Habiter la Bible, vivre l'Écriture (Paul Claudel) - C’est tout de même une chose énorme que Dieu ait parlé distinctement aux hommes et que cette parole ait été consignée pour tous les temps dans un document éc...
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Since, therefore, rational beings are created, they are doubtless subject to movement because they proceed from a source by virtue of the being proper to nature, and because they move themselves towards an end by virtue of that well-being proper to gnomie.44Although Maximus is equally insistent that Kinesis does not produce the Fall, it is the movement towards deification:
For the divine is immovable, as filling all, and everything that passes from non-being into being is movable indeed, as impelled surely to some cause, then nothing moved has yet to come to a stop, as not yet reposing its power of movement from desire in the ultimate object of its appetite; for nothing else is apt to stop what is impelled except the appearance of that object of appetite…No created being, ever, in any manner, stands fast while being moved by [its] natural power towards the End proper to that power; neither does it cease from the energy proper to that End, [even] after it is fixed up on it.45
If he hath two natures, then He surely must have two natural wills, the wills and essential operations being equal in number to the natures. For just as the number of natures of the one and the same Christ, correctly understood and explained, doth not divide Christ but rather preserveth the distinction of natures in the union, so likewise the number of essential attributes, wills, and operations attached to those two natures doth not divide Christ either.46Pyrrhus took this passage as a denial of all of Christ’s voluntary motion, because “what is natural is compelled.” For Maximus, Pyrrhus’s presupposition was too suggestive of the Origenist problem and its dialectical opposition. The will as the ‘faculty of will’ which is the rational principle of the nature (logos) is distinguished from the ‘mode of willing’ or hypostatic use of that faculty (tropos):
The will and the mode of willing, just as the power of sight and the mode of perception are not the same...For the rational nature hath the natural ability and rational appetite [proper to it]. This is called the “faculty of will” of the rational soul. It is according to this [faculty] that we consider when willing, and in considering, we choose the things which we would…and these are not subject to compulsion.47This answer leads us back to our original question: What is Christ’s mode of willing, and how does it differ from ours that gives him the inability to sin (non posse peccare)?
Pyrrhus: Virtues, then, are natural things?On the other hand, Adam did not start out “exercised” in virtue since he is a creature, although his faculty of willing is "naturally" directed towards virtue (either real or apparent according to his mode of willing [tropos]). This was the purpose in giving man such a simple command to obey in the garden. The idea was to fuse Adam's faculty of willing (logos), naturally directed towards the good, with his personal employment of the will. Once virtue is practiced with one’s hypostatic employment through habit (possibly through more commands and obedience), then Adam would become a morally impeccable agent and be like God unable to sin. But before created agents have exercised the natural virtues, their hypostatic employment of the will (tropos) has a distinct status which Maximus calls the gnomic will:
Maximus: Yes, natural things.
Pyrrhus: If they be natural things, why do they not exist in all men equally, since all men have an
Maximus: But they do exist equally in all men because of the identical nature!
Pyrrhus: Then why is there such a great disparity [of virtues] in us?
Maximus: Because we do not all practice what is natural to us to an equal degree; indeed, if we
[all] practiced equally [those virtues] natural to us as we were created to do, then one would be
able to perceive one virtue in us all, just as there is one nature [in us all], and “one virtue” would
not admit of a “more” or “less.”
Pyrrhus: If virtue be something natural [to us], and if what is natural to us existeth not through
asceticism but by reason of our creation, then why is it that we acquire the virtues, which are
natural, with asceticism and labours?
Maximus: Asceticism, and the toils that go with it, was devised simply in order to ward off
deception, which established itself through sensory perception. It is not [as if] the virtues have
been newly introduced from outside, for they inhere in us from creation, as hath already been
said. Therefore, when deception is completely expelled, the soul immediately exhibits the
splendor of its natural virtue.52Page 12
Gnomie is nothing else than an act of willing in a particular way, in relation to some real or assumed good. 53The gnomic will can be defined as the personal employment of the will (tropos) that is not integrated with virtue, that is, "fixed" with the natural faculty of the will directed towards the good (logos). This is why it was possible for Adam created in innocence to sin. Theosis was open to him, but he was not created in theosis: but a state of potential deification. The devil and our first parents sinned by the gnomic will. Since the gnomic will ceases when a created hypostasis is integrated in the natural virtue, we can say that it [gnomie] is accidental to human nature and not essential. Christ lacks this personal 'mode of willing' since he is the divine uncreated Logos. Christ’s faculties of will are "fixed" with his hypostatic use of the will by his super-essential mode of existence being the Word:
These natural things of the will are present in Him, but not exactly in the same manner as they are in us. He verily did hunger and thirst, not in a mode similar to ours, but in a mode which surpasseth us, in other words, voluntarily. Thus, He was truly afraid [in Gethsemane], not as we are, but in a mode surpassing us. To put it concisely: all things that are natural in Christ have both the rational principle proper to human nature, but a super-natural mode of existence, in order that both the [human] nature, by means of its rational principle, and the Economy, by means of its super-natural mode of existence, might be believed.54Since the gnomic will is accidental to human nature and not essential, Christ does not need to assume this mode of willing, nor could he being the Logos. Christ has an integrity of his nature and person with respect to his humanity that we lack (except in the Eschaton), and we have a "distance" between our personal employment of our faculties and the Good that our natural
Thus, those who say that there is a gnomie in Christ, as this inquiry is demonstrating, are maintaining that he is a mere man, deliberating in a manner like unto us, having ignorance, doubt and opposition, since one only deliberates about something which is doubtful, not concerning what is free of doubt. By nature we have an appetite simply for what by nature is good, but we gain experience of the goal in a particular way, through inquiry and counsel. Because of this, then, the gnomic will is fitly ascribed to us, being a mode of the employment [of the will], and not a principle of nature, otherwise nature [itself] would change innumerable times. But the humanity of Christ does not simply subsist [in a manner] similar to us, but divinely, for He Who appeared in the flesh for our sakes was God. It is thus not possible to say that Christ had a gnomic will.56Christ's statement, "Not my will, but thine will be done," in the Gethsemane text expresses that Christ initially wills two good objects. Since he has two natural faculties, each one of them directed towards the good, the 'objects of willing' are self-preservation of his life and the Salvation of humanity. Since the faculty of the will is rooted in the nature as we have stated, and nothing natural is in opposition to God, then it is not possible on the mere basis of Christ having a natural human will for him to sin in opposition to God for self-preservation of his own life which is a good to will:
For the things that exist came to be out of nothing, and have therefore a power that impels than to hold fast to existence, and not to non-existence, which [power] is simultaneously an inclination towards that which naturally maintaineth them in existence, and a drawing back from things destructive [to their existence]. Consequently, the super-essential Word, by virtue of His humanity, had of His humanity this self-preserving power which clingeth to existence. And [in fact], He exihibited both [aspects of this power], willing the inclination and the drawing back on account of His [human] energy.56Christ then freely wills the salvation of the world without any determinism, since the choice is between two good courses of action. We see so far in this analysis of St. Maximus that the natural will does not do the choosing, but it is the hypostasis that particularizes or enhypostasizes these things in a unique and irreducible manner. Maximus’s answer to Monotheletism is not one sided, the will is not solely natural. Otherwise, Christ by taking on a natural human will would drag every person to an apokatastasis of ever-well-being in the same manner if the will is solely hypostatic (i.e. if the will is rooted in the hypotasis). This would collapse person and nature.57 The natural will presents possible courses of action to the
Who then cannot see that the one Rational Principle is in fact many rational principles, and that created things were determined simultaneously by the agency of this distinction which is undivided, because their attributes are distinct from each other and without confusion? And again the many [rational principles] are in fact one [Rational Principle] existing without confusion by virtue of all things being offered up to Him through Him Who is their enessentialization and enhypostasization.60This passage grounds the idea of recapitulation of the plurality of the logoi being offered up through the One Logos. The logoi are uncreated, real, and distinct; they are not to be identified with the divine essence of God or with any essence of created objects as indicated by Hans Urs von Balthasar from the Confessor’s Ambigua.61 Another interesting point we see in this passage is the Chalcedonian locus of “without division” and “without confusion” being applied to the many logoi to each other and to the One Logos. The logoi of God define the type of movement
We are speechless before the sublime teaching about the Logos, for He cannot be expressed in words or conceived in thought. Although he is beyond being and nothing can participate in him in any way, nor is he any of the totality of things that can be known in relation to other things, nevertheless we affirm that the one Logos is many logoi and the many logoi are One. The many rational principles are one by being providentially attached, led, and offered up, to the One Rational Principle of the many, as to a source which possesses universal sovereignty, or as to a point which predetermines and unites all the radii [emanating] straight out of it and that gather them altogether…One zealously traverses one’s course toward the beginning and source without deviation by means of one’s good will and choice. And through this course one becomes God, being made God by God. To the inherent goodness of the image is added the likeness acquired by the practice of virtue and the exercise of the will…He moves in God according to the logos of his well-being that pre-existed in God when he lives virtuously. [Finally, one] lives in God in accordance with the rational principle of [one’s] Ever-Being, [which also pre-exists] in God. In the future age when graced with divinization, he will affectionately love and cleave to the logoi already mentioned that pre-exist in God, or rather, he will love God himself, in whom the logoi of beautiful things are securely grounded.62The language of the radii of a circle, in this passage, is close to the spatial imagery of the things moving “around” God in Plotinus’s Enneads.63 The movement of the Saints in the Eschaton according to the rational principles is defined by Maximus as an “ever-moving rest.”64 This rest is a divine logoi of God’s nature65 and one of the logoi of man’s motion in Ever-Being:66
He [God] rests when each being, having obtained the divine energy in due measure, will determine its own natural energy with respect to God.67
The works of God which did not happen to begin to be in time are participated beings, in which participated beings [creatures] share according to grace, for example, goodness and all that the term goodness implies, that is, all life, immortality, simplicity, immutability, and infinity and such things which are essentially contemplated in regard to him; they are also God’s works, and yet they did not begin in time.69
The logoi which are in beings, in the infinity of which it contemplates the energies of God, then, to speak truly, it reproduces the numerous and infinite differences in the divine energies which it perceives. Then, as regards the employment of scientific inquiry (e)pisthmonikh=v e)reu/nhv))) into that which is really true, for reasons that one may readily appreciate (ei)ko/twv), it (the intellect) will find the power of any such inquiry [to be] ineffective and its method useless, for it has no means of understanding how God Who is truly none of the things that exist, and Who in the strict sense is all things, and yet beyond them all, [exists] in each logos of all particular things and in all the logoi together whereby all things exist. If, therefore, in a proper sense, every divine energy properly signifies God indivisibly, wholly and entirely through itself, in each thing according to the logos—whatever it may be—whereby it exists, who is capable of conceiving and of saying exactly how, being wholly and entirely and altogether common to all and yet altogether particularly present in each of these realities, God is without part and division, without [thereby] being diversely distributed in the infinite differences of these realities in which He exists as Being, and without thereby being contracted according to the particular existence of each individual [logos], and also without fusing the differences of these realities into the sole and unique totality of them all, but on the contrary that He is truly all in all, He Who never abandoned His own simplicity [which is] without parts?70