Maximus the Confessor put forth many concepts through analytically sound reasoning that could be considered fringe. Today, he is a Saint although he died as a heretic. When religious-political winds changed around the Monothelite Heresy of Christ’s nature, Maximus attained his Sainthood. Maximus believed that Man’s greatest endeavor was deification: becoming God. His assertions are bold concepts for their day and well-reasoned.
I continued to pursue a greater understanding of Maximus the Confessor and next on my reading list was On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ. As I read, I experienced Maximus asking the tough questions about our own humanity and Jesus’ role in our salvation. Ask ten different people “Who was Jesus?” and you will get ten different, but related, answers. Maximus was unafraid to address the impressive philosophical challenges of such a question. My reading was well rewarded. Inside the pages, I learned to appreciate the greater role and gift each human being possesses by its creation in God’s Image.
As I read, I like to dog ear and highlight passages that I really enjoy or that speak to me. Just like in life, there are times when you see, hear, or discover something about yourself or the world that just feels right. Feels down to our being that what you now understand is a universal certainty or conviction. During these blog post reviews, I want to make a practice of sharing these passages. Like any famous quote, it can inspire further study in its author.
“One man sets forth an admirable example of superior perseverance and pious courage for other human beings, if indeed there were a man distinguished in intelligence and virtue, and competent in himself to uncover, through unwavering engagement in formidable struggles, the truth which has meanwhile lay hidden.” Ambiguum 8
For me, this is the challenge for humanity. While the person described above sounds like a super hero, there is no talk of flying faster than a speeding bullet. If one can heroically aspire to heavenly virtues upon this physical world, this passage describes that aspiration.
“Perhaps it is even the case that the present inequality is allowed to prevail in order to display our rational capacity for preferring virtue above everything else. For the change and alteration of the body and of things external are for all human beings one and the same thing-both a bearing and a being born along- which also knows chaos and conductibility as its only stability and its only security.” Ambiguum 8