Fr. Sophrony Sakharov of Essex in dialogue with the Abbot of Vatopedi Monastery of Mount Athos. In this audio recording (1992) Fr. Sophrony talks about theology as a state of being, as knowledge of Divine being, descending on us from God, and not merely as a psychological state.

English subtitles adapted from:

Fr. Sophrony:
“Theology is the content of our prayers.
And an example of such a theology is the Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great. The whole Anaphora is theology and it is expressed through prayer. And then theology becomes a state of being.
John the Theologian, from an academic point of view was not a theologian, he says things too simply. His theology, however, is a state of being. Whatever he says it becomes dogma for everyone.

This state that Silouan experienced resembles to the one of the great Fathers of Egypt.
Abba Poimen, when they told him that he would enter the Heavenly Kingdom, replied, “Believe me brothers, I am thrown into the place where Satan is thrown.”

Abbot Ephraim: “This is the spirit of the Fathers…”

And Anthony shared with us the thought of the shoemaker of Alexandria, “All will be saved, only I will perish.”
These are the high states of asceticism.

Abbot Ephraim: “Self-accusation as a state of being.”

Correct… as a state.

Abbot Ephraim: “As a never-ending state.”

Like theology…”


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