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Saint Gregory of Nyssa



Spiritual quotes of Saint Gregory of Nyssa

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T he distinction between the persons does not impair the oneness of nature, nor does the shared unity of essence lead to a confusion between the distinctive characteristics of the persons. Do not be surprised that we should speak of the Godhead as being at the same time both unified and differentiated. Using riddles, as it were, we envisage a strange and paradoxical diversity-in-unity and unity-in-diversity.




Christianity 2802 | 
Gregory of Nyssa, from Gregory of Nyssa's Mystical Writings, translated and edited by Herbert Mursillo (Crestwood, N.Y.: St. V1adimir's Seminary Press, 1979). 







A ll that the Father is, we see revealed in the Son; all that is the Son’s is the Father's also; for the whole Son dwells in the Father, and he has the whole Father dwelling in himself… The Son who exists always in the Father can never be separated from him, nor can the Spirit ever be divided from the Son who through the Spirit works all things. He who receives the Father also receives at the same time the Son and the Spirit. It is impossible to envisage any kind of severance or disjunction between them: One cannot think of the Son apart from the Father, nor divide the Spirit from the Son. There is between the three a sharing and a differentiation that are beyond words and understanding.




Christianity 2801 | 
Gregory of Nyssa, from Gregory of Nyssa's Mystical Writings, translated and edited by Herbert Mursillo (Crestwood, N.Y.: St. V1adimir's Seminary Press, 1979). 







T he great Apostle told the Corinthians of the wonderful visions he enjoyed during the time of his mystical initiation in paradise. It was a time when he even doubted his own nature, whether he was body or spirit - and he testifies: I do not count myself to have apprehended. But forgetting the things that are behind, I stretch myself forth to those that are before Philippians 3:13). And clearly this is meant to include even that third heaven that Paul alone saw; for even Moses told us nothing of it in his cosmogony. Yet even after listening in secret to the mysteries of heaven, Paul does not let the graces he has obtained become the limit of his desire, but he continues to go on and on, never ceasing his ascent. Thus he teaches us, I think, that in our constant participation in the blessed nature of the Good, the graces that we receive at every point are indeed great, but the path that lies beyond our immediate grasp is infinite. This will constantly happen to those who thus share in the divine Goodness, and they will always enjoy a greater and greater participation in grace throughout all eternity. […]

Thus though the new grace we may obtain is greater than what we had before, it does not put a limit on our final goal; rather, for those who are rising in perfection, the limit of the good that is attained becomes the beginning of the discovery of higher goods. Thus they never stop rising, moving from one new beginning to the next, and the beginning of ever greater graces is never limited of itself For the desire of those who thus rise never rests in what they can already understand; but by an ever greater and greater desire, the soul keeps rising constantly to another that lies ahead, and thus it makes its way through ever higher regions towards the Transcendent.





Christianity 2800 | 
Gregory of Nyssa, from Gregory of Nyssa's Mystical Writings, translated and edited by Herbert Mursillo (Crestwood, N.Y.: St. V1adimir's Seminary Press, 1979). 







B ut as the soul makes progress, and by a greater and more perfect concentration comes to appreciate what the knowledge of truth is, the more it approaches this vision, and so much the more does it see that the divine nature is invisible. It thus leaves all surface appearances, not only those that can be grasped by the senses but also those that the mind itself seems to see, and it keeps on going deeper until by the operation of the spirit it penetrates the invisible and incomprehensible, and it is there that it sees God. The true vision and the true knowledge of what we seek consists precisely in not seeing, in an awareness that our goal transcends all knowledge and is everywhere cut off from us by the darkness of incomprehensibility. Thus that profound evangelist, John, who penetrated into this luminous darkness, tells us that no man hath seen God at any time (John 1:18), teaching us by this negation that no man - indeed, no created intellect - can attain knowledge of God.




Christianity 2799 | 
Gregory of Nyssa, from Gregory of Nyssa's Mystical Writings, translated and edited by Herbert Mursillo (Crestwood, N.Y.: St. V1adimir's Seminary Press, 1979). 





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On other page(s):  Life et teaching of Saint Gregory of Nyssa




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