Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem
"And why did He call the grace of the Spirit water? Because by water all things subsist; because water brings forth grass and living things; because the water of the showers comes down from heaven; because it comes down one in form, but works in many forms…Thus also the Holy Spirit, being one, and of one nature, and indivisible, divides to each His grace, according as He will: and as the dry tree, after partaking of water, puts forth shoots, so also the soul in sin, when it has been through repentance made worthy of the Holy Spirit, brings forth clusters of righteousness."
An extract from Cyril, the Bishop of Jerusalem's Catechetical Lectures XVI in c380!
Today we remember Cyril. He was a challenging figure, frequently at odds with his superiors to the extent that he was exiled three times by the Bishop of Caesarea. Much of Cyril’s exile resulted from his theological beliefs and the lack of trust he showed in the ability of language to adequately convey doctrine. Cyril was finally reinstated to full episcopal duties in 378, and took part in the Second Ecumenical Council at Constantinople in 381. He was a teacher especially of those in preparation for baptism. It is thought that it may have been his desire to communicate the Christian faith more effectively and accurately that led him into doctrinal conflict.
Cyril was also known as a protector of the poor, who willingly sold church property to feed the poor. He is an early example of those Christian leaders whose lot was often to be misunderstood because of the questions that he asked rather than the answers that he gave. A Christlike figure who fearlessly sought the Truth.
As we journey through Lent let's be thankful for those who have gone before us inspired by the Holy Spirit and with the Living Water which can fill each of us when we put our trust in Him.
Rev. John Hillier