Saturday, February 10, 2018

On the Incarnation quotes

Image result for on the incarnation athanasiusI read On the Incarnation by Saint Athanasius after everyone else in my online book club finished reading it, but I read it nonetheless. I read it mainly at hospital visits before Tommy was born. It was really dense, so there was a lot of skimming involved. I liked reading the introduction by C.S. Lewis more than the actual book (how sad, I know...), but it was a good effort even so to read it that proved rewarding. Here are some of my favorite quotes: 

From the introduction by C.S. Lewis:

"It has always therefore been one of my main endeavours as a teacher to persuade the young that firsthand knowledge is not only more worth acquiring than secondhand knowledge, but is usually much easier and more delightful to acquire."

"But if he must read only the new or only the old, I would advise him to read the old. And I would give him this advice precisely because he is an amateur and therefore much less protected than the expert against the dangers of an exclusive contemporary diet."

"It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones."

From the book: 

"...he granted them a further gift, creating human beings not simply like all the irrational animals upon earth but making them acording to his own image (cf. Gen 1.27), giving them a share of the power of his own Word, so that having as it were shadows of the Word and being made rational, they might be able to abide in blessedness, living the true life which is really that of the holy ones in paradise." (3)

"For God has not only created us from nothing, but also granted us by the grace of the Word to live a life according to God." (5)

"Although being himself powerful and the creator of the universe, he prepared for himself in the Virgin a body as a temple and made it his own, as an instrument, making himself known and dwelling in it." (8)

"So, lest this should happen, beng good he bestowed on them of his own image, our Lord Jesus Christ, and made them according to his own image and according to the likeness, so that understanding through such grace the image, I mean the Word of the Father, they might be able to receive through him a notion of the Father, and knowing the Creator they might live the happy and truly blessed life." (11)

"Death must precede resurrection, for there would be no resurrection without death preceding, so that if the death of the body took place somewhere in secret, death neither appearing nor taking place before witnesses, its resurrection also would be unseen and unwitnessed." (23)

"And as a noble wrestler, great in skill and courage, does not choose opponents for himself, lest he cause suspicion that he is fearful of some, but leaves it to the choice of the spectators, especially if they are hostile, so that when he has overthrown the one they have chosen, he may be believed to be superior to all, so also, the Life of all, our Lord and Savior Christ, did not contrive death for his own body, lest he should appear fearful of some other death, but he accepted and endured on the cross that inflicted by others, especially by enemies, which they reckoned fearful and ignominious and shameful, in order that this being destroyed, he might himself be believed to be Life, and the power of death might be completely annihilated." (24)

"For it is true that the dead can effect nothing, but the Savior effects such great things every day - drawing to piety, persuading to virtue, teaching about immortality, leading to a desire for heavenly things, revealing the knowledge of the Father, inspiring power against death, showing himself to each, and purging away the godlessness of idols..." (31)

"This is, on the one hand, the proof of the Savior's divinity, that what human beings were unable to learn among idols, they have learned from him, and, on the other hand, no small refutation of the weakness and nothingness of the demons and idols." (52)

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