And why did He call the grace of the Spirit water? Because by water all things subsist; because water brings forth grass and living things; because the water of the showers comes down from heaven; because it comes down one in form, but works in many forms. For one fountain waters the whole of Paradise, and one and the same rain comes down upon all the world, yet it becomes white in the lily, and red in the rose, and purple in violets and hyacinths, and different and varied in each several kind: so it is one in the palm-tree, and another in the vine, and all in all things; and yet is one in nature, not diverse from itself; for the rain does not change itself, and come down first as one thing, then as another, but adapting itself to the constitution of each thing which receives it, it becomes to each what is suitable. Thus also the Holy Ghost, being one, and of one nature, and indivisible, divides to each His grace, according as He will: and as the dry tree, after partaking of water, puts forth shoots, so also the soul in sin, when it has been through repentance made worthy of the Holy Ghost, brings forth clusters of righteousness.
Sunday, March 18, 2018
White in the Lily, and Red in the Rose
Today is the memorial of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, although of course the feast is liturgically superseded by Sunday. He was an irenic man, inclined to compromise to keep the peace, who had a career that was very much not irenic at all; he was deposed and banished about three times for not accepting Arianism, although in each case he was eventually restored, and he was one of the Conciliar Fathers of the First Council of Constantinople. From his Catechetical Lectures, Lecture 16.12