The Experience of God, Vol. 5: The Sanctifying Mysteries by Stanilaoe - Theological Studies - Christian Life Book

The Experience of God, Vol. 5: The Sanctifying Mysteries by Stanilaoe - Theological Studies - Christian Life Book

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This wonderfully written and carefully translated book, The Sanctifying Mysteries, is especially important for English speakers because it constitutes the first comprehensive treatment in the English language of the holy mysteries from an Orthodox doctrinal perspective. The book will doubtlessly prove to be a valuable resource for all people of faith, Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike, who wish to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the holy mysteries...By highlighting the essential role of the sacred mysteries in the life of the Church and in the life of her individual members, Fr. Staniloae stirs the heart and mind of his readers, helping them discern the awesome truth that through the sacraments Christ becomes everyone's contemporary. Through them Christ touches, purifies, illumines, redeems, sanctifies, and deifies every person who comes to Him in faith. Hence Fr. Staniloae counsels that participation in the sacraments demands not only faith but also effort if their powers are to be perfected and their recipients to undergo a real transformation into the image of Christ.

Paperback 232 pages


Foreword - Alkiviadis C. Calivas

p. ix

1. Christ’s Saving Mysteries: Creation Unified and

Made New in the Church

p. 1

A. The Sacraments and Creation

p. 1

B. The Christological and Ecclesiological Basis

of the Mysteries

p. 4

i. Visible and Invisible Operations: The Body, Soul,

and Grace of Christ

p. 8

ii. Christ, the Unseen Celebrant of the Mysteries

p. 11

iii. The Christological and Ecclesial Character

of the Mysteries

p. 13

iv. The Priest as Visible Celebrant of the Mysteries

p. 19

2. Baptism: The Mystery of Rebirth through Water and the Spirit

p. 27

A. The Unity between Water and the Holy Spirit as Womb

of the New Man

p. 27

B. The Multiple Efficacy of the Act of Baptism and

of the Priest’s Declaration

p. 31

i. Baptism as the Death of the Old Man and as Rebirth

p. 32

ii. Baptism as the Power of Continuous Spiritual Growth

p. 37

iii. Baptism as the Restoration of Christ’s Image in Man

p. 40

iv. Baptism as the Gate of Entrance into the Church

p. 47

C. The Absolute Necessity of Baptism for Salvation

p. 51

3. Chrismation: “The Seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit”

p. 57

A. The Link between Baptism and Chrismation

p. 57

B. The Special Activity of the Holy Spirit in the

Mystery of Chrismation

p. 60

C. The Meaning of the Visible Act of Chrismation

p. 65

4. The Divine Eucharist: The Mystery of the Lord’s

Body and Blood

p. 73

A. The Relationship between the Three Mysteries

of Initiation

p. 73

B. The Real Presence of the Lord’s Body and Blood

in the Eucharist

p. 83

C. The Presence of the Lord’s Body and Blood

in the Eucharist and the Transformation of the

Bread and Wine

p. 90

D. The Eucharist as Sacrifice and Mystery

p. 94

E. The Priest as Celebrant of the Eucharist

p. 105

5. Repentance: The Mystery of Forgiveness

p. 114

A. The Institution of the Mystery and Its Practice from the

Beginning of the Church

p. 114

B. The Constitutive Elements or Stages of the Mystery

p. 118

i. The Confession of Sins and Its Spiritual Value

p. 119

ii. The Epitimia (Penances) Recommended by the Priest

p. 125

iii. The Absolution Given by the Priest to the Penitent

p. 131

6. Ordination: Priesthood as the Living Image of Christ

p. 135

A. The Distinction between Ordination and the

Other Mysteries

p. 135

B. The Invisible Priesthood of Christ, Source of the Visible

Priesthood of the Church

p. 138

C. Priesthood and the Unity of the Church

p. 140

D. The Institution of the Priesthood; The Three Ranks

of Priesthood from the Beginning of the Church

p. 144

E. The Spiritual Character of the Christian Liturgical

Priesthood and the Priesthood of the Faithful

p. 148

F. Apostolic Succession

p. 153

F. The Visible Aspects of Ordination and the Invisible Power It Bestows

p. 158

7. Marriage: The Mystery of Human Love Crowned in

Glory and Honor

p. 167

A. The Place of Marriage among the Other Mysteries

p. 167

B. Marriage as a Natural, Lifelong Bond between a Man

and a Woman

p. 170

C. The Strengthening and Ennobling of Marriage by Christ

p. 173

D. The Mystery’s Constitutive Aspects and Their Significance

for the Spiritual Power Bestowed by the Mystery

p. 184

8. Holy Unction: The Mystery of Divine Healing

p. 193

A. Definition and Main Purpose

p. 193

B. Secondary Purpose

p. 195


p. 201


p. 203