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Daily Meditations

Saint Gregory Nazianzus

January 25th, 2019

 

Gregory, known as “the Theologian” in Byzantine Christianity, was a very wealthy man, the son of a bishop, and a close associate of the leading theologians of Cappadocia (Turkey) in the fourth century. He was the most educated Christian leader of his generation and wrote extensive treatises, letters, poems, and sermons. He was copied almost as many times after his lifetime as was the Bible, and so became the most influential of all the Greek theologians. He was president of the international ecumenical council held at Constantinople in 381, which defined the Christian doctrine of the trinity and was a major architect of that theology. His spiritual teaching lays great stress on the need for the soul’s purification in light.

 

It is more important to remember God

than it is to remember to breathe.

 —Gregory of Nazianzus

 

God is Light,

the Most High, the Unapproachable;

God cannot be conceived in the mind

or spoken by the lips.

God is the Life-Giver for every rational creature.

God is to the world of spiritual intellect,

what the sun is to the sensory world,

and will manifest divinity in our minds

to the degree that we are purified.

 —Gregory of Nazianzus

 

~From John Anthony McGuckin, The Book of Mystical Chapters:  Meditations on the Soul’s Ascent, from the Desert Fathers and other Early Christian Contemplatives