The Eastern Churches and St. Thomas Aquinas
(02-06-2012, 11:05 AM)Melkite Wrote: So, yes, it may be our fault that we don't spend money we don't have, but if it weren't for anti-Eastern bias a hundred years ago, a few million people in this country who are Orthodox would have still been Catholic, so you might have had more works to look at.

Westerners easily forget the incredible strain that Eastern Christian society endured - and still endures - for the past 1000 years or more.  It's a constant battle against Muslims and before them, Mongols.  The Eastern Churches did not have the luxury of reflection in the manner of the scholiasts.  The task at hand for them was survival.  There was a brief respite with Peter the Great, which, interestingly, also saw a thaw in Catholic-Orthodox relations after a fashion.  Clearly, the Russian Church has more western elements than other Orthodox churches do; the music is perhaps the best example.  But this tendency waned as Russia slipped toward anarchy in the 19th Century.  After Russia succumbed to communism, the Eastern churches again found themselves in a renewed struggle for survival.  

That the East and West share so much in terms of small-o orthodox belief is a testament to the value of traditional praxis, especially sacramental praxis.   There has been less movement between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox over the past 1000 years than there has been between the Catholic Church and the Protestants in the past 100 years, and truth told, less movement between traditionalist Catholics and Orthodox than between non-traditionalists in the past 45 years.  

Traditionalists have a lot to learn from the Orthodox, and will do well to re-aquaint themselves with the works of the Fathers.   The New Theology spares no effort to destroy St. Thomas, and their work, while incorrect, is persuasive.  Against the Fathers, and the desert fathers and mothers, however, they can say nothing, because of the rigorous spiritual formation of that group of saints.  Modern theologians and innovators raise the incessant cry of "back to the past," and while I personally deem this to by cynical, the Fathers qualify as being "n the past."  Their praxis, their belief, their "fundamentalism," to apply a somewhat anachronistic term to them, stands in sharp contrast to the mindset of the innovators.  Also, the Orthodox can teach traditionalists how to weather the abomination of desolation, and not go off the rails.  Westerners are rationalists, but we are also prone to sentimentality and fantasy, as Transcendentalism, Spiritualism, New Ageism, Neo Paganism, & Communism, all demonstrate.  Since traditionalists may have a while to wander in the desert, it behooves us to take a lesson or two from the folks who lready live there.    

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Re: The Eastern Churches and St. Thomas Aquinas - by Warrenton - 02-06-2012, 11:56 AM

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