Sunday, March 11, 2012

Saint Gregory Palamas

Today, the Second Sunday in Great Lent, we commemorate Saint Gregory Palamas.  Saint Gregory gets a bit of a bad rap in Western Christendom (perhaps more so in Protestantism than in the Roman Church, though certainly to a degree in both).  He is perhaps best known for articulating the Patristic understanding that there is a distinction between knowing God in His essence and knowing God in His energies.  The former is utterly transcendent and unknowable, whereas the latter is precisely how God reveals Himself to mankind.  However, I appreciate Saint Gregory most for his thoughts on the human person being one in body and soul, which was a great help to me in understanding the importance of asceticism in Orthodoxy. 

Saint Gregory, pray for us.

Troparion (Tone 8) [1]
O light of Orthodoxy, teacher of the Church, its confirmation,
O ideal of monks and invincible champion of theologians,
O wonder working Gregory, glory of Thessalonica and preacher of grace,
always intercede before the Lord that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion (Tone 8) [2]
Holy and divine instrument of wisdom,
joyful trumpet of theology,
together we sing your praises, O God-inspired Gregory.
Since you now stand before the Original Mind, guide our minds to Him, O Father,
so that we may sing to you: "Rejoice, preacher of grace."

No comments: