a page from St. Gregory of Nyssa
Treatise "On the Making of Man"
I do not like to clog up the RRb with photos because it slows the page loading so severely [for me, anyway], but the impact here is greater with a photo. It might be easier for me to convey my thought if you can see it in context. See where I have pointed [with an arrow in pencil].
This completely contradicts modern thinking. The idea that the earth is the center of the universe sounds as ignorant as the idea that the earth is flat. But we need to stretch and see that in a certain sense, earth is the center, in a spiritual sense. Earth was created before the sun. The planets/stars came after. Everything was ordered for the "crown of creation" which is man. See #3 in the upper left corner of the photo.
Everything has been against us integrating this earth-centeredness concept into ourselves, but for the Holy Fathers it was a given. We have been taught to view the earth as a speck of dust in an infinite Universe. The terminology even, the word "cosmos" – the idea that earth is part of the "cosmos" – reverses our thinking and alienates it from the Holy Fathers' mindset of earth-centeredness. Can we see here how ignorance [belief in a flat earth] might be a spiritual advantage?
Earth has a very honored place in creation. It was prepared for man. And God Himself entered into human nature. How awesome! Don't let the modern rationalist thinking steal this from us!