Many / One

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The Holy Fire, the Story of the Fathers of the Eastern Church
Robert Payne

1 "All things are administered from above for good." Clement of Alexandria

2 "The life of God consists in the eternal practice of love; and this life is wholly beautiful, possessed of a loving disposition toward beauty and never receiving any check in the practice of love. And because beauty is boundless, love shall never cease." Gregory of Nyssa (b. 335), 'De Anima et Resurrectione', 8

3 "Put your faith in the Lord of the spirits, the Lord of the fire, the Maker of the universe."

4 "God pours Himself out in an ecstasy of love. He does not remain in the Heavens and call to Himself the Servant He loves. No, He Himself descends and searches out for such a servant, and comes near, and lets His love be seen, as He seeks what is like Himself….All this is true, but we have not yet declared the highest thing of all: for not merely does God enter into close fellowship with His servants and extend to them His hand, but He has given Himself wholly to us, so that we are become temples of the living God." Nicholas Cabasilas, theologian, 'Sacrae liturgiae interpretatio', II, 132

5 "The divinity informs, pervades, embraces and has its dwelling place in the universe. For all things depend on Him who is, and nothing can exist which does not have its being in Him who is." Gregory of Nyssa (b.335), 'Oratio Catechetica', 25

6 "Prayer is the delight of the joyful, the consolation of the weary, the crown of the bride, the feast on the birthday, the shroud that covers us in our graves." Gregory of Nyssa (b.335), 'De precatione', I

7 "O you who are possessed with the desire to contemplate the true good….do not despair of being able to see the object of your desires….You have only to return to the purity of the image established in you in the beginning: you will find in yourself what you seek, for once the spirit is cleansed, you will find the blessed vision in the serenity of your heart. There you will find purity, holiness, simplicity, all those gentle radiances of the divine nature by which God is seen." Gregory of Nyssa, 'De beatitudinibus', 6

8 "They [the Fathers of the Eastern Church] were aware that God is One."

9 "The fountain of blessing wells up unceasingly." Gregory of Nyssa (b.335)

10 "Let love be magnified from the mouth and the heart." Early Christian Hymn

11 "the Word of God [Logos], which was in the beginning with God, is not a vast multiplicity of words, and is never spoken in the plural. It is a word formed of many strands, but each one is a part of the whole, being part of the Word." Origen, 'Commentary on John', V, 5-6

12 "Gregory [Palamas, Eastern Church Father] believed that this light which a man sees when he dives deep within himself – that glittering treasure chest, jewel-encrusted and sparkling with blinding rays – was God Himself."

13 "Fire is in all things, is spread everywhere, pervades all things,...shining by its very nature and yet hidden….It comprehends; never in need, mysteriously increasing itself and showing forth its majesty according to the nature of the substance receiving it, powerful and mighty and invisibly present in all things." Dionysius the Aeropagite, 'The Celestial Hierarchy', XV

14 "All who walk upon the earth, all the animals and all the winged creatures, partake of the Holy Spirit."

15 "Love unites us to God, love covers up a host of sins, love suffers everything, and is patient with everything. There is nothing vulgar, nothing vain, about love. Love knows no schism, creates no discord, does everything in harmony." 'First Clement', 49

16 "Let the true light shine on me, so that I may see the glory, that glory which was there before the world began, and deign, O invisible One, to take shape within me, so that seeing your incomprehensible beauty, I shall possess your image,…so that I can become like unto you,…becoming myself a God by divine grace." St. Symeon the New Theologian, 'Logos'

17 "The totality of humanity is God." Gregory of Nyssa (b.335)

18 "This Light shines already in the darkness, in the night and the day, in our hearts, in our spirits…. this Light without turning or change or any decline, unalterable, never eclipsed. It speaks and acts and lives and gives forth life, and whatever it touches it transforms into Light. God is Light." Gregory Palamas, 'Symeon the New Theologian', Hom. LXXIX, 2

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite