Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Parthian Shot on Glory (from one more Original Orthodox Rebel)

One final post on the premise I laid down here, the following is some thoughts by St. Maximus the Confessor. I find it interesting that Maximus (and Augustine and Symeon) lays foundations not only for the idea of Lewis' notion of "glory" but also for the idea of what Lewis would call "the Great Dance," i.e., the infinite bliss of eternal communion with the triune God.

(The following excerpts can be found in "Ad Thalassium 2" and "Ad Thalassium 22" in The Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ.)

God, as He alone knew how, completed the primary principles of creatures and the universal essences of beings once for all [at the Creation]. Yet He is still at work, not only preserving these creatures in their very existence but [also] effecting the formation, progress, and sustenance of the individual parts that are potential within them. Even now in His providence, He is bringing about the assimilation of particulars to universals...[to] make them harmonious and self-moving in relation to one another and to the whole universe. In this way, there shall be no intentional divergence between universals and particulars. Rather, one and the same principle [i.e., communion with God] shall be observable throughout the universe...[and] displaying the grace of God effective to deify the universe. It is on the basis of this grace that the divine Logos, when He became a man, said, "My Father is working even now, and I am working" (John 5:17). The Father approves this work, the Son properly carries it out, and the Holy Spirit essentially completes both the Father's approval of it all and the Son's execution of it, in order that the God in Trinity might be "through all things and in all things" (Eph. 4:6), contemplated as the whole reality proportionately in each individual creature as it is deemed worthy by grace....


Since, therefore, the ages predetermined in God's purpose for the realization of His becoming human [i.e., the Incarnation] have reached their end for us...the other "ages"---those which are to come about for the realization of the mystical and ineffable deification of humanity---must follow henceforth. In these new ages, God "will show the immeasurable riches of His goodness to us" (Eph. 2:7), having completely realized this deification in those who are worthy. For if He has brought to completion His mystical work of becoming human, having become like us in every way save sin...then God will also completely fulfill the goal of His mystical work of deifying humanity in every respect, of course, short of an identity of essence with God; and He will assimilate humanity to Himself and elevate us to a position above all heavens. It is to this exalted position that the natural magnitude of God's grace summons lowly humanity, out of a goodness that is infinite.

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