M. Mira (Pontificia Università della Santa Croce, Roma)
In the commentary of the prayer of our Lord, Gregory of Nyssa teaches to ordinary christians that they should pray while they work. This kind of ininterrupted prayer was recomended also by the messalians, but these ascets affirmed that praying continuously was possible only for people who put aside their work. Is there some kind of polemic between Gregory and the messalians? Gregory seems to foster the messalian spirituality in his work De instituto christiano, where he reelaborates the macarian Epistula magna. The commentary of the prayer of the Lord and the De instituto christiano contain the idea of the prayer as the mean to obtain the «symmachia» of God in our works, and the exhortation to pray in order to avoid the danger of working for our own exaltation instead of working for the glory of God. Could these two coincidences show that Gregory uses messalian ideas in the commentary of the De oratione dominica, or, instead of that, that he uses some ideas of the commentary to give some advice to the messalian community?