Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Jesus, Lord at thy birth

In the tradition of all lazy bloggers, but also with an eye on finding these again easily, here is the rather timely assortment of quotations that hit my inbox this morning...

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the word of God, of his boundless love, became what we are that he might make us what he himself is. --Irenaeus of Lyons (fl. 175-195)

From Jesus began a weaving together of the divine and human nature in order that human nature, through fellowship with what is more divine, might become divine. --Origen (185-254)

Christ was not degraded by receiving a body. Rather, he deified what he put on; and, more than that, he bestowed this gift upon the race of men. --Athanasius (296-373)

That he should remain God, though born as man, does not contradict our natural hope. For the birth of a higher nature into a lower state gives us confidence that a lower nature can be born into a higher condition. --Hilary of Poitiers (300-367)

Religion does not allow us to worship the mere man: and it is not true reverence to speak of Christ as God only, separate from his manhood. For if Christ is God but did not take manhood, we are aliens from salvation. Let Him then be worshiped as God, but let it be believed that He also became man. --Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386)

If the Lord did not assume that over which death reigned, death would not have been stopped from effecting his purpose, nor would the suffering of the God-bearing flesh have become our gain. --Basil of Caesarea (329-379)

What He was, He laid aside; what He was not, He assumed. He takes upon Himself the poverty of my flesh so that I may receive the riches of His divinity. --Gregory Nazianzen (330-390)

He who exists eternally did not submit to a bodily birth because He wanted to live, but in order to recall us from death to life. --Gregory of Nyssa (335-394)

When Christ took upon him man's flesh, it follows that He took the perfection and fullness of incarnation. And so he took flesh, to bring flesh to life. --Ambrose (340-397)

He descended to become identical with us.... He made the human soul His own, thus making it victorious over sin. -- Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)

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