GREGORY PALAMAS
(c.1296-1359)

THE TRIADS
(
Defense of the Holy Hesychasts)
selections
 

Gregory Palamas,  Athos, 1371


 tr. Nicholas Gendle CWS (Paulist, 1983) Gregory Palamas, Triads, (Pro hesychastis). Meyendorff, Grégoire Palamas. Défense des saints hésychastes [Spicilegium Sacrum Lovaniense. Études et documents 30. Louvain: Spicilegium Sacrum Lovaniense, 1973]: 5-727.  TLG 3254.003


ON THE DIVINIZING EFFECT of

the EUCHARIST

Triads I. 3.38, [ Gendle, p. 19]

 

Since the Son of God, in his incomparable love for man, did not only unite His divine Hypostasis with our nature, by clothing Himself in a living body and a soul gifted with intelligence ...... 

Ἐπεὶ δέ, μὴ μόνον τὴν ἑαυτοῦ θεϊκὴν ὑπόστασιν ὁ τοῦ Θεοῦ Υἱός, βαβαὶ τῆς ἀνεικάστου φιλανθρωπίας, ἥνωσε τῇ καθ' ἡμᾶς φύσει, καὶ σῶμα λαβὼν ἔμψυχον καὶ ψυχὴν ἔννουν

but also united himself with the human hypostases themselves, in mingling himself with each of the faithful by communion with his Holy Body, and since he becomes one single body with us (cf. Eph. 3:6)

καὶ αὐταῖς ταῖς ἀνθρωπίναις ὑποστάσεσιν ἑνοῦται, τῶν πιστευόντων ἑκάστῳ συνανακιρνῶν ἑαυτὸν διὰ τῆς τοῦ ἁγίου σώματος αὐτοῦ μεταλήψεως, καὶ σύσσωμος ἡμῖν γίνεται

and makes us a temple of the undivided Divinity, for in the very body of Christ dwells the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 2:9),

καὶ ναὸν τῆς ὅλης θεότητος ἡμᾶς ἀπεργάζεται,καὶ γὰρ ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ (30) τοῦ Χριστοῦ σώματι κατοικεῖ πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα τῆς θεότητος σωματικῶς

how should he not illuminate those who commune worthily with the divine ray of His Body which is within us, lightening their souls,

πῶς οὐχὶ διὰ τῆς θεϊκῆς αὐγῆς τοῦ ἐν ἡμῖν σώματος αὐτοῦ τὰς ψυχὰς περιαστράψας φωτίσει τῶν ἀξίως μετεχόντων,

as He illumined the very bodies of the disciples on Mount Tabor?

ὡς τῶν μαθητῶν ἐν Θαβὼρ καὶ τὰ σώματα ἐφώτισε;

For, on the day of the Transfiguration, that Body, source of the light of grace, was not yet united with our bodies; it illuminated from outside those who worthily approached it, and sent the illumination into the soul by the intermediary of the physical eyes; but now, since it is mingled with us and exists in us, it illuminates the soul from within. 

Τότε γὰρ μήπω φυραθὲν ἡμῶν τοῖς σώμασι - (35) τὸ τὴν πηγὴν ἔχον τοῦ φωτὸς τῆς χάριτος ἐκεῖνο σῶμα τῶν ἐγγιζόντων τοὺς ἀξίους ἔξωθεν ἐφώτιζε καὶ διὰ τῶν αἰσθητῶν ὀμμάτων ἐπὶ τὴν ψυχὴν εἰσέπεμπε τὸν φωτισμόν· νῦν δ' ἀνακραθὲν ἡμῖν καὶ ἐν ἡμῖν ὑπάρχον εἰκότως ἔνδοθεν περιαυγάζει τὴν ψυχήν.(40)

   

ST. PAUL THE VISIONARY,
BENEDICT, and EPEKTASIS

Triads I.3. 21-22, Gendle pp. 38-39.

 

FOR [during contemplation] a man truly sees neither by the intellect nor by the body, but by the Spirit, and he knows that he sees supernaturally a light which surpasses light. But at that moment he does not know by what organ he sees this light, nor can he search out its nature, for the Spirit through whom he sees is untraceable.

Τίνι (15) δὲ τοῦθ' ὁρᾷ, οὐκ οἶδε τότε, ἀλλ' οὐδ' ἐξετάζειν δύναται τὴν τούτου φύσιν, διὰ τὸ ἀνεξιχνίαστον τοῦ Πνεύματος δι' οὗ ὁρᾷ. Καὶ τοῦτό ἐστιν ὃ καὶ Παῦλος εἶπεν, ἡνίκα ἤκουε τὰ ἄρρητα καὶ ἑώρα τὰ ἀόρατα·

This was what Paul said when he heard ineffable words and saw invisible things: “I know not whether I saw out of the body or in the body.” In other words, he did not know whether it was his intellect or his body which saw.

Ἑώρων γάρ φησιν εἴτε ἐκτὸς τοῦ σώματος οὐκ οἶδα, εἴτε ἐντὸς τοῦ σώματος (20) οὐκ οἶδα· τουτέστιν οὐκ ᾔδειν εἴτε νοῦς ἦν, εἴτε σῶμα τὸ ὁρῶν.

Such a one does not see by sense perception, but his vision is as clear as or clearer than that by which the sight clearly perceives sensibilia. He sees by going out of himself, for through the mysterious sweetness of his vision he is ravished beyond all objects and all objective thought, and even beyond himself.

Ὁρᾷ γάρ, οὐκ αἰσθήσει μέν, ὡς ἡ αἴσθησις δὲ τὰ αἰσθητὰ τρανῶς καὶ τρανότερον ἢ αὕτη. Ὁρᾷ δ' ἑαυτὸν ὑπὸ τῆς τοῦ ὁρωμένου γλυκυθυμίας ἀπορρήτου ἐκστάντα τε καὶ ἁρπαγέντα οὐ μόνον παντὸς πράγματός τε καὶ νοήματος (25) πραγμάτων, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἑαυτοῦ.

Under the effect of the ecstasy, he forgets even prayer to God. It is this of which St. Isaac speaks, confirming the great and divine Gregory: 

Καὶ αὐτῆς ὑπὸ τῆς ἐκστάσεως ἐπιλανθάνεται τῆς πρὸς Θεὸν δεήσεως· καὶ τοῦτό ἐστιν ὃ εἶπεν ὁ ἅγιος Ἰσαάκ, συνεπιμαρτυροῦντα τὸν μέγαν καὶ θεῖον ἔχων Γρηγόριον,

“Prayer is the purity of the intellect which is produced with dread only from the light of the Holy Trinity.”

ὅτι προσευχή ἐστι καθαρότης νοός, ἥτις μόνη ἐκ τοῦ φωτὸς τῆς ἁγίας Τριάδος μετ' ἐκπληξεως´ (30) τέμνεται.

And again, “Purity of spiritual mind is what allows the light of the Holy Trinity to shine forth at the time of prayer.

Καὶ πάλιν· Καθαρότης ἐστὶ νοὸς ἐφ' ᾗ διαυγάζει ἐν τῷ καιρῷ τῆς προσευχῆς τὸ φῶς τῆς ἁγίας Τριάδος, 

The mind then transcends prayer, and this state should not properly be called prayer, but a fruit of the pure prayer sent by the Holy Spirit. The mind does not pray a definite prayer, but finds itself in ecstasy in the midst of incomprehensible realities. 

καὶ τότε ὁ νοῦς ὑπεράνω τῆς προσευχῆς γίνεται, καὶ οὐ δεῖ καλεῖν ταύτην προσευχή, ἀλλὰ τοκετὸν τῆς καθαρᾶς προσευχῆς, τῆς διὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος καταπεμπομένης· (35) οὐδὲ προσευχῇ τότε προσεύχεται ὁ νοῦς, ἀλλ' ἐν ἐκστάσει γίνεται ἐν τοῖς ἀκαταλήπτοις πράγμασι·

It is indeed an ignorance superior to knowledge.”

καὶ αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἄγνοια ἡ ὑπερτέρα τῆς γνώσεως.

This most joyful reality, which ravished Paul, and made his mind go out from every creature but yet return entirely to himself - this he beheld as a light of revelation, though not of sensible bodies; a light without limit, depth, height or lateral extension.

Τὸ γοῦν ἁρπάσαν ἐκεῖνο καὶ τὸν νοῦν ἐκστῆσαν πάντων καὶ πρὸς ἑαυτὸ ὅλον ἐπιστρέψαν θυμηρέστατόν τι χρῆμα,  (40) φῶς οἷον ὁρᾷ, ἀποκαλυπτικὸν μέν, ἀλλ' οὐκ αἰσθητῶν σωμάτων, μήτε μέντοι πρὸς τὰ κάτω περαινόμενον, μήτε πρὸς τὰ ἄνω, μήτ' ἐπὶ τὰ πλάγια,

He saw absolutely no limit to his vision and to the light which shone round about him;

καὶ πέρας ὅλως οὐχ ὁρᾷ τοῦ ὁρωμένου καὶ περιλάμποντος αὐτὸν φωτός,

but rather it was as it were a sun infinitely brighter and greater than the universe, with himself standing in the midst of it, having become all eye.

ἀλλ' ὥσπερ ἂν εἴ τις ἦν ἥλιος ἀπειροπλασίως λαμπρότερός τε καὶ μείζων (45) τοῦ παντός· μέσον δ' ἕστηκεν αὐτός, ὢν ὅλος ὀφθαλμός·

Such, more or less, was his vision.

τοιοῦτόν τί ἐστιν ἐκεῖνο.

22. THIS is why the great Macarius says that this light is infinite and supercelestial.

(22.) Διὸ ἄπειρον μὲν ὁ μέγας Μακάριος καὶ ὑπερουράνιον τουτί φησι τὸ φῶς.

ANOTHER saint, one of the most perfect (i.e. St. Benedict), saw the whole universe contained in a single ray of this intelligible sun:

Πάντα δὲ τὰ ὄντα, ὥσπερ ὑπὸ μίαν τινὰ περιεχόμενα ἀκτῖνα τοῦ νοητοῦ ἡλίου τούτου, τῶν τελεωτέρων τις ἕτερος ἑώρακεν ἁγίων,

even though he himself did not see this light as it is in itself, in its full extent, but only to that extent that he was capable of receiving it.

καίτοι κἀκεῖνος, οὐχ ὅπερ καὶ ὅσον ἐστὶν ἐκεῖνο, ἀλλ' ὅσον ἑαυτὸν ἐκείνου (5) δεκτικὸν ἐποίησεν ἰδὼν καὶ μαθὼν

By this contemplation and by his supra-intelligible union with this light,

ἀπὸ τῆς θεωρίας ταύτης καὶ τῆς πρὸς αὐτὸ ὑπὲρ νοῦν ἑνώσεως,

he did not learn what it is by nature, but he learnt that it really exists, is supernatural and superessential, different from all things; that its being is absolute and unique, and that it mysteriously comprehends all in itself. This vision of the Infinite cannot permanently belong to any individual or to all men.

οὐχ ὅπερ ἐστὶν αὐτὸ τὴν φύσιν, ἀλλ' ὅτι ἐστὶν ὡς ἀληθῶς, καὶ ὑπερφυὲς καὶ ὑπερούσιόν ἐστιν, ἄλλο τι παρὰ τὰ ὄντα πάντα ὄν, ὂν δὲ κυρίως τε καὶ μόνον καὶ πᾶν ὂν ἀπορρήτως ἐν ἑαυτῷ συνειληφός. (10) Πάντοτε δ' ἑνὶ ἢ πᾶσι τὸ ἄπειρον τοῦτο οὐχ ὁρᾶται.  

He who does not see understands that he is himself incapable of vision because not perfectly conformed to the Spirit by a total purification, and not because of any limitation in the object of vision.

Ὁ δὲ μὴ ὁρῶν συνίησιν ὡς αὐτὸς ὁρᾶν ἀδυνατεῖ μὴ τελείως δι' ἐντελεστέρας καθαρότητος ἐναρμοσθεὶς τῷ Πνεύματι, ἀλλ' οὐχὶ τὸ ὁρώμενον λαμβάνει πέρας.

But when the vision comes to him, the recipient knows well that it is that light, even though he sees but dimly; he knows this from the impassible joy akin to the vision which he experiences, from the peace which fills his mind, and the fire of love for God which burns in him.

Ὅτε τοίνυν τὰ τῆς θεωρίας ὑποβέβηκεν, ἐκ τῆς πηγαζομένης ὁμοίας ἀπαθοῦς τῷ (15) ὁρῶντι θυμηδίας καὶ γαλήνης νοερᾶς καὶ τοῦ ἀνακαιομένου πυρὸς τῆς πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν ἀγάπης, ἀκριβῶς οἶδεν ὁ ὁρῶν ὅτι τοῦτό ἐστιν ἐκεῖνο τὸ φῶς, εἰ καὶ ἀμυδρότερον ὁρᾷ·

The vision is granted him in proportion to his practice of what is pleasing to God, his avoidance of all that is not, his assiduity in prayer, and the longing of his entire soul for God; always he is being borne on to further progress and experiencing even more resplendent contemplation.

καὶ κατ' ἀναλογίαν δὲ τῆς θεαρέστου πράξεως, τῆς τε τῶν ἄλλων πάντων ἀποχῆς καὶ τῆς προσοχῆς τῆς προσευχῆς καὶ  (20) τῆς πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν ἐκ ψυχῆς ὅλης ἀνανεύσεως ἐπὶ τὰ πρόσωφερόμενος ἀεὶ καὶ διαυγεστέρας πειρώμενος τῆς θεωρίας,

He understands then that his vision is infinite because it is a vision of the Infinite, and because he does not see the limit of that brilliance; but, all the more, he sees how feeble is his capacity to receive the light.

κἀντεῦθεν τὸ ἄπειρον συνίησι τοῦ ὁρωμένου ὅτι ἄπειρον καὶ τῆς μὲν λαμπρότητος ἐκείνου πέρας οὐχ ὁρᾷ, τῆς δ' ἑαυτοῦ πρὸς φωτοληψίαν ἐπιτηδειότητος ἐπὶ μᾶλλον ὁρᾷ (25) τὸ ἀδρανές.

   
   

ON THE DIVINIZING EFFECT of

CONTEMPLATING the LIGHT

 

Triads II.3.9 [ Gendle, pp. 56-57]

 

II.3.9 (9.)   Σὺ δὲ προσαγαγὼν τὰς ὁριστικὰς καὶ ἀναλυτικὰς καὶ διαιρετικὰς μεθόδους, γνῶθι καὶ τοὺς ἀμαθεῖς ἡμᾶς διδάξαι καταξίωσον.
... This light is not the essence of God, for that is inaccessible and incommunicable; it is not an angel, for it bears the marks of the Master. Οὐσία μὲν γὰρ Θεοῦ οὐκ ἔστι, καὶ γὰρ ἀνέπαφος ἐκείνη καὶ ἀμέθεκτος, ἄγγελος οὐκ ἔστι, δεσποτικοὺς γὰρ φέρει χαρακτῆρας
Sometimes it makes a man go out from the body or else, without separating him from the body, it elevates him to an ineffable height καὶ ποτὲ μὲν τοῦ σώματος ἀπανιστᾷ ἢ οὐκ (5) ἄνευ σώματος καὶ εἰς ὕψος ἀναφέρει ἄρρητον,
At other times, it transforms the body, and communicates its own brilliance to it ἄλλοτ’ αὖθις καὶ τὸ σῶμα μεθαρμοσάμενον καὶ τῆς οἰκείας μεταδεδωκὸς λαμπρότητος,

Apoph. Patrum, Joseph of Panephysis, 7; Silvanus, 12, “his face and body shining like an angel”

 

as indeed the great Arsenius appeared when engaged in hesychastic combat;

οἷός ποτε καὶ ὁ μέγας Ἀρσένιος ὤφθη καθ’ ἡσυχίαν ἀγωνιζόμενος

Apoph. Patrum, Arsenius, 27 (the old man appeared “entirely like a flame”

 

and also Stephen, while being stoned, (Acts 6:15) and Moses, when he descended from the mountain  (Ex. 34:29)

καὶ ὁ Στέφανος λιθαζόμενος καὶ ὁ Μωυσῆς ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους κατερχόμενος,
[thus happens] when, miraculously, [the light] which deifies [theourgēsan] the body becomes accessible to the bodily eyes. οὕτω τοίνυν καὶ τὸ (10) σῶμα θεουργῆσαν σωματικοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς, ὢ τοῦ θαύματος, γίνεται ληπτόν,
 Sometimes the light “speaks” clearly, as it were with ineffable words, to him who contemplates it. Such was the case with Paul. (2 Cor. 12:4 )  ἔστι δ’ ὅτε καὶ τῷ ὁρῶντι τρανῶς δι’ ἀρρήτων, ὡς εἰπεῖν, ῥημάτων ὁμιλεῖ, καθάπερ καὶ τῷ θείῳ Παύλῳ,
“It descends from the elevated places where it dwells, so that it may in a certain measure be contained by a created nature,”according to Gregory the Theologian, [namely,] He who in His own nature from eternity unto eternity is neither visible to nor containable by any being. (Hom. 45, 11, PG 36, 637B)  «καταβαῖνον τῆς οἰκείας περιωπῆς, ὡς ἂν μετρίως γοῦν κτιστῇ φύσει χωρηθῇ», κατὰ τὸν θεολόγον Γρηγόριον, ὁ κατὰ τὴν (15) οἰκείαν φύσιν ἐξ αἰώνων καὶ ἐπ’ αἰῶνας καὶ ἔτι τοῖς πᾶσιν ὢν ἀόρατός τε καὶ ἀχώρητος.
He who has received this light, by concentrating upon himself, constantly perceives in his mind that same reality which the children of the Jews called manna, the bread that came down from on high.... (Ex. 16:14ff.) Τότε τοίνυν ἣν ἐπωνυμίαν προσεῖπον Ἰουδαίων παῖδες τῷ ἄνωθεν ἐπ’ ἐρήμου κατιόντι ἄρτῳ, «μάννα» προσαγορεύοντες αὐτό, τοῦτο καὶ ὁ κατηξιωμένος ἐκείνου τοῦ φωτός, ἐν ἑαυτῷ γενόμενος, συχνῶς στρέφει κατὰ νοῦν.
  τοῦτο καὶ ὁ κατηξιωμένος ἐκείνου τοῦ φωτός, ἐν ἑαυτῷ γενόμενος, συχνῶς στρέφει κατὰ νοῦν. Τί τοῦτο; Καὶ τοῦτ’ ἐστὶν αὐτοῖς τὸ τοῦ φωτὸς ἐκείνου ὄνομα· σὺ δ’ εἴπερ ἔχεις φάναι τι πλέον. Ἀλλ’ ἐπαν- ίωμεν εἰς τὰ ἐξῆς.
   

TRIADS I.3.5.

 
So, when the saints contemplate this divine light within themselves, (5.)   Ὅταν δ’ ἐν ἑαυτοῖς οἱ ἱεροὶ ἄνδρες τὸ θεοπρεπὲς ἐκεῖνο θεωρῶσι φῶς,

 seeing it by the divinising communion (theourgou koinōnias) of the Spirit, through the mysterious visitation of perfecting illuminations—

ὁρῶσι δ’ ἡνίκα τύχωσι τῆς θεουργοῦ κοινωνίας τοῦ Πνεύματος κατὰ τὴν ἀπόρρητον τῶν τελεσιουργῶν ἐλλάμψεων ἐπιφοίτησιν,

then they behold the garment of their deification (theōseōs enduma),

τὸ τῆς θεώσεως αὐτῶν ὁρῶσιν ἔνδυμα,

cf. Mat. 22.11, wedding garment = ἔνδυμα γάμου / enduma gamou

 
their mind being glorified and filled by the grace of the Word, beautiful beyond measure in His splendour; just as the divinity of the Word on the mountain glorified with divine light the body conjoined to it. τοῦ νοῦ δοξαζομένου καὶ τῆς ὑπερκάλου (5) πληρουμένου ἀγλαΐας ὑπὸ τῆς τοῦ Λόγου χάριτος, καθάπερ ὑπὸ τῆς τοῦ Λόγου θεότητος θεοπρεπεῖ φωτὶ τὸ συνημμένον ἐπὶ τοῦ ὄρους ἐδοξάσθη σῶμα.
For “the glory which the Father gave Him”, He Himself has given to those obedient to Him, as the Gospel says, and “He willed that they should be with Him and contemplate His glory”. (Jn. 17:22, 24) «Τὴν γὰρ δόξαν ἣν ὁ Πατὴρ ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ» δέδωκεν αὐτὸς τοῖς ὑπηκόοις, κατὰ τὸν ἐν εὐαγγελίοις λόγον, καὶ «ἠθέλησεν ἵνα ὦσιν (10) οὗτοι μετ’ αὐτοῦ καὶ θεωρῶσι τὴν δόξαν τὴν αὐτοῦ».
How can this be accomplished corporeally, now that He Himself is no longer corporeally present after His ascension to the heavens? Τοῦτο δὲ πῶς ἂν γίγνοιτο σωματικῶς, μηκέτι σωματικῶς αὐτοῦ παρόντος μετὰ τὴν εἰς οὐρανοὺς ἀνάληψιν;
It is necessarily carried out in a spiritual fashion, for the mind becomes supercelestial, and as it were the companion of Him who passed beyond the heavens for our sake, since it is manifestly yet mysteriously united to God, and contemplates supernatural and ineffable visions, being filled with all the immaterial knowledge of a higher light. Then it is no longer the sacred symbols accessible to the senses that it contemplates, nor yet the variety of Sacred Scripture that it knows; it is made beautiful by the creative and primordial Beauty, and illumined by the radiance of God. 13 Τελεῖται τοίνυν κατὰ πᾶσαν ἀνάγκην νοερῶς, ὁπηνίκα γεγονὼς ὁ νοῦς ὑπερουράνιος καὶ οἷον ὁπαδὸς χρηματίσας (15) τοῦ ὑπεραναβεβηκότος δι’ ἡμᾶς τοὺς οὐρανούς, ἐμφανῶς καὶ ἀπορρήτως ἑνωθείη τῷ Θεῷ ἐκεῖ καὶ τῶν ὑπερφυῶν καὶ ἀπορρήτων ἐπιτυγχάνοι θεαμάτων, πάσης ἀΰλου γνώσεως, ὑψηλοτέρου φωτὸς ἀναπιμπλάμενος, οὐχ ὡς αἰσθητῶν συμβόλων ἱερῶν θεωρός, οὐδ’ ὡς ἱερογραφικῆς ποικιλίας (20) ἐπιγνώμων, ἀλλ’ ὡς τῷ καλλοποιῷ καὶ ἀρχικῷ καλλωπιζόμενος κάλλει καὶ τῇ τοῦ Θεοῦ λαμπρυνόμενος λαμπρότητι.
In the same way, according to the revealer and interpreter of their hierarchy, 14 the ranks of supracosmic spirits above are hierarchically filled, in a way analogous to themselves, not only with the first-given knowledge and understanding, but with the first light in respect of the sublimest triadic initiation. Not only do they [the angels] participate in, and contemplate, the glory of the Trinity, but they likewise behold the manifestation of the light of Jesus, revealed to His disciples on Thabor. (Ps. Denys, de coel. hier., VII.2, PG III, 208BC, and de div. nom., 1.4, ibid., 592BC) Τὸν αὐτὸν γὰρ τρόπον καὶ αἱ ἀνωτάτω τάξεις τῶν ὑπερκοσμίων νόων ἀναλόγως ἑαυταῖς, κατὰ τὸν οὐρανοφάντορα καὶ ὑποφήτην τῆς κατ’ αὐτὰς Ἱεραρχίας, οὐ μόνον (25 πρωτοδότουγνώσεως -καὶ ἐπιστήμης, ἀλλὰ καὶ πρώτου φωτὸς πρὸς τῆς ἀνωτάτω τριαδικῆς τελεταρχίας ἱεραρχούμεναι πληροῦνται καὶ οὐχὶ τῆς τριαδικῆς μόνης δόξης μέτοχοι γίνονται καὶ θεωροί, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς Ἰησοῦ φωτοφανείας, ἣ καὶ τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἐν Θαβὼρ ἀπεκαλύφθη.
Judged worthy of this vision, they are initiated into Him, for He is Himself deifying light: They truly draw near to Him, and enjoy direct participation in His divinising rays. Μυοῦνται γὰρ (30) τῆς θεωρίας κατηξιωμέναι ταύτης, θεουργὸν φῶς ὄντα καὶ αὐτόν, ὡς ἀληθῶς αὐτῷ πλησιάζουσαι καὶ τῶν θεουργικῶν αὐτοῦ φώτων ἐν πρώτῃ μετουσίᾳ γινόμεναι.
This is why the blessed Macarius calls this light “the food of the supracelestial beings”. (Cf. hom. XII.14, PG XXXIV, 565BC) Διὸ καὶ ὁ φερωνύμως Μακάριος «βρῶμα τῶν ἐπουρανίων» τουτὶ καλεῖ τὸ φῶς.
And here is what another theologian says: “All the intelligible array of supracosmic beings, immaterially celebrating this light, give us a perfect proof of the love which the Word bears towards us.” (St. Andrew of Crete, hom. VII in Transfig., PG XCVII, 933C) Ἕτερος δέ τις τῶν θεολόγων «τοῦτό» φησι (35) «πᾶσα τῶν ὑπερκοσμίων ἡ νοητὴ διακόσμησις ἀΰλως ἑστιωμένη τεκμήριον ἐναργέστατον τίθεται τῆς περὶ ἡμᾶς τοῦ Λόγου φιλανθρωπίας».
And the great Paul, at the moment of encountering the invisible and supracelestial visions that are in Christ, was “ravished” (2 Cor. 12:2)  and became himself supracelestial, without his mind needing to pass beyond the heavens by actually changing place. This “ravishment” denotes a mystery of an entirely different order, known only to those who have experienced it. Ταῦτ’ ἄρα καὶ ὁ μέγας Παῦλος, τοῖς ἀοράτοις καὶ ἐπουρανίοις ἐν αὐτῷ θεάμασι μέλλων ἐντυγχάνειν, «ἁρπαγεὶς» γέγονεν ὑπερουράνιος, οὐχ ὡς (40) τοπικῶς ὑπεραναβῆναι δεομένου τοῦ νοῦ τοὺς οὐρανούς, εἰ καὶ μυστήριον ἄλλο τι ἡ ἁρπαγὴ δηλοῖ, μόνοις τοῖς παθοῦσιν ἐγνωσμένον,
But it is not necessary to mention that we ourselves have heard the testimony of Fathers who have had this experience, so as not to expose these things to calumny. περὶ οὗ νῦν λέγειν οὐκ ἐπάναγκες, ἃ παρὰ τῶν πεπειραμένων πατέρων ἐσμὲν ἀκηκοότες, μὴ καὶ ταῦτα προθώμεθα πρὸς κακουργίαν.
But what has already been said should suffice to demonstrate easily to the unconvinced that there is indeed an intellectual illumination, visible to those whose hearts have been purified, and utterly different from knowledge, though productive of it. Ὡς δ’ ἔστι φωτισμὸς (45) νοερὸς τοῖς κεκαθαρμένοις τὴν καρδίαν ἐνορώμενος, ἄλλος παντάπασι παρὰ τὴν γνῶσιν, ὃς καὶ παρεκτικός ἐστιν αὐτῆς, καὶ ἀπ’ αὐτῶν τῶν εἰρημένων τοῖς μὴ πειθομένοις εὐχερέστατά γε δείξομεν.
   
   

THE 150 CHAPTERS

 
64. But even though we possess the image of God to a greater degree than the angels, even till the present we are inferior by far with respect to God's likeness and especially now in relation to the good angels. Leaving other things aside for now, 1168 ξδ'. 'Αλλ' εί καί τό κατ' εικόνα μάλλον ήμεΐς τών αγγέλων έχομεν καϊ μέχρι νΰν προς τό καθ' όμοίωοτν είναι τοΰ θεοΰ πολλφ έλαττούμεθα καί μάλιστα νΰν τών αγαθών αγγέλων, ινα γάρ τάλλα νΰν άφώ,
the perfection of the likeness of God

is perfected by the divine illumination that comes from God.

 ή τελείωσις τοΰ καθ' όμοίωοτν είναι τοΰ 5 θεοΰ

διά τής έκ θεοΰ θείας έλλάμψεως τελείται ·

I should think that no one who reads the divinely inspired scriptures carefully and intelligently would be unaware that the evil angels have been deprived of this illumination and therefore are under darkness, whereas the divine minds are informed thereby and so are called "a secondary height and an emanation of the First Light." Thence the good angels possess also knowledge of sensible things, for they apprehend these things not by a sensible and natural power but rather know them by means of a divine power, from which nothing present, past or future can be hidden.  ής έστερήσθαι μέν τους πονηρούς αγγέλους, διό καί ύπό ζόφον γεγενήσθαι, έμφορεΐσθαι δέ τους θείους νόας, διό καί δεύτερον καλεΐσθαι φώς και τοΰ πρώτου φωτός άπορροήν, ούδένα άν οΐμαι άγνοεΐν τών επιμελώς καί μετά συνέσεως έντυγχανόντων τοις θεοπνεύσ 10 τοις λογίοις. έχουσι δ' εντεύθεν οί αγαθοί τών αγγέλων και τήν τών αισθητών γνώσιν, ού γάρ αισθητική καί φυσική δυνάμει τούτων αντιλαμβάνονται, άλλα θεοειδεΐ δυνάμει γινώσκουσιν αυτά, ής μηδέν τών οπωσδήποτε παρόντων ή παρφχηκότων ή μελλόντων άποκρύπτεσθαι δύναται.
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 


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