Saint Gregory of Nyssa (333-398), younger brother of Saints Basil the Great and Macrina, and one of the greatest of the Easter Fathers of the Church. Along with his brother, Basil, and Saint Gregory Nazianzen, Saint Gregory of Nyssa is known as one of the Cappadocian Fathers. A deep and contemplative theologian, the works of Saint Gregory greatly impacted the manner in which we understand the Scriptures, the Lord’s Prayer, the Beatitudes, and the life of Moses.
Below, from the writings of Saint Gregory of Nyssa, an excerpt detailing the role of each Christian as an emissary and reflection of the risen Christ on earth!
No one has known Christ better than Paul, nor surpassed him in the careful example he gave of what anyone should be who bears Christ’s name. So precisely did he mirror his Master that he became his very image. By a painstaking imitation, he was transformed into his model and it seemed to be no longer Paul who lived and spoke, but Christ himself. He shows his keen awareness of this grace when he refers to the Corinthians’ desire for proof that Christ was speaking in him; as he says: It is no longer I who live: it is Christ who lives in me.
Paul teaches us the power of Christ’s name when he calls him the power and wisdom of God, our peace, the unapproachable light where God dwells, our expiation and redemption, our great high priest, our paschal sacrifice, our propitiation; when he declares him to be the radiance of God’s glory, the very pattern of his nature, the creator of all ages, our spiritual food and drink, the rock and the water, the bedrock of our faith, the cornerstone, the visible image of the invisible God. He goes on to speak of him as the mighty God, the head of his body, the Church, the firstborn of the new creation, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep, the firstborn of the dead, the eldest of many brothers; he tells us that Christ is the mediator between God and man, the only begotten Son crowned with glory and honor, the Lord of glory, the beginning of all things, the king of justice and of peace, the king of the whole universe, ruling a realm that has no limits.
Paul calls Christ by many other titles too numerous to recall here. Their cumulative force will give some conception of the marvelous content of the name "Christ," revealing to us his inexpressible majesty, insofar as our minds and thought can comprehend it. Since, by the goodness of God, we who are called "Christians" have been granted the honor of sharing this name, the greatest, the highest, the most sublime fo all names, it follows that each of the titles that express its meaning should be clearly reflected in us. If we are not to lie when we call ourselves "Christians," we must bear witness to it by our way of living.
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."