Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Christ the Pantocrator, the Omnipotent One,

The Greek Fathers contrast this elemental mystery of Christian life with theories proposed by secular science. 
Ancient schools of philosophy attempted to determine a principle of unity at work throughout the cosmos. 
Initially, they thought in a spirit of primitive materialism, the principle of unity was thought to be merely matter. Pythagoras moved forward toward scientific materialism, the immutable laws of matter. 
Plato and the idealists discovered that the laws of matter must express higher Ideas. 
There are many Ideas which, in their plurality, are unified in one God. At the close of antiquity, most pagan thinkers arrived at this conclusion. Concurrently, these thinkers were aware that between God and the world is an unconquerable abyss. They sought an arbitrator. The One is Christ who brought about the salvation of humanity, which created unity between two worlds, the world of time and eternity. The Greek Fathers label Christ as “the center in Whom all lines of the cosmos meet”. He is the “firstborn of all creation”, (1Col 1:15). He is the “new and true Adam”, (Rom 5:12-17). He is the “head of the Church”, (Col.1:18.). 
In Him, everything resolves in unity. Because man is united with Christ, thus also man becomes the master and unifier of the entire cosmos.  
“If we would deny this event,(the Incarnation of the Son of God),” says Soloviev, “the entire meaning of the universe would collapse.” The God-Man was capable of bridging the abyss between the Divine omnipotence and human limitation without eclipsing their proper attributes. What kind of beings, then, are the Christians? They are as weak and powerless as any other mortals - “wind or a bit of water can kill me,” says Pascal. 
Despite this they are predestined to sit beside the throne of the King of the Universe. When the Roman emperor Constantine granted freedom to the Church, many new church buildings were erected. In their copulas are placed images of Christ the Pantocrator, the Omnipotent One, Who is seated on the throne of those who crucified Him. 
Under His feet is placed the globe. It is a symbol of the immutable laws of matter and all those mysteries and natural forces of which people of the ancient world were afraid. Because all these elements are in Christ’s power the freedom of the children of God is assured.
Link (here) to the full article entitled Trichotomy & Pantocrator by Cardinal Tomas Spidlik, S.J., the piece can be found in the online magazine Vulgata.

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