Memorial of St. Cyril of Jerusalem (TCC Reads: Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis)

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Have you ever wondered why you should even start a Bible study or a program of reading spiritual classics when there is so much you can never know or understand? In fourth century Jerusalem, Archbishop Cyril answered the question this way,

“But some one will say, If the Divine substance is incomprehensible, why then do you discourse of these things? So then, because I cannot drink up all the river, am I not even to take in moderation what is expedient for me? Because with eyes so constituted as mine I cannot take in all the sun, am I not even to look upon it enough to satisfy my wants? Or again, because I have entered into a great garden, and cannot eat all the supply of fruits, would you have me go away altogether hungry?.. I am attempting now to glorify the Lord, but not to describe him, knowing nevertheless that I shall fall short of glorifying God worthily, yet deeming it a work of piety even to attempt it at all.”

Think about it. The fact that you can’t drink all the water in the reservoir doesn’t mean you should never drink any water at all. The fact that you cannot stare directly into the sun, doesn’t mean you never go into the sunshine. And, just because you never fully apprehend the heights and the depth and the abundance of God doesn’t mean that you should not apprehend what you can.

Give thanks to God for the wisdom and courage of St. Cyril. Get a good guide to scripture (look at N. T. Wright’s series on the gospels) or pick up a spiritual classic (look at C.S. LewisSurprised by Joy about his conversion to Christianity) and start drinking living water and basking in the unquenchable Light.

– Melissa Musick