St-Basil-the-GreatThe continual remembrance of God is a holy thing, and of this pious remembrance there can never be enough for the soul that loves God.

But to put into words the things of God is a bold undertaking.

For our mind falls far below what is needed for this; while at the same time, words but feebly convey the thoughts of the mind.

If therefore our understanding is left so far behind by the greatness of the things of God, and if our words are weaker than our understanding, how should we not be silent, for fear that the wonders of the things of God should be in danger through the feebleness of our words?

Though the desire to give glory to God is implanted by nature in every rational creature, nevertheless we all alike are unable to praise Him fittingly.

But though we differ one from another in our desire to praise and serve God, yet there is no one so blinds himself, so deceives himself, as to think that he has attained to the summit of human understanding.

Rather, the further we advance in knowledge, the more clearly we perceive our own insignificance.

So it was with Abraham. So it was with Moses. For when it was given to them to see God, as far as man can see God, then especially did they humble themselves:

Abraham spoke of himself as dust and ashes (Gen. xviii. 27), and Moses said he was a stammerer and slow of tongue (Exod. iv. 10).

For he knew the poverty of his tongue, and that it was unable to serve the greatness of the things he had grasped with his mind.

But since every ear is now open to hear me speak of the things of God, and since there is never enough in the Church of hearing of these things…, we must therefore speak as best we can.

But we shall speak, not of God as He is, but of God as far as it is possible for us to know Him.

For though we cannot with mortal eyes see all that lies between heaven and earth, yet there is no reason why we should not look upon what we can see.

So with our few words we shall now endeavour to fulfil what is required of us in the service of God.

But in every word of ours we humbly bow before the majesty of His Divine Nature.

For not even the tongue of Angels, whatever they may be, nor the tongues of Archangels, joined to those of every reasoning creature, would be able to describe its least part, much less attain to speak of the Whole.

Basil the Great (330-379): Homily 15,1, Translated by M.F. Toale, D.D. (PG 31) @ Lectionary Central.

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