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Personhood

“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


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