We continued this evening with our reading of Hypothesis IX. As always the stories that we are given from the Fathers are both comforting and fiercely challenging.
We heard first about how saintly souls are able to see divine things. Because of their purity of heart and by the grace of God they are able to have a vision of things beyond the limits of the human mind and our capacity for perceiving the hidden realities around us.
We also heard about the reality of Hell itself through the experience of these holy Fathers. Hell is presented very much as the opposite of the complete intimacy and communion the faithful soul shares with the eternal Trinity. If that life is lacking in nothing and knows the fullness of love, Hell is the experience of complete isolation from God and one another. Those who were blessed to receive the fullness of revelation in Christ, those who know His teaching and yet turned away from it, come to experience the deeper loss. For the judgment that comes upon them is not only due to their sinful actions and deeds, it also due to the fact that they have lead others to blaspheme the name of God and to insult God. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Text of chat during the group:
00:13:20 D Fraley: Would you go back?
00:14:35 Rachel (30): FR. John McGuckin has a good talk on St. Cyril
00:14:47 Rachel (30): Do you have pictures of the Sinai icons?
00:16:30 Ashley Kaschl: I’m with you, Ren. It’s WAY easier to warm up than cool off.
00:38:18 Rachel (30): Yes! Exactly what I was hoping to be addressed today. The renewal of the Church through the Fathers..
00:39:51 Rachel (30): I have encountered suspicion at times, in the West, of the Fathers, the writings of the Philokalia, Cassian, Climacus, Maximos,,I think it our blessing, priviledge and patrimony..to be able to have access to these teachings and writings.
00:42:30 Ambrose Little: “I agree with all that you have said.”
00:42:50 Carol Nypaver: 😆
00:56:45 Carol Nypaver: Why are they being punished for not knowing God? Why wouldn’t they be in Purgatory?
01:04:36 Erick Chastain: This is called limbo, a section of hell for virtuous pagans
01:06:47 Carol Nypaver: So “limbo” is part of Hell?
01:12:16 renwitter: There is a document put forward by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 that marks a firm turn away from any idea of limbo in the Catholic faith. Pope Benedict said that the idea of limbo should be abandoned because it had always been always “only a theological hypothesis” and “never a defined truth of faith.” It would seem that the main motivation for this clarification on the part of the Church was that limbo was seen as unjustly limiting the mercy of God.
01:16:58 Carol Nypaver: Someone who never knew God being condemned to Hell seems like a limit to God’s Mercy. (Not trying to be argumentative, just genuinely confused)
01:21:57 renwitter: I was just speaking to the idea of limbo. All I can think about this story is something we have spoken about in the past - that in these writings there is not a distinction made between hell and purgatory as we think of them, and that hell is often used in a way that we would use purgatory. The very fact that they can receive any consolation at all seems to be a clue into the nature of the place - not hopeless. Again, I don’t actually know, but this is something we have spoken about in the past.
01:22:25 renwitter: Of course, hell is often spoken of also in the way we would think about it.
01:24:43 Ambrose Little: I think we can focus too much on figuring out the circles of hell. :) The underlying point in this passage seems to be that it is a greater sin to know God and turn away from him than to never have known him but not believe. This is supported in Scripture, too.
01:25:28 renwitter: Great point, Ambrose. And one that always makes me feel so doomed. :-(
01:26:17 Rachel (30): the distortion is in the understanding
01:27:06 Ambrose Little: Throw yourself on the mercy of God! Be that “valiant struggler” and repent immediately every time you sin.
01:28:42 Ambrose Little: Those whom the Lord loves, He chastises. People don’t recognize that the “hardness” of God is for our own good.
01:30:06 Carol Nypaver: “It is through suffering that the soul is purified.”
01:30:42 Eric Williams: Blame my cat ;)
To leave or reply to comments, please download free Podbean or
To leave or reply to comments, please download free Podbean App.