Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi


The fall was the result of the inexperience and carelessness of God-created man. These made him neglect and practically betray his personal union and communion with God the Father, believing that he can prosper by himself.

Therefore, the fall is regarded and is named as the detachment and withdrawal of each and every created being from the first cause of creation, i.e God. The universe, according to divine revelation, is that which has been caused and as such it is not self-existent, but it exists because it participates in the divine energy and providence. Therefore, if that which has been created is cut off from the cohesive force and energy of God, it is spoiled and dies.

The defection of beings from God resulted in two equally powerful disasters. One is the audacity against and the defection from the Creator and governor. The other is the separation from the source of eternal life, God, who is the only cause of existence and cohesion.

The same offense caused disaster in both the human and the angelic nature. The angels, because of their selfish haughtiness, imagined that they could become independent from God. They lost not only their significance, their state and their illumination, but they were also altered from most the beautiful beings into horrific monsters and became the instigators of horror and terror, without any intention of repentance and return.

Even though man, who became a victim of demonic wickedness, has lost his god-like state and has been exiled here, to the valley of tears, he did not lose the advantage of repentance, which may prompt him to return.

Excerpts from the book ″Discourse on Mount Athos″ by Elder Joseph of Vatopedi.
Translated by Olga Konari Kokkinou from the Greek edition: Γέροντος Ιωσήφ Βατοπαιδινού, Συζητήσεις στον Άθωνα, Ψυχοφελή Βατοπαιδινά 13, Ιερά Μεγίστη Μονή Βατοπαιδίου, Έκδοσις Α΄2003

Source: pemptousia.com




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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”.


Pemptousia Partnership

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.


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