Commenting on the beginning of Psalm 106 St. Gregory of Nyssa teaches; "For he begins immediately by saying, Give thanks to the Lord,for he is good, for his mercy endures for ever (Ps 106.1).’ Exomologesis is to be understood here in the sense of thanksgiving, not in the sense of confession. He exhorts us here... Continue Reading →
In the age of the cell phone, instant information, constant updates and never-ending distraction, we would do well to heed the words of our forebears regarding the noon-day demon. We hate the present moment and yearn for the next one, only to hate that moment in turn. Soon we grow agitated, anxious, and dejected that life holds no meaning for me anymore. God instructs Adam and Eve that the way to combat this particularly dangerous thought is by persisting in our work and through the remembrance of death-that we live for more than the next moment we yearn for. We should become free to live here and now, towards the Kingdom.
Coming to a true knowledge of Reality, we are to die to the dead mode we have inhabited and thus remove the sandals from our feet so we might participate in Life, Christ offered to us in the Eucharist. The ascetic pursuit then is a life of removing the coverings we have accumulated so that we can see things as they really are.
"For who is so simple-minded as not to believe, when he considers the universe, that the Divine Being is in every thing, clothing Himself with it, embracing it, and residing in it. If then all things are in Him and He in all things, why are they ashamed of the plan of our religion which... Continue Reading →
In St. Gregory of Nyssa's works there is a beautiful, little known work. This is his commentary on The Inscriptions of the psalms (we probably miss these as we read but these are the texts, some small some large, written in tiny font above the Psalm in most of our Bibles). He sees these inscriptions... Continue Reading →
"For since the most beautiful and supreme good of all is the Divinity itself, to which incline all things that have a tendency towards what is beautiful and good, we therefore say that the mind, as being in the image of the most beautiful, itself also remains in beauty and goodness so long as it... Continue Reading →
There is in you, human beings, a desire to contemplate the True Good. But when you hear that the Divine Majesty is exalted above the heavens, that Its glory is inexpressible, Its beauty ineffable, and Its Nature inaccessible, do not despair of ever behold what you desire. It is indeed within your reach: you have... Continue Reading →
That Deity should be born in our nature ought not reasonably to present any strangeness to the minds of those who do not take too narrow a view of things. For who, when he takes a survey of the universe, is so simple as not to believe that there is Deity in everything, penetrating it,... Continue Reading →
"Our whole nature had to be recalled from death to life. God therefore stooped over our dead body to offer His hand, so to speak, to the creature lying there. He came near enough to death to make contact with our mortal remains, and by means of His own body provided nature with the capacity... Continue Reading →
"Not only was the creation of all existent things brought about by Him [The Son of God], but that when the original creation of man had decayed and vanished away, to use his [Paul’s] own language, and another new creation was wrought in Christ, in this too no other than He took the lead, but... Continue Reading →
"The sequence related to salvation also looks to this [our benefit], and the order which assists us to this end is best. For example, the first psalm removed humanity from its cohesion with evil. The second, having indicated the appearance of the Lord through flesh in advance, showed to what we should cling, and that... Continue Reading →
"Thus, as peace began to be [established], the angels proclaimed, 'Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth (Luke 2.14).' When lower beings received [peace] from superior beings, they cried, 'Glory on earth and peace in the heavens (Luke 19.38).' At that time when the divinity came down and was clothed in humanity,... Continue Reading →