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Personhood

“The Greek word for “faith” is derived from the thought of being persuaded. “The “faith” is the conviction of the truth of sacred things…This term is a noun and does not refer to the verb of trusting in Christ or God’s grace. Nor does it mean personal belief.  It is not what is imagined or envisioned. Nor is it a body of doctrine, that is, a set of propositions, of definitions, of treatises about God.  It is certain and the common foundation of the truth upon which the life, belief, and practice of the Church and its members are built.” (Fr. Basil)


“The deepest purpose of human existence, the source of life for every Christian, lies in our unwavering faith. We are not called to defend an abstract set of propositions or formulas devised by the Church. We battle for our eternal existence as persons.” (Dynamis 3/9/2021)


“You are what you worship If you are what you love, and your ultimate loves are formed and aimed by your immersion in practices and cultural rituals, then such practices fundamentally shape who you are. At stake here is your very identity, your fundamental allegiances, your core convictions and passions that center both your self-understanding and your way of life. In other words, this contest of cultural practices is a competition for your heart—the center of the human person designed for God.” (James Smith)


“Personhood,” writes Lossky, “is freedom in relation to nature.” Persons enact their own nature. Natures may be what they are (e.g., human, angelic, or divine), but the nature does not determine who these persons are. “A personal being,” Lossky continues, “is capable of loving someone more than his own nature, more than his own life.” Freedom and love are thus the cardinal attributes of personhood…This freedom to enter into loving communion with others, this personhood, is the image of God in human beings…Personhood thrives and is perfected through mutual reciprocity, more still in and through communion.” (Vigen Guroian, Vladimir Lossky)


“We were made for deep communion with God. The closer and deeper our communion is with God, the more our unique personhood is actualized, our true-self emerges." (Father David L. Fontes, PsyD)


“Genetic uniqueness is only the physical part of life, not taking into account the more important reality, which is creation of a spiritual being in which soul and body are thoroughly integrated with each other. We are created in the image and likeness of God. The created being is “personal” not only because it has the capacity to develop into a complete human being, but because at every stage of human existence it bears the image of the personal God. A person is always an image of God, whether that person is an embryo or a terminally ill patient in a coma. If someone were in a coma or had Alzheimer’s disease, would we still consider that being a “person”? Even though that being cannot take care of him/herself? From this perspective there is no difference between a terminally ill “being” and a fetus. Therefore, since we are all made in God’s image and likeness, no matter what stage of existence a “being” is in, one is a “person”. (Fr. John Breck)


“…we should also equate “self” with the person. (The theological term is hypostasis). Every living soul is a person—unique, unrepeatable and beloved of God. As the three divine Persons of the Holy Trinity are never self-isolated, self-absorbed or self-centered, so we realize that that would be a false way of existing. A genuine person is always turned toward another person in a movement of love and communion, as are the three Persons of the Trinity.” (Fr. Stephen Kostoff)


“Bios [physical life or finite life] is the realm of necessity and zoe [spiritual life or eternal life] the realm of transcendental freedom. Natural law defines and gives shape to bios. The virtues constitute zoe; for in the strictest and deepest sense all virtues are spiritual, since virtue is an attribute of personhood, and personhood is the divine image in humankind.” (Vigen Guroian)


“What God gives is never “one size fits all.” Salvation is the healing and fulfillment of a person and cannot be the same from one to another. Although all are formed and shaped “according to the image and likeness of God,” that image and likeness has an infinite variety in its personal expression.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“…an intellectualist model of the human person—one that reduces us to mere intellect—assumes that learning (and hence discipleship) is primarily a matter of depositing ideas and beliefs into mind-containers…the center and seat of the human person is found not in the heady regions of the intellect but in the gut-level regions of the heart.” (James Smith)


#FrJohnBreck #FrStephenKostoff #VigenGuroian #FatherStephenFreeman #JamesSmith #FrBasil #Dynamis #VigenGuroian #VladimirLossky #FatherDavidLFontesPsyD

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