Saint Gregory the Theologian (Nazianzus), The wounded Eagles of Theology, The “philosopher of Beauty” (328/9 – 390)
Commemorated on January 25
Remember God more often than you breathe.
It is more important that we should remember God than that we should breathe: indeed, if one may say so, we should do nothing else besides.
The soul is a breath of God, and has suffered a mixture of heavenly and earthly, a light hidden in a cave, but, all the same, divine and imperishable.” St. Gregory of Nazianzus Poem 1.1.8, “De anima” (From Patrologia Graeca, vol. 37, 446-456)
Hymn to His Own Soul – St. Gregory Nazianzen
In poorest clay there dwelleth
That which can never die:
With this my bosom swelleth:
For this I food supply!
God-minded, thyself harden!
Meet calm the flashing sword!
Plant trees for God’s own garden!
Be worker, with the Lord!
Up! living words be building,
In God’s blest truth secure.
Not robbed by foe’s false gilding
Through pleasure’s baneful lure!
Again of life eternal,
Approach the blessed tree
The way, O Thou Supernal,
I’ve found in knowing Thee.
Past, present, never-ending,
The One great Light in Three;
To whom all things are tending:
To Thee, all glory be!
To self the wise thus speaketh,
Turning his eyes within;
And eager there he seeketh
To find out lurking sin.
But who to speak refuseth,
Will pass his days in vain:
Nay, more! the ease he chooseth,
May end in greatest pain.
‘I have hid the words of His mouth in my breast’ (Job 23:12). For we ‘hide the words of His mouth in the bosom of our heart’ when we hear His commandments not in a passing way, but to fulfil them in practice. So it is that of the Virgin Mother herself it is written, ‘But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart’ (Lk. 2:19). St. Gregory the Great, quoted in Wisdom,
St. Gregory who, on account of his great knowledge in Sacred science, is surnamed the Theologian, was born at Arianzus, in Cappadocia in the year 3328/9 . His father, whose name was also Gregory, his mother, Nonna, his brother Caesarius, and Gorgonia, his sister, are all honored as Saints.
Pray now to Christ, that He grant His great mercy unto our souls.
Thou ascendedst the mount of virtues, renouncing all things earthly, and holding no fellowship with dead works. There thou receivedst the tables written with God’s own hand, the most pure dogmas of thy Theology, wherein thou teachest us heavenly mysteries, O most wise Gregory.
Thou lovedst the Wisdom of God and the beauty of his words; thou prizedst them above all the pleasures of earth. Therefore, O most blessed one, did the Lord wonderfully adorn thee with a diadem of graces, and choose thee as his own Theologian.