“The virtues acquired are the flesh of Christ and whoever eats it will find inner freedom.
The contemplation of creatures is the blood of Christ and whoever drinks it will be enlightened by Him.
The knowledge of God is the breast of Christ and whoever rests on it will be a theologian.”
Evagrius Pontus, Mirror for Monks 118-20 as in Roots of Christian Mysticism by Olivier Clement, 133-134
From Evagrius, famous for having stated, “If you are a theologian you truly pray. If you truly pray you are a theologian.” (Praktikos, 60), we get added clarification. To pray truly and to rest on the breast of Christ is to be a theologian. This is far separated from our modern notions of academic study qualifying someone as a ‘theologian’. It is the true experience of union and intimacy with God that makes one a theologian, or rather transforms them into one.
This too is the intent of the ascetical and mystical practices of the Church. We must strive for virtue which is to live the very life of God, to feed on the bread which truly came down from Heaven. We must take in the world as revelation of God Who gives life to all as Christ pours out His Life richly in the Eucharistic cup (for the blood of a man is His Life as in Leviticus 17. 11 ” For the blood of all flesh is its life“). Let us take in this season of fasting to become him who rests on the breast of Christ which is anything but passive as the world seeks to separate us from Him.