Ambiguum 3

by Andrea Elizabeth

Dear Teacher, since you know this passage fully, and since we do not wish to reproduce it here for copyright reasons, let us get to the point. Simple God, ok, just these few words, “consorting with the [composite] flesh through the medium of the intellect”. St. Maximus does not hash out St. Gregory’s “medium” remark. God is immaterial, so his intellect mediates between him and his human flesh, and by that does he mean nature? It’s been a while since I read Dr. David Bradshaw’s Aristotle East and West. So long that I don’t know why it just popped into my head. I don’t know if it talks about God being an intellect or not. I know he assumed a human mind, so is he of two minds as it were? Perhaps St. Gregory spoke of his human intellect being the medium of his consortation with the flesh. If this is so, then it would imply that he had mastery over his flesh, which we can all accept. We who are immature let the flesh mediate between us and the world. We are not intellectually present in all of our experiences. It’s interesting to hear athletes and other skilled people talk about being in the zone. Oh, I don’t want to get into deliberation vs. impulse, or how someone who is omniscient doesn’t need to deliberate, because their impulses are informed, any more than that anyway.

Another point is “God on earth became man, for it (i.e., the flesh) was blended with God, and He became one, because the stronger predominated, so I might be made God to the same extent that He was made man.” Sounds like he was up on his St. Athanasius.

I’ll also not get into the difference between hypostasis and nature as it’s not as simple apparently as saying hypostasis is person and nature is essence. “The teacher says, moreover, that He became “one” (i.e., a single subject), but not a single object, pointing to the fact that even in the identity of the one hypostasis, the natural difference of the unified natures remains unconfused, since the one (i.e., the single subject) is indicative of the hypostasis and the other (i.e., the single object) of nature.” Wait, yes it is, Christ the subject is a person/hypostasis. The two natures/objects, are his essences. I think.

St. Maximus with his usual self-deprecation at the end, “As for the words, ‘so that I might be made God to the same extent that He was made man,’ they are not mine to utter, since I am stained by sin and utterly devoid of appetite for what is life in the true sense….”