Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

moses

9 Entries

If Moses had not received from God the rod of power, he would not have become god to pharaoh and would not have punished both him and Egypt. In the same way the mind, if it does not wield in its hand the power of prayer, will be unable to conquer sin and the powers of the enemy. St. Gregory of Sinai in Writings from the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart



Moses sought to see God, and this is the instruction he receives on how he is to see Him: seeing God means following Him wherever He might lead. Anyone who does not know the way cannot travel safely without following a guide. The guide shows him the way by walking ahead of him, And the one following will not get off the right path if he keeps constantly watching the back of his guide. On the other hand, if he moves off to one side, or tries to bring himself face to face with his guide, he will be setting out on a different path from the one which his guide is showing him. Thus the Lord says to those who are being guided: You shall not see My face, or, in other words: Do not face your guide. For then you will be going in a completely opposite direction. St. Gregory of Nyssa, From Glory to Glory

Moses teaches us by his own example to take our stand with virtue as with a kinsman and to kill virtue's adversary. The victory of true religion is the death and destruction of idolatry. So also injustice is killed by righteousness and arrogance is slain by humility. St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of Moses

Such is the insight we have obtained from that psalm whose inscription is "The prayer of Moses, the man of God." since the evil of sin oppressed human nature and prevented it to be united with the good, it fell among hostile passions, [human nature] needed an advocate, and the man of God became an intercessor with the ability to ward off destruction. Moses defended before God the fallen of his own tribe, winning over God's mercy for those who has been lost. Right away Moses justified such obedient persons and said that God alone is steadfast in every good, since He is unmoved and ever the same. But movement and change are proper to human nature which never stays the same even if attracted to the good or deprived of it. Therefore, God, Who is not changed by deception, is worthy of being a saving refuge in every generation. St. Gregory of Nyssa, Commentary on the Inscriptions of the Psalms

The One Who used humble words with Paul, His persecutor, used the same humble words with the Pharisee. Humility is so powerful that even the all-conquering God did not conquer without it. Humility was even able to bear the burden of a stiff-necked nation in the desert. Moses, the humblest of men, was given charge of the nation that was the most stubborn of all men. God, Who needed nothing to save His people, later found Himself in need of the humility of Moses just to abide the grumbling and complaining of (His) critics. Only humility could tolerate the perversity of a nation that dismissed signs in Egypt as well as wonders in the desert. Whenever pride caused divisions in the nation, the prayer of humility healed their divisions. Now, if the humility of a tongue-tied man endured six hundred thousand, how much more does His humility endure, Who granted speech to the tongue-tied! For the humility of Moses is a (mere) shadow of the humility of our Lord. St. Ephrem the Syrian, Homily on Our Lord

The glory that shone from the face of Moses was a prefiguring of the true glory of the Holy Spirit. Just as it was impossible then for anyone to gaze at it, so now the darkness of the passions cannot bear the same glory shining in the souls of Christians, but is put to flight, repulsed by its brilliance. St. Macarios of Egypt, Philokalia, Vol. 3

The soul has followed Moses and the cloud, both of these serving as guides for those who would advance in virtue; Moses her represents the commandments of the Law; and the cloud that leads the way, its spiritual meaning. The soul has been purified by crossing the Sea; it has removed from itself and destroyed the enemy army. It has tasted of the waters of Marah, that is, of life deprived of all sinful pleasure; and this at first had seemed bitter and unpleasant to the taste but offered a sensation of sweetness to those who accepted the wood. Next it enjoyed the beauty of the palm trees of the gospel and the springs; it filled itself with the living water, that is, the rock. It took within itself the bread of heaven. It overwhelmed the foreign host - a victory due to the extended arms of the Lawgiver, which thus foreshadowed the mystery of the Cross. Only then can the soul go on to the contemplation of transcendent Being. St. Gregory of Nyssa, From Glory to Glory

The true Lawgiver, of Whom Moses was a type, cut the tables of human nature for Himself from our earth. It was not marriage which produced for Him His 'God-receiving" flesh, but He became the stonecutter of His own flesh, which was carved by the divine finger, for 'the Holy Spirit came upon the Virgin and the power of the Most High overshadowed her.' When this took place, our nature regained its unbroken character, becoming immortal through the letters written by His finger. The Holy Spirit is called 'finger" in many places by Scripture. St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of Moses

Moses sought to see God, and this is the instruction he receives on how he is to see Him: seeing God means following Him wherever He might lead. Anyone who does not know the way cannot travel safely without following a guide. The guide shows him the way by walking ahead of him, and the one following will not get off the right path if he keeps constantly watching the back of the guide. On the other hand, if he moves off to one side, or tries to bring himself face to face with his guide, he will be setting out on a different path from the one which his guide is showing him. Thus the Lord says to those who are being guided: You shall not see My face, or, in other words: Do not face your guide. For then you will be going in a completely opposite direction. St. Gregory of Nyssa.





Redeeming the Time

↑ Grab this Headline Animator





We confidently recommend our web service provider, Orthodox Internet Services: excellent personal customer service, a fast and reliable server, excellent spam filtering, and an easy to use comprehensive control panel.

St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas