Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?

Irish Hermit

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Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

What says the section on heaven in the new Ukrainian Catechism?  Do they follow Rome and speak of contemplating God's essence?

Deacon Lance said:
II. Heaven

1023 Those who die in God's grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they "see him as he is," face to face:596

By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints . . . and other faithful who died after receiving Christ's holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, . . .) already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment - and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven - have been, are and will be in heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels. Since the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature.597

1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity - this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed - is called "heaven." Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.

1025 To live in heaven is "to be with Christ." the elect live "in Christ,"598 but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name.599

For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there is the kingdom.600

1026 By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has "opened" heaven to us. the life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in his heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ.

1027 This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father's house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise: "no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him."601

1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man's immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. the Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory "the beatific vision":

How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God's friends.602


1029 In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God's will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him "they shall reign for ever and ever."603





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
596 ⇒ 1 Jn 3:2; cf. ⇒ 1 Cor 13:12; ⇒ Rev 22:4.


597 Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000; cf. LG 49.


598 ⇒ Phil 1:23; cf. ⇒ Jn 14:3; ⇒ 1 Thess 4:17.


599 Cf. ⇒ Rev 2:17.


600 St. Ambrose, In Luc., 10, 121: PL 15, 1834A.


601 ⇒ 1 Cor 2:9.


602 St. Cyprian, Ep. 58, 10, 1: CSEL 3/2, 665.


603 ⇒ Rev 22:5; cf. ⇒ Mt 25:21, ⇒ 23.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P2M.HTM#$1BU
 

xariskai

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Irish Hermit said:
James2 said:
....I have a hard time grasping how eastern theosis and western beatific vision are so radically different.  
Orthodox Theosis..... an ever increasing participation in the divine energies.

Catholic Beatific Vision...... a vision and enjoyment of the divine essence.

These seem two different concepts of the afterlife.

Orthodox theosis is a train journey.

Catholic Beatific Vision is static, gazing upon a beautiful painting of a train and enjoying its beauty.
JOHN MEYERENDORFF/EASTERN ORTHODOXY: THE ESSENCE OF GOD IS INACCESSIBLE

"The true purpose of creation is, therefore, not contemplation of divine essence (which is inaccessible), but communion in divine energy, transfiguration, and transparency to divine action in the world." (John Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology, p. 133).

AQUINAS/ROMAN CATHOLICISM: THE ESSENCE OF GOD IS SUPREMELY KNOWABLE

"Since everything is knowable according as it is actual, God, Who is pure act without any admixture of potentiality, is in Himself supremely knowable….Hence, it must be absolutely granted that the blessed see the essence of God." (ST I, Q.12, A.1).

elijahmaria said:
Peter J said:
Peter J said:
elijahmaria said:
Aquinas, who offers the teaching, never uses the phrase "created grace".
Heck, I don't think he even spoke English.
Seriously, though, I'm hoping either you are Fr. Ambrose (or both) could clarify this: what was the exact term that Aquinas used? Is "created grace" just a poor translation (wouldn't be the first time), or what?
There is no particular phrase to be translated.  He speaks of grace that comes to us in a manner that we, as God's human creatures, are capable of receiving it.  The phrase "created grace" comes later.
The concept is there.

AQUINAS/ROMAN CATHOLICISM: GRACE TO SEE GOD'S ESSENCE IS A SUPERADDITION TO THE INTELLECT OF MAN
"On the contrary, It is written: In thy light we shall see light (Ps. xxxv. 10).
I answer that, Everything which is raised up to what exceeds its nature, must be prepared by some disposition above its nature; as, for example, if air is to receive the form of fire, it must be prepared by some disposition for such a form. But when any created intellect sees the essence of God, the essence of God itself becomes the intelligible form of the intellect. Hence it is necessary that some supernatural disposition should be added to the intellect in order that it may be raised up to such a great and sublime height. Now since the natural power of the created intellect does not avail to enable it to see the essence of God, as was shown in the preceding article, it is necessary that the power of understanding should be added by divine grace. Now this increase of the intellectual powers is called the illumination of the intellect, as we also call the intelligible object itself by the name of light of illumination. And this is the light spoken of in the Apocalypse (xxi. 23). The glory of God hath enlightened it – vis. the society of the blessed who see God. By this light the blessed are made deiform – that is, like to God. -Summa Theologica, First part/Art 5 of Q 12

To search further for created grace in Aquinas, click here. [to Christian Classics/Aquinas/ search]
 

xariskai

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elijahmaria said:
You [Fr. Ambrose] elide hesychasm with theosis as though they are the same thing.  They are not equivalent.
Not for you, perhaps. But if so, as it seems, for Fr. Ambrose, then your theosis is his "theosis," and his theosis is your "theosis."

St. Gregory Palamas and hesychasm are paradigmatic for what theosis is for most Eastern Orthodox Christians. Do you affirm these traditions as they are understood and affirmed by most Orthodox Christians or not?

Do you fully and unreservedly agree with John Meyerendorff when he writes Meyendorff writes: "The true purpose of creation is, therefore, not contemplation of divine essence (which is inaccessible), but communion in divine energy, transfiguration, and transparency to divine action in the world." (Byzantine Theology, p. 133).

Irish Hermit said:
xariskai said:
A related question to the OP regarding the possibility of theosis is the question of the way. Is there a difference of way, as described by Vladimir Lossky? :

"Since the separation, the ways which lead to sanctity are not the same in the West as in the East. The one proves its fidelity to Christ in the solitude and abandonment of the night of Gethsemane, the other gains certainty of union with God in the light of the Transfiguration." -Vladimir Lossky, MTEC (this is but one example of how Lossky considers the ways which lead to sanctity to differ W vs. E; judicial merit theology -dogmatically integral only in the West- also comes to mind among other things).

Also the question of what one might be moving toward along the way is worth discussing, it seems to me, e.g. do Roman Catholics embrace the Orthodox view of union with the uncreated energies of God as affirmed by St. Gregory Palamas? (which is, of course, what theosis is from an Orthodox POV).
Dear Xariskai,

I think you are moving into the heart of the matter...... the question, for Catholics, hinges on whether theosis is seen as possible within their theology.

In fact it does not appear to be possible  since in order for theosis to “work” one must accept several important theological understandings which are strongly denied in classic Roman Catholic theology – the distinction within the Divinity of Essence and Energies being the most crucial.

The Catholic Encyclopedia article on Hesychasm written by Father Adrian Fortescue http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07301a.htm highlights why Hesychasm (and hence theosis) cannot work in Catholic theology.  It is contrary to the foundational Catholic understanding of the simplicity of God and to Catholic understandings of grace (created vs. uncreated.)

The OP’s question is therefore answered with a No!  - not by the Orthodox but by the theology of Catholicism itself.
Oil and water it seems to me. We could call oil and water by the same name, but one would not work in an engine; the other would taste horrible with Kool Aid mix.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?
Heresy?  Really?  When did that get added to the list?  What council says that?  Seems like you're just looking for more reasons that the Orthodox and Catholic churches should remain divided.  We're really not all that different.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

What says the section on heaven in the new Ukrainian Catechism?  Do they follow Rome and speak of contemplating God's essence?
1 John 3:2 - Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 13:12 - For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/browse.html

Don't know about the Ukrainian Catechism.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
James2 said:
....I have a hard time grasping how eastern theosis and western beatific vision are so radically different. 
Orthodox Theosis..... an ever increasing participation in the divine energies.

Catholic Beatific Vision...... a vision and enjoyment of the divine essence.

These seem two different concepts of the afterlife.
In the dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans (LWF) in the late 20th century, it was found that various condemnations of each side against the other actually stemmed from using the same term in different ways. I won't go into great detail -- both because I don't think it would help this conversation much, and because I'm a bit rusty on them -- but I have to wonder if the situation we are discussing might be similar. Is it possible that the RCC means something different then EOs by "divine essence", and thus can speak of "seeing the divine essence" without contradicting EO dogma?
 

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James2 said:
Irish Hermit said:
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?
Heresy?  Really?
I don't have any quotes to provide at the moment, but I think what Fr A is saying is the standard EO position. FWMTCIW.
 

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James2 said:
Irish Hermit said:
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?
Heresy?  Really?  When did that get added to the list?  What council says that?  Seems like you're just looking for more reasons that the Orthodox and Catholic churches should remain divided.  We're really not all that different.
Oh yes, it is heresy.  It is in the Synodikon of Orthodoxy.  Read the chapters against Barlaam and Akindynus.
 

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James2 said:
Irish Hermit said:
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?
Heresy?  Really?  When did that get added to the list?  What council says that?  Seems like you're just looking for more reasons that the Orthodox and Catholic churches should remain divided.  We're really not all that different.
The Palamite councils. And it's always been on the list--the Cappadocian Fathers, pseudo-Dionysius, St. Maximus, St. John of Damascus and indeed pretty much any Father who has written more than a couple of pages on the Trinity, not to mention multiple mentions in the Liturgies of St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom. And I can't think of a single text on Orthodox theology that doesn't put the unknowability of God in His Essence front and center because its axiomatic for our Trinitarian theology. I'm willing to leave the door open for Peter J's suggestion that Aquinas in Latin or modern Roman Catholics are using essence with a different meaning than it holds in the Orthodox Tradition, but if you are unaware of such a basic part of Orthodox thought, I'd strongly suggest reading a little bit about our theology before making claims about what we are or are not different from.
 

Irish Hermit

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elijahmaria said:
You [Fr. Ambrose] elide hesychasm with theosis as though they are the same thing.  They are not equivalent.
Hesychasm is the means of progressing in theosis on this earth. They are not equivalent but they are inseparable.  I do not know about progress in theosis in the afterlife.
 

Irish Hermit

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James2 said:
Irish Hermit said:
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?
Heresy?  Really?  When did that get added to the list?  What council says that?  Seems like you're just looking for more reasons that the Orthodox and Catholic churches should remain divided.  We're really not all that different.
James, we are not looking for reasons to continue the schism.  Please do not be offended.  We are discussing the question about theosis raised by the OP, the question of theosis outside the Church.
 

Irish Hermit

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James2 said:
Irish Hermit said:
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?
Heresy?  Really?  When did that get added to the list?  What council says that? 
The Synodikon of Orthodoxy


On those who admit, even against their will, the prophetic visions, but will not accept the making of images of what they saw—O wonder!—even before the Incarnation of the Word, but emptily say that the incomprehensible and unseen essence itself was seen by those who beheld it, or conclude that these things make manifest images, figures and forms of the truth to those who see them, but will not accept that the Word become man, and his sufferings for our sake, may be depicted in icons:

Anathema!

http://www.anastasis.org.uk/synodikon.htm
 

xariskai

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Irish Hermit said:
we are not looking for reasons to continue the schism.  Please do not be offended.
+∞
 

Irish Hermit

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Deacon Lance said:
Irish Hermit said:
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

What says the section on heaven in the new Ukrainian Catechism?  Do they follow Rome and speak of contemplating God's essence?
1 John 3:2 - Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 13:12 - For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/browse.html
You are saying that the Roman Catholic teaching that eternity is the contemplation of the divine essence in the Beatific Vision is also the teaching of the Eastern Catholic Churches?
 

Irish Hermit

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Irish Hermit said:
Deacon Lance said:
Irish Hermit said:
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

What says the section on heaven in the new Ukrainian Catechism?  Do they follow Rome and speak of contemplating God's essence?
1 John 3:2 - Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 13:12 - For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/browse.html
You are saying that the Roman Catholic teaching that eternity is the contemplation of the divine essence in the Beatific Vision is also the teaching of the Eastern Catholic Churches?
It's beginning to make sense why Dragani sees Purgatory as the Final Theosis.  The theosis leads to a perfect purgation which makes it possible to enter heaven with the capacity to see and contemplate the Divine Essence.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
It's beginning to make sense why Dragani sees Purgatory as the Final Theosis.
Tut tut. I've conceded (or at least I meant to) that Dr. Dragani made a mistake by saying that "the transition from death to Heaven" is called "the Final Theosis", and that his later correction of this mistake was rather stingy. But I think it's silly of you to act as though he still persists in his mistake and never corrected it at all.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
James2 said:
Irish Hermit said:
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?
Heresy?  Really?  When did that get added to the list?  What council says that?  Seems like you're just looking for more reasons that the Orthodox and Catholic churches should remain divided.  We're really not all that different.
James, we are not looking for reasons to continue the schism.  Please do not be offended.  We are discussing the question about theosis raised by the OP, the question of theosis outside the Church.
I'm not offended, but it is not helpful to fling charges of heresy in a matter where, as Peter J has suggested, there may be misunderstandings between east and west due to "using the same term in different ways."  Many EO seem to cut the OO a lot of slack on the semantics of "nature".  We should do the same with Catholics and Protestants on salvation and other theological issues that appear to divide us.  And, quite frankly, whether in the afterlife one will behold the essence of God or communicate with His energies is a matter of speculative theology that has no consequences for how we live in this world.  Both views express the importance of people living in a loving relationship with God, and that's what really counts.
 

elijahmaria

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Irish Hermit said:
James2 said:
....I have a hard time grasping how eastern theosis and western beatific vision are so radically different. 
Orthodox Theosis..... an ever increasing participation in the divine energies.

Catholic Beatific Vision...... a vision and enjoyment of the divine essence.

These seem two different concepts of the afterlife.

Orthodox theosis is a train journey.

Catholic Beatific Vision is static, gazing upon a beautiful painting of a train and enjoying its beauty.
:p  Nonsense...

Follows but a tiny taste of the resources available just on-line...

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Treats with love and understanding, the intellect and the will, human nature as static and divine nature as dynamic, with the beatific vision and union with God being dynamic:

http://books.google.com/books?id=f42d87wDafYC&pg=PA77&lpg=PA77&dq=Is+the+Beatific+Vision+Static+or+Dynamic&source=bl&ots=Doxen_SkX-&sig=YVciuNIMICaQw2LJG5LmoYmYD0c&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rL4YT8nWLML10gG37tjPCw&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Is%20the%20Beatific%20Vision%20Static%20or%20Dynamic&f=false

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Father George Maloney on the dynamism of the beatific vision:

http://books.google.com/books?id=C_tBtPLaT-oC&pg=PA166&lpg=PA166&dq=Is+the+Beatific+Vision+Static+or+Dynamic&source=bl&ots=der0aprzbw&sig=hFAtFMTgxYPUiN-6MIYKiqhZSx0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rL4YT8nWLML10gG37tjPCw&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Is%20the%20Beatific%20Vision%20Static%20or%20Dynamic&f=false

+++++++++++++++++

Peter Kreeft on the dynamism of the beatific vision:

http://books.google.com/books?id=qVqJetnPT4QC&pg=PA53&lpg=PA53&dq=Is+the+Beatific+Vision+Static+or+Dynamic&source=bl&ots=f5zk9U7-Kb&sig=7IWF6JNQnnzmt5aXvy6g0VD5afc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rL4YT8nWLML10gG37tjPCw&ved=0CD0Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Is%20the%20Beatific%20Vision%20Static%20or%20Dynamic&f=false

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Father John Hardon on the dynamism of divine essence/nature:

http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Grace/Grace_003.htm

Nature. Is an ultimate principle always a nature? The term "essence" is also used to designate an ultimate principle; but the nature of a being is the essence considered as a principle of operation, considered as the ultimate principle in the order of activity. Essence rather connotes something static, nature something dynamic. Will the Beatific Vision, love and enjoyment, ultimately "flow out of" sanctifying grace? Yes. It does not actually "flow out" here and now, because we lack the necessary proximate principle of the Beatific Vision, love and enjoyment, the light of glory. Similarly, in us every thought flows from the soul through the intellect, every will-act through the will, every sensation through the sense-faculties. What thinks? The sup posit, the person, ultimately through the soul and proximately through the intellect. In us, the thinking power must have a properly disposed thinking apparatus: a person with defective material organs or connections in certain areas will find his thinking ability impaired or completely inhibited. Children born with such deficiencies could get sanctifying grace by baptism and (perhaps) by Confirmation got an increase of it; they could not lose sanctifying grace but they could not merit an increase of it or of light of glory.

Deiform Nature. A parallel between our human nature and deiform nature may be helpful. In a human nature, the soul, the form of the body, is the ultimate operative principle. From this ultimate operative principle flow all the powers of the soul, the faculties, which are the proximate operative principles. Instincts we may call proximate or immediate responsive principles. Flowing from all these principles are human acts. Man is made to act, to be more fully man by using his powers; his nature is dynamic, and he becomes more fully man by acting as man. But this is not enough,

For God wanted man to live a deiform life. For this he needs an ultimate deiform principle of operation: sanctifying grace.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

An exceptionally dense article on the dynamism of Faith and the Beatific Visioin:

http://woodstock.georgetown.edu/library/Murray/1937-1.htm
 

elijahmaria

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Peter J said:
elijahmaria said:
Peter J said:
Peter J said:
elijahmaria said:
Aquinas, who offers the teaching, never uses the phrase "created grace".
Heck, I don't think he even spoke English.
Seriously, though, I'm hoping either you are Fr. Ambrose (or both) could clarify this: what was the exact term that Aquinas used? Is "created grace" just a poor translation (wouldn't be the first time), or what?
There is no particular phrase to be translated.  He speaks of grace that comes to us in a manner that we, as God's human creatures, are capable of receiving it.  The phrase "created grace" comes later.
I was under the impression that he did talk about "created grace", so I took a look (not a very thorough look tbh). I managed to find "Is there created grace in Christ?" Now I haven't analysed this very thoroughly, and I can think of a number of possible alternatives (I wouldn't even rule out the possibility that "created grace" is actually a bad translation of something Aquinas said -- just consider situation with the phrase "praying to the saints"). But it appears to go against the idea that 'The phrase "created grace" comes later' than Aquinas.
Torrell would agree with you.  I suppose what I was remembering was the text of a lecture where the instructor indicated that the phrase created grace was never used by St. Thomas without the explanation that is offered in Torrell's text below.  I went back and listened to the pertinent section of the lecture and found that I had conflated two ideas and drawn the wrong conclusion.  Nevertheless the notion of created grace is not what Orthodox believers generally say that it is in fact:

http://books.google.com/books?id=9s4qJ78nzW8C&pg=PA182&lpg=PA182&dq=Does+Aquinas+use+the+phrase+created+grace&source=bl&ots=rfgAVqHU82&sig=JdWlRNi-OYBUbDno6ITjxzUji4k&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QMcYT6O6JuHx0gGg2rjqCw&ved=0CG4Q6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=Does%20Aquinas%20use%20the%20phrase%20created%20grace&f=false
 

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Irish Hermit said:
elijahmaria said:
You [Fr. Ambrose] elide hesychasm with theosis as though they are the same thing.  They are not equivalent.
Hesychasm is the means of progressing in theosis on this earth. They are not equivalent but they are inseparable.   I do not know about progress in theosis in the afterlife.
In this we are agreed.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:
Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.
Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.
I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

Irish Hermit said:
As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.  
If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.
Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.
Was Deacon Lance's reply in #188 above from yesterday not sufficient?  If not, how was it deficient?
Insufficient.  How many Catholics understand that as an exposition of the Eastern teaching of theosis?  

But it is a very positive thing, imho, because it is one of the examples of the Vatican slowly and quietly shifting its faithful eastwards in theology.
You asked for magisterial teaching about theosis.  He provided it.  How is it insufficient?  Most Catholics I know, especially Western ones, are not even familiar with the term "theosis".  Many are, however, familiar with what is written in the CCC, which Deacon Lance has quoted.  But you say that is insufficient.  Confusing, really.
I concede....

Catholics teach theosis as the goal for man.

Catholics teach that the Final Theosis takes place in purgatory.

Catholics teach that God is Essence and Energies.

Catholics no longer teach the Divine Simplicity.

Catholic teach that we shall know only the Divine Energies**

Catholics teach there is no created grace.

Catholics teach that all grace is God.

All the above is magisterial teaching.


** This would be heresy for Catholics since Catholic dogma says we may see and enjoy the Divine Essence.
You know, I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something that really strikes a discordant note with this "answer".  It's almost as though having asked and been answered you *still* seem to want to try to continue on what Mary terms as a "search and destroy" mission.  You say you "concede" but somehow, and again, I can't put my finger on it, it *seems* as though you do not.

You make a list and then, as an Orthodox priest, say "all the above is [Catholic] magisterial teaching".  Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to either confirm or deny that.  Would that I were.  So, would you mind very much indulging me and providing sources/references for each of them?  I think Deacon Lance's reply in #188 covers the fact that the Catholic Church does, indeed, teach "theosis", albeit without using that specific term.

The rest of this thread has moved on into intellectual and theological territory that, quite frankly, is over my head and beyond my educational limits, and I include what you have said above in that.  That's why I've asked you to cite some recognized Catholic sources.

Apologies for being a p.i.t.a.  ;).

 

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Irish Hermit said:
Irish Hermit said:
Deacon Lance said:
Irish Hermit said:
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

What says the section on heaven in the new Ukrainian Catechism?  Do they follow Rome and speak of contemplating God's essence?
1 John 3:2 - Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 13:12 - For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/browse.html
You are saying that the Roman Catholic teaching that eternity is the contemplation of the divine essence in the Beatific Vision is also the teaching of the Eastern Catholic Churches?
It's beginning to make sense why Dragani sees Purgatory as the Final Theosis.  The theosis leads to a perfect purgation which makes it possible to enter heaven with the capacity to see and contemplate the Divine Essence.
You and most of the Orthodox that I know treat the beatific vision as though it is a movie on a screen or a lovely sunrise or something to be viewed.  I suppose it is because of the word "vision"...

I've sent several links to this thread where it is clear that the beatific vision refers to our participation in the divine life, in life everlasting...We become both the image and likeness of God and we participate in his essential nature as adopted sons and daughters...greater even than the angels.

You cannot read Aquinas on existence and essence, act and potentiality, nature and being at the level of "See John run...Run John run"  Literal and unschooled readings will simply will lead you to the kinds of stiff and inaccurate conclusions that are in evidence here in this thread.

Mary
 

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Peter J said:
Irish Hermit said:
It's beginning to make sense why Dragani sees Purgatory as the Final Theosis.
Tut tut. I've conceded (or at least I meant to) that Dr. Dragani made a mistake by saying that "the transition from death to Heaven" is called "the Final Theosis", and that his later correction of this mistake was rather stingy. But I think it's silly of you to act as though he still persists in his mistake and never corrected it at all.
What Dragani says, in equating the Final Theosis with Purgatory makes sense, somewhat, if he sees it as the final stage of purgation before a man is able to contemplate the Divine Essence in the Beatific Vision.

Btw,  he has not corrected his statement.  It still is there in his webpage.  http://www.east2west.org/doctrine.htm#Purgatory What he has done is create confusion by adding a footnote.  The essay says Purgatory is the Final Theosis.  The footnote says that theosis is eternal

Essay:
Rather than "Purgatory," we [Eastern Catholics] prefer to call it "the Final Theosis."

Footnote:
Please note: Eastern theology teaches that theosis is an infinite process, and does not cease when a person enters into heaven. The term "final theosis" is not intended to imply otherwise.

Is Dragani telling the truth when he claims that Eastern Catholics prefer to call Purgatory "the Final Theosis"?  No. Eastern Catholics have never heard the term.  Just  remember Mary's reaction to the term.  A competent Eastern Catholic catechist,  she had never encountered it.  Why Dragani had to assert a falsehood is anybody's guess. 
 

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J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:
Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.
Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.
I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

Irish Hermit said:
As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching. 
If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.
Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.
Was Deacon Lance's reply in #188 above from yesterday not sufficient?  If not, how was it deficient?
Insufficient.  How many Catholics understand that as an exposition of the Eastern teaching of theosis? 

But it is a very positive thing, imho, because it is one of the examples of the Vatican slowly and quietly shifting its faithful eastwards in theology.
You asked for magisterial teaching about theosis.  He provided it.  How is it insufficient?  Most Catholics I know, especially Western ones, are not even familiar with the term "theosis".  Many are, however, familiar with what is written in the CCC, which Deacon Lance has quoted.  But you say that is insufficient.  Confusing, really.
I concede....

Catholics teach theosis as the goal for man.

Catholics teach that the Final Theosis takes place in purgatory.

Catholics teach that God is Essence and Energies.

Catholics no longer teach the Divine Simplicity.

Catholic teach that we shall know only the Divine Energies**

Catholics teach there is no created grace.

Catholics teach that all grace is God.

All the above is magisterial teaching.


** This would be heresy for Catholics since Catholic dogma says we may see and enjoy the Divine Essence.
You make a list and then, as an Orthodox priest, say "all the above is [Catholic] magisterial teaching".  Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to either confirm or deny that.
If it is not magisterial teaching then it is pretty much worthless.

As I have said, time and again on this forum the Orthodox have been rebuked for assuming this or that is Catholic teaching.  We are told,  “It is not.  The Magisterium has not said it is.”

One would expect Catholics to know these magisterial teachings and be able to say which of the above statements are magisterial and which are not.
 

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elijahmaria said:
You and most of the Orthodox that I know treat the beatific vision as though it is a movie on a screen or a lovely sunrise or something to be viewed.  I suppose it is because of the word "vision"...

I've sent several links to this thread where it is clear that the beatific vision refers to our participation in the divine life, in life everlasting...We become both the image and likeness of God and we participate in his essential nature as adopted sons and daughters...greater even than the angels.
The Beatific Vision has been defined de fide as the contemplation and enjoyment of the Divine Essence.  Now you have extended that to participation in the Divine Essence!!?  Of course your additional assertion is not de fide and carries no significance beyond your personal opinion.

All the same it is astounding that we find a Ruthenian Catholic proclaiming something which is heretical in orthodox theology.
 

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I'm going to go out on a limb here.  Perhaps it is because I just got back from four days at a Carmelite retreat house our Diocese rented for our clergy meeting (the nuns there were awesome).  But, it is also because I have been wrestling with this topic for some time now and I think I'm getting a handle on it.  Anyway, you can shoot away afterwards and I won't be offended.

Theosis is the transformation we have when we encounter God.  We cannot encounter God without being transformed by Him.

God is a Person, and so this encounter with God is an encounter with His Person: the Uncreated energy of God, the Body and Blood of His Son, etc.

He is also The Truth, which we begin to approach through truth.  Therefore, wherever truth is found, then we begin to approach God.  Truth changes us, it makes us better.  'Healthy people' are people who spend the most time in the truth.  They do not believe in false images of themselves (therefore they are humble and kind, etc.) nor do they live in emotional chaos driven by fear.

Therefore, all people to some extent experience Theosis as they seek spiritual truth and find it.  They encounter the True God in small glimpses, and they are changed as a result.  Those faiths closer to the Orthodox Faith (Orthodox being a replacement adjective for 'True') are naturally going to bring adherents more of these transformative opportunities.

Does this make sense?
 

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elijahmaria said:
You cannot read Aquinas on existence and essence, act and potentiality, nature and being at the level of "See John run...Run John run"  Literal and unschooled readings will simply will lead you to the kinds of stiff and inaccurate conclusions that are in evidence here in this thread.
How many times have we been told, when we quote Aquinas,  that he is not part of the Magisterium and his opinions are just that.. his opinions.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:
Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.
Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.
I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

Irish Hermit said:
As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.   
If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.
Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.
Was Deacon Lance's reply in #188 above from yesterday not sufficient?  If not, how was it deficient?
Insufficient.  How many Catholics understand that as an exposition of the Eastern teaching of theosis? 

But it is a very positive thing, imho, because it is one of the examples of the Vatican slowly and quietly shifting its faithful eastwards in theology.
You asked for magisterial teaching about theosis.  He provided it.  How is it insufficient?  Most Catholics I know, especially Western ones, are not even familiar with the term "theosis".  Many are, however, familiar with what is written in the CCC, which Deacon Lance has quoted.  But you say that is insufficient.  Confusing, really.
I concede....

Catholics teach theosis as the goal for man.

Catholics teach that the Final Theosis takes place in purgatory.

Catholics teach that God is Essence and Energies.

Catholics no longer teach the Divine Simplicity.

Catholic teach that we shall know only the Divine Energies**

Catholics teach there is no created grace.

Catholics teach that all grace is God.

All the above is magisterial teaching.


** This would be heresy for Catholics since Catholic dogma says we may see and enjoy the Divine Essence.
You make a list and then, as an Orthodox priest, say "all the above is [Catholic] magisterial teaching".  Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to either confirm or deny that.
If it is not magisterial teaching then it is pretty much worthless.

As I have said, time and again on this forum the Orthodox have been rebuked for assuming this or that is Catholic teaching.  We are told,  “It is not.  The Magisterium has not said it is.”

One would expect Catholics to know these magisterial teachings and be able to say which of the above statements are magisterial and which are not.
1.  So you are saying that all Catholic utterances, in word or print, unless part of the magisterium, are worthless?  Kinda sounds that way.  That's quite an assertion!!

2.  I'm not the world's most well-educated or informed Catholic--far, far from it--but I'm workin' on it  ;D.  As such, no, I don't know everything that is included or excluded from magisterial teachings--but I'm workin' on it  ;D.  I'm sure many other Catholics are in the same position--but please don't blast them for their ignorance, okay--I'm sure they're workin' on it, too  ;D.

3.  *You* stated that those were all magisterial teachings.  I'm only asking *you* to substantiate that.  If you can't, just say so.  Then perhaps we could ask Mary :).
 

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J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:
Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:
Irish Hermit said:
Peter J said:

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.
Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.
I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

Irish Hermit said:
As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching. 
If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.
Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.
Was Deacon Lance's reply in #188 above from yesterday not sufficient?  If not, how was it deficient?
Insufficient.  How many Catholics understand that as an exposition of the Eastern teaching of theosis? 

But it is a very positive thing, imho, because it is one of the examples of the Vatican slowly and quietly shifting its faithful eastwards in theology.
You asked for magisterial teaching about theosis.  He provided it.  How is it insufficient?  Most Catholics I know, especially Western ones, are not even familiar with the term "theosis".  Many are, however, familiar with what is written in the CCC, which Deacon Lance has quoted.  But you say that is insufficient.  Confusing, really.
I concede....

Catholics teach theosis as the goal for man.

Catholics teach that the Final Theosis takes place in purgatory.

Catholics teach that God is Essence and Energies.

Catholics no longer teach the Divine Simplicity.

Catholic teach that we shall know only the Divine Energies**

Catholics teach there is no created grace.

Catholics teach that all grace is God.

All the above is magisterial teaching.


** This would be heresy for Catholics since Catholic dogma says we may see and enjoy the Divine Essence.
You make a list and then, as an Orthodox priest, say "all the above is [Catholic] magisterial teaching".  Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to either confirm or deny that.
If it is not magisterial teaching then it is pretty much worthless.

As I have said, time and again on this forum the Orthodox have been rebuked for assuming this or that is Catholic teaching.  We are told,  “It is not.  The Magisterium has not said it is.”

One would expect Catholics to know these magisterial teachings and be able to say which of the above statements are magisterial and which are not.
1.  So you are saying that all Catholic utterances, in word or print, unless part of the magisterium, are worthless?  Kinda sounds that way.  That's quite an assertion!!

2.  I'm not the world's most well-educated or informed Catholic--far, far from it--but I'm workin' on it  ;D.  As such, no, I don't know everything that is included or excluded from magisterial teachings--but I'm workin' on it  ;D.  I'm sure many other Catholics are in the same position--but please don't blast them for their ignorance, okay--I'm sure they're workin' on it, too  ;D.

3.  *You* stated that those were all magisterial teachings.  I'm only asking *you* to substantiate that.  If you can't, just say so.  Then perhaps we could ask Mary :).
I cannot substantiate it.  The list is a hodgepodge.  Some may be and some won't be.  But it is what I have garnered from the contributions of Catholics in this thread.
 

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James2 said:
  And, quite frankly, whether in the afterlife one will behold the essence of God or communicate with His energies is a matter of speculative theology that has no consequences for how we live in this world. 
I imagine that those who live out of the world, people like the monks of Mount Athos, would not agree with you. :laugh:
 

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J Michael said:

1.  So you are saying that all Catholic utterances, in word or print, unless part of the magisterium, are worthless?  Kinda sounds that way.  That's quite an assertion
!!
I am not asserting it personally.  This is what we are told frequently on this forum by Catholic members.   Go back and find a thread on limbo, to take one example.


The Orthodox often forget the importance of the Magisterium for Catholics.

1.  The Orthodox receive their faith through the transmission of the sacred Tradition which takes a variety of forms.  Bishops, priests and laity alike are all guardians of the Tradition and must be obedient to it.

2.  Catholics on the other hand are expected to be submissive to the Magisterium and to its official Magisterial teachings.  Whatever of their tradition has not been codified into a Magisterial teaching is really nothing more than what the Orthodox might call theologoumena-opinion.  Up until the Bull Munificentissimus Deus Catholics were quite entitled to deny that Mary the Mother of God was assumed into heaven, just as they had been able to deny she was immaculately conceived.  Ditto for the Pope's infallibility - until 1870 nobody really knew if he were infallible or not.

I have learnt this major difference between our Churches in the way we approach the faith the hard way.  I instinctively fall into the error of thinking that Catholics are subject to Tradition and I have often written of their traditional beliefs as if they are a certain part of their faith.  In the absence of a magisterial teaching they are not.  They are only an interim belief/opinion on which you cannot place much reliance.

I think I have written about this here previously?  Teachings which have been taught and believed for centuries as part of Tradition within Catholicism may be annulled and superseded by subsequent teachings and definitions.

There actually is a great gulf between our Churches on this matter.  The certainty of our faith is grounded in our Tradition,.  The certainty of the Roman Catholic faith is grounded in magisterial statements.  In other words, the faith is effectively taken out of the hands of the Church as a whole.  The faithful are disenfranchised and the faith is posited in the hands of a small elite group known as "the Magisterium."  I frankly would not wish to be in communion with a Church which has this disjunct between its upper echelon and the great majority of its members.
 

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elijahmaria said:
Peter J said:
I was under the impression that he did talk about "created grace", so I took a look (not a very thorough look tbh). I managed to find "Is there created grace in Christ?" Now I haven't analysed this very thoroughly, and I can think of a number of possible alternatives (I wouldn't even rule out the possibility that "created grace" is actually a bad translation of something Aquinas said -- just consider situation with the phrase "praying to the saints"). But it appears to go against the idea that 'The phrase "created grace" comes later' than Aquinas.
Torrell would agree with you.  I suppose what I was remembering was the text of a lecture where the instructor indicated that the phrase created grace was never used by St. Thomas without the explanation that is offered in Torrell's text below.  I went back and listened to the pertinent section of the lecture and found that I had conflated two ideas and drawn the wrong conclusion.  Nevertheless the notion of created grace is not what Orthodox believers generally say that it is in fact:

http://books.google.com/books?id=9s4qJ78nzW8C&pg=PA182&lpg=PA182&dq=Does+Aquinas+use+the+phrase+created+grace&source=bl&ots=rfgAVqHU82&sig=JdWlRNi-OYBUbDno6ITjxzUji4k&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QMcYT6O6JuHx0gGg2rjqCw&ved=0CG4Q6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=Does%20Aquinas%20use%20the%20phrase%20created%20grace&f=false

I clicked on the link, but then I decided not to wade through several paragraphs. Perhaps you could tell us what conclusion you draw from that article. Does it support:

elijahmaria said:
There is no particular phrase to be translated.  He speaks of grace that comes to us in a manner that we, as God's human creatures, are capable of receiving it.  The phrase "created grace" comes later.
?
 

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mabsoota said:
i am hearing the sound of hairs being split...
My brain has been working for decades, for sixty five years now!  I think it is quite grateful for the polemical interaction here because it may assist it to stave off the inevitable for more years to come.  :laugh:
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Insufficient.  How many Catholics understand that as an exposition of the Eastern teaching of theosis? 
How many Orthodox would?  The ignorance of the majority does not make or break a teaching.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
elijahmaria said:
You [Fr. Ambrose] elide hesychasm with theosis as though they are the same thing.  They are not equivalent.
Hesychasm is the means of progressing in theosis on this earth. They are not equivalent but they are inseparable.   I do not know about progress in theosis in the afterlife.
I thought the Holy Mysteries were the means of theosis on this earth.  Given that 99.9% of all Orthodox aren't hesychasts I find your assertation unsustainable.  Saying the Jesus Prayer, even devoutly and often, does not make one a hesychast.  Only the monastic, poustinik, and pilgrim can attain the non-attachment, silence, and stillness necessary to become  a hesychast.
 

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We were taught that hesychasm is the fast track of theosis.  it brings a greater measure of theosis into the earthly life of the hesychast than of your average Christian.

Think of it in a monastic environment...... yes, both monastics and laymen have access to the exact same Sacraments but the monastic benefits by living inside a system focused entirely on spiritual progress and the elimination of all extraneous hindrances.

Deacon Lance said:
Irish Hermit said:
elijahmaria said:
You [Fr. Ambrose] elide hesychasm with theosis as though they are the same thing.  They are not equivalent.
Hesychasm is the means of progressing in theosis on this earth. They are not equivalent but they are inseparable.   I do not know about progress in theosis in the afterlife.
I thought the Holy Mysteries were the means of theosis on this earth.  Given that 99.9% of all Orthodox aren't hesychasts I find your assertation unsustainable.  Saying the Jesus Prayer, even devoutly and often, does not make one a hesychast.  Only the monastic, poustinik, and pilgrim can attain the non-attachment, silence, and stillness necessary to become  a hesychast.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
elijahmaria said:
You and most of the Orthodox that I know treat the beatific vision as though it is a movie on a screen or a lovely sunrise or something to be viewed.  I suppose it is because of the word "vision"...

I've sent several links to this thread where it is clear that the beatific vision refers to our participation in the divine life, in life everlasting...We become both the image and likeness of God and we participate in his essential nature as adopted sons and daughters...greater even than the angels.
The Beatific Vision has been defined de fide as the contemplation and enjoyment of the Divine Essence.  Now you have extended that to participation in the Divine Essence!!?  Of course your additional assertion is not de fide and carries no significance beyond your personal opinion.

All the same it is astounding that we find a Ruthenian Catholic proclaiming something which is heretical in orthodox theology.
I guess I am only competent when you want to use me to attack Dragani...

Your tilting at Catholic magisterial teaching is pretty infantile...IMNSHO

M.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
James2 said:
  And, quite frankly, whether in the afterlife one will behold the essence of God or communicate with His energies is a matter of speculative theology that has no consequences for how we live in this world. 
I imagine that those who live out of the world, people like the monks of Mount Athos, would not agree with you. :laugh:
I have always found it to be of great interest that St. Symeon the New Theologian, one of the very very few to be given the title "Theologian" stated quite clearly that only monastics were sufficiently disciplined to achieve the kind of sanctity required for theosis.  Not even bishops were automatically capable of being taken up into the union of theosis.

So your exemplars seem to be quite apt.

M.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
J Michael said:

1.  So you are saying that all Catholic utterances, in word or print, unless part of the magisterium, are worthless?  Kinda sounds that way.  That's quite an assertion
!!
I am not asserting it personally.  This is what we are told frequently on this forum by Catholic members.   Go back and find a thread on limbo, to take one example.


The Orthodox often forget the importance of the Magisterium for Catholics.

1.  The Orthodox receive their faith through the transmission of the sacred Tradition which takes a variety of forms.   Bishops, priests and laity alike are all guardians of the Tradition and must be obedient to it.

2.  Catholics on the other hand are expected to be submissive to the Magisterium and to its official Magisterial teachings.  Whatever of their tradition has not been codified into a Magisterial teaching is really nothing more than what the Orthodox might call theologoumena-opinion.  Up until the Bull Munificentissimus Deus Catholics were quite entitled to deny that Mary the Mother of God was assumed into heaven, just as they had been able to deny she was immaculately conceived.  Ditto for the Pope's infallibility - until 1870 nobody really knew if he were infallible or not.

I have learnt this major difference between our Churches in the way we approach the faith the hard way.   I instinctively fall into the error of thinking that Catholics are subject to Tradition and I have often written of their traditional beliefs as if they are a certain part of their faith.  In the absence of a magisterial teaching they are not.  They are only an interim belief/opinion on which you cannot place much reliance.

I think I have written about this here previously?  Teachings which have been taught and believed for centuries as part of Tradition within Catholicism may be annulled and superseded by subsequent teachings and definitions.

There actually is a great gulf between our Churches on this matter.  The certainty of our faith is grounded in our Tradition,.  The certainty of the Roman Catholic faith is grounded in magisterial statements.  In other words, the faith is effectively taken out of the hands of the Church as a whole.  The faithful are disenfranchised and the faith is posited in the hands of a small elite group known as "the Magisterium."  I frankly would not wish to be in communion with a Church which has this disjunct between its upper echelon and the great majority of its members.
Nice cartoon but it doesn't say much about any Catholic reality.

If it entertains then I suppose there's no real harm done.
 
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