Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Gregory of Nyssa

Today the church celebrates Gregory of Nyssa and his sister Macrina. I remembered these two figures from our studies on the early church at SAOMC and yet I was surprised to be deeply impressed with the wisdom of Gregory in the passage set from one of his homilies for this morning's office.

I have been trying to track it down on the internet but as yet without success.

Gregory is reasonably well known for focussing on God as mystery, as unknowable. This is the theme he explored in the passage I read this morning.

He compared contemplating God to someone contemplating the deep sea from a high cliff; an experience that would produce a kind of spiritual and theological vertigo.

If I can't find the whole text I might even resort to typign it in. I really found it THAT awe- inspiring.

I'm currently working on the talks for our summer residential and I wish I could give such inspiration to the young people as Gregory's words have done to me and surely to so many others down the centuries.

When we met with the young people who are going on the holiday we got them to pose us the most tricky and challenging questions that they had about God and faith and church. We've been fairly brave (perhaps too brave!) and opted to tackle these:

  • Who is God and how do we know he exists?
  • Why do we worship God?
  • Where is God in my life?
  • How do we communicate with God?
  • What does all this mean for me?
Any suggestions for activities, passages, prayers, talks or mind-blowing inspirations welcome!


Anonymous said...

Mystery doesn't mean unknowable, but infintely knowable - to know completely would be an infinite task.

Roger Vere Youth Worker said...

Profound. Thank you.

However "anonymous" definitely means unknowable!