Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person – the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.
Dr. Nikolaos Koios
The age we live in is full of contradictions. On the one hand, people are stubbornly indifferent towards their Relationship with God, but on the other, references to superstitions, zodiac charts and para-religious phenomena abound. You’ve got people who consider those who start their day with prayer or the sign of the Cross to be bizarre, yet they themselves will spit three times if they see a black cat on the street.
This mechanistic way of seeing things which are, in fact, metaphysical has unfortunately affected even those people who wish to have a relationship with the Church. One such instance is the belief on the part of some people that the spiritual life is exhausted merely by fulfilling a vow or completing a pilgrimage. Saint Païsios the Athonite, that great spiritual figure of our century, condemns this habit and calls it the devil’s art.
If we are to progress in the spiritual life and find genuine contentment, we need repentance, Confession and the spiritual struggle. In other words, we need to act in conjunction with Divine Grace, expressing our free will and making an ascetic effort.
The Church has never countenanced magical recipes to gain salvation. It wants us to be free collaborators with God in the task of salvation.
ABOUT THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN NETWORK
The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America, originally commissioned by SCOBA to create a national, sustainable, and effective media witness for Orthodox Christianity and seekers around the world through media ministry. CLICK HERE to download our brochure. OCN has partnered with Pemptousia, a Contemporary post-modern man does understand what man is. Through its presence in the internet world, Pemptousia, with its spirit of respect for beauty that characterizes it, wishes to contribute to the presentation of a better meaning of life for man, to the search for the ontological dimension of man, and to the awareness of the unfathomable mystery of man who is always in Christ in the process of becoming, of man who is in the image of divine beauty. And the beauty of man springs from the beauty of the Triune God. In the end, “beauty will save the world”.
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