My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
ALL SAINTS DAY
Saint Maximos the Confessor writes: "God made us so that we might become ‘PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE’ (θείας κοινωνοί φύσεως) and sharers in His eternity, and so we might come to be like Him through divinization by grace. It is through divinization that all things are reconstructed and achieve their permanence, and it is for its sake that what is not IS BROUGHT INTO BEING AND GIVEN EXISTENCE."
UNCREATED Light, according to the teaching of Saint Gregory Palamas and of the Hesychasts in general, IS THE DIVINIZING GIFT OF THE Holy Spirit– "this glory of the divine nature, whereby God has COMMUNION WITH SAINTS." This Light IS NOT VISIBLE TO MAN but also participable by him, and PARTICIPATING IN IT HE IS DIVINIZED. Those who have pleased God and reach that for which they came into being, namely, THEOSIS (DIVINIZATION, THAT IS, PARTICIPATION IN THE UNCREATED ENERGIES, NOT THE ESSENCE WHICH THE WORD ‘DEIFICATION’ CONNOTES)–FOR THEY SAY IT WAS FOR THIS CAUSE THAT GOD MAE US, IN ORDER THAT WE BE MADE PARTAKERS OF His own Divinity–even such as these are in God, as they are divinized by Him and He is in them since He is divinizing them. These also participate in the Divine energy, though in another manner, but they DO NOT participate in the ESSENCE OF GOD. Therefore, also, the theologians state that DIVINITY is a name for the Divine energy."
Saint Gregory Palamas, paraphrasing Saint Maximos the Confessor, says that "GRACE ACCOMPLISHES THIS MYSTERIOUS UNION…GOD IN ALL FULLNESS COMES TO DWELL IN THE COMPLETE BEING OF THOSE WHO ARE WORTHY OF IT, AND THE SAINTS FULLY DWELL WITH THEIR COMPLETE BEING IN THE WHOLE GOD BY DRAWING TO THEMSELVES THE WHOLE GOD, AND NOT RECEIVING ANY OTHER REWARD BUT GOD HIMSELF FOR THE ASCENT ACCOMPLISHED TOWARD HIM. HE ATTACHED HIMSELF TO THEM AS THE SOUL IS ATTACHED TO THE BODY.
Saint Gregory Palamas states: "God lets Himself be seen face to face, and not through enigmas…He Himself to them to the extent of coming to dwell in His entirety in their entireties, so that, on their side, THEY DWELL COMPLETELY IN HIM AND, THROUGH THE SON, THE SPIRIT IS POURED OUT RICHLY ON THEM [Titus 3:6]… YOU DO NOT, HOWEVER, CONSIDER THAT GOD LETS HIMSELF BE SEEN IN HIS SUPERESSENTIAL ESSENCE, BUT ACCORDING TO THE DIVINIZING GIFT AND ACCORDING TO HIS ENERGY, ACCORDING TO THE GRACE OF ADOPTION, UNCREATED DIVINIZATION, AND THE DIRECT HYPOSTASIZED HYPOSTATIZED) GLORY."
Blessed Jerome states: "The truth must now be inculcated more in detail, that WE ARE NOT ONE IN THE FATHER AND THE SON ACCORDING TO NATURE, BUT ACCORDING TO GRACE. For the essence of the human soul and the essence of God ARE NOT THE SAME."
Saint Basil the Great notes: "We say that we know the greatness of God, His power, His wisdom, His goodness, His providence over us, and the justness of His judgment, but NOT His very essence… The energies are diversified, and the essence simple, but we say that we know our God from His ENERGIES, but DO NOT UNDERTAKE TO APPROACH NEAR TO HIS ESSENCE. His energies come down to us, but His ESSENCE REMAIN BEYOND OUR REACH…SO KNOWLEDGE OF THE DIVINE ESSENCE INVOLVES PERCEPTION OF HIS INCOMPREHENSIBILITY, AND THE OBJECT OF OUR WORSHIP IS NOT THAT OF WHICH WE COMPREHEND THE ESSENCE, BUT OF WHICH WE COMPREHEND THAT THE ESSENCE EXISTS."
The distinction made BETWEEN ESSENCE and THE ENERGIES makes it possible to preserve the true meaning of the Apostle Peter’s words "PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE (θείας κοινωνοί φύσεως) [Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church]
(To be continued)
"Glory Be To GOD