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George Dion Dragas
University of Durham

The Church in St. Maximus' Mystagogy
The Problem and the Orthodox Perspective

From "Theology", no 1, 1985

Chapter 10 : Epilogue

Maximus' teaching represents a magnificent synthesis of all reality, Divine and creaturely. God, the world and man are analysed and synthesized in such a way as to bring out one truth and meaning through many truths and meanings It is the truth of the Holy Church which is one but appears in a multitude of eikons. The one in the many and vice versa of the ecclesiastical perception of St. Maximus imbues all reality, Divine, cosmic and human, with an ecclesiastical quality, which functions as a principle of reconciliation and cohesion. Perhaps the most significant of all the eikons of the Holy Church is that connected with the human soul, because it allows the individual human existence to be the expression of the same truth that is also expressed in the macrocosmic existence of the entire universe. A soul that has actually discovered and embraced the mystery of the Church in herself does not find the need to contradict, or enter into conflict with any other expressions of the same mystery. Such a soul has in fact overcome in herself all divisions and partialities, so that her particularity enshrines the same catholicity that is enshrined by the many souls united together in the Church as community, as liturgical community, as human and angelic community, as cosmic reality. Such a soul is at rest in herself and attuned with the whole. We might say that it reveals the mystery of the whole reality, Divine, cosmic and human, in the wholeness of her particularity. It is this mystical consciousness, which unites the macrocosm of the world with the microcosm of the human nature on the basis of God's divine activity in creation and redemption, that constitutes the distinctive legacy of Patristic theology and ecclesiology which our modern fragmented world needs urgently to recover.

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