Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Reading Group, 4d

The Church and the Individual

a. Scripture and Tradition say that the Lord came to earth to restore man to which he was before his fall, and to restore in mankind His image, which had been darkened by the passions. This was an image of the Triune Divinity, and in this image restores mankind through the ordering of the Church.

b. We feel ourselves endowed with a nature, both physical and psychic. It is this psychic nature common to all men and present within us, which is the human nature.

c. We must understand the single human nature not as an actual essence, but as a sort of abstract, general concept.

d. If people had not fallen there would be revealed in their hearts also the life of that common Divinely created human nature.

e. Fallen mankind has reached such a degree of individualism that the distinction between “I” and “not I” has become a starting point in human nature, while the triunity of God has become unfathomable.

f. The Redeemer has restored this singularity of human nature in the life of the Church which He founded.

g. St Basil the Great says: 1) human nature was one before the fall; 2) that it was cut apart by the fall; 3) that angels who had not fallen into sin of self-love and disobedience preserved this unity of their nature unharmed; 4) that the Savior came to restore this unity in fallen mankind; 5) that the restoration is expressed in the freeing from self-love, strife, and stubbornness, and the restoration of the love of Christ and of obedience in their hearts; and 6) that divine redemption consists primarily in the restoration of this newly-grace filled unity.
  1. Why does Metropolitan Anthony “psychic” nature as human nature?
  2. How does Metropolitan Anthony understand human nature, collectively and singly?

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