Clement of Alexandria: Christ Deifies Man by Heavenly Teaching, Writing His Laws on Our Hearts Friday, Feb 1 2013 

Church FathersHail, O light!

For in us, buried in darkness, shut up in the shadow of death, light has shone forth from heaven, purer than the sun, sweeter than life here below.

That light is eternal life; and whatever partakes of it lives.

[…] For “the Sun of Righteousness”… has changed sunset into sunrise, and through the Cross brought death to life.

And having wrenched man from destruction, He has raised him to the skies, transplanting mortality into immortality, and translating earth to heaven….

He has bestowed on us the truly great, divine, and inalienable inheritance of the Father, deifying man by heavenly teaching, putting His laws into our minds, and writing them on our hearts.

What laws does He inscribe? “That all shall know God, from small to great;” and, “I will be merciful to them,” says God, “and will not remember their sins.”

Let us receive the laws of life, let us comply with God’s expostulations; let us become acquainted with Him, that He may be gracious.

And though God needs nothing let us render to Him the grateful recompense of a thankful heart and of piety, as a kind of house-rent for our dwelling here below.

[…] Will you not allow the heavenly Word, the Saviour, to be bound on to you as an amulet, and, by trusting in God’s own charm, be delivered from passions which are the diseases of the mind, and rescued from sin?—for sin is eternal death.

[…] But it is truth which cries, “The light shall shine forth from the darkness.” Let the light then shine in the hidden part of man, that is, the heart.

And let the beams of knowledge arise to reveal and irradiate the hidden inner man, the disciple of the Light, the familiar friend and fellow-heir of Christ.

[…] I urge you to be saved. This Christ desires. In one word, He freely bestows life on you. And who is He? …

The Word of truth, the Word of incorruption, that regenerates man by bringing him back to the truth—the goad that urges to salvation—He who expels destruction and pursues death—He who builds up the temple of God in men, that He may cause God to take up His abode in men.

Cleanse the temple; and pleasures and amusements abandon to the winds and the fire, as a fading flower; but wisely cultivate the fruits of self-command, and present yourself to God as an offering of first-fruits, that there may be not the work alone, but also the grace of God.

And both are requisite, that the friend of Christ may be rendered worthy of the kingdom, and be counted worthy of the kingdom.

Clement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215): Exhortation to the Heathen, 11. 

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Clement of Alexandria: Prayer – Undistracted Turning Towards God Saturday, Sep 1 2012 

Prayer is…converse with God. Though whispering, consequently, and not opening the lips, we speak in silence, yet we cry inwardly.

For God hears continually all the inward converse. So also we raise the head and lift the hands to heaven, and set the feet in motion at the closing utterance of the prayer, following the eagerness of the spirit directed towards the intellectual essence.

And endeavouring to abstract the body from the earth, along with the discourse, raising the soul aloft, winged with longing for better things, we compel it to advance to the region of holiness, magnanimously despising the chain of the flesh.

For we know right well, that the True Christian willingly passes over the whole world, as the Jews certainly did over Egypt, showing clearly, above all, that he will be as near as possible to God.

[…] The True Christian prays throughout his whole life, endeavouring by prayer to have fellowship with God.

And, briefly, having reached to this, he leaves behind him all that is of no service, as having now received the perfection of the man that acts by love.

[…] If any occasion of converse with God becomes prayer, no opportunity of access to God ought to be omitted.

[…] Those who render the most free and kingly service, which is the result of a pious mind and of knowledge, are servants and attendants of the Divinity. Each place, then, and time, in which we entertain the idea of God, is in reality sacred.

When, then, the man who chooses what is right, and is at the same time of thankful heart, makes his request in prayer, he contributes to the obtaining of it, gladly taking hold in prayer of the thing desired.

For when the Giver of good things perceives the susceptibility on our part, all good things follow at once the conception of them. Certainly in prayer the character is sifted, how it stands with respect to duty.

But if voice and expression are given us, for the sake of understanding, how can God not hear the soul itself, and the mind, since assuredly soul hears soul, and mind, mind?

Whence God does not wait for loquacious tongues, as interpreters among men, but knows absolutely the thoughts of all; and what the voice intimates to us, that our thought, which even before the creation He knew would come into our mind, speaks to God.

Prayer, then, may be uttered without the voice, by concentrating the whole spiritual nature within one expression by the mind, in un-distracted turning towards God.

Clement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215): Stromateis 7,7.

Clement of Alexandria: Uninterrupted Converse with God by Knowledge, Life, and Thanksgiving Thursday, Jul 5 2012 

Now we are commanded to reverence and to honour the same one, being persuaded that He is Word, Saviour, and Leader.

And, by Him, the we reverence the Father – not on special days, as some others, but doing this continually in our whole life, and in every way.

Certainly the elect race justified by the precept says, “Seven times a day have I praised Thee.”

Whence not in a specified place, or selected temple, or at certain festivals and on appointed days, but during his whole life, the True Christian in every place, even if he be alone by himself, and wherever he has any of those who have exercised the like faith, honours God.

That is, he acknowledges his gratitude for the knowledge of the way to live.

The presence of a good man, through the respect and reverence which he inspires, always improves him with whom he associates.

With much more reason does, therefore, does he who always holds uninterrupted converse with God by knowledge, life, and thanksgiving, grow at every step superior to himself in all respects—in conduct, in words, in disposition.

Such a one is persuaded that God is ever beside him, and does not suppose that He is confined in certain limited places; so that under the idea that at times he is without Him, he may indulge in excesses night and day.

Holding festival, then, in our whole life, persuaded that God is altogether on every side present, we cultivate our fields, praising; we sail the sea, hymning; in all the rest of our conversation we conduct ourselves according to rule.

The True Christian, then, is very closely allied to God, being at once grave and cheerful in all things—grave on account of the bent of his soul towards the Divinity, and cheerful on account of his consideration of the blessings of humanity which God hath given us.

[…] God knows and perceives all things—not the words only, but also the thought.

[…] Do not also volitions speak to God, uttering their voice? And are they not conveyed by conscience?

And what voice shall He wait for, who, according to His purpose, knows the elect already, even before his birth, knows what is to be as already existent?

Does not the light of power shine down to the very bottom of the whole soul; “the lamp of knowledge,” as the Scripture says, searching “the recesses”?

God is all ear and all eye, if we may be permitted to use these expressions.

Clement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215): Stromateis 7,7.