- Dr. Peter Steiger
Didymus: Model of Virtue
Updated: Mar 22, 2022
We are grateful to Dr. Steiger, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Chaminade University of Honolulu, to share some of his work on St. Didymus the Blind, patron saint of OCCM. Professor Steiger's research has focused on the early Christian biblical scholar and theologian, Didymus the Blind. Specifically, how this renowned Christian teacher incorporated philosophical ideas from Plato and Aristotle into his commentary on the bible.
In his comments on Job 1:6, holy Didymus suggests that when the devil entered the heavenly court with the Lord's angelic hosts, even if he was somehow hidden from the angels because of his crafty hypocrisy, he could not remain hidden from God, since the Holy Trinity beholds all things, and sees the true intentions of every heart. And it is good, says Didymus, that only God knows the minds of creatures, because if humans witnessed the intentions of the sinner, we would be alienated from her or him and not seek to come to offer assistance for fear of being in danger. And even if perhaps the angels recognized the devil, they reserved judgment for God alone. I understand this as saying only God is of a nature to judge justly and mercifully, since we humans are instructed not to judge, lest we be judged accordingly. It is always tempting to think we can recognize someone who is wrong and sinful, but only God sees clearly, so let us remain humble. Finally, let us look to Didymus for a model of virtue. By his physical disability, he was prompted to trust Divine Providence, since his blindness made it impossible for him to physically see what lies ahead. We too must trust the Lord, and learn to keep focused on the present moment where we are closest to touching Truth, since the past and the future are beyond our control. Holy Didymus, please pray for us to have your vision of God. Amen.