How can the impure lay hands on the pure?

Icon of St Maximus the Confessor, making his defense before the imperial court.

Icon of St Maximus the Confessor

But as for me, how can I say Jesus is Lord, when I have not yet received the Spirit of holiness? How can I speak of the Lord’s powers when I am mute, having firmly closed my intellect through attachment to corruptible things? How can I render audible even some of His praises when I am deaf? For the ear of my soul, on account of my love for the passions, is entirely turned away fro the blessed voice of the Word. How will the Word, who by nature conquers` the world, but does not appear to the world, appear to me, conquered as I am by the world, since He is essentially unknowable to minds enamored of material things? How would it not be an act of insolence for a profane man to rush in among sacred things, and for the impure to lay hands on the pure?

St Maximus the Confessor, The Ambigua to Thomas

On Difficulties in the Church Fathers: The "Ambigua," Volume I

Leave a Reply