Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Easter - 2012
during our journey to Pentecost Sunday we celebrate a day in honor of
Saint Athanasius the Great
Little did I imagine that my time with Saint Athanasius in preparing a reflective presentation for myself and others would lead me to C. S. Lewis's Introduction that begins a translation of De Incarnatione Verbi Dei (The Incarnation of the Word of God) by Sister Penelope Lawson, of the Anglican Community of St. Mary the Virgin in Wantage, England. So, you are in for a interesting ride for this Wednesday reflection. (Tuesday's is below if you are looking for that reflection on St. Joseph, the cabinet maker.) Let me share a paragraph written in De Incarnatione and translated by Sister Penelope and expert par exellance in Greek.
"Others take the view expresed by Plat, that giant among the Greeks. He said that God had made all things our of pre-existent and uncreated matter, just as the carpenter [perhaps the distinction between carpenter and cabinet maker did not exist at the time of this writing] makes things only out of wook that already exists. But those who hold this view do not realize that to deny that God is Himself the Cause of matter is to impute limitation to Him, just as it is undeboutedly a limitation on the part of the carpenter that he can make nothing unless he has the wood. How could God be called Maker and Artificer if His ability to make depended on some other cause, namely on matter itself? IF He only worked up existing matter and did not Himself bring matter into being, He would be not the Creator burt only the craftsman." Now never let it said that you have not read Athanasius! Athanasius also challenged those who tried to establish "a creation independent of the Father out of that?
Concerning our own failures and sinfulness Athanasius penned these words: "For the human race would have perished utterly had not the Lord and Savior of all, the Son of God, come among us to put an end to death."
So with this small amount of Anthasian theology what is important, what the saint stressed so often, is our need to listen, listen, listen attentively to the voice of God in our very being as one of His creations.