Just to be clear, Lakis, are you talking about people who have not been baptised and chrismated? I ask because we receive God into our hearts, our whole being, at these sacraments.
Horizon of events and the Church
Posted 15 November 2016 - 06:18 PM
Posted 18 November 2016 - 03:42 PM
Just some random thoughts. Proper study of tradition looks at tradition in its wholeness. It is always a dangerous proposition to try to conform the Truth to ideas we get in our mind without looking at the wider picture. These ideas or symbols can be helpful in touching upon one aspect of tradition, but usually fall short in other areas. This is why the Fathers always use numerous different symbolic pictures to communicate with us.
In some of the word pictures created by the Fathers it does speak of the heart as closed to God, that God is "outside of it". More often we see our situation pictured as us being closed to God who indeed is already present -He is waiting outside the door, He is the light which is everywhere present and the reason we are dark is that we have closed our eyes. God does condescend to our state - He does not try to force our will, but leads it, works to persuade it.
And a last thing, that I will put as a question: while Christ knows when the answer is going to be "no" why He waits for a vain attempt outside of the door?
This is not a vain knocking, the knocking itself is Christ's engagement with trying to get our attention. His waiting is not in vain, but has the purpose of calling us to open the door. We may not respond immediately to the call, as my spiritual father once said, the heart is not a light switch, but his engagement with us gradually gets our attention.
He initiates the contact, and waits for us to respond. This back and forth goes through many different stages from some initial contact that "gets our attention" and starts us struggling toward him* (St Theophan calls this a grace filled awakening), to leading us toward what is needed to abandon sin and commit ourselves wholly to God, to a more intense struggle to wholly purify ourselves and become transparent to God, becoming as we say of the saints "windows" or icons in which His character and will and likeness is wholly present and visible in a living and active way.
*St Theophan also talks about how this initial contact, this "knocking", can have a sudden response like with St Mary, but in most cases it is quite gradual and goes through many stages, especially the beginning of which may not be noticeable to the person experiencing it.
Edited by Anna Stickles, 18 November 2016 - 03:56 PM.
Posted 18 November 2016 - 03:47 PM
I understand the issue of "free will", but we also must understand that a human with a heart full of passions is not free. It is not our will that will keep the door closed, it is our ontological status that keeps the door closed.
This is true to some extent. I would say that our ontological status keeps us from being wholly transparent to God. But a large portion of the Father's writings teach precisely that our will is the problem. The will is not wholly free, but it is partially free and never wholly enslaved, so there is always the cooperation with God possible that will gradually lead the will to more freedom. The root of this freedom lies in how the image of God in man is never wholly erased, man always retains some ability to recognize and move toward what is good and holy.
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