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For the Second Sunday of Advent: St. Athanasius on the Scriptures

December 7, 2014

Again from Faith and Life, here is a marvelous passage from Athanasius on the Scriptures:

IN order to a true investigation and knowledge of the Scriptures, there is need of a good life, a pure soul, and Christian virtue, that the mind, travelling in that path, may be able to attain and grasp that which it desires, as far as it is possible for human nature to learn about God the Word. For without a pure mind, and an imitation of the life of the Saints, no one can be able to comprehend their words. For as one who wishes to see the light of the sun thoroughly rubs and clears his eye, making himself well-nigh as clear as that which he longs after, that his eye, having thus become light, may see the light of the sun; or as one who wishes to see a city or a country goes right to the place in order to have a view of it; so he that wishes to take in the meaning of the Divine writers ought first to cleanse and purify his soul by action, and to come into contact with the Saints by making his conduct like theirs; that being joined to them by partnership in their way of life, he may understand what was revealed to them from God.

–St. Athanasius on the Incarnation, c. 57.

A most fitting passage for “Bible Sunday”!

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