Deification

It is time – The relationship between the Father and the child

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.

On deification – 6

Deification and theology

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).

On deification – 5

Deification and Theosis

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…)

On deification – 4

Illumination and Deification

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…)

On deification – 3

Deification versus Salvation

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

(more…)

On deification – 2

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…)

On deification – 1

What is deification?

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…)

NEW – Deification of Man in Christianity

Deification Front CoverDeification 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…)

Description of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God – 3

FOR THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER

The Virgin Mary sings

You stood at the right archway of my dining room late that weekday evening, once again without your crown; wearing your white, floor-length mantle with its blue ribbon traveling inside its borders. This time you came as the joyful Mother at work. Singing an incredibly beautiful albeit unknown song with boundless joy, happiness and love on your petite face, your luxuriously melodious and tonal singing made me feel as though liquid love was suddenly being drained all over me. It was as though Heaven itself was being poured out. No earthly voice or song can, in fact, compare to yours, as your infinitely sweet song was the song of joy of the Holy Trinity mediated through your deified body.  (more…)

Why we were created – 3 – To become deified by God our Father

“The highest expression of the dignity and vocation of man, according to the Christian vision, is crystallized in the doctrine of the divinization of man . . . The Greek Fathers, surmounting all the encumbrances that the pagan use had accumulated on the concept of deification (theosis), made it the fulcrum of their spirituality . . . ‘The aim of life for Greek Christians — one reads in the (more…)

More on God the Father – 4 – Patristics

After we have undergone purification and illumination, “God no longer comes to us as before without appearance and without image . . . He comes under a certain image, and yet it is the image of God . . . [He] makes Himself seen in His simplicity, formed out of  formless, incomprehensible, ineffable light . . . He makes Himself seen clearly, He is perfectly recognizable, He speaks and hears in a way (more…)

How Our Father manifests Himself – Patristics

“God permits Himself to be seen face-to-face, not in enigmas . . . He becomes attached to those worthy as is a soul to its body, to its own members; that He unites Himself to them to the extent of dwelling completely in them, so that they too dwell entirely in Him, that ‘through the Son, the Spirit is poured out in abundance on us’ . . . [Thus] God allows Himself to be seen according to (more…)

Meeting God the Father in Spirit and in Truth – Patristics

The following is an accurate description of what it is like to meet the Beauty and Majesty of God our Almighty Father on His Throne, in Spirit and in Truth. This description was written by Gregory Palamas, the saint-theologian of the Divine Light:

The Divine Light “is not the essence of God, for that is inaccessible and incommunicable . . . (more…)