Monday, January 24, 2011

Profane Music, life in Christ, and the end of Time from a Hieromonk of the Eastern Church

Most candidates for monastic life have long since lost their taste for contemporary music of any kind and usually only listen to classical and church music.  But in any case it's a moot point for the novice, because we don't listen to the radio and the only CD's that are permitted are of classical and church music, so in this way "the world" gets immediately cut off.
For those still living in the world and not developing a deeper spiritual life it's a whole different problem.  Of course first they must be encourage to come closer to Christ and His Church.  The more they do this, the more they will find that they are gradually losing their taste and interest in these profane things, even if they aren't interested in monastic life.
With our children we simply forbade this kind of music and exposed them to classical music from a young age, also taking them to concerts, opera, etc.  We allowed the less harmful music from the pre-60's, and also Broadway Musicals.  But this is up to parents, if they can or will discipline themselves enough and love their children enough to protect them.

As with so much concerning the younger generation, we can only pray for them, try to give the best model and example possible, and believe that they are under the mercy of God.  But I'll tell you, if I were starting married and family life all over again, I don't think I would have children.  Those that are already born will be martyrs, either psychologically or literally, I'm afraid, if they adhere to Christ.  But as the Lord tells us in Scripture, "Little children, it is the end....Be not afraid, for it hath pleased the Father to give you the Kingdom."  --Fr. A

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Narcissism- A Sermon by Hieromonk Ambrose

Sermon on Narcissism

In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

At 3:26 p.m. on November 29, 2010, the following announcement appeared on the New York Times internet site:
“Narcissistic personality disorder, characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and the need for constant attention, has been eliminated from the upcoming manual of mental disorders, which psychiatrists use to diagnose mental illness….”
According to the Mayo Clinic, personality or mental disorders are what used to be called “character disorders” when we were more truly a Judeo- Christian culture.  (Now, of course, we are a “pseudo-scientific culture.”)  In Orthodox spirituality we would call a character disorder a “character flaw”—something to be worked on, changed, modified, and, if possible, eliminated.  But by no means hopeless and certainly not to be ignored or neglected.
But in general, a personality disorder is a type of illness in which one has trouble perceiving and relating to situations and to people — including oneself. Also, there are many specific types of personality disorders, of which narcissism is only just one—or was, until it was eliminated from the handbook of mental illnesses.
Someone with a personality disorder has a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking and behaving no matter what the situation. This leads to significant problems and limitations in relationships, social encounters, work and school.  In many cases, one doesn’t realize there is a personality disorder because one’s way of thinking and behaving seems natural, and others are blamed for the problems being faced.  How this can not be seen as a mental illness is a mystery to me, but in any case it remains for Christians a spiritual illness and a sin, regardless of what the mental health industry says.
But it confirms something very disturbing about us: that we a seriously disordered and narcissistic culture and society, that we blame anyone and everyone else for our current problems, that we are self-absorbed, self-centered, and often paranoid.  We have only to look at our politicians and our celebrities—both in the entertainment media and in sports—to see what we, as a people, value most.  These pathetic creatures are our models, our heroes!  They are the ones our children look up to, admire, and want to imitate.  God help us all.
Severe narcissism causes much suffering both to the victim of this illness and to those who love him or her.  It is the narcissist’s refusal to accept responsibility for his behavior and actions that cause so much pain for others.  And it is his projecting of his own repressed feelings of self-loathing onto others and lashing out at as a sort of dumping or discarding of those pent up emotions that erode the self-worth of those around the narcissist.  Eventually, they begin to question their own sanity.
I had to laugh when I saw another article, appropriately headlined, that the elimination of narcissism as a mental disorder is a “A Fate That Narcissists Will Hate: Being Ignored”!
Psychologically, narcissism is a pattern of traits and behaviors which represent infatuation and obsession with one's self to the virtual exclusion of others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one's gratification, dominance and ambition.
Narcissism begins in childhood, actually as a normal part of development, but it becomes a coping mechanism for those who never outgrow it--a coping mechanism protecting the narcissist from earlier childhood experiences of feeling rejected, unloved, uncared for, hurt and punished.
This disorcer is named after the ancient mythological figure, Narcissus. The Roman poet Ovid tells us that a young girl named Echo fell in love with a vain youth named Narcissus. Worried for her son’s welfare, his mother consulted a prophet regarding his future. The prophet said, Narcissus "will live to a ripe old age, as long as he never knows himself."
One day, when Narcissus was out hunting, Echo followed the handsome youth through the woods, longing to address him but unable to speak first. When Narcissus heard her footsteps he shouted "Who goes there?" Echo answered "...goes there? ...goes there?" And so it went, until finally Echo showed herself and rushed to embrace Narcissus. But he pulled away and left her heartbroken; she spent the rest of her life lonely and pining away. Only her voice remained.

However, Narcissus then became thirsty and went to drink from a stream. As he saw his reflection, he fell in love with it, not knowing that it was he himself. As he bent down to kiss it, it seemed to "run away" and he was heartbroken. He grew thirstier but he wouldn't touch the water for fear of damaging his reflection, so he eventually died of thirst, still staring at his own reflection.  The narcissus flower is named after him because, according to the Greek myth, it grew from the spot where Narcissus died. But in the Roman version it is suggested that Narcissus was transformed into this particular flower.   

As I already pointed out, from an Orthodox standpoint, narcissism is a character flaw and a serious spiritual problem.  Severe narcissism used to be regarded, as already stated, as a devastating mental illness.  But the fact is that most of us suffer, to one degree or another, from narcissism, even though it may not be severe.  It is to “the rest of us” that I address the remainder of my comments this morning.

Keeping in mind that Orthodox Christianity is primarily a therapeutic spirituality—that is a spiritual system or practice whose purpose is to cure, heal, and restore to mental and spiritual health--n Orthodox therapeutics narcissism is called “vainglory.”  Some say that this is a separate sin from Pride, but St. John of the Ladder says that these two are related, for, as he writes, “what pride remains in a man who has conquered vainglory?” (“The Ladder of Divine Ascent”)  The great Western Father of the Church, St. Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome, also combines vainglory with pride.  But St. John of the Ladder was one of the earliest Fathers to identify narcissism or vainglory as an actual character flaw or illness, and did so a millennia and half before Freud and Jung and the other pseudo-scientist of our time.  St. John knew that vainglory is “the difference between a child and a man, between wheat and bread,” and he bluntly labeled it “the unholy vice of self-esteem, the beginning and completion of the passions.”  (Ibid.)
Fortunately for us, St. John not only diagnoses this spiritual disease, but he also prescribes an antidote to this poison.  First, he makes sure that we understand completely that “until the very day of [our] burial [vainglory or narcissism] rejoices in clothes, oils, servants, perfumes, and such like.”  In other words, it is always there, just under the surface, waiting to emerge in the fullness of vainglory.  In this case, St. John says that vainglory or narcissism is “a worm”, and he reminds us that “a worm, fully grown, often sprouts wings and can fly up high.  Vainglory, fully grown, can give birth to pride, which is the beginning and the end of all evil.” (Ibid.)
With that clearly in mind, St. John then explains that the way to be free of this sickness is through meekness, simplicity and avoidance of hypocrisy.
The Lord said of Himself, "I am meek and lowly in heart." (Matthew 11:29-30)  According to St. Paul, meekness is one of the gifts of the Spirit and it is the mother of humility.  Meekness in our culture has come to mean “weakness”, even cowardliness—a kind of false humility, such as is so well portrayed by Dickens in the character of Uriah Heep in “David Copperfield.”  But this is not the “meekness” of which Scripture speaks.  Sometimes the Greek word for meekness is translated as “gentleness,” which is rather nice, but also implies a kind of weakness.  But the truly meek person is not self-willed - not continually concerned with self, getting his own ways, ideas, and wishes, setting his own agenda. Meekness is the opposite of self-will, self-interest, and self-assertiveness.  In Christian spirituality this is a sign, not of weakness, but of character strength.  The meek person realizes his sinfulness and therefore he is willing to depend on God to meet His needs. It is the opposite of pride, haughtiness, and self-exaltation.
The second part of St. John’s antidote to the poison of narcissism is simplicity, which someone once defined as knowing when one more rock would be too many, and one less rock would be too few. But it’s not just knowing the right number of rocks; it’s also knowing which rocks are right, and how to arrange them.  Thus the perfection of a Zen rock garden, a well decorated home, a lifestyle that is outwardly free of clutter, mess, disorder, and inwardly free of anxiety and complications.  As they say in AA, “Keep it simple, stupid.”
And finally, the third and final ingredient in St. John’s antidote: avoidance of hypocrisy.  Simply put in spiritual terms, hypocrisy means to present yourself as honest, upright and moral to the same degree that you are willing to put others down and for not having the same values, when in fact you are no where near what you pretend to be--you are in fact doing what you have reprimanded others for.
So this is the antidote to narcissism: meekness, simplicity, and avoidance of hypocrisy.  As St. John says, “If you have the strength to take this step, do not lose heart.  For now you are imitating Christ your Master, and you have been saved !
The fact that the mental health industry has eliminated narcissism as a disorder or mental illness in our country gives us, you and me, another reason to turn resolutely from the dominant culture around us (as if we didn’t have enough reasons already!) and begin the hard work of spiritual labor on ourselves.  Remember: we are an incomplete work of art until we start to cooperate with the great artist, the Lord God Almighty, and begin to polish out the flaws and the vices in our hearts, minds, and souls.
In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Sanctifying Value of the Stillness

In the Scripture we are told to labour to enter into His Rest. This rest we are told to enter is an inner state of Stillness, that we are drawn to by the Spirit, that is the same as the rest that Christ entered when He ascended, then offered His blood on the heavenly altar and finally seated at the right hand of the Father.  Because the Father cannot be seen of conceived of, to be seated at His right hand is to  be seated in a place where all thought has ceased, for He is beyond conception.  Because it is a seating in the heavenlies in Christ it is also the place of absolutely satisfying Presence of the Divine. 
The Fathers describe a transition in the life of prayer and this is the descent of the 'nous' into the heart.  The nous is the eye of the heart and when it returns to the heart, it sees intuitively  as in a mirror the heavenly vision.
When this first happened to me, I was utterly amazed and discovered that my daily routine of prayer facilitated the daily return of the nous to the heart.
After a period of time I noticed that, whereas my 'nous' would descend into the rest, it was not a given, that it would be seated in the rest.  The rest of God beckoned me on, but I discovered that I would find my thoughts going this way and that, or else I was really desiring to be somewhere else than in hesychastic prayer.  I discovered that when the Lord showed me these things,  He was showing me subtle idolatries that emanated from my heart, and which required simple confession. And as they were confessed the beatitude of the Stillness would come and then I would find perfect rest and contement simply to be before the Father, ineffably, in Christ.
The Stillness, then, served as a perfect backdrop as it were, to reveal the idolatrous motions of my heart and to offer them to the Lord for His dispositions. 

Was the Sandwich Made with Love

When I was a podiatrist and had a satellite office in Harrison, Arkansas, we often ate lunch at the Mennonite Sandwich Shop.  The sandwiches were fantastic, carefully made, with quality ingredients, and carefully packaged,  but there was something more to them; there was an indefinable something about those sandwiches, and it occurred to me that they had been made with love.  And there were times that we would buy the sandwiches, and even though the quality was there, something was missing, and it seemed to my intuitive self that the missing ingredient was, again, love. For some reason, on that day, the sandwich, though made with expertise was not made with love, and it left us unsatisfied.
Have you ever been to a four star hotel?  Perfect appointments, impeccably clean, every possible creature comfort at your disposal....  the same with the services delivered by our airlines.  Fantastic service can be rendered. Yet in both these instances the driving force is not love but competition and the desire to make a profit.  I do not know your experience but even in such perfect circumstances there is a vacuum of the spirit, that leaves one empty.  The service, though impeccable, does not reach to the deepest levels of our need for beatitude, the beatitude that only love can bring to our souls.

It is recorded in I Corinthians 13 that without love nothing we do is ultimately profitable.  When we turn my attention to the world of manufacturing where I work, I see the same principle at work.There is a considerable degree of restiveness amongst some of the employees;  though the pay is 'competitive' with similar work in similar companies, and the benefits as well, there is a sense of deep dissatisfaction.  And I believe that sense of dissatisfaction comes down to the fact, though it has not been articulated by the employees, that they are being used as a means to an end, and are not a part of the 'end' of the company.  The company is in the pursuit of maximum profitability, and part of their formula is keeping the employees happy enough so that the end of maximum profitability can be reached.  But human beings do not find their deepest needs of affiliation met with mammon and material security- they need love to live in a state of beatitude.  Yet the corporatist model, corporatist capitalism, functions to produce maximum profitability.
Likewise, management at our work has a certain degree of restiveness with the employees.  Our CEO addressed our shift. They had had round tables where employee grievances were expressed, and some were not placated by the things that were offered to the employees and they expressed those grievances.  The CEO came back with a 'love the company, or leave it' sort of speech.  And as I have thought about it, the CEO as well, was suffering for a want of love from the employees.  And it is the truth that not only does the company treat the employees as a means to an end, but the employees treat the company as a means to an end as well, for they are working, not out of love for the company and its mission and for management with whom they co-labor, but are working to get money- they are treating the company and management as a means to an end as well, and not loving management or the mission of the company.
I have a friend who works at Bunn Corporation and they are a company that fascinates me because their corporate vision is more or less this 'to do what we do well enough to take care of our people.'  And that is what they do; I have heard a number of stories that reflect this vision and it is inspiring. This is love in the corporate world.  It is not corporatist capitalism but commonweal capitalism- an engagement of the market with the good of all in mind, and not merely the bottom line.   The employees response to this 'love' is a loyalty to the company that is a love response.   This is the place of beatitude, and it is the sort of environment, all other things being equal, that gives a sense of blessing to those involved.
How can an employee avoid using their employer as a means to an end?  It requires faith and hope and love. Christ taught us that He would take care of our material needs as we sought to live for Him first. Living for Him first means that we love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves.  For an employee that means working for the employer not in order to obtain an income primarily but as an expression of love to God and of love for neighbor, who in this case, is the boss.  Because the employee is looking to God for his provision, he is free to love in the workplace by producing an excellent service.  How can an employee love even in a company whose management is using him as a means to an end, a company that is committed to corporatist capitalism?  The Christian employee recognizes that his daily calling is to deny self, and take up his cross, and follow Christ.   To take up the cross of an unpleasant work environment is folly to those who do not know the Lord but to those who know the wisdom of the cross, know that all crosses have been transfigured by Christ's cross, so that they become the very portals to personal transfiguration unto participation in the Divine Nature. 
The two corporate models are diametrically opposed.  Commonweal capitalism is service and sacrifice oriented. The management works to the end of the service of their customers and to the well-being of their employees.  There must be an implicit faith in such a view, that in doing the right thing, that a way will be made in an otherwise hostile world, a world where the other model, corporatist capitalism dominates. The latter's model is the domination of others as a means to an end and the production of a product in order to extract good from the customers.   It inspires management to be willing to sacrifice their employees if need be to achieve maximum profitability, and inspires the employees to do less than their optimum, out of self-interest, as their work is only a means to material security.   It is a terrible model that leaves all dissatisfied.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ offers us the only clear image in contrast to the world's model of living.  The King of King and Lord of Lord's took the form of a servant in order to bring us all the well-being that came from His love for us.  He leads us by the ultimate sacrifice. In contrast the leaders of the world promise us the world, but despoil us, and unless they are saints fall prey to the predatory habits of those in control and devour us for as much as they can get away with.
I suggest that we all come to Jesus and learn of His ways.  Let us make our sandwiches with love.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Did Christian Faith Succumb to Neo-Platonism

I doubt if I am up to answering this question.  But I will give it a try, and I shall begin with the idea of the person in Greek thought. In Greek thought there was no sure idea of the person as we have come to know it in the West.   In Greek thought the Absolute, the One was an Impersonal Absolute, and since all things ultimately resolved into the One,  anything that appeared as person was a mask of sorts and not an aspect of being.   Prosopon in Greek conveyed that as did Persona in Latin. This more or less applied as well to 'souls' and to their pre-existence, and their relationship to the Impersonal Absolute.  You also see it in Buddhism which seems to follow closely Greek philosophies.  In Hellenism there was no ontological ground for the person.  Drama was important in Greek culture because that which was depicted as person was enacted in dramas where masks were added, in a sort of myth of personhood.  The Impersonal One did not supply an ontological ground for personhood. 
In marked contrast the Source of All in Christian thought was the Person of the Father who derived freely from all Eternity, the person of the Logos, and the person of the Spirit, as well as the common Nature that belonged to all equally.  Thus from All Eternity there was not an Impersonal Absolute, but a Person who amplified Himself in Eternity into a Communion of Persons.   So,  the eternal absolute, if you will in Christian thought was a Communion of Persons, and one in which the Three equaled One.  The ground of all being was a Communion of Persons, that gave ontological ground to both the notion of the person and also of the possibility of geniune community and the overcoming of existential isolation as isolated existents. 
This ontological uniqueness of Christian faith was derived from Scripture, Old and New Testaments, which utilized neo-platonic terms, but did not succumb to neo-platonic categories, but redeemed, if you will greek theological speculations by the impetus of revelation.
Christian revelation also fulfilled the apophatic impulses of Greek thought that nevertheless was never able to escape the limitations of thought and syllogism, to conceive of any existence utterly different from the created.  Reason and logic are qualities of the created order, and if the Transcendent can be conceived by reason and logic, then it ceases to be transcendent and we fail utterly to conceive anything beyond our experience. Greek thought usually was followed by to an Impersonal Abolute, the One. Greek thought was captive to the created order and could not point to anything beyond.
Christian revelation came on the scene and redeemed the captivity of Greek thought, first by positing the ground of Being as a Communion of Persons, but more so by a Communion of Persons where three equals one.  It does not submit to human reason, nor to mathematical verities, and points to an existence beyond the Created order and incomprehensible to it.  Christian revelation redeemed the Greek captivity to creation.
But if we were left only with a Transcendent God, how could there be revelation?   How can it be that the God who could not be known, reveal Himself.  Orthodox thought came to the rescue again by the distinction of the Essence and Energies of God.  The Essence is the unknowability of God; the Energies is the presence of God outside of His Essence. The Energies enable the Transcendent God to be Known in His Immanence.  Greek thought had no means of dealing with this either, and the Aristotelean neo-Platonism resolved it in an unacceptable way and led to the big mistakes of the Catholic Church that would fully emerge after the first millennium.  

Monday, December 13, 2010

How I Was Protected In Prison Camp

I was getting rid of most that I owned as I cleaned up my home, and prepared to enter Federal Prison Camp.  I had fear of harm that could happen to me in prison and I prayed to the Lord about my fear.  I was inside the house; I went out to one of the sheds we were emptying and I reached down and pulled out something that had been in storage for a decade. It was a framed portion of Scripture.  It said

"Behold, I give you power over serpents and scorpions; and nothing by any means shall hurt you." 

This 'jumped' out at me and lodged in my heart. It was a word of God to my heart, given to garrison me against fear and to assure me that no harm would come to me in prison.

When I arrived in the Camp they said my papers had not arrived and so they were going to send me to the "Hole" in the Big House.  This was something else.   23 Hour lock-down with inmates of every description.  Into a cell as the third man in a cell built for two.  The first guy I met, said,  'don't worry, our other cellie is a black guy and he's ok.'   My other cellie showed up and immediately began to educate me to prison life. He basically took me under his wing so to speak and explained the basics.  Later, we would both be in the Atlanta minimal security facility, next door to the Big House.

After a few weeks I was put to work in the Mess hall. I was a server.  It was my responsibility to serve the guys as they came in to eat.  There would sometimes we limits on food items- two boiled eggs at breakfast, for example.  There was lots of favoritism shown by inmates to their buddies in this system and when the guards were not looking, they would give their buddies as much as they asked for.  I felt honor bound to respect the rules and not respect the persons, and I was soon making some guys very irritated because I would not comply with their demands for more eggs, or whatever.
I felt like I was making enemies. 
But the Lord was watching over me, and two guys who had been in a long time and who had become friends, intervened, and managed somehow to get me a job away from food service and in carpentry.  I remember when it was getting very tense with some inmates but at that moment I felt the presence of my guardian angel over my right shoulder. And the Lord opened a way in the wilderness and I escaped. 
Then there was the time my cellie began acting very funny one day.  In my cube, he began accusing me of outrageous things, totally untrue.   Then he stood up and began to cry and said 'the voices, the voices, the voices; they are telling me to hurt you; help me, Ben; help me."  Whereupon I  rebuked the evil spirit in the name of Jesus and commanded it to leave him.  He began to hyperventilate and lay down on his bunk and unbuttoned his shirt, like he was too hot, and after a period of agitation, finally relaxed and got still.  Then he stood up as normal as anything, and said to me "Ben, what's been happenin?"  I explained to him the going's on; he did not believe me, but my other cellie- for I was in a two man cube that had three guys- confirmed what had transpired; quite shaken at having seen an exorcism.  The news spread quickly throughout the dorm.
The authority given over serpents and scorpions had Protected me from harm, according to the promise of Jesus. 
Then there was the time we were having an inspection of our dorm by the guards; someone had upset them.   They made the rounds of the entire place that ended right at my cube; and as I was standing there, one of the guards took out a switch blade, threw it opened on my locker and said, 'here it is; I give you a chance; why don't you come after me."  What?   I was one of the most docile of all their inmates.  I just mumbled something incoreherently, and in frustration he took the blade back and left.  That guy could make someone nervous- he went around the prison camp with a baseball bat, like a Federal variation of Buford Pusser.  But, mysteriously, the FBI came around a few weeks later, and he was never heard or seen again, in that Camp.   I had said nothing, but something had been done to remove that mentally unstable man from our supervision.
"nothing by any means shall hurt you." 

Monday, December 6, 2010

2012- What We Know, What We Can Infer, and What We Don't Know

The year 2012 has been an interest for quite some time and has produced a movie based on some of the thoughts surrounding the year.  The inspiration for our interest in this year springs from ancient traditions that seem to suggest it as a time for the end of things as we know them.  There is much in Scripture that could lead one to conclude that the End of the Age is near.  Finally, there is the interesting fact that major players in the scientific world have suggested that there are some very possible scenarios that could unfold that might usher in an EOTWAWKI event.
What is is that we know about 2012, what is it that we can reasonably infer,  and what is there that we know is false and finally what is there that we don't know?

Let us start with science.
  1.   We know that there is a hole in the magnetosphere 10 times larger than anyone had ever imagined.  As commented on in a Jesse Ventura Conspiracy Theory episode Ventura-2012 -'the shields are down', alluding to Star Trek and the Star Ship Enterprise and its force shields that protected it from all sorts of nasty weapons.  This was discovered and reported in December 2008, by five Themis satellites put up there to snoop around and was discovered within the last five years.  NASA-breech
    • We know that the sun has an eleven year cycle of activity that involves a peaking of solar sun spots and coronal mass ejections and that will occur in 2012.   According to all the scientific opinion I have been able to glean, this peak of the eleven year cycle should be an especially nasty one,  admitted by NASA to be the worst in 50 yearsThere is a prominent physicist who makes the mainstream media rounds who sees real risk with this and talks about problems for our satellites in orbit, and the commmunications that depend upn them. NASA-11 year sun cycle 
    • We know that in 1859 that there was a huge solar flare, and that it fried the only serious electronics available at the time, and that was on the planet earth, and not in orbit around the earth,  and that was the telegraph communications network of America.  We also know that if we had a similar solar flare, it would take out the American power grid, knocking out most all the technology we depend upon for the most basic of needs, for many months to many years.  This is not just the lunatic fringe talking; this is NASA and NSA.   NASA-1859 Flare
    • We know that there is a marked upswing of earthquakes in this new millennium, though there are postings that a misleading and no real evidence that there was an increase during the 20t Century. Earthquakes last Century but in this Century and increase, both in magnitude and in number during the last decade.  Quake increase this decade
    • The weather has been getting more and more crazy all over the world with the Jet Stream doing nutty things. For the third year in a row it is, for example, hanging very low over Britain,  and causing disastrous weather events, and floods and droughts, that are wreaking havoc on many agricultural harvests. Whacky Weather This Decade
    • We know, that in addition to an upswing of earthquakes, there have been clusters of earthquakes occuring more or less in the same time frame, and associated with serious perturbations of the Earth's magnetosphere.  The satellite images of the magnetosphere show it being deformed even to the loss of the magnetic lines that come from the South Pole.  Furthermore these perturbations are not caused by any phenomenon that we currently know causes such things- there is not solar activity to account for it. 
    • We know that there is been a rapid shifting of the earth's magnetic north pole; it has been moving at a rate of about 37 miles per year for the past 15 or so years.  
    • We know from time lapse photography that there has been a skewing of the rotational axis of the earth slightly away from the North defined by the star Polaris.  In time lapse photography, we notice that the true center axis of the earth's rotation has been pulled a little off its traditional fixation on Polaris.  
    • We know that several nations of the world have become extremely interested in looking away from the earth with half dozen or more infrared satellite telescopes, that are not looking towards earth, and are not looking at the sun.  They are looking somewhere else.
    • We also know that on Dec 21, 2012 the earth with all the planets on one side of the sun will align both with the sun and the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
    • We know that the planets Uranus and Neptune have an obliquity in their orbits that cannot be explained by any gravitational effects in the known solar system, and that such gravitational effects have caused scientific speculation as to its cause for hundreds of years.  
    • And we also know that there is something going on that is altering the entire solar system in the same direction at once- it appears that there is a warming effect of some sort happening to all of the planets.  On Mars its polar ice caps have decreased 30 percent. Other planets are appearing more luminescent. Our moon is getting a sort of atmosphere from a rare gas. Warming of Whole Solar System
    Well, that is a list of what we know from science. 
    That something us up for 2012 is also apparent from the political behavior of nations- specifically the building of hardened, underground survival shelters for the continuity of the government and other essential service providers.  The United States has been in a building frenzy for the past decade all over the Nation, building such facility with blast doors, and capable of being submerged underwater, and with life support facilities and defense mechanisms built in.  This has been a rumor for a very long time on the internet, and with some amateur documentation, but totally unmentioned in the Establishment Media.  Jesse Ventura has outed this quite effectively in a recent Conspiracy Theory Episode, in which he showed some video footages of them, an interviewed an architectural engineer that is also building similar structures for the Rich, altering old Atlas ICBM silos in Kansas for survival from forces as strong as nuclear blasts, and submersion under water for long periods of time.  Under water for long periods of time in Kansas!  This man had inside knowledge of government programs, and stated that the target date for his facility and the governments is readiness by 2012.  He hinted at one such facility under a major United States airport.Denver Airport-Survival Bunkers-Ventura
    The Russians have been into this sort of activity as well building a facility that would support 100 thousand people under the Yamantau Mountain in the middle of Russia.Yamantau in Russia  A Russian Company vivos is also building survival shelters for 2012 in the USA.  US Underground Private Shelters The Norwegians are also known to have done such a thingNorway 2012, and the Israelis are involved as well, due to be completed by 2011. Israel Ready 2011  . The British and the Germans are in on it as well, but these facilities could also be used to survive a nuclear event.  Germany and Britain  The  the Rockfellow/Bill Gates  Foundations have come  together to build a Hardened Seed Survival Bank near the Arctic Circle.  Globalist Seed Bank
    There has been as well  the construction of a myriad of prison-camp like barbed wire detention centers all over the United States, designed to hold families, also done in a hidden way, with no stated purpose, but with the obvious purpose to manage restive masses of people.

    So,  for 2012 we have a lot of governments working in a feverish way to prepare for something big, and they are not telling us, the common people, about it.  They are working to ensure the survival of a few.  This is significant.  When Y2K loomed and it appeared that our computers might crash and take down our infrastructures, we and the nations of the world got busy and did something about it.  We did some patches and some work arounds and fixed it for the whole planet.    But now they are preparing for something so very big in their estimation, that they cannot prepare for all of us, and so they are going to extreme measures to protect the elite, without telling us about it.  And they are preparing for something they expect will take place in 2012.  Furthermore, they are not basing their decisions on the well-known Mayan calendar, but upon some other more hard evidence.   Finally, their preparations include massive numbers of detention camps to manage the general population, as if there will be something that comes to the attention of the general population that will be very disturbing, but that can be managed only by detention. 

    What fits the bill for this sort of catastrophe?  It is possible that there will be a coronal mass ejection in 2012 Solar Flare 2012that will take down our infrastructure but would not require the use of concentration camps to detain a population that learns well in advance of an earth-shattering cataclysm but can do nothing about it, and for which our government has prepared the instruments of survival only for a small elite.   Could it be that they are preparing for a global nuclear war?  It seems unlikely that all the nations of the world would know in advance that in 2012 we are going to hold a global nuclear war.  The shelters could be built  in such a way that they would also serve an additional purpose of surviving nuclear war but preparations for one to be pre-scheduled for 2012 seems unlikely.
    There are other possibilities out there-  that such shelters would help in the event of a rapid pole shift, but once again that would not be fixed to such a date as 2012. 
    What then is such an event that would fit the year 2012, and explain some of the other anomalies we have been seeing for the past decade, and be of such a catastrophic scope that the governments would decide to prepare only for the survival of the elite?
    In 1983 the IRAS infrared satellite telescope found an object they had been looking for.  For centuries  the orbits of Neptune and Uranus had perplexed astronomers because they showed a distinct skewing of their orbits that could be explained only by the gravitational pull of an unknown mass in the vicinity of our solar system.  In 1983 IRAS found the existence of a hitherto unknown planet that was dubbed planet X.  The announcement made some of the news media of the country, and I remember myself reading this with interest.  Here is a clip from the Washing Post

    Washington Post, December 30, 1983
    Possibly as Large as Jupiter

    "The mystery body was seen twice by the infrared satellite as it scanned the northern sky from last January to November, when the satellite ran out of the supercold helium that allowed its telescope to see the coldest bodies in the heavens. The second observation took place six months after the first and suggested the mystery body had not moved from its spot in the sky near the western edge of the constellation Orion in that time. "This suggests it's not a comet because a comet would not be as large as the one we've observed and a comet would probably have moved," Houck said. "A planet may have moved if it were as close as 50 billion miles but it could still be a more distant planet and not have moved in six months time."
    Some period of time after that, there was a sudden reversal, and the media said, 'oops, big mistake.'   At the time it seemed a very weak argument, and I resisted the new conclusion.  There was also a high level authority Dr. Robert S. Harrington, the chief astronomer of the U.S. Naval Observatory, died before he could publicize the fact that Planet X is approaching our Solar System. who was willing to talk about it after the abrupt black-out of information, and that same man suddenly died in very mysterious circumstances.  Harrington 1983  In the 1987 New Science and invention Encyclopedia , the work of the space probes Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 shows a clear map in which the two probes were able to triangulate the location of planet 10.  Pioneer and Planet 10

    NASA admits to Nemesis March 11, 2010.  It is called Nemesis or Death Star,  and is said to be larger than the planet Jupiter.    NASA NEMESIS . 
    The notable thing about this is that it is not taken up by the Mainstream news, and we have been conditioned to accept as reality only what is emphasized in the Mainstream media.  We know also that very alarming events are being deliberately under or unreported by the Major Media.  There was a major asteroid Impact in Columbia this year that was not reported in American Media.  Columbia Asteriod Impact
    There was also a huge meteor impact i Mexico that was unreported in the Mainstream Media
    mexico meteor
    In 1979 the name 'global warming' was chosen as a cover story to hide form the public the apocalyptic events that they knew then were coming our way now. 
    We also know that the solar year for earth changed from 360 days to 365 days in the 17th Century Before Christ.
     Sumerian , Mayan predictions
    Infrared Telescope Satellites pput in place since 2000.

    Google Sky has deliberately blocked out the exact coordinates that relate to the locate of Planet X. 

    gulf Stream Dead.  Gulf Stream Dead

    Earth passing into energy cloud
    energy cloud goat

    Russians say the whole solar system is changing and we are passing into an energy field
    Energy field
    also reported in Nature   Energy Cloud
    Gulf Current dead
    Gulf dead.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    The Ground of Being

    I remember reading Paul Tillich back in the sixties- it was part of the thing we did in the crowd I ran- renegades from Church but somehow captivated by questions of meaning.  Paul Tillich talked about the Ground of Being- it sounded cool, and reminded conservative Christian critics of Buddhist thought, and, in fact, he received laudations from Buddhists.  In a way Tillich pointed to something of the mystical depths of experience to which we all aspire, because we know that there is Something, deeper and more foundational in life than ourselves or even our experience or our thoughts.
    Then comes along Jesus Christ into the foray and He says "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life"- here He is a living breathing man,  who gets hungry, agonizes in the Garden in prayer, was born, and so forth.  How could He be the Truth?  Well, we are told that, while He was human He was also, in an inexplicable way, fully God, and in the process of His Life, the Trinitarian Nature of that God was revealed, as Father and Son and Holy Spirit, at His baptism, when He altered forever the waters of the Cosmos, and at His transfiguration, when He revealed forever His Divinity in Humanity.
    Then we fast forward to the Apostle Paul who says that the Church is the ground and pillar of the Truth, and there we have it. How does it all fit together?  Well, the Church, we learn, is the on-going expression of the God-Man in the earth; It is the continuation of the Incarnation. Who Jesus Christ was on earth- God in the Flesh, continues in ministry through His Church.  It is by being United to His Church then, that we people are united to the Ground of Being, for it is in His Very Human Body, that mankind was carried up into the Holy Trinity.
    There is a distinction, I think, to be made concerning the Church.  In the Church we are united to Christ Himself, but not according to His Essence, but according to His Energies.  This means, that while the Church is the Sacrament of God's grace, and is to be honored, and submitted to, it is not to be worshipped, and while it is the Means of Grace, it is the Lord Jesus Christ whom we preach, and not the Church, which is His Body on earth.  "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to Myself."  It is written, in Scripture.
    The Scriptures are wonderful, but they are or no value unless they are used by us to point us to the Word that is Beyond the Sacred Page, that is to say, Jesus.  Yes, the Scriptures are also wonderful, but they are not given to us in order to re-invent the Church; rather, they are given to us that we might be guided to the Church, as the Body of Christ, and submit to Her.  The Bereaens were more 'noble' because they looked at the Scriptures in the light of the teaching of the Apostles, and straight away, submitted to the Apostles and their Church.  Since Christ promised a Church that would persist in history and also prayed for there be a unity in the Church that was both Human and Divine, visible and invisible, grounded in His Human and Divine Lire, as the Savior, so also His Body, is something to be found and not re-invented, submitted to and not re-constituted. 
    The Church is built on the foundation of all the Apostles, Christ being the chief cornerstone.  Have you ever noticed that the unique views of Christ held by the Apostles have persisted down through the ages?  In the West Peter seemed to pre-dominate, with his powerful gift of evangelism, and ruling authority. In the East St. John seems to have predominated with his Mystical Grasp of Communion with God.  In the Protestant West, on the other hand, Paul and his Epistles seems to have dominated, also co-extensive with Arian Christianity. Likewise, the failings of the Apostles, as found in Scripture, seem to express themselves in the life of the historical Church.  Peter reverted to a centralizing legalism in the Judaizing controversies, that occasioned the Church Council in Jerusalem and as recorded in Acts 15, and such a reversion exists in the West in the fact that the Bishop of Rome claimed too much authority to himself, and made himself to the corrections of the other Apostles.  The Protestants took Paul too far, and fell into the failing that St. Peter warned us was implicit in the writings of Paul- pressing the legal metaphor for justification too far, sundering faith from works, and sanctification from saviing faith.  Even in the mission fields of doubting Thomas,  the Nestorians failed to discern that Jesus Christ was one person with two natures, Human and Divine, and were stumbled thereby.
    Lord have mercy.  The Church is built on the foundation of the Apostles. that is a present tense; it is not a past tense. The Foundation of the Apostles persists, and we need all the Apostles testimony to avoid the falls that came with each of their individual failings.

    Saturday, April 3, 2010

    God's Judgment on Israel, Canaan and the Whole World

    The land of Canaan was promised to Abraham but there was a problem- it was already inhabited. However, God in his foreknowledge knew that unrighteousness would increase dramatically amongst the people and in time would necessitate destroying many of them and driving out many others so that the souls of many might be saved.

     After four hundred years, when Israel was placed in a holding pattern in Egypt, the Canaanite evil grew. They grew in great depravity and the height of their worship to their gods was to burn their infant children alive.  They followed the pattern of Sodom and Gomorrah, the pattern of raping for fun and immoral sex in worship  and in time God said 'enough.' 
    Judgment came.  It came through the instrumentality of Israel, a nation that had just passed through the judgment of God.  They had been found unfaithful and immoral and most of them- all but two had died in wanderings in the wilderness.  When a sobered and righteous Israel was prepared, they were used of God to visit judgment upon the inhabitants of Canaan. It was not because God hated Canaanites. And it was not to exterminate them.  Some were destroyed and some driven out.  Some became members of Israel and part of the lineage of  the King David, and eventually of Yeshua (Isa)/Jesus .  
    God's intent for Israel was to inculcate into them the importance of righteousness, and to demonstrate in them and to them the terrible consequences of lives lived according to untrammeled lusts.  God's intent for Israel had a larger purpose to demonstrate in them the righteousness that God wanted all men to find, and the salvation that God wanted for all men to discover in that righteousness.  While God's actions towards Canaan was not genoicide it was heavenly eugenics in operation. God's intent was to raise of a righteous woman, the seed of whom would destroy the hold of evil in the world, as prophecied in Genesis 3, and later in Isaiah 7.

    Despite the object lesson of the Canaanites, and their own terrible history in the wilderness, Israel nevertheless succumbed for the most part to the sins of the Canaanites that remained, and according to their own prophets were worse than the Canaanites had been. And the same Israel that had been used of God to judge the Canaanites became the objects of Divine Judgment through the hand of the Assyrians, and the Babylonians, who carried off the ten tribes into permanent destruction and the remaining tribes into a captivity from which only a small remnant returned to the land of Israel- God being no respecter of persons, or genetics. 

    In the days that we find ourselves in the same unrighteousness that brought about God's judgment through the flood of Noah, and the fire and brimstone of Sodom and Gomorrah, and through the actions of Israel against Canaan, and of Assyria and Babylon against Israel, will again proliferate. We see that now as men all over the world commit a genocide against the unborn, sacrificing unborn babies through painful procedures for the sake of convenience. Saline abortion burns the baby.   Men want sex whenever and however they wish to have it, and do not want the inconvenient consequences of child-begetting to stand in their way.  Women do not want children because they prefer self-fulfillment to the self-sacrifice that love demands in the care of a child.  Again lusts are inflaming us and leading us to unspeakable barbarity- that we justify by Courts with men in long black robes, and representative assemblies called to order with the solemn tones of the gavel and sergeant-at- arms. 
    Neverthless, despite our wickedness, God in His mercy always provides a way of escape.  In the days of Noah it was the Ark that was prepared. Noah preached righteousness but he was scorned, until the day the Ark was closed and the waters inundated the whole world. In the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, God sent Lot among the people was a witness to righteousness, and in whose home were the visitation of the Holy Angels. Yet the people, rather than repenting of their sins at the presence of holiness, desired to rape the angels.  In the time of Israel's fall in the wilderness, God gave them ample signs of His Providential care yet they chose to live in unrighteousness, and fell in the wilderness. The Canaanites likewise did not repent and were destroyed and scattered that their evil not multiply and destroy endless souls. Israel fell into the same patterns again and was judged severely, only to have a remnant preserved, and that a mercy of God so that a savior could come through the lineage of Abraham, that the promise of Abraham might be offered to all men, that is the gift of Holiness, the gift of the Holy Spirit, given us by Yeshua/Isa/Jesus, the baptizer in the Holy Spirit, the seed of the Woman, prophesied by Moses in Genesis,  of the lineage of David,  of the tribe of Israel, that our souls might be saved. 

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    Energy in the New Testament- A Concept Lost to both Catholicism and the Reformation

    © 2000-2003 by Orchid Land Publications
    [Last updated 20030623]
         Shortly after the middle of the fourth century BC, Aristotle (Physics III.1, Metaphys­ics VIII.3, IX.6) explained the relation between a potential or capacity and its actualization or realization as dýnamis and enérjeia, respectively.  This became part of the thinking of literate speakers of Greek in the centuries before Christ and the holy Apostles.  (For Orthodox terminology in general, CLICK HERE.)

         In the New Testament (and the Septuagint Greek Old Testament) and in the writings of the Fathers and Mothers of the Church, there are numerous uses of enéryeia “energy, operative or actualizing power”), enérgema “effect(iveness), operation,” eneryés “energetic, efficacious,” and eneryeIn “energize, actuate, actualize.”  (These words are cognate with Greek órganon “instrument” or “product.”)  From Aristotle’s Physics and Metaphysics (in the middle of the fourth century before Christ) on, energy in Greek was related to dýnamis “power, capacity, faculty” as actual (realized) is related to potential:  Those who thought and wrote in Greek, including the authors of the New Testament Epistles thought of energy is what makes a potential power actual or real; it is a basic aspect of being, whether created or uncreated (divine).   This may all seem a bit odd in view of the English use of dynamic—which is closer to Greek “energetic.”  
         From the time of Aristotle, users of Hellenstic Greek distinguished dýnamis "capacity" from enéryeia "energy," i.e. what actualizes a dýnamis.
        In modern engineering science, power is the rate that work is done; work is a force acting over a distance; and energy is the capacity or potential to do work.
         The energ- words are admittedly sparse in the Gospels (despite St. John the Evangelist's emphasis on Light and Life; cf. 1:4, 8:12, 12:36, as well as 1:5,9, 3:19-20, etc. and 11:25, 14:6, in the Gospel alone; cf. 6:53, 17:3, etc.) but are certainly found in the Apostles.  The opening verses of the Old Testament tell us about the “waves” of energy present before the creation of the cosmos (the idea that “water” existed before water had been created is a fantasy); they tell us that the first thing created was light—the purest form of energy.
         In the New Testament, we find 27 uses in the Apostles, of which a small number can be disregarded as referring to the devil's power (see particularly 2 Thes. 2) or the effect of death or iniquity on human beings.   (J. Armitage Robinson's “On energeĩn and its cognates” [St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, 2d ed. (Macmillan, 1909), pp. 241-247] has just come into my possession; I will be commenting on this very learned article in another writing.)  Readers may wish to look at   It would be worth the reader's while to consult reference works on New Testament word usage—not least, Kittel’s famous (and huge—in English, ten-volume) work and the volumes by, e.g., C. Spicq (Roman Cath­olic) and Colin Brown.  One will find little to the purpose in Kittle and nothing in the latter two works.  Th. Spidlik’s learned and lengthy The spirituality of the Christian East ignores that which is essential—energy; he appears to be a Jesuit of the Unia.  Nothing could be more apparent that that—and why—the West “cannot understand the divergence of Western Christianity from eastern orthodoxy.”
         But just as great an interest is to be found in seeing how energy resolves ten otherwise irresoluble problematic mat­ters in theol­ogy.  One must be careful in dealing with the contrast between erga “works” not energized by Grace and those so energized; cf. Rom. ll:6, etc., as well as passages commented on below, especially Philp. 2:13 in the box.  If we should be well aware that the opposition, erga : enérgeia is a jingle or antithesis that a Greek writer would favor, we should not fail to take note of the frequent Western expression, “state of Grace,” which underscores the West’s static understanding of Grace.  The Latins take Grace to be created and “non-operative” (i.e. non-energetic)—a habit, state, form, or quality of the soul.  The Reformers propounded the idea of Grace as divinely im­puted righteousness—a virtual reality, since the believer remains, as Luther in­sisted, a sinner in fact.
         The reader is bidden to examine for oneself 1 Cor. 12 (on the Body of Christ) with its three uses of energy- and six uses of charisma- “free gift of Grace.”  Speaking of the Body of Christ, 1 Cor. 12:6 says, “And there are differences of energizations (energ), but God is the identical One Who energizes everything in all things.”  Continuing in verses 10-11, St. Paul says that “to another [is given] the energizations of potential(itie)s [the word is dynámeis], . . . ; but one and the same Spirit energizes all of these, allotting to each individual according as He wills.”  Note in passing also 2 Cor. 1:6, Gal. 5:6 (where we read of “faith [pístis, an energizing formation in Greek] energizing through [or: “because of”] love”)—and 3:5 where miracles are concerned—as well as Philm. 6.  Gal. 2 speaks of SS. Peter’s and Paul’s energizing or effectuating/actuating (in v. 8—two uses; v. 9 refers to this as the grounds for the recognition by James, Peter, and John of the Grace (cháris) in Paul.  Before turning to prime uses in Ephesians, Philip­pians, and Colossians—some or all of which are rejected by Liberal critics—note should be taken of 1 Thes. 2:13 (referring to the LOGOS [Jesus Christ] or logos “rational principle” as energizing in believers—which is contrasted with the energizing of iniquity in 2 Thes. 2); Heb 4:12, where the “living” divine LOGOS is eneryGs; and even the un-Hellenic James in 5:16, where the step-brother of Jesus asserts that the prayer of a righteous person ener­gizes. The Apostolic ethos is permeated with energy, as still is the Orthodox phrónema “mindset, outlook.” 
         It is time to have proper translations of verses like Philp. 2:13:  “For it is God [Who is] energizing in you all both to will and to energize for the sake of [His] being pleased”; cf. Gal. 5:6, where “faith energizing through love” is spoken of.
         We can now up the ante by looking at Eph. 2:2 (in Greek), which has the devil ener­gizing in the children of truth, whereas 1:19-20 has dýnamis and two occurrences of the word for “energize”—the overwhelming power (dýnamis) of God “according to the energizing in us believers of His strong might, which energized in Christ to raise Him from the dead.”  (Eph. 1:6 speaks of Grace as “rendering us acceptable”—a single verb in the Greek, one that is cognate with the noun for “Grace.”)  Eph. 3:2 speaks of Grace, while verse 7 in the same chapter speaks of Grace “bestowed according to the Energy of the power (dýnamis) [of God].”  Verse 20 speaks of God as One “em­powered to do . . . according to the power (dýnamis) being energized in us”—evidently Grace.  Are these views of Grace compatible with the static, uncreated "form or quality of the soul" in Latin theology—or with the idea that Grace is divine goodwill in Reformation theology?  
         Eph. 4:16, reflecting 1 Cor. 12:11, says that the Body of Christ is held together according to (or in terms of)  Energy—evidently Christ’s Life.  (Note that Grace is a topic of this chapter in the Letter to the Ephesians; see, e.g., v. 7.)  What Eph. 4:16 says is that the shared Life of the members of the Body, whose “Head is Christ” (v. 15), is expressed in terms of energy thus:   “from Whom [scil. Christ] the whole Body, fitted together [synarmologoúmenon] and knitted together [symbibazómenon] by the supply of every joint, causes the increase of the Body in terms of energy proportioned to [literally:  "in the measure of] each single part for its own edification in/by love."  (The use of “in” for “by” in Biblical Greek is an Aramaicism.)  Energy is highlighted even more in what now follows.  (Note in Philippians that 4:3 speaks of Clement, Paul’s companion—the same person that wrote the famous Letter that speaks of bishops, priests, and deacons.)  While Philp. 2:12 commends “working out” (katherg-) one’s Salvation with fear and trembling, v. 13 adds, as already quoted in the box above, “For 'tis God [Who is] energizing [this is evidently the action of Grace] in you all both to will and to energize for the sake of His good pleasure.”
         Where v. 3:21 speaks of “transforming our humble bodies into conformity with the Body of Christ’s Glory (SHEKHINAH?) with the Energy that enables [the dynam- verb] Him to subdue everything”  . . . Col. l:29 links energy and power [dýnamis] thus:  “I labor, striving according to  His Energy [that is] energizing itself (in) a natural capacity in me [literally, "in me in a capacity"].”  (Dýnamis is here rendered as “natural capacity”; it can also mean “faculty,” in which sense en is often used with it [cf. “in/by love” above].  Col. 2:12 speaks of being buried with Christ in Baptism, “by which also you all work together (synergize in Greek) through the faith ‘of’ God’s Energy that has raised Him from the dead.”  If that is Grace, it is clearly something uncreated because it is the Life of the divine LOGOS.  It is not any sort of  “created Grace.” 
         Let’s not ignore verses with dýnamis, at least not Rom. 1:20:  “For His invisible things from the creation of the cosmos are clearly discerned, known through the things that have been made—[viz.] His eternal capabilities (dýnamis] and Deity, . . .”    
         What is the conclusion of the foregoing (without even investigating the synerg- words)?  A great deal of evidence exists in Paul’s developing thought for an energetic view of God’s (uncreated) Grace—His Life in us—but no evidence can be expected to be found for Grace’s being static—either a created form of a created soul, or simply God’s goodwill that makes virtually real what really is not real, as Luther boasted—so that one can speak of a “state of Grace.”
         Various expressions are found for the uncreated Energies among Greek-language Christians; most are feminine in Greek, as one would expect from their energetic character.   (Enérgeia is femi­nine.  Besides z“Life,” théosis, omoíosis, cháris “Grace,” there is dóxa "glory," in some ways parallel with Hebrew Shekhinah “indwelling, presence” [Ex. 13:21-22, 40:34-38]; for God as a Mother, see Isa. 66:13 in the discussion in the box below annexed to this one.)  Since God (for good reason) ordained Greek to be the vehicle for propagating knowledge of Himself, we would be justified in referring to the uncreated Energies as feminine if we wished.  In view of the absence of grammatical gender in English nouns, we can pretty much avoid the issue.  But we certainly follow the tradition of calling the Father and Son “He”; but the Holy Spirit is both “He” and “It” (note that Pne “Spirit” is neuter) in the New Testament.
         In dóxa “glory” in the New Testament, scholars have found an echo of the Rabbinic SHEKHINAH “divine Presence—the feminine aspect of God in the Kabbalah and the sixth thing that humanity lost at the Fall.  (YHWH is of course gender-free, and we cannot attribute the genders of a human language to some characteristic of uncreated Reality; yet, Isa. 66:13 God has the rôle of a Mother.)  Anyhow, down to the present day, Orthodox theologians refer to partaking of the uncreated divine Energies as seeing and partaking of God's uncreated GLORY; and laypeople speak of arriving in Heaven as seeing or partaking of the true GLORY.  Passages in the New Testament like John 1:14 as well as those in which Christ is termed Light and Life more than amply justify the Orthodox ways of speaking.  Divinization itself is often called “Glorification”; and the  ritual for  proclaiming a person's Sainthood is called “Glorification.”
         To bring all of this together (one may tentatively suggest), we must think of a gradient of more and less Grace, or rather of omoíosis as a vectorial form of théosis, a vector of being energized with more and more uncreated Grace that eventually eventuates in complete théosis.  Adam lacked theosis or he would not have sinned; but before sinning he remained as he had been created—according to the “Assimilation” to God (Gen. 1:26).  The uncreated Grace of omoíosis received in Baptism and partaking of Christ’s Body and Blood in the Holy Commu­nion undergoes those set-backs that every cognizant adult experiences through sinning prior to the ultimate theosis of those in Christ.  Our first ancestors were, unlike us, not subject to death and decay prior to their sinning because they had the “Assimilation to God.”   This was lost at the Fall; the Icon of God was not lost, for the loss of its powers of reasoning and free-choice would have reduced our first ancestors to animals.  The Orthodox believe that the Old Testament Saints also received temporary theosis through aVision of the uncreated Light (cf. the Disciples on Mt. T[h]avor before our Savior’s Immolation on the Life-giving Cross).  While they were freed and divinized in Christ’s Descent to Hades during the time He was dead, permanent theosis comes after death for Christians.  Till then, the Assimilation to God can be set back through an unwillingness to let the all-holy Spirit energize one of Christ’s members to do works pleasing to Him; it can even be lost entirely when those works are altogether lacking.  On the other hand, when the Spirit is energizing (Philp. 2:13) believers to do Christ’s will, they reap Grace for Grace (John 1:16).   Orthodox faithful undergo a con­stant recycling of lapses and restorations, each cycle becoming smaller and farther apart as the faithful proceed along the vector of omoíosis toward théosis—a difference of degree.
         Concerning synergy, St. Paul, after having commented in 2 Cor. 6:1 on our becoming the righteousness of God in Christ, speaks of his readers’ and his own energizing together [with Christ—according to the 1611 translation], beseeching his readers not to receive the Grace of God  in vain.  In Rom. 8:28, the verb in question is used causatively, with the force of all things’ energizing together for good in those loving God.  In Jas. 2:22, we read:  “You see that faith was energizing together with [Abraham's] works” when that patriarch offered his son Isaac on the Altar.  So much for the verb, synerg-.  Some of the numerous uses of the adjective or substantive occur in St. Paul's Epistles and (several times) in one passage of St. John's third Epistle (see below).   These are rendered as “fellow-workers” or “joint-laborers” in the 1611 English translation.  Though not wrong, this rendering hardly conveys the energetic overtones of the Greek thought world.  Interestingly, St. Paul in 1 Cor. 3:9 refers to himself and Apollos as God's fellow-energizers or fellow-workers.  In 2 Cor. 1:24, Paul speaks of himself and others as synergizers “of your people’s joy”; in 3 John 8, joint-energizers for truth are spoken of.   In three occurrences in Rom. 16, in two place in the Letter to the Philippians, and once in 1 Thessalonians 3, Paul refers to various men and women as his fellow-energizers or fellow-workers—once “in Christ Jesus.”  In 2 Cor. 8:23, we read that Titos is Paul’s companion and joint-energizer for/in regard to his readers; and in Col. 4:11, Mark and Jesus Justus are Paul's fellow-laborers or joint-energizers.  

         God is called Light, especially in the Gospel according to St. John the Evangelist.  In contradistinction with the uncreated Energies or Life of God, the created cosmos began, as already noticed, with God's creating light (created energies) first of all.  The reader interested in a few subtleties of the concept of divine Energies is recommended to read V. Lossky, Mystical theology of the Eastern Church (1957, pp. 78ff); earlier in the same chapter, he discusses the overt patristic development of this Greek-language, Biblical concept.  (It will seem quixotic that, p. 86, he main­tains that the presence of the uncreated Energies is not causal, even though they divinize--a causative verb!  A few pages later, Lossky makes it clear that his state­ment is meant to indicate that the uncreated Energies of Grace are not effects in the created world--as in Latin theology.  In Orthodoxy, Grace is a cause, not an effect; in the West, one speaks of a "state of Grace."  The idea is not unique to Orthodoxy; other religions have entertained similar ideas--most obviously Zoroastrianism and Shin Buddhism--whose Amida-Butsu is the Buddha of immeasurable Life and immeasurable Light.  
          That Orthodox writers have thought of light (and particularly the uncreated Light--God--which the Johannine literature in the New Testament combines with Life in reference to Christ, the Life and Light of the world) as energy, and particularly as the uncreated Energies of God, may surprise the modern mind, whose theological outlook is likely to have been formed by the static categories of Western scholas­ticism--Latin and Reformation.  Both of these frameworks lack the concept of energy.  Indeed, the more surprising it seems to the modern mind, the more interesting it is, given a similar relationship in current scientific theory.
          While the Bible begins with dark nothingness and formlessness, before God said,  “Let [there] be light,” today’s scientists see the generation of light at the begin­ning of the cosmos--which then faded into cosmic darkness, “a formless sea of dark matter“--for a period of 300,000 to 500,000,000 “years” after the Big Bang.  As this period offers no evidence to astronomers, how, in what unfathomable way, the architecture of the modern cosmos emerged out of this chaotic “void” and (according to a British cosmologist) light came on again is the “most important un­solved problem in astronomy.”  The Orthodox believe that the creation continues, for if the Creator did not hold up the cosmos at every instant, it would vanish into nothingness.   Creation is neither timeless nor a Gnostic recycling of time; novel forms of being emerge as time flows onnew planets, new creatures.  The Creator is, in short, energetic, not limited to one act or one kind of creation.
        This comes  from the last column of a very interesting article by the distinguished Astrophysicist M. S. Turner in The Sciences (published by the New York Academy of Sciences).   We read on  p. 37:  "Dark matter and dark energy are the yin and yang of the universe.  . . . Dark matter, like all matter, draws mass towards itself . . . Dark energy, in contrast, is repulsive, and it is distributed smoothly throughout the cosmos."  Mention is made of "mysteries," and of course creation is the issue.  "If [the studies] are correct, dark matter and dark energy account for the vast preponderance of the cosmos:  about 95 percent . . . "       
         The volcanic fires and frightening roar of Mt. Sinai described in the Exodos narrative indicated to Moses the power of God-- (the Presence of the Lord's glory).  But I leave that to some thesis-writer who knows more about the matter to assess the validity of this parallelism.  When one comes to think of it, language needs a parallel to organic which embodies the idea of energy--perhaps enorganic.  (Both erg and org are, at least etymologically, related to English work; the roots were werg and wrg.  While early Greek retained w in the form of F, it was lost by Classical times, just as h got lost in the Hellenistic era—along with—and earliest in Palestine and Egypt—most  of the sound changes of Modern Greek.)
          If light, energy, matter, and even life are seen to be different forms of the same thing in twentieth-century science, Orthodox theology accepts Mysteries (sacraments) in which corporeal (i.e. material) entities like bread, wine, water, oil, etc., have the capacity of channeling the divine Energies to human beings--as the result of Christ's Incarnation--which has been traditionally regarded as the "First Mystery (Sacrament)" of the holy Faith.  All of this is a  wholly different world from the Denominationist volitional-juridical framework in which word plays the same central rôle that energy plays in Orthodoxy.  Even Jesus Christ is a “Word” in the Denominationist approach to or version of Christian belief.  In the Denominations, words and sermons replace the Orthodox Altar (some Denominationist preaching houses have  meaningless, non-sacrificial prettifications called “altars”) and the Body and Blood of Christ.  For Calvinists, sermons are what validate the virtual reality of a sacrament--and can effect the same end without a quasi-sacrament.  Such sacraments are (judicially) termed “ordinances” by other Protestants, and the bread and wine used in the Lord’s Supper are called “to­kens” or “emblems” by some Denominationists.  Note also that sacrament  originally had the juridical sense of an “oath.”  What different worlds the Latin-Germanic thought worlds are; where is the resemble with Apostolic thinking?  
         Though the concepts of energy in science and early Christian thinking have emerged in very different conceptual frameworks, have different connotations, and indeed are differently defined, such parallelisms as have been noted (and which there would be no point in denying) are worth reflecting on in the debates over science and religion and in comparing the merits of Eastern and Western theological thinking.  The energies have an intimate and vital connection with talk about God and with Salvation in Orthodoxy.  Is it not probable that the parallelisms of these concepts in such separate disciplines—one ancient, one modern—reflect  a glimmer of ontological and theological truth?    Only a very biased person or an irreformable Gnostic would reject the idea out of hand.  At all events, don’t the static categories of Western theology lose their appeal in the face of the way basic concepts of East­ern theology seem not to be in fundamental conflict with those of current science?  Note that the argument is , the way some theologians on the liberal antitraditionalist left (in contrast with the Fundamentalist antitraditional­ist left) would maintain; the position is rather that any defensible coïncidence between the two disciplines should be welcomed.  More can be said, but let the foregoing suffice.
         Despite the "energetic" nature of contemporary physics, the attitude of most physicists towards time is very different from that of Orthodoxy.   Aristotle (who got “taken in,” as one writer has put it, “by friction”) considered the natural state of motion to be rest.  Modern physics looks at it differently.  But if time was cyclic for the Platonists and static thought characterized Western scholasticism and classical physics, physics has followed suit:  Physics has been time-neutral in the sense that time is reversible--though only in unstable systems, the crux of the matter.  Some scientists are now protesting this position, since a timeless cosmos defies common­sense.   So  there are moves afoot (or abrain) to change this situation in favor of a physics in which time is unidirectional.
          The divine Energy of which the New Testament speaks is normally invisible but can be miracu­lous­ly revealed to human beings in the perceived effect of created light. On Mt. Tabor (Thavor) just before Jesus's capture--which led to His trial and Crucifixion, the Apostles were miraculously permitted to behold the Light.  The lives of the Saints contain many examples of others present seeing a glow of light on a Saint's face or surrounding a Saint's head.  When the Communists shot and killed a large body of Orthodox clergy and monastics in Kiev, not only the Christian faith­ful but even the Communists were reported to have seen halos surrounding the Orthodox temples of the city.


        Since actualizations or activations of the powers of knowing and (especially) willing are energies, could a Denominationist embrace of energy offer a basis for reconciling the Reformation's exaltation of will above being and reason and Eastern views of Worship and Salvation?  While such a possibility is extremely remote on several grounds, it would offer ecumenists potentially more fruitful gardens to till than the fruitless gardens they have been wont to till.  If any compatibility with Orthodoxy should be aimed at, an embrace of will as energy might conceivably led to embracing ontological energy it special functions in knowing, willing, etc.  But Denominationists would have to integrate the rôle of creation—i.e. created matter (Incarnation, flesh, water, wine, bread, oil, bodily resurrection, icons, etc.) and time (the rôle of tradition in unfolding truth and sifting out error from the original deposit of truth—and in perpetuating the priesthood)—into their understand­ing of Worship and Salvation.   But their accepting creation’s having been destined to have a spiritual purpose (as a vehicle of the uncreated Energy of uncreated Grace) and time’s having a similar purpose (in tradition’s sorting out from errors the one truth able to stand for millenniums) seems, humanly speaking, not to have even a remote chance of occurring. 
         Besides respecting created matter and time, some respect for the Hebrew-Hellenistic location of Jesus's upbringing is essential.  But how can even a literalist Denominationist give up one’s view that the Holy Spirit did not steer the faithful "to all truth" (John 16:13) during the fourteen centuries between the Apos­tles and Reformers?  That has about the same chance of occurring as the pope’s admitting fallibility in speaking ex cathedra.  If the equality and coëssentiality of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit has so deteriorated among many or most Denominationists as to widen the gulf between them and the conservative holy tradition more than ever, what point is there in discussing human concerns (Salvation) in the first place?  St. Eirenaios, in his famous treatise against the heresies [V.xiii.3] of second-century Christianity, said that immortality and incorruption come "not from one's own being; it is rather through the Lord's Energy [that there exists] the ability for immortality to overwhelm death and  incorruption to circumvent decay."  
         If it would be illogical to say that the all-holy Trinity is one and three in the same respect but is holistic to say that He is one in one respect (Essence) and three in another way (Hypotheses), what of extremist positions that deny the oneness or the threeness--or the complete divinity and complete humanity of Jesus?  Note that Jesus was not truly human if sin is congenital in human nature—as not only with Calvin (who spoke of humanity as being totally depraved) but also the translators of the NIV Bible, who in various places render sárx “flesh” gnostically as “sinful nature.”  It would be syncretistic to say with the Hindus that there is more than one God.  It is extremist (not to say truncated), though internally consistent to say that that Jesus Christ is not divine (as with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Quakers), not originally divine (as with Nestorians and Mormons), or as One whose Divinity has absorbed his human nature (as with Eutychians and others of like belief); but it is holistic—and both internally consistent and externally logical--to say that Jesus Christ is a Mystery or Sacrament—no less truly human than completely divine.  Given the last account, it is as obvious that human nature cannot be sinful as such as it is obvious that guilt and merit cannot be inherited or transferred from one person to another unless they are ontologically or covenantally one.  But the virtual reality of a covenant would mean that their oneness would be virtual and imputational; so Adam’s guilt can be attributed to a newborn, and the pope can transfer Saints’ merits to those who fulfill the conditions of an indulgence.  But, however alluring, all of this is far removed from energetic being and sharing Christ’s Life and the other Energies of Grace.
         On the side of logic, consider the way the Energies resolve Western dilemmas.  First, Grace vs. works:  Instead of complicated juridical theories of Satisfaction, Atonement, Redemption, Imputation, Justification, Adoption, Regeneration, "Covenantal" Unity with Christ, etc., Orthodoxy sees the incorporation of a believer into Christ by the Energies of Grace as a member of His mystical Body to mean that He and the incorporated member share the same Energies and Life:  What Christ has done His members share--ontologically, not by imputation (will or intention); and the good works that the Holy Spirit energizes in His members by the Energies of Christ’s Life—Grace—when His members consent to coöperate with the energization (without which it would not be forced on them) are obviously Christ’s works.  See Philp. 2:13 in Greek!  There is no diminishing of the rôle of Grace here, as there is in the paradigms in which Grace and saving works are mutually exclusive.  Salvation is St. Paul’s new creation, as observed earlier; it is ontological rather than juridical.  The Crucifixion is a latreutic Sacrifice as in the Epistle to the Hebrews, not something properly characterizable with those juridical categories.  Grace received is implemented for the reception of more Grace (John 1:16).  When Christ’s Body and Blood are offered up on the eucharistic Altar, He is the Offerer in the faithful, and they are offered up in Him.  The faithful participate in Christ’s One unrepeatable Offering on the Altar of the holy Cross, though the divine Liturgy repeats only the Anaphora or Oblation, not the unrepeatable Immolation on the Cross—which communicants nevertheless share in as Christ’s members.  Since Salvation is incorporation (the means) and Divinization (the goal or result), how can our becoming members of Christ's risen Body make sense without the concept of sharing energies?  How is Divinization thinkable other than through partaking of the uncreated Light or uncreated Energies of God--when the saved really see God--not his unseeable and imparticipible Essence, but certainly the effect of His divine Energies? 
          Second, instead of positing a depraved human "nature" and the loss of the Icon (Image) of God--i.e. the loss of reason and freewill--in the post-Augustinian Western manner, Orthodoxy distinguishes the Icon of God from the Assimilation or Cognation of God ("Likeness," the 1611 rendering, would proper translate [h]omoí­oma, whereas the Genesis text has got the more active [h]omoíosis).  In accord with both Genesis and New Testament passages as well as various God-bearing fathers, including SS. Eirenaios and Maximos the Confessor, it was the Grace or Energy to please God, the omoíosis Theô, that our first ancestors lost in the Fall.  If the Fall was the loss of Cognation with God, it was not a loss of the Icon (Image), which is an inalienable part of human nature.   Losing the reason and freewill of the Icon of God, as the Reformers taught, would yield animals, not humans.  St. Athanasios the Great  expresses the matter in his famous treatise "Concerning the Incarnation" by saying that humans (not my translation) . . .  "were bereft of [i.e. lost] the Grace that belonged to them as creatures [made] in the Icon of God . . . it was in the power of none other than the Icon of the Father [viz. the Son] to re-create for humans the Assimila­tion/Cognation of the Icon."  St. Maximos the Confessor avers that the loss of the Cognation (Assimilation) of God is revealed in the imperfection of fallen human nature.
         It defies reason and commonsense to maintain, in the Western manner, that a nature can sin or has sinned; only individuals can sin.  Where the Reformers allow guilt to be inherited—by impu­tation or otherwise—and merits [of Christ or of the Saints] to be transferred by, the East rejects inherited guilt and inherited merit:  We share in Christ's goodness not by imputation and nothing more, but ontologically—including our eating His Body and Blood in the most holy eucharistic Mysteries.  Those who speak of Christ’s body’s being spiritual present in the great Mystery don’t know the difference between body and spirit.  The Calvinist idea of a virtual presence in a communicant with proper subjective faith when the ceremony is accompanied by a proper sermon has drawbacks that hardly require pointing out.
     potential, and the Cognation or Assimilation is energetic, bring to communicants the theanthropic Life of the God-man Christ and Divinization through the Vision of the uncreated Light--God's very Being, but not His Essence—or, as some prefer to say, the Vision of the effects of the uncreated Light, how are we to understand Mat. 5:8?  There we read that the faithful will see God, while 1 Cor. 13:12 says we are to see God "face to face"—which could only refer to the humanity of Jesus Christ, since God's Essence has got no "face."  Various notions of what these verses mean have been essayed, and only one holds water.   If humans became part of the divine Essence, that would amount to their "Deification" (apothéosis)--and there would then be more than three Persons in the divine Trinity; it would not be the théosis ("Divinization") that the Fathers and Greek theology speak of.  The Glory that John 17:22 relates Jesus's bestowing on the faithful—it has been held to reflect the Hebrew Shekhinah—has been inter­preted in Orthodox Christianity as the uncreated Energy of God--the divinizing Light that the faithful will behold in Paradise.

         Instead of borrowing energia from Greek, scholastic Latin glossed enéryeia as operatio and actus and eventually spoke mainly of potentia or virtus and actus ("act[uality]") as, respectively, matter and form—thus losing the import and vitality of Greek "energy"!   As for Aquinas, the distinguished Jesuit philosopher, Bernard J. F. Lonergan, in his volume, Insight:  a study of human understanding (2d. ed; p. 434 fn.), explains that Aquinas makes a threefold distinction in which there are two kinds of act.  (Lonergan even refers to Aristotle's Metaphysics IX, lect. 5,  1828 f.)   It must be remembered that the Aristotle that the Sholastics relied on so heavily--as the interpretive "form" that they imposed on the "matter" of Scripture--had lost its connection with Biblical and early Greek-language Christianity (the hiatus of 730 years of Dark Ages and illiteracy was decisive) and relied on a third-hand Aristotle, received in Latin translations of Islamic Arabic translations of the original Greek.  Prime matter is a universal "thing," a potential for any form; two kinds of "act," were distinguished (according to Lonergan) into actus/actio/operatio ("potentia to forma," representing Greek enéryeia, distinct from Greek poíesis "doing") and forma itself (potentia to opera­tio).    Lonergan says that "the systematic significance of this triad is evident not merely in the threefold composition of material substance but also in the role played by potency, habit, and act" (Lonergan cites Aquinas, S.T. I-II, q. 6, Introd., & q. 49, Introd.) in Thomistic writings. The Latin scholastics took essence to be energy and characterized the divine Essence as an Energy:  Actus purus was meant to mean pure energy, the absence of any unfulfilled potential.  The Reformers specified that the energy in question is will, whereas for the Latins it is existence--and is more rational than volitional.  But energy always remained a function of essence in the East, separate from essence but identical with the divine Being.   Like that Being beyond being, God's Energies (including Grace operating in the cosmos) are uncreated.  (Some thinkers separate nature form essence, the former being a function of the latter; this conceptualization works well for 2 Pet. 1:4.)  Since essence and energy (actus) are not distinct in the West, there is no real distinction between théosis “energetic Divinization” and apothéosis “Deification in essence.”  Latin Grace is created (but “supernatural”—i.e. not part of nature)--an entitative, not (since Aquinas) an "operative," form or quality of the soul, with form being under­stood as a definer or  realizer--a sort of actualization.  It is through this created means that the Latins, as Fr. John Romanides points out, think they can partake of the uncreated Essence of God.  But if that participation is not entitative but only intentional, then it is not real but like the Protestant idea of volitional or covenantal unity of believers with God--i.e. with the divine Essence--since neither Latins nor Reformers distinguish energies from essence, and indeed conceive of and define the divine Essence as energetic.
         Thomas's followers more or less reduced actualization to form in the pair, matter : form; but they retained a distinction between habitus entitativus (sancti­fying Grace) and habitus operativus.  Sanctifying Grace, in contrast with Grace in Orthodox theology,  is not "energetic."  Thus did the scholastics distance them­selves ever further from the framework of the Greek New Testament and Orthodox theology.   Protopresvter John Romanides has pointed out the scholastic paradox of partaking of uncreated Essence through the created means of sanctifying Grace—defined as created by the scholastics.  In connection with energy in science, Lonergan, links energy to inertia (Insight,  pp. 443-444 ) in the pair inertia : energy.  Whether this relating of potency : energy to the inertia :energy of current science is durable is not for me to say.   (Lonergan himself puts a question mark after this suggestion.)
         The Latins make the divine Essence to be the Energies of existence and intellection.  They teach, according to Jürgen Kuhlmann (Die Taten des einfachen Gottes:  Eine römisch-katholische Stellungnahme zum Palamismus [1968, pp. 98-99] that the participation of the faithful in the divine is an "intentional" (by will), not "entitative" (i.e. ontological) participation in the divine Essence--not too different from the federal or covenantal participation of believers in Reformation thinking.  The conceptual world of the Christian West is thus separated from the conceptual world of the East by over a dozen centuries in a framework that imposes quite diverging meanings on the words (matter, content) of Scriptures, etc. from the Greek-language conceptuology of Orthodoxy.   For example, John 15:26 no longer differentiates the essential  procession (ekpórefsis) of the Paraclete from the Father alone and the energetic and  mission (ékpempsis) of the Paraclete from the Son in the economy or dispensation of the created cosmos.  The Orthodox notion of energies as life light has some parallels, despite the different paradigm, with energies in contemporary scientific thinking.  (In contempo­rary physics, energy is a form of matter as well as existing in the form of light, etc.) 
         Form is self-evidently a considerably more static concept than energy.   This dividing line between East and West has had the greatest consequences, including the analogia entis with all of its portentous consequences.  (This outlook insists on the parallelism of the Holy  Spirit's energetic sending by Jesus Christ with His putative procession from the Son as well as the Father in the divine Essence--the heresy of the Filioque.)   Where matter has a potential for almost any specific “form” in the West, at least in the East, the divine Energies are spoken of quite broadly--unified though not undiversified, functioning to effect different purposes and being realized in different forms--Light and Life (Grace) as well as other operations or functions, perhaps even as a “form of matter,” as in modern physics.  Grace functions to enable a member of Christ’s Body to become such (here it is "operative," as a scholastic would say) or to be what it is (here, it is "entitative," as a scholastic would say; but Eastern Grace is not subcategorized into the roughly one dozen kinds of Latin Grace.)  Thomas’s epigones lost a good deal of the idea of operatio while nevertheless preserving the distinction between sanctifying Grace as an entitativus--but not operativus--habitus.

      in the Fathers, see G. L. Prestige,
    God in Patristic thought (SPCK, 1952)
    and A. J. Sopko (CLICK HERE),
    The theology of John Romanides (Synaxis Press, 1998)