Maximus Confessor_ the Ascetic Life, Four Centuries on Charity

Click here to load reader

  • date post

  • Category


  • view

  • download


Embed Size (px)


maximus confessor

Transcript of Maximus Confessor_ the Ascetic Life, Four Centuries on Charity

the Ascetc fethe four centures onCHARITYTRANSLATED AND ANNOTATEDBYPOLYCARP SHERWOOD, O.S.B., S.T.D.St. Menrad ArchabbeyProfessor ofPatroogyPontfca Insttute of St. Ansem, RomeWESTMINSTER, MARYLANDTHE NEWMAN PRESSLONDONLONGMANS, GREEN AND CO1955Generated on 2011-09-13 01:06 GMT / Pubc Doman, Googe-dgtzed / NEWMAN PRESSWESTMINSTER MD SAa _ LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO LTDP 6 CLI ORD STREET LONDON WI BOSTON HO SE STRAND STREET CAPE TOWN531 LITTLE COLLINS STREET MELBO RNEORIENT LONGMANS LTDACALC TTA BOMBAY MADRASDELHI I AYAWADA DACCArst pubshed n .S.A. gtfrst pubshed n Great Brtan gssLbrary of Congress Cataog Card Number : 55- 6 2Nh obstat: . uasten, cens. dep.Imprmatur: Patrcus A. O Boye, D.D., Archep. Washngtonen.d. 23 eb. 1955a rghts reser edmade and prnted n great brtanby wam cowes and sons, mted, ondon and beccesGenerated on 2011-09-13 01:06 GMT / Pubc Doman, Googe-dgtzed / Sc 5auctorbus taefusGenerated on 2011-09-13 01:06 GMT / Pubc Doman, Googe-dgtzed / on 2011-09-13 01:0

GMT / Pubc Doman, Googe-dgtzed / CTIONPrefatory .......I. LfeTheoogca poston at the outset .Progress to and Estabshment n Afrcareatons wth mpera go ernors .Monothete Contro ersy: the Psephosmonothete contro ersy: the ecthessCrss : the Affar of PyrrhusRoman Act tyArrest and TrasII. Doctrne ....a. God ....The Trune Godb. Man ....God and the WordThe Consttuton of the Word and ofThe Composte Nature of ManManPAGE36



reedomMan Adamc. DefcatonAgents of Defcaton : The ChurchThe Sacraments ....Ascetcsm and ts Techn uePrayer and Contempaton .ChartyThe Ma man Synthess

99Generated on 2011-09-13 01:0

GMT / Pubc Doman, Googe-dgtzed / CONTENTSIII. Speca Introducton 99a. The Ascetc Lfe 99b. The our Centures on Charty101TE TThe Ascetc Lfe 103The our Centures on Charty: Proogue . . . 136Century I . . . . . . . . 13Century II 152Century III 1 3Century I 192NOTESBbography211Notes on the Introductonon The Ascetc Lfeon The our Centures on ChartyINDE 269212 02Generated on 2011-09-13 01:09 GMT / Pubc Doman, Googe-dgtzed / MA IM S THE CON ESSORTHE ASCETIC LI ETHE O R CENT RIES ON CHARITYAOrOC AC HTI OCEOAAAIA T EPI AfAnHCGenerated on 2011-09-13 01:09 GMT / Pubc Doman, Googe-dgtzed / on 2011-09-13 01:09 GMT / Pubc Doman, Googe-dgtzed / CTIONMa mus, a dscpe at the same tme of two greatd erse sprtua tendences, that assocated wth thePseudo-Dens and that stemmng from Orgen, en-dea ored to compose them n hs own thought and fe.To hm s due at once the transmsson of the Orgenstsprtuaty and the frst serous reasoned crtcsm of theOrgenst myth 1 to hm s due a further and defnt edffuson among the orthodo of the Corpus Donysacumand the refutaton of Monenergsm shetered by a famouste t of Dens a Neopatonc mystc, he dd not hestate touse Arstotean concepts and ogc n the refutaton ofMonothete errors. As a mon , then, nurtured on thesame sprtua fare as the Monophystes Dens and Orgen he had the acumen whe retanng the funess of thssprtuaty not ony to re ect the Monophyste postonbut to eaborate the orthodo doctrne of two natures n tsuteror conse uences of two ws and operatons.aYet t s not ony n the specuat e and doctrna reamsthat Ma mus f es our attenton.A smpe mon for he was nether prest nor superor ,Ma mus was the nsprer of se era ant-Monothetecouncs n Afrca and payed a great part n the LateranCounc of 6 9 2 thoroughy a sub ect of the emperor, henew how to mantan the Church s berty n the face ofthe mpera eccesastcsm a thorough Byzantne by cu-tura formaton and attachment, he consstenty pacedunty of fath, e en though t be wth the ess-cuturedLatns, abo e the narrower unty of anguage and rte.3Generated on 2011-09-13 01:10 GMT / Pubc Doman, Googe-dgtzed / ST. MA IM S THE CON ESSORIt s the one man of God and of Hs Church underyngths seres of contrasts that I woud try to s etch n thefoowng pages. Pre ous wrters ha e treated Ma musunder one or the other of these aspects as poemc theo-ogan, as ascetc author, as champon of the Hoy See, ase egete, as phosopher e en on Bathasar n hs osm-sche Lturge consders ony the structure of Ma musthought. It s then the whoe Ma mus that I woud en-dea or to present.In two passages of hs earer wor s Sant Ma mus hm-sef g es a ey to hs whoe fe and act ty, whch t wbe we to set at the head of ths s etch of hs fe anddoctrne. rst he spea s n hs ntroducton to the Dff-cutes from Dens and Gregoryz of ther sanctty, of therGod-g en wsdom, so much so that they possess the ng Chrst abo e a, or better, Chrst has become thesou of ther sous, manfest n a ther deeds and wordsand thoughts. Such s the bass of hs adherence and repro-ducton of the doctrne of the athers. Agan n the secondpart of the same wor , deang wth the reatons of bodyand sou at concepton, he wrtes:The hoy athers and teachers ceary procam, rather the truththat spea s and s spo en through them, that together wth thedescent of God the Word at concepton nstantaneousy bymeans of a ratona sou the Lord Hmsef, God the Word, wasunted to the fesh... .Here Ma mus aeges not ony the authorty of the athersbut that of the ery fact tsef: the truth that spea s. Thesepassages ndcate, I thn , the cardna atttudes of hs feand thought: fdety to the Sprt-anmated tradton andto the re eaed fact the mystery of the God-man.If then Ma mus s caed theoogan, as sometmes heGenerated on 2011-09-13 01:10 GMT / Pubc Doman, Googe-dgtzed / CTIONhas been, t s rather n the sense that St. ohn the E ange-st s caed theoogan than that n whch St. ThomasA unas rece es the tte. or the coherence of Ma musthought, whch not a woud aow,5 does not der e fromthe systematzaton of the Church s teachng n functon ofsome humany-posted prncpe or phosophy,6 but froma son of the d ne thngs n the ght of the Incarnatonof the Son of God, n the ght therefore of that mysteryby whch aone we now the ather and our sa aton.Ha ng thus grasped the sgnfcance of Gospe and Trad-ton, n a word, of Chrst, t s not essenta that the con-ceptua furnture for e pressng ths understandng ofChrst be e erywhere the same so ong as t be apt for tsfuncton and pressed to fuf t.Ma mus has n fact used e tens ey the wrtngs ofE agrus of Pontus, of Dens the Mystc, of Orgen howmuch he s ndebted to the Cappadocans, especayGregory of Nyssa, and to Cyr of Ae andra, has notbeen studed nor yet the mprnt eft on the turn of hsdoctrne not ony by hs constant opposton to Mono-physte errors but by hs profound sympathy wth thennate trend of ther thought, the emphass on, and thee ataton of, the one Chrst our God. It was n fact todefend ths unty of Chrst that he unceasngy mantanedthe dstncton of the natures, human and d ne, a eafter as before the unon.The Lfe and Combat of St. Ma mus was wrtten sometwenty years after hs death, at the tme of the s th ecu-menca counc 6 0- 1 . It g es us tte precse nfor-maton n addton to the s contemporary documentswhch ha e come down to us. These documents ha e abeen studed, competed, and anayzed by De reesse.The other source of our nowedge of Ma mus are hsGenerated on 2011-09-13 01:11 GMT / Pubc Doman, Googe-dgtzed / ST. MA IM S THE CON ESSORwrtngs.9 The etters especay and some of the otheroccasona peces g e auabe nformaton. Grume hasmade some use of them n hs notes on the fe of St.Ma mus.10I. LI EBorn n 5 0, Ma mus rece ed hs formaton andschoong durng the years of Gregory the Great s pontf-cate. The educaton thus rece ed was common to a theyouths who oo ed forward to the mpera ser ce, theChurch, or smpy to affars. It comprsed the usua gram-mar, rhetorc, and phosophy. nder phosophy wasncuded the uadr um arthmetc, musc, geometry,astronomy and phosophy tsef. Ths phosophca n-structon was based chefy on the wor s of Pato andArstote, aong wth the commentators.11It woud ha e been therefore n the mpressonabeyears of youth that Ma mus made hs frst ac uantancea e wth Arstote and the Neopatonsts. or t was thecommentares of Procus, Iambhchus, and the e thataccompaned the te ts of the masters.It s worth notng ths frst contact wth Neopatoncthought for t woud seem that the o e of the supernaword there frst mparted fowered not ony n Ma musmonastc ocaton but n the whoe of hs theoogcaact ty as defender and nterpreter of Dens the Mystcand of Gregory the Theoogan.Before, howe er, he was to start out on the monastc fe,Ma mus was to attan one of the hghest postons at thempera court namey that of frst secretary to Heracus,who came to power n 610. It was doubtess durng theyears of hs schoong and mpera ser ce that he formedGenerated on 2011-09-13 01:11 GMT / Pubc Doman, Googe-dgtzed / Ethose cose frendshps wth men of the court that hs atercorrespondence permts us to apprecate.Hs tme of ser ce wth the emperor was not ong.Probaby about the year 613-1 Ma mus wthdrew to amonastery, that of Chrysopos now Scutar on theAsatc shore across from Constantnope. Hs bographers probaby rght n sayng that hs o e for the fe of so-tude the hesychastc fe prompted hm to ea e thecourt.In ths fe too he made uc progress. By the year 61he aready had a dscpe, the mon Anastasus, who wasto be wth hm to the end.Theoogca Poston at the OutsetOny some s or se en years 62 -25 after Anastasushad become hs dscpe, Ma mus must ha e eft hs frstmonastery at Chrysopos for that of St. George at Cyzcusnow Erde .12 Hs earer wrtngs, wth but one possbee cepton Ep 6 , are to be assgned to ths stay. It wasfrom here that he wrote the frst sur ng etters to