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Author Topic: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?  (Read 14995 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: January 13, 2012, 06:35:40 PM »

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 

That's the case with confirmation, Communion, penance, and ordination, but not with Baptism, as long as it was done using an orthodox trinitarian formula.
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« Reply #91 on: January 13, 2012, 06:43:07 PM »

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 

That's the case with confirmation, Communion, penance, and ordination, but not with Baptism, as long as it was done using an orthodox trinitarian formula.

In Orthodoxy, at least, the formula is only half of what makes the form of baptism. Three-fold immersion is equally important, but is often sadly overlooked for the exercise of economy.
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« Reply #92 on: January 13, 2012, 09:09:23 PM »

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

The RCC recognizes the sacraments of the Oriental Orthodox and the Eastern Orthodox. Also the PNCC.
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« Reply #93 on: January 13, 2012, 09:13:20 PM »

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 

That's the case with confirmation, Communion, penance, and ordination, but not with Baptism, as long as it was done using an orthodox trinitarian formula.

Indeed, I was going to say much the same thing.

As a matter of fact, the RCC recognizes most Protestant baptism, and marriage. (LDS is a good example of a group whose baptism we do not recognize.)

Incidentally, the issue of Anglican orders is a pretty sore spot in Catholic-Anglican relations.
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« Reply #94 on: January 13, 2012, 09:14:57 PM »

Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?
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« Reply #95 on: January 13, 2012, 09:18:27 PM »

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

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

The RCC recognizes the sacraments of the Oriental Orthodox and the Eastern Orthodox. Also the PNCC.

This is true:

Quote
" Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 § 3).
1996 US Catholic Conference

stay blessed,
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« Reply #96 on: January 13, 2012, 09:22:49 PM »

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

Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is that similar to the Baptism of Blood by martyrs? The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church recognizes the "Baptism by Blood" of the Martyrs..

Quote
Our Orthodox Church accepts equally that those who suffer death for the sake of faith without having received water baptism are nevertheless baptized by their death into Christ. The Baptism of Blood brings about the fruits of baptism without being itself a sacrament.
Teachings of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church by Abba Melketsedek

Unfortunately I am not very familiar with this concept myself to explain any further.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #97 on: January 13, 2012, 09:55:42 PM »

Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.
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« Reply #98 on: January 13, 2012, 11:02:38 PM »

Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.

I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.
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« Reply #99 on: January 13, 2012, 11:07:05 PM »

Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.

I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.

I can't get the image out of my mind of a Dismal Baptism as being a triple immersion done in near freezing lake.  Cheesy
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« Reply #100 on: January 13, 2012, 11:37:08 PM »

Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.

I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.

I can't get the image out of my mind of a Dismal Baptism as being a triple immersion done in near freezing lake.  Cheesy

I had to read the post 3 times before I realized that Fr. Ambrose was serious.
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« Reply #101 on: January 13, 2012, 11:45:08 PM »

Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.

I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.

I can't get the image out of my mind of a Dismal Baptism as being a triple immersion done in near freezing lake.  Cheesy

You mean, like this:

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« Reply #102 on: January 14, 2012, 01:05:01 AM »

Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.

I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.

So it would seem that all mankind which is not in the Church, and save for the really wicked, are saved by Dismal Baptism.
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« Reply #103 on: January 14, 2012, 01:09:42 AM »

Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.

I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.

I can't get the image out of my mind of a Dismal Baptism as being a triple immersion done in near freezing lake.  Cheesy

You mean, like this:



 laugh Yes, Handmaiden. Just like that! (BRRRRRRRRR) God bless that brave soul!
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« Reply #104 on: January 14, 2012, 01:10:39 AM »

Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.

I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.

So it would seem that all mankind which is not in the Church, and save for the really wicked, are saved by Dismal Baptism.
Sounds good to me. God is love.
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« Reply #105 on: January 14, 2012, 01:29:54 AM »

Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.

I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.

I can't get the image out of my mind of a Dismal Baptism as being a triple immersion done in near freezing lake.  Cheesy

I had to read the post 3 times before I realized that Fr. Ambrose was serious.

Well, I am uncertain if I have ever encountered the term "Baptism of Desire" among the Orthodox and so I cast around in the dusty loft of my mind to see if there might not be something scriptural..... and Saint Dismas leapt out.   And there it was - Dismal Baptismlaugh

But see message 335
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25368.msg460293.html#msg460293
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« Reply #106 on: January 14, 2012, 10:42:27 AM »

For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Can you say more about "forms of salvation"?

M.
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« Reply #107 on: January 14, 2012, 10:42:27 AM »

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments..............  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?


Since theosis cannot commence without the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation, the validity of these Sacraments in the Catholic Church has direct relevance to the OP.

Absolutely!  For those Orthodox who are willing to concede that the sacraments of the Catholic Church are graced then the answer to my question about theosis is "yes"...it is indeed possible for a papal Catholic to experience the Indwelling, which is the sum and substance of a fruitful life of the spirit.

You are not willing to concede grace to the papal Church...so I could never really speak to you of my life in Christ.

I am so sorry I am on moderation.  Many of my notes are not making it to this particular thread.  I think they are getting lost in the bit bucket, and I don't know if this will get to you or not.  I am keeping a copy so that if it does not show up I can send it to you and J Michael privately.  It is tough to participate with the lag time in any event.

I do have some things to say to J Michael but this is key to the response to my original question.

M.

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« Reply #108 on: January 14, 2012, 10:53:13 AM »

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

Not only the Latins but Protestants, Buddhists, atheists and anyone else...

Romans 9:15
"For I will have mercy on whomsoever I should have mercy upon,
and I shall have compassion on whomsoever I should have compassion upon...
"

There are those not looking for Him who have found God...

But far more find Him who ARE looking...

And the vast majority of these are Orthodox Christians...

For narrow is the Way...

And who can follow it?

Arsenios
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« Reply #109 on: January 14, 2012, 11:08:44 AM »

Not only the Latins but Protestants, Buddhists, atheists and anyone else...

This is a little off-topic, but it's interesting to note the similarity between your thinking and the thinking at the Catholic Answers Forum -- specifically, the way they lump Orthodox, Anglicans, and Protestants together with Buddhists, Hindus etc. under the title "Non-Catholic Religions". (There were various conversations about this when I use to participate there (and probably still are). I recall, in one such conversation, I was told that we cannot really say who is Christian and who isn't Christian, but we can say who is Catholic and who isn't Catholic.)
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« Reply #110 on: January 14, 2012, 11:31:50 AM »

to original question:
yes, if you are willing to leave everything that pulls you away from God (riches, comfort, pride, lust, rebellion etc), rely totally on the grace given to us by God through the death and resurrection of God the Son and if you chase (seek) to be close to God above all other things.

in the oriental orthodox churches, theosis is taught as something we should attain (to answer father irish hermit), but the word 'theosis' is not usually used because we don't come across it often in the english translations of the oriental orthodox fathers.

we talk about partaking in the divine nature (2 peter 1 verse 4) without using the term 'theosis' as used by the greek and slavic fathers. it is our highest aim to become so disconnected from the love of the world that we radiate God's love to all things (people and animals) around us. this achieved through partaking in the sacrements, through a dynamic relationship with God, through extreme humility (really emphasized in the coptic church - we believe in it; we don't all have it!) and through meditating on the glory of God.
those copts who are educated in the catholic and eastern fathers do sometimes talk about achieving 'theosis' or 'deification'. they mean the same thing as i outlined above.
we meditate on the psalms, pray the 'our Father' prayer often and take time to always pray God.

i used to know someone who seemed to have achieved this state. i met him while he was undergoing treatment for a brain tumour that later, eventually killed him. despite his suffering, he was whispering to himself 'thank you God' all day, and when asked about his health replied 'we thank God for His goodness to us, that today i am a little better'.
just being in the same room with him, a person could feel the love of God radiating from him. this is how i want to be, and i pray we can all achieve this deep relationship with God.
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« Reply #111 on: January 14, 2012, 11:46:56 AM »


i used to know someone who seemed to have achieved this state. i met him while he was undergoing treatment for a brain tumour that later, eventually killed him. despite his suffering, he was whispering to himself 'thank you God' all day, and when asked about his health replied 'we thank God for His goodness to us, that today i am a little better'.
just being in the same room with him, a person could feel the love of God radiating from him. this is how i want to be, and i pray we can all achieve this deep relationship with God.

Did you know this man in Cairo?

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« Reply #112 on: January 14, 2012, 12:31:46 PM »

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments..............  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?


Since theosis cannot commence without the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation, the validity of these Sacraments in the Catholic Church has direct relevance to the OP.

Okay, I can accept that, as far as it goes in my poor little mind  Wink.  If, however, the link between salvation and theosis is unbreakable (is it?), and the unbaptized can be saved, would that not somehow contradict your statement?  Again, I ask, because I don't know, and these are the questions that come to mind.
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« Reply #113 on: January 14, 2012, 12:34:07 PM »

Here is the teaching from Saint Basil the Great ...this is in the 4th century, after the Church had emerged from its 300 long years of persecution under the Roman Empire.  His teaching was later incorporated into the canon law of the Catholic Church at an Ecumenical Council.

(Notice the typical balance of the Church Fathers - while the principle of no Sacraments and no Apostolic Succession outside the Church is clearly enunciated, Saint Basil also states very clearly that for the sake of the good of the Church "economy" may beused if it is thought necessary in the case of Baptism.)


Epistle to Amphilochius (of which the "First Canon" of Saint Basil is a shorter
version)

---- "It seemed best to the ancients-I refer to Cyprian and our own
Firmilian-to subject all of these (Cathari, and Encratites, and Hydroparastatae)
to one vote of condemnation, because the beginning of this separation arose
through schism, and those who had broken away from the Church no longer had in
them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the imparting of it failed because of the
severance of continuity.

"For those who separated first had ordination from the Fathers, and
through the imposition of their hands possessed the spiritual gift; but those
who had been cut off, becoming laymen, possessed the power neither of baptizing
nor of ordaining, being able no longer to impart to others the grace of the Holy
Spirit from which they themselves had fallen away. Therefore they commanded
those who had been baptized by them, as baptized by laymen, to come to the
Church and be purified by the true baptism of the Church.


"But since on the whole it has seemed best to some of those in Asia
that, by economy for the sake of the many, their baptism be accepted, let it be
accepted."


I haven't had time to read this and absorb it to even partial understanding.  Hopefully, I'll get back to you about it!
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« Reply #114 on: January 14, 2012, 12:57:19 PM »

For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Can you say more about "forms of salvation"?

M.
Actually, I would clarify and say that salvation and theosis are synonyms, but with a slight distinction: the term "theosis" implies (1) the state of being in a very deep union with the Energies of God, and (2) the never-ending process of entering even more deeply into that union.
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« Reply #115 on: January 14, 2012, 01:11:56 PM »

Somewhere there was a question of the relationship of salvation to theosis.

Baptism is the principle moment of sanctification/justification/salvation in the Christian life for it is through Baptism that the soul is illumined by the light of the Indwelling Trinity.  It is by this illumination that we are able to interact with the Indwelling through the actions of the intellect and the soul.  Prior to Baptism, fallen humanity is not capable of experiencing the light and life of the Indwelling Trinity.  It takes a special grace to restore the illumination of the intellect/nous.  The grace of Baptism is a saving grace, an illuminating grace, a cleansing grace, a healing grace and a strengthening grace which opens us fully to the life of the Holy Spirit.

Theosis is the interaction between the divine indwelling, the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the individual person wherein the creature is able to participate in the divine life of the Trinity.

Salvation/justification/sanctification and Theosis are not identical nor are they mutually exclusive.

The idea that sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church.

However we do not have the ability to know what God does in the hearts and souls of those who have not formally received the sacraments of Initiation into salvation and communion in the Body of Christ.

** I don't mean this to be an exhaustive set of propositions but they are a place to begin with a sort of order attached.

M.
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« Reply #116 on: January 14, 2012, 02:22:00 PM »

The question boils down to - do bishops exist outside the Church and out of communion with the Church?. I believe that the episcopate -the College of the Apostles- cannot exist outside the Church. Without the episcopate there can be no Sacraments. Do you know the writings of Fr Justin Popovich? - I tend to be a follower of his.

Have a look at message 37
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25542.msg401052.html#msg401052

I know *of* him but haven't read any of his writings.  For some reason or other, they just never appealed to me.  I'll have another look--once I get through the small mountain of books all begging me to read them  Wink.

As far as the validity or lack thereof of Catholic Sacraments, I find it far, far easier to accept an answer from the Orthodox Church of "We just do not know", than some saying they are valid and some saying they are not.  From where I sit, either they are or they are not--whether recognized as such by your Church or not.  It doesn't seem to me that it can be both ways from the same Church.  So, if you just plain don't know, that's fine, and a perfectly acceptable answer.  Does that make sense? 
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« Reply #117 on: January 14, 2012, 02:24:17 PM »

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments..............  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?


Since theosis cannot commence without the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation, the validity of these Sacraments in the Catholic Church has direct relevance to the OP.

Absolutely!  For those Orthodox who are willing to concede that the sacraments of the Catholic Church are graced then the answer to my question about theosis is "yes"...it is indeed possible for a papal Catholic to experience the Indwelling, which is the sum and substance of a fruitful life of the spirit.

You are not willing to concede grace to the papal Church...so I could never really speak to you of my life in Christ.

I am so sorry I am on moderation.  Many of my notes are not making it to this particular thread.  I think they are getting lost in the bit bucket, and I don't know if this will get to you or not.  I am keeping a copy so that if it does not show up I can send it to you and J Michael privately.  It is tough to participate with the lag time in any event.

I do have some things to say to J Michael but this is key to the response to my original question.

M.



I eagerly await hearing from you, Mary  Wink!  If it's easier for you to email me, go ahead, you have my email address.
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« Reply #118 on: January 14, 2012, 02:27:41 PM »

Somewhere there was a question of the relationship of salvation to theosis.

Baptism is the principle moment of sanctification/justification/salvation in the Christian life for it is through Baptism that the soul is illumined by the light of the Indwelling Trinity.  It is by this illumination that we are able to interact with the Indwelling through the actions of the intellect and the soul.  Prior to Baptism, fallen humanity is not capable of experiencing the light and life of the Indwelling Trinity.  It takes a special grace to restore the illumination of the intellect/nous.  The grace of Baptism is a saving grace, an illuminating grace, a cleansing grace, a healing grace and a strengthening grace which opens us fully to the life of the Holy Spirit.

Theosis is the interaction between the divine indwelling, the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the individual person wherein the creature is able to participate in the divine life of the Trinity.

Salvation/justification/sanctification and Theosis are not identical nor are they mutually exclusive.

The idea that sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church.

However we do not have the ability to know what God does in the hearts and souls of those who have not formally received the sacraments of Initiation into salvation and communion in the Body of Christ.

** I don't mean this to be an exhaustive set of propositions but they are a place to begin with a sort of order attached.

M.

On this basis, can one be "saved", then, and *not* experience theosis?  For some reason, I just can't seem to wrap my mind around that.  I'm sure that is more a failing on my part than on the part of anyone trying to explain this.
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« Reply #119 on: January 14, 2012, 04:16:49 PM »

Not only the Latins but Protestants, Buddhists, atheists and anyone else...

This is a little off-topic, but it's interesting to note the similarity between your thinking and the thinking at the Catholic Answers Forum -- specifically, the way they lump Orthodox, Anglicans, and Protestants together with Buddhists, Hindus etc. under the title "Non-Catholic Religions". (There were various conversations about this when I use to participate there (and probably still are). I recall, in one such conversation, I was told that we cannot really say who is Christian and who isn't Christian, but we can say who is Catholic and who isn't Catholic.)

This is a natural (and necessary) corollary of belief in One Church, whether one believes that Church to be the Roman communion or Orthodoxy. If there is One Church, then there is a clear line of distinction between that and everything else. One can take a broad perspective of that distinction and focus on how everything that is not the Church shares that basic quality of being 'not-Church' and thus differs from the Church, or one can take a detailed perspective that looks at how some things (Churches/beliefs/practices) are very close to that line while others are very distant, but that's fundamentally a matter of perspective. And while some people get very doctrinaire about their choice of perspective, to the point of getting angry with those looking at it from a different perspective, the fact is they are not mutually exclusive. Just as a photographer switches lenses depending on what exactly he wants to focus on in a particular picture, one can switch perspectives depending on the context of the issue being addressed.

That is completely on-topic to this thread. Orthodoxy believes that it is that One True Church, and that Rome is in schism from it. Accordingly, the original question(s) is actually a subset of the larger question 'is theosis (or a fruitful spiritual life) possible outside the Church"? If the answer to the larger, broad-perspective, question is 'no', then the answer to the narrower question would also be 'no'. If the answer to the larger question is 'yes', then the answer to the narrower question is almost certainly 'yes', since Rome is clearly much closer to Orthodoxy than Buddhists, Hindus, etc.
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« Reply #120 on: January 14, 2012, 04:21:03 PM »

maqth,
the man i described was a priest from egypt, who i met in uk.
he was a family friend, so i heard a lot about him before i met him, so i got to know him quite quickly.

as for the discussion of the church, i believe Christians from all mainstream (not mormons etc) denominations can come close to God and be purified by His mercy and grace; however the depths of Christian experience are found primarily in the orthodox church.
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« Reply #121 on: January 14, 2012, 06:22:55 PM »

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  Wink).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans?  
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments..............  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?


Since theosis cannot commence without the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation, the validity of these Sacraments in the Catholic Church has direct relevance to the OP.

Absolutely!  For those Orthodox who are willing to concede that the sacraments of the Catholic Church are graced then the answer to my question about theosis is "yes"...it is indeed possible for a papal Catholic to experience the Indwelling, which is the sum and substance of a fruitful life of the spirit.


It would not necessarily be a Yes answer.  There are factors of heretical teachings as well as prelest which would seriously impede divinisation.

Bassically I would think that our holy father Saint Seraphim of Sarov is correct when he says it is impossible for the non-Orthodox.

In me opinion it is even less possible for Catholics who are on such a deep level of prelest that they believe themselves to be "Orthodox in communiion with Rome."
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« Reply #122 on: January 14, 2012, 06:33:42 PM »

The idea that sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church.


I think this may be another Dixit Maria statement.  I have never read Catholic theology which speaks of “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Could you prove this?  Maybe take something like Tanquery’s “The Spiritual Life” and quote the chapters where he speaks about it.
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« Reply #123 on: January 14, 2012, 06:38:14 PM »

Somewhere there was a question of the relationship of salvation to theosis.

Baptism is the principle moment of sanctification/justification/salvation in the Christian life for it is through Baptism that the soul is illumined by the light of the Indwelling Trinity.  It is by this illumination that we are able to interact with the Indwelling through the actions of the intellect and the soul.  Prior to Baptism, fallen humanity is not capable of experiencing the light and life of the Indwelling Trinity.  It takes a special grace to restore the illumination of the intellect/nous.  The grace of Baptism is a saving grace, an illuminating grace, a cleansing grace, a healing grace and a strengthening grace which opens us fully to the life of the Holy Spirit.

Theosis is the interaction between the divine indwelling, the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the individual person wherein the creature is able to participate in the divine life of the Trinity.

Salvation/justification/sanctification and Theosis are not identical nor are they mutually exclusive.

The idea that sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church.

However we do not have the ability to know what God does in the hearts and souls of those who have not formally received the sacraments of Initiation into salvation and communion in the Body of Christ.

** I don't mean this to be an exhaustive set of propositions but they are a place to begin with a sort of order attached.

M.

On this basis, can one be "saved", then, and *not* experience theosis?  For some reason, I just can't seem to wrap my mind around that.  I'm sure that is more a failing on my part than on the part of anyone trying to explain this.

As long as you can begin with the idea that God moves as He wills whether we understand his movements or not, then you have a pretty good foundation for grasping the teachings of either Orthodoxy or the Catholic Church.

The saints and fathers of the Church speak of what they understand from revelation in conjunction with their own lived experiences or the close watchfulness of the experiences of others.

In the spiritual writings of both east and west it is possible to find references, generally about those in the consecrated life, to those who are not long in the life yet experience deep prayer and contemplation and display great holiness...while others long in the consecrated life who slog along day by day hoping for some sign of holiness and finding nothing but dry bones...as far as they can see.

So the recommendation is, the strong recommendation is in the monastic life or consecrated life, not to compare oneself with others.

So you simply live your life in prayer, alms giving and sacrifice and don't worry about whether or not one can be saved or not...and experience theosis or not.  If the Holy Spirit wishes to move in the life of one who knows nothing of God, then that is possible because we know all things are possible with God.  That is all that is necessary to know.

Those who are in shared traditions can, with caution, share those traditions however...and it is that which I am trying to discern here.  Can a Catholic share his or her life in the Spirit with those who also seek to live the life of the Spirit in Orthodoxy...The question was only meant to open the conversation.

M.

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« Reply #124 on: January 14, 2012, 07:01:44 PM »

The idea that sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church.


I think this may be another Dixit Maria statement.  I have never read Catholic theology which speaks of “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Could you prove this?  Maybe take something like Tanquery’s “The Spiritual Life” and quote the chapters where he speaks about it.



 Smiley I think its time we turn this around and you show me where the Catholic Church says that the spiritual life [sanctification and divinization in the life of unceasing prayer] is not necessary in the life of the Body of Christ.
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« Reply #125 on: January 15, 2012, 08:43:07 AM »

Not only the Latins but Protestants, Buddhists, atheists and anyone else...

This is a little off-topic, but it's interesting to note the similarity between your thinking and the thinking at the Catholic Answers Forum -- specifically, the way they lump Orthodox, Anglicans, and Protestants together with Buddhists, Hindus etc. under the title "Non-Catholic Religions". (There were various conversations about this when I use to participate there (and probably still are). I recall, in one such conversation, I was told that we cannot really say who is Christian and who isn't Christian, but we can say who is Catholic and who isn't Catholic.)

I don't usually respond to my own posts, but in this case I think I need to fault myself a little bit: the "similarity" that I thought I saw seems like a bit of a stretch, now that I re-read maqhth's post.
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« Reply #126 on: January 15, 2012, 03:35:17 PM »

The idea that sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church.


I think this may be another Dixit Maria statement.  I have never read Catholic theology which speaks of “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Could you prove this?  Maybe take something like Tanquery’s “The Spiritual Life” and quote the chapters where he speaks about it.



 Smiley I think its time we turn this around and you show me where the Catholic Church says that the spiritual life [sanctification and divinization in the life of unceasing prayer] is not necessary in the life of the Body of Christ.

You made the assertion.  *YOU* need to support it.    Show us where the Roman Catholic Church teaches that “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Papal statements will be fine.   Magisterial statements will be acceptable.  Or take such notable theologians as Tanquery,  or even simply from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
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« Reply #127 on: January 15, 2012, 04:18:30 PM »

You made the assertion.  *YOU* need to support it.    Show us where the Roman Catholic Church teaches that “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Papal statements will be fine.   Magisterial statements will be acceptable.  Or take such notable theologians as Tanquery,  or even simply from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Whatever happened to

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.

?
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« Reply #128 on: January 15, 2012, 04:24:14 PM »

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« Reply #129 on: January 15, 2012, 04:27:11 PM »

You made the assertion.  *YOU* need to support it.    Show us where the Roman Catholic Church teaches that “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Papal statements will be fine.   Magisterial statements will be acceptable.  Or take such notable theologians as Tanquery,  or even simply from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Whatever happened to

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.

?

That is precisely why I expect Mary to support what she has written.
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« Reply #130 on: January 15, 2012, 04:46:59 PM »

You made the assertion.  *YOU* need to support it.    Show us where the Roman Catholic Church teaches that “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Papal statements will be fine.   Magisterial statements will be acceptable.  Or take such notable theologians as Tanquery,  or even simply from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Whatever happened to

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.

?

That is precisely why I expect Mary to support what she has written.

Still seems a little peculiar to me. But then, I don't want to be a back-seat poster.
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« Reply #131 on: January 15, 2012, 04:57:54 PM »

You made the assertion.  *YOU* need to support it.    Show us where the Roman Catholic Church teaches that “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Papal statements will be fine.   Magisterial statements will be acceptable.  Or take such notable theologians as Tanquery,  or even simply from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Whatever happened to

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.

?

That is precisely why I expect Mary to support what she has written.

Still seems a little peculiar to me. But then, I don't want to be a back-seat poster.

Peter,  perhaps you as a traditional Catholic can speak about Mary's statement and show us if it is Roman Catholic (magisterial) teaching.  I say "magisterial"  because the Orthodox have been cautioned time and time again that if it is not magisterial teaching it means nothing.

"....sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church."
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« Reply #132 on: January 15, 2012, 05:58:17 PM »

You made the assertion.  *YOU* need to support it.    Show us where the Roman Catholic Church teaches that “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Papal statements will be fine.   Magisterial statements will be acceptable.  Or take such notable theologians as Tanquery,  or even simply from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Whatever happened to

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.

?

That is precisely why I expect Mary to support what she has written.

Still seems a little peculiar to me. But then, I don't want to be a back-seat poster.

Peter,  perhaps you as a traditional Catholic can speak about Mary's statement and show us if it is Roman Catholic (magisterial) teaching.  I say "magisterial"  because the Orthodox have been cautioned time and time again that if it is not magisterial teaching it means nothing.

"....sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church."

No, I can't recall hearing any precise teaching on that, one way or the other.

Although, on a related note, have you read the Joint Declaration on Justification?
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« Reply #133 on: January 15, 2012, 06:03:32 PM »

Wrong thread.  My computer jumped.
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« Reply #134 on: January 15, 2012, 06:05:39 PM »

Although, on a related note, have you read the Joint Declaration on Justification?

Never interested me much.  We have only 3 or 4 Lutheran churches in this country.
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