OrthodoxChristianity.net
November 28, 2014, 08:21:37 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 »   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Re: The Theotokos  (Read 11015 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,704


WWW
« Reply #90 on: March 25, 2013, 03:45:02 PM »

On that note, I think the only thing that I'm still not sure about is some of the language that refers to her as though she were the great champion/defender/leader of all Christians, which I am not sure I understand. Take for example this Kontakion of the Annunciation:

"To thee, the Champion Leader, we thy servants dedicate a feast of victory and of thanksgiving as ones rescued out of sufferings, O Theotokos; but as thou art one with might which is invincible, from all dangers that can be do thou deliver us, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, thou Bride Unwedded."

In some ways though, I think the reason I am unsure of this kind of language has to do with the fact that A: I'm looking at is out of context with the rest of the Church's liturgical hymns and statements, and B: because it's about the Virgin Mary, so naturally I assume it's expressing a kind of worship, just because I've always assumed that's what's behind all veneration for Mary.

It's in context with the rest of the Church's liturgical hymns and statements.  In the past, masses of people prayed to the Virgin Mary for deliverance from enemies.  The Virgin Mary intercedes to Christ for deliverance from not our physical enemies, but our spiritual enemies as well.

But take a look at this hymn honoring Saint Raphael of Brooklyn:

"Rejoice, O Father Raphael, Adornment of the Holy Church! Thou art Champion of the true Faith, Seeker of the lost, Consolation of the oppressed, Father to orphans, and Friend of the poor, Peacemaker and Good Shepherd, Joy of all the Orthodox, Son of Antioch, Boast of America: Intercede with Christ God for us and for all who honor thee."

I realized hearing this hymn, that it didn't bother me at all, because I already know that the Orthodox Church doesn't worship him. The Church honors him, and so these statements aren't meant to indicate that he is THE champion of the faith, and THE Seeker of the lost, and THE peacemaker and THE good shephard. All it's saying is that in his life, he was a champion of the faith, a seeker of the lost, a peacemaker and a good shepherd, and so he is has all of these Christ-like qualities displayed in his life. It's not idolatry to point them out then. And so in the same way, the Theotokos is the Champion Leader, not because she has power even over Christ,

The Virgin Mary is between Christ and us.  She intercedes to her son, like the Wedding at Cana.  The Virgin Mary is akin to a high-level intermediary because she is Mother of God.

but because she showed us the way in following Him, and through Him conquered all. All of the Saints are Champion Leaders in a since, though Mary in a special and preeminent way perhaps. Bit that doesn't make her THE Champion Leader, and I think that becomes clear when you see the hymn in it's proper context with the rest of what the Church is saying. I the same way, all of the saints have, I think, an invincible might in Christ, but this of course does not make them objects of worship, and saying this about the Theotokos is not necessarily making her into a goddess. I think it's just a matter of understanding the veneration of Saints and putting such statements in proper context. But correct me if I'm wrong about any of this.

The Virgin Mary is the world's first Christian.  She is a Champion Leader from that perspective.
Logged
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,732


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


« Reply #91 on: March 25, 2013, 09:02:28 PM »

So it's been a while since I've posted. I realized I was becoming somewhat argumentative and I think what it comes down to is the simple fact that sometimes the internet is not the best place to hash out theological matters. Forums have a way of making people argumentative, and I figured I would give it a while and just pray about my difficulties. Well I must report, I think a part of me is starting to understand the Orthodox Church's high veneration for the Theotokos, and I thought I would share what has occurred to me. I'm not at the point where I can honestly say I completely agree with it, but I think I've made a breakthrough in understating it. 

For one thing, I was reading in the so called Amplified Bible, which is claimed to help readers see some of the finer points of the original Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible that aren't always obvious in the English translations. And I was surprised to see that the passages in Luke where Mary is referred to as "blessed among women" were rendered "more blessed than any other woman", which kind of went against how I had always interpreted the phrase.

I got the thinking about it, and I realized that indeed, if Jesus is God, as I believe He is, it makes since to say that not only is His mother more blessed than any other woman, but more blessed than any man or angel or any created thing. God chose her to provide Him a womb, made her His link to humanity, was made perfectly man, yet remaining perfectly God, through her.

That in turn got me to thinking about how she could be seen as a forrunner and prototype for the whole church. She heard the Gospel proclaimed by the archangel, she believed and in humility willingly cooperated with the grace of God. God the spirit came upon her and God the Son lived within her and was born of her. She became a holy temple of God, and offered Christ to the world, even as all true Christians are called to be a temple of the Holy Spirit and to present Him to the world in their lives. Mary was the first Christian!

On that note, I think the only thing that I'm still not sure about is some of the language that refers to her as though she were the great champion/defender/leader of all Christians, which I am not sure I understand. Take for example this Kontakion of the Annunciation:

"To thee, the Champion Leader, we thy servants dedicate a feast of victory and of thanksgiving as ones rescued out of sufferings, O Theotokos; but as thou art one with might which is invincible, from all dangers that can be do thou deliver us, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, thou Bride Unwedded."

In some ways though, I think the reason I am unsure of this kind of language has to do with the fact that A: I'm looking at is out of context with the rest of the Church's liturgical hymns and statements, and B: because it's about the Virgin Mary, so naturally I assume it's expressing a kind of worship, just because I've always assumed that's what's behind all veneration for Mary. But take a look at this hymn honoring Saint Raphael of Brooklyn:

"Rejoice, O Father Raphael, Adornment of the Holy Church! Thou art Champion of the true Faith, Seeker of the lost, Consolation of the oppressed, Father to orphans, and Friend of the poor, Peacemaker and Good Shepherd, Joy of all the Orthodox, Son of Antioch, Boast of America: Intercede with Christ God for us and for all who honor thee."

I realized hearing this hymn, that it didn't bother me at all, because I already know that the Orthodox Church doesn't worship him. The Church honors him, and so these statements aren't meant to indicate that he is THE champion of the faith, and THE Seeker of the lost, and THE peacemaker and THE good shephard. All it's saying is that in his life, he was a champion of the faith, a seeker of the lost, a peacemaker and a good shepherd, and so he is has all of these Christ-like qualities displayed in his life. It's not idolatry to point them out then. And so in the same way, the Theotokos is the Champion Leader, not because she has power even over Christ, but because she showed us the way in following Him, and through Him conquered all. All of the Saints are Champion Leaders in a since, though Mary in a special and preeminent way perhaps. Bit that doesn't make her THE Champion Leader, and I think that becomes clear when you see the hymn in it's proper context with the rest of what the Church is saying. I the same way, all of the saints have, I think, an invincible might in Christ, but this of course does not make them objects of worship, and saying this about the Theotokos is not necessarily making her into a goddess. I think it's just a matter of understanding the veneration of Saints and putting such statements in proper context. But correct me if I'm wrong about any of this.     

I agree...

To add:  Where does the Theotokos and St. Raphael and all the saints get their "championship", their "leadership", their "Shepherdness", their "invincibility", their "brideness", their "consolations", their "peacemaking", their "joy", their "motherhood", their "fatherhood", etc.?  All of this comes through divine grace from Christ Himself first and foremost.  We are in fact acknowledging the deification of the saints by pointing out their qualities they have achieved from Christ, who is the source of all goodness and grace.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 09:03:27 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
TheTrisagion
Armed Feline rider of Flaming Unicorns
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 9,486



« Reply #92 on: March 26, 2013, 08:17:20 AM »

As I began my journey to Orthodoxy, I too was uncomfortable with the flowery language used in veneration of the Theotokos and the Saints.  One thing that kind of put it in perspective for me is that when many of these hymns and venerations were written, it was not unusual to address dignitaries and important people in such a manner.  Today, as an American, I would not say:  "Hail Barak, decendent in the lineage of Obama, prince of power, guardian of the poor, defender of the citizens of the realm. Thou art the most excellent king of all the earth, magnanimous and worth of our praise, give heed to our petition."  Instead, we say "Hello, Mr. President".  Our minimalist modern style is naturally uncomfortable with the ancient phraseology used in honoring those who have gone before us.  Rather than abandoning it, however, we should recognize that it is language of respect and while it may not be how we typically converse in today's modern society, it is good to show reverence to those who are entitled to it.
Logged

Have you considered the possibility that your face is an ad hominem?
Somebody just went all Jack Chick up in here.
Fotina02
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 176



« Reply #93 on: March 26, 2013, 10:17:54 AM »

Feast of the Annunciation + March 25

Verily, Gabriel did come to thee, disclosing the purpose which was before the ages, hailing thee and saying, Rejoice O unseeded land! Rejoice, O unburning bush! Rejoice, O depth inaccessible to vision! Rejoice, O bridge leading to the heavens! Rejoice, O lofty ladder whom Jacob did behold! Rejoice, O jar of divine manna! Rejoice, O dissolution of the curse! Rejoice, O recall of Adam! The Lord is with thee.
Vespers of the Feast, Tone 6

Rejoice, O Theotokos, O deliverance of Adam from the curse! Rejoice, O chaste Theotokos! Rejoice, O living bush! Rejoice, O lamp! Rejoice, O throne! Rejoice, O ladder and door! Rejoice, O divine chariot! Rejoice, O bright cloud! Rejoice, O temple, O most-gilded jar! Rejoice, O mountain! Rejoice, O tabernacle and table! Rejoice, O deliverer of Eve!
Orthros of the Feast, Tone 2

St. Gregory the Wonderworker
"For of all generations she alone has risen as a virgin pure in body and in spirit; and she alone bears Him who bears all things on His word. Nor is it only the beauty of this holy one in body that calls forth our admiration, but also the innate virtue of her soul. Wherefore also the angels addressed her first with the salutation, "Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee, and no spouse of earth;" He Himself is with thee who is the Lord of sanctification, the Father of purity, the Author of incorruption, and the Bestower of liberty, the Curator of salvation, and the Steward and Provider of the true peace, who out of the virgin earth made man, and out of man's side formed Eve in addition. Even this Lord is with thee, and on the other hand also is of thee.

Come, therefore, beloved brethren, and let us take up the angelic strain, and to the utmost of our ability return the due meed of praise, saying, "Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee!" For it is thine truly to rejoice, seeing that the grace of God, as he knows, has chosen to dwell with thee-the Lord of glory dwelling with the handmaiden; "He that is fairer than the children of men " with the fair virgin; He who sanctifies all things with the undefiled. God is with thee, and with thee also is the perfect man in whom dwells the whole fullness of the Godhead.

Hail, thou that art highly favored, the fountain of the light that lightens all who believe upon Him! Hail, thou that art highly favored, the rising of the rational Sun, and the undefiled flower of Life! Hail, thou that art highly favored, the mead of sweet savour! Hail, thou that art highly favored, the ever-blooming vine, that makes glad the souls of those who honor thee!

Hail, thou that art highly favored!-the soil that, all untilled, bears bounteous fruit: for thou hast brought forth in accordance with the law of nature indeed, as it goes with us, and by the set time of practice, and yet in a way beyond nature, or rather above nature, by reason that God the Word from above took His abode in thee, and formed the new Adam in thy holy womb, and inasmuch as the Holy Ghost gave the power of conception to the holy virgin; and the reality of His body was assumed from her body.

And just as the pearl comes of the two natures, namely lightning and water, the occult signs of the sea; so also our Lord Jesus Christ proceeds, without fusion and without mutation, from the pure, and chaste, and undefiled, and holy Virgin Mary; perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, in all things equal to the Father, and in all things consubstantial with us, apart from sin. Most of the holy fathers, and patriarchs, and prophets desired to see Him, and to be eye-witnesses of Him, but did not attaint hereto. And some of them by visions beheld Him in type, and darkly; others, again, were privileged to hear the divine voice through the medium of the cloud, and were favored with sights of holy angels; but to Mary the pure virgin alone did the archangel Gabriel manifest himself luminously, bringing her the glad address, "Hail, thou that art highly favored!" And thus she received the word, and in the due time of the fulfillment according to the body's course she brought forth the priceless pearl.

Come, then, ye too, dearly beloved, and let us chant the melody which has been taught us by the inspired harp of David, and say, "Arise, O Lord, into Thy rest; Thou, and the ark of Thy sanctuary." For the holy Virgin is in truth an ark, wrought with gold both within and without, that has received the whole treasury of the sanctuary."

http://www.antiochian.org/node/22550
Logged
Nicene
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek
Posts: 615


« Reply #94 on: March 27, 2013, 11:35:29 PM »

I think the better question is why is the woman who bore God into this world (IE Theotokos, Bearer of God or mother of God) not venerated in other churches? We can also extend this to the saints. Should we not recognise the good things God has used these people for? Their sacrifice and life as examples and praise them as God has praised them? For me, to ignore these saints and the theotokos (as alot of protestants ultimately do) is to Ignore what God has done in them and this is unacceptable. All of our praises to saints is ultimately to God, to this end. Just like the title theotokos is for the sake of Christ and not for the sake of the virgin Mary alone.
Logged

Thank you.
lovesupreme
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 1,116



« Reply #95 on: March 28, 2013, 12:20:36 AM »

I think the better question is why is the woman who bore God into this world (IE Theotokos, Bearer of God or mother of God) not venerated in other churches? We can also extend this to the saints. Should we not recognise the good things God has used these people for? Their sacrifice and life as examples and praise them as God has praised them? For me, to ignore these saints and the theotokos (as alot of protestants ultimately do) is to Ignore what God has done in them and this is unacceptable. All of our praises to saints is ultimately to God, to this end. Just like the title theotokos is for the sake of Christ and not for the sake of the virgin Mary alone.

I think most protestants would say that the people we revere as saints cannot even hear us from heaven. Also, there is the argument that any "glory" you are bestowing to another person is glory you could be bestowing to God. This, of course, ignores the teaching that we revere our beloved saints solely for the glory of God. Also, most protestants object to the idea of "intermediaries"; that, in praising a saint, we are somehow trying to curry favor with them so that they will bless us or grant us powers.

Personally, as soon as I started seeing the saints as a part of the Holy Church, our family, I stopped worrying about these things. To honor someone in the King's court is to do honor to the King Himself. Also, the Blessed Theotokos, by the grace of God, is entitled to the highest honors as she is literally the Mother of our Lord, the Queen of the Kingdom.
Logged

I am prone to bouts of sarcasm. Please forgive me if my posts have offended you.
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,449



« Reply #96 on: March 28, 2013, 09:32:17 AM »

For me, to ignore these saints and the theotokos (as alot of protestants ultimately do) is to Ignore what God has done in them and this is unacceptable.

Good point.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox (but doubtful)
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Posts: 5,892


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #97 on: March 28, 2013, 04:55:12 PM »

My only problem with this is that I was raised a heathen Protestant, therefore, paying so much veneration to the Theotokos and commemorating her at almost every service and prayer in the Church is very foreign to me. I wasn't indoctrinated my entire life to believe that she was so special, holy and inspirational. I don't get the reverence and fascination that people have with her. I could see it with other Saints because they have inspirational stories, but I really don't get it with the Theotokos. I don't mean to disrespect her, but all she did was bear a child. If she didn't want to do it, I'm sure God could have found some other women to do it. She didn't slay any dragons, heal tons of people or face torture and martyrdom like other Saints.
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
Arachne
Trinary Unit || Resident Bossy Boots
Section Moderator
Protokentarchos
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland
Posts: 4,685


November is short. Type fast.


« Reply #98 on: March 28, 2013, 04:57:59 PM »

The Incarnate Word was not 'a child'. Roll Eyes
Logged

'When you live your path all the time, you end up with both more path and more time.'~Venecia Rauls

Blog ~ Bookshelf ~ Jukebox
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,627



« Reply #99 on: March 28, 2013, 06:52:27 PM »

The Incarnate Word was not 'a child'. Roll Eyes

Oh yes He was.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,627



« Reply #100 on: March 28, 2013, 06:53:41 PM »

I wasn't indoctrinated my entire life to believe that she was so special, holy and inspirational.

I like Fr. Thom's formulation, perhaps he is quoting another, I cannot remember:

The Theotokos is not the exception, she is the rule.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
thethinker
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 73



« Reply #101 on: March 28, 2013, 07:31:57 PM »

From my book, FWIW:


Apart from the radiance of the stars, our salvation would still be possible. Apart from the sun and the moon, our salvation would still be possible. Apart from the angels in heaven, our salvation would still be possible. Apart from the holy prophets, our salvation would still be possible. Apart from the apostles and saints, our salvation would still be possible. And yes - dare I say it - apart from the Holy Bible itself, our salvation would still be possible. But apart from the Panagia, the Theotokos, Our Lady the most Holy Virgin Maryam, our salvation would never have been possible. Because of her righteousness, virtue, and unparalleled faith, God chose her to be the vessel of His Incarnation. And unless God had been born of a woman, then our redemption could not have occurred. Therefore we glorify, honor, and venerate the Virgin St. Maryam – not because she is our Savior, but because apart from her we would have no Savior.
 
[While it is true that God in His omnipotence did not necessarily need the Virgin Mary to become a man and provide salvation, He nevertheless chose Our Lady to be the vessel of His Incarnation. Therefore, in order to fully understand the message of the Gospel, we need to understand the role of the Virgin Mary.]



Selam


Yet she did not really understand who Jesus was or why He came:

48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”
 
49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.


Had she really known who Jesus was and why He came she would have understood His statement. And she would not have kept those things in her heart (vs. 51).

And what if, because she was driven by her anxiety, had been able to control or direct Jesus to act before the time (John 2:1-4)?
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,962


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #102 on: March 28, 2013, 10:50:07 PM »

The Incarnate Word was not 'a child'. Roll Eyes
So He was born a fully grown man? Shocked And to think that His Mother gave birth without pain.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 11:01:53 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
LBK
No Reporting Allowed
Moderated
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 11,446


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #103 on: March 28, 2013, 11:05:26 PM »

The Incarnate Word was not 'a child'. Roll Eyes
So He was born a fully grown man? Shocked And to think that the Theotokos gave birth without pain.

Arachne can answer for herself, of course, but my take on what she said was that the Incarnate Word was not just any, ordinary, child, in response to James' rather dismissive statement of "all she did was bear a child".

I'm sure I'm not alone in my understanding.
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,962


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #104 on: March 28, 2013, 11:09:53 PM »

The Incarnate Word was not 'a child'. Roll Eyes
So He was born a fully grown man? Shocked And to think that the Theotokos gave birth without pain.

Arachne can answer for herself, of course, but my take on what she said was that the Incarnate Word was not just any, ordinary, child, in response to James' rather dismissive statement of "all she did was bear a child".

I'm sure I'm not alone in my understanding.
Yeah, that's pretty much what I understood her to be saying. It's just that the words she actually used left her wide open to all sorts of smart alecky corrections. Grin
Logged
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,627



« Reply #105 on: March 28, 2013, 11:14:21 PM »

The Incarnate Word was not 'a child'. Roll Eyes
So He was born a fully grown man? Shocked And to think that the Theotokos gave birth without pain.

Arachne can answer for herself, of course, but my take on what she said was that the Incarnate Word was not just any, ordinary, child, in response to James' rather dismissive statement of "all she did was bear a child".

I'm sure I'm not alone in my understanding.

The appropriate rejoinder would have been:

She did not just bear a child.

Her statement has heretical implications. Frankly, I have no idea what Arachne means given other posts here.

And really, people do like avoid much of the humanity of Christ and His mother.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 11:14:58 PM by orthonorm » Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
LBK
No Reporting Allowed
Moderated
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 11,446


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #106 on: March 28, 2013, 11:20:25 PM »


The appropriate rejoinder would have been:

She did not just bear a child.


You fall short. The appropriate rejoinder would have been she did not bear just any child.

Frankly, I have no idea what Arachne means given other posts here.

Perhaps you have trouble understanding her because she's British.  Wink

Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,962


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #107 on: March 28, 2013, 11:24:48 PM »


The appropriate rejoinder would have been:

She did not just bear a child.


You fall short. The appropriate rejoinder would have been she did not bear just any child.
Actually, you're both right. Mary did much more with her life than just bear a child, and the Child she bore was not just any child.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 11:25:50 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Arachne
Trinary Unit || Resident Bossy Boots
Section Moderator
Protokentarchos
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland
Posts: 4,685


November is short. Type fast.


« Reply #108 on: March 29, 2013, 07:22:35 AM »

Well, smart alecks must have their fix from time to time as well. Tongue

But really, 'all she did was bear a child' is a downright insulting thing even for an ordinary mother of an ordinary child, let alone the extraordinary Mother of the Incarnate Word.

And James? The other day you were going, like:

You mean like when we act like we don't think she's a goddess? Gasp! How horrible!!

I don't think that's treating her like a goddess; I think the problem lies in culture. America is very, eh, what's the word? Lazy and casual. The most respect we show to someone is a handshake. So when you see others showing respect to someone in a different way, you immediately assume worship.

Quote
Did you ever think about how it sounds to us when you call her all-holy, most blessed and glorious virgin pure, immaculate lady, queen of all, more radiant than the rays of sun and higher than the heavens, superior to angels, brighter than the firmament and purer than the sun's light, and so on and so forth?

It sounds pretty nice, thank you very much. Much better than when Protestants just disrespect her by casually saying "mary" or going to great lengths to minimalize her role in the Incarnation because of rabid anti-Catholicism.

Make up your mind, dude. Huh
Logged

'When you live your path all the time, you end up with both more path and more time.'~Venecia Rauls

Blog ~ Bookshelf ~ Jukebox
Andrew21091
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 1,271



« Reply #109 on: April 04, 2013, 12:54:20 AM »

I don't mean to disrespect her, but all she did was bear a child.

Just a child?



She carried Our Lord incarnate in her womb for nine months. How does that not make her important?
Logged
Andrew21091
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 1,271



« Reply #110 on: April 04, 2013, 01:22:39 AM »

My only problem with this is that I was raised a heathen Protestant, therefore, paying so much veneration to the Theotokos and commemorating her at almost every service and prayer in the Church is very foreign to me. I wasn't indoctrinated my entire life to believe that she was so special, holy and inspirational. I don't get the reverence and fascination that people have with her. I could see it with other Saints because they have inspirational stories, but I really don't get it with the Theotokos. I don't mean to disrespect her, but all she did was bear a child. If she didn't want to do it, I'm sure God could have found some other women to do it. She didn't slay any dragons, heal tons of people or face torture and martyrdom like other Saints.

I've seen your thread about how you told your mom that you were interesting in becoming a monastic. But if you have a problem with devotion to the Mother of God, then perhaps a monastery isn't for you. In my experience, monastics have a very strong devotion to the Mother of God. They not only commemorate her during the services, but also read canons and Akathists daily to her. When I stayed at one monastery, the abbot told me how important it was to seek her help and he even recommended singing the Akathist to her every day. Not to mention, the Holy Mountain is dedicated to the Mother of God; referring to it as the Garden of the Panagia ('Most Holy', an affectionate title that many Greeks refer to Mary as). She holds a very special place in the lives of Orthodox monastics. Just look and the lives of some great monastic Saints such as St. Seraphim of Sarov, or the Optina Elders who all had a very strong devotion to the Mother of God.
Logged
Armchair Theologian
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Inquirer
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 106



« Reply #111 on: May 24, 2013, 03:32:00 AM »

Well, I've not been posting for a while, but I wanted to drop back in with some observations and more questions.

I don't think I mentioned it, but I've been reading The Life of the Virgin Mary the Theotokos from Holy Apostles Convent, and I must say it's quite an interesting read. I can honestly say that I've come to agree with, or at least understand, a lot of the things I'm reading from the hymns and writings of the Saints of the Orthodox Church, at least with respect to their understanding of the supreme significance of Mary in the economy of Salvation in facilitating the incarnation. I think, no, I know now that there's a LOT of things that protestants miss in their way of understanding her, and it's had the effect of weakening their overall understanding of the Incarnation and the implications thereof, and that's a shame.

That said, I'm still struggling with certain aspects of it. Mainly two things... The tradition of her Dormition and Assumption seems to lack the super-early written attestation that other traditions of the Virgin Mary seem to have, thus making it harder for me to feel 'safe' trusting in the idea. And also, I still don't care for some of the language used in some Orthodox prayers and services with respect to the Theotokos. It just doesn't make sense to me and feels too sentimental and often misleading from a theological standpoint. Let me give another example, this time from the Akathist service...

Quote
Priest: Our most gracious Queen, our hope, O Theotokos, Who receivest the orphaned and art the intercessor for the stranger; the joy of those in sorrow, protectress of the wronged, see our distress, see our affliction! Help us, for we are helpless. Feed us, for we are strangers and pilgrims. Thou knowest our offences; forgive them, and resolve them as Thou dost will. For we know no other help but Thee, no other intercessor, no gracious comforter, only Thee, O Theotokos to guard and protect us for ages of ages. Amen. 

I understand about her allegedly guarding and priotecting us through her intersession, and I can be comfortable with that (though I wouldn't use that wording myself. God protects, the saints only pray for it), but several things about this I just don't understand: Does the Virgin Mary forgive sins? No other Help? No other intercessor? No other Comforter? What about the Holy Trinity? What about the other Saints and Angels of God?

It almost feels to me like there has been a gradual shift in the way that the Orthodox Church has been viewing the Virgin Mary's intercessory role over the course of the last few centuries. It feels like if you look at some of the things that were being said, say, between the 6th and 15th centuries, you get this idea that they were starting to think of the Theotokos as standing directly between us and Christ, the mystical 'neck" of the Body of Christ through whom we must go to get to God, and only if she wills it, thus making her 'our only hope' of salvation, whereas nowadays I don't really get the sense that that's how most Orthodox understand it. They say she aids us through her powerful intersessions, but that's about it. No longer directly in our path the Christ, but at our side helping us a long. And yet the remnants of this more medieval view just seem to be sort of 'stuck' in the liturgical texts. When modern Orthodox teachers and apologists and so forth try to explain what some of these enigmatic statements mean they say "Well, we're not really saying that, we're just asking her to pray for us, and it's more of a sentimental gesture than a theological statement", and so forth. I don't know, but that's just the vague impression that I get sometimes. I would appreciate any clarifying responses I can get. Smiley
Logged
Armchair Theologian
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Inquirer
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 106



« Reply #112 on: May 24, 2013, 04:11:15 AM »

I don't mean to disrespect her, but all she did was bear a child.

Just a child?



She carried Our Lord incarnate in her womb for nine months. How does that not make her important?

I think what I was driving at is that if we are judging the glory and honor of a saint based solely on what they had to suffer and sacrifice for the Kingdom of God, I don't think it can be said that Mary suffered and sacrificed more than any of them. But I admit what I said was rooted in ignorance that I've since had to really think twice about it. For some reason the essential and obvious point of who Mary is was just completely escaping me. She may not have suffered a horrible martyrdom, but it's not about that. It's about cooperation with the grace of God, and her cooperation was really an essential component in the salvation of Human Kind. I see that now. I think it's just because I'm the product of a Christianity that completely ignores Mary in every way possible just because they're fearful of opening the door to what they feel are idolatrous excesses of Marion devotion. But I see now that that's really a shame. She did much more than bare a child.

Jesus is infinitely more than just a child, and thus Mary is infinitely more than simply a mother.  
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 04:18:15 AM by Armchair Theologian » Logged
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,627



« Reply #113 on: May 24, 2013, 06:44:08 AM »

She may not have suffered a horrible martyrdom, but it's not about that.

Yeah, lovingly watching your son get nailed to a cross is a picnic.

Whatever legendary material you take to understand Mary's life, the underlying theme, is absolute obedience to God.

Try being obedient for an hour, absolutely.

For most, it would probably be hell.

So yeah, she is pretty much the greatest martyr.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 18,381


"Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee..."


WWW
« Reply #114 on: May 24, 2013, 11:05:10 AM »

I understand about her allegedly guarding and priotecting us through her intersession, and I can be comfortable with that (though I wouldn't use that wording myself. God protects, the saints only pray for it), but several things about this I just don't understand: Does the Virgin Mary forgive sins? No other Help? No other intercessor? No other Comforter? What about the Holy Trinity? What about the other Saints and Angels of God?

A lot of this language is hyperbole; there is certainly theology behind it, but its origin is more from "the heart" than "the mind".  If someone does me a big favor and I respond "Thanks, you're the greatest!", I'm not making a dogmatic statement regarding their superhuman dignity--it's a way of describing my regard for that person and what they mean to me.  If a man tells his wife she's the most beautiful woman that ever walked the earth, most of the time that's factually not true: separated from the context of that relationship, he could probably pick out twenty women more beautiful from some "objective aesthetic" perspective, but for him, they're not even a blip on the radar.  It comes from the heart, not from the eyes or mind.   

It's certainly true that the saints in general and Our Lady in particular intercede for us with God, and God answers the prayers, does the protecting, etc.  Since prayer ultimately comes from God and not through our own initiative alone, we can even say that this intercession comes from God, and they're just responding to the call to pray.  On the flip side, their prayer is already their participation in God's saving work, and it's not impossible for God to allow his saints to "do some of the heavy lifting".  In fact, you see that in Scripture...in both OT and NT, holy people "do miracles"--the power comes from God, and the glory ultimately goes to God, but in some real sense it is ascribed to themselves without prejudice to God, because God is glorified in his saints. 

Quote
It almost feels to me like there has been a gradual shift in the way that the Orthodox Church has been viewing the Virgin Mary's intercessory role over the course of the last few centuries. It feels like if you look at some of the things that were being said, say, between the 6th and 15th centuries, you get this idea that they were starting to think of the Theotokos as standing directly between us and Christ, the mystical 'neck" of the Body of Christ through whom we must go to get to God, and only if she wills it, thus making her 'our only hope' of salvation, whereas nowadays I don't really get the sense that that's how most Orthodox understand it. They say she aids us through her powerful intersessions, but that's about it. No longer directly in our path the Christ, but at our side helping us a long. And yet the remnants of this more medieval view just seem to be sort of 'stuck' in the liturgical texts. When modern Orthodox teachers and apologists and so forth try to explain what some of these enigmatic statements mean they say "Well, we're not really saying that, we're just asking her to pray for us, and it's more of a sentimental gesture than a theological statement", and so forth. I don't know, but that's just the vague impression that I get sometimes. I would appreciate any clarifying responses I can get. Smiley

The liturgical texts are a source of theology; they are, as another poster wrote elsewhere, the distillation of the Church's faith expounded by Scripture, interpreted by the Fathers, lived out by the saints.  Since they represent the voice of the Church in prayer to God, and it is the Holy Spirit from whom prayer flows, we trust the liturgical texts in a special way not to mislead us.  So even these prayers and hymns you seem to have trouble with are not problematic in and of themselves; we are missing something which prevents us from understanding them.

Your answer is already in what you wrote.  You read these texts and find terms like "no other intercessor", "no other Comforter", and ideas like the Virgin's "forgiving of sins", and they scandalize you a little.  I don't know where you're coming from, but all the people I know in my life who had/have the same issues are either Orthodox who are learning their faith anew with a strict allegiance to Scripture, or other Christians with the same allegiance.  They see "no other intercessor" and think it's wrong because "There is one mediator, etc." (I Tim. 2.5), Christ who intercedes for us (I Jn. 2.1-2, Heb. 7.25); they read "no other Comforter" and question where the Holy Spirit fits in (cf. Jn. 14.26); they ask, with the Jews "Who can forgive sins except God alone?" (Lk. 5.21).  But when they ask the Orthodox what it all means, they get what seems to be a lame answer: "Well, we're not really saying that, we're just asking her to pray for us, and it's more of a sentimental gesture than a theological statement".  It may seem like a lame response, but I think it's because they're coming at it from "the heart", understanding that when you love someone, you say things that, taken at face value, may not be "factually" true but nevertheless are true.  They're not taking the hyperbole and using it to replace Christ, as that would be an erroneous extreme (and sadly people do "go there" sometimes), but they're also not reading everything in every prayer as a theological proposition about Christ that has to be affirmed or denied at face value.  They're in the middle, where the heart is.  They realize that Our Lady is and does all those things because she's radically linked to and oriented towards Christ.  And while no one is more "perfect" at it than she is, all the saints have that in common with her.  What they "do" is "theirs", but it comes from Christ, refers to Christ, and returns (in glory) to Christ.     
Logged

The Mor has spoken. Let his word endure unto the ages of ages.
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 18,381


"Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee..."


WWW
« Reply #115 on: May 24, 2013, 11:06:38 AM »

She may not have suffered a horrible martyrdom, but it's not about that.

Yeah, lovingly watching your son get nailed to a cross is a picnic.

Whatever legendary material you take to understand Mary's life, the underlying theme, is absolute obedience to God.

Try being obedient for an hour, absolutely.

For most, it would probably be hell.

So yeah, she is pretty much the greatest martyr.

Absolutely true. 
Logged

The Mor has spoken. Let his word endure unto the ages of ages.
Armchair Theologian
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Inquirer
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 106



« Reply #116 on: May 24, 2013, 02:53:22 PM »

I understand about her allegedly guarding and priotecting us through her intersession, and I can be comfortable with that (though I wouldn't use that wording myself. God protects, the saints only pray for it), but several things about this I just don't understand: Does the Virgin Mary forgive sins? No other Help? No other intercessor? No other Comforter? What about the Holy Trinity? What about the other Saints and Angels of God?

A lot of this language is hyperbole; there is certainly theology behind it, but its origin is more from "the heart" than "the mind".  If someone does me a big favor and I respond "Thanks, you're the greatest!", I'm not making a dogmatic statement regarding their superhuman dignity--it's a way of describing my regard for that person and what they mean to me.  If a man tells his wife she's the most beautiful woman that ever walked the earth, most of the time that's factually not true: separated from the context of that relationship, he could probably pick out twenty women more beautiful from some "objective aesthetic" perspective, but for him, they're not even a blip on the radar.  It comes from the heart, not from the eyes or mind.    

It's certainly true that the saints in general and Our Lady in particular intercede for us with God, and God answers the prayers, does the protecting, etc.  Since prayer ultimately comes from God and not through our own initiative alone, we can even say that this intercession comes from God, and they're just responding to the call to pray.  On the flip side, their prayer is already their participation in God's saving work, and it's not impossible for God to allow his saints to "do some of the heavy lifting".  In fact, you see that in Scripture...in both OT and NT, holy people "do miracles"--the power comes from God, and the glory ultimately goes to God, but in some real sense it is ascribed to themselves without prejudice to God, because God is glorified in his saints.  

Quote
It almost feels to me like there has been a gradual shift in the way that the Orthodox Church has been viewing the Virgin Mary's intercessory role over the course of the last few centuries. It feels like if you look at some of the things that were being said, say, between the 6th and 15th centuries, you get this idea that they were starting to think of the Theotokos as standing directly between us and Christ, the mystical 'neck" of the Body of Christ through whom we must go to get to God, and only if she wills it, thus making her 'our only hope' of salvation, whereas nowadays I don't really get the sense that that's how most Orthodox understand it. They say she aids us through her powerful intersessions, but that's about it. No longer directly in our path the Christ, but at our side helping us a long. And yet the remnants of this more medieval view just seem to be sort of 'stuck' in the liturgical texts. When modern Orthodox teachers and apologists and so forth try to explain what some of these enigmatic statements mean they say "Well, we're not really saying that, we're just asking her to pray for us, and it's more of a sentimental gesture than a theological statement", and so forth. I don't know, but that's just the vague impression that I get sometimes. I would appreciate any clarifying responses I can get. Smiley

The liturgical texts are a source of theology; they are, as another poster wrote elsewhere, the distillation of the Church's faith expounded by Scripture, interpreted by the Fathers, lived out by the saints.  Since they represent the voice of the Church in prayer to God, and it is the Holy Spirit from whom prayer flows, we trust the liturgical texts in a special way not to mislead us.  So even these prayers and hymns you seem to have trouble with are not problematic in and of themselves; we are missing something which prevents us from understanding them.

Your answer is already in what you wrote.  You read these texts and find terms like "no other intercessor", "no other Comforter", and ideas like the Virgin's "forgiving of sins", and they scandalize you a little.  I don't know where you're coming from, but all the people I know in my life who had/have the same issues are either Orthodox who are learning their faith anew with a strict allegiance to Scripture, or other Christians with the same allegiance.  They see "no other intercessor" and think it's wrong because "There is one mediator, etc." (I Tim. 2.5), Christ who intercedes for us (I Jn. 2.1-2, Heb. 7.25); they read "no other Comforter" and question where the Holy Spirit fits in (cf. Jn. 14.26); they ask, with the Jews "Who can forgive sins except God alone?" (Lk. 5.21).  But when they ask the Orthodox what it all means, they get what seems to be a lame answer: "Well, we're not really saying that, we're just asking her to pray for us, and it's more of a sentimental gesture than a theological statement".  It may seem like a lame response, but I think it's because they're coming at it from "the heart", understanding that when you love someone, you say things that, taken at face value, may not be "factually" true but nevertheless are true.  They're not taking the hyperbole and using it to replace Christ, as that would be an erroneous extreme (and sadly people do "go there" sometimes), but they're also not reading everything in every prayer as a theological proposition about Christ that has to be affirmed or denied at face value.  They're in the middle, where the heart is.  They realize that Our Lady is and does all those things because she's radically linked to and oriented towards Christ.  And while no one is more "perfect" at it than she is, all the saints have that in common with her.  What they "do" is "theirs", but it comes from Christ, refers to Christ, and returns (in glory) to Christ.      

Well thank you. What you're saying more or less conforms to the way I've been reasoning it out in my mind, but it's helpful for me to get additional confirmation from people who are actually living the Orthodox that the church is not asking it's people to take some of these statements too literally. Not everything in Scripture can always be taken literally either. I think the key keeping things in context and exercising a degree of common sense.

You mentioned not knowing my background. Currently I'm basically a non-denominational protestant, but I've been going to an Antiochian Orthodox church and reading almost nothing but Orthodox literature for about five months now. The Eastern Orthodox Church makes claims that I find very attractive, such as it's being the true Church founded by the apostles, with a real and concrete sense of historical continuity with the Christian Church throughout history, and with a tradition that through the guidance of the Holy Spirit reveals the whole truth of scripture and exactly how to interpret it. For me, looking at the divisions and disagreements and outrageous misinterpretations of those who call themselves Christians has really done a lot to cripple me in my faith. How can we know what's true? Who has the answers? Where is the Church? Orthodoxy offers an appealing answer to all of these questions, but it also has some answers that I just had a hard time accepting and agreeing with. The teachings on Mary are one example. In the end, it kinda doesn't matter how self-consistent and historic The Orthodox Church is, if it's wrong...if historic Christianity has altered and added to the teachings of the Apostles, then I'll have no part in it. So basically, I've been doing a lot of reading, a lot of going to church, a lot of asking questions, a lot of Bible studying and a lot of praying. And I will say that I feel like the road is slowly leading me to a realization that's going to blow my mind and it seems to be headed for Orthodoxy. That said, I'm not there yet and in the meantime I'm probably going to be something of a tough person to sell of some of this. I have to be sure... and that's my background. Smiley

She may not have suffered a horrible martyrdom, but it's not about that.

Yeah, lovingly watching your son get nailed to a cross is a picnic.

Whatever legendary material you take to understand Mary's life, the underlying theme, is absolute obedience to God.

Try being obedient for an hour, absolutely.

For most, it would probably be hell.

So yeah, she is pretty much the greatest martyr.
 

There are many martyred Saints who not only died horribly themselves but also had to watch as their children, parents, spouses, or others dear to their hearts where cruelly tortured and executed. Saint Sophia the Martyr comes to mind.

I can't climb inside of her heart and know exactly what her inward sufferings were like, but I don't see why it has to be believed that her sufferings were greater than those of all other saints. The Church itself doesn't really teach that does it? Don't get me wrong, I believe firmly that had she been called upon to suffer and die for Christ, she would have gladly. All I'm saying is, she wasn't, so it really shouldn't be said that she is "the greatest martyr". She isn't a Martyr at all.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 03:20:00 PM by Armchair Theologian » Logged
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,449



« Reply #117 on: May 24, 2013, 03:02:27 PM »

All I'm saying is, she wasn't, so it really shouldn't be said that she is "the greatest martyr". She isn't a Martyr at all.

I think the key to it is not how much she suffered compared to other saints and martyrs (how can you quantify suffering?). I think the key is the statement about being totally obedient to God - she was, and that is why she can justifiably be called the greatest martyr.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
Armchair Theologian
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Inquirer
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 106



« Reply #118 on: May 24, 2013, 03:16:54 PM »

All I'm saying is, she wasn't, so it really shouldn't be said that she is "the greatest martyr". She isn't a Martyr at all.

I think the key to it is not how much she suffered compared to other saints and martyrs (how can you quantify suffering?). I think the key is the statement about being totally obedient to God - she was, and that is why she can justifiably be called the greatest martyr.

Well said. I can completely agree with that.
Logged
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,627



« Reply #119 on: May 24, 2013, 11:32:36 PM »

She may not have suffered a horrible martyrdom, but it's not about that.

Yeah, lovingly watching your son get nailed to a cross is a picnic.

Whatever legendary material you take to understand Mary's life, the underlying theme, is absolute obedience to God.

Try being obedient for an hour, absolutely.

For most, it would probably be hell.

So yeah, she is pretty much the greatest martyr.
 

There are many martyred Saints who not only died horribly themselves but also had to watch as their children, parents, spouses, or others dear to their hearts where cruelly tortured and executed. Saint Sophia the Martyr comes to mind.

I can't climb inside of her heart and know exactly what her inward sufferings were like, but I don't see why it has to be believed that her sufferings were greater than those of all other saints. The Church itself doesn't really teach that does it? Don't get me wrong, I believe firmly that had she been called upon to suffer and die for Christ, she would have gladly. All I'm saying is, she wasn't, so it really shouldn't be said that she is "the greatest martyr". She isn't a Martyr at all.

You're obviously not a golfer.

When you get over the blood drenched imaginings and learn what real martyrdom is, get back to me.

And trying to get into the mind of folks you probably have almost nothing in common with is a great way to arrive at confusion.

Oh, I'll be nice and help:

Quote
In its original meaning, the word martyr, meaning witness, was used in the secular sphere as well as in the New Testament of the Bible.[1] The process of bearing witness was not intended to lead to the death of the witness, although it is known from ancient writers (e.g. Josephus) and from the New Testament that witnesses often died for their testimonies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyr

And who is the witness par excellence? In every meaning of the term.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 11:33:53 PM by orthonorm » Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Fotina02
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 176



« Reply #120 on: May 24, 2013, 11:38:44 PM »

Here's a sermon without all the flowery praise.

THE LIGHTNESS OF BEING (ORTHODOX)
Quote
My mother was at a church once where a very kind and prayerful batiushka serves. One day, on the Nativity of the Mother of God, after liturgy he
came out of the royal doors to give the sermon. It was obvious that he felt
the feast deeply. He crossed himself and began... “The Most Holy
Theotokos...” (his voice trembled) “...our Lady, the Mother of God.” Tears
stood in his eyes and began to run down his cheek. People in the church
began sniffling. “...her holy parents, Joachim and Anna...” he continued,
crying openly now. The people were weeping quietly. Batiushka tried to continue, but was unable. Tears were choking him. He made a hopeless gesture
with his hands and retreated into the altar. The people sobbed aloud, and
leaving the church, my mother heard two of his parishioners say that it was
the best sermon they had ever heard.
http://www.roadtoemmaus.net/Lightness_of_Being_Orthodox.pdf
Logged
Pharaoh714
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Coptic Rite
Posts: 152


Lord Have Mercy! Christ Save me.


« Reply #121 on: May 25, 2013, 01:20:53 AM »

Watch this video its a Catholic one but it can explain some things that Orthodox Believe except Virgin St. Mary being sinless at birth of course.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUdYeYy3NQA
Logged

"If I say, "My foot slips," Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul." Psalm 94:18-19
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,704


WWW
« Reply #122 on: May 25, 2013, 01:27:02 AM »

All I'm saying is, she wasn't, so it really shouldn't be said that she is "the greatest martyr". She isn't a Martyr at all.

I think the key to it is not how much she suffered compared to other saints and martyrs (how can you quantify suffering?). I think the key is the statement about being totally obedient to God - she was, and that is why she can justifiably be called the greatest martyr.

The Theotokos isn't a martyr if that what the above exchange was discussing.  orthonorm refers to the Theotokos as a martyr in Reply #113.
Logged
Armchair Theologian
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Inquirer
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 106



« Reply #123 on: May 25, 2013, 03:52:14 AM »

And who is the witness par excellence? In every meaning of the term.

John the Baptist, maybe Saint Paul. Who knows. But it wasn't Mary. You know why? Because Mary was not a preacher, or an apostle, or an evangelist who was known for 'giving testimony', and what's more she never had to suffer and die for her testimony. Which, by the way, is what your Orthodox Church actually does mean when it talks about Martyrs. You see, in the modern world, when we refer to someone who died for their faith, we call them (gasp!) martyrs, whereas when we refer to people who didn't die for their faith, we generally (gasp!) don't. That's because, you see, in today's world, that's what the word actually means. Wink

And so, concluding the whole matter once and for all: The Virgin is not a martyr. Once you have grasped this, get back to me, this time no condescending tone or attitude-y remarks, and there's a slim chance you'll be deemed intellectually suitable for some limited degree of further attention from me. Til then, peace out.  Wink
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 04:17:04 AM by Armchair Theologian » Logged
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,627



« Reply #124 on: May 25, 2013, 04:25:26 AM »


Keep at that dictionary understanding of the world.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,627



« Reply #125 on: May 25, 2013, 04:28:58 AM »

All I'm saying is, she wasn't, so it really shouldn't be said that she is "the greatest martyr". She isn't a Martyr at all.

I think the key to it is not how much she suffered compared to other saints and martyrs (how can you quantify suffering?). I think the key is the statement about being totally obedient to God - she was, and that is why she can justifiably be called the greatest martyr.

The Theotokos isn't a martyr if that what the above exchange was discussing.  orthonorm refers to the Theotokos as a martyr in Reply #113.

Yes she is.

Please explain to mean who gave more of their life for Christ, literally witnessed Christ more, and is a witness to Him in virtue the perfect expression of the faith than the Mary.

Good grief, there are folks in the Church who think they are martyrs cause they marry someone they are in love with. White martyrs or something ridiculous like that.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 04:29:22 AM by orthonorm » Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Armchair Theologian
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Inquirer
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 106



« Reply #126 on: May 25, 2013, 04:41:51 AM »

Orthonorm, since it seems to me that you have a somewhat limited comprehension of the English language, I'm going to assume that your previous comments were not intended to be quite as attitudy and pointlessly rude as they came across. Still, the word martyr is generally taken as referring to someone who actually, literally died for something they believed or a cause of some sort. OR, if you're going to apply the oldschool classical greek meaning, I think the word 'witness' implies testifying, or preaching, or communicating a verbal message and so forth. In the first since, the Virgin Mary didn't die for the cause of Christ. In the second she is not known among Christians as a great preacher or evangelist who took the message of Christ all through the world and so forth. Not saying she is in any way inferior to actual real martyrs. I mean, She gave her whole self to God just the same, and in an even more amazing way, to be sure... but technically you wouldn't use the word martyrdom to refer to that. All I'm sayin' bro.    
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 04:47:09 AM by Armchair Theologian » Logged
William
Muted
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,354


« Reply #127 on: May 25, 2013, 05:38:19 AM »

Sorry Armchair Theologian, but Mary is pretty clearly viewed as a martyr in the Orthodox faith. Unless you buy the whole "eh the liturgy says it but we don't really mean it" line (which by the way is an absolutely ridiculous thing to believe).
Logged

Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant
LBK
No Reporting Allowed
Moderated
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 11,446


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #128 on: May 25, 2013, 06:05:56 AM »

Quote
Good grief, there are folks in the Church who think they are martyrs cause they marry someone they are in love with. White martyrs or something ridiculous like that.

Your too-clever-by-half pronouncements are really getting tiresome, Orthonorm. Take it up with the sainted hymnographers who compiled the marriage services.

Selections:

Bless this marriage and grant to these Your servants, N. and M., a peaceful life, length of days, chastity, love for each other in the bond of peace, long-lived offspring, grace in their children and an unfading crown of glory.(from the first prayer before the Crowning)

Remember them, Lord our God, as You remembered the holy Forty Martyrs, sending down on them crowns from heaven. (from the second prayer before the Crowning)

Holy Martyrs, who fought the good fight and were crowned, intercede with the Lord to have mercy on our souls. (after the Dance of Isaiah, and before the removal of the crowns from the couple's heads)

O God, our God, who were present in Cana of Galilee, and blessed the marriage there, bless these Your servants also, who by Your providence have been joined in the communion of marriage. Bless their goings out and their comings in. Fill their life with good things. Take up their crowns in your Kingdom, unspotted and unblemished, and keep them without offense to the ages of ages. (prayer at the removal of the crowns)

May He who by His presence at Cana declared marriage honorable, Christ our true God, through the prayers of His all-pure Mother, of the holy, glorious and all-praised Apostles, of the holy Sovereigns crowned by God and Equals of the Apostles, Constantine and Helen, of the holy great Martyr Prokopios and all the Saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and loves mankind.
(dismissal prayer)

The imagery of martyrs receiving crowns of glory in heaven is a constant and inescapable theme in their hymnography. The martyrdom of a married couple is the self-sacrifice each spouse is expected to show to the other, as expressed in the epistle reading from Ephesians: the wife lives for the husband, and does all she can for him; the husband lives for the wife, and does all he can for her, even to give his life for her as Christ did for His Church.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 06:10:05 AM by LBK » Logged
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,627



« Reply #129 on: May 25, 2013, 10:20:56 AM »

Quote
Good grief, there are folks in the Church who think they are martyrs cause they marry someone they are in love with. White martyrs or something ridiculous like that.

Your too-clever-by-half pronouncements are really getting tiresome, Orthonorm. Take it up with the sainted hymnographers who compiled the marriage services.

Selections:

Bless this marriage and grant to these Your servants, N. and M., a peaceful life, length of days, chastity, love for each other in the bond of peace, long-lived offspring, grace in their children and an unfading crown of glory.(from the first prayer before the Crowning)

Remember them, Lord our God, as You remembered the holy Forty Martyrs, sending down on them crowns from heaven. (from the second prayer before the Crowning)

Holy Martyrs, who fought the good fight and were crowned, intercede with the Lord to have mercy on our souls. (after the Dance of Isaiah, and before the removal of the crowns from the couple's heads)

O God, our God, who were present in Cana of Galilee, and blessed the marriage there, bless these Your servants also, who by Your providence have been joined in the communion of marriage. Bless their goings out and their comings in. Fill their life with good things. Take up their crowns in your Kingdom, unspotted and unblemished, and keep them without offense to the ages of ages. (prayer at the removal of the crowns)

May He who by His presence at Cana declared marriage honorable, Christ our true God, through the prayers of His all-pure Mother, of the holy, glorious and all-praised Apostles, of the holy Sovereigns crowned by God and Equals of the Apostles, Constantine and Helen, of the holy great Martyr Prokopios and all the Saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and loves mankind.
(dismissal prayer)

The imagery of martyrs receiving crowns of glory in heaven is a constant and inescapable theme in their hymnography. The martyrdom of a married couple is the self-sacrifice each spouse is expected to show to the other, as expressed in the epistle reading from Ephesians: the wife lives for the husband, and does all she can for him; the husband lives for the wife, and does all he can for her, even to give his life for her as Christ did for His Church.

Thanks for the news. Oh, wait that text is looking at me in the face.

And so people who marry take on the terrible sacrifice of marrying someone they are giddy in love with are more a martyr than Mary the mother of God?

You need to learn some proportion and some rhetoric.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 10:21:23 AM by orthonorm » Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
LBK
No Reporting Allowed
Moderated
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 11,446


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #130 on: May 25, 2013, 10:26:34 AM »

Quote
Good grief, there are folks in the Church who think they are martyrs cause they marry someone they are in love with. White martyrs or something ridiculous like that.

Your too-clever-by-half pronouncements are really getting tiresome, Orthonorm. Take it up with the sainted hymnographers who compiled the marriage services.

Selections:

Bless this marriage and grant to these Your servants, N. and M., a peaceful life, length of days, chastity, love for each other in the bond of peace, long-lived offspring, grace in their children and an unfading crown of glory.(from the first prayer before the Crowning)

Remember them, Lord our God, as You remembered the holy Forty Martyrs, sending down on them crowns from heaven. (from the second prayer before the Crowning)

Holy Martyrs, who fought the good fight and were crowned, intercede with the Lord to have mercy on our souls. (after the Dance of Isaiah, and before the removal of the crowns from the couple's heads)

O God, our God, who were present in Cana of Galilee, and blessed the marriage there, bless these Your servants also, who by Your providence have been joined in the communion of marriage. Bless their goings out and their comings in. Fill their life with good things. Take up their crowns in your Kingdom, unspotted and unblemished, and keep them without offense to the ages of ages. (prayer at the removal of the crowns)

May He who by His presence at Cana declared marriage honorable, Christ our true God, through the prayers of His all-pure Mother, of the holy, glorious and all-praised Apostles, of the holy Sovereigns crowned by God and Equals of the Apostles, Constantine and Helen, of the holy great Martyr Prokopios and all the Saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and loves mankind.
(dismissal prayer)

The imagery of martyrs receiving crowns of glory in heaven is a constant and inescapable theme in their hymnography. The martyrdom of a married couple is the self-sacrifice each spouse is expected to show to the other, as expressed in the epistle reading from Ephesians: the wife lives for the husband, and does all she can for him; the husband lives for the wife, and does all he can for her, even to give his life for her as Christ did for His Church.

Thanks for the news. Oh, wait that text is looking at me in the face.

And so people who marry take on the terrible sacrifice of marrying someone they are giddy in love with are more a martyr than Mary the mother of God?

You need to learn some proportion and some rhetoric.

And you need to temper your glib pronouncements. I did not say anything about whether the Mother of God was or was not a martyr, but it was you who dismissed any notion that marriage is a form of martyrdom, yet the Church regards it as so, as expressed in her hymns and prayers.
Logged
Santagranddad
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ROCA
Posts: 1,198



« Reply #131 on: May 25, 2013, 10:30:16 AM »

Quote
Good grief, there are folks in the Church who think they are martyrs cause they marry someone they are in love with. White martyrs or something ridiculous like that.

Your too-clever-by-half pronouncements are really getting tiresome, Orthonorm. Take it up with the sainted hymnographers who compiled the marriage services.

Selections:

Bless this marriage and grant to these Your servants, N. and M., a peaceful life, length of days, chastity, love for each other in the bond of peace, long-lived offspring, grace in their children and an unfading crown of glory.(from the first prayer before the Crowning)

Remember them, Lord our God, as You remembered the holy Forty Martyrs, sending down on them crowns from heaven. (from the second prayer before the Crowning)

Holy Martyrs, who fought the good fight and were crowned, intercede with the Lord to have mercy on our souls. (after the Dance of Isaiah, and before the removal of the crowns from the couple's heads)

O God, our God, who were present in Cana of Galilee, and blessed the marriage there, bless these Your servants also, who by Your providence have been joined in the communion of marriage. Bless their goings out and their comings in. Fill their life with good things. Take up their crowns in your Kingdom, unspotted and unblemished, and keep them without offense to the ages of ages. (prayer at the removal of the crowns)

May He who by His presence at Cana declared marriage honorable, Christ our true God, through the prayers of His all-pure Mother, of the holy, glorious and all-praised Apostles, of the holy Sovereigns crowned by God and Equals of the Apostles, Constantine and Helen, of the holy great Martyr Prokopios and all the Saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and loves mankind.
(dismissal prayer)

The imagery of martyrs receiving crowns of glory in heaven is a constant and inescapable theme in their hymnography. The martyrdom of a married couple is the self-sacrifice each spouse is expected to show to the other, as expressed in the epistle reading from Ephesians: the wife lives for the husband, and does all she can for him; the husband lives for the wife, and does all he can for her, even to give his life for her as Christ did for His Church.

Thanks for the news. Oh, wait that text is looking at me in the face.

And so people who marry take on the terrible sacrifice of marrying someone they are giddy in love with are more a martyr than Mary the mother of God?

You need to learn some proportion and some rhetoric.

And you need to temper your glib pronouncements. I did not say anything about whether the Mother of God was or was not a martyr, but it was you who dismissed any notion that marriage is a form of martyrdom, yet the Church regards it as so, as expressed in her hymns and prayers.

Well said but I've come the conclusion that we waste our time responding, given the pathology of the poster.
Logged
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,627



« Reply #132 on: May 25, 2013, 10:32:06 AM »


Enjoy your linguistic minimalism.

The "common" understanding of the term martyr in American I might argue has nothing to do with death as I would guess it is often most used in somewhat ironic manner to describe the relatively small sacrifices of someone who makes a big about them, whether directed at them by other or themselves.

Yeah, I know I am real martyr here, trying to explain to all you what a martyr is.

But we would have to look at a relatively current database of usage to determine that.

Nevertheless, none of these meaning make sense except in light of the fact that martyr means in a radical sense witness. If you don't understand that, then you will never understand what a martyr is, whether they die or do not.

Yes, the Church at times does use the term martyr in a different sense to differentiate how one witnessed. If you read more, you find yourself coming to feel as I do, that really martyrs get too much press. Seems that the lot of confessors is quite worse in my opinion.

But every time some in the Church or when speaking about the Church need use such technical definitions.

Mary's birth, life, death, and her role now witnesses greater than any other human person save Christ to the Christian message.

Anyway, I am finished. This bores.

Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,627



« Reply #133 on: May 25, 2013, 10:32:47 AM »

Quote
Good grief, there are folks in the Church who think they are martyrs cause they marry someone they are in love with. White martyrs or something ridiculous like that.

Your too-clever-by-half pronouncements are really getting tiresome, Orthonorm. Take it up with the sainted hymnographers who compiled the marriage services.

Selections:

Bless this marriage and grant to these Your servants, N. and M., a peaceful life, length of days, chastity, love for each other in the bond of peace, long-lived offspring, grace in their children and an unfading crown of glory.(from the first prayer before the Crowning)

Remember them, Lord our God, as You remembered the holy Forty Martyrs, sending down on them crowns from heaven. (from the second prayer before the Crowning)

Holy Martyrs, who fought the good fight and were crowned, intercede with the Lord to have mercy on our souls. (after the Dance of Isaiah, and before the removal of the crowns from the couple's heads)

O God, our God, who were present in Cana of Galilee, and blessed the marriage there, bless these Your servants also, who by Your providence have been joined in the communion of marriage. Bless their goings out and their comings in. Fill their life with good things. Take up their crowns in your Kingdom, unspotted and unblemished, and keep them without offense to the ages of ages. (prayer at the removal of the crowns)

May He who by His presence at Cana declared marriage honorable, Christ our true God, through the prayers of His all-pure Mother, of the holy, glorious and all-praised Apostles, of the holy Sovereigns crowned by God and Equals of the Apostles, Constantine and Helen, of the holy great Martyr Prokopios and all the Saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and loves mankind.
(dismissal prayer)

The imagery of martyrs receiving crowns of glory in heaven is a constant and inescapable theme in their hymnography. The martyrdom of a married couple is the self-sacrifice each spouse is expected to show to the other, as expressed in the epistle reading from Ephesians: the wife lives for the husband, and does all she can for him; the husband lives for the wife, and does all he can for her, even to give his life for her as Christ did for His Church.

Thanks for the news. Oh, wait that text is looking at me in the face.

And so people who marry take on the terrible sacrifice of marrying someone they are giddy in love with are more a martyr than Mary the mother of God?

You need to learn some proportion and some rhetoric.

And you need to temper your glib pronouncements. I did not say anything about whether the Mother of God was or was not a martyr, but it was you who dismissed any notion that marriage is a form of martyrdom, yet the Church regards it as so, as expressed in her hymns and prayers.

I dismissed nothing. Rhetoric, look it up.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Santagranddad
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ROCA
Posts: 1,198



« Reply #134 on: May 25, 2013, 10:35:10 AM »

Quote
Good grief, there are folks in the Church who think they are martyrs cause they marry someone they are in love with. White martyrs or something ridiculous like that.

Your too-clever-by-half pronouncements are really getting tiresome, Orthonorm. Take it up with the sainted hymnographers who compiled the marriage services.

Selections:

Bless this marriage and grant to these Your servants, N. and M., a peaceful life, length of days, chastity, love for each other in the bond of peace, long-lived offspring, grace in their children and an unfading crown of glory.(from the first prayer before the Crowning)

Remember them, Lord our God, as You remembered the holy Forty Martyrs, sending down on them crowns from heaven. (from the second prayer before the Crowning)

Holy Martyrs, who fought the good fight and were crowned, intercede with the Lord to have mercy on our souls. (after the Dance of Isaiah, and before the removal of the crowns from the couple's heads)

O God, our God, who were present in Cana of Galilee, and blessed the marriage there, bless these Your servants also, who by Your providence have been joined in the communion of marriage. Bless their goings out and their comings in. Fill their life with good things. Take up their crowns in your Kingdom, unspotted and unblemished, and keep them without offense to the ages of ages. (prayer at the removal of the crowns)

May He who by His presence at Cana declared marriage honorable, Christ our true God, through the prayers of His all-pure Mother, of the holy, glorious and all-praised Apostles, of the holy Sovereigns crowned by God and Equals of the Apostles, Constantine and Helen, of the holy great Martyr Prokopios and all the Saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and loves mankind.
(dismissal prayer)

The imagery of martyrs receiving crowns of glory in heaven is a constant and inescapable theme in their hymnography. The martyrdom of a married couple is the self-sacrifice each spouse is expected to show to the other, as expressed in the epistle reading from Ephesians: the wife lives for the husband, and does all she can for him; the husband lives for the wife, and does all he can for her, even to give his life for her as Christ did for His Church.

Thanks for the news. Oh, wait that text is looking at me in the face.

And so people who marry take on the terrible sacrifice of marrying someone they are giddy in love with are more a martyr than Mary the mother of God?

You need to learn some proportion and some rhetoric.

And you need to temper your glib pronouncements. I did not say anything about whether the Mother of God was or was not a martyr, but it was you who dismissed any notion that marriage is a form of martyrdom, yet the Church regards it as so, as expressed in her hymns and prayers.

I dismissed nothing. Rhetoric, look it up.

Yawn!
Logged
Tags:
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 »   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.219 seconds with 74 queries.