The transcendence of God



God cannot be grasped by the mind. If he could be grasped, he would not be God.

One day some of the brethren came to see Abba Antony, and among them was Abba Joseph. Wishing to test them, the old man mentioned a text from Scripture, and starting with the youngest, he asked them what it meant. Each explained it as best he could. But to each one the old man said, "You have not yet found the answer."

Last of all, he said to Abba Joseph, "And what do you think the text means?" He replied, "I do not know." Then Abba Antony said, "Truly, Abba Joseph has found the way, for he said, 'I do not know.'"

Imagine a sheer, steep crag, with a projecting edge at the top. Now imagine what a person would probably feel if he put his foot on the edge of this precipice and, looking down into the chasm below, saw no solid footing nor anything to hold on to.

This is what I think the soul experiences when it goes beyond its footing in material things, in its quest for that which has no dimension and which exists from all eternity. For here there is nothing it can take hold of, neither place nor time, neither measure nor anything else; our minds cannot approach it.

And thus the soul, slipping at every point from what cannot be grasped, becomes dizzy and perplexed and returns once again to what is connatural to it, content now to know merely this about the Transcendent, that it is completely different from the nature of the things that the soul knows.

The mystery of the incarnation



God became man so that men might become gods.

He whom none may touch is seized;

He who looses Adam from the curse is bound.

He who tries the hearts and inner thoughts of man is unjustly brought to trial;

He who closed the abyss is shut in prison.

He who closed ...

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