Sunday, March 22, 2009

ALSH #11: Image of the True Light

Are you feeling a little down (perhaps because Spring Break is over)? Here's a little lift for you, from the pen of St. Gregory of Nyssa:

[God] did not make the heavens in his image,

nor the moon, the sun, the beauty of the stars,

nor anything else which you can see in the created universe.

YOU ALONE are made in the likeness of that nature which surpasses all understanding;

YOU ALONE are a similitude of eternal beauty,

a receptacle of happiness,

an image of the true light;

and if YOU look up to Him,

you will become what He is,

imitating Him who shines within you,

whose glory is reflected in your purity.

Nothing in all creation can equal your grandeur.

All the heavens can fit into the palm of God's hand;

the earth and the sea are measured in the hollow of His hand.

And though He is so great that He can grasp all creation in His palm,

you can wholly embrace Him; He dwells within you,

nor is He cramped as He pervades your entire being, saying:

"I will dwell in them and walk among them" (2 Corinthians 6:18).

St. Gregory of Nyssa, in Glory to Glory: Texts from Gregory of Nyssa's Mystical Writings, ed. J. Danielou (Crestwood, NY: SVS Press 1979) 162-3


Clint said...

Is it bad that the first thing that entered my mind when I read this was the Steve Martin line from the movie THE JERK after he saw his name in the phone book: "I am somebody! I am somebody!"

Forgive me.

charlene said...

Father James,
This is really beautiful. Okey Father, I have to give it to you: First you make me love to read the scriptures, and now the writings of the ancient Fathers. You have used sufficient examples to convince me the writings are both accessible and relevant. Thank you for all the time you spend teaching us.
Father bless.