Category Archives: St. Gregory the Great

St. Gregory Dialogos: My friends, consider the greatness of this solemn feast that commemorates God’s coming as a guest into our hearts! . . .

Icon of Pentecost“‘And my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him’ [John 14.23]. My friends, consider the greatness of this solemn feast that commemorates God’s coming as a guest into our hearts! If some rich and influential friend were to come to your home, you would promptly put it all in order for fear something there might offend your friend’s eyes when he came in. Let all of us then who are preparing our inner homes for God cleanse them of anything our wrongdoing has brought into them.”

+ St. Gregory Dialogos, on Pentecost in Be Friends of God

St. Gregory the Great: . . .The disbelief of Thomas has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples. . . .

Icon of the Belief of ThomasThomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. He was the only disciple absent; on his return he heard what had happened but refused to believe it. The Lord came a second time; He offered His side for the disbelieving disciple to touch, held out His hands, and showing the scars of His wounds, healed the wound of his disbelief.

Dearly beloved, what do you see in these events? Do you really believe that it was by chance that this chosen disciple was absent, then came and heard, heard and doubted, doubted and touched, touched and believed? It was not by chance but in God’s providence. In a marvelous way God’s mercy arranged that the disbelieving disciple, in touching the wounds of his Master’s body, should heal our wounds of disbelief.

The disbelief of Thomas has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples. As he touches Christ and is won over to belief, every doubt is cast aside and our faith is strengthened. So the disciple who doubted, then felt Christ’s wounds, becomes a witness to the reality of the resurrection.

Touching Christ, he cried out: ‘My Lord and my God.’

Jesus said to him: ‘Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed.’

Paul said: ‘Faith is the guarantee of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.’

It is clear, then, that faith is the proof of what can not be seen. What is seen gives knowledge, not faith. When Thomas saw and touched, why was he told: ‘You have believed because you have seen me?’

Because what he saw and what he believed were different things. God cannot be seen by mortal man. Thomas saw a human being, whom he acknowledged to be God, and said: ‘My Lord and my God.’

Seeing, he believed; looking at one who was true man, he cried out that this was God, the God he could not see. What follows is reason for great joy: ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.’

There is here a particular reference to ourselves; we hold in our hearts One we have not seen in the flesh. We are included in these words, but only if we follow up our faith with good works. The true believer practices what he believes. But of those who pay only lip service to faith, Paul has this to say: ‘They profess to know God, but they deny him in their works.’

Therefore James says: ‘Faith without works is dead.’

+ St. Gregory the Great

St. Gregory the Great: . . . We too, who believe in Him Who died, approach His sepulcher with spices . . .

Icon of St. Gregory the Great“You have heard, dearly beloved, that holy women who had followed the Lord came to the sepulcher with spices. They had loved Him when He was alive, and they showed Him their eager tenderheartedness even when He was dead. Their deed points to something that must be done in our holy Church. Thus as we hear of what they did, we must also think of our responsibility to imitate them. We too, who believe in Him Who died, approach His sepulcher with spices if we are strengthened with the sweet smell of the virtues, and if we seek the Lord with a reputation for good works. And the women who came with spices saw angels, since those who advance toward God through their holy desires, accompanied by the sweet smell of the virtues, behold the citizens from on high.”

— St. Gregory the Great, Forty Gospel Homilies

St. Gregory the Great: Have confidence in the compassion of our Creator. . . .

Icon of St. Greogory the Great“Have confidence in the compassion of our Creator. Reflect well on what you are now doing, and keep before you the things you have done. Lift up your eyes to the overflowing compassion of heaven, and while He waits for you, draw near in tears to our merciful Judge. Having before your mind that He is a Just Judge, do not take your sins lightly; and having also in mind that He is compassionate, do not despair. The God-Man gives man confidence before God.”

— St. Gregory the Great

St. Gregory the Great: Have confidence in the compassion of our Creator. . . .

Icon of St. Greogory the Great“Have confidence in the compassion of our Creator. Reflect well on what you are now doing, and keep before you the things you have done. Lift up your eyes to the overflowing compassion of heaven, and while He waits for you, draw near in tears to our merciful Judge. Having before your mind that He is a Just Judge, do not take your sins lightly; and having also in mind that He is compassionate, do not despair. The God-Man gives man confidence before God.”

— St. Gregory the Great