In the Homilies on Ezekiel, for example, he energetically underlines this function of the sacred text: To approach Scripture simply to satisfy one’s desire to know, means to give in to the temptation of pride and thus expose oneself to the risk of falling into heresy. Intellectual humility is the main rule for one who seeks to penetrate supernatural realities flowing from the sacred book.
Humility, obviously, does not exclude serious study; but in order to make this result in spiritual profit, consenting to truly enter into the profundity of the text, humility remains indispensable. Only with this interior attitude does one finally truly hear and perceive the voice of God. Moreover, when it is a question of the word of God, understanding is nothing if the comprehension does not lead to action.
Found also in these homilies on Ezekiel is that beautiful expression according to which “the preacher must dip his pen into the blood of his heart; thus he too will be able to reach his neighbor’s ear.” Reading these homilies of his, one sees that Gregory has really written with the blood of his heart and, consequently, speaks to us also today.
Gregory develops this discourse, also, in the Moral Commentary on Job. In keeping with the patristic tradition, he examines the sacred text in the three dimensions of its meaning: the literal dimension, the allegorical dimension and the moral. These are dimensions of the singular meaning of sacred Scripture. But Gregory attributes a clear prevalence to the moral meaning.
In this perspective, he proposes his thought through some significant binomials — know how/do, speak/live, know something/act — in which he evokes the two aspects of human life which should be complementary, but which often end up by being antithetical. The moral ideal, he comments, consists in achieving always a harmonious integration between word and action, thought and commitment, prayer and dedication to the duties of one’s state: This is the road to attain that synthesis thanks to which the divine descends into man and man is raised to identification with God.
Read it all.