St.-Gregory-NazianzenFoolish is he
who honours
not the royal and eternal
Word of God,
just as he honours
the Father himself in heaven.

Foolish is he
who honours not
the royal Word
appearing mortal in our midst,
just as he honours
the Word himself in heaven.

For such a man separates the Word
from the greatness of the Father
and from the form of man
and from our material state.

For the Word of the Father,
made man for us, is God—
compounded of the union
of God and mortal things—
one God in both,
mortal to this extent
that he might offer us divinity
in exchange for our mortality.

Be merciful, O wounded One on high,
for how great you are!
How could man’s mind ever grasp
this union beyond all words?

And so, mortal creatures,
cherish the dispensations
the Word has made for us with God.

If I can persuade you on this, then all is well,
but if you blacken this charter
with teeming thousands of objections
then come here to me that I may cut these verses
on the tablet of your heart
with a pen that needs no ink.

Gregory Nazianzen (c.330-390): Hymn 1, 1, 11 (PG 37, 470—1); from Saint Gregory Nazianzen: Selected Poems, Translated with an Introduction by John McGuckin, SLG Press, Convent of the Incarnation, Fairacres Oxford) @ Lectionary Central

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