22 June 2006

Patristic Quote for the Day

He makes the point clearly when he says: "My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you." [Gal. 4:19] Now then, where or in what place or part of our body does he say that Christ takes form? Do you think he means on the brow or in the face, or in the breast? Assuredly not! It is rather inside, in our hearts. Perhaps you supposed that He takes form bodily? Away with the notion! Rather, He indeed takes form, but bodilessly as is proper to God. Besides, just as a woman surely knows when she is with child that the babe leaps in her womb and could never be ignorant of the fact that she has it within her, so the one who has Christ take form within himself and is aware of His stirring, which is to say His illuminations, is in no way ignorant of His leaps, that is His gleamings, and sees His formation within himself. Christ is not, for example, reflected like the light of a lamp in a mirror, is not an apparition without substance like the reflection, but appears in a light which is personal and substantial; in a shape without a shape, and a form without form He is seen invisibly and comprehended incomprehensibly. - St. Symeon the New Theologian, *On the Mystical Life: the Ethical Discourses* p. 169

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