August 12, 2010

St. Maximus the Confessor: 18 Spiritual Interpretations of the Transfiguration (5)

Continues from Part Four

C. Let us consider whether in each of the above-mentioned forms [of theology] the symbol is really and wisely constituted in accordance with the divine Transfiguration of the Lord. For He accepted to be unchangeably created in form like us and through His immeasurable love for humankind to become the type and symbol of Himself, and from Himself symbolically to represent Himself, and through the manifestation of Himself to lead to Himself in His complete and secret hiddenness the whole creation, and while he remains quite unknown in His hidden, secret place beyond all things, unable to be known or understood by any being in any way whatever, out of His love for humankind He grants to human beings intimations of Himself in the manifest divine works performed in the flesh.

D. The light from the face of the Lord, therefore, conquers the human blessedness of the apostles by a hidden apophatic theology. According to this [light], the blessed and holy Godhead is by essence beyond ineffability and unknowability and countlessly raised above all infinity, leaving not the slightest trace of comprehension to those who are after it [sc. the Godhead], nor disclosing any idea to any being as to how and how far the same is both monad and triad, since the uncreated is not naturally contained by creation, nor is the unlimited comprehended by what is limited.

E. The affirmative mode [of theology] can be differentiated into those concerned with activity, with providence and with judgment. The mode [concerned with activity], starting from the beauty and magnitude of creatures, introduces the explanation that God of all is fashioner, this shown through the radiant garments of the Lord, which the Word shows to be the manifestation of creatures.

Continued Part Six