05 October 2010

Nicholas Cabasilas on the ancestral sin

"...each man's soul inherited the wickedness of the first Adam. It spread from his soul to his body, and from his body to the bodies which derived from his, and from those bodies to the souls.

This, then, is the old man whom we have received as a seed of evil from our ancestors as we came into existence. We have not seen even one day pure from sin, nor have we ever breathed apart from wickedness, but, as the psalmist says, 'we have gone astray from the womb, we err from our birth.' We did not even stand still in this unhappy lot of the sin of our ancestors, nor were we content with the evils which we had inherited. So greatly have we added to the wickedness and increased the abundance of evil that the primal sin has been covered over by that which came later and the imitators have shown themselves to be worse by far than the examples."

The Life in Christ, Bk. 2 section 7 (English translation pp.76-77)


Anonymous said...

I thought you Orthodox-types were supposed to be so "light" on sin! I thought you were supposed to be ignoring it so much! What gives?


Cartwright Lasse said...

That is not the case. Orthodox pray that God will "Help us to Struggle" in the spiritual warfare that can engulf us and frighten us off the path of Theosis. Our Baptism and Chrismation or Confirmation has afforded us the very indwelling of The Holy Trinity; and, as Catholics also will agree, The Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus, gives us the very and actual life of Jesus himself. Thus we are immersed in God--and God is immersed in us through the Eucharist. The evil one knows this and wishes to tempt us from a path of seeking the life of The Holy Spirit. St. Mary of Egypt struggled with this her entire life as a Christian who followed Jesus late in life. She was estranged from God by her own false choices early in life...but not because She inherited "guilt" from Adam-but because Adam's sin put in motion a prototype of sin which we humans are born into, which is assaulted from on high by the power of the Holy Mysteries of Christ--particularly The Holy Eucharistic. Please forgive me for any inadequacy in my response to yours. I am one who, blind, seeks to follow the one who gives sight to the blind, and thus I share with you my own understanding. "Like the thief will I praise thee; remember me O Lord when you come into your Kingdom. Amen"