Tags

, ,

St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 38, Section 11:

Thus far mind and sense perception, distinguished from each other in this way, remained within their own limits and bore in themselves the magnificence of the Creator Word. They silently praised the greatness of his works and were heralds sounding afar. But there was not yet a blending out of both, nor a mixing of opposites, which is the distinctive sign of a greater wisdom and of divine superabundance concerning created natures, nor was full wealth of goodness yet made known. So then wishing to manifest this, the Creator Word also makes one living creature out of both. I mean invisible and visible nature, that is the human being. And having taken the body from the matter already created, he breathed in breath from himself, which is surely the intelligent soul and the image of God of which Scripture speaks. The human being is a kind of second world, great in smallness, placed on the earth, another angel, a composite worshipper, a beholder of the visible creation and initiate into the intelligible, king of things on earth, subject to what is above, earthly and heavenly, transitory and immortal, visible and intelligible, a mean between greatness and lowliness. He is at once spirit and flesh, spirit on account of grace, flesh on account of pride, the one that he might remain and glorify his Benefactor, the other that he might suffer and in suffering remember and be corrected if he has ambition for greatness. He is a living creature trained here and transferred elsewhere, and, to complete the mystery, deified through the inclination toward God. For the light and the truth present in measure here bear me toward this end, to see and experience the radiance of God, which is worthy of the one who has bound me [to flesh] and will release me and hereafter will bind me in a higher manner.