Meeting the Divine Light – 8

“God . . . is and remains in His essence transcendent and nonparticipable; neither men nor angels may know His essence or participate in it. Yet, in spite of this, He preserves a real and immediate relationship with the world through His natural energy, which, being the radiance of the divine nature, is itself uncreated” (Palamas, in G. I. Mantzaridis, 1984, The deification of man, p. 104).

“There is no natural essence without energy, nor energy without essence. Rather, we recognize the essence by virtue of the energy, this energy manifesting and testifying to the essence. For no one has ever seen God’s essence; but we come to believe in the essence by virtue of the energy” (Basil the Great, ibid., p. 106).

“Just as the entire divinity became man, although not every hypostasis became man; and just as it was not according to essence, but in the person of one of the three hypostases, that God joined Himself to our substance: so the entire divinity deifies the saints” (Palamas, ibid., pp. 107-8).

“According to Palamas, the deifying gift is ‘enhypostatic’ . . . because it is firmly united with the concrete hypostasis of man. Obviously, not all men who have had deifying grace conferred on them participate in it to an equal extent. The degree of participation depends on the degree of purity and receptiveness” (Mantzaridis, 1984, The deification of man, p. 108).