Author Topic: Modern Church Fathers  (Read 96778 times)

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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Modern Church Fathers
« Reply #360 on: May 18, 2017, 10:17:24 PM »
Father Sophrony also makes another very interesting and important observation concerning the example given by Christ and our own theosis or deification. He points to the fact that even though the deification of Christ's human nature was, as Saint John Damascene says, effected from the very moment in which He assumed our nature, nevertheless Christ as Man shied away from anything which might give the impression of auto-theosis, that is to say, self-deification or self-divinization. That is why we see the action of the Holy Spirit underlined at His Holy birth: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee... therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35); also, the Holy Spirit descends upon Christ at His baptism in the Jordan (Matt. 3:15); and concerning the Resurrection, the Scriptures speak thus: "God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory" (1 Pet. 1:21); and finally, Christ Himself, teaching us the way of humility and how always to ascribe glory to Our Heavenly Father, says: "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true" (John 5:31-32)

The same movement may be observed in the Divine Liturgy. The Words of Institution--"take eat, this is my body," "drink of this all of you, this is my blood"--by themselves are not regarded as sufficient to effect the consecration of the Holy Gifts; they must be accompanied by the Epiklesis, the invocation of the Holy Spirit, precisely in order to avoid any notion of self-deification, to avoid, that is, giving the impression that simply by speaking the words which Christ spoke, we are able to transform the Holy Gifts into the precious body and blood of Christ.

-- Said of Elder Sophrony (d. 1993), (in: Christopher Veniamin - The Orthodox Understanding of Salvation: "Theosis" in Scripture and Tradition)
"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt." - Dostoevsky

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Modern Church Fathers
« Reply #361 on: May 19, 2017, 08:58:34 PM »
The origin of the patristic insistence on the equality of all bishops can be understood only in terms of the presuppositions: 1) that the corporate eucharistic life locally manifested is an end in itself, 2) that individual communities are related to each other by their identity of existence in Christ, 3) that the fullness of Christ dwells in the faithful who gather together in the life of Christ epi to auto, and 4) that the episcopate is an inseparable part of this local life epi to auto. The order of the episcopate was not something that existed in itself, or itself, and over or apart from the local Church. It was definitely within the Church, and since the visible Church could be defined only in terms of the body of Christ locally manifested in its mystagogical life, the episcopate was definitely of local character. The existence of bishops in the smallest and remotest villages of the empire cannot be explained otherwise than in terms of the necessity to have a bishop and council of presbyters within and responsible for the life of each eucharistic center. Therefore bishops were equal because communities were equal. One local manifestation of the body of Christ could not be more body of Christ or less than another. Likewise the living image of Christ (the bishop) could not be more image or less image than another image because Christ, whose image the bishops are, is identically One and Equal with Himself.

-- Fr. John Romanides (d. 2001), The Ecclesiology of St. Ignatius of Antioch, 7
"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt." - Dostoevsky

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Modern Church Fathers
« Reply #362 on: May 21, 2017, 03:16:46 PM »
If Adam had not sinned, he would have remained forever blessed, and all his descendants would have enjoyed blessedness. It was for this very purpose that God had created man. But Adam, having succumbed to the tempter-devil, transgressed against the law of the Maker and took pleasure in the taste of the forbidden fruit. When God appeared to Adam right after he had sinned, Adam, instead of repenting and promising obedience henceforth, began to justify himself and to blame his wife. Eve in turn blamed the serpent for everything. And so it was that sin became a part of human nature, deeply injuring it because of the lack of repentance of Adam and Eve. The existing communion with the Maker was cut and the blessedness lost. Having lost Paradise within himself, Adam became unworthy of the external Paradise and was therefore banished from it.

After the fall into sin, Adam's soul darkened: his thoughts and desires became muddled, and his imagination and memory began to cloud. Instead of peace and joy he met sorrow, agitation, ruination, misery, and woe. He experienced hard labor, poverty, hunger, and thirst. And after years of unsurpassed sorrows, sickly old age began to oppress him, and death neared. Worst of all, the devil, the perpetrator of every evil, obtained through sin the ability to influence Adam and to further alienate him from God.

-- St. Innocent of Alaska (d. 1879), Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven
"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt." - Dostoevsky