Seven Characteristics of Orthodox Christian Spirituality


St. Athanasius Academy seeks to bring students into direct and personal contact with the sources of traditional Orthodox spirituality. This spirituality has been described as "Living Doctrine."

SEVEN CHARACTERISTICS OF ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY

1. TRINITARIAN: I believe in one God, the Father All mighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified ... " [Nicene Creed]

2. INCARNATIONAL: 'Who for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man ... " [Nicene Creed].

3. EUCHARISTIC: This is My Body" ... "This is My Blood" [Mark 14:22, 241. The Eucharist brings us into the one joy. "Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" (Mt 25:21). The Eucharist is our means of entering into this.

4. SCRIPTURAL: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned. He who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” [John 3:16-18].

5. ECCLESIAL: "And I believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church." [Nicene Creed]

6. PATRISTIC: "This, beloved friend, is the preaching of the truth, the means of our salvation and the way of truth. Foretold by the prophets and carried out by Christ, it was delivered to the Church by the apostles and handed down by her to her children throughout the world. Keep this with all certainty, maintaining a sound will, pleasing God, practicing good works, and aiming always at what is right.” [St. Irenaeus, Preaching of the Apostles]

7. SYNERGISTIC: All along man's road from his fallen state to union with God, divine grace helps him to overcome corruption, then to surpass himself, and finally shows God to him. The effect of grace is “to establish the inner powers of soul and body, ... in conformity with their nature.” [St. Gregory Palamas].