The dignity of man

March 22, 2010

‘Let Us make man according to Our image and likeness’ (Gen. 1:26). From this, begin to know yourself. These words had not yet been applied to any of the creations. Light appeared, and the commandment was simple. God said, ‘Let there be light.’ The firmament came into being and there was no deliberation concerning its coming to be. The luminaries came to be without any previous deliberation regarding them. The sea and the boundless ocean: a command and they were brought into being. The wild beasts: one word and they came to be. At this point, man does not yet exist, and there is deliberation regarding man. God did not say as He did for others, ‘Let there be man!’ Note the dignity befitting you. He has not initiated your origin by a command, but there has been counsel in God to determine how to introduce into life this living being worthy of honor. ‘Let us make man,’ the wise One deliberates, the artisan ponders. Do you not fall short of His art? And does not He, with care offer to His masterpiece its intended achievement: perfection and exactitude? – St. Basil


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