Author Topic: The Byzantine Feast of St. Anne's Conception of the Mother of God, Dec 9th.  (Read 797 times)

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Offline Xavier

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The Byzantine Church, both Catholic and Orthodox, celebrates the Feast of St. Anne's Conception very close to the day the west celebrates the Immaculate Conception. Other Eastern Churches do the same. There was a divine reason for St. Anne's sterility. It was to show, as the kondak for the feast intones, that the Conception was caused by God; in that it was, as St. Damascene a conception that was entirely the product of grace. Hence when Greek Patriarch Cyril Lukaris says the Immaculata "was wholly sanctified from the very first moment of her conception (ole egiasmene en aute te sullepsei) when her body was formed and when her soul was united to her body", he is expressing the authentic Tradition of his Church.

In light of these testimonies, how can anyone maintain the true Bride of the Holy Spirit was not sanctified in Her conception?

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TROPAR (Tone 4)

 Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed * for God has heard the prayers of Anna and Joachim. * He promised against all hope that they would give birth to a divine virgin * from whom the Indescribable would be born as man, * the same who ordered the Angels to sing to her, * “Hail, O Woman full of grace, the Lord is with you!”

 KONDAK (Tone 4)

 Today the universe rejoices, * for Anna conceived in a manner caused by God, * and because the one born to her * will give birth to the Word.
Locution, Aug 18, 2014: "They will realize that I have released an ocean of graces which have changed their darkness into light. They will realize that they have been freed from the past century of diabolical control. They will also know that this great gift has come through the consecration of Russia made by the Holy Father in communion with all the bishops in the world. http://locutions-forever.org/locutions/show/2014-08-18/1-the-overcoming-of-separation

Offline scamandrius

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The Byzantine Church, both Catholic and Orthodox, celebrates the Feast of St. Anne's Conception very close to the day the west celebrates the Immaculate Conception. Other Eastern Churches do the same. There was a divine reason for St. Anne's sterility. It was to show, as the kondak for the feast intones, that the Conception was caused by God; in that it was, as St. Damascene a conception that was entirely the product of grace. Hence when Greek Patriarch Cyril Lukaris says the Immaculata "was wholly sanctified from the very first moment of her conception (ole egiasmene en aute te sullepsei) when her body was formed and when her soul was united to her body", he is expressing the authentic Tradition of his Church.

In light of these testimonies, how can anyone maintain the true Bride of the Holy Spirit was not sanctified in Her conception?

Quote
TROPAR (Tone 4)

 Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed * for God has heard the prayers of Anna and Joachim. * He promised against all hope that they would give birth to a divine virgin * from whom the Indescribable would be born as man, * the same who ordered the Angels to sing to her, * “Hail, O Woman full of grace, the Lord is with you!”

 KONDAK (Tone 4)

 Today the universe rejoices, * for Anna conceived in a manner caused by God, * and because the one born to her * will give birth to the Word.
No one doubts that there was a sanctification upon Anne so that she would bear a child just as there was sanctification for allowing Sarah to conceive in her old age or any number of other OT examples and even St. John the Baptist.  But sanctification does not equal immaculate conception or a release from original (ancestral) sin.

Nice try.  Try again.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 02:29:09 PM by scamandrius »
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Offline Xavier

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Then, how come (1) Patriarch Lukaris said "As for the Panaghia, who does not know that She was a spotless instrument, sanctified in Her conception and Her birth, as befits One Who is to give birth to the One Whom no one can contain?" She was sanctified in Her conception, just as St. Anne was sanctified. And (2) you speak of St. John the Baptist. But he was sanctified in the womb while his mother was sanctified. So why should Mary also not be sanctified in the womb when Her mother was sanctified? (3) finally, St. John Damascene's testimony ""O blessed loins of Joachim, whence the all-pure seed was poured out! O glorious womb of Anna, in which the most holy fetus grew" http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/mary19-2.htm

Mary was All Pure and Most Holy before Her birth right from Her conception - meaning She was sanctified in the womb.

See also: http://www.archpitt.org/the-immaculate-conception-the-conception-of-st-anne-when-she-conceived-the-holy-mother-of-god-according-to-the-ruthenian-tradition/

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St. John Damascene (d. 749), who faithfully reflects the Byzantine tradition, explained:

“Why is the Virgin Mother born of a previously sterile mother? Simply, because it was necessary that the way to what was to be a new thing under the sun and the greatest of all wonders (i.e. a Virgin Mother) had to be paved by some lesser wonders in order that a gradual ascent be made from lower to more sublime.

For the rest, I can advance yet another, more sublime and divine reason. Nature yields to grace and became indecisive, stopping to act.

Since the Mother of God was to be born as a virgin (i .e. without sin) of Anne, nature did not dare to impede the Bud of Grace but remained devoid of fruit (Anne’s sterility) , while the grace was bringing forth its fruit,” meaning Mary (cf. P.G. , 96, 663-664).

From the above words we can see that St. John Damascene, in the accordance with the tradition of the Byzantine Church, admitted a mysterious action of divine grace in the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Locution, Aug 18, 2014: "They will realize that I have released an ocean of graces which have changed their darkness into light. They will realize that they have been freed from the past century of diabolical control. They will also know that this great gift has come through the consecration of Russia made by the Holy Father in communion with all the bishops in the world. http://locutions-forever.org/locutions/show/2014-08-18/1-the-overcoming-of-separation

Offline scamandrius

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Look, until you can prove definitively that "sanctification" inside the womb translates exactly to being born without original (ancestral) sin, you have nothing.  To do so would involve some pretty hefty language contortions.  Again, thanks for playing.
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"O blessed loins of Joachim, whence the all-pure seed was poured out!  ..."

So now St. Joachim is also immaculate? ...

Look, I doubt that anybody would argue Rome's dogmatized notions had no precedent, were concocted by Rome alone. That in fact seems never to be the case. What Rome seems to do is fasten on some existing but questionable notion and pretend to raise it to the oracle of God. Such a choice is, I suppose, meant to glorify the Bishop of Rome as he who alone among mortals accesses the Heavens, and so it cannot be some well-established piece of orthodoxy or the See would merely share the glory of other sees. But each such choice is also a gamble. Hubris compels its subject, but at the same time ironically evokes ridicule for its subject. Do you think Orthodoxy is some special critic of Rome? The whole world gapes at the arrogance, not least Rome's own. Perhaps this is making too big a deal out of filioque and immaculacy etc. But in a sense that's my point -- the issue here is bigger than that of doctrinal quibble.
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As one of the links mentioned, the Feast of Mary's Conception came to the West from the East. Hence, the attacks on Rome are irrelevant as regards the Immaculate Conception. As for dogmatic definitions, the Church defines them for the same reason the early Church did - so that the faithful may know the true doctrine with solid certitude and without error. Why did the early Church define explicitly and in such detail the dogmas relating to the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation? That Mary was truly the Mother of God? Why not leave it uncertain? The Catholic Church also defined the dogma of Mary's Assumption into heaven - which, on account of clear liturgical Tradition, most all of you accept - so that it may not be doubted. What others outside the Church do is beyond us, what the faithful believe is the responsibility of the bishops and especially the Supreme Pastor.

Scamandrius, as for proof that sanctification=release from original sin=infilling of the Holy Spirit, when John the Baptist was sanctified in the womb, what happened to him? Was he filled with the Holy Spirit or not? "he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb" (Luk 1:15). Granted, St. John the Baptist is among the greatest Saints to have ever lived; yet, he is less than the Mother of God, and these words of the Angel were in fact fulfilled later in the chapter when Jesus and Mary came to visit him and his mother St. Elizabeth. It remains that Mary was sanctified in the womb therefore even before St. John the Baptist was, i.e. at Her conception. Patriarch St. Sophronius of Jerusalem sang to the Mother of God, "Many saints appeared before thee, but none was as filled with grace as thou… No one has been purified in advance as thou hast been… Thou dost surpass all that is most excellent in man, as well as all the gifts which have been bestowed by God upon all others."
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 05:06:24 AM by Xavier »
Locution, Aug 18, 2014: "They will realize that I have released an ocean of graces which have changed their darkness into light. They will realize that they have been freed from the past century of diabolical control. They will also know that this great gift has come through the consecration of Russia made by the Holy Father in communion with all the bishops in the world. http://locutions-forever.org/locutions/show/2014-08-18/1-the-overcoming-of-separation

Offline Porter ODoran

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For something to be dogmatized, it should be necessary, and it should be beyond doubt true. That people are uncertain -- this is incidental, and can't possibly be the criterion for a dogmatization. Futhermore, a universal dogmatization must be catholic, that is, it must be believed necessary and beyond doubt true by everyone. The Papacy has seized on matters of dubious necessity and truth, acting by itself as well, and dogmatized them. I've already speculated as to why. This cannot be the true faith.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Dominika

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As one of the links mentioned, the Feast of Mary's Conception came to the West from the East. Hence, the attacks on Rome are irrelevant as regards the Immaculate Conception. As for dogmatic definitions, the Church defines them for the same reason the early Church did - so that the faithful may know the true doctrine with solid certitude and without error.
But you see the difference between feast of Mary's Conception (in fact, we rather call it conception of the Theotokos by st. Ann) and feast of the Immaculate Conception? The first one is the original one. The second one is transformed by Rome.
On this feast we put the ephasis that Theotokos was born by infertile parents, like other important persons of the Old Testament. Because it was a way of special God's Grace and activity, shwoing that He cares and "organises" the History of Salvation. It's also good to note that on the day of the feast we commemorate st. Ann - mother of of Samuel, she was also infertile like her namesake - mother of the Theotokos. Both these commemorations are also important in the context of the Nativity Fast (e.g that was Samuel that anointed David, the ancestor of Christ).


Please remember that we use such adjectives as "spotless" for the Theotkos to emhasise Her eternal virginity. And to show that She's been the greatest among the greatest saints, but it doesn't mean that she was without sin. We say in many hymns and prayers, that the only sinless person is God, i.e Jesus Christ.
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One thing of note as well, Xavier, is that it is often the case that the Church defines such things in response to heresy rampant in the Church, reaffirmining what it already believed in.
The Trinity was defined at Nicaea simply because the heresy of Arianism taught explicitliy that Christ was not God - which is contrary to the Faith of the Gospel - and was widespread.

As Saint Hilary of Poitiers says (On the Trinity, Book II):
"But the errors of heretics and blasphemers force us to deal with unlawful matters, to scale perilous heights, to speak unutterable words, to trespass on forbidden ground. Faith ought in silence to fulfil the commandments, worshipping the Father, reverencing with Him the Son, abounding in the Holy Spirit, but we must strain the poor resources of our language to express thoughts too great for words. The error of others compels us to err in daring to embody in human terms truths which ought to be hidden in the silent veneration of the heart."

May I ask what "heretics" were attacking the Roman Church from within, what Cardinals were spreading and trying to strike down the concept of Papal Supremacy such that Papal Infallibility needed to be defined, and trying to strike down the sinlessness of the Virgin Mary, such that the Immaculate Conception - which even Thomas Aquinas explicitly denied - needed to be defined by weak, human terms?
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 10:27:21 AM by LivenotoneviL »
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May God one day unite me with the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church. And may God forgive me for my consistent sins of the flesh and any blasphemous and carnal desire, as well as forgive me whenever I act prideful, against the desire of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to be a Temple of the Holy Spirit.

Offline Justin Kolodziej

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As one of the links mentioned, the Feast of Mary's Conception came to the West from the East. Hence, the attacks on Rome are irrelevant as regards the Immaculate Conception. As for dogmatic definitions, the Church defines them for the same reason the early Church did - so that the faithful may know the true doctrine with solid certitude and without error.
But you see the difference between feast of Mary's Conception (in fact, we rather call it conception of the Theotokos by st. Ann) and feast of the Immaculate Conception? The first one is the original one. The second one is transformed by Rome.
On this feast we put the ephasis that Theotokos was born by infertile parents, like other important persons of the Old Testament. Because it was a way of special God's Grace and activity, shwoing that He cares and "organises" the History of Salvation. It's also good to note that on the day of the feast we commemorate st. Ann - mother of of Samuel, she was also infertile like her namesake - mother of the Theotokos. Both these commemorations are also important in the context of the Nativity Fast (e.g that was Samuel that anointed David, the ancestor of Christ).


Please remember that we use such adjectives as "spotless" for the Theotkos to emhasise Her eternal virginity. And to show that She's been the greatest among the greatest saints, but it doesn't mean that she was without sin. We say in many hymns and prayers, that the only sinless person is God, i.e Jesus Christ.
Meanwhile, from Roman Catholics I have heard that St. Joseph the Betrothed also never sinned even venially, as well as St. John the Baptist.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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As Saint Hilary of Poitiers says (On the Trinity, Book II):
"But the errors of heretics and blasphemers force us to deal with unlawful matters, to scale perilous heights, to speak unutterable words, to trespass on forbidden ground. Faith ought in silence to fulfil the commandments, worshipping the Father, reverencing with Him the Son, abounding in the Holy Spirit, but we must strain the poor resources of our language to express thoughts too great for words. The error of others compels us to err in daring to embody in human terms truths which ought to be hidden in the silent veneration of the heart."

This is gold.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Xavier

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Porter, St. Andrew the Apostle suggests it became necessary that God be born of an Immaculate Virgin "And therefore, because the first man was created of immaculate earth, it was necessary that of an immaculate Virgin should be born a perfect man, that the Son of God should restore that eternal life which men had lost." (Acts of Andrew) Latin: "Et propterea, quod ex immaculatâ terrâ ereatus fuerat primus homo, necesse erat ut ex immaculatâ Virgine nasceretur perfectus homo, quo Filius Dei, qui antè condiderat hominem, vitam æternam quam perdiderant hominess, repararet." Is it possible that God be born to a sinner? If no, it is indeed necessary that the Mother of God should at least be personally sinless.

Dominika, 2 liturgies of Apostles and Apostolic Fathers, (1) that of St. James of Jerusalem and (2) St. Mark of Alexandria explicitly say Mary is without stain, is all holy and altogether pure  and far beyond all sinners; see http://catholicpatristics.blogspot.in/2009/03/immaculate-conception.html?m=1 and even sinless Angels. The Panegyric for the feast of the Dormition says of the Immaculata "She is born like the cherubim, she who is of a pure, immaculate clay.” If She is born of a pure and immaculate "clay" purer than the cherubim, She is without original sin (angels have no original sin, and the good ones no personal sin).
https://www.scripturecatholic.com/blessed-virgin-mary/#II_Marys_Immaculate_Conception

So, what does it mean that Jesus is sinless in a unique way? It means He alone is sinless by nature, being God, by Himself and without dependence on another; whereas the others (Theotokos who exceeds the Angels, and the Angels themselves) are made and preserved sinless only by His gift of grace. This is the only way of understanding all Tradition consistently. Thus Jesus and Mary are both called full of grace in Scripture; in light of Tradition, we understand Jesus is full of grace as the Author and Source of every grace; Mary is full of every grace because She is a creature whom God fully "divinised" by theosis, so that She is by grace all that God is by nature; hence, full of grace, which means no gift of grace was refused Her; if She had sin, She would not be superior to the Angels; the seed of the serpent is meant to be crushed by the Mother of grace and Her seed; hence that Mother of grace could have no part in sin; Mary is a New Eve in that She was both created immaculate and preserved grace for Her children; Eve was created immaculate but did not.

Live, Trent declared dogmatically the personal sinlessness (but not yet the Immaculate Conception) of the Virgin against Protestant heresies about Mary. Rome soon afterwards forbad anyone to affirm in public that Mary was conceived in original sin; finally, the heresy was defeated by the dogmatic definition. By the way, are you aware of the history of the IC in the Orthodox Church. There were universities in Moscow that swore to uphold it. Why are there so many anathema sit in the early Councils? If nobody had spoken impiously, there would not have been a need; but ever since anyone attributed anything of sin to the Immaculata, it became necessary to anathematize it. St. Augustine says "all the just have truly known of sin, except only the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom, out of respect for the Lord, there can be no question of sin" and St. Ambrose likewise "a Virgin not only undefiled but free from every stain of sin, whom grace has made immaculate".
Locution, Aug 18, 2014: "They will realize that I have released an ocean of graces which have changed their darkness into light. They will realize that they have been freed from the past century of diabolical control. They will also know that this great gift has come through the consecration of Russia made by the Holy Father in communion with all the bishops in the world. http://locutions-forever.org/locutions/show/2014-08-18/1-the-overcoming-of-separation

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Porter, St. Andrew the Apostle suggests it became necessary that God be born of an Immaculate Virgin "And therefore, because the first man was created of immaculate earth, it was necessary that of an immaculate Virgin should be born a perfect man, that the Son of God should restore that eternal life which men had lost." (Acts of Andrew) Latin: "Et propterea, quod ex immaculatâ terrâ ereatus fuerat primus homo, necesse erat ut ex immaculatâ Virgine nasceretur perfectus homo, quo Filius Dei, qui antè condiderat hominem, vitam æternam quam perdiderant hominess, repararet." Is it possible that God be born to a sinner? If no, it is indeed necessary that the Mother of God should at least be personally sinless.
Immaculate earth - earth (ground, soil), that has been never cultivated. Sometimes sex intercourse between man and woman is perceived as a kind of cultivating (man levaing his seed). So, immaculate Virgin - empashis that Theotokos is Virgin, forever.

Dominika, 2 liturgies of Apostles and Apostolic Fathers, (1) that of St. James of Jerusalem and (2) St. Mark of Alexandria explicitly say Mary is without stain, is all holy and altogether pure  and far beyond all sinners; see http://catholicpatristics.blogspot.in/2009/03/immaculate-conception.html?m=1 and even sinless Angels. The Panegyric for the feast of the Dormition says of the Immaculata "She is born like the cherubim, she who is of a pure, immaculate clay.” If She is born of a pure and immaculate "clay" purer than the cherubim, She is without original sin (angels have no original sin, and the good ones no personal sin).
https://www.scripturecatholic.com/blessed-virgin-mary/#II_Marys_Immaculate_Conception
I've been a few times to the Liturgy of st. James. Similar words we hear also at other Eastern Liturgies and services. Again, the fact that she's immaculate is about Her virginity.

So, what does it mean that Jesus is sinless in a unique way? It means He alone is sinless by nature, being God, by Himself and without dependence on another; whereas the others (Theotokos who exceeds the Angels, and the Angels themselves) are made and preserved sinless only by His gift of grace. This is the only way of understanding all Tradition consistently. Thus Jesus and Mary are both called full of grace in Scripture; in light of Tradition, we understand Jesus is full of grace as the Author and Source of every grace; Mary is full of every grace because She is a creature whom God fully "divinised" by theosis, so that She is by grace all that God is by nature; hence, full of grace, which means no gift of grace was refused Her; if She had sin, She would not be superior to the Angels; the seed of the serpent is meant to be crushed by the Mother of grace and Her seed; hence that Mother of grace could have no part in sin; Mary is a New Eve in that She was both created immaculate and preserved grace for Her children; Eve was created immaculate but did not.
[/quote]
Actually, human by nature had been superior to the Angels. The sin of the first people has changed the situation. Apostle Paul says that we will be judging the angels.
Since st. Mary became the throne of Cherubims (as we chant in the Nativity Canon), moreover: She became the throne of God, so it's natural, that we say in the prayers "more honorable than the Cherubims", especially if you remember about the God's Willl and plan for human in general.
Please remember that Latins have translated wrongly the part about crushing the head of the serpent/snake. It's about the offspring of Eve, that's Jesus Christ - God that has become perfect Man.
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Offline Xavier

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Dominika, ok. You're saying when the Fathers refer to Her purity, they are not speaking so much about sin as about Her perpetual Virginity. Could you explain the texts of St. Augustine and St. Ambrose. For e.g. "a Virgin not only undefiled but free of every stain of sin, whom grace has made immaculate". I know they're Latin Fathers (will get back on the Vulgate translation of Gen 3:15) but I'm sure you admit their authority. If you want similar testimonies from the East, I can think of St. Ephraem of Syria, "Thou alone and Thy Mother are in all things fair. There is no flaw in Thee and no stain in Thy Mother." Now, others have lived in virginity, as even many Orthodox sources explain these texts, but none else without stain of sin. And St. Proclus of Constantinople, "As He created Her without stain of Her own, so He came forth from Her contracting no stain" Here again we see She was made without stain in Her creation i.e. in Her conception, just like the Lord was conceived without stain Himself. Consecrated virginity and celibacy are very good, but others have lived in them; Jesus and Mary are alone all pure even in their very souls.

When St. Irenaeus is comparing Mary to Eve, he makes it clear She was in every way like our first mother before the fall. St. Ephraim likewise. You said humanity before the fall was greater than the Angels, I'm not sure about that (we have hymns saying "Nine choirs He passed of superior powers; to take up the tenth in this nature of ours") but surely after it you agree we are less; doesn't the fact Mary is superior to Angels then imply She is still in the original state? And regarding the original plan of God, do you agree if Eve had not sinned and been preserved in grace, we would all have been born without stain of sin. It became necessary for a new Eve to be both created immaculate and preserve grace for Her children so that we could be reborn and regenerated without stain of sin in Baptism.

Testimonies to at least the personal sinlessness of the Virgin, both ancient and modern, abound even in the Eastern Churches. How would you understand the below? http://www.sttikhonsmonastery.org/sinlessness.html

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In the writings of St. Silouan the Athonite we read: "In church I was listening to a reading from the prophet Isaiah, and at the words, 'Wash you, make you clean,' I reflected, 'Maybe the Mother of God sinned at one time or another, if only in thought.' And, marvelous to relate, in unison with my prayer a voice sounded in my heart, saying clearly, 'The Mother of God never sinned even in thought.' Thus did the Holy Spirit bear witness in my heart to her purity."
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 07:52:20 AM by Xavier »
Locution, Aug 18, 2014: "They will realize that I have released an ocean of graces which have changed their darkness into light. They will realize that they have been freed from the past century of diabolical control. They will also know that this great gift has come through the consecration of Russia made by the Holy Father in communion with all the bishops in the world. http://locutions-forever.org/locutions/show/2014-08-18/1-the-overcoming-of-separation

Offline Dominika

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Dominika, ok. You're saying when the Fathers refer to Her purity, they are not speaking so much about sin as about Her perpetual Virginity. Could you explain the texts of St. Augustine and St. Ambrose. For e.g. "a Virgin not only undefiled but free of every stain of sin, whom grace has made immaculate". I know they're Latin Fathers (will get back on the Vulgate translation of Gen 3:15) but I'm sure you admit their authority. If you want similar testimonies from the East, I can think of St. Ephraem of Syria, "Thou alone and Thy Mother are in all things fair. There is no flaw in Thee and no stain in Thy Mother." Now, others have lived in virginity, as even many Orthodox sources explain these texts, but none else without stain of sin. And St. Proclus of Constantinople, "As He created Her without stain of Her own, so He came forth from Her contracting no stain" Here again we see She was made without stain in Her creation i.e. in Her conception, just like the Lord was conceived without stain Himself. Consecrated virginity and celibacy are very good, but others have lived in them; Jesus and Mary are alone all pure even in their very souls.
Yes, as you said, they're Latin Fathers. But even the Eastern ones - all of them are not infabile, so sometimes they had strange/not proper opinions, but it doesn't mean they weren't saints; it means they're just humans.


When St. Irenaeus is comparing Mary to Eve, he makes it clear She was in every way like our first mother before the fall. St. Ephraim likewise. You said humanity before the fall was greater than the Angels, I'm not sure about that (we have hymns saying "Nine choirs He passed of superior powers; to take up the tenth in this nature of ours") but surely after it you agree we are less; doesn't the fact Mary is superior to Angels then imply She is still in the original state? And regarding the original plan of God, do you agree if Eve had not sinned and been preserved in grace, we would all have been born without stain of sin. It became necessary for a new Eve to be both created immaculate and preserve grace for Her children so that we could be reborn and regenerated without stain of sin in Baptism.

This hymn you qouted is a Latin theology in rhymes, so it's not interesting for me at all ;) I've heard about the issue with angels I mentioned from a few well-educated Polish Orthodox priests that I admire.
It doesn't imply so, as I said, st. Paul clearly writes that we will be judging angels. Moreover, st. John the Forerunner is compared to angels, also many other saints. So, I'd said every person in Theosis is superior to angels, as this person to a large extent has come back to the state before the fall, as he/she is truly Christian, so - has embraced the God's image, Christ Himself. Since the Holy Theotokos had in Her Womb for 9 months Christ, and She was bringing Him up, I have no doubt She's experienced Theosis.

It hasn't become neccessary. God has created the time. And God is active in time. That's the whole reason for the History of Salvation. Salvation before the Holy Cross Pascha? No way.

Testimonies to at least the personal sinlessness of the Virgin, both ancient and modern, abound even in the Eastern Churches. How would you understand the below? http://www.sttikhonsmonastery.org/sinlessness.html

Quote
In the writings of St. Silouan the Athonite we read: "In church I was listening to a reading from the prophet Isaiah, and at the words, 'Wash you, make you clean,' I reflected, 'Maybe the Mother of God sinned at one time or another, if only in thought.' And, marvelous to relate, in unison with my prayer a voice sounded in my heart, saying clearly, 'The Mother of God never sinned even in thought.' Thus did the Holy Spirit bear witness in my heart to her purity."

That's exactly what I've been told by my priest (spiritual father, confessor), from your link:
"Although we do believe the Theotokos had no actual sin, she was born, as were all the descendants of Adam, with the effect of sin upon her human nature."
Empasis is mine. We don't know precisely. At least in Polish if you say "I believe" it's your opinion that may not be true, but it can be.


Anywya, I think the main problem is that you concentrate as other Latins on sin/not-sin issue, while I (at least try) to focus on the state of human being and the world, and its consequences.
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