Like a Teacher

From Commentary on Romans (ca. 246)

The Holy Spirit is like a teacher who takes on an untrained student, one who does not yet know even the alphabet. To be able to teach and instruct, the teacher has to stoop down to the initial steps of the pupil, had to sound out the names of the letters so that the student can learn by repeating them. Like a beginning student, the teacher sounds out and practices the things the beginner should say and do. In the same way, when the Holy Spirit sees our spirit being harassed by the attacks of the flesh and not knowing what it ought to ask in prayer, the Holy Spirit acts like a teacher, first saying the prayer which our spirit should then follow if it wishes to become a student of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit utters the groans by which our spirit learns to groan.

Origen (ca. 185-254) was an Egyptian scholar and theologian, who taught at the Catechetical Schools of Alexandria and Caesarea, and wrote extensive Biblical commentaries and theological treatises. He was the greatest of the Alexandrian theologians and his allegorical methods of interpretation deeply shaped subsequent Biblical study and ascetical practice.


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