St Cyril of Alexandria
September 19, 2021
”In this day, men allow false ideas to take root among them. But this will be death for those who entertain such notions. For a great treasure, a great deposit, has been given unto man and must be guarded with care. And this great treasure must be shown to be intact and the same when an accounting is demanded by the Master. But when false ideas come from the Pope himself, what they can be done – for it was the Pope who authorized me to take action against heresy; but would a pope authorize action against himself? Therefore, something is amiss, and we can gather what it is that is the “something amiss.” For what has been hinted at, although cleverly, leaving much in the dark and only a little exposed, is that the divine Logos cannot be at once divine and human. And by this idea put forward, they have adulterated our faith.
Unless God had become human while remaining eternal God, and unless He had become human while still being God unlimited, then what hope would there be for man to be able to dwell with God? The timeless God chose to engage with men of time, and thus God who was and is of omnipotent power chose to suffer and to die. This did not require God to cease being God, but rather God who did not cease from being God chose to express Himself in this way and therefore by a divine act became one while remaining the other. It must be understood that Christ had two perfect natures, human and divine, while on earth, and that he put not one aside in order to take another.
It is a most clever lie by that great serpent to interject in the midst of what seems to be sound doctrine a denial of the unity between divinity and humanity in Christ, for by doing so man is lost for there can be no crossing of the chasm between God and man. And yet this is exactly what shall be proposed in these coming days amidst the cry for unity and inclusion. But be aware of the real motive.
For when men desire to live in sin and to escape condemnation then they wish to separate the two natures of God. For if God is all divine, but not all human then the two natures need not merge in man either. But instead man can pray to a divine God while remaining in bondage to the flesh, and he need not merge the two, thus living in sin while paying homage to God. But this clever lie of Satan leaves man in a fallen state, for if the divine God has not by an act of His divine will chosen to become truly flesh while remaining truly God then the chasm cannot be crossed and man is lost. And if God has not performed what was impossible to man, then it is not possible for man to have communion with God. And therefore the Holy Eucharist would be without power but instead would be only a physical symbol of an omnipotent God. I tell you this so that this might not come upon you while you are unaware. For the object of the serpent is to make man believe that God by His very nature could not become man, and thus the Holy Eucharist cannot be offered to man and yet be God.
But the Only Begotten Word, in fact, was born of a woman in the way of the flesh while remaining God and thus honored our nature in light of the divine. And His birth, from a woman in the way of the flesh, while He remained God is part of this great mystery to save the human race. Only could One who knew not death, destroy death, and only could He destroy death by choosing to take on death.
When they begin to say it plainly — that the Word of God did not become flesh and did not undergo birth from a woman, then they will have adulterated the faith. For if Christ who was rich became not poor out of tender love for us, then we have not gained the riches He promised but instead still abide in poverty. For if He became not flesh, then death still has dominion over us, and sin still holds us bound.
Be aware that this will indeed be taught, and then will it also be denied that Mary is the Mother of God. Instead she will be relegated to the Mother of the Man. But this will be blasphemy for it is a denying of the complete nature of Christ and of the vehicle in which He chose to gain flesh, and thereby they deny the Incarnation.
These things will come about at the hands of evil men and by special design of one who occupies a throne that is not his. It is a denial of Christ, the Son of God, who was made man and, incarnated, was equally God and man.
But those who are the spawn of Satan will teach that God formed a man, took him through suffering and death, and then joined him unto Himself so that one nature existed separate from the other nature. But this is an abomination and denies any hope for man for how then will man receive Christ and be raised? And how then is Christ the Savior of the World?
Be aware that in this manner will the deposit of faith be attacked. Be aware that there will be those who will say that a man died and came back to life who was not truly God, but would the angels have stood in service before such a man, and where then came the power for him to take back his life? This is blasphemy – that God brought forth a man with the appearance of God, but who was not indeed God.
Be aware that when those who are enemies of the faith teach that the Word of God did not become a man then therefore we will reason – how can we then be saved? And then you will see the final act. For these two natures are not separated but instead are joined in an indissoluble union. For the Word has changed not into something He is not but instead has made the human nature His own, and therefore He is at once God and man. We cannot conceive of this union, but by faith we accept that it is so, and thereby it is our hope and our assurance.
What Christ has done is a self-emptying for as it has been said – no man takes His life from Him – for even though He was born of flesh He ceased not to be God, and therefore only He could lay it down.
Christ is indeed God even when becoming flesh. And therefore He was able to rise effortlessly from death: So it is that the Lord of Glory abased Himself to take on the destruction of death and the banishing of sin by appearing as we are and choosing to make His body subject to death and suffering in His own flesh. And of His flesh He said, “I am the living bread, and anyone who eats this bread shall live forever.”
There is only one God. Our Lord Jesus Christ has existed before all time, but even so He consented to be born of a woman. And she is indeed the Mother of God.
When they tell you these things are not so – then will the pillars be knocked out from under you, and the great heresy will cover the world.”