Orthodox Spirituality

As I understand most of you are apart of western Christianity and though I respect your traditions I find that most western Christians don’t really understand eastern Christian spirituality. Orthodox spirituality is based on Hesychasm and our theology has been largely shaped by Palamism. As Orthodox Christians, rather than seeing death as a punishment for Adam’s sin we see it as an illness or a curse that is on all of Adam’s descendants. We believe that by fully cooperating with God we may become united with his free gift of grace and become more Godlike through the sacred mysteries of the holy Orthodox Church which Christ our Lord won for us on the cross and in his resurrection. Jesus as the perfect and blameless Son of God became incarnate not to take our place in any sort of punishment from God, but rather to participate in humanity and reverse the effects of Adam’s sin on humanity which climaxed at the cross which we believe to be the center of all world history. We do believe that even if Adam hadn’t sinned Christ would still have become incarnate to further Adam and Eve’s spiritual journey to immortality. There are many stages within spiritual development which leads to perfection, although most do not attain this in this world. It’s obviously much more complicated than this but there is a lot of Palamite terminology that I’d have to throw around to fully explain this but I hope you guys enjoy learning about this. May God bless you.


I have two questions if I may.

  1. Do you know what the Evolution church is ?
  2. If one is not an Orthodox Christian, whether he is Catholic or non -Caholic is he considered to be in spiritual darkness?
1 Like

Would you have any resources that may help? As a Palamite panentheist Christian, I’d like to learn more!

Read the Triads by St. Gregory Palamas himself as a start.

1 Like


The Orthodox Church doesn’t have an official position on the state of other Christians outside of the holy Orthodox Catholic Church. But as Orthodox Christians we do believe the Orthodox Church is the sole way to salvation. God is loving and merciful though and recognizes that many Christians are separated from the Orthodox Church out of no apparent reason of their own, and we may recognize their genuine love for Christ. But again, we simply do not know the state of non-Orthodox Christians so this is theologoumenon (theological opinion).

I am a Western Christian, a member of the Latin church, but via he Melkite Greek Catholic church I am familiar with Byzantine practices and Theological emphasis. I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding on both sides, I think we need to remember that neither one is wrong, and I think we do well to understand that they are complementary, not contradictory.

1 Like

Lossky: “The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church”

This one locates your feet in the soil of the earth…


1 Like

I’ll definitely check it out! Thanks!

How well do you understand western spirituality?

Are you familiar with western monastic traditions?

I have some familiarity with Ignatian spirituality.

Almost true…

Hesychasm is true repentance from all things earthly…

But the basis is repentance…

Not particular spiritual praxes…

The latter change and evolve as one makes progress…



This theology was primarily derived from the Council in Trullo (Quinisext Council) of 692. While held by Orthodox Christianity to be Ecumenical, it in no way held any authority to do so as no Western delegates were present. Specifically, it focuses on the rejection of the early Church Father’s acceptance of Christ as the expiatory Lamb of God and instead replaces their theology with the late fourth century ‘Canons of the Apostles’ which rejected the use of the title Lamb of God and instead adopted optional biblical canons which removed the Apocalypse of John, the most blatant biblical representation of the Lamb of God. The theology behind the expiatory Lamb of God was reaffirmed in the Council of Florence in 1439 by every single autocephalous Orthodox patriarch or his official delegate in addition to official delegates from the Coptic and Ethiopian Churches, when they unanimously endorsed the Apocalypse of John as Scripture. They also approved of the West’s usage of filioque but that is outright ignored by Orthodox Christians today and beside the point.

1 Like

I for one am fascinated by Orthodox spirituality. On my way into the Church, I practiced hesychastic Jesus Prayer and I read some of the Philokalia. Concepts that strikes me from Orthodox theology is it’s mystical bent, the concept that the only true theologian is one who’s experienced God and the view of sin as sickness to be healed.

I’ll admit that I do have difficulties in understanding Palamist theology.

I just want to point out, that some Catholics pray the Jesus prayer too, I do.

1 Like

That’s cool. One Deacon I know came from the Byzantine Rite.

I learned about it from Melkites, and they are Byzantines from the Middle East, and the Melkite church that’s near me is like my second home. Which reminds me, About something else I need to go post.

Okay. Something I remember is that one night I was having so me really bad spiritual problems. I prayed the Jesus Prayer and it gave me so much peace and calm.

It helps me when my mind wonders, which is a lot. It is a good prayer!

1 Like

Oh, it is. A lot quicker than the Hail Mary.

1 Like

I say that one too. But you’re right.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.