Posts Tagged ‘Origen’

The “Oration and Panegyric to Origen” ends, as St. Gregory commends his teacher’s skill in interpretation of scripture, regrets his imminent departure back to his pagan hometown and family, makes a last explanation of the temerity of his speechifying, and then asks Origen to pray for him and his brother.

Part 7


This has been a really warm and beautiful portrait of respect and love for a good teacher, and the inestimable value of a good education for Christian life. I commend it to anyone who cares about the life of the mind.

Gregory’s sorrow is also pretty funny, in retrospect. He thought that he was going back home to lead a mundane lawyer life, trapped in the bosom of his well-meaning pagan family and separated from all the Christian things he valued. But instead, he was only going to be home about five minutes before the Church grabbed him again and made him a bishop this time. He thought he’d like to be a perpetual student; instead, he was made a perpetual teacher. If you think God doesn’t have a sense of humor, read autobiographies. 🙂


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The “Oration and Panegyric to Origen” continues, as Gregory commends Origen’s methods of teaching philosophy.

Part 6.


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The “Panegyric and Oration to Origen” continues, as St. Gregory describes how Origen first broadened his students’ minds by teaching them geometry, astronomy, and other fields of math and science.

Then they were ready to study the philosophy of ethics and morals. But Gregory feels that Origen’s good example irwas what really taught him these subjects!

Part 5

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The “Panegyric and Oration to Origen” continues, as St. Gregory tells us all about how Origen convinced his brother and him to come study with him. Then he tells about Origen’s methods of educating them in critical thinking and philosophy.

Part 4


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The “Oration and Panegyric” continues, as St. Gregory tells us how he managed to meet Origen in the first place.

Part 3


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The “Oration and Panegyric” continues, with thoughts on gratitude, God, and guardian angels. (if you listened to the Thanksgiving thing, you’ve heard most of this.)

Part 2


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The “Oration and Panegyric Addressed to Origen” begins! St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (soon to be shanghai’d into becoming bishop of his hometown) made a speech to his teacher, Origen, as a thank you for all his kindness to both Gregory and his brother and fellow pupil, Athenodorus, on the occasion of their leaving to go home for good.

Last week, you may remember that I used an excerpt from this speech of thanks and farewell as my offering for Thanksgiving. I find this speech such an incredibly charming slice of early Christian life that I intend to inflict it all upon you, even though I can’t get it all done this week!

Part 1


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From St. Gregory Thaumaturgus’ charming speech of farewell to his teacher, Origen. I’ve picked out his thoughts on our requirement to feel and express gratitude to other people and God. It’s interesting that he links this to the Eucharist (which of course means “thanksgiving”), and that he expresses great gratitude to Providence and his guardian angel. (I intend to read the whole thing for you next week. It’s good stuff, and you can see how Origen did live a life of great virtue as well as theological speculation and investigation.)

“On Gratitude”


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On Prayer continues, with a discussion of four different types of prayer.

The classical division (shared by Jews and Christians) is petition, praise/adoration, thanksgiving, and contrition. Origen goes with Paul’s list to Timothy: request, prayer, thanksgiving, and intercession. Interesting stuff!

Chapter 9: The Four Moods of Prayer


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On Prayer continues, as Origen discusses the place of prayer in human life, and scriptural examples of the power and importance of prayer.

Chapters 7-8


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