Good books on Orthodox spirituality
Posted 29 October 2003 - 07:41 AM
I do not know what planet I was on that day, but I got it in my head that when you were asking me about Fr. Herman's books, you told me you were from Brazil- It miust have been somebody else-sorry.
Dear Archbishop Constantine and Matthew,
While I certainly accept your reproach in regards to the Orthodox Church having seven Sacraments, I understand that for us it is not that fixed number, but after your words of concern, out of curiosity, I looked on the Websites of several Orthodox Churches, and every single one of them lists seven Sacraments, or more properly, Mysteries. Perhaps you can contact their Webmasters and let them know that they also are crypto-Catholics. Seriously, I was not offended, but rather surprized by your reaction. Could either of you give all of us a good source which will give a more definitive answer? For my own further education, I would like to know what a truly accurate answer would be, for I would be loathe to be suspected of "returning" to my Catholicism as the good Archbishop charges.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Posted 29 October 2003 - 09:21 AM
While I certainly accept your reproach in regards to the Orthodox Church having seven Sacraments, I understand that for us it is not that fixed number, but after your words of concern, out of curiosity, I looked on the Websites of several Orthodox Churches, and every single one of them lists seven Sacraments, or more properly, Mysteries.
Yes, this is not surprising. And, as I tried to imply in my post on this matter some weeks ago, it is not necessarily wrong to identify seven 'chief mysteries' in this manner, for no Orthodox would consider that baptism, chrismation, the Eucharist, repentance, anointing, marriage and ordination are not, in a real sense, of a special and high regard amongst the myriad other elements of the dynamic mystery of the faith.
However, if we look at the historical usage of the numeration of 'seven sacraments', we find that it is a very late usage indeed for the Orthodox Church, brought into the fray largely through the influence of Western theological primers (i.e. theological 'textbooks') which were so popular in Russia during the 17th-19th centuries. There is a direct sense in which the straightforwardness of the seven sacrament definition, proclaimed in these books, provided a means to combat the real and/or perceived anti-sacramentalism of various Protestant denominations which were 'in the air' in that era, and the definition was taken up as a helpful tool in defending the genuine presence of the Mysteries.
My hope, in my previous post on this topic, was to show not that the definition of seven sacraments is wrong, but that it is simply incomplete, or does not take wholly into account the notion of real sacramental mystery which the Orthodox Church proclaims is present in much that goes beyond those mysteries set out in such a listing (e.g. icons, a homily, a prostration, a prayer rope, the drinking of holy water, the touching of holy relics).
Posted 29 October 2003 - 02:26 PM
I didn't ask you about Fr. Herman's books; that was Silvia, who is from Brazil and is Roman Catholic.
I think Silvia's question would be in the Casual and Personal, where the St. Herman of Alaska Bro. thread is -- your prayer thread turned into that one and so now there is a new prayer thread.
I can understand how hard it is to keep everyone's name straight. There's also more than one Elizabeth.
I don't think I'll be posting any more if at all, though - I am trying not to visit message boards too much.
Posted 29 October 2003 - 03:21 PM
Posted 29 October 2003 - 05:59 PM
You have said it so beautifully, it gives new meaning and insight for those who continue to struggle in the world:
"...their basic and most important gift, so important, that God did not revoke it from our ancestors after the fall: the grace to be co-participants in God's creation, by having a loving wife."
Posted 29 October 2003 - 09:25 PM
Your Grace, meaning no disrespect I must alert you to the fact that you misspoke with regard to the filioque when you attributed it to the Germans. It was really the Spanish (in Toledo) who canonized Augustine's Trinitarian theory and put the filioque into the Creed.
Dear Matthew S.,
Regarding Lombard's numeration of the sacraments used among the Orthodox, this was found (I think first) in Jeremias II's response to the Lutheran "theologians" at Tuebingen (approx. 1580).
Posted 30 October 2003 - 12:07 AM
Perhaps what Arch. Constantine is referring to is the Carolingians, who, while not "inventing" the Filioque, took it and ran with it.
Hmmm. I'll bet you're right about that! Charlemagne was Gaul, wasn't he? But of course the so-called Holy Roman Empire was (maybe 'later to be called'?) the "German States."
And run with it they did!
Dear Archbishop Constantin,
is this what you meant? Sorry to have interfered if so.
Posted 30 October 2003 - 02:39 AM
As I recall, Arianism started up again in around 800 A.D.in Spain, and at a special plenerary session, the Spanish bishops added "filioque"to the Nicene Creed in order to "bolster" Jesus Christ's position as Son of God and God, by saying that the Holy Spirit had to proceed from the Father and the Son. I believe that I read somewhere many years ago that when Charlemagne was crowned "Holy Roman Emperor," on Christmas day in 800 A.D., he confirmed the usage of "filioque" in his kingdom as an 'offering' to the Pope of Rome. We all know the unfortunate result of this unhappy decision.
Posted 30 October 2003 - 04:58 AM
Yes, the Arians in Spain were the Visigoths. Goths (Visi- and Ostri-)were Arian because they were converted in earlier days by the missionary Arian Bishop Ulfilas who invented the Gothic Alphabet, reduced the Gothic language to written form and translated the Scriptures into it.
I can't for the life of me see how the filioque was needed to bolster the divinity of the Son, as the oririginal Nicene Creed before the Constantinopolitan addition regarding the Spirit had dealt with that issue.
Posted 30 October 2003 - 05:30 AM
I think that the West had essentially believed in the Filioque, and a chance came up in which it could be adopted, and it was. When proclaiming a new dogma, the preface usually says, "As the Church has always taught..." As the Pope is Christ on earth, he has to power to legislate, changing even the truth. When I was a young RC, the Church strictly taught certain truths; in my second year in seminary, those truths were replaced with new ones. Roman Catholics will tell you that "the Church always taught that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, even from Apostolic times." Of course, it does happen to say in the Holy Gospel that our Lord said to His apostles, "I will send to you the Paraclete, who proceeds from the Father.." Go figure. As we well know, Arianism has never died out, and is actively preached by Evangelicals.
Posted 30 October 2003 - 06:55 AM
I can't for the life of me see how the filioque was needed to bolster the divinity of the Son, as the original Nicene Creed before the Constantinopolitan addition regarding the Spirit had dealt with that issue.
This is precisely what I have been thinking.
What exactly was lacking in;
light of light, true God of true God
begotten not made,
of one being with the Father, ...
Posted 30 October 2003 - 03:24 PM
As we well know, Arianism has never died out, and is actively preached by Evangelicals.
I know that it has a resurgence in JW'ism, but I didn't know it had never died out. Also, I'm curious to know, what Evangelicals actively preach it?
Thanks in advance,
Posted 30 October 2003 - 11:47 PM
Posted 27 October 2003 - 03:15 PM
"Well then you would seem to be coming to the Orthodox Church as if it were a supermarket, maybe wishing to take home an icon, and perhaps a Liturgy, and maybe certain prayer practices you can glean from Her..."
To Elizabeth, and to the list.
This was an insulting remark designed to inflame, rather than heal, and has no place either on this list or in my soul, and certainly not your heart.
Elizabeth, I am sorry.
Please forgive me.
Posted 27 October 2003 - 05:00 PM
Slava Isusu Christu!
I hope and i pray that God Heals your physical illnesses. As for my spirituality, i will continue to grow in my "Byzantine Spirituality"
as directed by my Spiritual Fathers, thanks for your thoughts on that topic. As for the "Orthodox in communion with rome" i dont know who said that if i did i didnt relize it but i know were not Orthodoxy in commmunion with rome. To say were (byzantines)an insult to Orthodoxy and Catholicism, wouldnt then the Western Rites of Orthodoxy be an Insult to Orthodoxy and Catholicism also?
In Christ +
Posted 27 October 2003 - 05:58 PM
To say were (byzantines)an insult to Orthodoxy and Catholicism, wouldnt then the Western Rites of Orthodoxy be an Insult to Orthodoxy and Catholicism also?
I think not, since the few Orthodox parishes that celebrate a "western" rite were never Catholic to begin with, they were Episcopalian and were never mislead to believe that they could "remain Episcopalian" under Orthodoxy. These parishes understand that Episcopalian theology is NOT Orthodox theology.
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