Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?

Seth84

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I recall an article a while back that quoted Elder Paisios at St. Anthony's Monastery in Arizona. Someone asked him if holiness was possible outside of the Orthodox Church and he replied, "A measure of virtue perhaps, but holiness is not possible."
 

Irish Hermit

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Ionnis said:
I recall an article a while back that quoted Elder Paisios at St. Anthony's Monastery in Arizona. Someone asked him if holiness was possible outside of the Orthodox Church and he replied, "A measure of virtue perhaps, but holiness is not possible."
He is expressing the standard teaching of the holy Fathers -

1.  External Righteousness..........Without Baptism and the indwelling of the Spirit, only the righteousness which was/is available to the Jews (and to all unbaptized people) is possible.

2.  Sanctity..................Holiness is possible only within the Church, with the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

We have had several quotes recently in various threads on this point.
 

Asteriktos

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Irish Hermit said:
He is expressing the standard teaching of the holy Fathers -

1.  External Righteousness..........Without Baptism and the indwelling of the Spirit, only the righteousness which was/is available to the Jews (and to all unbaptized people) is possible.

2.  Sanctity..................Holiness is possible only within the Church, with the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Difficult sayings...
 

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HabteSelassie said:
jah777 said:
This thread does not have to do with the Orthodox Church’s handling of repentant sinners, but with the Orthodox Church’s understanding of the possibility of theosis for unrepentant members of heretical groups... 
…the Fathers define sin for internal housekeeping, that we who are already Orthodox properly understand sin, sound doctrine, and acceptable theology.  However, as to regards to outsiders, all such sinners should be treated with kindness, and accepted with hospitality and love that they might be drawn to repentance.  The Church is a spiritual hospital, and when you go the ER the staff doesn't coerce you with finger-pointing and name-calling and a cosmic guilt trip, they simply get straight to work caring for the sick.  Sinners are spiritually sick, they need a little tender love and care, not to have the Book thrown at them ;)
I agree that we should treat all with love and kindness.  Yet, when a direct question is asked concerning whether theosis is possible for the heterodox, such a direct question warrants a direct and honest response, and such a response should be truthful.  To bend the truth, or avoid saying what is true, out of so-called “love” does not show real concern or love for a person but rather shows that one cares more about a person’s feelings of self-satisfaction than about the salvation of their soul.

Regarding the truth being an “internal matter”, or a matter of “internal housekeeping”, or that we should keep such beliefs to ourselves and not express them to the non-Orthodox (as if such beliefs are not true in any absolute sense) is not consistent with the teachings and examples of the Fathers.  When an Eastern Rite Catholic priest wrote to St. Paisius (Velichkovsky), a saint who is particularly esteemed for his deep knowledge and understanding of the canons and the writings of the Fathers, he replied saying:

“Depart and flee from the Unia as speedily as possible lest death overtake you in it and you be numbered among the heretics and not among the Christians. And not only go away yourself, but advise others to go away also, if in your conscience you know that they will hear you. And if they will not hear you, then at least depart yourself from the nets of the enemy and be united in soul and heart with the Holy Orthodox Church, and thus, together with all [the faithful] holding the inviolate faith and fulfilling the commandments of Christ, you will be able to be saved.”

The quote above is from a longer letter in which St. Paisius’ love and concern for this heterodox priest is made quite clear, but in showing such love and concern he did not fail to speak truthfully and directly concerning the matter as is characteristic of the Fathers.  An honest question requires an honest reply.

HabteSelassie said:
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.


I am in now way trying to suggest that full theosis is possible outside of the Mysteries, however I am trying to understand what part theosis may have in the conversion experience which brings folks into the Church.


Theosis is concerned with “partaking of the divine nature”, and as such is not possible for the unbaptized.  The fact that the Spirit “came on” Cornelius and his household is not the same as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which is made possible by baptism and is necessary for theosis.  Note that in the above quote, even after the Holy Spirit “came on all who heard the message”, they still required baptism so that the grace of the Holy Spirit could enter into their hearts to cleanse and illumine them. The Spirit “blows where it wills” and works in those outside of the Church to bring them into the Church; but the Holy Spirit does not indwell, sanctify, and deify those not baptized in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. 

After saying the above, it is important to stress the fact that just because a person is a member of the Orthodox Church does not mean that they will be saved or achieve theosis.  They have all the means available to them, but whether they will utilize these means is up to them.  So, for instance, by saying that theosis is not possible for the heterodox, saying such does mean that I will attain theosis or find salvation.  It only indicates that I know with great certainty where the path to theosis is to be found, and there is great evidence for this in the lives and teachings of those who have indeed arrived and been glorified.
 

Jetavan

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If theosis is not possible for the unbaptized, then does that mean that those who are unbaptized and yet saved, will, after death, be baptized, so that they can proceed into theosis?
 

J Michael

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My answer, too, is "Yes" (but then, it would be, wouldn't it  ;)?).

To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church?  Or, is it a matter of opinion, informed by a greater or lesser degree of spiritual maturity and knowledge of  Scripture and the Fathers, not to mention the cultural context in which one lives?  Or....... is it something that is only actually knowable once we depart this life?

Furthermore, how do we know, as jah777 states, that theosis "...is not possible for the unbaptized."?  Do we know what happens to the unbaptized after death? 

If "salvation" is possible for the unbaptized (or those of us in communion with Rome), then why would "theosis" not be possible, too?  (Perhaps someone could explain the difference between salvation and theosis for this ignorant old slob  :-[ ;D.)

 

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J Michael said:
To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 
Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.
 

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For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
 

J Michael

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jah777 said:
J Michael said:
To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 
Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.
Are they not scattered through the thread?  If not, my mistake and apologies!  I somehow thought they were.  Darn, wrong again??

If I were to delete "each side quoting..." and substitute something like "some quoting Scripture and the Fathers..." would you then more easily be able to address my questions? 
 

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Asteriktos said:
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.
 

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Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.
Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?  Serious question, by the way, because *I* sure don't know.
 

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J Michael said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.
Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
Isn't eternal damnation actually living eternally in God's Presence -- a Presence which is felt in a painful way, because of one's resistance to God?
 

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J Michael said:
jah777 said:
J Michael said:
To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 
Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.
Are they not scattered through the thread?  If not, my mistake and apologies!  I somehow thought they were.  Darn, wrong again??

If I were to delete "each side quoting..." and substitute something like "some quoting Scripture and the Fathers..." would you then more easily be able to address my questions? 

um. I just went back through the thread and could not find a single example of anyone on the 'yes' side quoting a Father or Scripture that backed up their position. Seriously, if I'm overlooking something, please point it out.

Otherwise the only honest way to phrase your question is "one side quoting Scripture and Fathers."

(And yes, that would make it easier to answer your or any other question if there is a clear Patristic and Scriptural concensus)
 

J Michael

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Jetavan said:
J Michael said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.
Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
Isn't eternal damnation actually living eternally in God's Presence -- a Presence which is felt in a painful way, because of one's resistance to God?
Yes, that is how some have described it.  However, you said that *salvation* is living in God's presence.  I take it, by what you've just written, that it would be living in His presence without "resistance", as you put it.  And my question still stands, with one addition/qualification--Assuming one is living in God's presence voluntarily or without resistance (your term), can you explain how one could do that for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
 

J Michael

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witega said:
J Michael said:
jah777 said:
J Michael said:
To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 
Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.
Are they not scattered through the thread?  If not, my mistake and apologies!  I somehow thought they were.  Darn, wrong again??

If I were to delete "each side quoting..." and substitute something like "some quoting Scripture and the Fathers..." would you then more easily be able to address my questions? 

um. I just went back through the thread and could not find a single example of anyone on the 'yes' side quoting a Father or Scripture that backed up their position. Seriously, if I'm overlooking something, please point it out.

Otherwise the only honest way to phrase your question is "one side quoting Scripture and Fathers."

(And yes, that would make it easier to answer your or any other question if there is a clear Patristic and Scriptural concensus)
um.  Okay.  I've already acknowledged and apologized for my lapse--see reply #48 above.  I have no problem whatsoever rephrasing the question, substituting for "both sides", either "one side" or "some" (which, btw, actually is as accurate, but do we need to keep picking the same nit over and over  ;)?).  The substance of the questions remains the same, and no one's addressed them yet.  They are sincere and serious questions.
 

Jetavan

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J Michael said:
Jetavan said:
J Michael said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.
Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
Isn't eternal damnation actually living eternally in God's Presence -- a Presence which is felt in a painful way, because of one's resistance to God?
Yes, that is how some have described it.  However, you said that *salvation* is living in God's presence.  I take it, by what you've just written, that it would be living in His presence without "resistance", as you put it.  And my question still stands, with one addition/qualification--Assuming one is living in God's presence voluntarily or without resistance (your term), can you explain how one could do that for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
It would seem that there are different degrees of resistance to God even amongst the "saved", otherwise there would be no possibility of growth into deeper and deeper levels of oneness with God, or growth into lesser and lesser degrees of resistance to God. Didn't Paul speak of different levels of heaven?
 

Asteriktos

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Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.
Ok, what you've said here (and since this post) does make sense to me. I guess where I'm struggling is that I've always considered theosis to be synonymous with salvation, such that I wouldn't say (if I were phrasing things) that someone can't experience theosis, but rather that they don't experience it in the same manner, or to the same extent, or perhaps haven't worked out their salvation in the same way.
 

J Michael

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Jetavan said:
J Michael said:
Jetavan said:
J Michael said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.
Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
Isn't eternal damnation actually living eternally in God's Presence -- a Presence which is felt in a painful way, because of one's resistance to God?
Yes, that is how some have described it.  However, you said that *salvation* is living in God's presence.  I take it, by what you've just written, that it would be living in His presence without "resistance", as you put it.  And my question still stands, with one addition/qualification--Assuming one is living in God's presence voluntarily or without resistance (your term), can you explain how one could do that for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
It would seem that there are different degrees of resistance to God even amongst the saved, otherwise there would be no possibility of growth into deeper and deeper levels of oneness with God, or growth into lesser and lesser degrees of resistance to God.
So, if what you write is true (and I'm *not* saying it isn't!), at what point does theosis kick in?  (I know that's very clumsily worded, but I'm not sure how else to phrase it at the moment-sorry!)  Or must one be *totally* free of *all* "resistance" in order to start or continue experiencing theosis?
 

Jetavan

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J Michael said:
Jetavan said:
J Michael said:
Jetavan said:
J Michael said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.
Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
Isn't eternal damnation actually living eternally in God's Presence -- a Presence which is felt in a painful way, because of one's resistance to God?
Yes, that is how some have described it.  However, you said that *salvation* is living in God's presence.  I take it, by what you've just written, that it would be living in His presence without "resistance", as you put it.  And my question still stands, with one addition/qualification--Assuming one is living in God's presence voluntarily or without resistance (your term), can you explain how one could do that for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
It would seem that there are different degrees of resistance to God even amongst the saved, otherwise there would be no possibility of growth into deeper and deeper levels of oneness with God, or growth into lesser and lesser degrees of resistance to God.
So, if what you write is true (and I'm *not* saying it isn't!), at what point does theosis kick in?  (I know that's very clumsily worded, but I'm not sure how else to phrase it at the moment-sorry!)  Or must one be *totally* free of *all* "resistance" in order to start or continue experiencing theosis?
Theosis/Salvation kicks in as soon as you are baptized, when you are full of resistance. Some of us may have more of an intention to sacrifice our resistance to God -- those are the one's who fall faster into theosis; whereas those with a bit less intention (but who are nonetheless "saved") are also "theosizing" but not as quickly perhaps.
 

Jetavan

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Asteriktos said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.
Ok, what you've said here (and since this post) does make sense to me. I guess where I'm struggling is that I've always considered theosis to be synonymous with salvation, such that I wouldn't say (if I were phrasing things) that someone can't experience theosis, but rather that they don't experience it in the same manner, or to the same extent, or perhaps haven't worked out their salvation in the same way.
I would agree. Salvation is theosis, but theosis occurring at a slower "speed".
 

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Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.
Ok, what you've said here (and since this post) does make sense to me. I guess where I'm struggling is that I've always considered theosis to be synonymous with salvation, such that I wouldn't say (if I were phrasing things) that someone can't experience theosis, but rather that they don't experience it in the same manner, or to the same extent, or perhaps haven't worked out their salvation in the same way.
I would agree. Salvation is theosis, but theosis occurring at a slower "speed".
So.....if "Salvation is theosis, but theosis occurring at a slower "speed"." and, if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics  ;D), does it not follow that theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome, just that it's at "a slower speed"?
 

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J Michael said:
witega said:
J Michael said:
jah777 said:
J Michael said:
To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 
Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.
Are they not scattered through the thread?  If not, my mistake and apologies!  I somehow thought they were.  Darn, wrong again??

If I were to delete "each side quoting..." and substitute something like "some quoting Scripture and the Fathers..." would you then more easily be able to address my questions? 

um. I just went back through the thread and could not find a single example of anyone on the 'yes' side quoting a Father or Scripture that backed up their position. Seriously, if I'm overlooking something, please point it out.

Otherwise the only honest way to phrase your question is "one side quoting Scripture and Fathers."

(And yes, that would make it easier to answer your or any other question if there is a clear Patristic and Scriptural concensus)
um.  Okay.  I've already acknowledged and apologized for my lapse--see reply #48 above.  I have no problem whatsoever rephrasing the question, substituting for "both sides", either "one side" or "some" (which, btw, actually is as accurate, but do we need to keep picking the same nit over and over  ;)?).  The substance of the questions remains the same, and no one's addressed them yet.  They are sincere and serious questions.
Actually, I thought I did answer your question (the one in the quoted post, not the ones in your ongoing discussion with Jetavan which is far too hypothetical for my taste, I'll go with St. Theophan and shanghaiski's responses for those) in the last sentence of my previous post.

If multiple Fathers, particularly multiple Fathers scattered over time, say one thing, and no Fathers (or councils) disagree with them, then that one thing is clearly the Patristic consensus and therefore the teaching of the Orthodox Church whatever personal opinions individuals may have.
 

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witega said:
J Michael said:
witega said:
J Michael said:
jah777 said:
J Michael said:
To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 
Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.
Are they not scattered through the thread?  If not, my mistake and apologies!  I somehow thought they were.  Darn, wrong again??

If I were to delete "each side quoting..." and substitute something like "some quoting Scripture and the Fathers..." would you then more easily be able to address my questions? 

um. I just went back through the thread and could not find a single example of anyone on the 'yes' side quoting a Father or Scripture that backed up their position. Seriously, if I'm overlooking something, please point it out.

Otherwise the only honest way to phrase your question is "one side quoting Scripture and Fathers."

(And yes, that would make it easier to answer your or any other question if there is a clear Patristic and Scriptural concensus)
um.  Okay.  I've already acknowledged and apologized for my lapse--see reply #48 above.  I have no problem whatsoever rephrasing the question, substituting for "both sides", either "one side" or "some" (which, btw, actually is as accurate, but do we need to keep picking the same nit over and over  ;)?).  The substance of the questions remains the same, and no one's addressed them yet.  They are sincere and serious questions.
Actually, I thought I did answer your question (the one in the quoted post, not the ones in your ongoing discussion with Jetavan which is far too hypothetical for my taste, I'll go with St. Theophan and shanghaiski's responses for those) in the last sentence of my previous post.

If multiple Fathers, particularly multiple Fathers scattered over time, say one thing, and no Fathers (or councils) disagree with them, then that one thing is clearly the Patristic consensus and therefore the teaching of the Orthodox Church whatever personal opinions individuals may have.
Yes, I thought shanghaiski's post was excellent, too.  And, I, too prefer things less hypothetical, on the whole.

But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"   If (I know, that nasty little "if"  ;D) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.
 

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J Michael said:
But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"   If (I know, that nasty little "if"  ;D) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.
What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.
Is it not?  ??? Some may resist, but is not God working on everyone?
 

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J Michael said:
Yes, I thought shanghaiski's post was excellent, too.  And, I, too prefer things less hypothetical, on the whole.

But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"  
Oh, the op was too theoretical *and* undefined for my taste. I don't believe I've made a single post trying to actually answer it--it's been more a case of following the discussion out of curiosity and commenting on those aspects of the conversation that strike me (like your question about how tells what the Orthodox position is).
 

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Asteriktos said:
Irish Hermit said:
You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.
Is it not?  ??? Some may resist, but is not God working on everyone?
God "wills all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth."
1 Timothy 2:4

Does that equate to the Holy Spirit taking up his dwelling in all men and divinising them all?  If we look at what Saint Peter says, he is speaking of participation in the divine nature only for Christians....

"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature..."
2 Peter 1:2-4
 

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Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"   If (I know, that nasty little "if"  ;D) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.
What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.
I would heartily agree with what you say the corollary is.  I'm no academic, much less a logician, but it would seem to me that the premise is only "illogical", as you say, if theosis is *not* in some way identical with salvation.  If I'm wrong about that, I'm happy to be corrected.  And if I am wrong, can you clarify for me the difference between theosis and salvation?  Some here have identified the two as being more or less the same.
 

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J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"  If (I know, that nasty little "if"  ;D) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.
What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

I would heartily agree with what you say the corollary is.  I'm no academic, much less a logician, but it would seem to me that the premise is only "illogical", as you say, if theosis is *not* in some way identical with salvation.  If I'm wrong about that, I'm happy to be corrected.  And if I am wrong, can you clarify for me the difference between theosis and salvation?  Some here have identified the two as being more or less the same.
 

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"  If (I know, that nasty little "if"  ;D) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.
What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

I would heartily agree with what you say the corollary is.  I'm no academic, much less a logician, but it would seem to me that the premise is only "illogical", as you say, if theosis is *not* in some way identical with salvation.  If I'm wrong about that, I'm happy to be corrected.  And if I am wrong, can you clarify for me the difference between theosis and salvation?  Some here have identified the two as being more or less the same.
 

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.
I eagerly await Mary's response, and trust her answer will be well thought out and true to Catholic teaching!  In the meantime, however, while we're waiting, what would the answer be from *your* Orthodox  perspective?  I'm quite sure it will be as true to Orthodox teaching as Mary's will be to Catholic.
 

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J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"  If (I know, that nasty little "if"  ;D) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.
What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

I would heartily agree with what you say the corollary is.  I'm no academic, much less a logician, but it would seem to me that the premise is only "illogical", as you say, if theosis is *not* in some way identical with salvation.  If I'm wrong about that, I'm happy to be corrected.  And if I am wrong, can you clarify for me the difference between theosis and salvation?  Some here have identified the two as being more or less the same.
 

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.
I eagerly await Mary's response, and trust her answer will be well thought out and true to Catholic teaching!  In the meantime, however, while we're waiting, what would the answer be from *your* Orthodox  perspective?  I'm quite sure it will be as true to Orthodox teaching as Mary's will be to Catholic.
Theosis is closely entwined with salvation.  But they are not iidentical.  A man baptized this weekend has attained salvation.  There is no doubt of that. He has not attained theosis.

God is leading Roman Catholics to salvation.  In my mind this does not equate to divinisation.  I would guess that this commences for Catholics after death.

I do hope Mary will step in and clarify things for you.  As a Catholic you will find her much more trustworthy.
 

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Irish Hermit said:
What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.
So you rather say that the clear miracles performed and spoken of by these folks in the past are from their own human efforts and not give the glory to God? I would say this, when push comes to shove, folks outside the Church have access to theosis, however since we have all accepted theosis as a gradual process, folks outside a Sacramental relationship are obviously moving at a mercilessly slow pace, so we can still accept that our Church is the mechanism of Salvation, and yet not have to condemn God to be stuck exclusively in the Church.

Lets be very mechanical about this.  Theosis is to get closer to God, sin pushes us away from God.  The Grace of God present in the Mysteries sanctifies us away from Sin and brings us closer in Theosis. Sin pushes us away hence the need to Confess and Repent and further for Theosis to be a gradual process instead of some kind of instant becoming.  Realistically then, this is Law vs Grace isn't it? The Dhali Lama or Chief Rabbi or Imam are legalists, and they are trying to stop sinning solely by their own efforts by following their respective Laws.  We know only Grace can achieve this. So what I would suggest is that perhaps theosis is obtainable outside of the Church, but Grace to free us from inevitable Sin is not, and therefore folks outside the Church can get closer to God by theosis however their own sins will continually push back and away.

This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?

I can accept either verdict.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
 

Irish Hermit

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HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Irish Hermit said:
What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.
So you rather say that the clear miracles performed and spoken of by these folks in the past are from their own human efforts and not give the glory to God? I would say this, when push comes to shove, folks outside the Church have access to theosis, however since we have all accepted theosis as a gradual process, folks outside a Sacramental relationship are obviously moving at a mercilessly slow pace, so we can still accept that our Church is the mechanism of Salvation, and yet not have to condemn God to be stuck exclusively in the Church.

Lets be very mechanical about this.  Theosis is to get closer to God, sin pushes us away from God.  The Grace of God present in the Mysteries sanctifies us away from Sin and brings us closer in Theosis. Sin pushes us away hence the need to Confess and Repent and further for Theosis to be a gradual process instead of some kind of instant becoming.  Realistically then, this is Law vs Grace isn't it? The Dhali Lama or Chief Rabbi or Imam are legalists, and they are trying to stop sinning solely by their own efforts by following their respective Laws.  We know only Grace can achieve this. So what I would suggest is that perhaps theosis is obtainable outside of the Church, but Grace to free us from inevitable Sin is not, and therefore folks outside the Church can get closer to God by theosis however their own sins will continually push back and away.

This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?

I can accept either verdict.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
I would not accept the idea that divinisation can take place without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  If you wish to say it is possible,  you have a serious obligation to show us this from the teachings of the holy Fathers.

I know that you would not count Saint Seraphim but he is specific in his conversation with Motovilov that theosis and its effects  are impossible for the non-Orthodox.
 

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HabteSelassie said:
This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?
I am not able to provide any patristic witness that the Fathers understood theosis and prayer as the same thing.  Maybe I am not understanding your question?
 

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HabteSelassie said:
This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?
I am really interested to know the problem in the Oriental Orthodox Church with theosis.  I know the dispute between Pope Shenouda and Fr Matta el Meskeen was so bitter and so prolonged that it destroyed their relationship.  Fr Matthew had been the Pope's spiritual father.  Such a relationship would not be sacrificed except for very serious reasons.
 

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Irish Hermit said:
HabteSelassie said:
This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?
I am not able to provide any patristic witness that the Fathers understood theosis and prayer as the same thing.  Maybe I am not understanding your question?
No, you understand it just fine :)

Its just that I am also having trouble finding the specific reference, maybe somebody out there can help us both out.

Irish Hermit said:
HabteSelassie said:
This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?
I am really interested to know the problem in the Oriental Orthodox Church with theosis.  I know the dispute between Pope Shenouda and Fr Matta el Meskeen was so bitter and so prolonged that it destroyed their relationship.  Fr Matthew had been the Pope's spiritual father.  Such a relationship would not be sacrificed except for very serious reasons.
I am not familiar with this aside from gossip.



stay blessed,
habte selassie
 

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J Michael said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.
Ok, what you've said here (and since this post) does make sense to me. I guess where I'm struggling is that I've always considered theosis to be synonymous with salvation, such that I wouldn't say (if I were phrasing things) that someone can't experience theosis, but rather that they don't experience it in the same manner, or to the same extent, or perhaps haven't worked out their salvation in the same way.
I would agree. Salvation is theosis, but theosis occurring at a slower "speed".
So.....if "Salvation is theosis, but theosis occurring at a slower "speed"." and, if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics  ;D), does it not follow that theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome, just that it's at "a slower speed"?
Yes. Then again, I'm not Orthodox. :eek:
 

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Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"  If (I know, that nasty little "if"  ;D) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.
What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

I would heartily agree with what you say the corollary is.  I'm no academic, much less a logician, but it would seem to me that the premise is only "illogical", as you say, if theosis is *not* in some way identical with salvation.  If I'm wrong about that, I'm happy to be corrected.  And if I am wrong, can you clarify for me the difference between theosis and salvation?  Some here have identified the two as being more or less the same.
 

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.
I eagerly await Mary's response, and trust her answer will be well thought out and true to Catholic teaching!  In the meantime, however, while we're waiting, what would the answer be from *your* Orthodox  perspective?  I'm quite sure it will be as true to Orthodox teaching as Mary's will be to Catholic.
Theosis is closely entwined with salvation.  But they are not iidentical.  A man baptized this weekend has attained salvation.  There is no doubt of that. He has not attained theosis.

God is leading Roman Catholics to salvation.  In my mind this does not equate to divinisation.  I would guess that this commences for Catholics after death.

I do hope Mary will step in and clarify things for you.  As a Catholic you will find her much more trustworthy.
My understanding of theosis is that it is an ongoing, eternal process.  That being the case, of course the man baptized this weekend will not have attained theosis as in reaching some final destination.  None of us has.

I find it somewhat curious that you say "I would guess that this [theosis/divinization] commences for Catholics after death".  It's more than possible that I've misunderstood things but I thought that the process of theosis begins for all of us at some point in this life and continues after death.  Perhaps Mary will clarify that.  In the meantime, I would ask, why would theosis commence for Catholics after death and commence for Orthodox before death?  Does commencement of the process depend on whether one is Catholic or Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox?

While I certainly find Mary quite trustworthy, why would I find you, as an Orthodox priest, any less so?  I would be most interested in your explanation of how theosis and salvation are intertwined yet somehow not the same.

By the way, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #460 states: "The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature":78 "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."79 "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."80 "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.""
 

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HabteSelassie said:
Irish Hermit said:
I am really interested to know the problem in the Oriental Orthodox Church with theosis.  I know the dispute between Pope Shenouda and Fr Matta el Meskeen was so bitter and so prolonged that it destroyed their relationship.  Fr Matthew had been the Pope's spiritual father.  Such a relationship would not be sacrificed except for very serious reasons.

I am not familiar with this aside from gossip.
It is more than gossip.

“In brief, H.H. Pope Shenouda wrote about 30 articles to refute the errors in his books [Father Matthew the Poor’s books]. “

Message 7
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=5978.0
“Does the Oriental Orthodox Church affirm theosis?"
 

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I find it somewhat curious that you say "I would guess that this [theosis/divinization] commences for Catholics after death".  It's more than possible that I've misunderstood things but I thought that the process of theosis begins for all of us at some point in this life and continues after death.  Perhaps Mary will clarify that.  In the meantime, I would ask, why would theosis commence for Catholics after death and commence for Orthodox before death?  Does commencement of the process depend on whether one is Catholic or Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox?
Nobody is experiencing divinisation unless he or she has received the internal indwelling of the Holy Spirit by virtue of the Sacraments of Illumination.  Without these initiatory Sacraments there is no theosis because the Spirit has not been received.

For those who are not baptized and chrismated there is no theosis on this earthly plane.  I am assuming that for such people it kicks off at death since the afterlife is, for those who are saved, an eternal theosis, an eternal movement into deeper participation.

So my answer is:

1. Baptism and Chrismation initiate theosis

2.  If not baptized and chrismated, theosis will commence in the afterlife.
 
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