Monday, November 5, 2012

A Continuing Defense of Glory (from another Original Orthodox Rebel)

Continuing the premise laid down in this post, here is an excerpt from "Hymn 1" of St. Symeon's Hymns of Divine Eros. It not only speaks of the reception into glory awaiting the faithful, but also the rejection by glory that awaits the unbelieving.

[T]hus are those who have stood by God Who glorified them:
they persevere, astounded by the excess of glory
and by the endless addition of divinity's splendor.
For the end will be eternal progress,
the condition of additional, endless fulfillment,
and shall make an attainment of the Unattainable, and God,
of Whom no one can get enough, shall become the source of satisfaction for all.

But the full measure of Him and the glory of His light
will be an abyss of progress and an endless beginning;
and just as those who have Christ transformed within them
stand by Him Who shines unapproachably,
so also the end in them becomes a beginning of glory.
And---in order to make the idea more clear to you---
in the end they shall have a beginning and in the beginning an end.

Understand me: one who is overflowing needs no addition,
and runners do not overtake the end of the infinite.
For if this sky that we see passes away,
as well as the earth and all things in the earth, then seek what I say:
it will be the attainment of the place where you find fulfillment.
This All is filled with the divine divinity

And so those who have a share in Him, those who dwell in Him,
how may they embrace all of Him, and so be satisfied?
How, tell me, would they grasp the end of the endless?
It is impossible and by all means impracticable.
For thus neither for the saints still in the body,
nor for those departed to God
can such a thought at all penetrate them.

For they also are covered by the light of divine glory;
they are enlightened, and they shine,
and they revel in all these things.
And they truly know as though by every certainty
that their perfection shall be endless,
and the progress of their glory shall be everlasting.

I wonder where those who fall away from God stand,
those who stand afar off from Him Who is everywhere?
These also shall certainly be within the All,
but they shall be outside the divine light
and certainly outside of God;
for just like those who do not see when the sun shines,
even if they are illuminated all around,
they finish their lives outside the light.
They are separated from the sun
by perception and contemplation.

So also is the light of the Triune Divivity in the All,
and in the middle of the light the sinners are enclosed in darkness,
not seeing, not having any divine perception at all,
but burning in their conscience,
and being condemned, they shall have unspeakable calamity,
and an unutterable suffering unto eternity.


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