Abouna Antonious Ibrahim Ayad Sermon

I heard his statements and am seeking to understand both sides of the issue. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank You!

Comments

  • is this a good sermon?
    can you send us a link? 
    i like orthodox sermons :)
  • This is the link to the whole sermon


    Basically I think the issue is that he states when one stands in the presence of God, one is filled with grace and cannot say “I am a sinner”.

    This Anba Rafael’s response :
    I believe Anba Agathon also responded

    I am also seeking to understand the term the role of the human race in the Transfiguration of Christ, because Abouna Antonious states in the beginning that it is the Feast of OUR Transfiguration IN Christ (if that’s an accurate translation)
  • No one has any opinion on this matter?!
  • Sometimes it's futile to get into such arguments that lead nowhere and have very little benefit on a spiritual life if not negatively.
  • With all love and respect, I do not think it is futile. Similar to how we assess church father teachings in the past, it is essential that we do the same nowadays. For example, we say "this father was correct", or "This group was incorrect", or "He was misunderstood". This is for the sake of understanding and believing what is correct and steering away from what is not. 
    I am not aiming to harass or judge anyone. There are many topics and issues that do not affect one's spiritual life, yet they are still discussed for the sake of accuracy, understanding and knowledge. 

  • But you got your answer to such an argument from Anba Rafael. What other "opinion" would you like?

  • Ania Rafael's response was based more on our prayers and hymns. I was wondering if there was any other perspective that would prove or disprove his point of view based another source, such as the Bible or other church father writings.
    I know it seems like I'm trying to stir up something or argue for the sake of arguing, but I'm really not. I'm sorry, and forgive me, if I posed the question or any of my responses in a manner that portrays that. 
  • For as the body of the Lord was glorified when he climbed the mount and was transfigured into the divine glory and into infinite light, so also the bodies of the saints are glorified and shine like lightning. Just as the interior glory of Christ covered his body and shone completely, in the same way also in the saints the interior power of - 122- Christ in them in that day will be poured out exteriorly upon their bodies. For even now at this time they are in their minds participators of his substance and nature. For it is written: "He that sanctifies and the one who is sanctified are of one" (Heb 2:11); and: "The glory that you have given me, I have given them" (Jn 17:22). Similarly, as many lamps are lighted from the one, same fire, so also it is necessary that the bodies of the saints, which are members of Christ, become the same which Christ himself is.

    Saint Macarius The Great Homily 15 (Fifty Spiritual Homilies of Saint Macarius the Egyptian)

  • hi canadian copt,
    thanks for quoting that really lovely passage from the wonderful saint macarius.

    in case anyone didn't realise, he is talking about the situation of Christians AFTER they enter heaven. it is clear from the context of the sermon, which i have read many times (see below).
    so this would fit with the answer given by anba raphael.

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  • edited October 19
    Hey Mabsoota, 

    I am greatful that there are coptic orthodox translators bringing us the works of the fathers, there is a great need. I read the old one published by Paulist Press although I did recommend this translation to some friends who are looking to read the fathers without having to learn old english.

    In regards to your clarification, I am sure then you will then be familiar with the following passages from his fifth homily which would then imply this same glory is experienced by the saints in their souls while they are living:

    "For insofar as anyone, through faith and zeal, has been deemed worthy to receive the Holy Spirit, to that degree his body also will be glorified in that day. What the soul now stores up within shall then be revealed as a treasure and displayed externally in the body...So to all God-loving souls, I mean, true Christians, there is the first month, Xanthicus, which is called April. This is, indeed, the day of resurrection in which, by the power of the Sun of Righteousness, the glory of the Holy Spirit rises up from within, covering and warming the bodies of the saints. This is the glory they interiorly had before, hidden in their souls. For what they now have, that same then pours out externally into the body." 

    I am not looking to disagree with Anba Raphael or anyone in the church but simply to defend the Orthodoxy of the belief that we are transfigured in Christ by means of participation of the divine light of the Holy Spirit, a belief embodied in the lives of our church's saints until this day:

    "The soul that believes in God and has been freed of the sordidness of sin is lifted through death out of the life of darkness once the soul has accepted the light of the Holy Spirit as its life. By that means it has come to life and spends its life in the Spirit forever after, because it is now held captive by the divine light...For, indeed, God ordered the soul in his economy of salvation according to his good pleasure that it would enjoy eternal life. It would not be because of the soul's very own nature but because of his Divinity, of his very Spirit, of his light, that the soul would receive its spiritual meat and drink and heavenly clothing which are truly the life of the soul." (Homily 1 Saint Macarius)



  • thanks for the reply, canadian copt, this is a nice discussion to have publically.
    also thanks for recommending the new book to your friends, that is great!
    :)

    i'll quote the relevant part of homily 1 and then comment on it (probably the font will change, please ignore this!) 

    For as far as anyone,
    through faith and genuine desire,
    has been deemed worthy to receive the Holy Spirit, to that same degree his or her body also will also be
    glorified in that day. What the soul now stores up within shall then be revealed as a treasure
    and displayed externally in the
    heavenly body


    the relevant parts are 'as far as' and 'to that same degree'.
    so no one is totally filled with God's glory in this life, even if that person is very holy.
    for example, the most amazing person i ever met (a priest with a painful cancer who has since departed) used to pray continually, quietly (just his lips moving) and you had to interrupt his prayer to speak to him! he radiated peace and it was an amazing experience just to sit in the same room as him.
    but i saw him get worried (he was expecting to have an operation) for about half a second. so he was only about 99% full of glory!
    so still he would be able to repent to God for that half second lapse of faith.
    (i hope abouna forgives me from paradise for revealing his tiny weakness).

    what i mean is that we can all grow in faith, love, hope and glory, but we have to keep things in perspective, we don't get to be 100% glorious until we go up.
    (personally, this whole discussion does not affect me as i'm still aiming for the 10% mark. i am not thinking at all about how much glory exactly is possible!)
    ;)

  • edited October 19

    Although I do not see your interpretation of that quote, I do agree that our experience of glory will be much greater and ever-growing in heaven. I also agree that not very many people in history will have a "problem" with finding nothing to repent for. I am only defending the idea we are transfigured in Christ and have a real experience of heaven on earth through growth in spiritual virtue and apatheia, not that one cannot say they are a sinner or have nothing to repent for. It is common thought today that Christianity is only a set of moral rules and does not involve transformation of the soul by God's real and constant presence through uncreated Grace, a thought which is thoroughly alienated from Apostolic Christianity. Such a way of thinking essentially makes all spiritual principles such as unceasing prayer and renunciation arbitrary. To be clear, there are no accusations here directed at anyone other than the devil.
  • o, i haven't come across that thought that Christianity does not involve transformation.
    certainly it does, i agree with you there.
    maybe you are disagreeing with ideas that i haven't been exposed to, so i didn't understand your point very well.
    we certainly do need to achieve virtues (good characteristics) and also to become detached from excitement about possessions and physical experiences.

    i think as long as we are balanced and realise we will become more glorious through our relationship with God, but not exactly like him, then we will continue growing spiritually.

    we need to repent, but not dispair and to achieve spiritual growth but not become proud
    :)
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