Monday, May 2, 2016

Whom do we thank?

Every Sunday, Solemnity, and Feast day we recite the words of the creed, and when we speak of Jesus we decribe him as 
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father.

But speaking for myself I rarely ever stop to think about who was personally responsible for making sure those words were part of our creed. We call it the Nicean Creed but it's formation happened over several councils and with no small bit of controversy. We speak of the trinity without much thinking but in the fourth century there were still those who refused to recognize Jesus's divinity. 

It was today's saint, Saint Athanasius, an Egyptian, who had the courage to argue and argue and argue to defend the true Christian belief. He was still just a deacon when he accompanied his bishop to the council of Nicea, and yet before his life ended he would argue with theologians, bishops, and four emperors. He was banished 5 times, yet he continued to stand his ground. He remained bishop of Alexandria for 45 years. 

When you here the word Coptic Chrisitians, it refers to those in or from Egypt, and Athanasius was to first to use Coptic in addition to the more common Greek in his writings. 

All Chrisitians owe St. Athanasius profound gratitude, because of what he was willing to suffer. 
Even when few appears to be on his side, he trusted in God and is a model of perseverance to us all.

St. Athanasius, pray for us.