Thursday, November 16, 2006

St. Gregory Palamas on St. Benedict

Biretta tip to Subdeacon Ben Andersen (

From the Triads I:3:22:

22. THIS is why the great Macarius says that this light is infinite and supercelestial.
ANOTHER saint, one of the most perfect (i.e. St. Benedict), saw the whole universe contained in a single ray of this intelligible sun: even though he himself did not see this light as it is in itself, in its full extent, but only to that extent that he was capable of receiving it. By this contemplation and by his supra-intelligible union with this light,
he did not learn what it is by nature, but he learnt that it really exists, is supernatural and superessential, different from all things; that its being is absolute and unique, and that it mysteriously comprehends all in itself. This vision of the Infinite cannot permanently belong to any individual or to all men.

St. Gregory, in spite of the bitter feuds beteen Latins and Greeks at the time, could nonetheless find a kindred spirit in St. Benedict. His Life, included in Pope St. Gregory the Great's famous hagiographical works titled The Dialogues, was very well received and avidly read by by many monks in Constantinople .

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