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Aerial Tollhouses in Prayer Canons


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#41 Kosta

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 11:24 AM

First, please respond to my request and provide some quotes from saints and Church Fathers which explain the words "dogma" and "theologoumena" and the difference between them.  I have heard contemporary distinctions and definitions, but I have not seen any quotes from the saints or Fathers explaining what these terms mean and how they are to be distinguished.  If we cannot come up with patristic definitions, how can we agree on the right application of the terms?

 

 Unlikely you will find any definition of the word theologoumena in the Patristic literature as it was invented by a protestant minister about a century ago. I guess the closest thing to a theologoumen in Orthodoxy is what in the past we referred to as either  'pious traditions' widely held, or the 'personal opinions' of a saint.  

 

The problem arose in the past few decades where a more literal, more structured identity of the toll houses has taken shape. What has not been tackled are all the patristic references which speak of incidences where a dying person's soul was received in an 'excellent manner', as St Gregory says in one of his dialogues. 

 

As I mentioned earlier, even though St Gregory is one of the earliest writers to speak about demonic visitations at the hour of death and even how the dragon begins to swallow up the dying sinner while he still retains some breath in himself, the overwhelming majority of his stories are how the saints and apostles and even Christ and the Theotokos come down and converse with the dying christian.  Stories of how in the hour of death an entourage of martyrs and prophets and angels escorts the christian while singing hymns of victory. 



#42 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 12:48 PM

I knew someone who, at the moment of her death, though having lain with eyes closed for some time, lifted her head and opened her eyes to look upwards.  She then closed her eyes and her soul departed.  Archimandrite Zacharias, who had ministered unto her and prepared her for her meeting with the Lord, said, 'she saw the angels coming to escort her soul to paradise and her soul went straight up without hindrance.' 






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