Monday, June 16, 2014

Christ as the Centre of Existence

There are many descriptions and images of Christ, explaining who He is, the mystery of His existence etc. Maximus the Confessor, one of the most important Fathers of the Orthodox Church, gives us a magnificent image of Jesus Christ, depicting him as the centre of existence. He described the relationship of Christ with the world in a visual manner, as a circle with the Son of God in the centre, whilst the humans are placed on the periphery of this circle. He explains: 

“It is he who encloses in himself all beings by the unique, simple, and infinitely wise power of his goodness. As the centre of straight lines that radiate from him he does not allow by his unique, simple and single cause and power that the principles of beings become disjoined at the periphery but rather he circumscribes their extension in a circle and brings back to himself the distinctive elements of beings which he himself brought into existence. The purpose of this is so that the creations and products of the one God be in no way strangers and enemies to one another by having no reason or centre for which they might show each other any friendly or peaceful sentiment or identity, and not run the risk of having their being separated from God to dissolve into nonbeing”[1].

[1] ‘The Church’s Mystagogy’, in Maximus Confessor, Selected Writings, translated by George Berthold, Paulist Press, 1985, p. 187

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