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The offering of the Liturgy has the aim, in this particular prayer, of asking that Mary the Mother of God may attain a greater share in theosis? Are there other prayers, either Latin or Eastern, which pray for Mary to increase in deification?

Do we need one? You seem to imply that the meaning of the Liturgy is validated by things extrinsic to the Liturgy, when the reverse is true--it is the Liturgy that validates all other prayers.

Also, are you implying that it is possible for a creature, even a creature as exalted as the Theotokos, actually to obtain perfect knowledge of its Creator? That would imply that the finite and circumscribed can fully grasp the infinite and transcendent.

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Nobody disputes that among the Orthodox, but some Eastern Catholic theologians have stated that theosis is finite and that Purgatory is the final stage of theosis. For example, this is taught by Dr Anthony Dragani, an Eastern Catholic theologian writing on EWTN.

Go back and read again. That is not at all what Anthony says.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
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Nobody disputes that among the Orthodox, but some Eastern Catholic theologians have stated that theosis is finite and that Purgatory is the final stage of theosis. For example, this is taught by Dr Anthony Dragani, an Eastern Catholic theologian writing on EWTN.

Go back and read again. That is not at all what Anthony says.

I have read it several dozen times over the years. It is constantly quoted wherever Catholics and Orthodox interact.

This is exactly what Dr Dragani says. Over the years both Eastern Catholics and a few Orthodox have asked him to correct what he has written and he still insists that Purgatory is the Final Theosis.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
Do we need one? You seem to imply that the meaning of the Liturgy is validated by things extrinsic to the Liturgy,

That would indeed be back to front.

Quote
when the reverse is true--it is the Liturgy that validates all other prayers.


Precisely, and that it why it is legitimate to expect that the prayers used in the Liturgy have a counterpart in the very extensive prayers of such as the texts of the All-Night Vigils for the numerous feastdays of the Mother of God, in the many Akathists and Canons to her, and of course in the prayers of the faithful. If she is in need of prayers for her increase in theosis, it would be very dishonourable of the faithful not to be praying for their heavenly Mother. Yet I know of not one Orthodox soul who prays for her theosis.

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Fr. Ambrose,

By stating that prayers for the all holy Theotokos are unnecessary, are you not - by indirect reference - conceding that there is some state as "final theosis"?

(I realize Dr. Dragani uses precise wording in his statement on "final theosis")

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Fr. Ambrose,

Dr. Anthony is a good friend of mine. I am quite sure that he would agree with me in saying Theosis is infinite. I believe if asked he would affirm the point he was trying to make was: that which Latins call Puragtory is what Byzantines would name the first stage of Final Theosis, which he clearly states is a journey. Since God is Infinite it must follow that Theosis continues infinitely, love following upon love.

Fr. Deacon Lance


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
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Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Fr. Ambrose,

Dr. Anthony is a good friend of mine. I am quite sure that he would agree with me in saying Theosis is infinite. I believe if asked he would affirm the point he was trying to make was: that which Latins call Puragtory is what Byzantines would name the first stage of Final Theosis, which he clearly states is a journey. Since God is Infinite it must follow that Theosis continues infinitely, love following upon love.

Fr. Deacon Lance

Dr Dragani has been asked more than once by both Catholics and Orthodox to change what he has written, that Purgatory is the Final Theosis. He will not change what he has written. The only conclusion is that he adheres to his stated belief that Theosis is finite and its end corresponds to what in the West would be seen as an exit from Purgatory. Ot in other words, theosis ceases when a soul reaches Heaven. Perhaps you could ask him to correct what he says in his EWTN article? We know from how often it is quoted on Forums that it misleads many Catholics.

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Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
By stating that prayers for the all holy Theotokos are unnecessary, are you not - by indirect reference - conceding that there is some state as "final theosis"?

I don't believe so. As Saint Gregory Palamas says in one of his many beautiful sermons about the Mother of God, she exists on the border of created and uncreated, the border of human nature and divinity.

"She is the only boundary between created and uncreated nature; and no one can come to God unless they are illumined through Her, the Lamp truly radiant with divinity. As the Prophet-King says, "God is in the midst of Her, she shall not be moved" (Ps. 45/46:5-6).

---

Are you an Oriental Christian? May I ask what prayers you use to pray for the Mother of God and what exactly are you asking for her?

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Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
[quote=Michael_Thoma]By stating that prayers for the all holy Theotokos are unnecessary, are you not - by indirect reference - conceding that there is some state as "final theosis"?

Quote
I don't believe so. As Saint Gregory Palamas says in one of his many beautiful sermons about the Mother of God, she exists on the border of created and uncreated, the border of human nature and divinity.

"She is the only boundary between created and uncreated nature; and no one can come to God unless they are illumined through Her, the Lamp truly radiant with divinity. As the Prophet-King says, "God is in the midst of Her, she shall not be moved" (Ps. 45/46:5-6).

---

Does this mean the Mother of God has attained theosis to the extent that is humanly possible, with no further divinization attainable?

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Are you an Oriental Christian? May I ask what prayers you use to pray for the Mother of God and what exactly are you asking for her?


http://www.bvppune.org/pdf/mary-in-the-malankara-tradition.pdf

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Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
I don't believe so. As Saint Gregory Palamas says in one of his many beautiful sermons about the Mother of God, she exists on the border of created and uncreated, the border of human nature and divinity.

"She is the only boundary between created and uncreated nature; and no one can come to God unless they are illumined through Her, the Lamp truly radiant with divinity. As the Prophet-King says, "God is in the midst of Her, she shall not be moved" (Ps. 45/46:5-6).

---

Does this mean the Mother of God has attained theosis to the extent that is humanly possible, with no further divinization attainable?

I don't know.

But what I do know is that the Orthodox do NOT pray for the Mother of God or for the Saints. We do not pray that God will forgive their sins, nor that He will give them an increase in virtue or deification.

You will not find prayers: "Lord, we venerate Thy Mother, the consolation of Christians. Give her the grace to be able to console Christians more effectively."

"Lord, we bow down before the ascetic labours of Saint Seraphim. Give him the grace to love Thee more fully."

Actually there is a rather dramatic moment when a Saint ceases to be prayed FOR and becomes someone who is only prayed TO.

Before the ceremony of canonisation/glorification the last Pannikhida/Requiem Service is served for the person about to be canonised. This is the LAST time the Church will pray FOR that person. After the Requiem Service, the canonisation commences and henceforth the Church will only pray TO the Saint.

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Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Are you an Oriental Christian? May I ask what prayers you use to pray for the Mother of God and what exactly are you asking for her?


http://www.bvppune.org/pdf/mary-in-the-malankara-tradition.pdf

A beautiful piece of writing, both heartfelt and theological, and without any hint that anybody prays FOR Mary but only that she is our intercessor and prays for us. Thank you for providing the link.

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Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted by aramis
Current edition of the celebrant's book, p.77, the introduction to the It is truly proper:

Quote
Cel: Moreover, we offer you this spiritual sacrifice for those departed in faith: the foregathers, fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, preachers, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, ascentics, and for every just spirit brought to perfection in faith.

Especially for out most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
Bolding original.

We offer the sacrifice for all the departed in faith... especially Mary, the Theotokos. For, remember, the DL is "outside of time"...

Do you also agree then that we ought to pray FOR Mary? Do you believe that Mary is in need of prayer from us?

Certainly, the Divine Liturgy is outside of time but that doesn't mean that Mary exists simultaneously in both her heavenly glory and also in the time and state prior to the Crucifixion and Resurrection when she needed salvation from her Son. She is not simultaneously in the womb of her mother, in the Temple with Symeon, on the donkey with Joseph, and on the right side of her Son in Heaven.

I am hoping that Stuart can show us prayers from Catholic Prayerbooks where prayers for Mary are given.


We are instructed to pray for all the faithful departed. Only one human has no need of our prayers on his own behalf, Jesus.

That our prayers are of some benefit to Mary is understood. Is she in Heaven? In some sense, yes. Is she complete in her theosis? Doubtful, for as it is taught, it is a process without end. We are taught that theosis is ongoing after death, and that prayers of the living benefit the dead in their purification and continuation of theosis after death.

Therefore, the prayers are of some benefit. How much? We can't know until we meet her.

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Originally Posted by aramis
We are instructed to pray for all the faithful departed.
Would you show us these instructions as they pertain to Mary and those who are canonised as Saints? Is this in the Catechism?


Quote
That our prayers are of some benefit to Mary is understood. Is she in Heaven? In some sense, yes. Is she complete in her theosis? Doubtful, for as it is taught, it is a process without end. We are taught that theosis is ongoing after death, and that prayers of the living benefit the dead in their purification and continuation of theosis after death.

Therefore, the prayers are of some benefit. How much? We can't know until we meet her.

I would say that not a single Orthodox person prays either for the Mother of God or for the Saints.

But I can see from the messages here that it forms, to my great surprise, a part of Eastern Catholic popular piety. But not for all Eastern Catholics - what Michael Thoma linked to shows that the Malankarese Catholics do not pray for Mary.

Do you know where this custom comes from?

Can you give us examples of how you and other Eastern Catholics pray for Mary and the Saints? From the Morning Prayers or Evening Prayers? For example, how will you pray for Mary and the Saints and your Patron Saint, in your Morning Prayers today?

I wish very much that Fr Serge would come in on this topic since I am still rather dubious that Eastern Catholics pray *for* Mary. I really cannot imagine what it is you are asking God to do for her. Do you have examples of prayers which pray for the deification of Mary and the Saints? As I mentioned earlier, the Orthodox cease praying FOR a canonised person from the time of the last formal Pannikhida which precedes the moment of his or her canonisation.


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The only kind of toll house I believe in is a type of chocolate-chip cookie. I believe they're great with milk or coffee. LOL

But seriously, folks: when I was a child my grandmother taught me that the red glow seen in the sky at dawn or dusk is a manifestation of the fires of purgatory; and when we see it, we ought to pray for the souls detained and being purified there.

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The Liturgy! That's Where! And in the pasage quoth earlier. Apparently, thus, it is from Sts Basil and John Chrysostum.

The prologue to the Theotokion.
The commemorations for the deceased.
The litany for the deceased notes that there is no one who is without sin (except Jesus, to whom the prayer is addressed).

With all due respect, Rev. Fr. Ambrose, you're the one ignoring the literal text of the liturgy. For we pray, as do the OCA, for the saints and even the apostles During the liturgy of St. John. That they may stand aright before the awesome Judgment Seat of Christ.

Mary is spared from Original Sin... due to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception... but that does not mean she is without sin, merely free of the automatic death-eternal sentence of the unbaptised.

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