There is no other way to know God than by the vision of the Light which comes from Him (Symeon the New Theologian).
Deification – the restoration of the likeness (not the image) – is the true aim of humankind, not just salvation, because deification is the invocation of the great God and Father, the symbol of the authentic and real adoption, according to the gift and grace of the Holy Spirit, thanks to the bestowal of which the saints become and will remain the sons of God (Palamas, Ad Thalas 61, PG 90, 636C; Scholia 6, ibid. 644C). It is deification that allows this name God [to be] communicable, not in its whole signification, but in some part of it by way of similitude so that those are called gods who share in divinity by likeness, according to the text I have said, ‘You are gods (Ps 82:6)’ (Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Response to I.13,9).
And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of My Name will be repaid a hundred times over, and also inherit eternal life (Mt 19:29).
Give Him everything. It is time. Give Him everything without the slightest hesitation: everything you are and everything you are not; everything you have and everything you have not, down to the slightest thing. The Almighty and incomparable Father will supply and repay you like none other. He will repay you with a joy beyond description and He will give you His very own Self.
Yes, the Father will give you Himself and everything that is His in the entire universe, including His only-begotten Son in like (but not identical) manner to how He had given Him to the Virgin Mary – the coming of the Kingdom. Give yourself to the Heavenly Father, therefore, no matter who you are; no matter where you are. Give yourself to Him without fear, from the bottom of your heart. You can never lose, you can only gain.
Theology is theoria – the vision of God (Gregory Palamas).
All truly dogmatic work has a basis in mystical experience . . . all mystical work is connected to the realm of dogma, in that it expresses and exposes the content of the experiences of divine things (Lossky, 1967/1974).
To end, deification turns man into a theologian not because he has studied theology academically and intellectually, but because he attains theoria. At this stage of the spiritual life, man
communes with the angelic powers…approaches the uncreated Light and the depths of God are revealed to him through the Spirit. This man knows many things which are hidden from others, including mysteries that exist in Holy Scripture (N. Stithatos in Vlachos, 2010).
Suddenly the Almighty reveals Himself in boundless humility. The vision floods our entire being and instinctively we bow in adoration…Prayer to this God of love and humility rises from the depths of our being…Brought from nothingness into life, man is drawn by His Creator into the fullness of divine life (Arch. Sophrony, 1997).
Only those found worthy of seeing the uncreated Light are able to gain true knowledge of God (Vlachos, 2010).
When deification occurs, it is not solely the soul which takes part in theoria but also the body, for man sees the divine light and hears the voice of God after both his soul and the physical senses have been transformed by divine grace (Vlachos, 2010). Theoria is defined as seeing the glory of God through union with Him and deification. (more…)
He who enjoys illumination is greater and receives more that he who only tastes, for he has within himself the assurance of his visions (Maximus the Confessor, Hom. 7,5-6, PG 34, col.527).
The Divine One purifies the man who desires Him: by this purification, He creates men of divine character, conversing as with friends with those who have attained this state; and uniting Himself as God with gods, and making Himself known to them perhaps to the same extent that He knows those who are known to Him (Gregory of Nazianzus, Hom, XLV.3, PG XXXVI, 625C-628A).
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God (Mt 5:8).
Union with God became discontinuous after the fall because man became imperfect. Therefore, man can become deified and attain theoria – start seeing God – only insofar as his nous has first been healed by the trials of purification and reopened by the illumination which occurs through baptism in the Holy Spirit (Vlachos, 2005, 2010). The phrase ‘baptism in the Spirit’ as used herewith refers to it as historically understood throughout Christian tradition (e.g., Kontzevich, 1989). (more…)
He was made man that we might become god (Athanasius of Alexandria, De Inc, 54.3).
Through Christ, the Word made flesh, man has access to the Father in the Holy Spirit and comes to share in the divine nature (Paul VI, 1965).
Many, especially in Western Christianity, tend to commingle the terms deification and salvation as though they have the same meaning, but this manifests poor understanding of the two terms as originally meant by the Fathers of the Church. In fact, when the language and context of deification and theosis are replaced with the language and context of salvation, Patristic theology becomes, in effect, displaced by Reformation language (Kharlamov, 2010), with the consequent loss of the original meanings. Salvation is part of deification, but
Is it not written in your Law: I said, you are gods? (Jn 10:34).
He has given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature (2 P 1:4).
Two kinds of deification exist. The first kind refers to the
elevation of man to the highest level of his natural powers, or to the full realization of man…[when] the divine power of grace is active in him…[The second kind refers to the] progress which man makes beyond the limits of his natural powers, beyond the boundaries of his nature, to the divine and supernatural level (D. Staniloae, 2002, p. 363).
For man to pass from the first kind of deification which is well-known, to the second (more…)
Deification is the attaining of likeness to God and union with Him so far as is possible (Dionysus the Aeropagite, EH 1.3, PG 3.376a).
God, you see, wants to make you a god; not by nature, of course, like the One whom He begot but by His gift and by adoption (Augustine of Hippo, Serm. 166.4).
Deification can be defined as “God’s perfect and full penetration of man” (Staniloae, 2002, p. 362). The deification or divinization of man is not “an identification with God; it is only an assimilation, a very eminent restoration of the original divine likeness…[whereby one] participates by grace in the perfections that God possesses by nature . . . (more…)
Deification is the transformation of man into god through the grace of God. Predominant in the theology of Eastern Christianity, but marginalized and obscured in contemporary interpretations of the theology of Western Christianity, Bartolo-Abela explores how it is deification, not just salvation, that was and remains the intent of God for mankind, with deification occurring not solely in patria, but in via and in patria. This is an understanding of deification which has been largely lost and needs to be recovered in the Western Church.
Examining the works of the Church Fathers on both sides of the East-West divide in Christianity, Bartolo-Abela shows that rather than being restricted to the East, deification featured consistently in many theological works popular in the West, with (more…)
The question was asked, “What does ‘the divine inheritance’ mean?” The response is simple, though by no means brief if answered in depth. The divine inheritance means we are called to literally inherit everything God the Father has, with Himself as Perfect Love above all else. And you have no idea what that is like, what perfect bliss and joy it entails, until you have tasted it. (more…)
To be a child of God means to be an adoptive member of the Divine Family.
When we become children of the living God by taking steps to rediscover our true heritage and giving the Almighty Father ourfiat with sincerity of heart, in essence and in fact, we become adoptive members of the Divine Family. The Family – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and, yes, even the Mother* – take us in. They take us into Their Hearts and envelop us in Their bosom, showering us with all we need to become gods by grace (2 P 1:4; Ps 82:6). (more…)
The Apostolate of the Divine Heart announces the publication of its latest book titled The Divine Family: Experiential Narratives. The book is available directly from the publisher and the online bookseller Amazon. For those outside the US, you can obtain the book either from the respective Amazon sites or directly from the distributors.
In The Divine Family: Experiential Narratives, the lived experiences of the author with the Members of the Divine Family and others are presented openly in print for the first time. These experiences occurred from 2010 through 2012. Written predominantly in a dialogical narrative style suitable for believers and non-believers alike, the author chronicles first-hand some of her personal experiences with the archangels Michael and Raphael; demons and Satan, the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and God the Father. (more…)