Wednesday, May 2

Lessons from the saints: Athanasius the Great

Today is the feast of Athanasius the Great, Patriarch of Alexandria, doctor of the church and one of the greek fathers.  Athanasius is known for his work against the Arians, his key role in the formation of the Nicene creed and defense of Trinitarianism.  St. Gregory Nazianzus referred to him as a 'pillar of Orthodoxy'.

In "On the Incarnation", Athanasius wrote the following about the nature of our relationship with G-d and Christ.
As, then, he who desires to see God Who by nature is invisible and not to be beheld, may yet perceive and know Him through His works, so too let him who does not see Christ with his understanding at least consider Him in His bodily works and test whether they be of man or God.
If they be of man, then let him scoff; but if they be of God, let him not mock at things which are no fit subject for scorn, but rather let him recognize the fact and marvel that things divine have been revealed to us by such humble means, that through death deathlessness has been made known to us, and through the Incarnation of the Word the Mind whence all things proceed has been declared, and its Agent and Ordainer, the Word of God Himself.
He, indeed, assumed humanity that we might become God. He manifested Himself by means of a body in order that we might perceive the Mind of the unseen Father. He endured shame from men that we might inherit immortality. (Ch. 8, 53)
May we, too, see the invisible Divine in the visible world.
May we know the Father through the Son.
May we follow the G-d-made-man more closely, that we may become as G-d.

No comments:

Post a Comment