The Life of Moses // Gregory of Nyssa.


In this extremely short work, Gregory of Nyssa, one of the great Greek Cappadocian Fathers, commends his readers Moses, the servant and man of God, as the par excellence of spiritual maturity and perfection. This is a spiritual exegesis (if such things exist nowadays). Meaning, Nyssa makes many interpretative moves that seems really foreign. I frequently found myself saying, “Is that even appropriate to say? Does the text allow that?” However, after accepting his Greek (Neo-Platonic) quarks, there is deep wealth in this book. I quote one of my favorites at length below:

If, then, one should withdraw from those who seduce him to evil and by the use of his reason turn to the better, putting evil behind him, it is as if he places his own soul, like a mirror, face-to-face with the hope of good things, with the result that the images and impressions of virtue, as it is shown to him by God are imprinted on the purity of his soul. (44)


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