St.-Gregory-NazianzenWe were created that we might be made happy.

We were made happy when we were created.

We were entrusted with Paradise that we might enjoy life.

We received a commandment that we might obtain a good repute by keeping it.

…Not that God did not know what would take place, but because He had laid down the law of free will.

We were deceived because we were the objects of envy.

We were cast out because we transgressed.

We fasted because we refused to fast, being overpowered by the Tree of Knowledge.

For the commandment was ancient, coeval with ourselves, and was a kind of education of our souls and curb of luxury, to which we were reasonably made subject, in order that we might recover by keeping it that which we had lost by not keeping it.

We needed an Incarnate God, a God put to death, that we might live.

We were put to death together with Him, that we might be cleansed.

We rose again with Him because we were put to death with Him.

We were glorified with Him, because we rose again with Him.

Many indeed are the miracles of that time:  God crucified.

The sun was darkened and again rekindled, for it was fitting that the creatures should suffer with their Creator.

The veil was rent. The Blood and Water were shed from His Side – the one as from a man, the other as above man.

The rocks were rent for the Rock’s sake.

The dead were raised for a pledge of the final Resurrection of all men.

The signs at the Sepulchre and after the Sepulchre, which none can worthily celebrate – none of these was equal to the miracle of my salvation.

A few drops of Blood recreate the whole world, and become to all men what rennet is to milk, drawing us together and compressing us into unity.

But, O Pascha, great and holy and purifier of all the world—for I will speak to thee as to a living person!

O Word of God and Light and Life and Wisdom and Might!

O Offspring and Expression and Signet of the Great Mind!

O Word conceived and Man contemplated, Who bearest all things, binding them by the Word of Thy power!

Receive Thou this discourse: a thanksgiving, and at the same time a supplication!

And, if we are to be released, in accordance with our desire, and be received into the Heavenly Tabernacle, there too it may be we shall offer Thee acceptable Sacrifices upon Thine Altar, to Father and Word and Holy Ghost.

For to Thee belongeth all glory and honour and might, world without end.

Gregory Nazianzen (c.330-390): Oration 45, 28-30.

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