Re: [SORForum] This may seem like a strange question for you all.
Dear beloved brother Larry in our Lord,St.Issac the Syrian sums up the answer to your question in just one from the infinite amount of angelic, Holy Spirit filled prayers and writings we are blessed to have as he is one of the greatest of our beloved Orthodox saints and guides upon the spiritual life."These are the causes of sin;wine, women, riches and robust health of body.Anyone who does not voluntarily withdraw himself from the causes of the passions is involuntarily drawn away by sin.Not that by their nature these things are sins,but rather nature readily inclines towards the sinful passions on their account,and for this reason man must guard himself against them with great care".I will share with you just a couple of prayers from St.Issac the Syrian from the infinite amount of his angelic writings which focus so much upon Divine Love."I beseech you o God, send me help from the highest Heavens so that I may keep afar from my heart every evil intention or carnal wish.Do not cast me, Lord,from your protection lest my adversary find me and trample on me just as he desires,destroying me utterly.It is you who grants repentance and a sorrowing heart to the sinner who repents;In this way you ease his heart from the weight of sin that is layed upon it,thanks to the comfort which comes from sorrowing and from the gift of tears.O Mystery exalted beyond every word and beyond silience,who became human in order to renew us by means of voluntary union with the flesh,reveal to me the path by which I may be raised up to your mysteries,travelling upon a course that is clear and tranquil,free from the concerns of this world.Gather my mind into the silience of prayer,so that all my wandering thoughts may be silienced within me during that luminous converse of supplication and mystery filled wonder.Among all of God's actions there is none which is not entirely a matter of mercy,love,and compassion.This constitutes the beginning and end of all His Divine dealings with us.In Christ,Michael.Shlomo-Berek Alaha!
--- On Thu, 2/11/10, larry.quintana <ddque2@...> wrote:
From: larry.quintana <ddque2@...>
Subject: [SORForum] This may seem like a strange question for you all.
Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 8:16 AMGreetings to you all. This may seem like a bit of a strange question. But, you must understand where I am comming from in this. I am from the Protestant/Pentecos tal background where we are brought up very legalistic in nature, so this is why I post this question. I am a convert to Orthodoxy. I have been to hybrid Orthodox churchs, to the OCA and now am resting in the SOC. Most of my study has been on my own accord, although lately I have been aided by a brother in the SOC in a state outside of my own. So, our learning has been via internet emails and it is the foundations of the SOC.
I grew up as a Fundamentalist christian and very judgemental of all things. But in my journey into Oriental Orthodoxy, I see a mystical and merciful Christ and Father God. I dont condone wrong behaviors. But, what is the position of the SOC concerning social behaviors such as smoking, strong drink ie beer, wine etc. I understand mortal sin etc?
Please respond with what the Fathers and the SOC have said on these matters. I am not looking for personal interpretations of scripture and beliefs, I desire the position of our patristic fathers according to scripture and tradition.