August 13, 2022

The Theotokos as an Embodiment of "Living Dogma"

 By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos

In the Theotokos there were united the divine and the human nature in the hypostasis of the Word, and her womb became the workshop of this union, that is why she is also the "living dogma". The glory she has is the glory of her Son and God; her boldness before God is a consequence of her synergy in the incarnation of Christ; her intercessions are due to her being the Mother of Christ; the term "Theotokos" constitutes the mystery of the divine economy. The Third Ecumenical Synod, which decided that she should be called Theotokos and not Christotokos, shows that the Panagia is indeed a "living dogma". All the heresies about Christ culminate in the Theotokos, and all the heresies about the Theotokos also refer to Christ. Her appearances to the deified saints in the Light, and the Grace that the saints receive from her show that the Orthodox dogmas are alive and not dead, they are theology and experience and not philosophical reflection.

The dogmas of the Church have life, they are like burning coals that radiate light, but also warm people; they are experiences. We see this in the dogmas related to the Holy Trinity, Christ and the Most Holy Theotokos. In this perspective we love the Panagia, not just as a blessed woman, but as a "living dogma", as a divine living statue.

Source: "Οἱ Θεομητορικές ἑορτές". Translation by John Sanidopoulos.