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Re: Divine Mercy Sunday? #90766
06/24/06 11:36 PM
06/24/06 11:36 PM
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theodore perkoski Offline
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Now I see the problem well meaning private revelations like Fatima and the Divine Mercy can cause for Eastern Rite Catholics. There can be pressure to adopt something new from the West, I mean if someone is speaking from heaven and promoting a particular private devotion, the pressure to adopt it can be great. Instead of looking and searching for something that the East has which can fill the bill just nicely.
P.S. I am not against the Divine Mercy Revelations.

Re: Divine Mercy Sunday? #90767
06/26/06 10:02 AM
06/26/06 10:02 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 311
The Hurricane-- I mean, Sunshi...
MizByz1974 Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by SueB:
Thank you everybody for responding to my post. For Deacon Lance, since Divine Mercy Sunday is a Roman Rite thing and cannot easily be incorporated into the Byzantine faith, why not propagate it another way by telling Byzantines they are free to participate in their local Roman Catholic Church? The late Pope John Paul II opened the doors of the Church on this day for everybody, not just Roman Catholics. I realize this would have to be addressed and approved by Byzantine Church superiors, but I think it would be so well worth it to do this. Divine Mercy Sunday is a special day BEYOND comprehension. Every sin from the day you were born is washed away completely and it brings your soul to the state it was on the day you were baptized.
Why would we do this???

Firstly, as I previously explained, we believe that ANYTIME you make a sincere and complete confession, your sins are removed completely, and your soul is restored to its baptismal state. So the whole idea behind "Divine Mercy" Sunday doesn't make sense in our theology.

Secondly, the Byzantine rite is infested with Latinizations to begin with, and is in danger of disappearing. Many Byzantine Catholics attend Roman Catholic churches; the LAST thing we should do is ENCOUAGE said Latinizations and defections to the Latin rite just to promote a private devotion that is based on a theology that contradicts our own! That would be suicide.


God bless,

Karen

Re: Divine Mercy Sunday? #90768
06/26/06 02:01 PM
06/26/06 02:01 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,518
The Most Corrupt State
Dr. Eric Offline
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UC,
I talked to a priest of our Eparchy and he said that you should definitely write a letter to the Chancellor.

Re: Divine Mercy Sunday? #90769
06/26/06 03:26 PM
06/26/06 03:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 4
Pittsburgh, PA
SueB Offline OP
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SueB  Offline OP
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Karen, I'll try to explain this a little better. Something VERY special happens on Divine Mercy Sunday. Jesus opens the floodgates of Heaven and pours out his mercy all over the Earth. Not only are your sins forgiven, all of the temporal weight and punishment of every sin you ever made from your birth to that point are REMOVED/RELEASED. When you go to confession, your sins are absolved but the weight of your sins remain until you do good deeds and works to make up for them. That is the difference between confession and DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY. You are as pure as you were on the day you were baptized. You would have to do a hundred of years of good works to make up for what God gives you on this day of mercy. I'm afraid I don't understand why people make divisions when it comes to propagating something our Pope advocates. Divine Mercy Sunday is not Eastern or Western or Northern...it's a gift Jesus gave to the entire world. Instead of placing doubt and fear in our hearts that this will westernize the Byzantine faith...we should embrace it with love. There is no way this feast day will interfere with what God has put in place in the Byzantine faith. DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY is an extension of God's love to His children. It's as simple as that, and what a wonderful gift God has given us in these last days! SueB

Re: Divine Mercy Sunday? #90770
06/26/06 04:13 PM
06/26/06 04:13 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 311
The Hurricane-- I mean, Sunshi...
MizByz1974 Offline
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by SueB:
Karen, I'll try to explain this a little better. Something VERY special happens on Divine Mercy Sunday. Jesus opens the floodgates of Heaven and pours out his mercy all over the Earth. Not only are your sins forgiven, all of the temporal weight and punishment of every sin you ever made from your birth to that point are REMOVED/RELEASED. When you go to confession, your sins are absolved but the weight of your sins remain until you do good deeds and works to make up for them.

Dear Sue,

I understand, but my point is that this is the theology of the LATIN Church; it is NOT the belief of the Eastern Church. We know no distinction between eternal and temporal "punishment." In the sacrament of repentance/confession, we believe that we are TOTALLY forgiven. Of course, this doesn't mean that we don't do penance. But we don't do it to "make it up" to a vengeful God, but rather to heal the damage caused by our sins.

I'm afraid I don't understand why people make divisions when it comes to propagating something our Pope advocates.

Because it IS a Western devotion, based on a private revelation, and it is completely foreign to the East. And it should be pointed out that our former Holy Father also exhorted the Eastern rites to throw out the Latinizations and be true to the tradition of their own rites.

It's not that we don't believe in the boundless mercy of Christ, btw... it's just that we don't believe that God works by a calendar-- "Okay, if you do this on this particular day, before 11 am, you'll be COMPLETELY forgiven!" Personally, I think that smacks of works-based righteousness rather than genuine mercy.

There's a reason that some Byzantines (like myself) are so dead-set against Latinizations in the public devotional life of the Byzantine rite, and it's not because we hate the West: it's because we have been made to adopt Roman customs and practices in the past, and it almost destroyed us; a great many Byzantine Catholics returned to Orthdoxy because of this. You've heard of the Orthodox Church in America? Well, it was formed by former Byzantine Catholics.

If the Byzantine rite is to survive, we must be true to our own spirituality, theology, and tradition (and I think the Latin rite ought to be true to its own spirituality, theology, and tradition too).

I make a lot of sacrifices to attend a Byzantine Rite church, including a 30-minute ride each way; frankly, if I wanted "Divine Mercy" Sunday, I'd go to the Roman Catholic church across the street.

God bless,

Karen

Re: Divine Mercy Sunday? #90771
06/26/06 04:15 PM
06/26/06 04:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,833
SF Bay Area, CA
Apotheoun Offline
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The theology underlying the private revelations given to Faustina Kowalska does not reflect the doctrinal tradition of the Byzantine Church, and so the Latin feast of Divine Mercy Sunday should not be added to the Byzantine liturgical calendar. The integrity of the Byzantine liturgy must be protected from Latinizations, whether modern or ancient.

Re: Divine Mercy Sunday? #90772
06/26/06 04:33 PM
06/26/06 04:33 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,686
Knoxville, TN
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byzanTN Offline
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Quote
The theology underlying the private revelations given to Faustina Kowalska do not reflect the doctrinal tradition of the Byzantine Church, and so the Latin feast of Divine Mercy Sunday should not be added to the Byzantine liturgical calendar. The integrity of the Byzantine liturgy must be protected from Latinizations, whether modern or ancient
I have no objection to the Divine Mercy chaplet as a private devotion. Prayer is a good thing. But you are correct that the feast is Latin and shouldn't be added to our calendar.

Re: Divine Mercy Sunday? #90773
06/26/06 04:50 PM
06/26/06 04:50 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 4
Pittsburgh, PA
SueB Offline OP
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Karen,

I understand completely. I have to admit, it bothered me when they make changes in our Easter music. We were used to singing "Christ is Risen from the Dead, by Death He conquered Death and to those in the graves He granted life". Conquered has now become "trampled" and graves have now become "tombs". I'm not sure I understand why they made these changes but if that is what our leaders want us to do, I will obey. Back to Divine Mercy Sunday, it's not a question of who is right and who is wrong, who believes in private revelations and who doesn't....isn't this what the Pharisees did to Jesus? They were so caught up in the law and theology that they didn't even recognize the Son of God standing in front of them. I think it's very important not to get caught up in divisions. No matter how different Byzantine theology is from Roman Rite theology, we share a common bond, we're Catholic. Jesus makes no divisions so why should we? Feel free to share more thoughts on this. God Bless you too! SueB

Re: Divine Mercy Sunday? #90774
06/26/06 05:14 PM
06/26/06 05:14 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 311
The Hurricane-- I mean, Sunshi...
MizByz1974 Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by SueB:
Karen,

I understand completely. I have to admit, it bothered me when they make changes in our Easter music. We were used to singing "Christ is Risen from the Dead, by Death He conquered Death and to those in the graves He granted life". Conquered has now become "trampled" and graves have now become "tombs". I'm not sure I understand why they made these changes but if that is what our leaders want us to do, I will obey.


Dear Sue,

What particular church were you raised in (Ruthenian, Ukrainian, etc)? I'm a former Roman myself, but I've been going to a Byzantine Ruthenian parish for three and a half years. What we say during Pascha is, "Christ is risen from the dead, by death He trampled death, and to those in the graves, He granted life!" I've noticed that the words sometimes differ a little. Like instead of "now and ever and forever", the Orthodox say, "unto ages of ages." Different words, same meaning. smile

Back to Divine Mercy Sunday, it's not a question of who is right and who is wrong, who believes in private revelations and who doesn't....isn't this what the Pharisees did to Jesus? They were so caught up in the law and theology that they didn't even recognize the Son of God standing in front of them. I think it's very important not to get caught up in divisions.

You have a point, and as a Byzantine Rite Catholic, I cannot say that the Latin Rite is "wrong." If I believe that it is, I would feel obligated to become Orthodox. Rather, I personally don't care for the way the Latin Rite expresses the truths of our Faith and prefer the Eastern approach.

No matter how different Byzantine theology is from Roman Rite theology, we share a common bond, we're Catholic. Jesus makes no divisions so why should we? Feel free to share more thoughts on this. God Bless you too! SueB
Well, division as far as faith goes is a bad thing; but we're not talking really about division, but diversity. The Catholic Church contains several rites, each with its own liturgy, customs, and traditions... and that's a good thing. IMO, it would be a BAD thing if all the rites started "blending" their traditions with each other. What will happen if we adopt Latin devotions and traditions publically is that we'll simply get swallowed up and become extinct. I think this is why John Paul II wanted the Eastern rites (of which he was very fond) to be Eastern once again.

God bless,

Karen

Re: Divine Mercy Sunday? #90775
06/26/06 06:54 PM
06/26/06 06:54 PM
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SF Bay Area, CA
Apotheoun Offline
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The fact that there is a common bond between Eastern and Western Catholics does not mean that the two doctrinal traditions can be blended together. In fact quite the contrary, the two traditions cannot be blended together without doing harm to both of them. An example of this can be seen when one looks at the doctrine of grace within the two traditions, because within the Eastern tradition deifying grace is an uncreated reality, i.e., it is God Himself as energy; while in the Western tradition (at least since the Scholastic period) sanctifying grace is a created thing, i.e., it is a created habitus, which is meant to connect man to God by somehow allowing him to experience the uncreated divine life. Now, these two doctrinal traditions on the nature of grace cannot be blended together, because they are based upon metaphysical presuppositions that are very different.

The same holds true when one looks at the liturgical traditions of the two groups, because the liturgy is informed by the doctrinal tradition that gives rise to it, and ultimately supports the tradition of the particular Church in question as an incarnation of its underlying metaphysical principles. Thus, to change the Byzantine liturgical tradition by including elements that are in fact foreign to it, does violence to it in the long run. Sadly, these distinctions have not always been borne in mind in the past and that is why the Byzantine Catholic Churches where heavily Latinized, and why they are still today undergoing the painful process of de-Latinization. That being said, the pressure by many people (whether Eastern or Western) to add new Latinizations within the Byzantine Churches, even if it is done with good intentions, is harmful and unwise, and will only lead to further disruptions and divisions, and could even add to ecumenical problems between East and West, because the West will once again look like an imperialist power trying to Latinize everything that it comes into contact with.

The Latin Church's celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday is a new liturgical feast of the Roman Rite, and as such it does not belong within the liturgical calendar of the Byzantine Churches.

Re: Divine Mercy Sunday? #90776
06/26/06 07:53 PM
06/26/06 07:53 PM
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New York
ElijahmariaX Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Apotheoun:
[QB] The fact that there is a common bond between Eastern and Western Catholics does not mean that the two doctrinal traditions can be blended together. In fact quite the contrary, the two traditions cannot be blended together without doing harm to both of them. An example of this can be seen when one looks at the doctrine of grace within the two traditions, because within the Eastern tradition deifying grace is an uncreated reality, i.e., it is God Himself as energy; while in the Western tradition (at least since the Scholastic period) sanctifying grace is a created thing, i.e., it is a created habitus, which is meant to connect man to God by somehow allowing him to experience the uncreated divine life. Now, these two doctrinal traditions on the nature of grace cannot be blended together, because they are based upon metaphysical presuppositions that are very different.
This is merely an assertion no matter how many times it is asserted or how many different people assert it.

Perry Robinson tried to make this kind of assertion stick, here on the Internet, and was eventually countered by a philosophy professor whose brief demolition of Robinson's premises have gone, as far as I can tell, unanswered, which tells me that there is no response, no true response, possible. This public discussion is a year old or better now, and still no rebuttal from the graduate student Robinson.

You make this claim as a biased observer and it doesn't stand up except in places where no one has the background to truly and succinctly take you to task or even to follow the public argument. That makes you temporarily unassailable. It does not make you right.

Eli

Re: Divine Mercy Sunday? #90777
06/26/06 08:32 PM
06/26/06 08:32 PM
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Paul B Offline
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Everytime I see the Divine Mercy apparitions/chaplet in a topic it seems to center on the East Vs. West topic and everyone argues pro and con and seem to miss the real message.

Let's put that aside and look at a deeper understanding. These devotions have actually brought the Western Church closer to the theology of the East. Remember that Sister Faustina was strongly criticized for claiming that God could be so merciful. At the time God was not thought of as so merciful, but rather the Western Church had taken on a hard stand about mortal sin, that upon death the soul would definitely be lost. Yet the diary actually allowed mercy at the time of death and even immediately after if the prayers of mercy were offered (if I understood correctly). The conservative Western Church of the time thought that this mercy was too easy and too liberal.

The Gift of Tears (definitely Eastern) was very clear in the life of Sister Faustina.

The Divine Mercy prayers should be directed direcly to the soul and an Eastern Christian,who repeatedly seeks God's mercy publicly (the Lord have Mercy response to our ektenia and privately as in the Jesus Prayer.

The opening prayer of each decade, " Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood of you dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood of you dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ"....should remind any Eastern Christian of the priest's words "We offer to You, yours of your own, in behalf of all and for all" "We offer to You, yours of your own, in behalf of all and for all" which occur immediately after the Consecration as the Deacon raises with crossed arms the Body and Blood of Christ.
The first time I read the Diary of Sister Faustina I was amazed at how much closer it was to Eastern theology than to the West.
The message of Divine Mercy is a message of a forgotten gift of deification.
Thanks be to God for the holy obedience of Saint Faustina and to Pope John Paul that they could bring God's love closer to humanity through this wonderful devotion.

Re: Divine Mercy Sunday? #90778
06/26/06 08:45 PM
06/26/06 08:45 PM
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New York
ElijahmariaX Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Paul B:
[QB] Everytime I see the Divine Mercy apparitions/chaplet in a topic it seems to center on the East Vs. West topic and everyone argues pro and con and seem to miss the real message.

Let's put that aside and look at a deeper understanding. These devotions have actually brought the Western Church closer to the theology of the East. Remember that Sister Faustina was strongly criticized for claiming that God could be so merciful. At the time God was not thought of as so merciful, but rather the Western Church had taken on a hard stand about mortal sin, that upon death the soul would definitely be lost. Yet the diary actually allowed mercy at the time of death and even immediately after if the prayers of mercy were offered (if I understood correctly). The conservative Western Church of the time thought that this mercy was too easy and too liberal.

The Gift of Tears (definitely Eastern) was very clear in the life of Sister Faustina.
The gift of tears has been a common teaching among Carmelites throughout their long history. And the idea of divine mercy has never been lacking in the west.

That being said, you are quite right that Sister Faustina did enter the picture at a time when the Church had been gripped by Jansenist heresy and it had been denied even among some monastics that any and all of the faithful could enter into direct union with God through contemplative prayer.

This two-hundred+ year period has been documented by the Dominican, Father Jordan Aumann and the reversal of this trend has been the principle contribution of theological teaching in the west in the 20th century. Sister Faustina was instrumental in bringing the simplicity of the teachings to ordinary people in ways that did not confuse or overwhelm them.

To say that it is simply contrary to the teachings of the east, requires, as I noted above, making assertions that cannot really be made to stick on the Church in the west as a whole, and is truly not, nor has it ever been, the magiterial teaching of the papal Church.

Eli

Re: Divine Mercy Sunday? #90779
06/26/06 09:32 PM
06/26/06 09:32 PM
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Paul B Offline
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The gift of tears has been a common teaching among Carmelites throughout their long history. And the idea of divine mercy has never been lacking in the west.
Thanks for your informative post, Eli. The Carmelites are indeed special and have their origin in the Holy Land (Mt Carmel) and so they have an Eastern monastic influence.
I might add that even few Eastern Christians have heard of the Gift of Tears. Almost anyone who has been to Medjugorje has experienced it even if they aren't aware of its name.

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy's closing prayer, "Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us and on the whole world" makes a Latin feel more comfortable at Our Divine Liturgy as we sing the Trisagion. How wonderful is God's wisdom and He tries to bring His churches closer together, not as twins, but as fraternal brothers.

Re: Divine Mercy Sunday? #90780
06/26/06 09:35 PM
06/26/06 09:35 PM
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Apotheoun Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Elitoft:
This is merely an assertion no matter how many times it is asserted or how many different people assert it.

Perry Robinson tried to make this kind of assertion stick, here on the Internet, and was eventually countered by a philosophy professor whose brief demolition of Robinson's premises have gone, as far as I can tell, unanswered, which tells me that there is no response, no true response, possible. This public discussion is a year old or better now, and still no rebuttal from the graduate student Robinson.

You make this claim as a biased observer and it doesn't stand up except in places where no one has the background to truly and succinctly take you to task or even to follow the public argument. That makes you temporarily unassailable. It does not make you right.

Eli
I have read Dr. Blosser's and Perry Robinson's dialogue on Divine Simplicity (at Pontifications and at Dr. Blosser's and Mr. Robinson's own blogs) and Mr. Robinson has responded to Dr. Blosser's essays, so I do not know what you are talking about on this issue. Mr. Robinson has also responded to Michael Liccione and Al Kimel, et al., on various topics at Pontifications, so perhaps you can give the links to the various sites where they have discussed this particular issue, and then I can assess your statements in fairness.

But as far as my comments about the Scholastic notion of "created" grace are concerned, it is a doctrine that has no foundation in the Fathers of the East. I stand happily in line with the Byzantine tradition on this issue. Now as far as my "being biased" are concerned, everyone is biased to one degree or another, including you, so that really is irrelevant.

God bless you,
Steven Todd Kaster, Th.M.

P.S. - I stand by my comments in my previous post, because I do not think that the Divine Mercy celebration should be added to the liturgy of the Byzantine Churches. Clearly, further Latinizations will only cause greater harm to the Byzantine Catholic Churches, and could add new stumbling blocks to true ecumenism with the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

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