Teologie pentru azi

O platformă ortodoxă pentru o reală postmodernitate

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The dogmatic faith of the Church

Where do we find the Church’s dogmatic faith? In the divine revelation, ie in the Divine Scripture and the Divine Tradition. From revelation were taken the dogmas of the Church and without revelation we cannot understand the dogmas. Because the content of the dogmas is in revelation.

But in diverse Orthodox Dogmatics is observed an ossification of the dogmatic discourse, for that the texts of dogmas are separated from their dogmatic content. And the cerebralization  of theological discourse destroys the godliness of the faithful.

Why? For that the dogmas are a summarisation of theology of the Church. And for to understand them, we must not philosophize, but to turn to revelation to understand them. And if we turn to revelation, we turn at the river bed where was formed the river of dogmas. And, in revelation, we find the very rich content of Church’s dogmas.

This is the motive for which, in my Dogmatic, I do not separate the content of dogmas from the proper text of dogmas. For that the texts of dogmas are very short, but their content in revelation is enormous. And for us to understand the dogmas we need of revelation. Because in revelation is the real explicitation of dogmas.

Temptations and understandings

Most often the demons frighten on the faithful ones through frequent and fast attacks. They want to demoralize them, to make them to lose their peace. And if the demons succeed this, then they are pleased. Demons make us to forget, us to be afraid, us to have not courage.

But a great enlightenment of God we have then when we understand, that in front of each demonic attack we must remain in peace and not take it in account. For that our struggle is for our inner peace and not for something else.

The demons hate the work, hate the external and internal discipline, hate our seriousness. When they are fighting as to ruin our credibility, they do it for as we stop from our ascesis. And if you stop, then they have fooled you.

The demons profit of our haste or of our state of illness. If we hurry, they put us obstacles. If we are sick, then they attack us in force for to make and harder our state of the disease. Therefore, when we feel that we are troublesome by demons,  we must not ask from us for high performance, but we must resist in silence. For any temptation passes, is not without end, and what matters is that us to be serene and confident in God.

The demons bind of our nescience and of our previous sins. If we do not know a particular sin, they color the sin catchily, for to make us curious for it and so we sin. Or if we liked the sin, the demons bring it back in memory, for us to sin.

What is the sin? It is something that seems pleasing, is a bad curiosity, is a choice with eternal consequences, is an unhappy fortune that hurts us inside. And there is only one medicament for sins: God’s forgiveness.

We sin alone, but we cannot heal on ourselves. In the Mystery of Confession is our healing. For on measure what we confess our sins and repent for them, on so much we heal of the evil from us, of our own inner evil.

And if the sin means interior deformation, God’s forgiveness is the eradication of the ugly from us.

Enduring on the Lord

The Psalm 39, 2 talks us about the Orthodox endurance and tells us: „Enduring I endured on the Lord [ὑπομένων ὑπέμεινα τὸν Κύριον] and He hearkened to me [καὶ προσέσχεν μοι] and He heard my prayer [καὶ εἰσήκουσεν τῆς δεήσεώς μου]” [LXX]. And from here we learn that we must endure on the Lord, that we must wait His will with us. For that He give us what we need at the proper time and not before.

Therefore, the Orthodox endurance is a virtue of faith. We expect God’s will with us. We expect in faith His will with us. And in the measure in which we expect His will with us, we grow in purity and holiness. For that the endurance awaits on the Lord, on the One who has mercy of the whole creature.

Saint Alexios, the man of God, waited 17 years at the gate of his father, enduring torments of all kinds. And when he fell asleep piously, then he was shown maker of wonders for all people. For that Saint Alexios endured all for the Lord, fulfilling His commandments.

Sometimes, nor to the Saints are listened, by God, the prayers. Why? In pedagogical mode! For that they to pray and more, to repent and more and, in endurance, to await God’s will. Because He delays the answer, for that our love to work in prayer and in waiting.

I have waited of many times on the Lord and I am waiting on Him. I do not know when, I do not know through whom He will work in my life, but I know that He will work and will work wonderfully. I’m waiting on Him patiently. I know that He will speak to my heart and He will tell me what to do.

Therefore, my endurance is full of love and trust. My endurance is in the Lord. And I know that the fulfillment of my endurance will be full of joy.

The literalism and the mystical knowledge

In Orthodox theology, the literalism conjoins organically with the mystical knowledge. For that some details of the Scripture and of the Tradition must be taken ad litteram/ literally, while others must be interpreted mystically.

God, the man, the incarnation of the Lord, the Theotokos, the Church, the Saints, the life and the holiness of the Church, the cosmos are theological realities. We do not report to them as at metaphors. But the Scripture and the books of the Holy Fathers have many metaphorical parts, which must be understood mystically and not literalist. And this for that, the literalism proposes us a bodily perspective on theology and not ghostual.

In Scripture God has hands, has legs, has wings, looks to us, stretches out His hand to us. But God has nothing to do with the materiality. The reality of God surpasses entirely the understanding of any creature. And when the Church speaks to us about the incarnation of the Lord, it says to us that is an ineffable mystery. All a mystery and is His resurrection from the dead, and, also, the hypostatic union of the two natures from His person.

We cannot talk about Christ’s human life or about His psychology, for that Christ is not only man, but God and man. We cannot presuppose about the person of Christ, but we limit ourselves at the evangelical descriptions and at the mode of the understanding of the Church about Christ. And we do this thing, because Hristos/ Christ is a mystery of Christian faith and our God. And we report with reverence to God and not with perkiness.

The Icons of the Church are an enciphered theology. The Scripture is full of divine mysteries. The cult of the Church is entirely theological. But through signs and words we can have endless theological understandings, if we can understand on all ghostually.

But we cannot understand on them ghostually, if we do not sanctify our life. Without the holiness of God in ourselves, all of the Church are incomprehensible. All are mysteries. And we are some naked men of divine understandings.

The greatness of infants simpleness

When the Saints Apostles put the problem of greatness in God’s Kingdom [Mat. 18, 1], the Lord spoke to them about return, ie about repentance, through which we arrive to be like the infants [Mat. 18, 2, BYZ]. For He does not ask from us the nescience of infants, but their lack of conscious malice, their lack of duplicity. And the simpleness of holiness is interior innocence, is cleansing of the heart, and just therefore it goes into the Kingdom of God.

Children play with the danger because they do not know it can kill them. Children believe in everything that we tell them. Therefore, many believe that the infants are „saints” in comparison with them. But the Church, on the contrary, believes that all the infants must be exorcised before Baptism, because all are dwellings of the demons.

And, in Baptism, every infant becomes a dwelling of God, for that the glory of the trinitarian God descends into the baptized. Fact for which, from Baptism, the infant is the saint of God, if he remains in His glory.

Why the infants are the paradigms of ghostual life? For that the simpleness and the interior cleanness are ultimate virtues of holiness.

The humbleness makes us simple. The divine love is full of simpleness and cleanness. The faith is sight of the divine, which are simple, for that and the hope expects simple things. And, in general, the life leads us to an ever greater simplification of us, for that our maturation means the contentment with all fewer things from here, from the earth.

Therefore, we are born nescient, we learn more and more things, the teaching does not complicate us, but it simplifies us, and, at elderness, we arrive again to the simpleness of infants in the face of danger. But, if we ghostually advanced, then we reach at the ghostual simpleness that God demands of us. Because the holiness is a continuous awareness of our life with God.

And who sanctifies himself, that one has to enter into the Kingdom of the heavens [Mat. 18, 3]. For that this entry in Kingdom is voluntary and conscious. And the Saints are the saved.

Ghostual until and in the simplest gestures

The people of world want to be well-grown until and in the simplest gestures. Fact for which they learn the elegant manners of world, what is done and what is not done into a given situation. But  all their care is at appearances. They want to seem mannered, educated, and not necessarily to be educated.

In respect on the ghostual people, they do not want to appear ghostual, but they are ghostual. From this motive, their gestures are natural, but, in the same time, are ghostual. For that the glory of God is in them and teaches them the things of God.

And the ghostual man speaks with seriousness, steps with prudence, looks with profoundness, understands all after God’s will. For that in everything that he does, the ghostual man is not guided by humane methods, but after his ghostual, interior state. Only that his inner state is formed from the obedience to God and from the life with God.

From this motive, a ghostual man is a godly man and not a gentleman of the world. A gentleman is often a hypocrite, a man who is hiding behind of the clothes and of the worldly customs. But the ghostual man hates to pretend to be other, fact for which he says the truth from heart, knowing to combine the firmness with the delicacy.

For in the life of the ghostual man, the supreme value in the relations with the people is the delicacy. Because he does not want to enter into force in the lives of others, but he seeks their real good. Ie he seeks to heal them of their spiritual diseases, for that they truly see their inner state. And if you want to help people, then you need to know to be their friend and father in the same time. For that they need to see in you a friend on the way of cleansing of their passions, but and a father which, with ghostual authority, shows them that this thing is possible.

Because the cleansing of passions is ontological healing, is an underspring of divine life in ourselves. Without it, without the cleansing of passions, the man is not a truly man, but a passionate man, no matter how educated would be. While the ghostual man, even if he is illiterate, he is a delicate man, for that he takes care of the health of his soul and of those who come to him. He wants their salvation and, also, he wants his salvation. And if we think any relation with others in terms of salvation, then we are on the path of ghostual delicacy.

The money of theology

A theologian of the present I think that must have the money divided into two: a part for everyday life and, the rest, for theology. Because the theology is a domain which needs a lot of money to study and write about it.

The books cost money. The entries to libraries cost money. You need of computer, of camera, of electric energy, of space and time, of dictionaries and diverse articles, of many books simultaneously. For all these is need of money.

But the money of the theologian is God’s money. I write books for God, for that I have the conscience that I have to write what God enlightens me. And for this motive,  I make from my theological books a gift to Church. For that all Holy Theologians of Church have done the same thing: they made from the life and the time and from their money a gift to Church.

Therefore, what I do here, on Theology for Today, when I give my books and the life to Church is a normal thing, one profound ecclesial. For that all are called to do the same thing: give ourselves to Church. Because the Lord asks us to be our soul there where is and our wealth [Mat. 6, 21].

But which is the true wealth of the theologian? His theological opera. On which he gives it for Church and through this he fulfills himself in interior mode.

But how many Orthodox theologians give their work online in gratuitous mode? I do not know anyone, besides me, unfortunately. I found a few that bestow certain books…but none that creates everything for free. And what is this telling us? That the theologians do not behave ecclesially, but commercially. That they are thinking at their money and not at Church. And that we are hypocrites when we talk about „Christian mission”, if we put money in our pocket and not build the Church with our money.

And if there is not orthodox theology in online for free, then is pornography, are bad jokes, films, commerce, politics, extremism, ideologies of all kinds. But are not and theologians of  Church here, in online! Here they only present their books.

Only that, for theologians, the online is and must be their space of creation, of mission, of evangelization. The online must be their second pulpit. Here we must preach daily, we must be present in erudite mode and convincing, because in discussion is the salvation of the world.

If the Orthodox Church is the true Church of Christ, then where are its theologians? From whom the world to hear the voice of truth? And is evident the fact that the sermon of Church no longer have to be closed in Churches, but it must penetrate to the all homes of the world. But for this, the theologians of Church must be active in online and very productive.

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