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[The Creation of the Chicken]

An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
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Saturday, December 21, 2002

St. Ignatios tells us about Church and Community...in 107AD...

...as excerpted from The Ecclesiology of St. Ignatius by Fr.John S. Romanides


The Church or the Community.

Since for Ignatius the Eucharist is the formative and manifest center of
corporate love unto immortality, and at the same time the weapon which
insures the continuous defeat of the devil, it is quite clear that the
corporate liturgy is the very pivotal point of faith in action, the
participation of which is the only sure sign of continuous communion with God
and neighbor unto salvation. This unity of selfless love in Christ with each
other and the saints is an end in itself, not a means to another end. The
existence of any other utilitarian and eudaimonistic motive other than
unconditional selfless love for God and neighbor in Christ simply means
slavery to the powers of Satan. "... love nothing except God." (Ign. Eph. 9,
11; Mag. 1.)


In the Eucharistic life of selfless love is thus understood as an end in
itself and the only condition for continual membership in the Church, it
follows that the relationship of one community to another cannot be one of
inferiority or superiority. Nor can one community be considered a part to
another community because the fullness of Christ is to be found in the
Eucharist which itself is the highest and only possible center and
consummation of the life of unity and love. " ...whether Jesus Christ is,
there is the Catholic Church." (Ign. Smyr. 8.) [13] Besides, the devil is
not destroyed by an abstract idea of unity and love. He can be defeated only
locally by the unity of faith and love of real people living together their
life in Christ. An abstract federation of communities whereby each body is a
member of a more general body reduces the Eucharist to a secondary position
and makes possible the heretical idea that there is a membership in the body
of Christ higher and more profound than the corporate life of local love for
real people and thus the whole meaning of the incarnation of God and the
destruction of the Satan in a certain place and at a certain time in history
is destroyed. Each individual becomes a member of the body of Christ
spiritually and physically at a special time and in a certain place in the
presence of those to whom he is about to be joined. [14] Those who share in
one bread are one body. (I Cor. 10:17.) This sharing in one bread cannot
happen in general, but only locally. There, are, however, many liturgical
centers each breaking one bread, but together totalling many breads.
Nevertheless there are not many bodies of Christ, but one. Therefore each
community having the fullness of Eucharistic life is related to other
communities not by a common participation in something greater than the local
life in the Eucharist, but by an identity of existence in Christ.
"...wherever Jesus Christ is there is the Catholic Church." (Ign. Smyr. 8.) [15]



...offered by Dn. fdj, a sinner at 8:29 AM [+]
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