02 June 2006

Patristic Quote for the Day

What is more awesome: that God gives Himself to earth, or that He places you in Heaven?
That He Himself enters a union with flesh, or that He causes you to enter into a sharing of the Divinity?
That He Himself accepts death, or that He recovers you from death?
That He Himself is born into your state of slavery, or that He makes you to be free children of His own?
That He takes your poverty upon Himself, or that He makes you His heirs, yes, co-heirs of His unique Self?

It is indeed more awesome that earth is transformed into a heaven,
that man is changed by deification,
and that those who lot is slavery get the rights of domination.
All this is indeed something to fill us with fear.

Nevertheless, the present situation has reference not to the one instructing
but to the One who gives the command.
Therefore, my little children,
let us approach where charity summons, love draws, and affection invites us.

May our hearts perceive God as our Father!
Our voice should proclaim this,
our tongue should utter it,
our spirit should shout it aloud;
and everything that is in us should be in tune with grace, not fear.
For, He who has changed from a judge into a Father has wished to be loved, not feared.

--St. Peter Chrysologus, *Sermon 67* - to the Catechumens on the Our Father


Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful quote. I wrote my Master's thesis on Luther's use of the Greek Patristic idea of mystical union and theosis. Luther though, I fell could make it even more radical by his return of the Biblical theme of Christ becoming a "curse" and even "sin" for us. The Greeks talked about a "happy exchange" of sorts also, but not as radical a one as Luther. Probably because they though of sin more of in terms of ontological incompleteness, opposed to Luther, who though of it as being divine judgment.

William Weedon said...


I'd like to read your work on that. I see you did your work at Marquette and isn't that where the fellow wrote his doctoral thesis on Luther and theosis. Leinhard or some such, right? I read it a few years ago and thought it was very well done. He did much to reinforce the thought of the Finns.