The boundlessness of God

Daily Reading for May 10 • Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop of Constantinople, 389 (transferred)

God always was and always is, and always will be; or rather, God always is. For was and will be are fragments of our time, and of changeable nature. But he is Eternal Being; and this is the Name he gives himself when giving the oracles to Moses in the Mount. For in himself he sums up and contains all Being, having neither beginning in the past nor end in the future . . . like some great Sea of Being, limitless and unbounded, transcending all conception of time and nature, only adumbrated by the mind, and that very dimly and scantily . . . not by his essentials but by his environment, one image being got from one source and another from another, and combined into some sort of presentation of the truth, which escapes us before we have caught it, and which takes to flight before we have conceived it, . . . and by that part of it which we cannot comprehend to move our wonder; and as an object of wonder to become more an object of desire; and being desired, to purify; and purifying to make us like God; so that, when we have become like himself, God may, to use a bold expression, hold converse with us as God; being united to us, and known by us; and that perhaps to the same extent as he already knows those who are known to him. The Divine Nature, then, is boundless and hard to understand, and all that we can comprehend of him is his boundlessness.

From “The Second Oration on Easter” of Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration XLV. Found at

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