In this excerpt, Origen discusses the greatness of “the seed of man,” going so far as to say that it is divine if it heeds God’s command (assuming I’ve read that sentence right). Though this sounds strange to western ears, it appears to me to be rather consistent with the doctrine theosis as it has been developed and taught in the Eastern Orthodox churches.   Origen also discusses our need for God’s help, arguing that it is even greater when “we are being perfected,” versus “when we sin.” 

ἐὰν γένωμαι καγὼ ἄνθρωπος

γνήσιος τοῦ θεοῦ, δύναμαι ἐν τῶ ἐν ἐμοὶ
λαλοῦντι Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ ἐπιτιμῆσαι τῇ
κτίσει, ἵνα εἴπω τῷ ἡλίῳ, στῆθι κατὰ
Γαβαώ. ἀλθηῶς γὰρ σπέρμα ἔντιμον,
ποῖον, σπέρμα ἀνθρώπου.  ὅσον
δὲ ἔντιμον τὸ σπέρμα ἀνθρώπου, μεγάλην
δύναμιν λαβὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ,
ἂν προσέχῃ θεός ἐστιν, εἰδὲ μὴ,
τοσούτω ἄτιμόν ἐστι παραχρησάμενον
ἑαυτῷ, καὶ ἀπογραφὲν τὸν θεόν. 
ποικίλως οὖν εξήτασται, τὸ "εἴδοσάν
σε ὕδατα ὁ θεός, εἴδοσάν
σε ὕδατα καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν." πάντα
γὰρ φοβεῑται τὸν θεόν, ἐὰν μὴ ὁ θεὸς
ἡμᾶς συνέχῃ, κ’ἂν ἀρετὴν ἔχωμεν,
ἀπολλύμεθα, "ἀποστρέψαντος
γάρ σου," φησὶ, "τὸ πρόσωπον, ταραχθήσονται,"
διὰ τοῦτο οὐ μόνον ὅταν
ἁμαρτάνωμεν χρείαν ἔχωμεν
βοηθοῦντος τοῦ θεοῦ, ἀλλ’ἐγὼ τολμῶ
καὶ λέγω, ὅτ’ἂν τελειωθῶμεν, πλείονος
βοηθείας δεόμεθα. διατί;
τελειωθέντες γὰρ, ὑπὸ πλειόνων
ἀντικειμένων ἐνεργειῶν ἐπιβολευόμεθα,

πλειόνων οὖν οὐσῶν δυνάμεων,
πλείονος ἡμῖν συμμαχίας
δεῖ. μήποτε καταπέσωμεν διὰ τὴν
τελειότητα, καὶ γένηται ἡμῖν, τὸ
πῶς ἐξἐπεσεν ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ὁ ἑωσφόρος
ὁ πρωῒ ἀνατέλλων. πολλὰ ἅγια
πέπωκε, τὰ γὰρ μυστήρια τῶν
γραφῶν, τοιαῦτα δηλοῖ, οἷον “περιεπάτησας
ἄμωμος ἐν πάσαις
ταῖς ὁδοῖς, ἕως οὗ εὑρέθη ἀδικία            #lots of variation in this quote
ἐν σοι.” πάντες οὖν φοβώμεθα τὸν θεόν,
καὶ οἱ ατελεῖς, καὶ οἱ τετελειωμένοι.

For if I should become a true man of God, then perhaps I too will be able to rubuke the creation, by my prayer to Christ Jesus, and so say to the sun, "be still above Gibeon." For the seed of man is truly of the honored sort; it is so honored, that having received great power from God, should it obey, it is a god.  But if it does not heed, then how dishonorable it is, abusing itself, and bringing charges against God.  Thus we have examined in several ways the passage, "The waters saw you, O God; the waters saw you and were afraid."

All things fear God; unless God conceals himself from us, or unless we have virtue, we would be destroyed.  Because of this, it is not only when we sin that we need God’s help, but I’d dare to say that we need even more help when we are being perfected.  Why is this? Because when we are being perfected, we are plotted against by greater opposing forces.

Since they are greater forces, we are in need of greater allies, lest we fall on account of perfection. Then the same would happen to us that happened to the one who bore the dawn, the morning star.  For he made all things holy– the mysteries of the scriptures make these matters clear: how "you walked blameless in all your ways, until the time when unrighteousness was found in you." (Ez. 28:15). Thus let us all fear God, both the immortals and those who are being perfected. 

 

ἐν αὐτῷ,

ΜΑΘΠ

Advertisements