Fr. Sergei Nikolaevich Bulgakov
The risen Lord lives with us
Christ, the Son of God, came to earth, was made man, uniting His divine life with that of humanity. This divine-human life He gave to His brethren, who believe on His name. Although He died and rose again and ascended into heaven, He was not separated from His humanity, but remains in it. The light of resurrection of Christ lights the Church, and the joy of Resurrection, of the triumph over death, fills it.
Fr. Sergei Bulgakov
The Orthodox Church
The redemption thus consists in the self-identification of the sinless New Adam with the sinful old Adam and in the New Adam's living-out the life of the old Adam with its sinfulness.
Fr. Sergei Bulgakov
The Lamb of God
5. II. The High-Priestly Ministry of Christ
The element of light most fully expresses the interpenetration of the spiritual and the natural, the sophianic nature of creation, its permeability with divine energy ("the Light of Tabor").
Fr. Sergei Bulgakov
Глава XXII и последняя. Конец и эпилог.
Problematic of originations in the Holy Trinity
The entire problematic of originations, particularly with reference to the Holy Spirit, is connected with the impersonalistic presupposition of the primacy of the divine nature with respect to the hypostases, and the latter must therefore originate in the nature. On the contrary, existence as subjects, i.e., independently of the nature, is proper to the three hypostases, although, to be sure, such an opposition or distinction is possible only in abstracto, not in re.
The generation of the Son and the procession of the Holy Spirit cannot be generalized and counted as two «originations». Rather, these are two images of God in these two images of love. The Father is the Subject of this self-revelation, the Principle, the «Cause»; whereas the Son is the One Who gives Himself for this revelation of the Father. He is the One Who reveals the Father, the One Who Speaks, the Word. Generation here should by no means be understood in the anthropomorphic sense of origination or production, for this aspect of generation belongs only to temporal being, to being that has an origin. It must be understood as a spiritual image of the love of the Engendering One and the Engendered One, but by no means as the image of the originating one and the originated one.
Fr. Sergei Bulgakov
2. The Procession of the Holy Spirit
Smugness, self-esteem, banality
“Simultaneously with intellectual growth and scientific development, my soul was irrepressibly and imperceptibly submerged in the sticky mud of smugness, self-esteem, banality.”
I was in my twenty-fourth year, but already for almost ten years faith had been undermined in my soul and after some stormy crises and doubts religious emptiness reigned. My soul began to forget religious anxiety, the very possibility of doubts was extinguished, and from a bright childhood there remained only poetic daydreams, the gentle haze of reminiscences always ready to melt away. O, how dreadful is this sleep of the soul, for it is possible not to awake from it for an entire life! Simultaneously with intellectual growth and scientific development, my soul was irrepressibly and imperceptibly submerged in the sticky mud of smugness, self-esteem, banality. A kind of gray twilight set in as the light of childhood was fading away. And then unexpectedly this happened… Mysterious calls resounded in my soul and it rushed to meet them…
Man, according to his very creation, is not only an individual being but also a progenitor. In contrast to the angels, who represent in themselves a concordant multitude, a
(council), mankind is a
Mankind is bound by common descent from one ancestor, the first-created Adam, and has one nature in common. In this sense humanity is created in the image of the Holy Trinity, in which the 3 hypostases also possess one nature, and in it share one life in common. The basic Christian dogmas of the Fall and of Redemption are associated with this fact. According to the teaching of the Church, through the person of the first-created Adam all mankind is damaged by Original Sin, for in him «all sinned»
This was Jesus of Nazareth, the son «as was supposed»
This multi-une humanity, as one whole, is the
of Christ, which consists of many members united, however, in their life in Christ, As a multiplicity of individuals it is a living
– that is, such a harmonious existence, in which both the separate existence of each one and of all together is a complete reality. Comparing the Church to a body, the Apostle Paul simultaneously shows us both the common life in the body and the multiplicity of its members, and the living link which exists, between these members. “But now hath God set the members of each one of them in the body… and if they were all one member, where were the body?
But now there are many members, but one body”
“And whether one member suffereth, all the members suffer with it;
or one member is honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and severally members thereof”
The 'sobornost' of the Church, that is – union in love – thus becomes the Body of Christ which is being accomplished, and at the same time contains in itself the guiding principle and ideal for the fellowship of mankind. In its simplicity and childlike, unassuming, originality it was revealed to the world in the life of the Primitive Church, in which newly converted Christians lived in religious communion and unity of love. “And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need. And day by day, continuing stedfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they did take their food with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God and having favour with all the people”
What is it that particularly attracts our attention in this picture of the simple life of the Primitive community?
The fact that church love, the 'sobornost' of the Church is not confined to the temple and prayer, but spreads to the whole of their life. They do not draw a distinction between that which is of the Church and that which is not, for they included the whole of life into the fulness of Church unity. And thus silently, through an example from actual life, it is pointed out to us that the sobornost of Church life knows of no limitation and in principle leaves nothing to the lower, animal principles – on the contrary, that it desires to melt all and recast all in the fire of Church love. But in the further history of the Church, in fact very soon after, this sobornost pauses on the threshold of the temple and does not go further. It limited itself, leaving life beyond the doorstep of the temple, devoid of the consecration of the Church, The Church could never succeed, however, in forgetting the most cherished dreams of its childhood, which ought to have become the aim and striving of the grown man. For the activity of the Church, the power of its 'sobornost' ought to spread to the whole of the life of its members and consequently to the whole of the life of Christian society. Christ through His manhood lives in every man, as He Himself testifies to this in the questions He puts at the Last Judgment
The 'soborny' body of the Church is the Body of Christ, His humanity. Its very existence is associated with the Incarnation, in fact one can say that it is His divine Incarnation. For the Incarnation was accomplished not only for the time of the earthly presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It also maintains an abiding significance. It exists not only within time, but also in eternity, and only by the power of this eternity it preserves an abiding value: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and to-day and for ever”
All the members of the Church, for themselves, have this power of the Incarnation, for they are bound to Christ in His Body. This reality of the Body of Christ acquires for itself a direct and immediate fulfilment in the Sacrament of the Body and Blood, in the Divine Eucharist. In this sense the Eucharist is the fulfilment of the divine reality of the deification of mankind, an abiding and extended Incarnation. In truth, what does this Sacrament signify in its fulness? Directly, it is the Lord’s Table, intended for the faithful, for their communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, for their union with Christ. But this its purpose becomes derivative in relation to its more general meaning. Partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ only becomes possible owing to the fact that this very Body and Blood of Christ actually exist – while their existence is a consequence of the accomplished Incarnation. Therefore Communion first of all witnesses to the Incarnation that has been fulfilled and the Mystery of the Body and Blood of Christ in itself represents this Incarnation, as if it takes place afresh, or more accurately, as if it were extended.
Fr. Sergei Bulgakov
and the social problems of modern society