Metropolitan Panteleimon of Antinoes
In order for us to understand the role and importance which the holy Fathers have within the life of the Orthodox Church, we must examine it under the light of the Divine Economia. But, what to we mean when we speak about “Divine Economia”?
Divine Economia is the entire work of salvation. It is the realization of God’s Will concerning man’s salvation. Man, because of Satan’s envy, was led to disobey the Divine Commandment with the result that sin entered into the world and through sin death ruled. St Gregory the Theologian teaches, that ‘God created man, because He was not satisfied moving within His own vision, but His Love had to be outpoured to other creatures.’ God wanted to raise man from the condition of innocent, ignorance and the lack of experience of good and evil, and lead him into the knowledge and free choice of good. But, the disobedience towards the simple Commandment of God brought upon mankind dramatic consequents.
The direct communion of man and the Grace of God ceased. Man was left to his own powers, deserted in the world of carnal passions, which became his nature’s master and tyrant. Man’s mind was darkened and his conscience became weak, disfigured and became hardened to such extent that he was unable to distinguish the unholy and evil from the holy and good. Man’s will lost its power and became a slave to evil desires. Love was replaced by pride, selfishness and hatred. The truth was replaced by lies; the True God was abandoned and His place was taken by the numerous false gods of idolatry. These were the few fruits of man’s apostasy and departure from God.