Sfântul Grigorie al Nyssei despre Taina Pocăinței și a Euharistiei ca trepte spre îndumnezeire
Gregory's spiritual teaching has been the subject of more intensified study since the Second World War. Several scholars have seen in Gregory a major exponent of the doctrine of deification, but in fact he appeals to the doctrine less. Like Norman Russell said, deification for the bishop of Nyssa refers primarily to the transformation of the flesh assumed by the Son at the Incarnation (and, by extension, to the operation of the sacraments), and secondarily to man's participation in the divine perfections. But „deification” is not his favored approach. He prefers in general to speak of „participation” in the divine attributes and of the attainment of „likeness” to God. Man transcends his nature by becoming a son of God. It is the sacramental gift bestowed by baptism, rather than any ascent of the soul through philosophy, which Gregory seems to have in mind in this passage. Man does not transcend his nature by his own ascetical effort. The Eucharist is also called in the Church „Holy Communion”, „the Sacrament of the Altar”, „the Blessed Sacrament”, „the Lord's Supper” and other names. In the thirty-seventh chapter of the Great Catechetical Oration, Gregory extends the deification of Christ's body in the Incarnation to the rest of humanity in a similar fashion through the operation of this second sacrament. Saint Gregory of Nyssa would later describe the Eucharist as a sacrifice, specifically an unbloody sacrifice. The Eucharistic mystery bears an objective Real Presence. The bread and wine are believed to become the genuine Body and Blood of the Christ Jesus (a mode of thought supported by such verses as John 6:55) through the operation of the Holy Spirit. The union of divine and human in Christ endowed his flesh with true life.