The doctrine of man finding his true reality in his remembrance of God in whose image he was created, is basically Biblical and was developed by the Church Fathers in connection with the theology of grace, the sacraments, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. In fact, the surrender of our own will, the “death” of our selfish ego, in order to live in pure love and liberty of spirit, is effected not by our own will (this would be a contradiction in terms!) but by the Holy Spirit. To “recover the divine likeness,” to “surrender to the will of God,” to “live by pure love,” and thus to find peace, is summed up as “union with God in the Spirit,” or “receiving, possessing the Holy Spirit.” This, as the 19th-century Russian hermit, St. Seraphim of Sarov declared, is the whole purpose of the Christian (therefore a fortiori [it follows logically] the monastic) life. St. John Chrysostom says: “As polished silver illumined by the rays of the sun radiates light not only from its own nature but also from the radiance of the sun, so a soul purified by the Divine Spirit becomes more brilliant than silver; it both receives the ray of Divine Glory and from itself reflects the ray of this same glory.” Our true rest, love, purity, vision and quies is not something in ourselves, it is God the Divine Spirit. Thus we do not “possess” rest, but go out of ourselves into him who is our true rest.

Thomas Merton. “The Spiritual Father in the Desert Tradition” in Contemplation in A World Action. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1971: 287.

Thought to Remember:

In the surrender of himself and of his own will, his “death” to his worldly identity, the monk is renewed in the image and likeness of God, and become like a mirror filled with the divine light.

 

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“The hosts of angels fill the heavens and every firmament…..In kabbalistic terms, if we had the eyes to see the truth of creation, we would realize that everything we see or experience is actually an angel covering or containing a divine spark within it. But most of the time we fail to recognize what we experience for what it really is. In fact, one of the hidden kabbalistic teachings is that the word garment secretly means angel. That is to say, the covering of everything, its form, can be considered a garment. Once we recognized the true nature of garments, we will recognize that everything has an intrinsic value and a spark of the Divine. Recognizing the depths of this truth, we will realize that everything we engage  in our daily activities and in our own minds is actually an expression of God.”

 

– David A. Cooper (Invoking Angels: For

Blessings, Protection and Healing)

 

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It is He who is revealed in every face, sought in every sign, gazed upon by every eye, worshipped in every object of worship, and pursued in the unseen and the visible. Not a single one of His creatures can fail to find Him in its primordial and original nature.

Ibn ‘Arabi, Futûhât al-Makkiyya

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