Once upon a time there was a man who was alive.

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
St. Cuthbert and Disciples in a Boat


St. Maximus Confessor

St. Maximus the Confessor (a short biography and the source of the quote below) has for some time been one of my favorite theologians. He combines often densely erudite theology with immensely practical teaching- though of course, he would tell us, what one believes and what one does are absolutely inseperable. In fact, as he makes clear in several places in his writings, true theology comes through love of God, not mere study. And not only did St. Maximus write about theology and the love of God, but he also suffered for Christ's sake, in the cause of true theology, even in the face of persecution.

St. Maximus is an excellent instructor in theosis: what it is and what it is not. I highly recommend the Popular Patristic translation of selections from his Ambigua and Ad Thallasium, wherein he dwells at length on theosis and the overarching work of Christ in bringing the world to Himself. Maximus is careful to retain the distinction between creature and Creator, yet without diminishing the reality of theosis.

"Nothing in theosis is the product of human nature, for nature cannot comprehend God. It is only the mercy of God that has the capacity to endow theosis unto the existing... In theosis man (the image of God) becomes likened to God, he rejoices in all the plenitude that does not belong to him by nature, because the grace of the Spirit triumphs within him, and because God acts in him" (Letter 22).

Troparion, Tone 3

Through thee the Spirit poured forth/ streams of teaching for the Church;/ thou didst expound God the Word's self emptying,/ and shine forth in thy struggles as a true Confessor of the Faith;/ holy Father Maximos, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion, Tone 8

O faithful, let us acclaim the lover of the Trinity,/ great Maximos who taught the God-inspired Faith,/ that Christ is to be glorified in two natures, wills and energies:/ and let us cry to him: Rejoice, O herald of the Faith.


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