HIS LIFE IS MINE
By Archimandrite Sophrony
Through Dark to Light
“A man is born into the world” (John 16:21). Before Christ, no one ever greeted with such rapture the appearance of MAN as He Who had created man. The Creator of the universe rejoiced more man than ALL THE REST OF THE COSMOS. Man, competed and perfected, is wondrous, even as God is wondrous. He is IMMORTAL and SUPRA-COSMIC. He is more than A MICROCOSM-he is MICROTHEOS. For the Eternal Logos/Word of the Father to be made flesh “IN THE LIKENESS OF MAN” (Philippians 2:7) means that, with the gift of love, MAN, IN TURN, MAY BECOME LIKE GOD, even to identity.
Between God and man, there is and must be commensurability in spite of all that is non-commensurable. To dismiss this idea of commensurability would make it totally impossible to interpret any form of cognition as truth–that is, as corresponding to the reality of Primordial Being. If man by the nature of his spirit is not “LIKE UNTO GOD”, then neither could God COULD HAVE BEEN MADE MAN. In the lofty bliss of His All-Perfect Being God, infinite goodness, desired to bestow this bliss ‘OUTSIDE’ Himself, and so He created a world of reasonable beings. He did NOT create them for a part only of His bliss–any elements of limitation would indicate UNLIKENESS and rule out Eternal unity with Godon the highest plane…
“…The tragedy of creation came with the fall and continues in our perpetual instability. Prone to evil, we detest and fight evil; in our longing FOR THE ABSOLUTE GOOD, FOR GOD, WE PUSH Him away ad resist Him.
Christ, having linked God and man INSEPARABLY IN Himself, is the one and only solution of the apparently insoluble conflict. He is like in truth “the Savior of the world” (John 4:42). He is the measure OF ALL THINGS, Divine and human. He is the sole way to the Father. He is the sun which ILLUMINATES THE UNIVERSE. Only in His Light can the way be seen…
“…By darkness, by all that defiles, WE MEAN PRIDE. PRIDE IS AT THE ROOT OF EVERY SIN. Christ began His preaching on earth by A CALL TO REPENTANCE– TO A RADICAL ALTERATION IN OUR APPROACH TO LIFE. Our normal perspective changes to its opposite: HUMILITY RAISES, PRIDE CASTS DOWN. God manifests Himself to us IN ABSOLUTE HUMILITY. THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF REPENTANCE WHICH HAS NO END ON EARTH, FOR AN END WOULD INDICATE PERFECT DEIFICATION (THEOSIS)–EQUALITY WITH Christ-God.
It is a fact that sorrowful prayer becomes all-enveloping. There is nothing left in mind or heart: DEATH ENGULFS ALL CREATION, OURSELVES FIRST AND FOREMOST. And lo, there appears that which “EYE HATH NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NEITHER HAS ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN” (cf. Corinthians 2:9)–a ray of the UNCREATED Sun to pierce DEEP INTO OUR DARKNESS.
The Divine Light, hidden, mysterious by nature, imparts NEW LIFE TO THE SOUL. Immaterial by nature, yet sometimes to be seen, it gently draws to itself the spirit of man; and the earth and its alarms are forgotten. MEEK, it is more powerful than aught else. It comforts the soul; the heart melts; the mind is stilled. IT IS LIFE SUFFUSED WITH LOVE (AGAPE). Doubt and fear ARE DRIVEN OUT. DEATH FLEES BEFORE ITS FACE.
O Holy Spirit, mysterious Light;
O Light inscrutable, Light beyond all name:
Come and abide in us.
Deliver us from the darkness of ignorance;
and fill us with the stream of Thy knowledge.
This Light is the Light of Divinity. Ineffably tender, one is unaware of its approach. It may come in the night watch. Or at bright noon-day. As even light, entire, it is the breath of love. It brings peace. It brings an experience of RESURRECTION. The spirit of man enters the realm WHERE DEATH IS NO MORE. Time is at a standstill. The world, hitherto DEVOURED BY DEATH, COMES TO LIFE.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Light everlasting;
Who from the Father didst shine forth before all worlds;
Who didst open the eyes of the man that was born blind:
Do Thou open the eyes of our hearts;
and grant us to behold Thee, Our Creator, and Our God.