Jan 10th - Gregory of Nyssa
To have certainty of Faith one must give one's self completely over to the mysteries of that Faith.
Living in the shadow of older and more vocal siblings and friends can be tough, if our desire is to be known and admired. Gregory's feast even sits in the shadow of his older brother Basil's and Gregory Nazianzen's feast back on January 2nd.
But Gregory seems to have handled it well, and though not as well known, certainly holds his own with Basil and Gregory.
It is this humility and devotion, not to fame and notoriety but to Christ and the mystery of the Trinity, which shines. Had he viewed others as rivals for attention or affection he would have squandered the everlasting in favor of the passing. It is the effect of giving his life completely over to Christ that permeates his writings and his life.
He was instructed in the Faith early in life by his older sister and brother. After their passing, he took up the torch of orthodoxy and shown as brightly. He is considered as one of the three Cappadocian Fathers, along side Basil and Gregory Nazianzen. He stood not in their shadow but shown on his own and joined his shadow to theirs.
It is not for us to judge by today's standards his words or deeds, or to give hims unsought forgiveness for them. Saints are not perfect, just recognized as living lives worthy of Heaven. Gregory's writings are not all that we judge him by. His stewardship and shepherding of this flock bear out many of his words.
Though constantly beset, he trusted in God and not in his own strength or in political support. That we may have the courage to be humble and give ourselves over to God with a trust born of certainty.
Perhaps, then, the memory of anyone distinguished in life would be enough to fill our need for a beacon light and to show us how we can bring our soul to the sheltered harbor of virtue where it no longer has to pass the winter amid the storms of life or be shipwrecked in the deep water of evil by the successive billows of passion. It may be for this very reason that the daily life of those sublime individuals is recorded in detail, that by imitating those earlier examples of right action those who follow them may conduct their lives to the good.
The Life of Moses, 13
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