Prologue 9

This 1996 translation of the Rule of St. Benedict, by Brother Luke Dysinger, gets it right.

“Prologue 9”? What does that mean, pray tell?It’s an allusion to the Rule of Saint Benedict, and — by a sort of happy coincidence — also to the Gospel of Saint John. Both the Rule and John are documents renowned for their prologue — and in both documents, verse 9 of the prologue is packed with meaning.The Prologue to Saint Benedict’s Rule is itself a renowned spiritual document, a stirring cry to holiness and fervor for anyone who might seek to follow the way of Christ without compromise. … [Read more...]

Pelagius, Augustine, Original Sin, Orthodoxy, and the Celts…

In Christ of the Celts, J. Philip Newell takes aim at the conflict between Augustine and Pelagius over the question of original sin — a chickenfight that eventually resulted in Pelagius and Pelagianism getting condemned as heretical. Newell sees clear political ramifications in this doctrinal skirmish: The doctrine of original sin was a convenient "truth" for the builders of empire. They could continue to conquer the world and subdue peoples. And now they could do it with the authority of a d … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

The grace of God is to God himself as sunlight is to the sun — a means and a way leading us to the latter. It therefore shines within us in a simple, one-fold way and makes us deiform, that is, like God. This likeness constantly sinks away, dying in God and becoming and remaining one with him, for charity makes us become one with God and causes us to remain living in union with him. — Blessed John Ruusbroec, The Spiritual Espousals … [Read more...]

C.S. Lewis and Deification

I haven't read this yet, but it sure looks tasty... and I wanted to go ahead and post a link here, since I know some of my readers are interested in C. S. Lewis and some are interested in the doctrine of deification (in the Greek, theosis). So here's a chance to ponder how this Orthodox doctrine figures in the thought of the most popular of Anglican authors...Shine as the Sun: C. S. Lewis and the Doctrine of DeificationWhich is actually part two of a two part essay; here is part one: The … [Read more...]

The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition

The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition By Normal Russell Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004 Review by Carl McColmanDeification, or theosis, is one of the least known and most misunderstood of ancient Christian teachings. Still a part of Orthodox theology to this day, in the west it evolved into what we now call “sanctification” or “sanctifying grace,” replacing the radical idea of “participation in God” with the much safer concept of merely “becoming holy.” This scholar … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

In this, more than any other, we need the divine boldness to affirm that Christianity is not a matter of being good but of becoming God. It is only by the whole-hearted acceptance of the truth that God's son fully shared our humanity that we can be emboldened to find in him our way towards an intense and transforming relationship with the God who exists beyond human experience. — Michael Casey, OCSO, Fully Human Fully Divine … [Read more...]

The Feast of St. Benedict: Ad Deificum Lumen

Today is the feast of St. Benedict.This morning at mass, Fr. Tom Francis (who works with me at the Abbey Store) preached on the Rule and on his life experience as a Trappist monk for over 50 years now. During the sermon, he mentioned a conversation that he and I and another Lay-Cistercian had a while back about a phrase in the prologue to the Holy Rule of St. Benedict: et apertis oculis nostris ad deificum lumen, which is often translated as "Let us open our eyes to the light that comes from … [Read more...]


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