Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Reading Group, 5d

The “Law of Being” which Gives Healing Power to Co-Suffering Love

a. In considering the expression “The Son of God took on our nature,” it’s necessary to elucidate what nature is.

b. It is correctly explained in textbooks that the person or hypostasis is an individual principle of which there are three in the Holy Trinity but one in the God-Man, and that nature is the sun of the properties of a given nature. But we have come to understand nature as only the abstraction and summation of properties present in each personal individually and, consequently, comprising a single general abstract idea, and only that.

c. Dive revelation and our Church dogmatic teach otherwise. The nature of the Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity is one, and we do not say that we have three gods, but one God.

d. St Gregory of Nyssa teaches that the expression “three men” is incorrect, because man in one, though there exist separate human persons. But the reader may object: “What is there in common if they hate and cannot even tolerate one another?”

e. The answer is found in the very question itself. God did not create man for hatred and self-love, and the consciousness of the sharp separateness from each other is an abnormal condition, borne of sin.

f. The common human nature is above all a collective will.

g. It may be objected that a common will is not felt with other people, but it can be felt with animals.

h. This is indeed the case now, but it was not always so, as St Basil the Great, the Gospel of St John, and St Paul demonstrate.

i. The unity of human nature, broken by the sin of Adam and his descendants, is to be gradually reestablished through Christ and His redeeming love with such strength that in the future life this oneness will be expressed more strongly than the present multiplicity of human persons, and Christ, united with us into one Being, shall be called the new Man, the One Church, He being its head.

j. The salvation which Christ brought to mankind consists not only of the conscious assimilation of Christ’s principal truths and His love, but also in the fact that by means of His co-suffering love, Christ obliterates the partition which sin has set up between people, reestablishes the original oneness of nature and obtains direct access into the spiritual bosom of human nature.The direct entry of Christ’s nature and His good volition into our nature is called grace. The subjective feelings of co-suffering love becomes an objective power which re-establishes the oneness of human nature.
  • How does Metropolitan Anthony define human nature? How are its unity and disunity manifested?
  • How does this affect an “objective” understanding of the mystery of redemption?


Anonymous said...

1.A. Metropolitan Antony defines human nature as a collective human will. Its characteristics include being something that is not of me (ie. as a result of me) but is in me (ie. inherently). Also included in this human will are: conscience and compassion. Therefore, I would say, to be human means to be endowed with subscribing to a right and wrong and having care and concern for others around me. This would be what is natural to all human beings and I would extend this to say Met. Antony considers these to be the qualities that characterize us as being created in the image of God.

1.B. The unity and disunity of human nature are manifested in that all human beings share the above characteristics to a greater or lesser extent (unity) but also it’s opposite: self-love, vindictiveness, lusts and so on (disunity). This is so for two reasons. First, because we have a fallen human nature that is in opposition with our intended human nature and herein a disunity is noted in everyone. Second, each person has these characteristics to a greater or lesser extent based on their own free will to choose to do the good or the bad.

2. The objective understanding of the mystery of redemption consists in the “obliteration of the partition” that is set up between people. In the redeemed are infused new feelings and longings that one did not create but were put there by God’s grace. One’s own free choice will determine the direction one may move in, whether to act on these new senses (longing and feelings) or not, but one did not create these new senses that he now has to respond to.


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