The Sacred Writings of Cyril of Jerusalem – Cyril of Jerusalem
Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, where he was probably born, was ordained a presbyter in 345, and had the instruction of the catechumens entrusted to him. In 350 he was elevated to the see of Jerusalem, and became deeply involved in the dogmatic controversies of his time. His metropolitan, Acacius of Caesarea, inclined to Arianism, while Cyril strongly espoused the Nicene creed and was, in consequence, deposed for a time. On the death of the emperor Constantine he was restored; but on the accession of Valens, an Arian emperor, he had once more to resign his post till the accession of Theodosius permitted him to return finally in peace in 379. This edition comprises his most important writings.
The Sacred Writings of Cyril of Jerusalem
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Cyril’s theological position (from wikipedia)
Though his theology was at first somewhat indefinite in phraseology, he undoubtedly gave a thorough adhesion to the Nicene Orthodoxy. Even if he did avoid the debatable term homoousios, he expressed its sense in many passages, which exclude equally Patripassianism, Sabellianism, and the formula „there was a time when the Son was not“ attributed to Arius. In other points he takes the ordinary ground of the Eastern Fathers, as in the emphasis he lays on the freedom of the will, the autexousion (αὐτεξούσιον), and in his view of the nature of sin. To him sin is the consequence of freedom, not a natural condition. The body is not the cause, but the instrument of sin. The remedy for it is repentance, on which he insists. Like many of the Eastern Fathers, he focuses on high moral living as essential to true Christianity. His doctrine of the Resurrection is not quite so realistic as that of other Fathers; but his conception of the Church is decidedly empirical: the existing Church form is the true one, intended by Christ, the completion of the Church of the Old Testament. His interpretation of the Eucharist is disputed. If he sometimes seems to approach the symbolic view, at other times he comes very close to a strong realistic doctrine. The bread and wine are not mere elements, but the body and blood of Christ.
Cyril’s writings are filled with the loving and forgiving nature of God which was somewhat uncommon during his time period. Cyril fills his writings with great lines of the healing power of forgiveness and the Holy Spirit, like “The Spirit comes gently and makes himself known by his fragrance. He is not felt as a burden for God is light, very light. Rays of light and knowledge stream before him as the Spirit approaches. The Spirit comes with the tenderness of a true friend to save, to heal, to teach, to counsel, to strengthen and to console”. Cyril himself followed God’s message of forgiveness many times throughout his life. This is most clearly seen in his two major exiles where Cyril was disgraced and forced to leave his position and his people behind. He never wrote or showed any ill will towards those who wronged him. Cyril stressed the themes of healing and regeneration in his catechesis.
(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)
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