Sunday, September 25, 2022

Clothed With Our Nature

"That God should have clothed himself with our nature is a fact that should not seem strange or extravagant to minds that do not form too paltry an idea of reality.  Who, looking at the universe, would be so feeble-minded as not to believe that God is all in all; that he clothes himself with the universe, and at the same time contains it and dwells in it?  What exists depends on Him who exists, and nothing can exist except in the bosom of Him who is.

If then all is in him, and he is in all, why blush for the faith that teaches us that one day God was born in the human condition, God who still today exists in humanity?

Indeed, if the presence of God in us does not take the same form now as it did then, we can at least agree in recognizing that he is in us today no less than he was then.  Today, he is involved with us as much as he maintains creation in existence.  Then, he mingled himself with our being to deify it by contact with him, after he snatched it from death...For his resurrection became for mortals the promise of their return to immortal life."

Gregory of Nyssa (330-395 A.D.), Catechetical Orations 25, quoted in The Roots of Christian Mysticism, Oliver Clement


  1. A worthy meditation for the morning TB. And if one is to avoid the charge of the heresy of Pantheism, one must wrestle with the dichotomy of Immanence vs. Transcendence in the nature of the Deity and the relationship to our nature.
    I once took a course in the History of Medieval Philosophy, which the professor introduced as "Welcome to the worlds most boring course!" Well, it was anything but boring to me, and to this day I ponder St. Augustine, St. Aquinas,, alongside the Greeks and Romans as well. He also said that there was one famous Medieval tradition that we would like: the first lecture in a course is the "Lectura Brevis", and we were dismissed early. He was a scholar who would pull Aquinas from his bookshelf, in Latin, and read it to me in English, and could, and did, do the same for Aristotle in Greek.

    1. Greg, I have spent the last 30 years (more or less) giving myself a second education in a great many things I missed the first time around. Most of the failure is my fault: I both failed to apply myself as fully as I should have in college as well as ask for a fuller education. As a result a great deal of what I should have learned I did not.

      As to the Ancient and Medieval Classical thought - again, a failure on my part. Protestantism does not delve into the subjects as it should anymore (and non-denominational, not at all) so again, I am left to my own devices to catch up on that which I should have already learned.

      It is a shame, really: so much of what we face today is so common to the human condition and has already been discussed in great detail in the past. But in our new world, only what is modern is relevant.

  2. Replies
    1. John, it really is. I highly recommend the book as it is filled with quotes from the Church fathers that strike me as largely forgotten in the West anymore.


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