Author: Metr. Hierotheos Vlachos
The chapters making up this book were talks given to the Catechists of the Holy Archdiocese of Athens in the year 1989-90, and they examine what the Church is and what the real dimensions of the mind of the Church are. At the beginning of the book the chapters "Origin and Revelation of the Church" and "Definition and Characteristics of the Church" emphasise that the Church is not a human organisation but a Divine-Human Organism. It is the Body of Christ and a "communion of deification". The source of the Church is God Himself. The characteristics of the Church (One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic) are analysed, as well as the aim of the Church, which is man's deification and salvation. An explanation is given of who the real members of the Church are. In the chapter on "Orthodoxy according to the Holy Fathers" it is made clear that Orthodoxy is the true faith and the real Church, because only within the Church is the salvation of man made sure. The unity between the Church, Orthodoxy and the divine Eucharist is underlined, since the holy Fathers stress that Orthodoxy is the true faith of the Church and the divine Eucharist is the true action of the Church. The chapter entitled "The Church and the Divine Eucharist according to St Maximos the Confessor" looks in detail at the teaching of St Maximos the Confessor on the Church and the Divine Eucharist in a work of his called "Mystagogy". The divine Eucharist points to the whole work of the divine Economy and signifies the soul's journey to acquiring true knowledge. Within the Holy Temple (the Church building) and the divine Eucharist Christians have the living experience of the unity of the Church.
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