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Author Topic: The saints are the proof that orthodoxy is the truth!(?) - RC response  (Read 701 times) Average Rating: 0
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domNoah
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« on: December 30, 2012, 03:02:32 AM »

split from a thread in Faith Issues - MK

Most religions and christian denominations have the goal to create good or perfect persons. But which one can really achieve that? By reading life of saints or virtuos persons in different religions/denominations, I discovered that in the orthodox church there're some saints, who are giants, who reached a top, which other non-orthodox believers can just dream about. These saints got the highest gift of the holy spirit: love.

Especially in the life of Saint Silouan, Elder Sophrony, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, Saint Isaac the Syrian,... you read how they were able to pray day and night for the whole humankind(including enemies; and james 5.16: "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.") with such a pain, which is often comparable(or often even more) to the pain of a grieving widow who lost her only child. And there're other saints like Saint John of Kronstadt, Elder Porphyrios, Elder Paisios, etc. who, in addition to the prayer for the whole world, had been preaching and serving for the people day and night with love and with supernatural gifts (which you cannot find hardly anywhere else).

And one of my favourite conversion story is about Klaus Kenneth. In his book "born to hate, reborn to love" you can read who he began the journey in search of life but ended up in drugs excesses, Asian mysticism, became a Buddhist monk, lived for seven years as a Hindu, visited almost all Muslim countries and had encounters with yogis, famous buddhist "masters" and witchcraft. He had also several talks with Mother Teresa in Calcutta. And then as a christian he spent a lot of time with famous christian preachers. So he met and spent time with famous virtuous persons of different religions and denominations but nobodoy had such a deep impact on him like Elder Sophrony of Essex. Because of him he's now orthodox. And every time when he met Elder Sophrony, an incomparable tsunami of love came up to him. Klaus Kenneth also said that in comparison with Mother Theresa, Elder Sophrony had ten time more love than her; she had love but he was love incarnated.

So my conclusion: why to leave the orthodox church, when you can only find such incomparable saints in orthodoxy? Or why not to convert to orthodoxy, when only here you can find persons who fulfilled the commandments of our lord in such a deep, beautiful perfection? That they got such a perfection means that Christ is living in them. So the truth must be here! How could the truth be in a other religion or other denomination where people cannot achieve such a perfection? Christ himself convinced the people not by theology,but by his perfection , by his endless love. Theology without a perfect model is dead!

And my question: For whom were the saints a (main) reason to convert or to stay in the orthodox church? Or is it a reason to convert at all?

I would say that Saints like St. Padre Pio, St. John Vianny, St. Rita, fulfilled the commandments of god with beautiful perfection, had Christ living in them and had signs both during and after their death of how pleased God was with them.

Jesus Christ was God but also fully a man , and as a man, had various aspects.  No one of us can fulfill all His aspects, because of our sinfulness.  We have to choose an aspect and copy it as best we can.  St Padre Pio chose one manner, and St. Isaac the Syrian chose another.  

With that I would like to offer you this little section from the book the Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis, a western classic that has helped many a sinner become a Saint around the world.

"The man who thinks of the greatness of his own sins and the littleness of his virtues, and of the distance between himself and the perfection of the saints, acts much more acceptably to God than the one who argues about who is greater or who is less. It is better to invoke the saints with devout prayers and tears, and with a humble mind to beg their glorious aid, than to search with vain inquisitiveness into their secrets."

....
"Many ask who is the greater in the kingdom of heaven when they do not know whether they themselves shall be worthy of being numbered among
its least. It is a great thing to be even the least in heaven where all are great because all shall be called, and shall be, the children of God. The least shall be as a thousand, and the sinner of a hundred years shall die. For when the disciples asked who should be greater in the kingdom of heaven they heard this response: "Unless you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whosoever shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven." The Imitation of Christ, Chapter 58, High Matters and the Hidden Judgments of God Are Not to Be Scrutinized
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 05:50:30 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged

"I hope that when you come to die your last breath may utter that name of Jesus with deep confidence, and that our Lord will answer your dying sigh with an affectionate welcome into his heavenly court." http://tinyurl.com/agubd5u


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Nathanael
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 09:54:58 AM »

Quote
I would say that Saints like St. Padre Pio, St. John Vianny, St. Rita, fulfilled the commandments of god with beautiful perfection, had Christ living in them and had signs both during and after their death of how pleased God was with them.

Jesus Christ was God but also fully a man , and as a man, had various aspects.  No one of us can fulfill all His aspects, because of our sinfulness.  We have to choose an aspect and copy it as best we can.  St Padre Pio chose one manner, and St. Isaac the Syrian chose another.  

With that I would like to offer you this little section from the book the Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis, a western classic that has helped many a sinner become a Saint around the world.

I think the catholic saints are most close to the orthodox saints of all denominations and religions.
I love the priest John Vianney and Philip Neri. I read the life of many catholic saints, but the life and character of this two I appreciate most. Beautiful persons!

But what I tried to point out is especially the prayer life of the orthodox saints. For me the difference between catholic and orthodox saints lies not necessarily in the way of life, but in the dimension, especially in prayer life. They had been praying unceasingly for the whole world with the deepest love. Who knows the Jesus Prayer, he can also understand how it's possible to pray unceasingly for humankind. The roman catholic saints are more focused on Christ's physical pain on the Cross(stigmata) but the orthodox more on the prayer of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed so deeply, so that he was bleeding! Fr. Sophrony said once, that Padre Pio is a good man, but that the stigmata are produced by the imagination. The RCC have stigmata and the orthodox church the vision of the uncreated light, what is an interesting difference!
It's also  known that many catholic saints used imagination for their prayers, what was strongly forbidden by the holy fathers and other saints. And the most catholic saints didn't know the way of unceasing prayer..

I don't know if it's impossible to fulfill all the aspects of Christ. I think maybe it's possible, but not in the perfection of God, but in the perfection of a man.
I believe some catholic saints were  deeply fulfilled with the grace of God! I mentioned at the beginning the conversion of Klaus Kenneth. At the age of seven or eight years he swore that he'll never cry again (he had a terrible childhood, but he was also proud). And he hadn't been crying again until he reached the age of 32 years, when he visit in Calcutta as a hindu the church where Mother Teresa was. And when he tried to pray with her with a prayer book he started to cry for hours and after so many years!! She was such a grace filled person. But Klaus says also that Elder Sophrony although he didn't do such great things like Mother Teresa, he was much greater in love than her.

I don't know the Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis, but I love the book " the unseen warfare" of Lorenzo Scupoli!:)
 
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 10:14:20 AM by Nathanael » Logged

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domNoah
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 08:11:59 PM »

Quote
I would say that Saints like St. Padre Pio, St. John Vianny, St. Rita, fulfilled the commandments of god with beautiful perfection, had Christ living in them and had signs both during and after their death of how pleased God was with them.

Jesus Christ was God but also fully a man , and as a man, had various aspects.  No one of us can fulfill all His aspects, because of our sinfulness.  We have to choose an aspect and copy it as best we can.  St Padre Pio chose one manner, and St. Isaac the Syrian chose another. 

With that I would like to offer you this little section from the book the Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis, a western classic that has helped many a sinner become a Saint around the world.

I think the catholic saints are most close to the orthodox saints of all denominations and religions.
I love the priest John Vianney and Philip Neri. I read the life of many catholic saints, but the life and character of this two I appreciate most. Beautiful persons!

But what I tried to point out is especially the prayer life of the orthodox saints. For me the difference between catholic and orthodox saints lies not necessarily in the way of life, but in the dimension, especially in prayer life. They had been praying unceasingly for the whole world with the deepest love. Who knows the Jesus Prayer, he can also understand how it's possible to pray unceasingly for humankind. The roman catholic saints are more focused on Christ's physical pain on the Cross(stigmata) but the orthodox more on the prayer of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed so deeply, so that he was bleeding! Fr. Sophrony said once, that Padre Pio is a good man, but that the stigmata are produced by the imagination. The RCC have stigmata and the orthodox church the vision of the uncreated light, what is an interesting difference!
It's also  known that many catholic saints used imagination for their prayers, what was strongly forbidden by the holy fathers and other saints. And the most catholic saints didn't know the way of unceasing prayer..

I don't know if it's impossible to fulfill all the aspects of Christ. I think maybe it's possible, but not in the perfection of God, but in the perfection of a man.
I believe some catholic saints were  deeply fulfilled with the grace of God! I mentioned at the beginning the conversion of Klaus Kenneth. At the age of seven or eight years he swore that he'll never cry again (he had a terrible childhood, but he was also proud). And he hadn't been crying again until he reached the age of 32 years, when he visit in Calcutta as a hindu the church where Mother Teresa was. And when he tried to pray with her with a prayer book he started to cry for hours and after so many years!! She was such a grace filled person. But Klaus says also that Elder Sophrony although he didn't do such great things like Mother Teresa, he was much greater in love than her.

I don't know the Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis, but I love the book " the unseen warfare" of Lorenzo Scupoli!:)
 

To make a few quick corrections about some things about Catholics.
1)  Uncreated Light commonly happens even in the West, its just not a phenomena that we speak greatly about.  If you want some examples I would be happy to send some to you.
2)  There are many schools of unceasing prayer in the West, you may not know that St Padre Pio practiced unceasing prayer himself but he used the Rosary, in fact he prayed the rosary so ceasly that the other brothers called him Brother Rosary.  In addition to that many Saints invoke the Holy Name unceasingly, or the names of Jesus Mary and Joseph.  Other schools follow what is called the Practice of the Presence of God.
3)   Roman Catholic Saints are not exclusively focused on the crucifixition.  The Phenomena of stigmata is still extremely rare.  There have been many Saints who focused on other Aspect of Christs Life or the Passion, some seem to even have a much stronger devotion to the Holy Ghost and Pentecost.
4)  Its hard to believe that St Padre Pio Stigmata was induced by the Mind when it used to emit perfume (similar to Saints in the east that had hands that dripped with Myrrh), and that it disappeared days before his death. Many people who smelled it described it as the smell of Roses.
5)  In another classic Western Work called The Cloud of unknowing the use of imagination was also discouraged, certain schools due and certain schools do not use imagination. 

Once again, I think that it is a bad idea to start saying one Saint is greater than another because we are passing Judgement on the state of peoples souls, which is not allowed by our Lord.   

« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 08:19:13 PM by domNoah » Logged

"I hope that when you come to die your last breath may utter that name of Jesus with deep confidence, and that our Lord will answer your dying sigh with an affectionate welcome into his heavenly court." http://tinyurl.com/agubd5u


http://www.alleluiaaudiobooks.com/
J Michael
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2013, 09:28:43 PM »

Quote
I would say that Saints like St. Padre Pio, St. John Vianny, St. Rita, fulfilled the commandments of god with beautiful perfection, had Christ living in them and had signs both during and after their death of how pleased God was with them.

Jesus Christ was God but also fully a man , and as a man, had various aspects.  No one of us can fulfill all His aspects, because of our sinfulness.  We have to choose an aspect and copy it as best we can.  St Padre Pio chose one manner, and St. Isaac the Syrian chose another. 

With that I would like to offer you this little section from the book the Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis, a western classic that has helped many a sinner become a Saint around the world.

I think the catholic saints are most close to the orthodox saints of all denominations and religions.
I love the priest John Vianney and Philip Neri. I read the life of many catholic saints, but the life and character of this two I appreciate most. Beautiful persons!

But what I tried to point out is especially the prayer life of the orthodox saints. For me the difference between catholic and orthodox saints lies not necessarily in the way of life, but in the dimension, especially in prayer life. They had been praying unceasingly for the whole world with the deepest love. Who knows the Jesus Prayer, he can also understand how it's possible to pray unceasingly for humankind. The roman catholic saints are more focused on Christ's physical pain on the Cross(stigmata) but the orthodox more on the prayer of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed so deeply, so that he was bleeding! Fr. Sophrony said once, that Padre Pio is a good man, but that the stigmata are produced by the imagination. The RCC have stigmata and the orthodox church the vision of the uncreated light, what is an interesting difference!
It's also  known that many catholic saints used imagination for their prayers, what was strongly forbidden by the holy fathers and other saints. And the most catholic saints didn't know the way of unceasing prayer..

I don't know if it's impossible to fulfill all the aspects of Christ. I think maybe it's possible, but not in the perfection of God, but in the perfection of a man.
I believe some catholic saints were  deeply fulfilled with the grace of God! I mentioned at the beginning the conversion of Klaus Kenneth. At the age of seven or eight years he swore that he'll never cry again (he had a terrible childhood, but he was also proud). And he hadn't been crying again until he reached the age of 32 years, when he visit in Calcutta as a hindu the church where Mother Teresa was. And when he tried to pray with her with a prayer book he started to cry for hours and after so many years!! She was such a grace filled person. But Klaus says also that Elder Sophrony although he didn't do such great things like Mother Teresa, he was much greater in love than her.

I don't know the Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis, but I love the book " the unseen warfare" of Lorenzo Scupoli!:)
 

To make a few quick corrections about some things about Catholics.
1)  Uncreated Light commonly happens even in the West, its just not a phenomena that we speak greatly about.  If you want some examples I would be happy to send some to you.
2)  There are many schools of unceasing prayer in the West, you may not know that St Padre Pio practiced unceasing prayer himself but he used the Rosary, in fact he prayed the rosary so ceasly that the other brothers called him Brother Rosary.  In addition to that many Saints invoke the Holy Name unceasingly, or the names of Jesus Mary and Joseph.  Other schools follow what is called the Practice of the Presence of God.
3)   Roman Catholic Saints are not exclusively focused on the crucifixition.  The Phenomena of stigmata is still extremely rare.  There have been many Saints who focused on other Aspect of Christs Life or the Passion, some seem to even have a much stronger devotion to the Holy Ghost and Pentecost.
4)  Its hard to believe that St Padre Pio Stigmata was induced by the Mind when it used to emit perfume (similar to Saints in the east that had hands that dripped with Myrrh), and that it disappeared days before his death. Many people who smelled it described it as the smell of Roses.
5)  In another classic Western Work called The Cloud of unknowing the use of imagination was also discouraged, certain schools due and certain schools do not use imagination. 

Once again, I think that it is a bad idea to start saying one Saint is greater than another because we are passing Judgement on the state of peoples souls, which is not allowed by our Lord.   



Nicely said, domNoah!
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