20 November 2005

Patristic Quote for the Day

I don't usually post from sources that I have not personally read, but Robert Davis posted this beautiful quote from St. John of Kronstadt on the Orthodox-Lutheran dialog yesterday and I wanted to share it:

"What shall I bring to Thee, Lord, for all Thy mercies which Thou continually bestowest so bountifully upon me? My faith alone, for I have no works that shall justify me; I have done no good thing before Thee. But even my faith is also Thy gift. Receive Thine own of Thine own offered Thee, for everything is Thine, and we are All Thine. Thou art our most perfect Prototype."

From "My Life in Christ" St. John of Kronstadt


Anonymous said...

I have to say for a church that is supposedly synergistic, I've been rather impressed by the degree of gospel clarity in orthodox prayers, hymns, ect. that I keep coming across.

I know that the lack of formal teaching regarding justification is a huge issue for many. But given that, I think it's safe to say that the thought is there.

Thanks for posting this.

William Weedon said...

Well, their "synergy" is suceptible to gross distortion - especially if one thinks they mean that term in the way it used in the West that we cooperate with God in order to accomplish salvation. But that is a story for another day...

Your point about actually reading their prayers and their hymns and their devotional writings is right on. When one PRAYS such a liturgy, one soon realizes that the caricatures one can find about Orthodoxy, especially among Lutherans intent on defending the faith, are truly that: caricatures.

Anonymous said...

I tend to nitpick I know (I hang on every little word I read in the liturgy, prayers, scriptures ect), but the gospel seems clearer to me at times, in the orthodox liturgies I read, than in the lutheran ones, I am familiar with. I've often wonder why that was...I don't know if I just don't understand the lutheran ones in the way they are intended or what. hmmmm.

Sorry for getting off on that. To use your words, I guess that's for another day.

William Weedon said...

Well, but since you bring it up, just one little point. Consider the long-term impact of how God is named. In typical Western liturgy (Lutheran, RC, Anglican and Western Rite Orthodox), God is denominated: "O Almighty God" more frequently than anything else.

In typical Eastern rite liturgy (Orthodox or Byzantine Rite Roman), God is denominated most frequently as: "O Lover of Mankind."

Ponder the difference in accent in those most popular names and I think you'll see a bit of difference between Eastern and Western rite liturgies.