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Reflections on Apostolic Tradition

“You hold fast the traditions just as I handed down to you.” (1 Cor. 11:2)

As the Scripture hints above, I am Orthodox because it the only Church that still maintains the Apostolic Traditions in their fulness, at least in theory if not always in practice.

The views expressed in this blog are about a variety of topics but the main theme is in regard to the Traditions of the Church as they should be lived in practice. What these should be and why. Some ideas may seem outdated in the modern world but this does not mean they are irrelevant rather that the modern world has moved far from the way of Christ. Not all may agree with what is put here but it is done to engender thoughts about the Tradition and how it should be lived today. Contrary interpretations and views are welcome as some views are in more extreme forms to help provide a better gauge on where a balance should be.

In Christ, Priest-monk Patrick.

5 Responses to About

  1. 🙂 I love Monk Patrick!!!

  2. Mark Downham says:

    I read this that you wrote:

    “Participating in the Life of Christ is participating in His energies. Abiding in Christ is abiding in His energies and abiding in His energies is abiding in Christ. We cannot separate Christ from His energies, although we distinguish them from His nature. We partake of divine nature by means of the energies but not by becoming that nature itself. Even, though we do not become the divine nature we still partake of it because the energies are not separated from the nature. Christ’s nature is in His person and cannot be considered apart from His person. We participate in the life of the person of Christ but we do not become His person (hypostasis) but retain our own unique hypostasis. We are in Him and He is in us. Again, we cannot pull apart abiding in Christ and abiding in His energies. We live in Christ and He is us; God becomes all in all. Thus all that Christ is, we will be but by grace as creatures and not as the only-begotten Son of God of one essence with the Father.”

    As Evangelicals we believe in ‘Enhypostatic Interfusion’ or Miaphytism in dealing with say John 15.

    If you look at the suggestion of the human being asMicrotheos and the organiisng principle of “maximalism” in the work of Archimandrite Sophrony, he is effectively saying the same thing.

    To give you an example of why we would alter the Cahalcedonian formula, consider this:

    “But we have already replied to this objection by pointing out that an essential or natural communication of the divine attributes does not take place; but just as the divine essence is communicated to the assumed nature by the personal union, so also its attributes are communicated to the assumed nature by the dispensation of the union, as we have explained at length.” (Martin Chemnitz, The Two Natures in Christ, p. 306)

    Martin Chemnitz does NOT allow for the Prpphetic Intentionality of the Incarnation NOR does he allow for the kenotic attributions of the Divine person and nature of Christ or the submissive attributions of the sinless human person and [pre fall] nature of Christ and their Inter-Fusion or miaphytism.

    Essence and Energy are communicable – otherwise we would only be beholding christlikeness [energetic potentiality] and NOT be becoming Christlike [communicable and essential actuality].

    If we understand the Prophetic Intentionality and Purpose of the Incarnation then we can understand how the necessity of the Incarnation determines the Trinity as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    Mark Downham, Evangelical.

  3. Mark,
    The Essence of God is unknowable and incommunicable in part because it is uncreated and without beginning in time. The created cannot take on the nature [used interchangeably with essence for this argument although not always exactly] of the uncreated because it could only do so in time thus giving a beginning in time to the uncreated nature, thus contradicting the uncreated nature and it ceasing to be uncreated and without beginning. The Son of God could take on created nature in time because it can have a beginning but the reverse is not possible.
    The Son of God has two natures in one person. The human nature remains created and fully human and it does not become uncreated. Nevertheless, it can be united without confusion to the Divine nature and share in the fullness of the life of the Divine nature. Christ’s human nature, although created, is no less Christ than His Divine nature. Thus, when we are united to Christ’s human nature we too share in the Divine nature in the same fullness as Christ’s human nature. We are truly Christlike; more than this truly Christ, without confusion of persons. There is nothing in Christ’s humanity that we do not share in our own hypostasis. However, only the hypostasis of the Son of God can have two natures, we retain one nature, our human nature, but in Christ we participate in the divine nature in His human nature, through the energies of God in the Holy Spirit. Thus we share in omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience and most importantly the Love of God. These are all ours as they are Christ’s. We live in the fullness of life as Christ does in His human nature; His life is our life. This does not limit that although created we participate in the uncreated Life and transcend time to share in the beginningless life
    The Fourth Ecumenical Council rejected monophysitism because it confused the human nature of Christ and His Divine nature. This means that we cannot participate in the Divine life without ceasing to be completely human or becoming God and so denying our salvation. Miaphysitism is acceptable terminology only if one also accepts the two nature teaching of Pope Leo and the Council.
    Each hypostasis contains its nature completely within itself. Thus each of the Persons of the Trinity has the fullness of the nature/essence of God within itself. The nature is not shared between them. Each human person has human nature entirely within himself. One human is no less human than another and the human nature is not something outside each person that we somehow share. Rather it is whole and complete in each person. (This analogy is weak an it does not reinforce that unlike humans each hypostasis of God is not independent of the others. There is one will and one energy in God in three hypsostases. There are not three Gods, like three humans but one God in three persons. Humans have multiple wills and energies and are separated from each other, even though they share the one nature. Only in Christ are humans united in will and energy.)
    To have the Divine nature is to have it whole and complete within our own hypostasis. Because it is not within our hypostasis presently, it must begin to be within our hypostasis at some point, if we are truly to have this nature, and this is the reason why we cannot have the Divine nature; it cannot begin in our hypostasis. Only the three hypostases of the Trinity, which are without beginning can have the divine nature within them. We cannot speak of the Divine essence outside of the hypostases of God and neither can we talk of it outside our own hypostases, if we could share in it.
    To share in the Divine essence or to know it or for it to be communicated means to have it as our nature completely within our own hypostasis. Otherwise, what is meant by partaking or sharing the Divine nature is to share in the energies of the Divine essence, which we can do without having the Divine essence enhypostasised.
    There can be no necessity of Incarnation unless there is a necessity of Creation. The Incarnation was necessary for our salvation to unite man to God but this presupposes that Creation has taken place. If the Incarnation is not timelessly necessary then it can in no way determine the Trinity as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Who exists beyond time and necessity. (I don’t know exactly what you intended in the last point and although I have critiqued the literalness of the point, I don’t think that was necessarily your intended meaning.)

  4. Mark Downham says:

    “To share in the Divine essence or to know it or for it to be communicated means to have it as our nature completely within our own hypostasis. Otherwise, what is meant by partaking or sharing the Divine nature is to share in the energies of the Divine essence, which we can do without having the Divine essence enhypostasised.” – Monk Patrick

    ….the Divine Essence Enhypostatised.

    Acts 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit….

    Was Peter simply filled with the Energiesof the HOLY Spirit or the Enhypostatised Person of the HOLY Spirit?

    If the Person of the HOLY Spirit is merely His energies, then we we are not actually in Communion,

  5. Fr Patrick says:

    A note to say that I am on Mt Athos for some time so there may not be any postings for a while.

    Pray for me.

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