Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reading Group, 5c

Bearers of Co-Suffering Love
Ministers of Redemption

a. Attention will now be directed to the bearers of co-suffering love and in what feeling and experience it is expressed.

b. The Church clearly teaches those who would partake of the Holy Mysteries that the grace of regeneration is given from the co-suffering love of Christ the Savior.

c. Examples can be found in the prayers before Communion, in St Paul, and in the prayer for the consecration of bishops.

d. The co-suffering love of a mother, friend, a spiritual shepherd or an apostle is operative only when it attracts Christ, the true Shepherd.

e. That which grace-bearing people can do only in part and only for some people, our Heavenly Redeemer can do, and does do, completely and for all.

f. During that night in Gethsemane, the thought and feeling of the God-Man embraced all of fallen humanity, and wept with grief over each one individually, as only the all-knowing divine heart could. Our redemption consisted in this.

g. Having suffered in His loving soul over our imperfection, the Lord poured into our nature a wellspring of new, vital strength.

h. If may be objected that is must be shown how this causes this communion of the Redeemer with those being redeemed; and it might also be objected that only a secondary significance is given the His physical sufferings, the shedding of His blood and death.

i. It may be replied that in the transmission of the compassionate, loving energies of the Redeemer into the spiritual nature of a believing person who calls upon His help, we find manifested a purely objective law of our spiritual nature revealed in our dogmas, but which our dogmatic sciences has not noticed.

j. The Savior’s prayer in Gethsemane was not inspired by fear of His approaching sufferings and death.

k. The Lord’s torments in Gethsemane came from a contemplation of the sinful life and evil disposition of all human generations.

l. Following St Paul (Heb 5:7), Christ prayed not for deliverance, but for relief fro His overwhelming grief for sinful mankind.

m. Comforted by the appearance of the angel, Christ went forth bravely to meet His enemies.

n Now the discussion will turn to the question of by what means Christ’s co-suffering love is redeeming.
1. How can Metropolitan Anthony claim that our redemption consisted in Christ’s co-suffering at Gethsemane?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Metropolitan Anthony can claim that our redemption consisted in Christ’s co-suffering at Gethsemane because he has already demonstrated in parts 1+2 that redemption is not at the Cross. This belief is an error of the Latins in regards to a juridical theology. From this Metropolitan Antony then “locates” redemption in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The Metropolitan says that the anguish which Christ felt in the Garden of Gethsemane was not a result of the forth coming crucifixion but the present agony of co-suffering with the sins of all of mankind individually. He buttresses this thesis citing the text, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me,”(Matt. 26:39ff [also vs.42]) and adding that St. Paul agreed to the same interpretation in Heb 5:7. Further, the Metropolitan adds that if we interpret “the cup” as being the cross then we find that our Lord’s prayer was not heard by the Father because it was not taken away. In his defense, Metropolitan Antony quotes from the Gospel according to St. Luke where he says, “And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him” (22:43). Here, he says, Christ’s prayer is answered and some relief obtained from the agony of Christ’s co-suffering with all of mankind. He then further affirms this interpretation by citing St. Paul again in Heb. 5:8-10 seeing that in this co-suffering moment was Christ made “perfect” and through this perfection Christ becomes the cause of eternal salvation.

He also makes sure to note:

*Unless the co-suffering attracts us to Christ it is in vain. (163)

*It is the Holy Spirit who operates within us and grants us this gift of regeneration, of “being born for a second time”. Christ had to be crucified and raised in order for us to be granted this gift. (163)