Friday, July 21, 2006
A short conclusion to chapter III:
In Sacred Scripture, therefore, while the truth and holiness of God always remains intact, the marvelous "condescension" of eternal wisdom is clearly shown, "that we may learn the gentle kindness of God, which words cannot express, and how far He has gone in adapting His language with thoughtful concern for our weak human nature." (St. John Chrysostom "In Genesis" 3, 8 (Homily l7, 1): PG 53, 134; "Attemperatio" [in English "Suitable adjustment"] in Greek "synkatabasis.") For the words of God, expressed in human language, have been made like human discourse, just as the word of the eternal Father, when He took to Himself the flesh of human weakness, was in every way made like (a human being).
The "Golden Tongue" tells us God has adapted divine communication to fit human needs. The implication is that the Word of God is only part of the bridge reaching out to us, and that in some ways, it will be an incomplete rendering of God's wisdom. That said, it is also true that God's grace transcends any attempts at communication: that of holy authors, that of our prayers. Somehow God makes the connection. The essential aspect of our relationship with God is that we make the effort--an honest and committed one--and God provides the rest, though sometimes that aspect of our relationship is totally beyond human understanding or description.