Lowly and Exalted

The wise people over on Kurt’s Blog are discussing a quote on the necessity of not just accepting life’s suffering but claiming one’s suffering as part of one’s beiing. I went to comment, but saw that I had nothing really to add to the comments that were already posted. Then I opened my mail and read this quote:

I am small and great, lowly and exalted, mortal and immortal, earthly and heavenly. I share one condition with the lower world, the other with God; one with the flesh, the other with the spirit. I must be buried with Christ, arise with Christ, be joint heir with Christ, become the child of God, yea, a likeness of God Himself.
– Gregory of Nazianzus, “Oration” 7:2

It says somewhere in Isaiah that every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill made low. What I didn’t understand until just recently is that Isaiah’s words might just refer to the same person. Some days I am a mountain of strength and on some I am surely a valley low. To sit and be present to both my lows and highs, without either running away or grasping, to just be myself, is to love myself and love God. To claim my paradoxical inheritance where I become great by being small and surely become small when I try to be great.

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