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.
Someone once went to Elder Iosif the Cave-Dweller- may we have his blessing- a man who came from his home town.
When he got there, the Elder asked him about all the old people there. You know, the way you do if somebody comes from home. How’s so-and so? How’s old what’s his name doing? That sort of thing. That’s what Elder Iosif asked. A great striver. And a man who loved his home town. Eventually they got to someone and he asked: ‘How’s he doing?’
The pilgrim shuffled uneasily.
‘He died without confession, Elder. And he’s left us very worried about him’.
The Elder then pierced him with a penetrating look and said: ‘Brother, you’re wrong. Kostas confessed’.
‘How did he?’
‘Before he departed he wrote me a letter. And he told me everything. For me, from the moment he wrote the letter and posted it, God’s forgiven him. When I read the letter, I forgave him as well.
You’ll ask: ‘Why does God do this?’. Because He’s desperate for us to give him some cause…
Do you understand how desperate He is? Absolutely desperate.
Another time, to recall something else entirely, but never mind, Elder Iosif, who was on the Holy Mountain, saw his village priest in a dream, though the man had died. And what did the priest say to him?
‘Elder Iosif, let me tell you something. When I was on earth, I believed that only through the prayers of priests could people be brought out of hell and sinners could be forgiven. Now I’ve got here, do you know what I see? It’s not only the prayers of priests, which are certainly necessary, but also the prayers of Christians* and other people that get people out of hell. Why? Because Christ is the source and origin of the request and He’s desperate that we should give Him a reason to forgive people and put them in Paradise’.
Do you realize that we’re losing our soul over nothing, through indifference and negligence? Christ is interested in us so much. He loves us so much. And He gives us so much.
* In Greek texts, ‘Christian’ usually means ‘Orthodox’.
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OCN has partnered with Pemptousia. A Contemporary post-modern man does not 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”.