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Why Mother of God was not enough?


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#1 Lakis Papas

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 12:55 PM

Why Mother of God was not enough for our salvation ?

All Church Fathers agree that she is the most precious person of all humanity, before the eyes of God, even before the conception of Jesus.

After all it was a man that caused the fall by disobedience. She was successful on every account, even on those that Adam failed.

Edited by Lakis Papas, 04 August 2016 - 01:00 PM.


#2 Father David Moser

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 04:23 PM

Probably you need to be asking yourself, "What is salvation?" and then "How does the Mother of God accomplish it?"

 

Salvation is not simply not sinning and we do not accomplish salvation simply by "obedience".  Salvation is to be united to God through the life of the Son which is made manifest and available to us only through the incarnation.  The incarnation is not simply a remedy for our sin, but rather it is the means by which we achieve our purpose - to live in complete and perfect union and communion with God.  Even if there had been no sin, the incarnation would have occurred as the means by which we fulfill the purpose for which we were created.  The Mother of God could not have done this herself.

 

Fr David Moser



#3 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 04:48 PM

My off-the -cuff answer is this. The saviour of mankind had to be both God and man in order to bring them together having been separated by sin. Only God, incarnate, could restore and deify human nature. Only God could re-open the gates of Paradise. If the Saviour was only God, or only man, the reconciliation would have been impossible to achieve. Christ took up the role of Saviour as the Holy Trinity had decided at the pre-Eternal Council before time. Only the God-man’s sacrifice could provide man with all he needed to attain theosis, that is to say, the sacraments that are necessary for salvation – baptism, chrismation, and Holy Communion, plus confession and absolution. The Church had to be established to offer the sacraments to man.
 


Edited by Rdr Andreas, 04 August 2016 - 04:51 PM.


#4 Lakis Papas

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 08:55 PM

Thank you both, for your answers.

Interestingly, some Church Fathers declare that fall was the sole cause for incarnation, others declare that incarnation was the expression of love of god scheduled to happen regardless of fall.

#5 Lakis Papas

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 12:02 AM

Taking the line from the replies, Adam was put in Paradise with simple instructions, and there were no Church sacraments.

Genesis describe a simple story and Church Fathers explain that Adam had to keep just one command, not to eat from the tree.

In Genesis there are no complex rules neither signs of future spiritual multitasking.

This type of simplicity was followed by the Mother of God. She lived in the temple a simple life.

It seems to me that Christ's incarnation introduces a high degree of complexity that needed several hundreds years for dogmatic formulation. And also, things were evolved in ways that canceled several OT laws, making things even more complex.

This is quite strange, since the initial frame that is presented in paradise was very simple, and it was meant to serve Lord's plan for salvation.

#6 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 07:55 AM

We made ourselves complex by our multi-faceted capacity for sin. We made our lives in this fallen world ever more complex. I hope that paradise - if I get there - will be simple. (As an aside, Elder Sophrony made the  monastery here in Essex as simple as could be arranged - he said the world is too complex and people need simplicity.)



#7 Ilaria

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 08:29 AM

Taking the line from the replies, Adam was put in Paradise with simple instructions, and there were no Church sacraments.

 

Maybe this is the answer: there were no sacraments.

 

In my opinion, the need to commune, the Holy Eucharist is the central point of the whole Salvation 'plan'.

I am thinking of the way we call it in the Akathist Hymn  to the Mother of God - "...The Divine council" (I do not know the exact term in English, but this sounds closer to the way we call it in Romanian - maybe someone can help indicating the exact term in English)



#8 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 10:25 AM

In English, it is usual to refer to the Pre-Eternal Council. This is the gathering and decree of the Holy Trinity that Creation should be brought into being and, being omniscient, made provision for the economy of salvation. It is said that the Holy Trinity is the type of the Church which accordingly is eternal and without beginning or end just like Christ is. The Holy Trinity icon of St Andrei Rublev is sometimes said to depict the Pre-Eternal Council.



#9 Lakis Papas

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 09:53 PM

@Ilaria
But if sacraments are that essential, why were they not offered from the beginning?

Now they function on our fallen state, I do not know how they might function on pre fallen state.

#10 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 11:02 PM

My guess is that in Paradise, Adam's communion with the Lord God was profound: they talked with one another. Part of Adam's achieving the likeness of God would have resulted in a communion so profound such as the blessed will have after the end of the age, ie theosis. The sacraments are necessary for the reasons we know during this earthly life in our fallen state but not in the life of the world to come. I have no authority for these opinions so if I am in error, someone please correct me.



#11 Anna Stickles

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 12:41 AM

In Paradise before the fall Adam and Eve were free to eat from the Tree of Life. After the Fall God had a long process of "re-education" and preparation before man was ready to participate in the grace offered in the sacraments.

 

St Gregory of Palamas makes the difference between the Mother of God and her Son clear in his sermon on the Entry of the Mother of God into the temple.


 

It was necessary for us to have a new root for our race, a new Adam, not just one Who would be sinless and invincible, but one Who also would be
able to forgive sins and set free from punishment those subject to it. And not only would He have life in Himself, but also the capacity to restore to life,

 

...Except for God, there is no one who is without sin, or life-creating, or able to remit sin. Therefore, the new Adam must be not only Man, but also God.

 

...It was a deed of perfect justice that our nature, which was voluntarily enslaved and struck down, should again enter the struggle for victory and cast off its voluntary enslavement. Therefore, God deigned to receive our nature from us, hypostatically uniting with it in a marvellous way. But it was impossible to unite that Most High Nature,Whose purity is incomprehensible for human reason, to a sinful nature before it had been purified. Therefore, for the conception and birth of the Bestower of purity, a perfectly spotless and Most Pure Virgin was required.

 

...In this manner, the choice of the future Mother of God, beginning with the very sons of Adam and proceeding through all the generations of time, through the Providence of God, passes to the Prophet-king David and the successors of his kingdom and lineage. When the chosen time had come, then from the house and posterity of David, Joachim and Anna are chosen by God.

 

The Mother of God does not exist in a vacuum but is the end product and epitome of man's struggle toward God, but even so man's struggle is not enough to free anyone from Satan's dominion and the damage done at the Fall.  Even the Theotokos was saved through Christ, she is not able to save anyone except through her union with Him.



#12 Ilaria

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 07:52 AM

Eating from The Tree of Life in Eden was one of the choices...it seemed they did not eat from it, preferring the other Tree and, as a consequence of this choice, they were forbidden to eat anymore from the Tree of Life.

Later, in the Book of Revelation, the promise to eat from the Tree of Life is granted to 'the one who is victorious' 



#13 Father David Moser

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 01:39 PM

Eating from The Tree of Life in Eden was one of the choices...it seemed they did not eat from it, preferring the other Tree and, as a consequence of this choice, they were forbidden to eat anymore from the Tree of Life.

That idea is not at all what I've read in the Fathers (St John of Damascus and St Symeon the New Theologian come to mind). Our first parents regularly ate from the tree of life as it was the source of support for the body.  St John also makes the point that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil had the capacity for those who eat of it to fully understand themselves and that to eat of it when they did was too soon for our first parents, they had not yet grown to the point of being able to tolerate this "strong food".  This is all easily discovered by reading St John's classic compendium "The Orthodox Faith", particularly the chapter on "Paradise".  The tree of life was then forbidden to man so that there would be an end for each person to the compounding of evil in their lives, until such time as mankind was again ready to be able to partake of the tree of life.  The Fathers consistently equate partaking of the tree of life with receiving the Holy Mysteries.

 

Fr David



#14 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 02:23 PM

St John's book is here http://www.newadvent...athers/3304.htm






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