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Author Topic: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?  (Read 14213 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #315 on: January 21, 2012, 07:01:52 PM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Oy, oy, oy.  Embarrassed Cry
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« Reply #316 on: January 21, 2012, 07:05:25 PM »

Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

What says the section on heaven in the new Ukrainian Catechism?  Do they follow Rome and speak of contemplating God's essence?


1 John 3:2 - Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 13:12 - For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/browse.html

You are saying that the Roman Catholic teaching that eternity is the contemplation of the divine essence in the Beatific Vision is also the teaching of the Eastern Catholic Churches?

It's beginning to make sense why Dragani sees Purgatory as the Final Theosis.  The theosis leads to a perfect purgation which makes it possible to enter heaven with the capacity to see and contemplate the Divine Essence.

You and most of the Orthodox that I know treat the beatific vision as though it is a movie on a screen or a lovely sunrise or something to be viewed.  I suppose it is because of the word "vision"...

I've sent several links to this thread where it is clear that the beatific vision refers to our participation in the divine life, in life everlasting...We become both the image and likeness of God and we participate in his essential nature as adopted sons and daughters...greater even than the angels.

You cannot read Aquinas on existence and essence, act and potentiality, nature and being at the level of "See John run...Run John run"  Literal and unschooled readings will simply will lead you to the kinds of stiff and inaccurate conclusions that are in evidence here in this thread.

Mary

If we participate in his nature as you claim, how does this understanding safeguard against teaching that we become God himself or become absorbed into the Godhead?
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« Reply #317 on: January 21, 2012, 07:12:54 PM »

I knwo enough about Orthodoxy to say that "contemplating and seeing the divine essence of God" is completely opposite/heretical to Orthodox teaching. Some may call it splitting hairs, but if I ever heard an Orthodox person teach or claim such, I would be dumbfounded.

Just speaking for myself, I don't call it splitting hairs.
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« Reply #318 on: January 21, 2012, 07:14:27 PM »

Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

What says the section on heaven in the new Ukrainian Catechism?  Do they follow Rome and speak of contemplating God's essence?


1 John 3:2 - Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 13:12 - For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/browse.html

You are saying that the Roman Catholic teaching that eternity is the contemplation of the divine essence in the Beatific Vision is also the teaching of the Eastern Catholic Churches?

It's beginning to make sense why Dragani sees Purgatory as the Final Theosis.  The theosis leads to a perfect purgation which makes it possible to enter heaven with the capacity to see and contemplate the Divine Essence.

You and most of the Orthodox that I know treat the beatific vision as though it is a movie on a screen or a lovely sunrise or something to be viewed.  I suppose it is because of the word "vision"...

I've sent several links to this thread where it is clear that the beatific vision refers to our participation in the divine life, in life everlasting...We become both the image and likeness of God and we participate in his essential nature as adopted sons and daughters...greater even than the angels.

You cannot read Aquinas on existence and essence, act and potentiality, nature and being at the level of "See John run...Run John run"  Literal and unschooled readings will simply will lead you to the kinds of stiff and inaccurate conclusions that are in evidence here in this thread.

Mary

If we participate in his nature as you claim, how does this understanding safeguard against teaching that we become God himself or become absorbed into the Godhead?

When you take part in a concert, does that mean you become a member of the band?
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« Reply #319 on: January 21, 2012, 07:14:52 PM »

I knwo enough about Orthodoxy to say that "contemplating and seeing the divine essence of God" is completely opposite/heretical to Orthodox teaching. Some may call it splitting hairs, but if I ever heard an Orthodox person teach or claim such, I would be dumbfounded.

Just speaking for myself, I don't call it splitting hairs.

ok thanks Smiley
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« Reply #320 on: January 21, 2012, 07:16:30 PM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 07:16:46 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #321 on: January 21, 2012, 07:19:35 PM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."

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« Reply #322 on: January 21, 2012, 07:20:01 PM »

I knwo enough about Orthodoxy to say that "contemplating and seeing the divine essence of God" is completely opposite/heretical to Orthodox teaching. Some may call it splitting hairs, but if I ever heard an Orthodox person teach or claim such, I would be dumbfounded.

Just speaking for myself, I don't call it splitting hairs.

ok thanks Smiley

No need for thanks.

Speaking of splitting hairs, I don't understand the distinction between saying "enjoying the Divine Essence" and "participating in the Divine Essence". I guess I might call that "splitting hairs".

The dogmatic teaching of Rome is clear - your people in heaven contemplate and enjoy the Divine Essence and Mary says they participate in it.
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« Reply #323 on: January 21, 2012, 07:23:50 PM »

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« Reply #324 on: January 21, 2012, 08:55:02 PM »

I don't understand how people think we can see or experience an essence without actually becoming an object within the general group of things which have the essence in common. Would anybody be so absurd to presume that because we have seen the operations of cows or swine that we can understand and experience what being a cow or a pig is like?
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« Reply #325 on: January 21, 2012, 10:17:13 PM »

Mary, my sense is that we Orthodox see the Magisterium of Rome as the 'lynch pin' of Roman Catholic teachings.  There is a single point of reference, a single authority, for all teachings.

This has given the RCC the ability to conduct major changes in theology and practice in a very brief period of time, such as the Novo Ordo, which the Orthodox Church simply could never do even if a majority of the bishops resolved to do just that.  Our diversification of authority, through the notion of common Apostolic succession to all bishops, prevents such changes.

For this reason, we tend to look at RCC tradition as a dictate of the Magisterium.  All saints, all writings, all teachings come through this single entity, whereas Orthodox teachings come from a consensus perspective: we don't have a single interpretive office.

Now, there may be particulars in how that single office conducts business, and I imagine that given the size and history of the Vatican makes even small changes rather difficult, but they are certainly easier to accomplish than getting a room full of Russians and Greeks to sit down and agree to anything! 
  police

Father,

I do understand what you are saying and appreciate the impact that vision would have on those outside of the Church.  

But I must add this to what you have said.  The very fact that the Novus Ordo and many many of the changes that are comprised today, by the normative Roman rite, actually were implemented on the orders of various bishop's delegates in committee and not by the papal office nor even the documents from a general council, ought to make it plain as day that there is a fearsome amount of power in the office of bishop in the Catholic Church.

The truth is that there is no one single locus of magisterial teaching.  There is indeed one single locus for collecting the documents and teachings of the ages, coming from councils and synodal meetings and curial texts so that it becomes that much more efficient to devise a catechism or a code of canons...but to think that the contents of those tomes come from one single point on some triangle of a hierarchy is simply a delusion.

But the magisterial charge was given to the bishops and that is where the locus of power in the Church remains to this day.  The source of the petrine authority may indeed be divine, but the successful daily and pedestrian exercise of that authority is absolutely dependent upon the good will of Catholic bishops all over the world.

Short of an act of God there is nothing that can break the power of a bishop.

In that spirit, I believe that the cracking open of the sexual scandal in the Church is such and act of divine providence.  For all of the ensuing distress, I believe there will be great good emerge from it.  God help those who have been accused falsely however.  Lord have mercy.

Without that understanding then it is impossible to grasp the glory of the Catholic Church.  It is also impossible to really understand and forgive those who bear the magisterial ugliness that too often resides within.

There's more but that's enough for the moment.

M.
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« Reply #326 on: January 21, 2012, 10:17:13 PM »


And so we have the problem: it seems like the priority within the RCC is the magisterium, which can both pronounce and exempt dogmas, enforcing them here but permit their renunciation elsewhere.  So, a RCC priest may serve in a Latin Rite parish for many years and utter the filioque as fact, but then be reassigned to an Byz-Rite Catholic parish and skip over that dogma thus rejecting it.


This is where a huge portion of the problem lies.  There is no "magisterium" as in an office or organization in the Catholic Church.

The magisterial charge is the charge to go and make disciples.  In order to do that the Apostles and those who came after were given the Spirit led power and authority to discern and teach the truths of revelation.

I find it difficult to believe that Orthodoxy does not claim such a charge for itself.

HOW that magisterial charge is executed and whether or not there's room for discussion on points of doctrine/truth and their expression is what we are really talking about here.

Dogma is a manner of defining that which is already recognized as truth.  It is not some super-Truth or hyper-Truth that trumps all other truths.  The truth of revelation is the truth.

The Catholic Church says that the petrine ministry, the power and authority of the office, is of divine origin.  Protestants and Orthodox say that is a load of crap.

But that idea certainly can be drawn from a reading of scripture.  

I'd certainly like to see the basis in Scripture from which one can assert without fear of contradiction that the conciliar path is the ONLY path...

M.
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« Reply #327 on: January 21, 2012, 10:17:13 PM »

So, what you are saying is that in order to be fair about addressing something, one must first believe it to be true?

<snip>You are quick to say that you don't believe we are one, holy, catholic or apostolic, so why would you express her teaching with anything approximating a principled approach? 
<snip>

My comments to Father Ambrose come from his periodic assertions that the Catholic Church is out to destroy Orthodoxy and therefore must be attacked with vigor and it's so-called lies and duplicity exposed to Orthodox believers.  Father Ambrose does an excellent job of doing just that...very often at the expense of the truth. 

If that is what you are asking me about...sure...I think that one can easily bear false witness if one is so inclined, and justify it as being for the greater good.

I say only God has that power and authority to use evil to do good.
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« Reply #328 on: January 21, 2012, 10:17:13 PM »

Let's remember, only Irish Hermit knows what Roman and Eastern Catholics actually teach and believe, and never mind if the actual experiences of those people should differ.  Roll Eyes

Or that words should have meaning beyond the literal meaning or the contemporary meaning...or whatever meaning Father Ambrose needs to suit his purpose.
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« Reply #329 on: January 21, 2012, 10:17:13 PM »

Let's remember, only Irish Hermit knows what Roman and Eastern Catholics actually teach and believe, and never mind if the actual experiences of those people should differ.  Roll Eyes

Let's remember, only Irish Hermit knows what Roman and Eastern Catholics actually teach and believe, and never mind if the actual experiences of those people should differ.  Roll Eyes

The teaching of the Catholic belief has been defined by the Pope.  See message 292.  I do at least afford him the courtesy of believing he is knowledgeable about his own belief system.   And I am not going to fudge it.  I know Roman Catholic belief somewhat thanks to passing through their primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.

Often, knowing a thing makes it all the more easy to distort it.  

That's how individuals most often do the worst damage to the ones they know best...'

It's almost axiomatic.
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« Reply #330 on: January 21, 2012, 10:22:28 PM »

Speaking of splitting hairs, I don't understand the distinction between saying "enjoying the Divine Essence" and "participating in the Divine Essence". I guess I might call that "splitting hairs".
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« Reply #331 on: January 21, 2012, 10:30:10 PM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?
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« Reply #332 on: January 21, 2012, 10:39:12 PM »

So, what you are saying is that in order to be fair about addressing something, one must first believe it to be true?

<snip>You are quick to say that you don't believe we are one, holy, catholic or apostolic, so why would you express her teaching with anything approximating a principled approach?
<snip>

My comments to Father Ambrose come from his periodic assertions that the Catholic Church is out to destroy Orthodoxy

Yes, I believe that.

See message 109 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,41126.msg675922.html#msg675922

Quote
and therefore must be attacked with vigor

I do not believe I have said that.  So far the attacks are coming from Rome, via the Eastern Catholic Churches, the Croatian Franciscans, etc.


Quote
and it's so-called lies and duplicity exposed to Orthodox believers.

I do not believe I have said that either, although I agree with it.

Quote
 Father Ambrose does an excellent job of doing just that...very often at the expense of the truth.

That is not true.  But I know a certain Cartholic lady of whom it is true... who falsely accuses the Orthodox of sexual liberalism, of approving abortion,  of lying by suppressing our supposed earlier belief in the Immaculate Conception.

Quote
If that is what you are asking me about...sure...I think that one can easily bear false witness if one is so inclined,

Congratulations.  You have demonstrated the truth of your words.


« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 10:47:47 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #333 on: January 21, 2012, 10:41:00 PM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 10:41:25 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #334 on: January 21, 2012, 10:43:28 PM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?
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« Reply #335 on: January 21, 2012, 11:11:33 PM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    laugh
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« Reply #336 on: January 21, 2012, 11:33:33 PM »

I believe that us receiving Christ in the eucharist can be likened to Mary receiving Christ in her womb...she received the fullness of God in her womb, and we receive him similarly in the eucharist. That does not mean that we participate in God's nature or essence however.
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« Reply #337 on: January 21, 2012, 11:50:01 PM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

To know God's essence is basically equivalent to saying that we will come to comprehend what it is to be uncreated, infinite and uncircumscribed. It would imply some sort of pantheism.
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« Reply #338 on: January 22, 2012, 12:05:31 AM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    laugh
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?
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« Reply #339 on: January 22, 2012, 12:06:01 AM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

In context of this thread to date, this question appears to be trying to imply some sort of contradiction between the Orthodox insistence that we cannot know God in His essence and the Orthodox belief that Christ Himself is present in the Eucharist? If I've misunderstood where you are going with that I apologize, but there is no contradiction. I can 'receive' something without 'understanding' it--as RCs should understand as well as we do since we both practice infant baptism. Or to Cavaradossi's point, I know my wife, and interact with her regularly on multiple levels. But that doesn't mean I understand her 'in her essence' (a claim that would make her laugh and laugh and laugh if I was silly enough to make it).
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« Reply #340 on: January 22, 2012, 12:07:44 AM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    laugh
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?

Above posted while I was posting my last answer, but no, that's not what it's saying at all. In the Eucharist and in Heaven we are in the Presence of God in His Essence. That doesn't mean that we are actually capable of comprehending it. We know God in the Person of Jesus Christ, not in His Essence.
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« Reply #341 on: January 22, 2012, 12:08:54 AM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

In context of this thread to date, this question appears to be trying to imply some sort of contradiction between the Orthodox insistence that we cannot know God in His essence and the Orthodox belief that Christ Himself is present in the Eucharist? If I've misunderstood where you are going with that I apologize, but there is no contradiction. I can 'receive' something without 'understanding' it--as RCs should understand as well as we do since we both practice infant baptism. Or to Cavaradossi's point, I know my wife, and interact with her regularly on multiple levels. But that doesn't mean I understand her 'in her essence' (a claim that would make her laugh and laugh and laugh if I was silly enough to make it).
A flawed analogy since you will never have perfect communion with your wife, but we will have perfect communion with God in heaven, which contradicts the teaching that some part of Him will forever be hidden from us.
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« Reply #342 on: January 22, 2012, 12:09:56 AM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    laugh
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?

Above posted while I was posting my last answer, but no, that's not what it's saying at all. In the Eucharist and in Heaven we are in the Presence of God in His Essence. That doesn't mean that we are actually capable of comprehending it. We know God in the Person of Jesus Christ, not in His Essence.
I was always under the impression that when we get to heaven we will be in perfect union with (and thus know) God. To say that part of God will be forever unknowable does not sound like heaven.
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« Reply #343 on: January 22, 2012, 12:17:10 AM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    laugh
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?

Above posted while I was posting my last answer, but no, that's not what it's saying at all. In the Eucharist and in Heaven we are in the Presence of God in His Essence. That doesn't mean that we are actually capable of comprehending it. We know God in the Person of Jesus Christ, not in His Essence.
I was always under the impression that when we get to heaven we will be in perfect union with (and thus know) God. To say that part of God will be forever unknowable does not sound like heaven.

As Cavaradossi points out, God is Infinite and Transcendent. The only way that we could have 'perfect knowledge' of the Infinite would be if we ourselves became Omnisicient (i.e. Infinite). IOW, while theosis teaches that we become 'by Grace' what He is 'by Nature', to attain perfect knowledge of His transcendant Nature, we would have to cross that line and become Transcendent by Nature just as He is. Which leads to either polytheism (as God is no longer Unique but only the first of His kind) or a Hindu-style Monism in which the distinction between Created and Creator is wiped out and there is only Creator.
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« Reply #344 on: January 22, 2012, 12:27:02 AM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    laugh
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?

We call them "the Holy Mysteries" and there is good reason for calling them that. I do not comprehend the Mysteries.
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« Reply #345 on: January 22, 2012, 12:33:35 AM »

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


That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?


Quote
Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.

So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?


I've asked this same question to the EO on the forum and been told that the Essence is present in the Eucharist.

Quote
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?

No, isn't our Communion with God in the Eucharist the same as our communion with God in heaven as the Divine Liturgy is the Kingdom of God intruding upon the seemingly ordinary world?

stay blessed
habte selassie
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« Reply #346 on: January 22, 2012, 12:37:24 AM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    laugh
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?

We call them "the Holy Mysteries" and there is good reason for calling them that. I do not comprehend the Mysteries.
So...you pry into the inner workings of God by speculating and deciding that He exists in two parts (essence and energies), but then when asked to explain your needless distinction, you revert back to saying "it's just a mystery." Isn't that the very thing you accuse us of doing with transubstantiation with regards to the Holy Eucharist (e.g. you say that "real presence" is enough and that that anything else is needless speculation)?
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« Reply #347 on: January 22, 2012, 12:54:55 AM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    laugh
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?

We call them "the Holy Mysteries" and there is good reason for calling them that. I do not comprehend the Mysteries.
So...you pry into the inner workings of God by speculating and deciding that He exists in two parts (essence and energies),

Not me, but the great Fathers and Doctors of the Catholic Chuch.  Read for example what I referenced from Saint Basil the Great. 


Quote
but then when asked to explain your needless distinction,

It's not 'my' distinction but that of the Catholic Church, from the earliest centuries.

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« Reply #348 on: January 22, 2012, 01:02:39 AM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    laugh
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?

We call them "the Holy Mysteries" and there is good reason for calling them that. I do not comprehend the Mysteries.
So...you pry into the inner workings of God by speculating and deciding that He exists in two parts (essence and energies),

Not me, but the great Fathers and Doctors of the Catholic Chuch.  Read for example what I referenced from Saint Basil the Great.
Done:

I looked through the link you provided, but where exactly does St. Basil teach, in the link provided or anywhere for that matter, that the essence of God will remain veiled and unknowable even in heaven?


Quote
but then when asked to explain your needless distinction,

It's not 'my' distinction but that of the Catholic Church, from the earliest centuries.
Really? It's been my experience that the Catholic Church doesn't make any further distinctions to the Godhead than saying He exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #349 on: January 22, 2012, 01:06:48 AM »

So...you pry into the inner workings of God by speculating and deciding that He exists in two parts (essence and energies), but then when asked to explain your needless distinction, you revert back to saying "it's just a mystery." Isn't that the very thing you accuse us of doing with transubstantiation with regards to the Holy Eucharist (e.g. you say that "real presence" is enough and that that anything else is needless speculation)?

If you think 'essence and energies' is prying into the inner working of God, then you've completely misunderstood the topic. The whole point of that distinction is a recognition that we *cannot* pry into the inner workings of God, and yet we do interact with Him; that is, it is about the Divine Economy, about how God interacts with His creation and not about Him in His Essence.

Also, while the concept can be found in the Fathers running all the way back to scripture, it was formally defined in council in response to a specific heresy (i.e., it wasn't speculation in a vacuum)
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« Reply #350 on: January 22, 2012, 02:14:10 AM »

So...you pry into the inner workings of God by speculating and deciding that He exists in two parts (essence and energies), but then when asked to explain your needless distinction, you revert back to saying "it's just a mystery." Isn't that the very thing you accuse us of doing with transubstantiation with regards to the Holy Eucharist (e.g. you say that "real presence" is enough and that that anything else is needless speculation)?

If you think 'essence and energies' is prying into the inner working of God, then you've completely misunderstood the topic. The whole point of that distinction is a recognition that we *cannot* pry into the inner workings of God, and yet we do interact with Him; that is, it is about the Divine Economy, about how God interacts with His creation and not about Him in His Essence.
Yes...a rather ironic distinction.

Also, while the concept can be found in the Fathers running all the way back to scripture, it was formally defined in council in response to a specific heresy (i.e., it wasn't speculation in a vacuum)
Oh really...what Scriptures and Fathers draw such a sharp distinction (to the point where it sounds dangerously close to dividing God into parts) between God's essence and energies? Was this defined in an ecumenical council? Also, if you are insinuating that transubstantiation is "speculation in a vacuum" I will have to disagree. Transubstantiation means there is a transformation (or a change) in the substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ...which is no different than what the Eastern Orthodox believe since they believe in the real presence.
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« Reply #351 on: January 22, 2012, 08:31:28 AM »

So...you pry into the inner workings of God by speculating and deciding that He exists in two parts (essence and energies), but then when asked to explain your needless distinction, you revert back to saying "it's just a mystery." Isn't that the very thing you accuse us of doing with transubstantiation with regards to the Holy Eucharist (e.g. you say that "real presence" is enough and that that anything else is needless speculation)?

If you think 'essence and energies' is prying into the inner working of God, then you've completely misunderstood the topic. The whole point of that distinction is a recognition that we *cannot* pry into the inner workings of God, and yet we do interact with Him; that is, it is about the Divine Economy, about how God interacts with His creation and not about Him in His Essence.
Yes...a rather ironic distinction.

Also, while the concept can be found in the Fathers running all the way back to scripture, it was formally defined in council in response to a specific heresy (i.e., it wasn't speculation in a vacuum)
Oh really...what Scriptures and Fathers draw such a sharp distinction (to the point where it sounds dangerously close to dividing God into parts) between God's essence and energies? Was this defined in an ecumenical council? Also, if you are insinuating that transubstantiation is "speculation in a vacuum" I will have to disagree. Transubstantiation means there is a transformation (or a change) in the substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ...which is no different than what the Eastern Orthodox believe since they believe in the real presence.

Where in the bible may I find God not being composed of parts? I know it might be confusing, but Aristotle is not a book in the bible.
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« Reply #352 on: January 22, 2012, 08:41:49 AM »

I recall reading many of these sorts of explanations of the Orthodox position on the essence/energies distinction.

Does anyone know of a good Roman Catholic treatise that responds to the Orthodox position?
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« Reply #353 on: January 22, 2012, 08:44:43 AM »

It's not 'my' distinction but that of the Catholic Church, from the earliest centuries.
Really? It's been my experience that the Catholic Church doesn't make any further distinctions to the Godhead than saying He exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You have to understand, of course, what Fr. Ambrose means by "the Catholic Church".
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« Reply #354 on: January 22, 2012, 09:05:45 AM »

It's not 'my' distinction but that of the Catholic Church, from the earliest centuries.
Really? It's been my experience that the Catholic Church doesn't make any further distinctions to the Godhead than saying He exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You have to understand, of course, what Fr. Ambrose means by "the Catholic Church".

In this instance it refers to the undivided Church of East and West and the great Church Fathers I referenced who teach of essence and energies are from that glorious undivided period.  They belong to the theological heritage of each of our contemporary Churches.  And in fact by the light of Roman Catholic history they were bishops whose ultimate authority was the Supreme Pontiff in Rome.
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« Reply #355 on: January 22, 2012, 10:26:37 AM »

Really? It's been my experience that the Catholic Church doesn't make any further distinctions to the Godhead than saying He exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Does the Church speak of the "Godhead" as "He", as a Person?
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« Reply #356 on: January 22, 2012, 11:25:14 AM »

So...you pry into the inner workings of God by speculating and deciding that He exists in two parts (essence and energies), but then when asked to explain your needless distinction, you revert back to saying "it's just a mystery." Isn't that the very thing you accuse us of doing with transubstantiation with regards to the Holy Eucharist (e.g. you say that "real presence" is enough and that that anything else is needless speculation)?

If you think 'essence and energies' is prying into the inner working of God, then you've completely misunderstood the topic. The whole point of that distinction is a recognition that we *cannot* pry into the inner workings of God, and yet we do interact with Him; that is, it is about the Divine Economy, about how God interacts with His creation and not about Him in His Essence.
Yes...a rather ironic distinction.

Also, while the concept can be found in the Fathers running all the way back to scripture, it was formally defined in council in response to a specific heresy (i.e., it wasn't speculation in a vacuum)
Oh really...what Scriptures and Fathers draw such a sharp distinction (to the point where it sounds dangerously close to dividing God into parts) between God's essence and energies? Was this defined in an ecumenical council? Also, if you are insinuating that transubstantiation is "speculation in a vacuum" I will have to disagree. Transubstantiation means there is a transformation (or a change) in the substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ...which is no different than what the Eastern Orthodox believe since they believe in the real presence.

Where in the bible may I find God not being composed of parts? I know it might be confusing, but Aristotle is not a book in the bible.
Then where do you get the notion?

I recall reading many of these sorts of explanations of the Orthodox position on the essence/energies distinction.

Does anyone know of a good Roman Catholic treatise that responds to the Orthodox position?
I would be interested in reading it if it exists.

Really? It's been my experience that the Catholic Church doesn't make any further distinctions to the Godhead than saying He exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Does the Church speak of the "Godhead" as "He", as a Person?
Can only persons be referred to as "he?"
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« Reply #357 on: January 22, 2012, 02:08:13 PM »

So when you 'go to Heaven'  Huh and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  Tongue
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

To know God's essence is basically equivalent to saying that we will come to comprehend what it is to be uncreated, infinite and uncircumscribed. It would imply some sort of pantheism.

His essence and His energies are not two separate things.  Not even St. Gregory goes that far.

IF they were indeed...in reality...two separate things then you would actually have a created reality in the energies.   But it is not said that you do.   Any more than there is some separate created reality in the "created grace" of the west. 

Also when the east says essence and the west says essence, I do not believe we are talking about quite the same thing...So the fact remains that to know the energies is to know something of the essence, otherwise we cannot speak of a share in the divine life and have it mean anything at all.

So when the west speaks of His essence they speak in terms of the essence that we can know something of by virtue of His dwelling in us and us dwelling in Him.

And the first way that we being to know is through and by His Word.

M.

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elijahmaria
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« Reply #358 on: January 22, 2012, 02:08:25 PM »


As Cavaradossi points out, God is Infinite and Transcendent. The only way that we could have 'perfect knowledge' of the Infinite would be if we ourselves became Omnisicient (i.e. Infinite). IOW, while theosis teaches that we become 'by Grace' what He is 'by Nature', to attain perfect knowledge of His transcendant Nature, we would have to cross that line and become Transcendent by Nature just as He is. Which leads to either polytheism (as God is no longer Unique but only the first of His kind) or a Hindu-style Monism in which the distinction between Created and Creator is wiped out and there is only Creator.

This, of course, is the perennial error of most lay Orthodox who engage this kind of assertion in these conversations.

There is NOTHING in Catholic teaching that says we come to a full understanding of divinity.

Period.

Go from there and maybe you can stop making these silly kinds of conclusions about Catholic teaching.

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Ortho_cat
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« Reply #359 on: January 22, 2012, 02:39:41 PM »


As Cavaradossi points out, God is Infinite and Transcendent. The only way that we could have 'perfect knowledge' of the Infinite would be if we ourselves became Omnisicient (i.e. Infinite). IOW, while theosis teaches that we become 'by Grace' what He is 'by Nature', to attain perfect knowledge of His transcendant Nature, we would have to cross that line and become Transcendent by Nature just as He is. Which leads to either polytheism (as God is no longer Unique but only the first of His kind) or a Hindu-style Monism in which the distinction between Created and Creator is wiped out and there is only Creator.

This, of course, is the perennial error of most lay Orthodox who engage this kind of assertion in these conversations.

There is NOTHING in Catholic teaching that says we come to a full understanding of divinity.

Period.

Go from there and maybe you can stop making these silly kinds of conclusions about Catholic teaching.



That quote from Pope B16 seemed to imply something  similar to this though....

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