Theosis vs. Beatific Vision

I don’t think anything needs to be rejected as to the conversation of West or East for the dilemma is you do not know how God exactly through the Supernatural does infuse His Grace on an individual. We know he does, we know we partake in the Sonship through the process of Grace or as with Paul it can very well be infused into the soul in the immediate or with Mary. Still they continued to perfection with the Lord, much suffering, great trials. There is much we do know.

As much as I agree Created Grace is so-so, I also see the opposite as lacking. If we look at the Burning Bush or the Transfiguration since both have been mentioned. What we see is the ability of God through the Holy Spirit to decend directly to man. First it should be noted this places God outside of time which has also been mentioned. Since it would be logical to reason He is not subject to time thus has the ability to collapse time as He wills. If fact this is exactly what occurs through the Eucharist [though slightly different here], a Locution, Vision etc. and also through Baptism, Virtue’s and so forth. The degree of the Supernatural may range from any degree within profound. This introduces an interval from which we receiving the infused virtue, emerge further along in time than would otherwise have occured. If Pauls vision had not occured then we could safely state Paul would have taken much longer to get on board, God willed otherwise. And directly communicated His Blessing on Paul. The rest is history

What this does is substitute for learning that which may well have taken 10, 20, years. This occurs by recognition of perfect equality of God and the receiver on which this transfer of communication rests. Thus God is communicating to you on a level of comprehension, His love, and mercy by descending with His communication. No different than with Jesus Human/Divine the Word became flesh, commnunication occured. Much occured with Christ, one of the most significant is understanding just how utterly worthless the flesh is. Yet the commandment is to Love Your …yup that guy who you don’t like…Him.

Therefore what is occuring is God shortens time by collapsing it, thus eliminating intervals within it. We see this also from Genesis foward, time was non-existant, then time as man understood it was altered. Time is a “learning tool” perhaps when man picks up some speed in the process or accepting God Kingdom, then this will no longer need to exist or be altered as to mans success.

However God is not packing snow-balls of different size and winging them down from Heaven to hit souls with Grace. He is interacting through His Word. Not words on paper, really, in truth His Word. His communication, which may not even be spoken, His covenants, elect in "altus christus’ etc.

Words then as above lack complete understanding. yes we partake in the Sonship which is never complete on Earth. And “exactly” how God infuses this Supernatural virtue is in fact a major Mystery. I see direct communication. Jesus speaks well on this in relation to the Kingdom of God. Mans ignorance cripples his spiritual eye, thats why they cannot see the Kingdom. If fact some of the harshest words Jesus spoke were on “religion”. This is a test, and nope you don’t get the lesson first. Its one of Faith, as you believe so it will be.

Essence I’m pretty sure is CCC teaching. Nevertheless I’m not overwhemed with either defined word above. I like Essence, energy I’m not keen on. I have an EE degree, so in my paradigm its just not up to par. Divinization, not big on either, I’d have to contemplate on it, seems to lack humility IMHO. I believe the best is yet to come when we can put our minds together. I’d rather deflate than inflate. The push must be in communion though. There resides the abundance of the supernatural Blessing as it already has with Christ.

That said none of this is the Beatific Vision. Here we still have a completion process underway. Thus the completion here leads to the Communion of Saints, or the last step on Jacobs Ladder. I would think this need for completion exists in all who hear the Word, thus Heaven in Communion.

I’m not “smearing” anyone, St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas are Doctors of the Church also. I’m looking at all the teachings with an open mind. How sad it is you are so judgemental and critical of other Saints you don’t feel obligated to venerate. To me they are all relevant and had something significant to convey. And I do believe I have stated this very early in this thread. :stuck_out_tongue:

Where in this thread have I mentioned either St. Augustine or Thomas Aquinas at all, much less passed judgment on them? Please show me, or admit that you are simply putting words into my mouth. One is capable of disagreeing critically with a theologian’s conclusion without questioning his relevance or personal piety by the way.

Alas, we do know enough to reject the notion of “created grace,” because nothing created can elevate a man into the divine life and divinize him.

The Eastern Churches have always rejected, and rightly so, the notion of “created grace.”

Created Grace does not refer to the substance of Grace, which is God himself (the energies of God or His life in us). The substance of Grace is God and is uncreated. Created Grace is the effect.

There are three forms of uncreated grace:

  1. Hypostatic Union (John 1:14; 17)
  2. Indwelling Presence of God in the just soul (John 14:17)
  3. The Beatific Vision (I Peter 1:13)

The effect of each uncreated grace is created and is (respectively):

  1. The Second Person of the Trinity unites with a human nature,
  2. Sanctifying grace in the soul, and actual graces, making one a partaker in the Divine Nature,
  3. The light of glory, in Heaven, allowing to see God face to face.

Blessed Pope John Paul II said 12 September 1984, for the Homily:“We thank the Father for the Son and the Holy Spirit. We thank the Son for the Father. We thank the Holy Spirit because through the love of the Father and the Son he is the uncreated Gift: the source of all the gifts of created grace.”

In the Byzantine tradition the effect of grace in man is also uncreated, and so when a man loves with the divine energy of love he loves in an uncreated manner, for the effect of the reception of divine love in man is an uncreated and eternal reality, which is why there can be no such thing as “created grace” in the tradition of the East.

In the Byzantine doctrinal tradition:

The effect of the union of the divine and human natures in the one person of Christ is uncreated, because the human nature is permeated with uncreated grace and becomes energetically eternal and uncreated at the very moment that the divine Logos assumes human nature.

The deifying energy that permeates man’s body and soul makes him uncreated and eternal by grace, and no “created sanctifying grace” (however one tries to dress it up to make it more palatable) could ever have that effect. So as I have said several times now, the effects of the reception of the uncreated energies by the saints are themselves uncreated.

The Taboric Light, which is the Light of God’s glory, is in itself, and in its effects, eternal and uncreated, and nothing created can empower a man to see God face (prosopon) to face (prosopon).

That being said, the Eastern Churches have always rejected, and will always reject, any notion of “created grace,” for just as the created Arian savior could not save anyone, so too “created grace” cannot divinize anyone.

This statement is contrary to the doctrinal tradition of the Eastern Churches. There is no such thing as “created grace.”

True there is no such thing, rather what is created is an effect, which effect is called created.

No, as I have already said, the effects of grace in man are also uncreated.

So the arguement is if I’m not mistaken is that created grace depersonalizes grace?

Its an interesting debate to be sure. Lets go back to Paul, the Holy Spirit descends upon Paul instantly and completely Paul is transformed into a New Man, which I believe he talks about in Scripture. However, this infused supernatural Grace also has another effect on Paul, this profound event leaves for lack of a better word an “aura” or a lasting living memory in Pauls mind. For at once he knows this wasn’t a dream, hes not crazy, and in fact he’s a different man completely. However this effect also caused Paul to continue to act with his own Free-Will in cooperation with the will of God on account of this event. Here in view now we do see created Grace, for this interaction of the Holy Spirit and Paul has a domino effect with Grace and through Pauls participation through “works” it could well be said created Grace is an extension then.

I think we see this with all the Saints who are Spiritual Mystics, from Catherina of Siena, Theresa of Avila, John of the Cross etc. While one may agree or disagree, it makes a great debate, one I believe we need to carefully consider. These Souls become “tools” of the Lord, by the Lord, and foward they are in essence by participation, thus their works, touching others and Grace is expanding outward from the initial effects.

So God isn’t creating Grace, this is a Supernatural infusion of God and by God/Holy Spirit, this infusion penetrates the soul completely and profoundly, especially when one is an open channel as we see with Paul and the Mystics, this effect is so profound it effects others through the initial Soul, in effect as a nuclear explosion expands outward.

Right, I agree. This is what I see.

I believe we lose sight of what Thomas Aquinas was in fact stating when we contemplate to closely on the pre-Christian Greeks and borrowed terminology of Aristotle with “habitus”.

Not only does it depersonalize grace, but it also turns grace into something other than God Himself, and only God, i.e., His very uncreated life and energy, can divinize a man. Nothing created can make a man energetically eternal and uncreated.

St. Paul is transformed by the uncreated deifying energy instantly and completely, in a neverending fashion, into a new man. To put it another way, St. Paul takes on the divine energies and they, in synergy with his own natural energies, become personally his own, and his state of existence, but not his essence, is change and continues to change (into eternity) as he is more and more divinized moving from glory to glory.

And that “aura” as you call it, is itself uncreated because it is God Himself enhypostatically infused into St. Paul’s own being.

I disagree that St. Paul’s acts are “created”; instead, because they are acts of the uncreated deifying energy within St. Paul, they are uncreated. There is nothing created about grace. So St. Paul is just as God Himself is just, for he possesses and lives the very uncreated justice of God. St. Paul loves as God loves, that is, with the very uncreated love of God which he has received through the eternal and uncreated divine energy of love, etc., and none of these “effects” in St. Paul can be called created, because they are the uncreated charismata of the divinity.

The question of whether or not grace - as it is operative in man - is created or uncreated is not merely an academic debate. The Eastern Churches say - as they have always said - that nothing uncreated can divinize a man; while the West - since the time of the Medieval Scholatistics - has said that grace, as an effect in man, is created. These two viewpoints are not compatible.

The souls (and bodies) of the mystics, like the souls (and bodies) of all the saints becomes uncreated by grace (i.e., by the reception of the divine energy), for all of their activities in the spiritual order have have an uncreated source, and as a consequence are themselves uncreated.

I agree, God is not creating grace, and His gift of the eternal and uncreated energies produces uncreated and eternal effects in each of the persons redeemed by Christ incarnation, passion, death, resurrection, and ascension into glory.

All sounds AOK to me, yes I’m following you. You have solid insight. Much to think about. I happened to be looking at the CC teaching and you don’t see Thomas Aquinas teachings in the Catechism on this, less I overlooked something which is also a reality.

I see your logic here…" I disagree that St. Paul’s acts are “created”; instead, because they are acts of the uncreated deifying energy within St. Paul, they are uncreated. There is nothing created about grace. So St. Paul is just as God Himself is just, for he possesses and lives the very uncreated justice of God. St. Paul loves as God loves, that is, with the very uncreated love of God which he has received through the eternal and uncreated divine energy of love, etc., and none of these “effects” in St. Paul can be called created, because they are the uncreated charismata of the divinity."

Think I got it, I might be able to pass the exam now. :stuck_out_tongue:

I acknowledge that you believe and accept what you are teaching here. I am not certain that what you say is accurate. I have to go with what the Church teaches and not with what you have “already said”.

The reason I say not accurate is that Bishop Kallistos Ware thought it may be a mere semantic difference on this issue. At the Council of 1351 St. John of Damascus was quoted where he makes a distinction between the energeia and the consequence of energeia called energima. The energia is uncreated Grace that energises, and energima is the created effect. I believe energima is consistent with the dogma.

Refer to: God Hidden and Revealed: The Apophatic Way and the Essence-Energies Distinction – Kalistos Ware, Eastern Churches Review, 7. 1975. pp 125-136.

Catholics must hold to the dogma of faith of grace that effects a change, and it is called created grace. There is no dogmatic teaching, that must be accepted, regarding uncreated effects, that I have ever read about (of the 255 that I know of). I do not deny the fidelity of this dogma of the Catholic Church.

The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit which occurs at a moment in time, does not erase that there was an earlier time when that person was not a “dwelling place of the Spirit”.

St. John Chrysostom, Baptismal Instruction 3:6.“You have seen how numerous are the gifts of baptism. Although many men think that the only gift it confers is the remission of sins, we have counted its honors to the number of ten. It is on this account that we baptize even infants, although they are sinless, that they may be given the further gifts of sanctification, justice, filial adoption, and inheritance, that they may be brothers and members of Christ, and become dwelling places of the Spirit.”
(Ancient Christian Writers, p. 57)

1 Corinthians 12:6:

And there are diversities of operations, but the same God, who worketh all in all.

[size=3]και διαιρεσεις ενεργηματων εισιν ο δε αυτος εστιν θεος οενεργων τα παντα εν πασιν


Could you link me to the text of the dogma? If you cant find a translation Latin will suffice.

Brief, which of course you can you go further into on specifics such as Actual Grace etc.

The reception of the uncreated energies happens in time but is in itself timeless, and makes the man who receives them eternal and uncreated by grace. Moreover, no “created grace” can make the Holy Spirit, who is by nature, hypostasis, and energy, uncreated dwell within a man. There is no such thing as a “created grace” or a “created God.”

Bishop Kalistos Ware is free to have his own opinion on the matter, but based upon what I have read from saints, like Mark of Ephesus, Gregory Palamas, Basil the Great, et al., he is in error. Only the uncreated can make man uncreated, which is why I reject the teaching of the Western Council of Trent about justification when it says that man is justified by a justice that is not God’s own justice. To be just, or holy, or merciful in the Christian sense requires participation in God’s own energy of justice, holiness, and mercy, and not created habitus can make a man energetically divine.

As I pointed out earlier with my quotation from St. Gregory Palamas’ Triads, theosis is an eternal and uncreated reality and the man who receives the light of glory in theosis becomes eternal and uncreated (see also Palamas’ letter to Akindynos).

That is a lovely quotation from St. John Chrysostom’s Baptismal Homilies, and it conforms wonderful with the teaching of the Eastern Church that grace is uncreated, because it does not speak about receiving “created” graces, but speaks about receiving gifts of sanctification, justice, filial adoption, etc., and all of these things are gifts of God’s own being to man, which have the effect of uniting man to God. Nothing created can make a man divine.

That is lovely quotation from scripture that speaks of the energies of God. Thanks for helping to prove my point.

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