23 November 2007

Patristic Quote of the Day

On account of the first creation Christ is Master of our nature, but because of the new creation He gained power over our will. This is truly to rule over men as king, since He has bound and subjected to Himself the authority of reason and the freedom of the will which make man what he is. -- St. Nicholas Cabasilas, *The Life in Christ* p. 144

1 comment:

orrologion said...

This is a wonderful quote discussing the Eastern understanding of soteriology arising through the Incarnation, and the union of the divine and human natures in the person of Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. This is especially so regarding the human will, which, following St. Maximus Confessor and the 'late' 6th Ecumenical Council, clearly defines the will as something proper to the nature - not the person or individual. St. Nicholas here seems also to root humanity's ability to reason in our nature, rather than in our persons. This parallel of both mastery and freedom in our salvation, the one proper to our nature the other proper to our persons, is a deep and difficult thing to ken as sinners whose nous and karthia have not been cleansed.

"For in that He is altogether united with our bodies and souls He has become the Master, not of bodies only, but also of souls and wills. He hold sway over the truly sel-sufficient and genuine kingdom [i.e., re-created, human nature united with the divine nature], Himself governing it by means of Himself just as the sould governs the body and the head its members.

It is those who love this yoke who are led by Him, as though they were not to live by their own reason nor use their own free will..." ibid., p. 144.