Tag Archives: St. Gregory of Nyssa

God cannot be absent from anywhere.

Fr. Tryphon is abbot of All Merciful Savior Monastery on Vashon Island, WA.  He writes a blog at The Morning Offering.

St. Gregory of Nyssa

“According to Saint Gregory of Nyssa, heaven and hell are not about location, but about relationship. God is everywhere, and He did not create a heaven for some, and a hell for others. If we love God, His fire will be a comforting warmth, but if we choose not to have a relationship with Him, His fire will be as hell fire. We choose how we will experience the presence of God in the afterlife, and since God can not be absent from anywhere, those who have chosen to ignore Him, will, nevertheless, be in His presence for all of eternity. Paradise and Hell do not exist from God’s point of view, but from man’s point of view. It is all about man’s choice and condition, for heaven and hell are not two different locations, but two different experiences of the same place.

“Everyone will spend eternity in God’s presence, but how we experience the Divine Presence will depend upon the condition of our soul. Those who have been transformed by the action and work of the Holy Spirit, will experience God as light and bliss. Those who have rejected God’s love will experience it as pain and suffering. For the unbeliever and the unrepentant, their sins will not allow them to enjoy the Presence of God.

“Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon”

To be near the fountain.

“If anyone happened to be near the fountain which Scripture says rose from the earth at the beginning of Creation and was large enough to water the earth’s surface, he would approach it marveling at the endless stream of water gushing forth and bubbling out. Never could he say that he had seen all the water…. In the same way, the person looking at the divine, invisible beauty will always discover it anew since he will see it as something newer and more wondrous in comparison to what he had already comprehended.”

St. Gregory of Nyssa, Commentary on the Song of Songs

Tenaya Creek in Yosemite Valley, 2010

This is true perfection.

 

“This is true perfection: not to avoid a wicked life because like slaves we servilely fear punishment, nor to do good because we hope for rewards, as if cashing in on the virtuous life by some business-like and contractual arrangement. On the contrary, disregarding all those things for which we hope and which have been reserved by promise, we regard falling from God’s friendship as the only thing dreadful and we consider becoming God’s friend the only thing worthy of honor and desire. This, as I have said, is the perfection of life.”

– Gregory of Nyssa, Life of Moses,
4th century