Gregory of Nyssa
Once a man has purified his heart, so that he may perchance see the Lord’s beatitude fulfilled, he will then despise all human utterance as absolutely incapable of expressing what he has experienced. Again, if a man is immersed in carnal passions, so that these inclinations put a glaze over the window of the soul, anything you might say would be wasted on him. It is the same thing with the sunshine. If a man has not seen it from his earliest days, any effort to translate the experience into words is useless. You cannot make the brilliance of the sunlight shine through his ears. And so it is with the true light of the spirit. Each man needs his own eyes to see its beauty. And the soul that does see it retains his ecstasy; but the man who has not seen it cannot even be made to realize his loss.
Gregory of Nyssa
- If a man’s heart has been purified… he will see the image of the divine nature in his own beauty.
- Life is in many ways divided up into opposites, since it may be spent as slave or as master, in riches or poverty, in honor or dishonor, in bodily infirmity or in good health, in all things there is division. Therefore the person in need should be made equal to the one who has a larger share and that which goes short should be filled by what has abundance; this is the law mercy gives men in regard to the needy. For unless mercy softens the soul, man cannot arrive at healing the ills of his neighbor. Mercy then, is a voluntary sorrow that joins itself to the sufferings of others; the loving disposition toward those who suffer distress.
Gregory of Nyssa, The Beatitudes
- Therefore, if I pray, Hallowed be Thy Name, I ask that these words may affect in me things such as these:
May I become through Thy help blameless, just, and pious.
May I walk in the straight path, shining with temperance, adorned with incorruption, beautiful through wisdom and prudence.
May I meditate on the things that are above and despise what is earthly, showing forth the angelic way of life.
Gregory of Nyssa, The Lord’s Prayer
- Lord calls blessed not those who live in complete isolation from the passions; for it is impossible to secure a perfectly immaterial and passionless mode of life within the confines of a material existence. But He called meekness a standard of virtue attainable in the life of the flesh, and He says that meekness suffices for beatitude.Gregory of Nyssa______________________________
- God imprinted on your nature the likeness of the glories of His own nature, as if molding the form of a carving into wax. – Gregory of Nyssa
From: The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians
- How can you see a beautiful image in a mirror unless it has received the impression of a beautiful form? So it is with the mirror of human nature: it cannot become beautiful until it draws near to the Beautiful... that archetypal Beauty is the Dove, and becomes transformed by the image of the divine Beauty... the Dove which symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Gregory of Nyssa, From Glory to Glory