Saturday, March 5, 2016

St Gregory of Nyssa on Death

Death is a popular theme within Christianity. A Saint’s feast day is basically the day he or she died, and entered into the Heavenly Kingdom. One of the most famous and widely read Church Father, St Gregory of Nyssa has written about death.He explains the fact that death terminates the apostasy of man towards God, being, therefore, refashioned in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. He says this using a sort of parable, story:

‘Suppose that some vessel has been composed of clay, and then, for some mischief or other, filled with molten lead, which lead hardens and remains in a non-liquid state; then that the owner of the vessel recovers it, and , as he possesses the potter’s art, pounds to bit the ware which held the lead, and then remolds the vessel after its former pattern for his own special use, emptied now of the material which had been mixed with it: by a like process the maker of our vessel, now that wickedness has intermingled with our sentient part, I mean that connected with the body, will dissolve the material which has received the evil, remolding it again by the resurrection without any admixture of the contrary matter, will recombine the elements into the vessel in its original beauty.’[1]

[1] St Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism, 8. 

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