Barlaamism, Basileia tou Theou, Ecumenical Synods, Eldress Evlampia Romanides, Hesychasm, Noetic Faculty, nous, Patristic Theology, Protopresbyter George Florovsky, Protopresbyter George Metallinos, Protopresbyter John Romanides, St. Gregory Palamas, The Wiles of the Devil
…Continued from Part 8
Councils, Synods and Civilization (Part 9)
By Protopresbyter John Romanides
k) “…do not quench the Spirit”, (1 Thes. 5:19).
The Holy Spirit advocating in one’s heart “with sighs unspoken”, (Rom. 8:26) is not in itself membership in the Body of Christ. One must respond with one’s own unceasing prayer of one’s spirit so that the Spirit of God may testify to our spirit “that we are children of God and co-heirs of Christ, that since we co-suffer that we may also be co-glorified”, (Rom. 8:16-17). Although this response is our own, it is also a gift of God. This is exactly what St. Paul presupposes when he commands, “Pray unceasingly… Quench not the Spirit. Do not disregard prophecies”. (1 Thes. 5:17-19). Paul is here telling us to take care to remain temples of the Holy Spirit by preserving our spirit’s unceasing prayer in the heart that we may become prophets by glorification. This is also why such Fathers as St. John Chrysostom says, “Let us not think that we have become members of the Body once and for all” [ 20 ]
Baptism by water unto forgiveness of sins is an indelible mystery because God’s forgiveness for being sick is the given fact for the beginning of cure. However, baptism by the Spirit is not an indelible mystery since one either does have, or does not have, or may lose, unceasing prayer in the heart. Whether one responds or not the Holy Spirit advocates in the heart of every single human being whether he believes in Christ or not. In other words the love of God calls everyone equally but not all respond.
Those who do not respond should not imagine themselves to be temples of the Holy Spirit and members of the Body of Christ and thereby impede others from responding. Those in the state of illumination pray together in their liturgies as temples of the Holy Spirit and members . of the Body of Christ that non-members become members and former members become again members since this was not guaranteed to them by their baptism of water unto forgiveness of sins.
l) The charisma of translation.
At some point in the history of the early Church the charisma of simultaneously translating the psalms and prayers from the noetic faculty to the rational faculty for the corporate worship benefit of the private individuals was replaced by fixed written liturgical texts with fixed points at which laypersons (idiotes) responded with their amen, Kyrie eleison, etc. Also the prayer in the heart was reduced to either a short prayer (e. g. Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon me the sinner) or a sentence from a psalm (a form found in the desert Fathers of Egypt brought to the West by St. John Casaian). Otherwise the charismata remained intact.
Gregory of Tours described the phenomena of both unceasing prayer and glorification. But having not understood what they are, he described them as miracles and in a confused way [ 21 ]. The Franks continued this confusion and finally confounded illumination and glorification with Augustine’s Neo-Platonic mysticism, rightly rejected by most of the Reformation.
…to be continued