Friday, June 13, 2014
canonizedandotherwise:

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
(Revelation 1:8)

canonizedandotherwise:

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

(Revelation 1:8)

(Source: copticegypt.weebly.com)

Monday, May 26, 2014
A soul that is nurtured by hatred toward man can not be at peace with God, Who has said: If you forgive not men their sins, neither shall your Father forgive your sins (Matt. 6:15). If a man does not want to be reconciled, you must at least guard yourself from hating, praying with a pure heart for him, and speaking no evil of him. St. Maximus the Confessor

(Source: musingsoflove)

Anonymous said: Did any Eastern Christians criticize the West for use of the Filioque before Photius? It seems like he was the first one with the exception of Paul the Monothelite. The West had the Filioque in their theology for centuries prior to Photius. Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome, Gregory the Great, and Hilary all believed in it. More names could be added to this list. Why wasn't this a controversy until Photius? Thanks and God Bless!

Salaam,

The history of the Filioque controversy is not exactly black and white. You are correct—to an extent!—that the Latin West prior to Photius taught the Filioque. But, aside from St. Augustine, the Fathers you listed did not teach the Filioque as understood by the West today (i.e. a hypostatic procession of the Spirit from the Son). As I stated in my previous answer, the language of double procession is not against Orthodox teaching—it is the nature of that procession that the East and West currently disagree on.

Also, the issue did come up before St. Photius—St. Maximus actually defends the Latins against the Greek East when they are criticized for saying that the Spirit proceeds from both Father and Son. Maximus’ defense of the West during his time (7th century) is actually the focal point of ecumenical dialogue between East and West today. Was Maximus defending the Filioque as it is understood by the West today? The Orthodox would argue that he is not and that, in fact, his defense of the Latin West is a defense of an eternal energetic procession of the Spirit through the Son—which is what the East teaches today!

My paper on St. Maximus and the Filioque should be up within the week if you’re interested! Also, I would strongly recommend Edward Siecienski’s and Aristeides Papadakis’ works on the Filioque controversy. 

Blessings,
Ioanna

Anonymous said: Do you agree with St. Photius that belief in the Filioque leads to Sabellianism and polytheism?

Salaam,

I have not read St. Photius’ Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit, so I do not know what his reasoning is for linking the Filioque with polytheism, but I can see the argument for Sabellianism. St. Gregory Palamas makes the same argument against them in his work on the Filioque. I do agree with both Palamas and Photius, having the Father and Son share in a hypostatic property (causality) that is supposed to be unique to the Father confuses their Persons and makes them the same hypostasis. The West does respond to this, though. Aquinas answers this objection in his Summa and argues that (1) we do not distinguish the persons because of properties unique to themselves and (2) the persons are only distinct in as far as they are related to each other.

I think this Thomistic train of though is quite dangerous though. Ceasing to understand the Persons as distinct in and of themselves and reducing them to mere relations completely disregards the work of the Cappadocians who fought valiantly to defend the ousia-hypostasis distinction. Not recognizing the ousia-hypostasis distinction as it has traditionally been understood not only goes against the Faith handed down to us by the Apostles and Fathers, but it blends the Persons and leaves no room for one to speak of them as distinct, but what you say of one you must say of all (outside of the realm of relations).

I would also like to point out that this does not mean the East completely rejects any sort of eternal relationship between the Son and the Spirit. I recently finished a paper on this exact subject and would be happy to post it after my professor has sent it back with her commentary/suggested edits.

Blessings,
Ioanna

The Virgin Mary in the Qur’an

Written by Aaron Smalley

image

In many places, the Qur’an mentions Mary as the sister of Moses and Aaron and the daughter of Imran. The Qur’an has confused Jesus’ mother with Aaron’s sister because both of them carry the same name, though there are several centuries between them. The Qur’an indicates that Mary (Christ’s mother) had a brother whose name was Aaron (chapter 19:28) and a father whose name is Imran (chapter 66:12). Their mother was called “the wife of Imran” (chapter 3:35) which eliminates any doubt that it confuses Mary, mother of Jesus, with Mary, sister of Aaron.

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Friday, April 18, 2014
How, O Life, canst Thou die? In a grave how canst Thou dwell?
In a grave they laid Thee, O my Life and my Christ: Yet the Lord of Death hast Thou by Thy Death destroyed, and the world of Thee doth drink rich streams of life.

How, O Life, canst Thou die? In a grave how canst Thou dwell?

In a grave they laid Thee, O my Life and my Christ: Yet the Lord of Death hast Thou by Thy Death destroyed, and the world of Thee doth drink rich streams of life.

yarabirham:

Today He Is Hung Upon The Tree

Today is suspended upon the tree, He who suspended the earth upon the waters.
A crown of thorns crowns Him Who is the King of the angels.
He is wrapped about with the purple of mockery, He Who wrapped the heavens with clouds.
He receives smitings, He who freed Adam in the Jordan.
The Bridegroom of the Church is affixed to the Cross with nails.
The Son of the virgin is pierced by a spear.

We worship Thy passion, O Christ!
We worship Thy passion, O Christ!
We worship Thy passion, O Christ!

Show us also Thy glorious resurrection!

(Matthew 27:22-25) Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” 

And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!”

(Matthew 27:45-54) Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, 

they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

The most chilling chapter of the New Testament, where those who cried “may His blood be upon us and our children!” realized the blood of which they spoke was that of the Son of God.

Kyrie eleison.

We worship Thy passion, O Christ!
We worship Thy passion, O Christ!
We worship Thy passion, O Christ!

Show us also Thy glorious resurrection!

onancientpaths:

Another version of ‘Today is Suspended’, in Arabic by Naser Musa

Subhan’Allah

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I See Thy Bridal Chamber [Arabic + English]

Monday, April 14, 2014
But I say to you,” the Lord says, “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who persecute you.” Why did he command these things? So that he might free you from hatred, sadness, anger and grudges, and might grant you the greatest possession of all, perfect love, which is impossible to possess except by the one who loves all equally in imitation of God. St. Maximus the Confessor