Mystagogy Liturgy & Sacraments VII

  1. Gregory of Nyssa (335-395)

Chapters Considered Begins with a Precursor of a Concise Biography of the Author pg 33-36

Passing Sinless Through the Red Sea[1]

Taken from St. Gregory’s Life of Moses, which many people consider the masterpiece of his mystical works. Written towards the end of his life.

Theme: Following St. Paul, Gregory saw the passage through the Red Sea as a foreshadowing of Baptism (1 Cor 10:1-2). We pass through the waters as the Israelites passed through the Red Sea (Ex 14). As they left behind slavery in Egypt, so we leave behind our slavery to sin.

Note on Translation: The preachers of the ancient world spoke expansively, and the listener would expect them to do so. Living the Mysteries condenses the sermon for the modern readers. One can read the precis (2 pages for this example 5 x7 inches) and then if desired consult the original text (113 pages 8 ½ x 11 inches).

The speaker before President Lincoln’s Gettysburg address (1863) was Edward Everett. He was one of the most popular orators of his day. Everett spoke for 2 hours.

Compare to the original text of the Life of Moses found on the internet and one can decide which version is better suited.[2]

Then follows short reflections

Mediation in Prayer

Memorization- A sentence to memorize, which internalizes the concept.

Application to Personal Life

While on earth, we can have general principles (objective truths Ten Commandments and the Natural & Moral Law, a good examination of Conscience for periodic review[3]) but the manner of God working out in each of our lives is wholly unique. Thus, the need and impetus for personal application.

Sinful man hard to be in control of intellect. Many don’t want to be responsible have someone else take of them.

Perhaps only 10% of Israelites left Egypt. Vulnerable and how quickly hearts turned to idols when leaders are gone. Perhaps those come into Church and find themselves with desiring to leave the glories of the Church because one might be uncomfortable with the newness.

What does it require of me to be man fully alive?

Objective truth, good examination of conscience. God work does in soul is unique but uses common tools. The Mass, 7 sacraments, whatever it is bind human condition can reach across time and place. Narcissism of the self they have the right to come to God on their own terms, not the simple path He has laid out.

[1] Hahn & Aquilina 51

[2]  accessed May 10, 2022

[3]  accessed May 4, 2022 for a detailed Catholic examination of Conscience

Share Your Thoughts