Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Can you bear to see the divine?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, (c. 375-444) was a bigoted tyrant, a divisive and headstrong leader for most of his life. He forcibly closed the churches of the Novatianists, destroyed pagan temples, and the monastaries of monks whose views differed from his own. His terroristic behavior was very much like modern radical Islamist sects including the Taliban, or ISIL. His sermons and denunciations created the climate of hate that led to the murder of Hypatia, a renown, highly respected, elderly, virtuous female philosopher and teacher of neo-Platoism who was also a friend of Orestes. She died at the hands of a mob led by a non-clerical lector at Alexandria named Peter, which dragged her to a church and tore her flesh with potsherds until she died. Socrates wrote (Scr., V, xxii) that horrific act brought great disgrace on the Church of Alexandria and on its bishop, Cyril of Alexandria, but did suggest that Cyril himself was to blame directly. As a man of fiery temperament, ruthless and violent in the pursuit of what he thought was his duty, his ill-tempered, quarrelsome, hasty behavior made him no role model for saintly living. He did, however, make just one lasting contribution to the teachings of the church, for which was canonized. Nestorius, a contemporary bishop, had argued that it was impossible that God could ever become fully human in the weak and vulnerable form of an infant, and argued that Christ’s divinity must have come later. Cyril, however, defended that question which arose at the May 381CE Council of Constantinople of Christ’s dual nature – fully divine, and fully human – from the beginning, and defended Mary’s title as Theotokos, “Mother of God,” or “God-bearer,” as declared by the the Council of Ephesus in 43CE. As you think about injustice, inequity, wickedness, and evil in modern life – even by the hands of Christendom’s leaders – the next opportunity you have to gaze upon the face of an infant, see if you can catch a glimpse of the Divine. Ask Heaven to give you a touch of the innocence and trust you see reflected in that infant’s gaze.

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