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This room is for discussion for anyone who adheres to the Extraordinary form of the mass and any issues related to the practices of Eastern Rite Catholicism.

Saint Athanasius is counted as one of the four Great Doctors of the Church.
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09/17/2012 new

For example the way Jesus taught The Beatitudes, or taught through washing the disciples feet, and through the institution of the Eucharist, or who would be the greatest or least and what true greatness is..... then Paul follows up with 1 Corinthians 13, and I think Jesus came to turn things upside down and clarify things and rebalance them, because the Pharisees had gone too far with just the laws...they were following...

09/18/2012 new

(Quote) Marian-83994 said: For example the way Jesus taught The Beatitudes, or taught through washing the disciples feet, an...
(Quote) Marian-83994 said:

For example the way Jesus taught The Beatitudes, or taught through washing the disciples feet, and through the institution of the Eucharist, or who would be the greatest or least and what true greatness is..... then Paul follows up with 1 Corinthians 13, and I think Jesus came to turn things upside down and clarify things and rebalance them, because the Pharisees had gone too far with just the laws...they were following...

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Bingo. Right on.

09/18/2012 new

(Quote) Gerald-283546 said: (Quote) Marian-83994 said: For example the way Jesus taught The Beatitude...
(Quote) Gerald-283546 said:

Quote:
Marian-83994 said:

For example the way Jesus taught The Beatitudes, or taught through washing the disciples feet, and through the institution of the Eucharist, or who would be the greatest or least and what true greatness is..... then Paul follows up with 1 Corinthians 13, and I think Jesus came to turn things upside down and clarify things and rebalance them, because the Pharisees had gone too far with just the laws...they were following...



Bingo. Right on.

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Thank you Gerald..

09/18/2012 new

(Quote) Ray-566531 said: Gotta back up the bus first, Cindy. It's the "letter of the law" versus the &q...
(Quote) Ray-566531 said:

Gotta back up the bus first, Cindy.

It's the "letter of the law" versus the "spirit of the law" -- a concept that is Biblical in nature. Obeying the literal interpretation of the words, but not the intent of those who wrote the law would fall into the "letter of the law" category. Conversely, obeying the spirit of the law would be acting in accordance with the true intentions of tha law.

Jesus corrected the Pharisees in this respect, noting that they had placed the letter of the law above the spirit of the law. It was their patting themselves on the back for obeying a strict, literal interpretation (as opposed to acting in a manner pleasing to the Lord) that got them into trouble.

Helpful???

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Actually, Jesus corrected the Pharisees for not following the law themselves:

"Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not; for they say, and do not." (Matt. 23: 1-3)

The one passage in Scripture I can recall off-hand where Christ places the spirit of the law above the letter of the law, when he healed a man on the Sabbath, the violation was for the benefit of another, not the convenience of the person committing the infraction. Can the same be said for the majority of the appeals to the "spirit of the law" we encounter?

09/18/2012 new

(Quote) Gerald-283546 said: I agree with Ray's comments. I'll add this:Like most Eastern wisdom, and...
(Quote) Gerald-283546 said:



I agree with Ray's comments. I'll add this:

Like most Eastern wisdom, and the Bible was really at least as much Eastern idiom as Western until the Neoplatonists and Thomists Westernized it, one must take the words of wisdom in their context and experience the effect of the whole. In contrast, the Western or analytical view that we inherited from the Greeks and Romans works by breaking things down into their little parts and trying to understand the whole by undertanding the parts.

It seems to me that the Pharisees had become very Westernized: they would look at a statement in the Law and say that statement means this and if we do it we're righteous. Jesus' teaching is very Eastern. He seems to be saying, Why did the God give you the Law? Because he is like a father and we his children and a father wants his children to truly love each other in their hearts and to love Him, God, our Father. So, for Jesus, the Law stands, but only as a guidepost to what is really important, and that is the Spirit that is the point of the Law.

Sometimes today we, being Westerners, and having had our religion filtered through two very strong Western filters (Neoplatonist Augustinian and Aristotelian Thomism), are sometimes blind to the Eastern wisdom, that is to God's Wisdom delivered in an Eastern, Asian idiom, which is the way Jesus actually delivered it.

Of course both have validity. But, if you wish to start to see the difference, merely compare the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels and the Epistles of John (more Eastern in idiom) versus the Acts (of Luke) and the Epistles of Paul (more Western).

In sum, the Spirit is the actual, deep down message (or state of mind) behind the Law (rules). Jesus routinely violated the rules, scandalizing the locals, but was always true to the Spirit. I think his point was to get us to see how God thinks as opposed to how Man thinks, and then to have us change our hearts (metanoia). Rules are good, but rules are means to an end. The end is the change of heart into the Spirit.

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What rules (as opposed to social customs) did Jesus routinely violate?

It is far simpler than all of this. For the Pharisees, righteousness was in the act itself; for Jesus, it was in the interior disposition with which the act is performed. His message was not that we can ignore the law as logn as we do so with charity -- both must be present.

"Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the Scribes and of the Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:19-20)

From the Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 19. He shall be called; i.e. (by a frequent Hebrew idiom) he shall be the least in the kingdom of heaven; that is, according to St. Augustine he shall not be there at all; for none but the great in sanctity and virtue shall find admittance into heaven. (Witham) --- Do not then imitate the Scribes and Pharisees, who content themselves with instructing other in the precepts of the law, without practising them themselves, or if they observe the letter, neglect the spirit of the law, performing what it ordains, not to please God, but to satisfy their vanity. (Calmet)

Ver. 20. Of the Scribes and of the Pharisees. The Scribes were the doctors of the law of Moses; the Pharisees were a precise set of men, making profession of a more exact observance of the law: and upon that account greatly esteemed among the people. (Challoner) --- See how necessary it is, not only to believe, but to keep all the commandments, even the very least. (Bristow) --- Our Saviour makes this solemn declaration at the opening of his mission, to shew to what a height of perfection he calls us. (St. Aquinas) --- "Your justice." It is our justice when given us by God. (St. Augustine, in Ps. xxx. lib. de. spir. & lit. chap. ix.) So that Christians are truly just, and have in themselves inherent justice, by observing God's commandments, without which justice of works, no man can be saved. (St. Augustine, de fide & oper. chap. xvi.) Whereby we see salvation, justice and justification, do not come by faith only, or imputation of Christ's justice. (Bristow)

haydock1859.tripod.com

09/18/2012 new

(Quote) Jerry-74383 said: Actually, Jesus corrected the Pharisees for not following the law themselves: &quo...
(Quote) Jerry-74383 said:

Actually, Jesus corrected the Pharisees for not following the law themselves:

"Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not; for they say, and do not." (Matt. 23: 1-3)

The one passage in Scripture I can recall off-hand where Christ places the spirit of the law above the letter of the law, when he healed a man on the Sabbath, the violation was for the benefit of another, not the convenience of the person committing the infraction. Can the same be said for the majority of the appeals to the "spirit of the law" we encounter?

--hide--
Darn, I try to keep things simple, then our resident theologian enters the picture.

What you say is true -- and a lot of this "spirit vs. the letter" concept is drawn from context. God's laws that present a knowledge of good and evil do not change. With those laws, there is no difference between the letter and the spirit. Murder is murder; blasphemy is blasphemy; adultery is adultery.

The concept pertains largely to ceremonies, sacrifices and other acts that didn't involve a determination of good or evil in themselves. There were many rituals in days of old that were devised by man and did not truly affect one's salvation. Many of them were largely for show (or showing-off).This is brought out in part by 2 Corinthians 3:6 -- "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." The pharisees did get "chewed out" by Jesus because of some of the useless rituals.

God's actual law, in particular the 10 Commandments, and the Two Great Commandments are solid, mainly because they present the course of doing good.

09/18/2012 new

(Quote) Marian-83994 said: For example the way Jesus taught The Beatitudes, or taught through washing the disciples feet, an...
(Quote) Marian-83994 said:

For example the way Jesus taught The Beatitudes, or taught through washing the disciples feet, and through the institution of the Eucharist, or who would be the greatest or least and what true greatness is..... then Paul follows up with 1 Corinthians 13, and I think Jesus came to turn things upside down and clarify things and rebalance them, because the Pharisees had gone too far with just the laws...they were following...

--hide--

We must be careful to look at these things in context:

"Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat." (Matt. 7:13)

In addition to the Beatitudes, Jesus taught the Woes -- which are nearly 3x as long in Scripture.

When Jesus spoke of heaven and hell together, He almost always emphasized hell. (Fr. Robert D. Smith in The Other Side of Christ).

09/18/2012 new

(Quote) Ray-566531 said: Darn, I try to keep things simple, then our resident theologian enters the picture. What you...
(Quote) Ray-566531 said:

Darn, I try to keep things simple, then our resident theologian enters the picture.

What you say is true -- and a lot of this "spirit vs. the letter" concept is drawn from context. God's laws that present a knowledge of good and evil do not change. With those laws, there is no difference between the letter and the spirit. Murder is murder; blasphemy is blasphemy; adultery is adultery.

The concept pertains largely to ceremonies, sacrifices and other acts that didn't involve a determination of good or evil in themselves. There were many rituals in days of old that were devised by man and did not truly affect one's salvation. Many of them were largely for show (or showing-off).This is brought out in part by 2 Corinthians 3:6 -- "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." The pharisees did get "chewed out" by Jesus because of some of the useless rituals.

God's actual law, in particular the 10 Commandments, and the Two Great Commandments are solid, mainly because they present the course of doing good.

--hide--

The problem with trying to keep this particular topic simple is that people then misinterpret what you say and use it to try to justify that which cannot be justified. Particularly with regard to your third paragraph: what you say is true with regard to the Pharisees; however, we must be careful in applying this to Christian law. Recall Christ gave Peter (and thus the Church) the authority to bind as well as loosen; that is, she can make laws to which we are bound in the absence of just cause. The problem is that we individuals, with our intellects clouded as they are by original sin, often think we see just cause where none exist, or that certain laws do not really pertain to our salvation.

If we truly love God, we do our best to follow His laws, which include the laws of the Church -- not do our best to find excuses to avoid them.

09/18/2012 new

(Quote) Jerry-74383 said: (Quote) Gerald-283546 said: I agree with Ray's comments. I'...
(Quote) Jerry-74383 said:

Quote:
Gerald-283546 said:



I agree with Ray's comments. I'll add this:

Like most Eastern wisdom, and the Bible was really at least as much Eastern idiom as Western until the Neoplatonists and Thomists Westernized it, one must take the words of wisdom in their context and experience the effect of the whole. In contrast, the Western or analytical view that we inherited from the Greeks and Romans works by breaking things down into their little parts and trying to understand the whole by undertanding the parts.

It seems to me that the Pharisees had become very Westernized: they would look at a statement in the Law and say that statement means this and if we do it we're righteous. Jesus' teaching is very Eastern. He seems to be saying, Why did the God give you the Law? Because he is like a father and we his children and a father wants his children to truly love each other in their hearts and to love Him, God, our Father. So, for Jesus, the Law stands, but only as a guidepost to what is really important, and that is the Spirit that is the point of the Law.

Sometimes today we, being Westerners, and having had our religion filtered through two very strong Western filters (Neoplatonist Augustinian and Aristotelian Thomism), are sometimes blind to the Eastern wisdom, that is to God's Wisdom delivered in an Eastern, Asian idiom, which is the way Jesus actually delivered it.

Of course both have validity. But, if you wish to start to see the difference, merely compare the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels and the Epistles of John (more Eastern in idiom) versus the Acts (of Luke) and the Epistles of Paul (more Western).

In sum, the Spirit is the actual, deep down message (or state of mind) behind the Law (rules). Jesus routinely violated the rules, scandalizing the locals, but was always true to the Spirit. I think his point was to get us to see how God thinks as opposed to how Man thinks, and then to have us change our hearts (metanoia). Rules are good, but rules are means to an end. The end is the change of heart into the Spirit.


What rules (as opposed to social customs) did Jesus routinely violate?

It is far simpler than all of this. For the Pharisees, righteousness was in the act itself; for Jesus, it was in the interior disposition with which the act is performed. His message was not that we can ignore the law as logn as we do so with charity -- both must be present.

"Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the Scribes and of the Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:19-20)

From the Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 19. He shall be called; i.e. (by a frequent Hebrew idiom) he shall be the least in the kingdom of heaven; that is, according to St. Augustine he shall not be there at all; for none but the great in sanctity and virtue shall find admittance into heaven. (Witham) --- Do not then imitate the Scribes and Pharisees, who content themselves with instructing other in the precepts of the law, without practising them themselves, or if they observe the letter, neglect the spirit of the law, performing what it ordains, not to please God, but to satisfy their vanity. (Calmet)

Ver. 20. Of the Scribes and of the Pharisees. The Scribes were the doctors of the law of Moses; the Pharisees were a precise set of men, making profession of a more exact observance of the law: and upon that account greatly esteemed among the people. (Challoner) --- See how necessary it is, not only to believe, but to keep all the commandments, even the very least. (Bristow) --- Our Saviour makes this solemn declaration at the opening of his mission, to shew to what a height of perfection he calls us. (St. Aquinas) --- "Your justice." It is our justice when given us by God. (St. Augustine, in Ps. xxx. lib. de. spir. & lit. chap. ix.) So that Christians are truly just, and have in themselves inherent justice, by observing God's commandments, without which justice of works, no man can be saved. (St. Augustine, de fide & oper. chap. xvi.) Whereby we see salvation, justice and justification, do not come by faith only, or imputation of Christ's justice. (Bristow)

haydock1859.tripod.com

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Thank you, Jerry, for an excellent example of the Western, or analytic, approach to Scripture. It is torn and parsed into its pieces in the hope that an exact knowlege of each little piece will lead to an understanding of the whole. This does work in Science. I am not so enthusiastic about it as an approach to wisdom.

My point is not to say that is wrong, but to say that it is only one way to approach it. The Eastern, or synthetic, way is to see the parts together in their context and then appreciate the whole. Thus, the underlying Spirit becomes available from the experience of the whole. My point is that sometimes Jesus' sayings make more sense in this synthetic approach than if taken literally.

It is still a matter of great debate as to which approach leads more directly to wisdom. Perhaps, it depends a little on the individual's proclivities and background. But, if you peel away the effects of Neoplatonism and Aristotelianism, which please remember were not originally Christian or even Hebrew, you will find early Christianity has a rather Asian flavor. Anyway, that is my opinion for what it's worth.

09/18/2012 new

(Quote) Jerry-74383 said: We must be careful to look at these things in context: "Enter ye in at ...
(Quote) Jerry-74383 said:

We must be careful to look at these things in context:

"Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat." (Matt. 7:13)

In addition to the Beatitudes, Jesus taught the Woes -- which are nearly 3x as long in Scripture.

When Jesus spoke of heaven and hell together, He almost always emphasized hell. (Fr. Robert D. Smith in The Other Side of Christ).

--hide--


Important point Jerry. Thank you.

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