Thursday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time
Set on Rock
Saint Gregory Nazianzen (330-390), Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Discourse 26 ; PG 35, 1238
Set on Rock
One evening I was walking beside the sea; as Scripture says: “The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing” (Jn 6,18). The waves rose up at a distance and crashed onto the shore, smashing against the rocks, breaking and changing into spume and spray. Small stones, seaweed and the lightest of shells were carried by the water and thrown onto the shore, but the rocks stood as firm and unyielding as though all were calm, even in the midst of those waves that had just struck them...
I drew a lesson from that sight. Wasn't that sea like our life and the human condition? There, too, is to be found much bitterness and instability. And aren't the winds the temptations that assail us and all the unforeseen blows of life? This is what I think David was thinking about when he exclaimed: “Save me, O God, for the waters threaten my life! Snatch me from the waters of the deep! I have reached the watery depths and the flood overwhelms me” (Ps 68,2). Amongst those who are put to the test there are some who seem to me to be like those light, lifeless objects that allow themselves to be carried away without offering the slightest resistance. There is no stability in them; they don't have the counterbalance of a wise mind that struggles against assaults. Others seem to me to be like rocks who are worthy of that Rock on whom we are set and whom we worship. Molded by the reasoning of true wisdom, these rise above their common weakness and bear everything with unshakeable constancy.
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