Does "essence" mean the same thing in Orthodoxy as it does in Roman Catholicism?
(01-20-2021, 12:18 PM)anthonyagony Wrote: I ask this in the context of the Eastern Orthodox essence-energies distinction, especially as it relates to the de fide dogma of the beholding of the divine essence in the Beatific Vision. I have started practicing Byzantine-style and need to make sure I'm not accidentally slipping into some sort of heresy.

From what I recall, the way the Orthodox see God's essence is that to participate in some way in it is, is to become actually divine. So of course, they would believe that we can only know God in His attributes or "energies". The reason why Catholics wouldn't see it that way, has to do with the way we see the distinction between His essence and attributes. It seems like the whole question is based on this distinction. I would recommend the writings of Fr Garrigou Lagrange on this subject, because he goes really indepth and explains it well:

The Trinity and God the Creator | EWTN

"There is a minor virtual distinction between the divine attributes and God's essence, between the divine attributes, and likewise between the divine persons and the essence." (Fr Garrigou Lagrange). A virtual distinction is more than a simply mental distinction, however, because it has the capacity to explain a reality, rather than being simply made up. But it is not the type of distinction that would make His essence totally unreachable. This virtual distinction is also used by theologians to express the simplicity of God.

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RE: Does "essence" mean the same thing in Orthodoxy as it does in Roman Catholicism? - by adoro.te.devote - 04-02-2021, 03:23 AM

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