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Author Topic: Orthodox objections to the Sacred Heart Devotion  (Read 16560 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: May 17, 2006, 11:42:00 AM »

The term/reference of bowels ;

"The interior of something"

Archaic meaning - "The seat of pity or the gentler emotions"

Using that "other" term in reference to the Lord's organs is disgusting, though I would expect it from ignorant people.

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« Reply #46 on: May 17, 2006, 12:14:54 PM »

We even had in our church in Romania (Transylvania) images of "The Sacred Heart of Jesus", but both the priest or the people were unaware of their meaning and they just hang on the walls of the church.
You also can find many pictures of that kind used as icons in Orthodox households, but I really doubt that people are aware of the theology behind these images.
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« Reply #47 on: May 17, 2006, 12:27:15 PM »

Quote
why hasn't this Jesuit been slammed down by his bishop for publishing this nonsense on the internet?

LOL!  And by this George reveals he knows nothing about the Catholic Church he is so happy to insult.  A Jesuit slammed down, I think not. ÂÂ

Quote
Oh good. So on that basis, you can have no objection to me promoting Devotion to the Sacred Guts of Jesus in Greece.

That is not what I said.  The point I was getting at is that is irrelevant to refrence a Greek idiomatic expression in order to understand an idiomatic expression of Divine mercy in other languages and cultures. ÂÂ

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« Reply #48 on: May 17, 2006, 04:35:56 PM »

But sin does spiritual and psychic damage, which is why both RCs and Orthodox have ascesis like fasting

The way we have understood the workings of suffering in our lives, is as an ascetic practice to repair spiritual damage,  accepting what providence allows, with a spirit of submission to the will of God and uniting ourselves with the sufferings of Christ. (And asking God to release actual graces to help us through our times of trial, in a spirit of gracious acceptance.)

And additionally we view sufferings as a means to bring our flesh into submission to the spirit  and as a fast offering to God on behalf of other souls, along with prayer for them that He would release graces to bring about conversion, healing, and reconciliation in their lives.

Quote from Thomas
The Roman Catholic teaching of Reparation is not an Eastern Orthodox belief taught by the Eastern Fathers of the Church. Once again its basis is found in the teachings of Blessed Agustine and not the Eastern Fathers.  Reparation is deemed as unnecessary as the death of Jesus resolved all need to make further reparation.


I understand that Augustine may have been the one to expound on this principle, but its basis is not  in Augustine, it is in the writings of Paul:

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, on behalf of His body which is the church,  Col. 1:24

I do not understand why the Eastern Fathers of the church did not expound on this, since it is a theme that is repeated over and over again in the letters as well as the Gospels.

But we cannot ignore the Scriptures, especially when experience has taught us that if we are interceding on behalf of any soul, there will be an accompanying suffering.  When someone tells me of a particular suffering they are going through, I always ask them,  "And who are you praying for right now that needs a greater abundance of God's grace?"

What we teach, is that Christ was in no way lacking in His afflictions,  but because of His desire that we should be co-laborers with Him, He most graciously left a gap for us to fill with our sufferings, as a proof of our love for Him, for what spouse does not pour herself out to help the one she loves in his work?

This does not compromise the fullness and completion of His work in the incarnation and passion,  nor does it excuse us from denying ourselves, picking up our cross, and following Him to Calvary, as a co-redemptive act, on behalf of souls.

For we are God's co-workers; you are God's field,...
10 I Cor 3:9

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death, Philippians 3:10

if we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.  Romans 8:17

6 Now whether we be in tribulation, it is for your exhortation and salvation:
or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation:
or whether we be exhorted, it is for your exhortation and salvation,
which worketh the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer.
7 That our hope for you may be steadfast:
knowing that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall you be also of the consolation.  II Cor 1

13 But if you partake of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice that when his glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. I Peter 4

St. Seraphim said that the goal of the Christian life is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit.

But to what end?  So that we can be about the business of God, laboring in His vineyard.

If the purpose of life is to know, to love and to serve God, and for His purposes after completing many years of seminary training, He allows you to fall into a debilitating illness, even though you were trained and ready to go to a foreign land and sacrifice yourself for Him, out of pure love, what are we to conclude?

Does your life count for nothing now that you cannot go on your mission?

Or Has God in His inscrutable plan made a different decision, asking you to forgo your own will and graciously accept this illness as providential, and to trust that He will derive from it the same benefits or perhaps even more, than if you were involved in active ministry in the mission field, even to martyrdom.

I do not believe that the sacrificial suffering of a soul for others is merely a concept to comfort a Catholic in their sufferings,  but the real and viable spiritual dynamic Paul talks about, that we are filling up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ on behalf of His body, and that it is constantly at work everyday in Orthodox and Catholic alike,  and that we have yet to discover how truly pervasive it is.

And I would hope that just because Augustine was perhaps the first to expound on this dynamic, and it has found footing in the RCC,  that if it has truth and merit, that would not stop the Orthodox from embracing it as Paul did.












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« Reply #49 on: May 17, 2006, 05:59:25 PM »

Using that "other" term in reference to the Lord's organs is disgusting, though I would expect it from ignorant people.
Now that's simply ethnocentrism. Archaic in English doesn't make it "disgusting". And the devotion to the Sacred Heart is a private revelation is it not? and therefore it is not binding on faith. The "other" organ is referred to in the original text of the New Testament, and is therefore public revelation. If the Sacred Heart is Fully God and Fully Human, and therefore can be an Object of worship of Christ, then so can every other individual Organ. Every Organ of our Lord's Body is equally sacred. There is nothing "disgusting" about what God has created. However, to seperate one Organ for devotion is weird no matter which one it is: Heart, Liver, Pancreas, Kidney....
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« Reply #50 on: May 17, 2006, 06:08:54 PM »

We even had in our church in Romania (Transylvania) images of "The Sacred Heart of Jesus", but both the priest or the people were unaware of their meaning and they just hang on the walls of the church.
I hardly think that modern Romania, where last year a priest crucified a nun and let her die during an "exorcism", and then stated that her death was "justified" can be considered a "bastion" of Orthodoxy yet. Orthodoxy is being rotted from the inside by the ignorance of people who consider it to be no different to Roman Catholicism with an "Eastern flavour".
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« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2006, 06:10:46 PM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=9055.msg121145#msg121145 date=1147883235]
LOL!  And by this George reveals he knows nothing about the Catholic Church he is so happy to insult.  [/quote]
Who have I insulted? Why is the heart sacred and the guts not?
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« Reply #52 on: May 17, 2006, 06:39:28 PM »

George,
Has Australia become the bastion of Orthodoxy?
Romanian Orthodoxy (along with other several less known brands thereof) has never seen itself as the bastion and the heart of Orthodoxy, unlike other ethnic variants of it.
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« Reply #53 on: May 17, 2006, 06:47:06 PM »

Romanian Orthodoxy (along with other several less known brands thereof) has never seen itself as the bastion and the heart of Orthodoxy, unlike other ethnic variants of it.
And which variarnts would they be?
I would have thought the modern bastion of Orthodox was the multiultural Holy Mountain.
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« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2006, 06:49:22 PM »

You know them I guess.

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I would have thought the modern bastion of Orthodox was the multiultural Holy Mountain.
I've heard that this is no longer as "multicultural" as it used to be, one culture being a bit intolerant of others.
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« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2006, 06:50:08 PM »

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I hardly think that modern Romania, where last year a priest crucified a nun and let her die during an "exorcism", and then stated that her death was "justified" can be considered a "bastion" of Orthodoxy yet.

The Romanian Orthodox Church condemned the actions of the priest and nuns invovled in that tragedy.  You are bearing false witness by conviently leaving out that the Romanian Church did not and does not condone this.  For instance, the recent scandals in Greece were much more widespread and included bishops - but I don't see you questioning the Orthodoxy of the Greek Church.   ÃƒÆ’‚Â

Quote
Why is the heart sacred and the guts not?

It's not that any part of Christ is not sacred, it is that the heart - not the guts - of Christ is the natural idiom to express divine mercy in the Latin culture where the devotion arose.  I'm not defending the devotion as Orthodox; merely I'm stating that the Greek idiom in question has nothing to do with the discussion. ÂÂ

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« Reply #56 on: May 17, 2006, 06:59:41 PM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=9055.msg121189#msg121189 date=1147906208]
merely I'm stating that the Greek idiom in question has nothing to do with the discussion.  [/quote]
I don't see why not. As I said, the "greek idiom" is Scriptural, and therefore public revelation. On the other hand, the "Sacred Heart" was a private revelation to St. Margret Mary Alocoque. So the "greek idiom" carries the more weight of the two as far as being a revelation goes, whether you are Catholic or Orthodox. Unless, of course, you subscribe to the belief that the Scriptures were written in English.
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« Reply #57 on: May 17, 2006, 07:07:24 PM »

And if this quote is not compatable with Roman Catholic dogma, why hasn't this Jesuit been slammed down by his bishop for publishing this nonsense on the internet?

There are many things on the internet that are published by Catholic priests and religious that do not necessarily correspond to true Catholic doctrine.  And the Bishops do not always oppose such things.


To quote Father Hardon, who is extremely conservative:

God is merciful and in fact as our Holy Father has told us, Jesus Christ is the Incarnation of divine mercy. But God's mercy is conditional. It is conditional on our practice of penance and reparation.

In my personal experience, God gives me mercy when I have done nothing to deserve it, unmerited favor and forgiveness.

Like the unjust servant who owed the king a large sum, the king showed him mercy by not taking all his belongings and family,  but then this same servant went out and beat his fellow servant demanding repayment for a much smaller sum.   

The unjust servant did nothing to earn the writing off of his debt from the King,  without any payment (penances, reparation, etc) he pardoned the servant's debt.   But then the servant did not do the same for the man that owed him.

I believe the Lord gave us this parable to disclose in a childlike and simple way, the divine dynamics of mercy.

'I have shown you great mercy,  for there is no way you could make payment for your sin,  therefore go out among your brothers and do likewise.' 

Show unconditional love and forgiveness, not demanding payment for offences against you.  Dismiss the debts of those who have injured you. + Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us...

We tell people to show mercy, that in their time of need, they may receive mercy.

This is a thread on the Divine Mercy, a  devotion that has been approved by the RCC,
I don't see how this could have been approved if it were not doctrinally in line with the RCC, let alone be declared as a feast day (the Sunday after Easter).

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=9054.new#new

St. Faustina, practiced acesis, offered many sufferings, etc.  as a co-laborer with Christ to aid in the work of bringing God's mercy to a very sick humanity.  Nowhere in her writings does an occasion occur where a dying person is asked to do penance in payment for his sins.

Rather she continually marvels at the lavish mercy shown to the sinner in his last moments.







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« Reply #58 on: May 17, 2006, 07:13:44 PM »

Quote
Unless, of course, you subscribe to the belief that the Scriptures were written in English.

Must you sling irrelevant accusations and information in your posts?  That is more than a little insulting considering the time and effort I have invested into learning Greek so that I can comfortably function at a Greek parish. ÂÂ

Quote
As I said, the "greek idiom" is Scriptural, and therefore public revelation. On the other hand, the "Sacred Heart" was a private revelation to St. Margret Mary Alocoque. So the "greek idiom" carries the more weight of the two as far as being a revelation goes, whether you are Catholic or Orthodox.

You're missing the point that the Sacred Heart is a devotion and primarily a local thing - despite it's eventual ubiquity in Roman Catholicism. ÂÂ Devotions have long been in the vernacular, despite a non-vernacular liturgical worship. ÂÂ Hence, that is why I don't think a Greek idiom would have much mattered to those who initially began the Sacred Heart devotion.  The other reason it is irrelevant is because they are other, far more natural ways to express devotion to the vast mercy of Christ than "sacred guts" in the Greek language and culture. 
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« Reply #59 on: May 17, 2006, 07:25:19 PM »

ozgeorge,

There are many Churches in the States named Sacred Heart...including mine so please show a little class... I do not berate any Orthodox practices , Churches etc ... there are better descriptions and wordings that can get your point across...

PAX
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« Reply #60 on: May 17, 2006, 07:33:20 PM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=9055.msg121193#msg121193 date=1147907624]
Must you sling irrelevant accusations and information in your posts?  That is more than a little insulting considering the time and effort I have invested into learning Greek so that I can comfortably function at a Greek parish. ÂÂ
[/quote]

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=9055.msg121189#msg121189 date=1147906208]
the recent scandals in Greece were much more widespread and included bishops - but I don't see you questioning the Orthodoxy of the Greek Church.   ÃƒÆ’‚Â
[/quote]

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« Reply #61 on: May 17, 2006, 08:08:02 PM »

There are many Churches in the States named Sacred Heart...including mine...
Are you Polish Roman Catholic?
I ask this because of your icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa.
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« Reply #62 on: May 17, 2006, 09:53:52 PM »

Administrative hat on: More than one poster on this board at various times has slammed whole churches based on the actions of a select few.ÂÂ  I think we are all mature enough to know that that is not a good way to make logical points.

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« Reply #63 on: May 17, 2006, 09:55:33 PM »

Just as a fellow poster:  George, I'm curious.  You state that the Holy Mountain is multicultural, but I'm sure you've heard about the restrictions put on non-Greeks which have even led to evictions. These allegations are detailed in the book "Human Rights Violations on Mount Athos."  I'm just curious, how do you reconcile the two, or do you not believe the allegations?

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« Reply #64 on: May 17, 2006, 10:45:52 PM »

Carpatho Russian,

Actually I'm 50/50....Polish/Italian, both grandparents were from the old countries...

I'm a freebird of sorts...I respect other opinions when presented in a logical and respective way...usually...but once in a while a burr gets under the saddle.

We all have some kind of problems within the Churches be they East or West...I don't like getting caught in the crossfire and ducking those salvos of hate...I'm getting too old.

PAX
james

ps - About the avatar...I use it to honor a old compadre OCnet member, we shared it for a while, he indeed was a good friend to me.
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« Reply #65 on: May 17, 2006, 11:19:27 PM »

Re: Orthodox objections to the Sacred Heart Devotion
« Reply #48 on: Today at 04:35:56 PM »
Quote from: The young fogey on Today at 09:45:40 AM
But sin does spiritual and psychic damage, which is why both RCs and Orthodox have ascesis like fasting


The way we have understood the workings of suffering in our lives, is as an ascetic practice to repair spiritual damage,  accepting what providence allows, with a spirit of submission to the will of God and uniting ourselves with the sufferings of Christ. (And asking God to release actual graces to help us through our times of trial, in a spirit of gracious acceptance.)

And additionally we view sufferings as a means to bring our flesh into submission to the spirit  and as a fast offering to God on behalf of other souls, along with prayer for them that He would release graces to bring about conversion, healing, and reconciliation in their lives.

Quote from Thomas
The Roman Catholic teaching of Reparation is not an Eastern Orthodox belief taught by the Eastern Fathers of the Church. Once again its basis is found in the teachings of Blessed Agustine and not the Eastern Fathers.  Reparation is deemed as unnecessary as the death of Jesus resolved all need to make further reparation.


I understand that Augustine may have been the one to expound on this principle, but its basis is not  in Augustine, it is in the writings of Paul:

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, on behalf of His body which is the church,  Col. 1:24

I do not understand why the Eastern Fathers of the church did not expound on this, since it is a theme that is repeated over and over again in the letters as well as the Gospels.

But we cannot ignore the Scriptures, especially when experience has taught us that if we are interceding on behalf of any soul, there will be an accompanying suffering.  When someone tells me of a particular suffering they are going through, I always ask them,  "And who are you praying for right now that needs a greater abundance of God's grace?"

What we teach, is that Christ was in no way lacking in His afflictions,  but because of His desire that we should be co-laborers with Him, He most graciously left a gap for us to fill with our sufferings, as a proof of our love for Him, for what spouse does not pour herself out to help the one she loves in his work?

This does not compromise the fullness and completion of His work in the incarnation and passion,  nor does it excuse us from denying ourselves, picking up our cross, and following Him to Calvary, as a co-redemptive act, on behalf of souls.

For we are God's co-workers; you are God's field,...
10 I Cor 3:9

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death, Philippians 3:10

if we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.  Romans 8:17

6 Now whether we be in tribulation, it is for your exhortation and salvation:
or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation:
or whether we be exhorted, it is for your exhortation and salvation,
which worketh the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer.
7 That our hope for you may be steadfast:
knowing that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall you be also of the consolation.  II Cor 1

13 But if you partake of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice that when his glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. I Peter 4

St. Seraphim said that the goal of the Christian life is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit.

But to what end?  So that we can be about the business of God, laboring in His vineyard.

If the purpose of life is to know, to love and to serve God, and for His purposes after completing many years of seminary training, He allows you to fall into a debilitating illness, even though you were trained and ready to go to a foreign land and sacrifice yourself for Him, out of pure love, what are we to conclude?

Does your life count for nothing now that you cannot go on your mission?

Or Has God in His inscrutable plan made a different decision, asking you to forgo your own will and graciously accept this illness as providential, and to trust that He will derive from it the same benefits or perhaps even more, than if you were involved in active ministry in the mission field, even to martyrdom.

I do not believe that the sacrificial suffering of a soul for others is merely a concept to comfort a Catholic in their sufferings,  but the real and viable spiritual dynamic Paul talks about, that we are filling up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ on behalf of His body, and that it is constantly at work everyday in Orthodox and Catholic alike,  and that we have yet to discover how truly pervasive it is.

And I would hope that just because Augustine was perhaps the first to expound on this dynamic, and it has found footing in the RCC,  that if it has truth and merit, that would not stop the Orthodox from embracing it as Paul did.

So I take it that you all agree, on our understanding that fasting, ascesis, and suffering are all equally valid offerings to our Lord in this context, and that there is Scriptural prprecedenceor our suffering which is  filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, on behalf of His body which is the church.   And that this shows no shortcoming on the part of Christ, but rather His desire that we co-labor with Him.





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« Reply #66 on: May 19, 2006, 06:33:36 AM »

These allegations are detailed in the book "Human Rights Violations on Mount Athos."  I'm just curious, how do you reconcile the two, or do you not believe the allegations?
No, I do not believe the allegations. I have stayed at Zographou (Bulgarian), Panteleimon (Russian), Chilandari (Serbian) as well as three Greek monasteries. I do not doubt that monks have been removed from the Holy Mountain, but this is not because of their ethnic culture, but for ecclesiastical administrative reasons. No one can accuse the Oecumenical Patriarchate of discrimination along ethnic cultural lines when the latest monks that the Patriarchate attempted (and continues to attempt) to remove were Greek (Esphigmenou).
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« Reply #67 on: May 19, 2006, 06:45:43 AM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=9055.msg121193#msg121193 date=1147907624]
You're missing the point that the Sacred Heart is a devotion and primarily a local thing[/quote]
If it's only a local devotion, then why was the Feast of the Sacred Heart instituted to be observed universally in the Roman Catholic Church 19 days after Pentecost?
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« Reply #68 on: May 19, 2006, 06:48:54 AM »

There are many Churches in the States named Sacred Heart...including mine so please show a little class... I do not berate any Orthodox practices , Churches etc ... there are better descriptions and wordings that can get your point across...
Jakub,
I'm sorry. I realise this is a senstive area, but the title of this thread is "Orthodox Objections to the Sacred Heart Devotion", and I didn't start the thread. I would have preferred the subject had not been brought up in the first place, but it has.
But saying that, I have absolutely no doubt about the sincerity of those who practice devotion to the Sacred Heart, and nor do I doubt that prayers directed to the "Sacred Heart" by those who practice this devotion will be heard by Christ.
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« Reply #69 on: May 19, 2006, 06:54:23 AM »

You know them I guess.
You guessed wrong.  Wink
I'm sorry for having a go at the Romanian Church. I was wrong to do so, please forgive me.
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« Reply #70 on: May 19, 2006, 08:15:36 AM »

No, I do not believe the allegations. I have stayed at Zographou (Bulgarian), Panteleimon (Russian), Chilandari (Serbian) as well as three Greek monasteries. I do not doubt that monks have been removed from the Holy Mountain, but this is not because of their ethnic culture, but for ecclesiastical administrative reasons. No one can accuse the Oecumenical Patriarchate of discrimination along ethnic cultural lines when the latest monks that the Patriarchate attempted (and continues to attempt) to remove were Greek (Esphigmenou).

I don't think your analogy works.  The Patriarchate could theoretically be ethnically discriminatory against non-Greeks and at the same time be anti-Esphigmenou because of its "schismatic tendencies."  I don't know who to believe really: what I see is you saying you have been to Mt Athos and have not experienced any discrimination (of course, you are Greek so that may be part of it) and others who went there and experienced discrimation at some of the Greek monasteries.  I guess I'll just have to go myself and find out.  I wonder though, do you think the author of that book was just lying, or what?

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« Reply #71 on: May 19, 2006, 09:00:14 AM »

I don't think your analogy works.  The Patriarchate could theoretically be ethnically discriminatory against non-Greeks and at the same time be anti-Esphigmenou because of its "schismatic tendencies."  I don't know who to believe really: what I see is you saying you have been to Mt Athos and have not experienced any discrimination (of course, you are Greek so that may be part of it) and others who went there and experienced discrimation at some of the Greek monasteries.  I guess I'll just have to go myself and find out.  I wonder though, do you think the author of that book was just lying, or what?
I'm not going to accuse anyone of "lying", because that means that they consciously know that what they are saying is untrue, and I have no access to other people's consciousness. I find the suggestion that the Patriarchate may be discriminatory against greeks as well to be quite "interesting", so who does the Patriarchate want to remain on the Holy Mountain- the wild boars? Go and see for yourself. I turned up at Zographou after becoming lost, and they welcomed me and, quite literally, saved my life, and I was staying while a german man was staying who (unlike me) had applied for permission to stay, and yet he had to remain in the Narthex while I was admitted to the Nave during Services- not because he was German, but because he wasn't Orthodox. I stayed at Iveron while a Nigerian monk was staying, and met Fr. Aidrian who was a British convert and who carved the beautiful Icon Stand for the Portaitissa Icon (the protecting Icon of the Holy Mountain), and Fr. Stephen who is Greman and chanted the Akathist to the Portaitissa in Koine with a German accent at Compline which sounded beautiful. I saw no discrimination on ethnic basis there. Nor at Dionysiou, where there I met an Albanian monk among other ethnicities, nor at Stavronikita where I had the same experience.
I can see how it may be possible to come to erroneous conclusions about "discrimination". For example, Orthodox men from Australia will tend to go on pilgrimage to Stavronikita or Iveron, and many of the monks tend to be Greek-Australian. The reason for this is because these two monasteries sent Fathers (such as Elder Paisios) to Australia every year to hear Confession and give Spiritual Guidance. It was natural that their Spiritual Children would gravitate towards the monasteries which their Fathers came from, and in this case, the Spiritual Children were Greek-Australian. The result is that if a Greek-Australian will become an Athonite monk, he will tend to go to Iveron or Stavronikita. But this isn't "discrimination" any more than an Italian moving to the "Italian Quarter" of a cosmopolitan city is "discrimination".
No matter what, there will always be critics of everything, and most of the time I think they are accusing others of what they are guilty of themselves. "To the pure, all things are pure", but to a heart full of ethnic discrimination, all things are racist, and it's easier to accuse others rather than ourselves. Go to Athos, and see for yourself.
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« Reply #72 on: May 19, 2006, 09:23:25 AM »

Quote
Go to Athos, and see for yourself.

I am hoping that that will be a reality at some point.  And I do appreciate your support for the monastery of Esphigmenou.

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« Reply #73 on: May 19, 2006, 09:28:27 PM »

I think the issue with ethnic minorities on the Holy Mountain is more complex than the booklet that Anastasios mentioned makes it out to be.  I also find it more than a little silly that some of those in question will cite every relevant EU, UN or other international law to make their case when I highly doubt they'd do the same for ethnic and religious minorities in their homelands.  I don't think the Patriarchate wants to eradicate the non-Greek presence on the Holy Mountain, either.  The more visible policy is ghettoizing minorities and keeping them from positions of power.  I've been told by monks from several different monasteries that the Patriarchate has a quota system and demands that a certain percentage of monks at the Greek monasteries be Greek (something in the neighborhood of no more than 20% non-Greeks is preffered) - but there are ways to circumvent this.  Apparently it is very difficult for a non-Bulgarian to become a monk at Zographou, a non-Serb at Hilandar etc.  In the case of the Romanians, who don't have a monastery (but a few sketes), I highly doubt they will ever have their own monastery.  In a certain sense, I don't see anything wrong with this.  It is entirely voluntary to become on monk on the Holy Mountain (not to mention that there are great monasteries elsewhere), so if someone doesn't like the current administration - DON'T BECOME A MONK THERE! 

From my own experience dealing with typical monks and lay pilgrims, there is (I think) some unhealthy bits of nationalism.  It's rather ridiculous that monastery guesthouses had little pamplets about "the Macedonian name issue" - as if whether a republic calling itself Macedonia matters at all for the spiritual life.  Surprisingly often I heard from (Greek) monks, "We almost lost Athos to the Russians, but we got it back and will never lose it again."  In the long line of Greek conspiracies it also very popular to alledge that Tsar Nikolai II was sending so many Russians to become monks so that he could turn Athos into a giant Russian naval base - apparently there is a vast underground network connecting St. Panteleimon's, St. Andrew's and Prophet Elias's!  It was typical for some subtle hostility to be shown to German tourists (which is kind of understandable, the Germans are just weird with their giant walking sticks), but what was distressing to me was there was definite tension whenever large groups of Slavs came to certain monasteries.  Also to be remembered, there are 20 monasteries and many more sketes - each has its own character and each monk has his own character, there is no one "Athonite."  At Vatopaidi (mostly Cypriot) or Karakallou (mostly Greek, but with a good number of non-Greeks) I experience nor heard of anything negative, for instance.  There are other places that I will never return to, it was made abundantly clear to me that xenoi are not welcomed.  I'd also add that in many cases of people that do encounter problems, they are partly to blaim i.e they don't know a word of Greek and are very arrogant about that.

As for official policies and their aftermath:  of the three famous and large Russian dwellings on Athos, only one retains a Russian brotherhood.  Had the Patriarchate showed some patience in dealing with the skete of the Prophet Elias, it is likely the monks there would now be preparing to commorate the Patriarch as the ROCOR is normalizing its relations with Moscow - instead much animosity has been raised and most of the monks in question are at the schismatic (from the POV of the Patriarchate) monastery in Fili.  More interesting, is the popular attitude taken concerning this, most of the monks I spoke to on the issue had the attitude that is was "just Russians."  Whereas they were very quick to come to the defense of Esfigmenou (although this was not universal, as some actually favored the eviction of Esfigmenou's brotherhood).  I think the witness of the 20th century has shown that, when left to its own Old Calendarism has lost steam - so why harass them now when it only serves to harden them in their position?       
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« Reply #74 on: May 23, 2006, 12:33:32 PM »

In the Latin Church, the Sacred Heart is a Solemnity, has a Mass and an Office, parishes are named after it but the revelation itself is still considered private and not binding on anyone.ÂÂ  The devotion to the Sacred Heart actually predates St. Margret Mary by many centuries and was first promoted by the Franciscans and other Mendicant Orders, and later promoted by the Jesuits. It was used especially to refute the Jansenists.ÂÂ  We Greek Catholics have a beautiful Moleben and Akathist to the Sacred Heart.  It was once very popular but does not see much use anymore.  (Yes it is a Latinization of sorts but is still beautiful)  The Ukrainian Catholics are, I believe, the only Greek Catholics that have retained this Feast, but have replaced the title Sacred Heart with that of Lover of Mankind.  Concerning current use of the title and devotion perhaps a few words from the current Pope of Rome are in order:

23-May-2006 -- Vatican Information Service  ÃƒÆ’‚Â

SACRED HEART OF JESUS, MYSTERY OF GOD'S LOVE

VATICAN CITY, MAY 23, 2006 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter from Benedict XVI to Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach S.J., superior general of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), for the 50th anniversary of Pope Pius XII's Encyclical "Haurietis aquas" on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.


Highlighting the fact that the Jesuits "have always been very active in promoting this fundamental form of devotion," the Pope writes: "Fifty years on, Christians still have the ever present task of continuing to deepen their relationship with the Heart of Jesus so as to revive, within themselves, faith in God's salvific love."


"The pierced side of the Redeemer, " the Letter says, "is the source from which ... we must draw in order to achieve a true knowledge of Jesus, ... understand what it means to know the love of God in Jesus Christ, experience it fixing our gaze on Him, live completely on that experience of His love, and bear witness of it to others."


"This mystery of God's love for us," Pope Benedict continues, "not only constitutes the content of veneration and devotion for the Heart of Jesus, it is, in the same way, the content of all true Christian spirituality and devotion. ... In fact, being Christian is only possible with our gaze fixed on the cross of our Redeemer."


"The deepest significance of this veneration for the love of God appears only when we give closer consideration to its contribution, not only to knowledge, but also and above all to the personal experience of that love in faithful dedication and service."


"Faith, understood as the fruit of the experience of God's love, is a grace, a gift of God. ... Whoever accepts God's love within himself, is formed by it. The experience of God's love is lived by man as a 'call' to which he must respond. ... The gifts received from [Jesus'] open side, from which 'blood and water' flowed, ensure that our lives become for others a source from which 'shall flow rivers of living water.' The experience of love we gain through veneration for the pierced side of the Redeemer, safeguards us from the risk of closing in on ourselves, and makes us open to a life lived for others."


"The response to the commandment of love is made possible only by the experience that this love was first given us by God. The veneration of the love made manifest in the mystery of the Cross, re-presented in each Eucharistic celebration, is, then, the foundation that enables us to become individuals capable of love and of giving ourselves. ... This openness to the will of God, however, must be constantly renewed. 'Love is never finished and complete'."


The Holy Father concludes his letter: "Gazing at the side pierced by the lance, where shines God's boundless will for salvation, cannot then be considered as a passing form of veneration or devotion. The adoration of God's love, which found historical-devotional expression in the symbol of the pierced heart, remains irreplaceable for a living relationship with God."

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« Reply #75 on: May 24, 2006, 12:48:29 AM »

I"The pierced side of the Redeemer, " the Letter says, "is the source from which ... we must draw in order to achieve a true knowledge of Jesus, ... understand what it means to know the love of God in Jesus Christ, experience it fixing our gaze on Him, live completely on that experience of His love, and bear witness of it to others."

"This mystery of God's love for us," Pope Benedict continues, "not only constitutes the content of veneration and devotion for the Heart of Jesus, it is, in the same way, the content of all true Christian spirituality and devotion. ... In fact, being Christian is only possible with our gaze fixed on the cross of our Redeemer."

"Faith, understood as the fruit of the experience of God's love, is a grace, a gift of God. ... Whoever accepts God's love within himself, is formed by it. The gifts received from [Jesus'] open side, from which 'blood and water' flowed, ensure that our lives become for others a source from which 'shall flow rivers of living water.' The experience of love we gain through veneration for the pierced side of the Redeemer, safeguards us from the risk of closing in on ourselves, and makes us open to a life lived for others."

The Holy Father concludes his letter: "Gazing at the side pierced by the lance, where shines God's boundless will for salvation, cannot then be considered as a passing form of veneration or devotion. The adoration of God's love, which found historical-devotional expression in the symbol of the pierced heart, remains irreplaceable for a living relationship with God."

Thank you Deacon Lance.

Do any of my Orthodox brothers and sisters have an objection to this theology?

It seems like a great deal of confusion surrounds Catholic beliefs and devotions.  Many misunderstandings have been voiced on this forum, and they are objections I have heard before from other Orthodox, yet when you dissect them, and get to the very heart of the issue, these objections are found to be without substance.

Satan is the author of division and confusion and I believe he has accomplished much in the way of creating enmities between East and West.   Unnecessary enmities, for while we may not be drawn to a particular devotion, we can at least acknowledge that others may have a legitimate reason for this devotion, and treat them with honor and respect, because they love God and are seeking to be perfected by Him in the way He has drawn them to Himself.

I really appreciate this response, it shows a great deal of respect and gentleness for the thread that was begun on the Sacred Heart. When I put Orthodox Catholic Forum on my web site, it was this kind of dialogue I was hoping that others would find. As well as Thomas' beautiful expositions of the Orthodox Faith. 

I believe that if both sides  understand each other from the grassroots up, showing the respect that is befitting of Christians,  it will eventually affect the hierarchs and inspire them to embrace oneanother in a spirit of respect, with out compromise of practice. 
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« Reply #76 on: May 24, 2006, 01:36:02 AM »

Mount Athos again...
Here are the Athonite monasteries that were built by various princes of Wallachia and Moldova: Dochiariou, Dyonissiou, Koutloumoussiou and Karakalou.
Moreover, various Romanian princes made gifts to many other monasteries of Athos. Until 1860 there still were many monasteries in Wallachia and Moldova "dedicated" (I don't know the exact English term for the Romanian "inchinate") to certain Athonite monasteries, or even to St. Catherine Monastery of Mount Sinai. That meant that the revenues of those monasteries and of their respective domains went to Athos.
So, given the historical contribution the Romanians had to the Holy Mountain, it would only be a natural thing that they had their own MONASTERY there.
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« Reply #77 on: May 24, 2006, 01:43:24 AM »

Mount Athos again...
Here are the Athonite monasteries that were built by various princes of Wallachia and Moldova: Dochiariou, Dyonissiou, Koutloumoussiou and Karakalou.
So, given the historical contribution the Romanians had to the Holy Mountain, it would only be a natural thing that they had their own MONASTERY there.

This is a fascinating topic for anyone interested in the history and politics of Mt. Athos and other monasteries. 

It's a shame that no one will ever find it here on this thread.  Perhaps the moderator could create a special thread just to accommodate it, and make it available to visitors that have no interest in the Sacred Heart, but are quite interested in Mt. Athos and monastic traditions...
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« Reply #78 on: May 24, 2006, 02:52:32 AM »

Personally, I find the thread topic interesting, but if you wanted to make another Athos topic, the faith bord probably would be a good one.  Also, you can find good resources in searching for the Athos' websites and the Monachos network.  Google will tell you both.

Deacon Lance,
That's really interesting, I didn't know that.  Although, I can see the reason of replacing the feat of the Sacred Heart of Christ with the Love of Mankind, it seems to miss the point in both rites.  What exactly is the teachings and being celebrated in the Greek festival?

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« Reply #79 on: May 24, 2006, 02:04:55 PM »

I also found it odd to devote one's prayers to a portion of Jesus.

In nomine Iesu I offer you peace montalban,

Upon reflection on this topic I am lead to ask do you find it odd to be considered part of His Body as a member of His Church? In doing the Will of God, do you find it odd considering yourself His Hands, His Mouth, His Feet etc? Why is reflection on the very foundation of His Love (i.e. His Heart) something to be considered odd? I'm very curious.
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« Reply #80 on: May 24, 2006, 04:21:13 PM »

Upon reflection on this topic I am lead to ask do you find it odd to be considered part of His Body as a member of His Church? In doing the Will of God, do you find it odd considering yourself His Hands, His Mouth, His Feet etc? Why is reflection on the very foundation of His Love (i.e. His Heart) something to be considered odd? I'm very curious.
One answer I would give is that the xenophobic spirit that is very common to our fallen nature has infected even many Orthodox Christians.  IMHO, much of what passes for defense of the Orthodox Faith against heresies is really nothing more than defense of our customs against anything different.  This is sad.  :'(

Personally, I don't practice such RC devotions as those to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, or the Rosary.  This is not because I have any fundamental objections to the theologies or doctrines they represent, for I really don't know these devotions all that well.  All I know is that they are not part of the Orthodox prayer tradition--this doesn't mark the devotions as necessarily unorthodox and bad--so I've never really been exposed to them, nor do I really see the need to do anything more than respect the practices from afar.  As much as I may respect these RC practices, I don't think them necessary for cultivating an Orthodox spirituality.
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« Reply #81 on: May 24, 2006, 08:22:43 PM »

One answer I would give is that the xenophobic spirit that is very common to our fallen nature has infected even many Orthodox Christians.ÂÂ  IMHO, much of what passes for defense of the Orthodox Faith against heresies is really nothing more than defense of our customs against anything different.ÂÂ  This is sad.ÂÂ  :'(

Personally, I don't practice such RC devotions as those to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, or the Rosary.ÂÂ  This is not because I have any fundamental objections to the theologies or doctrines they represent, for I really don't know these devotions all that well.ÂÂ  All I know is that they are not part of the Orthodox prayer tradition--this doesn't mark the devotions as necessarily unorthodox and bad--so I've never really been exposed to them, nor do I really see the need to do anything more than respect the practices from afar.ÂÂ  As much as I may respect these RC practices, I don't think them necessary for cultivating an Orthodox spirituality.

In nomine Iesu I offer you continued peace my Orthodox Brother PeterTheAleut,

Absolutely. In Catholicism we recognize such as 'Acts of Piety' borne out of our universal faith through cultural filters. Such 'cultural filters' do not, in the Catholic Opinion, determine their orthodoxy but only the particular cultural pieties in which such orthodox faith is expressed. So in Catholicism each culture which embraces Christ can and will express that faith uniquely and with their own Acts of Piety.

This, of course, is a refreshing turn of events from our past attempts at latinizing and I am personally pleased that we have matured to the point to recognize this.

Peace and God Bless.
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« Reply #82 on: May 24, 2006, 11:51:49 PM »

IMHO, much of what passes for defense of the Orthodox Faith against heresies is really nothing more than defense of our customs against anything different.  This is sad.  :'(
 All I know is that they are not part of the Orthodox prayer tradition--this doesn't mark the devotions as necessarily unorthodox and bad--so I've never really been exposed to them, nor do I really see the need to do anything more than respect the practices from afar.  As much as I may respect these RC practices, I don't think them necessary for cultivating an Orthodox spirituality.

What you have said here is so very encouraging.

This is my prayer and my hope, that we can simply respect that which is different in one another's cultures.

What do you believe would have to happen, in order for more Orthodox to come to this peaceful conclusion?
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« Reply #83 on: June 06, 2006, 01:28:17 PM »

Hi,
I’m new to the forum. My English is not so good, so please don’t be too critical about my writing errors and so on.

According to the Orthodox tradition the man’s heart symbolize the man’s soul. For example the saint fathers spoke often about purification of our heart that is the same as purification of our soul.

Quote
“But it seems to me that the Sacred Heart is merely a symbol for the attribute of the Love of God.”
Is a danger there that somebody, reading the work of the saints, decides that worshipping the heart of Christ he worships merely His soul? And the last is an error about the Faith because His two natures can’t be split.
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« Reply #84 on: June 13, 2006, 04:26:23 PM »

One answer I would give is that the xenophobic spirit that is very common to our fallen nature has infected even many Orthodox Christians.  IMHO, much of what passes for defense of the Orthodox Faith against heresies is really nothing more than defense of our customs against anything different.  This is sad.  :'(

Personally, I don't practice such RC devotions as those to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, or the Rosary.  This is not because I have any fundamental objections to the theologies or doctrines they represent, for I really don't know these devotions all that well.  All I know is that they are not part of the Orthodox prayer tradition--this doesn't mark the devotions as necessarily unorthodox and bad--so I've never really been exposed to them, nor do I really see the need to do anything more than respect the practices from afar.  As much as I may respect these RC practices, I don't think them necessary for cultivating an Orthodox spirituality.

I have to agree, in that I don't think there should be a theological objection to this devotions or to many Catholic devotions. Of course, no one need practice them, but I just don't think this is something that should keep the east and west apart.

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« Reply #85 on: June 14, 2006, 06:43:23 AM »

Quote from: PeterTheAleut
One answer I would give is that the xenophobic spirit that is very common to our fallen nature has infected even many Orthodox Christians.  IMHO, much of what passes for defense of the Orthodox Faith against heresies is really nothing more than defense of our customs against anything different.  This is sad.  :'(

Personally, I don't practice such RC devotions as those to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, or the Rosary.  This is not because I have any fundamental objections to the theologies or doctrines they represent, for I really don't know these devotions all that well.  All I know is that they are not part of the Orthodox prayer tradition--this doesn't mark the devotions as necessarily unorthodox and bad--so I've never really been exposed to them, nor do I really see the need to do anything more than respect the practices from afar.  As much as I may respect these RC practices, I don't think them necessary for cultivating an Orthodox spirituality.

I have to agree, in that I don't think there should be a theological objection to this devotions or to many Catholic devotions. Of course, no one need practice them, but I just don't think this is something that should keep the east and west apart.

Well put by both of you. Or as I wrote a while back about the Rosary, it's great but if you're Byzantine Rite with all those canons and akathists to choose from you don't need it!
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« Reply #86 on: July 04, 2006, 10:42:17 AM »

Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this thread.  I have never had an understanding of the 'Sacred Heart' and now I do.  We so often get into misunderstandings because we are trying to define some practice from the outside looking in.  Let those inside make the definition and those outside try to understand.  I know in my protestant days, I accepted definitions of what R.C. or Orthodox were doing and now know that they were incorrect.  Thanks for the reasonable and tempered contributions.
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« Reply #87 on: July 04, 2006, 07:38:05 PM »

  We so often get into misunderstandings because we are trying to define some practice from the outside looking in.  Let those inside make the definition and those outside try to understand.  I know in my protestant days, I accepted definitions of what R.C. or Orthodox were doing and now know that they were incorrect. 

Thank you for your perspective,  I agree that so many times we operate under the wrong impressions.    I am very thankful for all I am learning on this forum.   It certainly is a catalyst for prayer, to repair the breach.  Not only in the Church, but in the hearts of those who are embittered or injured.

May God grant us all peace and botherly love.

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Ecce quam bonum. The happiness of brotherly love and concord.

1 Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell in unity. 2 Like the precious ointment on the head, that ran down upon the beard, the beard of Aaron, Which ran down to the skirt of his garment: 3 As the dew of Hermon, which descendeth upon mount Sion. For there the Lord hath commandeth blessing, and life for evermore.
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« Reply #88 on: January 12, 2007, 08:55:18 PM »

Quote
devotion to the Sacred Heart actually predates St. Margret Mary by many centuries and was first promoted by the Franciscans and other Mendicant Orders, and later promoted by the Jesuits.

Besides this devotion's roots in Patristic exegesis (S. Austin springs immediately to mind in his treatment of the pierced side of Christ whence flowed the two great Sacraments of His Church, the New Eve), it finds precedent in the life & revelations of S. Gertrude the Great, Herald of Divine Love.  My understanding is that it was first to her that the Sacred Heart devotion was revealed as a specific devotion in se, but I would not be surprised should it be proven to have been a concrete devotion before even then.  Some say it is alluded to in the writings of S. Bernard.  In any event & as has been rightly pointed out, the devotion did not spring out of nowhere in the XVIIth Century. 

Quote
We even had in our church in Romania (Transylvania) images of "The Sacred Heart of Jesus", but both the priest or the people were unaware of their meaning and they just hang on the walls of the church.

Would anyone happen to know the location of any Orthodox Icons of the Sacred Heart on the Internet?

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As concerns the percieved inpropriety of worshipping a specific part of Christ's Human Form, the same objections could be raised against the office of Orthros wherein the Wounds of Our Lord are worshipped, or against the spirituality of S. Demetrius of Rostov who I believe composed some sort of devotion to the Five Wounds. 
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« Reply #89 on: January 12, 2007, 09:56:57 PM »

Would anyone happen to know the location of any Orthodox Icons of the Sacred Heart on the Internet
There are none. Icons of the Sacred Heart are not considered Orthodox. There are however Roman Catholic Icons of the Sacred Heart.
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