Thursday, August 9, 2018


"divine scripture teaches us that we will only obtain this [(our greatest likeness to and union with God)] through the most loving observance of the august commandments and by the doing of sacred acts."

  Pseudo-Dionysius, Ecclesiastical hierarchy 2.1, trans. Colm Luibheid (CWS (New York:  Paulist Press, 1987), 200).

Ταύτης [(ἡ πρὸς θεὸν ἡμῶν ὡς ἐφικτὸν ἀφομοίωσίς τε καὶ ἕνωσις)] δέ, ὡς τὰ θεῖα διδάσκει λόγια, ταῖς τῶν σεβασμιωτάτων ἐντολῶν ἀγαπήσεσι καὶ ἱερουγίαις μόνως τευξόνεθα.

     Corpus Dionysiacum 2, ed. Heil & Ritter (Berlin:  Walter de Gruyter, 1991), 68.  =PG 3, col. 392A.  From the immediate context, the sacred acts in question would appear to be those acts of obedience, of keeping Christ's word (Jn 14:23), to which one is bound by the rite of baptism.  Yet there is also this larger emphasis on the Christian mysteries.  I was put onto these words by Margaret R. Miles, who quotes it in the context of an emphasis on "dehabituating exercises, thoughts, visualizations, bodily postures, . . . verbal formulae," etc. (Practicing Christianity:  critical perspectives for an embodied spirituality (New York:  Crossroad, 1988), 90).

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