February 3, 2013

Holy Fathers on the Name of God: St. Maximus the Confessor

That is why the one who had received grace offered thanks to the Lord and glorified his holy Name and called herself humble and handmaiden. She said prophetically, “For henceforth all generations shall call me blessed” (Luke 1:48). Truly the hosts of angels and generations of humanity call her blessed, and those who do not call her blessed and do not glorify her, they are not reckoned among humanity, but they are children of perdition and the portion of the devil. Nevertheless, every generation of true human beings calls her blessed and glorifies her and has her as a helper and intercessor with the Lord. And the words that follow are filled with such grace and wisdom: “For the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. And his Mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation” (Luke 1.49-50). His Name and His Mercy are His Only-begotten Son, Whom He sent out of mercy toward those who fear Him to become incarnate from the holy Virgin and to have compassion on the forlorn and to seek the lost. But how is it said that the Son is the Name of the Father? Because the Father is known by the Son, as the Lord himself said, “I have manifested Thy Name unto men” (John 17.6). He has shown strength with His arm (Luke 1:51), that is to say by his Son, for he is called the Arm of God (Isa 53:1; John 12:38), as he is called the Power of God and Wisdom (1 Cor 1:24), and the Image of Power (Heb 1:3), the Immutable Seal (John 6.27), the Right Hand of the Most High (Ps 76).

Life of the Theotokos