The Needle of Sin
“Him who thou once didst love thou now fearest, and the form of a slave has superseded that of a free-born child.”
From Sermon 81
LET THE SOUL … realize that by virtue of her resemblance to God, there is present within her a natural simplicity in her very substance. This simplicity consists in the fact that for the soul it is the same thing to be as to live, but it is not, however, the same to live as to live well, or to live happily. For the soul is only like God, not equal to him. This is a degree of nearness to him, but it is only a degree…
To make all this somewhat clearer, let us say that only for God is it the same to be as to be happy: and this is the highest and most pure simplicity. But the second is like unto this, namely that being and life should be identical. And this dignity belongs to the soul. And even though the soul belongs to this inferior degree, it can nevertheless ascend to the perfection of living well, or indeed of living in perfect happiness: not in the sense that being and happiness will ever become identical for her, even after she has completed the ascent.
Thus the rational soul may ever glory in her resemblance to the Divinity, but still there will also ever remain between them a gulf of disparity whence all her bones may cry out, “Lord, who is like unto Thee?” Still, that perfection which the soul possesses is great indeed: from it, and from it alone can the ascent to the blessed life be made.
From Sermon 82
The fact that Scripture speaks of our present unlikeness to God does not mean that Holy Writ maintains the likeness has been destroyed, but that something different has been drawn over it, concealing it. Obviously, the soul has not been cast off her original form, but has put on a new one foreign ...