Dear Father Peter
Yes, I think I see what St Cyril is saying about the verses in John 6. I do like how he handles them. It is just that the Augustinian interpretation seems to be so much more contextually and gramatically probable. I suppose you are quite aware of the hermeneutical principle that the simplest understanding is the most apt (Occam's razor and all that).
Not that I like it.
Maybe I have been too firmly conditioned by twenty-something years of Calvinistic presuppositions to NOT see the meaning that I do in these verses.
Having said that, I sense, intuitively, that Christ would surely not have simply dismissed his opponents in this offhand manner. Ill be bluntly honest - I WANT to read and understand the verses a la St. Cyril! I am experiencing something of a struggle in this regard between my rationality and my spiritual intuition!
Lets face it - one comes out with a radically different gospel depending on how such passages are interpreted.
You ask how one is to deal with the divergence found between Patristic and Augustinian theology when it comes to predestination, I don't know! But hey! this is a crucial question! It is probably the major theological struggle that I am facing at the present time. I feel that if this particular dichotomy could be effectively resolved in favour of the Orthodox understanding, Protestantism would have no more appeal to me. Its that important!