Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?

J Michael

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Irish Hermit said:
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.
Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).

By the way, thanks for your answer!
 

Irish Hermit

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J Michael said:
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
 

primuspilus

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Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP
 

J Michael

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Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
I have no idea if the Catholic Church has a teaching on that or what it is.  Besides, I thought this was an "Orthodox-Catholic" discussion forum.  Did I hit a wrong tab or something?  ;D
 

primuspilus

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J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
I have no idea if the Catholic Church has a teaching on that or what it is.  Besides, I thought this was an "Orthodox-Catholic" discussion forum.  Did I hit a wrong tab or something?  ;D
2 words.....rabbit...trail

:p

PP
 

J Michael

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primuspilus said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP
I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments.  To the very best of my knowledge, though, the Catholic Church considers Orthodox sacraments to be valid.  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?
 

J Michael

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primuspilus said:
J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
I have no idea if the Catholic Church has a teaching on that or what it is.  Besides, I thought this was an "Orthodox-Catholic" discussion forum.  Did I hit a wrong tab or something?  ;D
2 words.....rabbit...trail

:p

PP
Looks like 2 words and a bunch of rabbit droppings  :p
 

Irish Hermit

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Here is the teaching from Saint Basil the Great ...this is in the 4th century, after the Church had emerged from its 300 long years of persecution under the Roman Empire.  His teaching was later incorporated into the canon law of the Catholic Church at an Ecumenical Council.

(Notice the typical balance of the Church Fathers - while the principle of no Sacraments and no Apostolic Succession outside the Church is clearly enunciated, Saint Basil also states very clearly that for the sake of the good of the Church "economy" may beused if it is thought necessary in the case of Baptism.)


Epistle to Amphilochius (of which the "First Canon" of Saint Basil is a shorter
version)

---- "It seemed best to the ancients-I refer to Cyprian and our own
Firmilian-to subject all of these (Cathari, and Encratites, and Hydroparastatae)
to one vote of condemnation, because the beginning of this separation arose
through schism, and those who had broken away from the Church no longer had in
them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the imparting of it failed because of the
severance of continuity.

"For those who separated first had ordination from the Fathers, and
through the imposition of their hands possessed the spiritual gift; but those
who had been cut off, becoming laymen, possessed the power neither of baptizing
nor of ordaining, being able no longer to impart to others the grace of the Holy
Spirit from which they themselves had fallen away. Therefore they commanded
those who had been baptized by them, as baptized by laymen, to come to the
Church and be purified by the true baptism of the Church.


"But since on the whole it has seemed best to some of those in Asia
that, by economy for the sake of the many, their baptism be accepted, let it be
accepted."
 

Irish Hermit

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The question boils down to - do bishops exist outside the Church and out of communion with the Church?. I believe that the episcopate -the College of the Apostles- cannot exist outside the Church. Without the episcopate there can be no Sacraments. Do you know the writings of Fr Justin Popovich? - I tend to be a follower of his.

Have a look at message 37
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25542.msg401052.html#msg401052
 

Irish Hermit

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J Michael said:
primuspilus said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments..............  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?
Since theosis cannot commence without the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation, the validity of these Sacraments in the Catholic Church has direct relevance to the OP.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
That's the case with confirmation, Communion, penance, and ordination, but not with Baptism, as long as it was done using an orthodox trinitarian formula.
 

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James2 said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
That's the case with confirmation, Communion, penance, and ordination, but not with Baptism, as long as it was done using an orthodox trinitarian formula.
In Orthodoxy, at least, the formula is only half of what makes the form of baptism. Three-fold immersion is equally important, but is often sadly overlooked for the exercise of economy.
 

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primuspilus said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP
The RCC recognizes the sacraments of the Oriental Orthodox and the Eastern Orthodox. Also the PNCC.
 

PJ

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James2 said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
That's the case with confirmation, Communion, penance, and ordination, but not with Baptism, as long as it was done using an orthodox trinitarian formula.
Indeed, I was going to say much the same thing.

As a matter of fact, the RCC recognizes most Protestant baptism, and marriage. (LDS is a good example of a group whose baptism we do not recognize.)

Incidentally, the issue of Anglican orders is a pretty sore spot in Catholic-Anglican relations.
 

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Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?
 

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

Peter J said:
primuspilus said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP
The RCC recognizes the sacraments of the Oriental Orthodox and the Eastern Orthodox. Also the PNCC.
This is true:

" Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 § 3).
1996 US Catholic Conference

stay blessed,
habte selassie
 

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

Peter J said:
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?
Is that similar to the Baptism of Blood by martyrs? The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church recognizes the "Baptism by Blood" of the Martyrs..

Our Orthodox Church accepts equally that those who suffer death for the sake of faith without having received water baptism are nevertheless baptized by their death into Christ. The Baptism of Blood brings about the fruits of baptism without being itself a sacrament.
Teachings of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church by Abba Melketsedek

Unfortunately I am not very familiar with this concept myself to explain any further.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
 

Irish Hermit

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Peter J said:
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?
Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.
 

PJ

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Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?
Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.
I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.
 

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Peter J said:
Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?
Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.
I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.
I can't get the image out of my mind of a Dismal Baptism as being a triple immersion done in near freezing lake.  :D
 

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Riddikulus said:
Peter J said:
Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?
Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.
I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.
I can't get the image out of my mind of a Dismal Baptism as being a triple immersion done in near freezing lake.  :D
I had to read the post 3 times before I realized that Fr. Ambrose was serious.
 
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Riddikulus said:
Peter J said:
Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?
Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.
I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.
I can't get the image out of my mind of a Dismal Baptism as being a triple immersion done in near freezing lake.  :D
You mean, like this:

 

Irish Hermit

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Peter J said:
Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?
Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.
I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.
So it would seem that all mankind which is not in the Church, and save for the really wicked, are saved by Dismal Baptism.
 

Riddikulus

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HandmaidenofGod said:
Riddikulus said:
Peter J said:
Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?
Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.
I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.
I can't get the image out of my mind of a Dismal Baptism as being a triple immersion done in near freezing lake.  :D
You mean, like this:

:laugh: Yes, Handmaiden. Just like that! (BRRRRRRRRR) God bless that brave soul!
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:
Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?
Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.
I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.
So it would seem that all mankind which is not in the Church, and save for the really wicked, are saved by Dismal Baptism.
Sounds good to me. God is love.
 

Irish Hermit

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witega said:
Riddikulus said:
Peter J said:
Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?
Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.
I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.
I can't get the image out of my mind of a Dismal Baptism as being a triple immersion done in near freezing lake.  :D
I had to read the post 3 times before I realized that Fr. Ambrose was serious.
Well, I am uncertain if I have ever encountered the term "Baptism of Desire" among the Orthodox and so I cast around in the dusty loft of my mind to see if there might not be something scriptural..... and Saint Dismas leapt out.  And there it was - Dismal Baptism.  :laugh:

But see message 335
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25368.msg460293.html#msg460293
 

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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.
Can you say more about "forms of salvation"?

M.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
primuspilus said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments..............  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?
Since theosis cannot commence without the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation, the validity of these Sacraments in the Catholic Church has direct relevance to the OP.
Absolutely!  For those Orthodox who are willing to concede that the sacraments of the Catholic Church are graced then the answer to my question about theosis is "yes"...it is indeed possible for a papal Catholic to experience the Indwelling, which is the sum and substance of a fruitful life of the spirit.

You are not willing to concede grace to the papal Church...so I could never really speak to you of my life in Christ.

I am so sorry I am on moderation.  Many of my notes are not making it to this particular thread.  I think they are getting lost in the bit bucket, and I don't know if this will get to you or not.  I am keeping a copy so that if it does not show up I can send it to you and J Michael privately.  It is tough to participate with the lag time in any event.

I do have some things to say to J Michael but this is key to the response to my original question.

M.

 

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elijahmaria said:
Is it possible to have a fruitful spiritual life if one is in communion with Rome?
Not only the Latins but Protestants, Buddhists, atheists and anyone else...

Romans 9:15
"For I will have mercy on whomsoever I should have mercy upon,
and I shall have compassion on whomsoever I should have compassion upon...
"

There are those not looking for Him who have found God...

But far more find Him who ARE looking...

And the vast majority of these are Orthodox Christians...

For narrow is the Way...

And who can follow it?

Arsenios
 

PJ

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maqhth said:
Not only the Latins but Protestants, Buddhists, atheists and anyone else...
This is a little off-topic, but it's interesting to note the similarity between your thinking and the thinking at the Catholic Answers Forum -- specifically, the way they lump Orthodox, Anglicans, and Protestants together with Buddhists, Hindus etc. under the title "Non-Catholic Religions". (There were various conversations about this when I use to participate there (and probably still are). I recall, in one such conversation, I was told that we cannot really say who is Christian and who isn't Christian, but we can say who is Catholic and who isn't Catholic.)
 

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to original question:
yes, if you are willing to leave everything that pulls you away from God (riches, comfort, pride, lust, rebellion etc), rely totally on the grace given to us by God through the death and resurrection of God the Son and if you chase (seek) to be close to God above all other things.

in the oriental orthodox churches, theosis is taught as something we should attain (to answer father irish hermit), but the word 'theosis' is not usually used because we don't come across it often in the english translations of the oriental orthodox fathers.

we talk about partaking in the divine nature (2 peter 1 verse 4) without using the term 'theosis' as used by the greek and slavic fathers. it is our highest aim to become so disconnected from the love of the world that we radiate God's love to all things (people and animals) around us. this achieved through partaking in the sacrements, through a dynamic relationship with God, through extreme humility (really emphasized in the coptic church - we believe in it; we don't all have it!) and through meditating on the glory of God.
those copts who are educated in the catholic and eastern fathers do sometimes talk about achieving 'theosis' or 'deification'. they mean the same thing as i outlined above.
we meditate on the psalms, pray the 'our Father' prayer often and take time to always pray God.

i used to know someone who seemed to have achieved this state. i met him while he was undergoing treatment for a brain tumour that later, eventually killed him. despite his suffering, he was whispering to himself 'thank you God' all day, and when asked about his health replied 'we thank God for His goodness to us, that today i am a little better'.
just being in the same room with him, a person could feel the love of God radiating from him. this is how i want to be, and i pray we can all achieve this deep relationship with God.
 

maqhth

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mabsoota said:
i used to know someone who seemed to have achieved this state. i met him while he was undergoing treatment for a brain tumour that later, eventually killed him. despite his suffering, he was whispering to himself 'thank you God' all day, and when asked about his health replied 'we thank God for His goodness to us, that today i am a little better'.
just being in the same room with him, a person could feel the love of God radiating from him. this is how i want to be, and i pray we can all achieve this deep relationship with God.
Did you know this man in Cairo?

Arsenios
 

J Michael

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Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
primuspilus said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments..............  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?
Since theosis cannot commence without the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation, the validity of these Sacraments in the Catholic Church has direct relevance to the OP.
Okay, I can accept that, as far as it goes in my poor little mind  ;).  If, however, the link between salvation and theosis is unbreakable (is it?), and the unbaptized can be saved, would that not somehow contradict your statement?  Again, I ask, because I don't know, and these are the questions that come to mind.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Here is the teaching from Saint Basil the Great ...this is in the 4th century, after the Church had emerged from its 300 long years of persecution under the Roman Empire.  His teaching was later incorporated into the canon law of the Catholic Church at an Ecumenical Council.

(Notice the typical balance of the Church Fathers - while the principle of no Sacraments and no Apostolic Succession outside the Church is clearly enunciated, Saint Basil also states very clearly that for the sake of the good of the Church "economy" may beused if it is thought necessary in the case of Baptism.)


Epistle to Amphilochius (of which the "First Canon" of Saint Basil is a shorter
version)

---- "It seemed best to the ancients-I refer to Cyprian and our own
Firmilian-to subject all of these (Cathari, and Encratites, and Hydroparastatae)
to one vote of condemnation, because the beginning of this separation arose
through schism, and those who had broken away from the Church no longer had in
them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the imparting of it failed because of the
severance of continuity.

"For those who separated first had ordination from the Fathers, and
through the imposition of their hands possessed the spiritual gift; but those
who had been cut off, becoming laymen, possessed the power neither of baptizing
nor of ordaining, being able no longer to impart to others the grace of the Holy
Spirit from which they themselves had fallen away. Therefore they commanded
those who had been baptized by them, as baptized by laymen, to come to the
Church and be purified by the true baptism of the Church.


"But since on the whole it has seemed best to some of those in Asia
that, by economy for the sake of the many, their baptism be accepted, let it be
accepted."
I haven't had time to read this and absorb it to even partial understanding.  Hopefully, I'll get back to you about it!
 

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elijahmaria 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.
Can you say more about "forms of salvation"?

M.
Actually, I would clarify and say that salvation and theosis are synonyms, but with a slight distinction: the term "theosis" implies (1) the state of being in a very deep union with the Energies of God, and (2) the never-ending process of entering even more deeply into that union.
 

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Somewhere there was a question of the relationship of salvation to theosis.

Baptism is the principle moment of sanctification/justification/salvation in the Christian life for it is through Baptism that the soul is illumined by the light of the Indwelling Trinity.  It is by this illumination that we are able to interact with the Indwelling through the actions of the intellect and the soul.  Prior to Baptism, fallen humanity is not capable of experiencing the light and life of the Indwelling Trinity.  It takes a special grace to restore the illumination of the intellect/nous.  The grace of Baptism is a saving grace, an illuminating grace, a cleansing grace, a healing grace and a strengthening grace which opens us fully to the life of the Holy Spirit.

Theosis is the interaction between the divine indwelling, the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the individual person wherein the creature is able to participate in the divine life of the Trinity.

Salvation/justification/sanctification and Theosis are not identical nor are they mutually exclusive.

The idea that sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church.

However we do not have the ability to know what God does in the hearts and souls of those who have not formally received the sacraments of Initiation into salvation and communion in the Body of Christ.

** I don't mean this to be an exhaustive set of propositions but they are a place to begin with a sort of order attached.

M.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
The question boils down to - do bishops exist outside the Church and out of communion with the Church?. I believe that the episcopate -the College of the Apostles- cannot exist outside the Church. Without the episcopate there can be no Sacraments. Do you know the writings of Fr Justin Popovich? - I tend to be a follower of his.

Have a look at message 37
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25542.msg401052.html#msg401052
I know *of* him but haven't read any of his writings.  For some reason or other, they just never appealed to me.  I'll have another look--once I get through the small mountain of books all begging me to read them  ;).

As far as the validity or lack thereof of Catholic Sacraments, I find it far, far easier to accept an answer from the Orthodox Church of "We just do not know", than some saying they are valid and some saying they are not.  From where I sit, either they are or they are not--whether recognized as such by your Church or not.  It doesn't seem to me that it can be both ways from the same Church.  So, if you just plain don't know, that's fine, and a perfectly acceptable answer.  Does that make sense? 
 

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elijahmaria said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
primuspilus said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments..............  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?
Since theosis cannot commence without the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation, the validity of these Sacraments in the Catholic Church has direct relevance to the OP.
Absolutely!  For those Orthodox who are willing to concede that the sacraments of the Catholic Church are graced then the answer to my question about theosis is "yes"...it is indeed possible for a papal Catholic to experience the Indwelling, which is the sum and substance of a fruitful life of the spirit.

You are not willing to concede grace to the papal Church...so I could never really speak to you of my life in Christ.

I am so sorry I am on moderation.  Many of my notes are not making it to this particular thread.  I think they are getting lost in the bit bucket, and I don't know if this will get to you or not.  I am keeping a copy so that if it does not show up I can send it to you and J Michael privately.  It is tough to participate with the lag time in any event.

I do have some things to say to J Michael but this is key to the response to my original question.

M.
I eagerly await hearing from you, Mary  ;)!  If it's easier for you to email me, go ahead, you have my email address.
 

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elijahmaria said:
Somewhere there was a question of the relationship of salvation to theosis.

Baptism is the principle moment of sanctification/justification/salvation in the Christian life for it is through Baptism that the soul is illumined by the light of the Indwelling Trinity.  It is by this illumination that we are able to interact with the Indwelling through the actions of the intellect and the soul.  Prior to Baptism, fallen humanity is not capable of experiencing the light and life of the Indwelling Trinity.  It takes a special grace to restore the illumination of the intellect/nous.  The grace of Baptism is a saving grace, an illuminating grace, a cleansing grace, a healing grace and a strengthening grace which opens us fully to the life of the Holy Spirit.

Theosis is the interaction between the divine indwelling, the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the individual person wherein the creature is able to participate in the divine life of the Trinity.

Salvation/justification/sanctification and Theosis are not identical nor are they mutually exclusive.

The idea that sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church.

However we do not have the ability to know what God does in the hearts and souls of those who have not formally received the sacraments of Initiation into salvation and communion in the Body of Christ.

** I don't mean this to be an exhaustive set of propositions but they are a place to begin with a sort of order attached.

M.
On this basis, can one be "saved", then, and *not* experience theosis?  For some reason, I just can't seem to wrap my mind around that.  I'm sure that is more a failing on my part than on the part of anyone trying to explain this.
 

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Peter J said:
maqhth said:
Not only the Latins but Protestants, Buddhists, atheists and anyone else...
This is a little off-topic, but it's interesting to note the similarity between your thinking and the thinking at the Catholic Answers Forum -- specifically, the way they lump Orthodox, Anglicans, and Protestants together with Buddhists, Hindus etc. under the title "Non-Catholic Religions". (There were various conversations about this when I use to participate there (and probably still are). I recall, in one such conversation, I was told that we cannot really say who is Christian and who isn't Christian, but we can say who is Catholic and who isn't Catholic.)
This is a natural (and necessary) corollary of belief in One Church, whether one believes that Church to be the Roman communion or Orthodoxy. If there is One Church, then there is a clear line of distinction between that and everything else. One can take a broad perspective of that distinction and focus on how everything that is not the Church shares that basic quality of being 'not-Church' and thus differs from the Church, or one can take a detailed perspective that looks at how some things (Churches/beliefs/practices) are very close to that line while others are very distant, but that's fundamentally a matter of perspective. And while some people get very doctrinaire about their choice of perspective, to the point of getting angry with those looking at it from a different perspective, the fact is they are not mutually exclusive. Just as a photographer switches lenses depending on what exactly he wants to focus on in a particular picture, one can switch perspectives depending on the context of the issue being addressed.

That is completely on-topic to this thread. Orthodoxy believes that it is that One True Church, and that Rome is in schism from it. Accordingly, the original question(s) is actually a subset of the larger question 'is theosis (or a fruitful spiritual life) possible outside the Church"? If the answer to the larger, broad-perspective, question is 'no', then the answer to the narrower question would also be 'no'. If the answer to the larger question is 'yes', then the answer to the narrower question is almost certainly 'yes', since Rome is clearly much closer to Orthodoxy than Buddhists, Hindus, etc.
 
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