Revista Studii Teologice


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"Câteva aspecte ale teologiei despre puterea lui Dumnezeu la Sfântul Grigorie de Nyssa"

St. Gregory of Nyssa: Aspects of God’s Power Theology

Autor(i): Pr. Theodor DAMIAN

Summary: St. Gregory of Nyssa: Aspects of God’s Power Theology
“God’s power” is a central theme in the theology of St. Gregory of Nyssa, a fervent defender of Orthodoxy, a great mystic and one of the founders of apophatic theology. We see God’s power in its manifestations within the created world. The entire Universe depends on the power of God’s Word. God’s power is eternal, independent from the created world, all-encompassing, sovereign, indivisible, unlimited, omniscient, unchanged versus creation and death, indiminishable, vivifying, salvific. God’s substantial power creates all that is good through the divine word, and it can do anything it chooses to do, as it will only choose what is compatible with the divine nature. Everything is possible for the divine power, even bringing the non-existent to life and lending to creatures their proper attributes.
St. Gregory of Nyssa teaches that the divine power in action generates the created world; once the human being is created, the divine power enables it to pass from corruptibility to incorruptibility. St. Gregory calls this the creature’s life, which spans between two extremities, each of them defined by the power of God. This theology of the interval is strictly linked, in St. Gregory’s thought, to the theology of participation.
God’s power also marks the path leading to God. By contemplating the created world we see God, although God cannot be seen in His ousia, but only in His energies manifest in creation and in Christ. The beauty, harmony and stability of the created universe lead us back to God by revealing His ineffable power above all understanding. The entire cosmos can provide access to God: man is called to contemplate it, to comprehend it, and thus find God, contemplate His energies in the created world and continuously advance towards God (epektasis).
God’s power is shared among the Trinitarian Persons on the grounds of their common nature: “The source of power is the Father and the power of the Father is the Son, and the spirit of that power is the Holy Spirit; and the entire created universe is the work of the divine power”.
“Christ is the power of the Father”. God’s Word is power in Himself. The power of God’s Word is absolutely efficient. The Incarnation testifies to the paradox of the divine power, or the might of this power. In the Incarnation, God’s all-powerful nature condescended to the humility of human condition, which illustrates the paradox of the divine power. God’s kenosis in the Incarnation emphasizes the superabundance of the divine power: God’s incorruptible power dwells in humility, without losing its lofty character. Circumscribed by a body, God’s power becomes more accessible to mankind. The Crucifixion, the Cross, actually reveal God’s power. The Cross is the object of contemplation, the place where we see God in the ultimate manifestation of this power, the power to renounce absolute power and die as humbly as any man. The power of the Saviour as a true God was demonstrated by His Resurrection. In His Resurrection, Christ becomes the intersection point of life and death, abolishing in Himself the corruption process caused by death and becoming the principle of reunification of the elements of the human being.
The power of the Spirit is identical with the life-giving power of the Father and of the Son, which achieves our salvation and through which our nature is transfigured. Due to the consubstantiality of the Spirit with the Father and the Son, He shares the same eternal sovereign power because of His indivisible, indestructible, eternal and consubstantial unity with the Father and the Son. Dwelling in the world after Christ’s Ascension, the Holy Spirit manifests His divine power in guiding people towards the Kingdom of God which is power and truth, towards eternal life.

Pagini: pp. 67-88