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Gregory of Nazianzus, Festal Oration 45, §3

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  • Mark Sedrak
    Christ is Risen! + Truly He is Risen! Godalways was, always is, and always will be; or rather,Godalways Is.For Was and Will Be are fragments of ourtime, and of
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 27, 2011
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      Christ is Risen! + Truly He is Risen!

      God always was, always is, and always will be; or rather, God always Is. For Was and Will Be are fragments of our time, and of changeable nature. But He is Eternal Being; and this is the Name He gives Himself when giving the Oracles to Moses in the Mount. For in Himself He sums up and contains all Being, having neither beginning in the past nor end in the future...

      like some great Sea of Being, limitless and unbounded, transcending all conception of time and nature, only adumbrated by the mind, and that very dimly and scantily...not by His Essentials but by His Environment, one image being got from one source and another from another, and combined into some sort of presentation of the truth, which escapes us before we have caught it, and which takes to flight before we have conceived it, blazing forth upon our master-part, even when that is cleansed, as the lightning flash which will not stay its course does upon our sight...

      in order, as I conceive, by that part of it which we can comprehend to draw us to itself (for that which is altogether incomprehensible is outside the bounds of hope, and not within the compass of endeavor); and by that part of It which we cannot comprehend to move our wonder; and as an object of wonder to become more an object of desire; and being desired, to purify; and purifying to make us like God; so that, when we have become like Himself, God may, to use a bold expression, hold converse with us as God; being united to us, and known by us; and that perhaps to the same extent as He already knows those who are known to Him.

      The Divine Nature, then, is boundless and hard to understand, and all that we can comprehend of Him is His boundlessness; even though one may conceive that because He is of a simple Nature He is therefore either wholly incomprehensible or perfectly comprehensible. For let us farther inquire what is implied by is of a simple Nature? For it is quite certain that this simplicity is not itself its nature, just as composition is not by itself the essence of compound beings.

      Gregory of Nazianzus, Festal Oration 45, §3


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