Heart is pulling me towards Orthodoxy


#228

understand Catholics to state, that only our glorified resurrected body, will be able to directly experience God’s glorious divine energies…

and that our created flesh can only experience created energies – “our eyes have photon absorbing proteins, that enable our eyes to detect regular created photons… But we couldn’t detect supernatural divine super photons, even if God did generate them right before us, anymore than we could see neutrinos, dark matter or dark energy” (so to speak)

likewise we can’t directly comprehend the divine language of God and angels in heaven… So God had to translate & convert divine communications into the terrestrial languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek

similarly, God’s heavenly energy must first be translated & converted into created energy, before there can be any interactions with creation

again, in science sounding speak, created matter can only “speak four languages”, can only interact four ways – strong interaction, weak interaction, electromagnetism, gravity…

if supernatural super photons did exist, they couldn’t “talk to” anything in created space time. They would be unobservable, like dark matter but without even any gravity effects… Just as a neutral neutrino is “oblivious” to the electromagnetic force, so all created matter would be “oblivious” to the “supernatural super force” if it existed

again, humans on earth only spoke 72 languages… If God didn’t translate divine heavenly language into Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek… Then humans couldn’t get the message, would just be Alien gibberish (so to speak)

once the dust settles, and a miracle is over, Orthodox and Catholics agree, that something anomalous and paranormal occurred

Orthodox say that God can reach directly into creation… Like, in a dark pool billiards hall, seeing a hand reaching into the light over the table, and grabbing and moving around the billiard balls

whereas Catholics say we wouldn’t see the hand at all… We would merely infer there was a hand reaching into the pool game, because the balls moved in a surprising unexpected anomalous way

===

i also understand that analogia entis is justifiable from Genesis 1:26

  • analogia entis, wherein the assumption is made that things “be,” and God “bes,” so there is some kind of faint analogy of “being” that can be grasped between created being and divine being

we IMAGE God on earth. We are made in his LIKENESS.

so even as the very word “God” is a faint analogy to actual God in heaven

so human beings were CREATED as faint analogies to Divine Being

hence,

  • God is placed on a continuum of “being” where the divine essence is likened to created being

#229

Let start with this to the person asking about his heart pulling you to Orthodox Christianity. I have been in your shoes for I’m Orthodox Christian now I felt that I needed to reconcile with the Orthodox Church. I was raised, Roman Catholic my background is of Southern Italian and I had this yearning to be Orthodox Christian. I would ask God not people in a chatroom, not the best place to get advice on one’s faith. God will guide you in your struggle HE knows what is in your heart. I hope this helps you…


#230

I wasn’t talking about that. I don’t think we Maronites accept his theology anyways. I was just responding to StAugustine’s overtly impious remarks about a saint of God. I was too disgusted to read further than the first paragraph of his post. And it’s not up to him to choose to “accept” Saint Gregory or not- the Church has accepted him, infallibly stating that he is in heaven praying for us when his canonization was not contested. He can choose not to venerate him, but it is not up to him to pick whether he believes Saint Gregory is a saint or not. I humbly offer him the same advice I’ve offered several of my more strongly - opinionated Latin brothers and sisters on this forum: Get in line behind Rome’s teaching.
And I would like to add that such disrespect towards a saint bordering on hatred harbored towards said saint is unacceptable neither here on earth nor in Heaven. StAugustine has given me time and again the impression of great holiness, but none of us are perfect, I suppose. I sincerely hope he can resolve this “feud” of his with Saint Gregory Palamas and maybe benefit from the Saint’s meritorious intercession.

O Saint Gregory, light of Orthodoxy, pray for us. Amen.


#231

Would be very useful to resolve this contentious issue as quickly as possible.

In expertly I’m still of the opinion that at this point, both sides do not even. Correctly characterize the other. Each side is arguing at straw men of their own creation to some degree.

I think there’s a lot more common ground or room acceptable disagreement then is being recognized.


#232

From my point of view, main focus on conversation was on whether Palamite theology is correct or not / whether Palamite theology is to be interpreted way modern Orthodox interpret it- something not closely related to his sainthood. If Rome accepted St. Gregory Palamas as Saint, let us repeat Saint Augustine’s (not forum user) words, " Roma locuta; causa finita est " or “Rome has spoken, matter is finished”.


#233

Well, contraceptives were forbidden by St. John Chrysostom too, I don’t see why Orthodoxy has no clear teachings on this- after all it would not be a limit to Christians, it would be a guide and directive for them to get closer to God. It seems to me that modern Orthodox neglect some hard-line teachings of Fathers because there is simply not enough authority in Church- promulgations of Synods, Bishops or Autocephalous Churches are viewed as something in-between recommendation and opinion for those not directly bound by them, and even then matters tend to be ignored down the hierarchy. This might be just my impression, but Orthodoxy is stalling to remain unchanged instead of fighting against evils of modern world. Catholic Church does not fear change because She knows Church “changes” to fight evil and She does not need to prove She is true Church by never changing.

There is a great quote saying something along lines of “lie has to be believable to be good lie, but truth has no limitations of being believable- it just has to be true”. Funnily enough, I believe traditional Catholics are usually strict about teachings unlike Orthodoxy, yet many traditional Catholics try to escape “modernist Church of Vatican 2” and run from Catholic Church to Orthodoxy.


#234

@OrbisNonSufficit I had no idea about that with St. John Chrysostom, wow. Thank you for this reply, and it would seem there’s a few topics that Orthodox doesn’t have clear teachings on (which I didn’t mention) that are moral issues in this modern world. I would agree it would seem these unethical issues and others are neglected because of lack of authority within… I have found this also in my studies and would agree with your impression. I am not able to ethically delve deeper into Orthodox, because of their want to remain unchanged within this modern world. So many new ethics issues have arisen, and to be silent in education and logic just doesn’t add up. I really appreciate the sincerity of the Catholic Church, capable of remaining unchanged yet reaffirm teachings to fight any ethics issues the modern world may present.
That is pretty funny about the trad Catholics and the Vatican 2 topic, I just had a laugh, so true and it’s peculiar how these topics present themselves.


#235

Why does Rome have anything to do with whether Gregory Palamas as a saint or not? We Byzantines venerate him, Rome doesn’t have to.

ZP


#236

If Rome proclaims Gregory Palamas is Saint, it becomes binding and not matter of opinion for everybody, including Latin Catholics. It does not enforce veneration of course. That is difference, and it has some impact on things stated in this debate hence I felt necessary to point that out.

If you meant that Rome does not make someone a Saint, that’s also true. God makes people Saints and Church just affirms it.


#237

I agree. A good scholarly work that makes a strong case for the compatibility of Palamas and Aquinas on the question of deification is “The Ground of Union” by A.N. Williams.


#238

You say Rome has spoken okay fine she can sit in the corner hold her breathing until she blue in the face. No skin of my nose. I take anything said by Rome with a grain of salt. She can’t order or force any Church to agree with her. The Roman Catholic Church is an independent Church and she can only rule herself no other Church has to bow to Rome. Oh! I still call myself Catholic and as far as I know you don’t own the word or copyright to it; So if anyone ask me I still call as I’ve stated to you the only difference is I’m just in the Russian Orthodox Church the Roman Catholic Church. In the United States of America I’m free to call myself Catholic I want no one can stop me…


#239

I like this from EWTN (emphasis added):

EWTN Catholic Q&A
Hesychast Prayer
Question from Joe on 01-31-2004:

What were the West’s objections to Hesychast prayer and what role, if any, can they play in a Latin Catholic’s prayer life today?

Joe
Answer by Anthony Dragani on 02-20-2004:
Joe,

There were two primary objections:

  1. There was a concern that it reduced mysticism to a specific “method” or “technique.” In other words, there was a fear that Hesychast prayer was an attempt to develop some sort of “formula” for spiritual growth, which would neglect the truth that spirituality is about a relationship with God.

  2. There was a disagreement with the theology associated with it. Hesychast prayer is very much linked to the theology of St. Gregory Palamas, who taught that God is both essence and energies. The essence of God is that which we can never know, so we experience God through his uncreated energies. Grace is another name for these energies. Thus, Hesychasm advocates the position that when we experience grace, we are experiencing God Himself. This view of grace was very different from the view advocated in much of Scholastic Theology in the West.

Today these concerns are no longer held, and the Western Church recognizes the validity and full legitimacy of Hesychast prayer. Pope John Paul II even asked Byzantine Catholic Churches to restore St. Gregory Palamas to their calendars, as many had previously removed him.

Can Hesychast prayer play a role in the life of a Latin Catholic? Absolutely! Many Roman Catholics have read the wonderful book “The Way of a Pilgrim,” and now routinely say the Jesus Prayer.

God Bless, Anthony

ZP


#240

Wow :astonished: like a dollar per page! You have a copy? Covers all of these topics?

I understand Thomas Aquinas identifies God’s essence and nature. With God’s energetic Actions.

I understand Eastern Orthodox. Believe that limits God. Because if God’s actions were free if God could have chosen to do something else. Then God has an “unrealised Potential” Beyond outside of other than what God freely chose to do.

However, God being infinitely intelligent. God. Chooses those actions, which most superbly represent his character.

We say God is good. So God chooses those actions that are maximally good. Optimally good. If God had chosen to do anything else, it would presumably have been less good and so less reflective of God’s Good nature essence attribute.

So even if this isn’t the best choice of words. The optimization the maximization. God employees. Represents some kind of restriction or limitation. Search that. We really cannot identify God with any of the actions that God himself Dis-identified with in not choosing to do.

To identify God in any way with any of the theoretically possible actions, which God nevertheless chose not to do, would be to identify God with something less superb less optimal less maximal of a representation of His nature than God Himself chose to do to represent Himself.

So it seems to me on this particular point that Thomas Aquinas Offers the stronger argument. The theoretical possibilities, which God Hypothetically could have done. By his omnipotence. But nevertheless chose not to do because they don’t maximally represent his nature. All of those theoretical possibilities are mere curiosities that do not actually reflect on God’s Nature or Essence.

Obviously God being Omni Potent God could theoretically hypothetically have chosen to do other things as I understand the Eastern Orthodox, too. State.

But once again, God himself rejected all those possible choices in favor of others. What God rejected humans have no right to identify or associate with God?


#241

It’s been several years since I’ve read it, but as I recall, Williams deals largely with the question of whether Aquinas’s understanding of God as pure act and Palamas’s understanding of essence and energies can be reconciled in the context of their approaches to deification, without addressing all of the other questions you raise. On the question of reconciling the two, Williams takes a fairly positive stance.


#242

Rome can order any Church to agree with her, can’t force them to agree though. Same way God could and did “order” us to hold to 10 commandments but “can’t” (would be against his own nature) force us because of our free will.

You can call yourself apple and you won’t be one, same way you are not Catholic despite calling yourself so. We are all capable of lies or ignorance anyway.

could you rephrase? If you mean only difference is that you are effectively outside the Catholic Church built by Christ identified by communion with See of Peter, the Rome, you are correct but I wouldn’t say that’s small difference. You believe in plurality of Churches of God and indifferentism, I get it.


#243

That’s a tricky part though, all-knowing and all-good God couldn’t have chosen anything not perfectly good otherwise he wouldn’t be all-good (and as he is all-knowing he knows what is perfectly best all the time), so in theory while God has a choice it’s always kind of “easy” to determine from his point of view and he couldn’t choose anything else based on his nature. In theory he is capable of other things based on his omnipotence but other parts of his nature disallow them. It’s pretty hard to get our human brains to grasp this completely, and as Saint Augustine said, if we think we completely understand God, we can be sure it is not God.

In my opinion hesychasm itself is not harmful theologically speaking, and if we identify Palamite theology in sync with Aquinas it is not wrong. Would that be correct?


#244

That would stand to reason

with all due respect to everyone on all sides. Wouldn’t it be most practical too prioritize UNITY. Over these extremely philosophical speculations about the nature of God.

Again, with all due respect, it looks to me like we could philosophize for 1000 years… and the only thing that would come of it is division of the church over these traditions of men.

Are we absolutely sure any of this is absolutely essential for faith and Salvation?

I admit I may not understand All of the nuances and inter relations between all these ideas.

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity” ― St. Augustine


#245

the contents, according to the review are very fair and balanced and insightful and even surprising.


#246

Empirical vs. Transcendent essence

I have been told elsewhere that Thomasine philosophy can accommodate an Essence-Energies like distinction…

  • Essence --> Transcendent essence, unknowable
  • Energies --> Empirical essence, known through God’s energetic acts of revealing intervention

Providing… “the distinction lies merely in our perception and not in God as composition…This distinction will then only be in the minds of creatures”


#247

Greetings of Peace!
I would support you with your decision as long as you would respect the tradition of our Catholic Church and give value to it.I would tell you my story it is very horrible because I almost forget that I am a Catholic due to my addiction to the Chinese culture and I am just a teen ager and I want to change my religion to Buddhism because in my mind Buddha is an Asian version of Jesus while the Bodhisattva are the angel.I’d realize that God did this to me to respect the belief of other because recently I am anti-Protestant but I later realized that God loves us all and because He loves me too He saved me from my addiction and made me more simple and a more happier Catholic.Actually I don’t know how it came and as a teen ager I want to be a Catholic Carmelite Priest .I think God will let you to be an Orthodox but please keep the Catholic Church in your heart my dear.


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