St Severus on Theosis

edited January 2015 in Coptic Orthodox Church
"Thus God the Word himself, when he had been conceived and born in the flesh, showed Mary the Mother of God to be the one who had given birth to the Word endued with a body; and it was in accord with what is better and wonderful that she was named, since the mystery itself consisted in this - namely, the kingship of what is better, and the lifting up of our race from this place, and its transformation into something better." 
St Severus of Antioch, Text 15 Homily XIV Translated from PO 38/2: 400-15 

 "But that the teachings of the God-clad Fathers agree with these things, hear again the quotation, which is inspired by God, of Cyril, who says as follows in the Treatise of Address to the God-fearing emperor Theodosius: “Is it not then already known—for it is not unknown to anyone at all—that the Only-Begotten became like us, that is, fully man, in order that he might set free our earthly body from intrusive corruption, imparting his own life to it, in the economy through the union. 

But he made the human soul his own that he might show it superior to sin, and he imparted to it the firmness and unchangeableness of his own nature, as dye in a fleece." 
St Severus of Antioch, Letter I of Severus to Sergius the Grammarian


  • "The Spirit also descends upon him because of us. Now this Spirit is not one of the ministering spirits, but it is the Spirit of God, the consubstantial Spirit who reigns at the same time with him and with the Father. It is why, indeed, the evangelist himself said in a demonstrative manner: the Spirit of God, this Spirit who had abandoned the human race, on the subject of which the Lord God said: My Spirit will not remain eternally among men, because they are flesh. But this charitable being, who, by the generosity of his grace, as he himself willed to modify his own decree, abolishing for us this sentence, after also being made flesh without change himself, draws the Spirit upon the flesh, at the moment when he united his divinity with the creature who had been condemned and thus sends grace to all our race."

    St. Severus of Antioch, Homily X, On the Epiphany
  • So also after he had risen from among the dead
    Went up and was exalted in the body to heaven,
    Though he had never left or abandoned the throne of glory;

    In order that, having raised with him all of us who have been saved by grace
    Like a second Adam, he might also make us to sit with him
    In heaven in great God-befitting glory,
    According to the abundant and incomprehensible riches
    Of His grace toward us.


    And, being joined to the sublime hosts
    And having been exalted with him
    That is exalted and cannot be approached,
    Let us make answer to the more sublime hosts and say,
    Lift up the gates, rulers among you;
    And be opened and lifted up, eternal gates,
    And the great King of all the ages in glory shall come in,
    The Lord of all hosts.

    The Word of God, who shone on us,
    Who were aforetime sitting in darkness
    And in the shadows of death,
    Through his saving coming in the flesh,
    And raised us with him, who were dead,
    Through his glorious Resurrection from the dead,
    Hath made us to ascend together with him to heaven
    Through his divine Ascension, and to sit with him in glory before his Father.

    Let us mind things that are above;
    Let us seek things that are above;
    Let us forget deeds that are of the earth and earthly,
    Praising the riches of his God-befitting mercifulness toward us,
    And his mercy that cannot be measured.

    The hosts of heaven shook with amazement,
    And trembling seized the lines and ranks of the bodiless armies of angels,
    When they saw that their Creator and Maker,
    Christ, the Word of God and the Father,
    Who became by dispensation the second Adam,
    Had in the body been lifted into the heights and exalted,

    And had passed through all the heavens,
    And in him with him lifted us all to the exalted heights
    And made us sit with him in glory and with his heavenly Father,
    Us, the strangers, the far-removed and rejected,
    The enemies, who are not in any way worthy even of earth.

    Hymn 107

  • edited March 2017
    We already discussed this elsewhere:

    I want to keep this thread only on St. Severus' views of deification.
  • edited March 2017
    Therefore the One who was born was also named Emmanuel, since He is one indivisible and without confusion, out of two natures, both divinity and humanity. This One who, since He possesses all the unique and indivisible qualities, namely, His incorporeal generation from the Father and the very same divinity (for He alone was begotten of the only One, even God from God) and His birth from the Virgin (for He alone was born in the flesh of a woman not joined in marriage and the only one of her kind), did not violate His mother’s virginity —how was this One, after the inexpressible union, prepared to be divided and broken by the duality of the natures, as the Synod of Chalcedon has taught since it followed the foolish teachings of Nestorius? But He is in all respects one and unique. Because of this, He has also called us, who were separated from God, to one-ness and to peace, since He is the mediator of God and men (1 Tim 2:5).

    Homily XIV.17

    From heaven, the Master of the Games watched them, while at the same time a choir of angels rejoiced, and prepared to meet them, and rehearsed hymns of victory for the athletes. And a Light, descending from on high, picked out and illuminated the stadium of their contest, similar to that Light which our Lord showed on the mountain to the disciples, when His face shone like the sun and His clothes became white as lights (Matt 17: 2), for He loves to glorify His true servants like Himself.

    Homily XVIII.18

    To these it is pleasing to add as well what was said by the Apostle about them: 'Are they not all ministering spirits, who are sent for the service of those who are destined to inherit salvation?' (Heb 1: 14). So then, they are created spirits, and intelligible and incorporeal creatures, whose business it is that they should praise God and receive the divine commandments, and perfectly perform those commands with swiftness and power. For they possess the power which is appropriate for what they are commanded, since it is given to them from above to perform such things, both when they are sent for the service of our salvation, and when they share in the primal, uncreated, and essential Light which is seen in the holy Trinity; and from there are they illuminated.


    So then, we too, adhering to the accuracy of the latter, and blocking the hidden entrance-ways of demon-worship, consecrate churches which have been built under the dedicatory title of the angels with the bones and sacred limbs of the holy martyrs, or with their victorious dust which has all been bravely burned and has become a sacrifice: by this very deed we proclaim that they, too, like the angels, are mighty powers. ... Therefore we teach and give instruction to the effect that the martyrs are joined as one with the angels, so as to distance ourselves from erroneous doctrine, since the former as well as the latter have only one duty, namely to praise God and to minister to Him in respect of our salvation.

    For also in heaven their habitations are with one another. And Paul is a witness, writing to the myriads ofthe angels and to their festal company, referring to the church of the first-born who are inscribed in heaven (Heb 12: 22—3). Now the latter are those who, by faith and the laver of regeneration, have been made rich by adoption as sons, and have partaken of the spiritual birth through which no-one is of inferior birth, but all are first-born on account of a single fulness of grace and of equal honour

    Homily LXXII.6,14,15

    All quotes are from Pauline Allen's book "Severus of Antioch"
  • edited December 2017
    A Coptic prayer attributed to St. Severus of Antioch, let you say it early everyday:

    Master, Lord, God, the almighty, the Father of our Lord and our God and our Savior Jesus Christ, I beseech and ask Your great Goodness, the Lover of the humankind.  Hearken to me (for) I ask You, I am Your servant, let my prayer and my demand enter in front to Your great Goodness for You are only that I hope.

    Lord my God send upon me the grace of Your Holy Spirit.  Yes, I beseech Your Goodness, my Lord grant me patience and humility of heart, endurance in order I carryout, with thanksgiving, everything that come upon me.

    Let me be worthy in this day and all days of my life to carry Your holy Cross and the sufferings of Salvation of Your Beloved Son.

    Satisfy my soul in the sweetness of Your blessed divinity.  Assemble to You, my Lord,the thoughts of my soul in the sweetness of Your Holy Spirit.  Let Your will and what please You be in me every time in order to win a mercy from You in Your fearful tribune full of glory.

    For to You is worthy the glory to You and Your Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord and the Holy Spirit the life-giver, from now and ever.

  • Very nice. Would anyone like to translate it to modern english?
Sign In or Register to comment.