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Re: What's wrong with these prayers?

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  • Jeremy
    Right. Thanks, Christopher. Sometimes I forget it really is that simple. John ... toward us. ... myself. ...
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 5, 2007
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      Right.
      Thanks, Christopher.
      Sometimes I forget it really is that simple.


      John


      --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "Christopher Orr"
      <xcjorr@...> wrote:
      >
      > God's energies are His direct presence, not just his 'goodwill'
      toward us.
      > God's Energy is the Holy Spirit Himself, "Who is everywhere present and
      > filleth all things".
      >
      > Christopher
      >
      >
      > On 3/4/07, Jeremy <AdonaiUplifts@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Upon beginning a response to try and explain energeia and dunamis, I
      > > was humbled by my realization of my remedial understanding of them
      myself.
      > > I'll keep working on the response, but it might take several days.
      > > Perhaps someone who is a little more seasoned would like to help me on
      > > this one?
      > >
      > > John
      > >
      > > --- In
      LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > > "michael144000"
      > >
      > > <grailpriest@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Tell us more about energeia and dunamis.
      > > >
      > > > --- In
      LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > > "Jeremy"
      > > > <AdonaiUplifts@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > a couple more insights from First Fruits of Prayer, which I just
      > > > read
      > > > > this morning:
      > > > > "The first canticle closes with petitions that ask the saints to
      > > > pray
      > > > > for us [. . .]
      > > > > "This petition asks St. Mary to give us "the light of grace," but
      > > > it
      > > > > should not be understood as saying that St. Mary is in charge of
      > > > > managing God's grace. It is a shorthand way of asking her to pray
      > > > that
      > > > > we be given God's grace."
      > > > > p. 12
      > > > >
      > > > > "As Canticle Tree comes to an end, [. . .] we encounter a
      number of
      > > > > petitions to saints that they will pray for us. But this one
      > > > might seem
      > > > > to go too far; can St. Mary of Egypt [not the Theotokos], who is
      > > > after
      > > > > all human just like us, "keep us safe"? No, the implication is not
      > > > that
      > > > > she has superpowers, but that her will is so united with the will
      > > > of God
      > > > > that her prayers will be effective. This union is the goal for
      > > > all of
      > > > > us, and like her, it will come to us through the path of
      > > > repentance."
      > > > > p. 50
      > > > > Does that help a little?
      > > > >
      > > > > It definitely takes some getting used to. But after a while, the
      > > > > distinctions become very clear in heart and mind. Getting a better
      > > > > grasp of the Orthodox understanding of grace as energia and
      dunamis
      > > > > helps a LOT.
      > > > >
      > > > > John
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In
      LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > > "tantuslabor"
      > > > > <stoic1348@> wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Dear Andrew (what a wonderful name!),
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Let me take on just one of your questions--the "all my hope I
      > > > place in
      > > > > > thee" one. (At the end of Little Compline, we pray something
      > > > similar
      > > > > > to it to the Theotokos: "who *alone* art the hope of the
      > > > hopeless, the
      > > > > > help of those who do battle; the ready help of those who flee
      > > > unto
      > > > > > thee and the refuge of all Christians.")
      > > > > >
      > > > > > When I was a teenager, I was profoundly struck by an argument of
      > > > the
      > > > > > Jehovah's Witnesses. Christ says to the Father, in John
      > > > 17: "That they
      > > > > > may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou
      hast
      > > > > > sent." Their argument went as follows: Christ himself calls the
      > > > Father
      > > > > > "the only true God;" Christ is not the Father; hence, Christ is
      > > > not
      > > > > > true God.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > The response to that argument teaches us something important
      > > > about the
      > > > > > Church's use of "alone," "only," and "all." It goes as follows.
      > > > In 1
      > > > > > John 5, St. John says of Christ, "He is the true God, and
      eternal
      > > > > > life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols." Here the
      same
      > > > > > author who recorded Jesus' statement that the Father is
      > > > the "only"
      > > > > > true God, says of Christ that he is the true God. That taught me
      > > > that
      > > > > > words like "only," "alone," and "all" have to be seen in their
      > > > context
      > > > > > to be understood rightly.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > When we say, to the Theotokos, "all my hope I place on
      > > > thee," "who
      > > > > > alone art the hope of the hopeless," etc. we do *not* mean "All
      > > > my
      > > > > > hope I place on thee, and none on God," or "who alone art the
      > > > hope of
      > > > > > the hopeless, not God." We mean, rather, "I place *no* hope on
      > > > my own
      > > > > > abilities, or those of my friends, or princes, but solely in the
      > > > God
      > > > > > who came to earth *through you*." We mean to take our hope and
      > > > our
      > > > > > trust away from our own wisdom and strength, and to learn to see
      > > > true
      > > > > > wisdom and strength in the "Let it be to me according to your
      > > > word" of
      > > > > > the Mother of God. For he whose cross is alone wisdom and
      > > > strength,
      > > > > > was born of her alone. And we do not take away honor and glory
      > > > from
      > > > > > the Holy Trinity, when we ascribe it to the means by which he
      > > > > > worked/works our salvation--always, of course, as a means. So in
      > > > the
      > > > > > Akathist we say of the Theotokos, "*after God* do all of us for
      > > > refuge
      > > > > > flee unto thee"--not, of course, that there is an "after God,"
      > > > but
      > > > > > that we most fully flee for refuge to him, when that flight
      > > > includes
      > > > > > the means by which he accomplishes our salvation.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > The Orthodox have a profoundly developed sense of respect and
      > > > > > reverence for the means of grace. We kiss the cross, and icons--
      > > > even
      > > > > > the right hand of sinful priests, because that hand feeds us
      > > > with the
      > > > > > flesh and blood of God's Son.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I hope this helps a little. Pray for me.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > The unworthy priest,
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Fr. Gregory Hogg
      > > > > >
      > > > > > --- In
      LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > > "Andrew"
      > > > > > drew1095950@ wrote:
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I'll be honest, some of these prayers do make me uneasy. I
      > > > don't
      > > > > mind
      > > > > > > so much asking the intercession of the saints, in fact the
      > > > practice
      > > > > > > seems to beautifully enhance our understanding of the
      > > > communion of
      > > > > > > saints, but saying things like 'all my hope I place in thee'
      > > > and
      > > > > 'have
      > > > > > > mercy on me' just rubs me the wrong way.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Christopher, I appreciate your numerous patristic quotations
      > > > on the
      > > > > > > historical pedigree of the practice. But, for my money, there
      > > > does
      > > > > > > seem to be development over time - from acknowledging that the
      > > > > saints
      > > > > > > pray for us, to asking their intercessions, to saying things
      > > > like
      > > > > > > 'from all dangers that can be do thou deliver us'. There just
      > > > > doesn't
      > > > > > > seem to be any cold hard evidence of robust invocation in the
      > > > 2nd
      > > > > > > century, which makes me question whether it is truly of
      > > > Apostolic
      > > > > > origin.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > One of the reasons, in fact, maybe the primary reason, I
      > > > became a
      > > > > > > Lutheran four years ago (I was raised in an Evangelical home)
      > > > was I
      > > > > > > saw remarkably strong evidence for the real presence of Christ
      > > > in
      > > > > the
      > > > > > > eucharist in the ante-Nicene period. This was compelling to me
      > > > > because
      > > > > > > I just can't swallow the pill that says that stalwarts like
      > > > > Ignatius,
      > > > > > > Irenaeus, and Justin Martyr dropped the ball on such a key
      > > > issue.
      > > > > But
      > > > > > > sadly, I don't see this same smack-you-in-the-face evidence
      > > > for the
      > > > > > > invocation of the saints that I see for the real presence.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Your thoughts?
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Andrew.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > --- In
      LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > > "Christopher Orr"
      > > > > > > <xcjorr@> wrote:
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > *Most Holy Theotokos, save us.* *O Lord Jesus Christ, Son
      > > > of God,
      > > > > > > for the
      > > > > > > > sake of the prayers of Thy most pure Mother, of our holy and
      > > > > > God-bearing
      > > > > > > > fathers and all the saints, have mercy on us. Amen.* O good
      > > > Mother
      > > > > > > of the
      > > > > > > > Good King, most pure and blessed Theotokos Mary, do thou
      > > > pour out
      > > > > > > the mercy
      > > > > > > > of thy Son and our God upon my passionate soul, and by thine
      > > > > > > intercessions
      > > > > > > > guide me unto good works, that I may pass the remaining time
      > > > of my
      > > > > > life
      > > > > > > > without blemish, and attain paradise through thee, O Virgin
      > > > > > > Theotokos, who
      > > > > > > > alone art pure and blessed.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > O Angel of Christ, my holy guardian and protector of my soul
      > > > and
      > > > > body,
      > > > > > > > forgive me all wherein I have sinned this day, and deliver
      > > > me from
      > > > > all
      > > > > > > > opposing evil of mine enemy, lest I anger my God by any sin.
      > > > Pray
      > > > > > > for me, a
      > > > > > > > sinful and unworthy servant, that thou mayest show me forth
      > > > worthy
      > > > > > > of the
      > > > > > > > kindness and mercy of the All-holy Trinity, and of the
      > > > Mother of
      > > > > > my Lord
      > > > > > > > Jesus Christ, and of all the saints. Amen.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > *To Thee, the Champion Leader, we thy servants dedicate a
      > > > feast of
      > > > > > > victory
      > > > > > > > and of thanksgiving as ones rescued out of sufferings, O
      > > > > Theotokos;
      > > > > > > but as
      > > > > > > > thou art one with might which is invincible, from all
      > > > dangers that
      > > > > > > can be do
      > > > > > > > thou deliver us, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, thou
      Bride
      > > > > > Unwedded!*
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > *Most glorious, Ever-Virgin, Mother of Christ God, present
      > > > our
      > > > > > > prayer to thy
      > > > > > > > Son and our God, that through thee He may save our souls.*
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > *All my hope I place in thee, O Mother of God: keep me under
      > > > thy
      > > > > > > protection.
      > > > > > > > *
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > *O Virgin Theotokos, disdain not me a sinner, needing thy
      > > > help and
      > > > > thy
      > > > > > > > protection, and have mercy on me, for my soul hath hoped in
      > > > thee.*
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > *My hope is the Father, my refuge is the Son, my protection
      > > > is the
      > > > > > Holy
      > > > > > > > Spirit: O Holy Trinity, glory to Thee.*
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > *Meet it is in truth to bless thee, O Theotokos, who art
      ever
      > > > > > > blessed and
      > > > > > > > all-blameless, and the Mother of our God. More honorable
      > > > than the
      > > > > > > Cherubim
      > > > > > > > and more glorious without compare than the Seraphim, who
      > > > without
      > > > > > > corruption
      > > > > > > > gavest birth to God the Word, verily Theotokos, we magnify
      > > > thee.*
      > > > > > > >
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      > > > >
      > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > > >
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      > >
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