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|← Saint Macrina||St. Mark's Cathedral →|
The body is insensate and it only lies on the grave, but the soul remains sensate as it acknowledges everything that it knew when it lived with the body, which is derived from the experiences of the body and what was known by the soul, which can contemplate God and it will be like God so far as it sees the beauty of Him. The flourishing of asceticism was due to the Christian community rejecting the life of secularism, as it was interpreted through the understanding of Christians. The early Christians had responded negatively to the Romans secular way of life with the formation of an identity that did reject the non Christianity teaching and societal norms; that led to the emergence of the Christian philosophy of spirituality. The philosophy of Christianity did adhere to the principles of ascetics, which was the way of expressing the virtue of Godliness. This led to the formation of monastic’s dedicated to the living of religious lives (Keck, 2003).
Macrina is instructed to the divinely inspired scriptures in every thing which was comprehensible with the emphasis of the wisdom books. This was what Macrina embraced as it is called by Gregory as philosophic ideal through the means of her own life and inspiration to her mother to adapt a detached existence from the material things. Even her brothers did adapt to the life of philosophy, which is understood as an expression of an outward divine inspiration.
According to the writing of Gregory to Naucratios, the divine providence was the one that led him to despise all the material things he had with the sudden inspiration to go to the way of solitude and poverty; this depicts the understanding of the world solitude and not from one another, as Christians, who drew together as a community due to the rejection of secularism, thus sharing the asceticism principles. The early Christianity had common basic principles, which included the way they believed in the material things rejection; the self rejection, thus glorifying suffering, which led to the establishment of communities in which they practiced these principles.
Gregory wrote that the Christian self indulgence was to instill self- discipline and for their fame to remain unknown as their wealth was to be poor. At the recording of this account, the Christians had formed the monastic communities, which had been divided by the ideals of the gender. The visiting of Macrina before her death is referred to the woman, who lived with the women who had adopted the life of chastity and learning to live to life of virtue.
The death of St. Brasil led Gregory to visit his sister Macrina at the convent, where she was the abbess, so as to seek consolation upon his brother’s loss, but he only found that death was beckoning to her sister. They had a discussion that concerned immortality of the soul and the resurrection, which raised his spirits. Macrina presented clear understanding of Christianity that concerned immortality of the soul and the resurrection.
These ideas are the Holy writs that have to be accepted as divine commands, since the soul do lack assurances that come by reasoning these issues. This makes one firmly stand to their faith and not to be distraught by the bodily departures. The Christian hope is reasoned out by the philosophical understanding that the Holy writ is the authoritative Christianity theology source, and the human is enlightened by the supplement of the Holy Spirit. Thus, reason is the hand maiden that buttress the faith when it waivers.
The anxiety of Gregory concerns the doubts of the immortality of the soul since he saw it as dissolving together with the body, because the soul is of the same nature as the body and it cannot exist without a place to be. Macrina defined the nature and the sensation as the means to knowing the nature of the soul, as she believed that the nature of the spiritual blindness was through the exclusion of the intellectual realities that are only recognized and known to the mind.
This depicts that those that are ‘small souled’ do not have the ability of perceiving things to their deep and realities become walls that obscure the intellectual vision of things. They only see the universe elements without inferring from the skillful designs in them that there is an invisible designer. Thus, the design of the universe and the harmony of its visibility have the proclamation of its maker. When one transcends his mare senses, he can intellectually perceive the wise and the skillful divinity that created and maintains all things.
The existence of God thus implies the existence of the soul, and man is described to be a microcosm of the universe; this sense helps to see the universe reality and intellectual way, where one finds a place to understand more about the soul, and thus the invisible is inferred by the visible. This is the confirmation of Christianity that the existence of the soul is by itself different from the body’s solidity.
The soul is, therefore, an intellectual, immaterial, bodiless, living, and invisible, that is working on its nature and revealing its self through the body organs, as the arrangement of things is always seen in the body and the corpse; and in regard to the corpse, the soul is said to be immobile and inactive.
The perceptions of the organs are the one that do activate the activities of the soul and move the perception of the body to its own voluntary impulses. The sensation of humans, therefore, does reveal the indwelling, effective and intellectual presence of the soul, as St Macrina defined it to be. It is the essence that has a beginning; it is a living and intellectual essence, which by itself gives the organic and sensory power of life and the reception of sense impressions, as long as the nature which can receive these maintains its existence (Fitzgerald, 2004).
The capacity of intellectual definition of the realities that are invisible to the sense infers what is conferred to conform to the definition. The citation of Macrina “the mind is the one that hears and sees” is the support to this notion. The issue of the human locomotion has led them to make machines through the art of arrangement. This contraption of Macrina furthers the evidence of the invincible and intellectual soul. This proves that in a man, there is the mind that is beyond the visible, as it devises concept things through the assistance of the material making it.
Macrina rejected the notion that the soul is the same as the essence of divine, as it was created in the image of the divine essence, and thus the soul is an image that is the same to the archetype to all things. The image could not have been the same if it had the same things in respect to all. The smallness of its nature has the reflection of the divine nature properties.
This analogy teaches that due to the ineffable wisdom of God that is always manifested in the universe, there is confidence that the divine nature and His power are in everything that exists. The nature of the divine is different from the thing created, but this does not prevent God to be in existence in all that he created. Thus, the difference of the soul simplicity and invisibility and the solidity of the body does not prevent the soul from living in it; although it is difficult to understand how this is the case, it is as it is.
Macrina acknowledged that the faculties are recognized to appear in the soul, as most people are in doubt concerning this issue that forms unstable opinions. She went far from the philosophical speculation of the soul in the affirmation of the Holy writ as the rule of the doctrine. The rejection of Plato’s analogy of the charioteer is the guide to unequal steeds. The assertion that the soul is an image in the essence of the divine does not attribute the soul which is not proper to the divine. Thus, when distinguishing the essence of anything, there is a need to focus on its uniqueness to it and the characteristics shared with others in nature.