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Τρίτη, 6 Φεβρουαρίου 2018

Seeing Our Virtues vs contemplating our passions.Abbot Tryphon




As Orthodox Christians we are instructed by the Fathers to not look upon our supposed virtues, but to contemplate our passions and sins. We are instructed by the gospels to keep the commandments of Christ, and not allow ourselves to think we are near the perfection that is required if we hope to bring about the cure of the nous that is required for us to enter the Kingdom of God.
Our sickness is a clear sign of the presence of sin, and this sin grieves God. This same God does not merely offer an escape from the eternal bondage of death, but invites us to entrance into life in Christ here and now.

Although imprecise, we often use anthropomorphic language when speaking about God. Thus, we can say that God is like a mother whose sick child is in need of healing, and is not offended by the child’s sickness. Yet, given the truth that God loves His fallen creatures, we can also say that God IS offended by our deliberate turning from the holiness and communion with Him, that we were created for.

We are invited to be restored to the original state intended by our Creator, and be united in communion with God. In our fallen state, we are invited to be spiritually healed, not sentenced, for salvation is not merely an escape from punishment. God, although He can be anthropomorphically described as a judge, is in reality our physician, and the cure frees us from the eternal bondage of death, and gives us entrance to life in Christ in the here and now.

We are invited to share in God’s divinity, through the action of theosis, whereby we “become as gods”. This ancient teaching of the Church in no way implies we become gods, as the Mormons teach, for God is still God, and we are still His creatures. But it does mean that the Creator Who condescended to take on our humanity, shares His divinity with us.

Theosis is both the transformative process by which we “become as gods”, as well as the goal of that process. The goal is the attainment of union with God, and is brought about by the effects of the purification of mind and body. Theosis is the very purpose of human life, and is achievable only through a cooperation between humans’ activities and God’s uncreated energies (or operations).


With love in Christ,

Abbot Tryphon

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