Let me offer to our discussion a prayer and confession by St. Symeon :
"You, the ineffable, the invisible, the untouchable, the immovable, the everywhere forever and in everything present and filling everything, at all times, to say so, in day and night being seen and hidden, going away and coming, becoming invisible and suddenly appearing, little by little you drove away the darkness inside me, you drove away the cloud, you made thinner my fatness, the dirt of my spiritual eyes you cleaned perfectly, removed the obstacles from the ears of my mind and you opened them, you surrounded and removed the covering of insensitivity, and besides these, all passion and all carnal pleasure you drove to perfect sleep and perfectly you exiled it away from me. ... Nothing more can we say or express, He starts to be revealed clearly and to be known in a great familiarity and to be seen much clearly, the invisible, invisibly speaks and hears and, as if a friend to a friend, face to face, who is by his nature the God speaks with them, who have been born from Him by grace Gods, and as a father loves, and by his sons He is loved in a great warmth, and He becomes for them a strange vision and a more terrific sound, without being able either to be spoken by them worthily, or to be neglected, covered in silence; because by the yearning for Him they always are lit up and mystically by Him resound."
I was thinking what Laellius said, and how strictly it must be read, to “all be Orthodox” – all: because the Orthodox are not so Orthodox. What happened in Russia with communism proves it well. More has been said already in this conversation. In each one’s life, an advance creates also the danger of pride. Absense of life is the same whether believing ideologically (rationalizing, etc.), or not. Remembering health doesn’t give more health than guessing. Pride hides reality, and remembering can not replace it; remembering can become even equal essentially to guessing.
I think that actually, in the west, there is a tendency to apply the same"forma mentis" which led to condemn the process of Galileo and the Inquisition to the Church as a whole, I say both the oriental and the latin-occidental. People who reason like that forget that the two stories are extremely different, that separation became official with 1054, but that even before there were sensible differences, that the process of Galieo occurred about 450 years after the separation and that also the Inquisition doesn't concern the orientals. So I think that Orthodoxs should put these hard facts well in clear to all the world and should be extremely cautious to confuse themselves with the Occidental church and the Papacy. The oriental Church hasn't processed Galileo Galilei, why does it have to bear the blame?
I learn from your dialogue (few years later!) and want to share my view on it. I must be brief. I don't think that union between Orthodox and Catholic is in itself something desirable or achievable. It may be a consequence of something deeper, or not, depending on what unity may mean here.
The important thing to me is that the Catholic church needs to fix its doctrinal distortions, Catholic church needs to comeback to orthodox doctrine because that is the real thing that Catholic church has left and is this separation from orthodoxy the thing that needs fixing. As it stands now I see the Catholic Church as heterodox. Two points are here important: Deification and Papacy. Deification is central to Christianity. It is the union with the Father, the realization of Jesus praying to Father. That is central to a Christian, without that we are condemned to always be apart from God.
The other aspect is papacy, in the sense that he pretends to be the universal ruler of the church of Christ and infallible. The absurdity of it doesn't need any further development here, from me. If Catholic Church just starts by fixing this I will not ask anything else in regard to unity with the Orthodox Church. I want the Catholic Church only to go back to Orthodoxy and see what it will bring. If Catholic church just fix that she will certainly be a lot closer to Orthodox Church, without the need of anything else and as a consequence of the re-established union to Christ's teaching not as something we look for itself.
Meister Eckhart will be recognized as the standard of theology and Thomas Aquinas only a thinker of its time with plenty of misunderstandings. The pope, will just be the Bishop of Rome. Just imagine what beautiful thing it will be for us.
I left the Catholic Church only because I found Eckhart's teachings essential and that recognition put me in a "heretical" situation inside that church. For me this is the core issue and once resolved we then be united, truly united, in faith and love, with the orthodox doctrine. Truth accepts no compromise and an 'external' unity is just irrelevant.
I'm not surprised that Eckhart brought you to Orthodoxy, recalling a Catholic bishop who asked me what Father of the Church I believe is closer to St. Symeon the New Theologian, how astonished he was when I replied "Meister Eckhart."