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Archive for March 10th, 2012

Georgian icon of St Mary of Egypt

Georgian icon of St Mary of Egypt

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This Luminous Darkness

But as the soul makes progress, and by a greater and more perfect concentration comes to appreciate what the knowledge of truth is, the more it approaches this vision, and so much the more does it see that the divine nature is invisible. It thus leaves all surface appearances, not only those that can be grasped by the senses but also those that the mind itself seems to see, and it keeps on going deeper until by the operation of the spirit it penetrates the invisible and incomprehensible, and it is there that it sees God. The true vision and the true knowledge of what we seek consists precisely in not seeing, in an awareness that our goal transcends all knowledge and is everywhere cut off from us by the darkness of incomprehensibility. Thus that profound evangelist, John, who penetrated into this luminous darkness, tells us that no man hath seen God at any time (John 1:18), teaching us by this negation that no man – indeed, no created intellect – can attain knowledge of God.

St Gregory of Nyssa

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When cardinals are again singing, after their long silence, which begins in mid-August around here. And before there are leaves on the trees, so you can spot them in the treetops, looking like red flames afire with song. The cardinal, as I have written before, is a sign of God, bright red, the Russian color of divinity, the Western color of the Holy Spirit, with a varied and always beautiful song. I hear them all day on the mail route as I walk, and at least for now I can scan the treetops, looking for the sign of hope that they are.

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