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#75277 09/22/04 10:40 PM
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Dear Alex,

I was totally unaware that some Orthodox considered John of the Cross a monist.

John of the Cross' mystical theology is based on the theology of Thomas Aquinas. It is a very scholastic treatment of mysticism, which in his view is union with God by faith alone. His writings stress unfailingly that the "proximate means of union with God is FAITH." By that he means that all other manifestations of God to the soul can be a source of attachment if the soul does not seek the beloved in pure darkness and trust, in other words, in pure faith.

In Thomist style, John dissects every element of the soul, and every manifestation that may be presented to it by God, self, or the evil one. In the end, he rejects them all, in favor of a pure ascent in the darkness of faith.

I can see how the monist notion enters in. Also, John of the Cross does not prescribe for himself a bright and simple path. However, according to his teaching, it is the most sure and quick way: a view that is hard to dispute, the way he characterizes it.

It is also a view that I would love to see compared with the divine energies and light commonly understood in the East. In one, the soul ascends in darkness, in the other the soul is descended to and enveloped in the holy energies and light of the Spirit. My understanding is that in both, one ends up with the ultimate: theosis. I am only a lay interpreter here, so I would love to see a better comparison spelled out.

In Christ and the Theotokos,

Tammy

#75278 09/23/04 03:54 AM
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#75279 09/23/04 09:37 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by a still, small voice:
Dear Alex,

I was totally unaware that some Orthodox considered John of the Cross a monist.

John of the Cross' mystical theology is based on the theology of Thomas Aquinas. It is a very scholastic treatment of mysticism, which in his view is union with God by faith alone. His writings stress unfailingly that the "proximate means of union with God is FAITH." By that he means that all other manifestations of God to the soul can be a source of attachment if the soul does not seek the beloved in pure darkness and trust, in other words, in pure faith.

In Thomist style, John dissects every element of the soul, and every manifestation that may be presented to it by God, self, or the evil one. In the end, he rejects them all, in favor of a pure ascent in the darkness of faith.

I can see how the monist notion enters in. Also, John of the Cross does not prescribe for himself a bright and simple path. However, according to his teaching, it is the most sure and quick way: a view that is hard to dispute, the way he characterizes it.

It is also a view that I would love to see compared with the divine energies and light commonly understood in the East. In one, the soul ascends in darkness, in the other the soul is descended to and enveloped in the holy energies and light of the Spirit. My understanding is that in both, one ends up with the ultimate: theosis. I am only a lay interpreter here, so I would love to see a better comparison spelled out.

In Christ and the Theotokos,

Tammy
St. John of the Cross is hard to read. But basing from a preliminary reading of the Collected Works, there are some Eastern elements and some entries from psedo-Dionysus. But his classic interpretation of union with God...the transformation of the log into fire...is a good description of theosis.

ruel

#75280 09/23/04 12:21 PM
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Dear Friends,

Yes, that was just the view of Fr. Prof. P. Bilaniuk of St Michael's University in Toronto.

Robert Lentz has done a wonderful icon of St John of the Cross and of St Teresa of Avila.

I also read about a Greek Orthodox Monk who recently joined the Third Order of Mt Carmel.

He said that he got used to praying the Rosary of the Seven Joys of the Mother of God.

(You just have to watch out for those Latin practices - they are infectious! smile ).

Alex

#75281 09/24/04 02:17 PM
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Diak- can you find an image of the icon of St Therese to post?
Alex- I guess you know how I feel about Mr Lentz, but let's not get into that again. And I don't find your ever informative posts trivia, useless or otherwise! Thanks so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge.
-Daniel

#75282 09/24/04 03:38 PM
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Dear Daniel,

Have you ever written an icon of St Therese?

I think you would find a great market for them if you did!

God bless and enjoy this sunny weekend!

Alex

#75283 09/24/04 10:39 PM
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Here is a link to the St. Therese icon at the Russicum:
http://stmichaelruscath.org/outbound/parishes/harbin/russtherese.jpg

One of the best iconographic depictions that I have seen of her is a large-sized fresco at St. Ann's Melkite Church in West Paterson, NJ. It was painted in Greece (I believe by Maria Manetas). I have a photo of it back home, so perhaps I will be able to scan it sometime. smile

Dave

#75284 09/25/04 05:40 PM
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I also have a print of an icon written at Mt. Angel Monastery inspired by the icon at the Russicum which you can get from the Conception Abbey Printery, [Conception Abbey is the monastery our Brother Elias, screen name Benedictine, is at]. In that icon, St. Therese is surrounded by small mandorlas of the Face of Christ on one side and the Child Jesus on the other.

#75285 09/25/04 06:20 PM
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Chtec- Sorry, I don't like this icon of St Therese; it looks like a Western holy card.
Alex- yes, I did one icon of St Therese, commissioned by a friend as a gift to his wife. If my computer-savvy brother ever gets my promised website up you can see it. [Not that I criticize him; his schedule would probably kill me in a week or two].

#75286 09/25/04 11:21 PM
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Chtec,

I like the Icon, it's a East/West mix to me.

james

#75287 10/03/04 10:29 PM
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Alex wrote about a Greek Orthodox monk who joined the Third Order of Mt. Carmel. Here is the story of Fr. Kyrill in his own words:

An Orthodox Monk\'s Pilgrimage to Mt. Carmel [ourgardenofcarmel.org]

It's an interesting account. His practice of the Jesus Prayer led him to the Rosary, then the Seven Sorrows, then the Scapular and onto Mt. Carmel. I like the connection he makes between the two holy mountains, Athos and Carmel.

The website also has some articles on Carmelite spirituality, including excerpts from the works of St. Teresa of Avila [ourgardenofcarmel.org] and St. John of the Cross [ourgardenofcarmel.org] .

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