Why we need, both individually and as a people, the Purification and Illumination that are coming
We cannot acquire true love for God the Father and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, as He so profoundly and longstandingly desires us to do, unless the heart of our souls (the nous) has first been purified and illuminated. This because it is precisely the heart of the soul that “is the image of God, knows God, and alone of everything on earth can, if it wishes, become god” (Gregory Palamas) by grace – the deification of man. Sense perceptions cannot be lifted up to know God, because they are irrational powers of the soul. Meanwhile, opinion and mind, two rational powers of the soul, “are not detached from the imagination . . . [hence they are unsuitable for knowing God] because they function through the organ of man’s natural spirit” (Met. Hierotheos. 2010. The science of spiritual medicine). The Apostle Paul said, “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Cor 2:14). It is the nous, therefore, the heart of the soul, that both can and has the ability to both know God and become god by grace, because “love for God has nothing to do with the senses or fantasies, but is connected with the nous, once it has been purified and receives God’s illumination” (Gregory Palamas).