Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Beauty of the Theology of the Cross

Icon of St. Basil the Great

I urge you to stand firm, even if the blow is a heavy one. Don’t fall under the weight of your grief. Don’t lose heart. Be perfectly assured ofthis: although we cannot understand why God ordained such troubles, the One who is wise and who loves us arranged them for us. We must accept them no matter how hard they are to endure. God knows that He is appointing what is best for each person. He knows why the terms of life that He fixes for us are unequal.*
(Homily 3 on the Hexaemeron)

Certainly words of a theologian of the cross if ever I heard them. Thanks be to God for His enduring Word and Truth, revealed to us many and various ways by the prophets of old but now in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son.
Basil (c. 330-379) was born into the family that included Gregory of Nyssa. He received an excellent rhetorical education and later became a powerful influence on the church in Caesarea in Cappodocia. At school, he became good friends with Gregory of Nazianzen and later taught rhetoric in Athens. Influenced by his sister Macrina, he became a monk and started a monestery at his family residence. Later in life Basil became a presbyter and finally the bishop in the church of Caeserea. Despite the persecution of Emperor Valens, he remained steadfastly loyal to his Lord. His greatest works include the Hexaemeron, a series of lectures on the beginning chapters of Genesis, and a treatise entitled On the Holy Spirit.
* From Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers, p. 60 & 370.

No comments: