Unity of Flesh

Although these ideas need more development, I am strongly growing in the thought that salvation requires complete unity in the Holy Trinity and this includes unity of flesh. We must be one flesh with the Trinity that is one flesh with the Son of God.

Flesh is something that both unites and divides. It unites all men coming from a common ancestor but it also divides being material and limited by time and space. In Christ, the unity is confirmed and the division overcome in His flesh for those united to Him and partaking of His flesh. For those not so partaking, although they remain united to the human race as such, they remain separated with the space/time bound flesh of death inherited from the fallen Adam. This body is not capable of sharing in the unity of the Trinity because it is a body divided. Only in Christ is one united again with both Christ and all others in Christ.

This need for physical unity in the flesh, as well as faith and love, is the reason for the necessity of the Mysteries, especially Baptism and the Eucharist, and the twin nature of the Mysteries being both material and spiritual. Unless one is born again in Baptism and partakes of the Body and Blood of Christ, one is not united with Christ in flesh and remains separate from Him regardless of how “holy” one is, although true holiness can only be found in Christ with participation in the Holy Spirit and deifying grace. The Church through this takes on a very physical presence and unity on earth as well as in heaven. It is a physical but spiritualised body, the Body of Christ, in each member and as a whole. Coming into the Church and participating in the Church as physical as well as spiritual events. The body participates in the spiritual life as well as the soul or intellect.

Even though the Mysteries are not merely physical but also spiritual, fulfilled in the Spirit, they are nevertheless physical. Connection to Christ and the Church must involve a physical connection, not just a spiritual one. There is no way around this without denying the physical nature of humanity and the need for physical unity. Salvation is not merely an individual exercise for those who believe and are holy but also a corporate exercise, one that involves being part of a Body, physically. The Sons of God were the family of descended from Seth, the holy line that in a way remained in Christ, the rest of humanity, the sons of men were separated from this. The family shared a physical unity. Later this family ending in Abraham was extended to a nation, Israel, the chosen people of God united in physical connection to the nation and in physical symbols of this. Salvation was with the Jews. Then in Christ, salvation was extended to all nations but only in Him, only in Baptism and in the Mysteries with those becoming one flesh, one Body with Him.

Our physical humanity at once is a burden of separation, we must physically get to the Church, but it also opens a unity with God in Christ and a unity with the whole of creation that can only come through this physically humanity which is spiritualised in Christ, transcending itself while remaining itself.

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7 Responses to Unity of Flesh

  1. thank you monk patrick for your words.
    There’s a precious jewell of a book on THE JESUS PRAYER!

    The Orthodox world – and beyond – is acquainted
    with the justly famous and righteous Elder Joseph the Hesychast,
    who reposed on the Holy Mountain in 1959. Less known outside Russia is
    Archbishop Golinsky-Michaelovsky, who was another
    committed practioner and teacher of The Jesus Prayer.
    The English Language Editor was Fr. Ambrose (Young) and the
    Publisher was The Skete of the Entrance of the
    Theotokos into the Temple
    in Haysville, Ohio.

    thank you – ‘m’
    (the worst christian – the best sinner)

  2. Sophocles says:

    Father Patrick,

    It’s been a long time since we’ve conversed. I hope all is well with you.

    I thought I would share with you an essay I’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks. It is the first of three parts(thus far I think) and I would be honored to have you look it over.

    http://molonlabe70.blogspot.com/2008/07/response-to-dr-carson-thoughts-on_21.html

    In Christ,

    Sophocles

  3. Mark Downham says:

    “In Christ, the unity is confirmed and the division overcome in His flesh for those united to Him and partaking of His flesh.” – Monk Patrick

    If the Ascension is a Bodily Ascension that even our [new] Humanity has been taken into the Godhead of the Trinity and that is not just an energetic progression.

  4. Mark Downham says:

    Salvation requires complete unity in and with the Holy Trinity and this includes unity of flesh [Monk Patrick, Remixed]….who was it who said bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh? The old Adam or the New Adam? The Son of God or the Son of Man?

    Luke 3: 37d Adam, the son of God.

  5. i agree very much ! the ‘division’ of spirit and matter is a non-existent issue within Orthodox Patristic experience.

    Blessed Theophylactos says:

    […] The evil spirits are called unclean because they wickedly take pleasure in every kind of shameful deed. Moreover, the demon considers his departure from the man to be his own destruction; for the demons are without pity and believe that they suffer ill if they are not permitted to do evil to men. Also, because they love the flesh and are accustomed to feeding upon carnal vapors, they are starved when they do not dwell within a body. This is why the Lord says that the demons come out of a man by fasting. The foul demon did not say, “Thou art holy,” for there were many prophets who were also holy. Instead he said, “The Holy One,” with the article; that is, He Who alone and by definition is Holy. But Christ shut his mouth in order to teach” us that even if the demons speak the truth we must curb them.

    …. +

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