ANCIENT CHRISTIAN WRITERS SERIES
This work contains two of St. Gregory of Nyssa's collections of homilies, the first on the Lord's Prayer and the second on the Beatitudes. They are classic works on the nature of the spiritual life by one of the most important Church Fathers of the late 4th century and one whose popularity has increased in the 20th century.
"The effect of prayer is union with God..." (The Lord's Prayer, Sermon 1). In his five sermons on the Lord's Prayer, Gregory invites the reader - the listener! - to embark upon the pursuit of the infinite God in praying the prayer that Jesus taught to the disciples. Each point in the prayer is like a kernel that contains profound spiritual truth, and the ultimate purpose in prayer is attaining likeness unto God. "The pure in heart shall see God." This simple statement is at the very heart of Gregory's understanding of the Beatitudes. Commenting upon a different Beatitude in each sermon, he posits that the they are like a series of steps ascending to God. This ascent is a becoming a son of God, sharing intimately in God's own life.