual life if one is in communion with Rome?

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« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2012, 05:27:24 PM »

Does theosis equal salvation? I don't know. Does it equal the mercy of God, I don't know. Perhaps we talk about theosis too much, as if it were something in the abstract, and not a dynamic mystery. I believe schism and heresy can offer hindrances, but God is trying to save everyone, not just the Orthodox. And for those who do not have Orthodoxy, whether they be pagans, Jews, heterodox, or deluded Orthodox, there is one word that, my priest says, is not in God's dictionary--hopeless.

St. Silouan the Athonite, IIRC, was troubled over the salvation the Orthodox, the non-Orthodox, indeed all mankind for he was a great saint. Who can tell the vigils and prayers he made on behalf of all men? In prayer, being troubled very much in spirit about the salvation of mankind, the Lord Christ appeared to him that He would have mercy upon each person who asked Him for mercy even once. St. Silouan then asked, what about those who had left all to follow the Lord? The Lord said that these would be His friends, the others he would merely have mercy upon.

Merely. This is not any small thing. The mercy of God is deeper than the ocean, broader than the sky, higher than the heavens, sweeter than honey, and better than life itself, or even many lives. It endures forever.

So, about theosis, I don't even know about myself. But I ask God to have mercy on me and all mankind.
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« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2012, 07:06:31 PM »

You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?
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« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2012, 08:13:13 PM »

Wow, leave the board for 6 years, and nothing much has changed.

Good to read you again, Moronikos.  How have you been?  Smiley

Ebor
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« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2012, 08:14:36 PM »

Is it possible to have a fruitful spiritual life if one is in communion with Rome?



/\    /\

Good one  Wink
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« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2012, 08:44:34 PM »

You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?

Is theosis possible outside the Church?   For those who are not baptized into Christ?  For those who do not have Holy Communion?
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« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2012, 08:50:19 PM »

greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!
You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?

Is theosis possible outside the Church?   For those who are not baptized into Christ?  For those who do not have Holy Communion?


So is prayer separate from theosis according to the fathers?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2012, 08:52:28 PM »

What is the opinion of the monks of Mount Athos?   These are not your armchair and cocktail party expositors of theosis and hesychasm.   These are the marine corps of Orthodox spiritual life, who live and breathe the journey godwards, who shed blood and endure sleepless nights and a diet of beans, who renounce their own wills to live in obedience to a hesychastic master...... what do they sat about theosis for the non-Orthodox?
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« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2012, 08:55:28 PM »

greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!
You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?

Is theosis possible outside the Church?   For those who are not baptized into Christ?  For those who do not have Holy Communion?


So is prayer separate from theosis according to the fathers?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Anybody is able to pray - the Christian, the Muslim, the Hindu.  But only the baptized have the Holy Spirit living inside them and without His indwelling there is, IMO, no process of divinisation.

Saint Seraphim of Sarov reveals during the transfiguration which he underwent in the company of Motovilov that theosis and the accompanying phenomena are not available to those outside the Church.

Such things are not accessible to those who have never experienced the Divine Mysteries, especially those of Chrismation as well as the reception of the life-giving Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Please see

St. Seraphim of Sarov's Conversation With Nicholas Motovilov
A Wonderful Revelation to the World
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/wonderful.aspx
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« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2012, 10:43:12 PM »

greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!
You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?

Is theosis possible outside the Church?   For those who are not baptized into Christ?  For those who do not have Holy Communion?


So is prayer separate from theosis according to the fathers?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Anybody is able to pray - the Christian, the Muslim, the Hindu.  But only the baptized have the Holy Spirit living inside them and without His indwelling there is, IMO, no process of divinisation.

Saint Seraphim of Sarov reveals during the transfiguration which he underwent in the company of Motovilov that theosis and the accompanying phenomena are not available to those outside the Church.

Such things are not accessible to those who have never experienced the Divine Mysteries, especially those of Chrismation as well as the reception of the life-giving Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Please see

St. Seraphim of Sarov's Conversation With Nicholas Motovilov
A Wonderful Revelation to the World
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/wonderful.aspx

Given that the unbaptized cannot experience theosis, do you believe that the unbaptized are definitely damned?
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« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2012, 10:52:16 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!
You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?

Is theosis possible outside the Church?   For those who are not baptized into Christ?  For those who do not have Holy Communion?


So is prayer separate from theosis according to the fathers?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Anybody is able to pray - the Christian, the Muslim, the Hindu.  But only the baptized have the Holy Spirit living inside them and without His indwelling there is, IMO, no process of divinisation.

Saint Seraphim of Sarov reveals during the transfiguration which he underwent in the company of Motovilov that theosis and the accompanying phenomena are not available to those outside the Church.

Such things are not accessible to those who have never experienced the Divine Mysteries, especially those of Chrismation as well as the reception of the life-giving Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Please see

St. Seraphim of Sarov's Conversation With Nicholas Motovilov
A Wonderful Revelation to the World
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/wonderful.aspx

Given that the unbaptized cannot experience theosis, do you believe that the unbaptized are potentially damned?

I think that the unbaptized being potentially damned as you put it is a given, what I am asking is if theosis is strictly limited to the Divine Mysteries or if it is a process of prayer in general? Is any communication or experience of God theosis in a more gradual sense? I mean this to say that what is it that brings converts and catechumens into Faith if not a connection with God? What is theosis if not a connection with God? These are merely my humble investigations, which is why I asked what the Fathers may have said specifically regarding theosis and prayer. Also what about Acts 11:44-48?

Quote
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

   Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

I am in now way trying to suggest that full theosis is possible outside of the Mysteries, however I am trying to understand what part theosis may have in the conversion experience which brings folks into the Church.

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie
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« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2012, 10:52:46 PM »

Short answer, yes.

Me too...

Thanks!  Wink
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« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2012, 10:52:46 PM »

Does theosis equal salvation? I don't know. Does it equal the mercy of God, I don't know. Perhaps we talk about theosis too much, as if it were something in the abstract, and not a dynamic mystery. I believe schism and heresy can offer hindrances, but God is trying to save everyone, not just the Orthodox. And for those who do not have Orthodoxy, whether they be pagans, Jews, heterodox, or deluded Orthodox, there is one word that, my priest says, is not in God's dictionary--hopeless.

St. Silouan the Athonite, IIRC, was troubled over the salvation the Orthodox, the non-Orthodox, indeed all mankind for he was a great saint. Who can tell the vigils and prayers he made on behalf of all men? In prayer, being troubled very much in spirit about the salvation of mankind, the Lord Christ appeared to him that He would have mercy upon each person who asked Him for mercy even once. St. Silouan then asked, what about those who had left all to follow the Lord? The Lord said that these would be His friends, the others he would merely have mercy upon.

Merely. This is not any small thing. The mercy of God is deeper than the ocean, broader than the sky, higher than the heavens, sweeter than honey, and better than life itself, or even many lives. It endures forever.

So, about theosis, I don't even know about myself. But I ask God to have mercy on me and all mankind.


Beautiful!...just beautiful.  This is edging up to being my most favorite response thus far in a range of excellent responses, and I include the more negative ones as well.  I very much appreciate the thoughtful responses, because as Jah says, I do have some idea what I am asking...and I am humbled by each response that I read.

But this one in particular grabs the spirit of humility firmly and doesn't let go.  It is key to anything we might hope to achieve by grace.

My hope is to achieve brothers and sisters in faith in Orthodoxy...my desire is to be able to do so with humility. 

I get angry and frustrated with the schism.  I want to share the daily struggle that I engage with the world the flesh and the devil and yet I am shy to speak of it to you here...afraid actually...and that fear makes me angry and the anger destroys all hope of humility.

These are the very things I am trying to ask you about in this thread.

M.
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« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2012, 10:57:20 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!
You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?

Is theosis possible outside the Church?   For those who are not baptized into Christ?  For those who do not have Holy Communion?


So is prayer separate from theosis according to the fathers?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Anybody is able to pray - the Christian, the Muslim, the Hindu.  But only the baptized have the Holy Spirit living inside them and without His indwelling there is, IMO, no process of divinisation.

Saint Seraphim of Sarov reveals during the transfiguration which he underwent in the company of Motovilov that theosis and the accompanying phenomena are not available to those outside the Church.

Such things are not accessible to those who have never experienced the Divine Mysteries, especially those of Chrismation as well as the reception of the life-giving Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Please see

St. Seraphim of Sarov's Conversation With Nicholas Motovilov
A Wonderful Revelation to the World
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/wonderful.aspx

Given that the unbaptized cannot experience theosis, do you believe that the unbaptized are potentially damned?

I think that the unbaptized being potentially damned as you put it is a given, what I am asking is if theosis is strictly limited to the Divine Mysteries or if it is a process of prayer in general? Is any communication or experience of God theosis in a more gradual sense? I mean this to say that what is it that brings converts and catechumens into Faith if not a connection with God? What is theosis if not a connection with God? These are merely my humble investigations, which is why I asked what the Fathers may have said specifically regarding theosis and prayer. Also what about Acts 11:44-48?

Quote
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

   Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

I am in now way trying to suggest that full theosis is possible outside of the Mysteries, however I am trying to understand what part theosis may have in the conversion experience which brings folks into the Church.

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie

Yes, on second thought, I didn't mean to say potentially in my question. Given that they cannot achieve any measure of theosis, are they definitely damned? I'm curious to see what Fr. Ambrose thinks on this. I have edited the original question to reflect this.
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« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2012, 11:25:11 PM »

greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!
You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?

Is theosis possible outside the Church?   For those who are not baptized into Christ?  For those who do not have Holy Communion?


So is prayer separate from theosis according to the fathers?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Anybody is able to pray - the Christian, the Muslim, the Hindu.  But only the baptized have the Holy Spirit living inside them and without His indwelling there is, IMO, no process of divinisation.

Saint Seraphim of Sarov reveals during the transfiguration which he underwent in the company of Motovilov that theosis and the accompanying phenomena are not available to those outside the Church.

Such things are not accessible to those who have never experienced the Divine Mysteries, especially those of Chrismation as well as the reception of the life-giving Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Please see

St. Seraphim of Sarov's Conversation With Nicholas Motovilov
A Wonderful Revelation to the World
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/wonderful.aspx

Given that the unbaptized cannot experience theosis, do you believe that the unbaptized are definitely damned?

Very definitely not.  Saying the unbaptized are damned is contrary to the teaching of the holy apostles.


Saint Paul has already given the apostolic teaching quite cogently and told us how it occurs that the non-Christians may be saved:

  "...for when Gentiles, who do not have the law,
  by nature do the things in the law, these, although
  not having the law, are a law to themselves, who
  show the work of the law written in their hearts,
  their conscience also bearing witness, and between
  themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing
  them in the day when God will judge the secrets of men
  by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel."
 
~ Romans 2:14-16

St. Cyril of Alexandria has a significant passage:

"For if there is one over all, and there is no other besides Him, He would
be master of all, because He was Maker of all. For He is also the God of
the gentiles, and has fully satisfied by laws implanted in their hearts,
which the Maker has engraved in the hearts of all. For when the gentiles,
(Paul) says, not having the law, do by nature the things of the law, they
show the work of the law written on their hearts. But since He is not only
the Maker and God of the Jews, but also of the gentiles . . . He sees fit
by His providence to care not only for those who are of the blood of
Israel, but also for all those upon the earth."

Interpretation of the Epistle to the Romans

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« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2012, 11:36:06 PM »

I know---very sad, isn't it?  On the other hand, Matt. 18:20--"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them."  He didn't specify what the "where" should look like.

I know, I was just trying to keep it light and funny before the thread devolved into "All Catholics are going to hell".  Roll Eyes

Is this part of your experience when interacting with Orthodox - some of them (many of them?) believe Catholics are going to hell?  I can absolutely assure you that this is not the teaching of the bishops and the priests, so God only knows where the laity are picking this up.
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« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2012, 12:42:40 AM »

Thread locked temporarily for maintenance
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« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2012, 12:52:29 AM »

The potential bickering storm has been moved to Orthodox-Other Christian Private Discussions.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=42281.0
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« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2012, 12:57:30 AM »

Thread now unlocked. Play nice, y'all.
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« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2012, 01:23:32 AM »

You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?

I didn't say they produced the 'fruits of theosis'. In fact quite the opposite. My point was that the thread title asks about 'theosis' but in the body of her post 'elijahmaria' asked about a fruitful spiritual life. And they are not the same question--at least not without considerable definition of exactly what is meant by 'fruits' and 'spiritual'.
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« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2012, 01:48:08 AM »

I recall an article a while back that quoted Elder Paisios at St. Anthony's Monastery in Arizona. Someone asked him if holiness was possible outside of the Orthodox Church and he replied, "A measure of virtue perhaps, but holiness is not possible."
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« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2012, 02:41:47 AM »

I recall an article a while back that quoted Elder Paisios at St. Anthony's Monastery in Arizona. Someone asked him if holiness was possible outside of the Orthodox Church and he replied, "A measure of virtue perhaps, but holiness is not possible."

He is expressing the standard teaching of the holy Fathers -

1.  External Righteousness..........Without Baptism and the indwelling of the Spirit, only the righteousness which was/is available to the Jews (and to all unbaptized people) is possible.

2.  Sanctity..................Holiness is possible only within the Church, with the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

We have had several quotes recently in various threads on this point.
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« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2012, 07:54:03 AM »

He is expressing the standard teaching of the holy Fathers -

1.  External Righteousness..........Without Baptism and the indwelling of the Spirit, only the righteousness which was/is available to the Jews (and to all unbaptized people) is possible.

2.  Sanctity..................Holiness is possible only within the Church, with the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Difficult sayings...
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« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2012, 09:12:58 AM »


This thread does not have to do with the Orthodox Church’s handling of repentant sinners, but with the Orthodox Church’s understanding of the possibility of theosis for unrepentant members of heretical groups... 

…the Fathers define sin for internal housekeeping, that we who are already Orthodox properly understand sin, sound doctrine, and acceptable theology.  However, as to regards to outsiders, all such sinners should be treated with kindness, and accepted with hospitality and love that they might be drawn to repentance.  The Church is a spiritual hospital, and when you go the ER the staff doesn't coerce you with finger-pointing and name-calling and a cosmic guilt trip, they simply get straight to work caring for the sick.  Sinners are spiritually sick, they need a little tender love and care, not to have the Book thrown at them Wink

I agree that we should treat all with love and kindness.  Yet, when a direct question is asked concerning whether theosis is possible for the heterodox, such a direct question warrants a direct and honest response, and such a response should be truthful.  To bend the truth, or avoid saying what is true, out of so-called “love” does not show real concern or love for a person but rather shows that one cares more about a person’s feelings of self-satisfaction than about the salvation of their soul.

Regarding the truth being an “internal matter”, or a matter of “internal housekeeping”, or that we should keep such beliefs to ourselves and not express them to the non-Orthodox (as if such beliefs are not true in any absolute sense) is not consistent with the teachings and examples of the Fathers.  When an Eastern Rite Catholic priest wrote to St. Paisius (Velichkovsky), a saint who is particularly esteemed for his deep knowledge and understanding of the canons and the writings of the Fathers, he replied saying:

“Depart and flee from the Unia as speedily as possible lest death overtake you in it and you be numbered among the heretics and not among the Christians. And not only go away yourself, but advise others to go away also, if in your conscience you know that they will hear you. And if they will not hear you, then at least depart yourself from the nets of the enemy and be united in soul and heart with the Holy Orthodox Church, and thus, together with all [the faithful] holding the inviolate faith and fulfilling the commandments of Christ, you will be able to be saved.”

The quote above is from a longer letter in which St. Paisius’ love and concern for this heterodox priest is made quite clear, but in showing such love and concern he did not fail to speak truthfully and directly concerning the matter as is characteristic of the Fathers.  An honest question requires an honest reply.

Quote
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

 Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

I am in now way trying to suggest that full theosis is possible outside of the Mysteries, however I am trying to understand what part theosis may have in the conversion experience which brings folks into the Church.

Theosis is concerned with “partaking of the divine nature”, and as such is not possible for the unbaptized.  The fact that the Spirit “came on” Cornelius and his household is not the same as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which is made possible by baptism and is necessary for theosis.  Note that in the above quote, even after the Holy Spirit “came on all who heard the message”, they still required baptism so that the grace of the Holy Spirit could enter into their hearts to cleanse and illumine them. The Spirit “blows where it wills” and works in those outside of the Church to bring them into the Church; but the Holy Spirit does not indwell, sanctify, and deify those not baptized in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. 

After saying the above, it is important to stress the fact that just because a person is a member of the Orthodox Church does not mean that they will be saved or achieve theosis.  They have all the means available to them, but whether they will utilize these means is up to them.  So, for instance, by saying that theosis is not possible for the heterodox, saying such does mean that I will attain theosis or find salvation.  It only indicates that I know with great certainty where the path to theosis is to be found, and there is great evidence for this in the lives and teachings of those who have indeed arrived and been glorified.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 09:19:05 AM by jah777 » Logged
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« Reply #44 on: January 13, 2012, 10:32:10 AM »

If theosis is not possible for the unbaptized, then does that mean that those who are unbaptized and yet saved, will, after death, be baptized, so that they can proceed into theosis?
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