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ὁ δὲ εἶπεν, ἐλθέ

The deeper breath of the entire body of the Church



Chosen  to  live  theology  
  Chosen  co-­‐workers  of  God  -­‐  s uvnergoi Qeoῦ
  Called  (klhvsh) - Rom  1:6  "including  yourselves  who  are  called  to  belong  to  
Jesus  Christ  
  “you  did  not  choose  me,  but  I  chose  you”  (Jn  15:16)  “οὔχ ὑµεῖς ἐξελέξασθε,
ἀ0᾽ἐγώ ἐξελεξάµην ὑµᾶς  ”  
  Sunergoiv tῇ ajlhqeiva/ - 3Jn  8
  The  theologian  as    a  receptor  

  We  must  experience  theology  


  We  are  called  to  experience  –  an    encounter  [συνάντησις]    
  Theology  not  just  an  accumulation  of  knowledge  
  Theology  as  σχέσις -­‐  relationship
  Patriarch  Athenagoras'  anecdote  

  Yet  theology  still  is  a  careful  and  precise  


articulation  
  Theology  and  spirituality  remain  inextricably  linked  
Theologians    
 oiJ ejkzhtou'nte" tovn Kuvrion  
  The  theologian  as  one  seeking  the  Lord  
  Seeking  truth  -­‐  hJ aujtalhvqeia
  Seeks  the  reason  (lovgo")  of  existence  
  Seeking  a  Person  not  an  idea  
  Seeking  the  One  who  has  loved  us  first  

  The  driving  force  expressed  as  nostalgia  not  


curiosity  or  mere  intellectual  understanding  
  Nostalgiva - novsto" and  a[lgo"  
Hymn  to  the  Anonymous  
 

        You  are  beyond  everything  what  else  can  I  sing  to  you?  

  You  are  not  Logic,  for  it  knows  boundaries.  

  You  are  not  Justice,  for  it  also  has  presuppositions.    

  You  are  not  Morality,  for  you  surpass  the  act  and  the  intention.    

  You  are  not  Freedom,  for  it  too  can  be  bound.  

  You  are  not  Beauty,  for  it  also  can  be  exhausted.  

  You  are  Love  which  has  never  spoken  the  last  word:  Love  which  cannot  be  calculated;  Love  
which  always  surprises;  You  are  Love,  my  only  presupposition  without  presuppositions.    

             Thessalonika  17-­‐6-­‐68  
The  Difficulty  of  the  task  at  
hand  
  HOW  CAN  GOD  BE  KNOWN?  
  “to  speak  of  God  is  impossible  and  to  know  him  even  
more  impossible.”  [St  Gregory  Nazianzus]  
  “the  super  essential  nature  of  God  is  not  a  subject  to  
speak  of  or  think  or  even  contemplate,  for  it  is  far  
removed  from  all  that  exists  and  more  than  unknowable,  
incomprehensible  forever.”  [St  Gregory  Palamas]  
  "the  divine  is  beyond  understanding  and  the  only  thing  
that  can  be  understood  about  the  Godhead  is  the  fact  
that  it  is  beyond  understanding"  [St  John  of  Damascus]    
  ἀκατάλυπτον  τό  θεῖον  καί  τό  μόνον  καταλυπτόν  ἡ  
ἀκαταλυψία  
The  Difficulty  of  the  task  at  
hand  
  St  Basil  the  Great  (330-­‐379AD)  wrote:    
“I  know  that  God  is;  but  what  his  essence  is,  I  
consider  to  be  beyond  my  understanding.”    
  Also  St  Gregory  the  Theologian  taught:    
"What  God  is  in  His  nature  and  essence  no  human  
person  has  ever  discovered  or  ever  will  discover.”    
  "no  man  has  seen  God  at  any  time"  (1Jn  4:12)  
  "dwelling  in  the  light  unto  which  no  man  can  
approach;  whom  no  man  has  seen  or  can  see"  (1Tim.
6:16).  
 
Theology  and  Prayer  
  Deep  connection  between  theology  and  prayer  

  Louth  –  dissociation  of  sensibilities  


  “there  is  here  no  division  between  theology  and  
spirituality,  no  dissociation  between  the  mind  that  
knows  God  and  the  heart  which  loves  him.”  

  Information  vs  formation  

  Prayer  –  the  only  means  by  which  we  can  be  assured  
that  what  is  said  is  actually  from  God  
Christ,  the  True  Light  
Christ the true light,/ which
enlightens and sanctifies everyone
who comes into the world,/ may
the light of your countenance be
signed upon us,/ so that in it we
may see the unapproachable light,/
and may you direct our steps
towards fulfilling your
commandments;/ through the
intercessions of your all-pure
Mother and all your Saints.

Amen