Four Hundred Texts on Love (Fourth Century) 5

20.  Nature does not contain the inner principles of what is beyond nature any more than it contains the laws of what is contrary to nature. By what is beyond nature I mean the divine and inconceivable pleasure which God naturally produces in those found worthy of being united with Him through grace. By what is contrary to nature I mean the indescribable pain brought about by the privation of such pleasure. This pain God naturally produces in the unworthy when He is united to them in a manner contrary to grace. For God is united with all men according to the underlying quality of their inner state; and, at the creation of each person, He provides each person with the capacity to perceive and sense Him when He is united in one way or another with all men at the end of the ages.

I appreciate the matter of fact way in which St. Maximos mentions that God will be united with all men at the end of the ages. It’s the polar opposite of the very common theme one hears today that some will somehow be ultimately separated from God. No, God is everywhere present filling all things and we will all be united to him. Some will desire that union and through grace experience it as pleasure. Some will experience the love of God and union with him as consuming fire. God does not change, rather it is our own inner state that changes and which will determine that nature of our experience of unveiled union with God.

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