THE Master remained perfectly in his divine nature, and as a servant took upon himself the nature of a servant for my sake, that he might make me master of him that is wont to lord it tyrannically over me through deception.
By this means, doing the things belonging to a servant in a master’s fashion, that is to say, things of the flesh in a divine manner, he would show forth the power, incorrupt and of his nature, which is lord in fleshly things: through his Passion, obliterating corruption, and through death, fashioning indestructible life.
St Maximus the Confessor (?580-662). Ambigua Ad Thomam (MPG 1044C).
I SEE a mystery that is both strange and a paradox. The cave is heaven. The Virgin is the throne of Cherubim. The manger is a narrow place in which one who cannot be contained in any place is laid! O Christ our God! Whom we magnify, lifting up our hymns.
Canticle Nine, First Canon (Irmos), at Orthos on the Feast of the Nativity.