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Author Topic: The Eucharist?  (Read 9447 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ivanov
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« Reply #90 on: May 01, 2012, 04:36:09 PM »

Thanks for your response. I can see how finding my question could be difficult :>) I should have included the quote(s) I was responding to.

Thanks again!

Ivanov
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"It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me." - John 6;   "I thank you, Father...[  ]that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes." - Luke 10
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« Reply #91 on: May 01, 2012, 05:05:05 PM »

Ivanov, you might find of interest Sergius Bulgakov's discussion of the resurrection appearances in his essay "The Eucharistic Dogma," in The Holy Grail & the Eucharist

I think sometimes we read the resurrection accounts too literally, as if our Lord's glorified body is just like his his mortal body, only no longer subject to death.  But of course there are hints in all the accounts of the mystery and transcendent nature of Christ's risen corporeality.  Of course he appeared to his disciples in the form of the body that they would personally recognize and which they would understand as the fulfillment of the eschatological hope of the resurrection from the dead (as opposed to a ghostly continuation, for example).  But surely the resurrection involves a transfiguration of material reality that we cannot possibly imagine, comprehend, or literally verbalize.  There is continuity but also radical discontinuity.  Our language necessarily breaks down when speaking of the resurrection.       
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Ivanov
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« Reply #92 on: May 01, 2012, 07:32:45 PM »

Thank you Father. I made a note earlier today to look up 'The Eucharistic Dogma' (saw it referenced on the thread I was reading through). In my reading, another question came up (this is probably covered in another thread... just need to find it) regarding sin, confession and Holy Communion. In my RC experience, I was taught that I could receive Holy Communion as long as I wasn't 'in mortal sin'. They defined mortal sin and gave you 3 criteria that needed to be met in order for mortal sin to be present, which helped, at least practically. I'm growing in my understanding of the Orthodox teaching regarding sin and how its consequences are dealt with, but it is difficult to reconcile (in the Orthodox context) that I cannot receive Holy Communion if I have sinned and placed myself outside the Church, and at the same time what I pray in my Orthodox Prayer Book each morning to my Angel Guardian..."How can I beg forgiveness for all my bitter, evil and wicked sins which  I COMMIT EACH DAY, EACH NIGHT AND AT EVERY HOUR"? I was reading what a Priest had written (on an Orthodox Q&A) site, and he said that "IF" (my emphasis) someone had sinned , then... (as I referenced above). On the one hand it's "if" I sin... on the other it's, I sin virtually constantly! Can you refer me to the right thread or provide a concise answer when you have the time to answer this question. I do not at all desire to presume on your time by asking it.

Your time and desire to help are deeply appreciated! God bless you for your kindness!

Ivanov
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"It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me." - John 6;   "I thank you, Father...[  ]that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes." - Luke 10
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« Reply #93 on: May 01, 2012, 07:54:59 PM »

Perhaps the following citation from St John Cassian might be helpful to you:

"We must not avoid communion because we deem ourselves to be sinful. We must approach it more often for the healing of the soul and the purification of the spirit, but with such humility and faith that considering ourselves unworthy, we would desire even more the medicine for our wounds. Otherwise it is impossible to receive communion once a year, as certain people do, considering the sanctification of heavenly Mysteries as available only to saints. It is better to think that by giving us grace, the sacrament makes us pure and holy. Such people manifest more pride than humility, for when they receive, they think themselves as worthy. It is much better if, in humility of heart, knowing that we are never worthy of the Holy Mysteries we would receive them every Sunday for the healing of our diseases, rather than, blinded by pride, think that after one year we become worthy of receiving them."
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Ivanov
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« Reply #94 on: May 02, 2012, 11:25:24 AM »

Thank you, Father. So very true. I received Holy Communion at least once a week, sometimes more often when I was a RC. The crux of my question/concern is if the Orthodox Church doesn't distinguish between venial and mortal (sin that disallows Holy Communion) sin, then how does one know when one's sins are such that he should refrain from Holy Communion and hasten to prayer and confession? Practically, I don't think (and I'm sure the Church doesn't teach) that I could go through each day wondering if I'm in or out, or in again... but maybe out again, ad infinitum, of communion with the Church... given that we are not wise or humble enough at times to see where we have sinned against God in a "communion-breaking" way. This would be a psychologically torturous dilemma that no christian could honestly hide under a cloak of pretended peace or joy. Now I say all of that, having at times been enslaved by what I've just described (mostly through my own ignorance and lack of faith) so that I can find the healing I need in this regard from the Truth now being given to me by the hand of the Orthodox Church in Christ's Name.

I hope that's a bit clearer. I do tie myself up in knots with too many words, too often :>) Thank you so very much for any help you can give.

Glory to our Risen Savior!

Ivanov
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"It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me." - John 6;   "I thank you, Father...[  ]that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes." - Luke 10
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« Reply #95 on: May 02, 2012, 05:15:04 PM »

Despite modern writings to the contrary, the Orthodox Church does distinguish between pardonable sins, sin not unto death, and sin unto death (mortal sin).   This is true from Scripture onward:  all sin is unrighteousness, but not all sin is unto death.  The Kollyvades Fathers show how in the earlier Church Fathers sin actually has seven levels, the most grievous being sin unto death or mortal sin.  St. Nikodemos gives examples. 
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« Reply #96 on: May 03, 2012, 01:49:55 PM »

Thank you, Father. So very true. I received Holy Communion at least once a week, sometimes more often when I was a RC. The crux of my question/concern is if the Orthodox Church doesn't distinguish between venial and mortal (sin that disallows Holy Communion) sin, then how does one know when one's sins are such that he should refrain from Holy Communion and hasten to prayer and confession? Practically, I don't think (and I'm sure the Church doesn't teach) that I could go through each day wondering if I'm in or out, or in again... but maybe out again, ad infinitum, of communion with the Church... given that we are not wise or humble enough at times to see where we have sinned against God in a "communion-breaking" way. This would be a psychologically torturous dilemma that no christian could honestly hide under a cloak of pretended peace or joy. Now I say all of that, having at times been enslaved by what I've just described (mostly through my own ignorance and lack of faith) so that I can find the healing I need in this regard from the Truth now being given to me by the hand of the Orthodox Church in Christ's Name.

I hope that's a bit clearer. I do tie myself up in knots with too many words, too often :>) Thank you so very much for any help you can give.

Glory to our Risen Savior!

Ivanov

Dear Ivanov.

Obviously the fathers here can give you better counsel than I can (we are fortunate to have so many priests on the forum), but my advice would be "when in doubt, talk with your priest".  He should be able to clear up the confusion for you.  I have an arrangement with my priest to confess once a month if I want to commune each week.  Of course, I can (and do) confess anytime I feel the conviction that I have something that I really need to confess to father.  I hope this helps.
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