Monday, June 7, 2010

Reading Group, 4b


The Main Thought in the Dogma of the Church

a. The ultimate goal regarding members of the Church is found in the Lord’s words: “I will also that those whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me... that the love with which Thou has loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (Jn 17:24, 26). The intermediate goal consists in the constant spiritual perfecting of the individual in the Church, in the sanctification of the Christian by the Truth of Christ.

b. The claim that the Church is a society rather than a body is unfounded.

c. The Church is a likeness of the Trinitarian existence, a likeness in which many personalities become a single essence. As long as man sympathizes with Christian law only so far as his own natural inclinations go, he will never accept the fullness of Christian love.

d. Natural man is an incarnate contradiction and nowhere does the inner contradiction of his nature show itself with such force as in the feeling of natural love.

  1. What is, in fact, “the main thought in the dogma of the Church”?
  2. Why does Metropolitan Anthony prefer the “comparison” of the Church as a body to the “definition” of the Church as a society?
  3. Why does Metropolitan Anthony believe that the existence of the Church is incomprehensible to the “old man” (c.f., Col. 3:9)?
  4. In what way is man an “incarnate contradiction”?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. The main thought in the dogma of the Church is the new relationship of God to the individual, and, moreover, the constant spiritual perfecting of the individual in the Church.

2. Metropolitan Anthony prefers the “comparison” of the Church to a body because even though there are contradictions in this comparison it is still warranted because the Apostle Paul uses this comparison. The Metropolitan disapproves of the “definition” of the Church as a society because: i) the concept of the Church is unique and contrary to everything earthly; and ii) there are so many facets to societies on earth that bear no resemblance to the Church.

3. Metropolitan Anthony believes that the existence of the Church is incomprehensible to the “old man” because in the old man although there is love there is also self-love and hate. Only the new man knows of perfect love.

4. Man is an “incarnate contradiction” in that he hurts those that he says he loves. If one truly loves another, how can he hurt them? In Church, this can be overcome.

Matthew

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