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A Maze-ing Grace

An archeological expedition in Bulgaria just discovered a labyrinth, similar to the famous labyrinth on the island of Crete.

This find gives us another window into the world of the Fathers. It must have been a labyrinth like this one that inspired St. Gregory of Nyssa to write of the “maze of life.” The following passage (included in my book The Fathers of the Church) comes from comes from St. Gregory’s “Great Catechism,” which he wrote as a training manual for Christian teachers, around the year 385.

People lost in the corridors of mazes can navigate the twists and turns and blind alleys, if they happen to find someone who has been through it all before. They can get to the end by following behind — which they could not do, if they did not follow their leader step by step. So I beg you to listen: our human minds cannot thread the maze of this life unless we pursue that same path as He did. He was once in it, yet He got beyond the difficulties that hemmed Him in. By the maze I mean that prison of death that leaves no exit and encloses the miserable human race…

He, the Man from above, took death upon Himself. He was buried in the earth, and He returned back to life on the third day. So everyone who is joined to Him by virtue of His body may look forward to the same happy ending.