Deification “is indeed a mystical union with God beyond intellect and reason” (Gregory Palamas, III.1.28).
“This union will enable persistence to the end with a pure spirit in the most narrow relations with God” (Gregory Palamas, II.2.20). Such relations were defined as “direct relations with God in which no intermediary such as an angel intervenes” (II.3.27-28). Deification is not hypostatic: “Hypostatic union happens to be predicated of the Word and God-man alone . . . those deemed worthy of union with God are united to God in energy and spirit” (Capita 75). “By this union the mind sees God in the Spirit in a manner transcending human powers” (II.3.11).
“Deification is also 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 grace the saints become and will remain the sons of God” (Gregory Palamas, III.1.28).
“Perfect contemplation of God and divine things is not only a stripping away, but beyond this, a participation in divine things, a gift and possession more than stripping away” (Gregory Palamas, The triads, I.3.18).
“If contemplation may not be equated with the via negativa, neither is it identifiable with the via positiva: contemplation is not simply abstraction or negation but a union and a divinization that occurs mystically and ineffably by the grace of God” (Williams, on Gregory Palamas I.3.17).
“To understand the nature of God is to become deified; those who know that God is Spirit are those who become god completely and know God in God … [they] see God by God (Gregory Palamas, II.3.68; II.3.52).
“Those who have been purified … make themselves worthy to contemplate invisible things, the essence of God remaining beyond their attainment; but those who are worthy of this contemplation can be initiated into it and make it the object of their understanding; thus they participate Continue reading
“Deification is both the light encountered (inasmuch as it is a visible apparition) and something that attaches to the person, becoming one with her and changing her. It is both God as other and God transforming the human person from within” (A. N. Williams, 1999).
The deifying gift of the Spirit is “the deifying energy of the superessential divine essence, although not the totality of this energy … Deification is … everywhere, ineffably present in the essence and inseparable from it, as its natural power. But if [the divine manifestation] seizes a suitable material, free from every veil … Continue reading
“Deification is an enhypostatic and direct illumination which has no beginning but appears in those worthy as something exceeding their comprehension. It is indeed a mystical union with God beyond intellect and reason, in the age when creatures will no longer know corruption. Thanks to this union, the saints, Continue reading
“What belongs to the divine nature is predicated of the human nature—not, indeed, as it belongs wssentially to the divine nature, but as it is participated by the human nature. Hence, whatever cannot be participated by the human nature (as to be uncreated and omnipotent), is nowise predicated of the human nature” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, III.16, S ad 3).
“When it is said that the Father doth not give the Spirit by measure … it may be referred to the gift which is given the human nature, to be united to the Divine Person” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, III.7,11 ad 1).
“The disposition to the form of fire can be natural only to the subject of that form. Hence the light of glory cannot be natural to a creature unless the creature has a divine nature; which is impossible. But by this light the rational creature is made deiform” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Response to 1.12,5 ad 3).
“By way of similitude, however, ‘this name God is 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)” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Response to I.13,9).
“When any created intellect sees the essence of God, the essence of God itself becomes the intelligible form of the intellect … This increase of the intellectual powers is called the illumination of the intellect, as we also call the intelligible object itself by the name of the light of the illumination [lumen vellux]. And Continue reading
“Man’s happiness is twofold … One is proportionate to human nature, a happiness to wit, which man can obtain by means of his natural principles. The other is a happiness surpassing man’s nature, and which man can obtain by the power of God alone, by a kind of participation of the Godhead [ad quam Continue reading
“It is … necessary that God alone should deify, bestowing a partaking of the divine nature … The gift of grace surpasses every capability of created nature, since it is nothing short of a partaking of the divine nature, which exceeds every other nature” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Response to I-II.112, 1).
Man is granted the grace of theology when, carried on wings of love in theoria and with the help of the Holy Spirit, he discerns the qualities of God – Maximus the Confessor.
God the Father, uncircumscribed and uncreated, is “always good by nature, so He is always generative by nature . . . [He] represents all paternity and only paternity in relation to a unique Son, who represents all sonship and only sonship in relation to the Father . . . [Thus] when we think of Him as Father and call Him Father, He is understood Continue reading
“The soul becomes god and rests from all its mental and physical works by participation in divine grace; at the same time all the natural operations of the body rest with it. They are deified along with the soul in proportion to its participation in the deification, to the extent that then only God will be visible, through the soul as well as through the body; t Continue reading
“The gift of grace surpasses every capability of created nature, since it is nothing short of a partaking of the Divine Nature, which exceeds every other nature . . . God alone should deify, bestowing a partaking of the Divine Nature by a participated likeness” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, 2.1:112.1).
Deification is God’s perfect and full penetration of man (Dumitru Staniloae)
Meeting the Divine Light results in our obtaining “a knowledge beyond everything which we experience within the limits of our natural power of knowing . . . [Resulting in] knowledge beyond knowledge . . . The vision of the Divine Light is a vision and a knowledge [cause by a] divine energy, and received by man by means of a divine energy. It is a vision Continue reading
“What do men want? To become gods or to make gods?”(Augustine of Hippo, Dolbeau 6.3).
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).
There are two kinds of deification. The first kind refers to the “elevation of man to the highest level of his natural powers . . . [by] the divine power of grace [being] active in him Continue reading
“May you too be a partaker and ever increase the participation, there you may say not only, ‘We have become partakers of Christ’ (Heb 3:14), but also, ‘We have become partakers of God’” (Origen to Gregory Thaumaturgus, The Philokalia).
The hymn below both encapsulates and describes precisely what it is like to meet the indescribable Divine Light:
“What is this awesome mystery that is taking place within me?
I can find no words to express it:
My poor hand is unable to capture it, Continue reading
“If you have not discerned that the eye of your mind has been opened,
And that it has seen the light;
If you have not perceived the sweetness of the Godhead;
If you have not been personally enlightened by the Holy Spirit . . . Continue reading
When we meet the Divine Light of God in the heart of our souls, we do not need to attempt to “seek out either His nature or the energies of His Holy Spirit; their ‘how’ or ‘why’ [because the Light Himself] is sufficient. [He is both] that which is seen and the instrumentality by which the created soul is given to see” (Symeon the New Theologian).
When we experience a desire for God, the very desire itself, comes from the personal presence of the Holy Spirit (Symeon the New Theologian).
The Divine Light gives the individual “boldness before God, the boon of speaking to Him as friend to Friend and of interceding on behalf of others . . . It is the robe and crown of glory which Adam lost in Eden . . . the presence now of the world to come, the foretaste and pledge of the eschaton, here in our midst as it shall be on the last day . . . Continue reading