Monday, August 5, 2013

Reflections: Gregory of Nyssa's Life of Moses

"..he teaches, I think, by the things he did that the one who is going to associate intimately with God must go beyond all that is visible and..believe that the divine is there where the understanding does not reach."
   ~Gregory of Nyssa

Gregory's life is interesting, there are bits about it that I love - like the above quote, and absolutely dull bits to skim quickly while nursing or half-asleep. I feel as if I'm missing something half the time..and maybe reading half-asleep will do that. But the reminder again and again that Moses saw God in the darkness, that he had to "go beyond all that is visible and..believe that [God] is ..where the understanding does not reach" is the essence of it all for me. Gregory returns often to the darkness which God has made His hiding place and tells me it is "the place where [Moses'] intelligence lets him slip in where God is..the unknown and unseen."

So perhaps it is better I read him in the dark dawn..half-awake and unresisting; with tea in hand and a blanket wrapped around me. With silence, or the soft sounds of sleep bringing the darkness to life. Waiting for the clouds to lift, for the sun to rise and warm the garden, and to "never cease straining toward those things that are still to come." (Phil 3:13) as Gregory encourages in his reflections on the man who approached the dark and returned with a face radiant as the sun.


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