Four Hundred Texts on Love (Fourth Century) 23

Posted: March 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: St. Maximos the Confessor | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Four Hundred Texts on Love (Fourth Century) 23

54. All, whether angels or men, who in everything have maintained a natural justice in their disposition, and have made themselves actively receptive to the inner principles of nature in a way that accords with the universal principle of well-being, will participate totally in the divine life that irradiates them; for they have submitted their will to God’s will. Those who in all things have failed to maintain a natural justice in their disposition, and have been actively disruptive of the inner principles of nature in a way that conflicts with the universal principle of well-being, will lapse completely from divine life, in accordance with their dedication to what lacks being; for they have opposed their will to God’s will. It is this that separates them from God, for the principle of well-being, vivified by good actions and illumined by divine life, is not operative in their will.

Do we set our will against God? Or do we choose to align it with him? Ultimately, that’s the question. Do we or do we not love God?

From what little we know of angels, it does seem that the nature of their alignment as spiritual beings is different from ours as embodied beings. It seems as though once they choose to align their will either with or against God, that decision immediately permeates their whole being. And it’s unclear whether, having once chosen, they are able to choose differently.

It’s different with us. When we align our will, it takes a great deal of time to permeate our body. And we can shift our will toward God and away from God again and again. The saints sometimes lived to see their will and love toward God permeate their bodies. It’s my sense that many of us don’t reach that point, though it’s what we should strive to do.


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