Sunday, September 03, 2023

Gregorius Dialogus

 Today was the feast of Pope St. Gregory I the Great, often known in the East as Gregory the Dialogist. From his Moralia in Iob (Vol III, Part 6, Bk XXXIII, Sect 36-37):

...But because this Leviathan flatters himself with a false promise of the Divine compassion, after He had spoken of the terror of his strength, and had roused the mind of blessed Job with circumspection towards Him, (saying, Remember the battle, and say no more;) in order to shew his unpardonable guilt, He immediately added; Behold, his hope shall disappoint him. 

But this ought to be so understood, as to be referred to his body also; because all wicked men who fear not the strictness of Divine justice, flatter themselves in vain on His compassion. And He presently returns to console us, and foretels his coming destruction at the last judgment, saying; And in the sight of all he shall be cast down. For he will be cast down in the sight of all, because when the eternal Judge then terribly appears, when legions of Angels stand at His side, when the whole ministry of heavenly Powers is attending, and all the Elect are brought to behold this spectacle, this cruel and mighty monster is brought captive into the midst, and with his own body, that is, with all reprobates, is consigned to the eternal fires of hell, when it is said, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels. O what a spectacle will that be, when this most huge monster will be displayed to the eyes of the Elect, which at this time of contest, could he but be seen, might have too much terrified them! But it is so ordered by the secret and wonderful judgment of God, that he is now conquered by His grace, though not seen by the combatants, and that then he is beheld by the joyful victors as already captive. But they then learn more fully how much they are indebted to the Divine assistance, when they have once seen so mighty a beast, whom they have now conquered in their weakness; and behold in the huge size of their enemy, how much they owe to the grace of their Defender....