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Monday, March 25, 2013

Orthodox Spirituality - VI

by Fr. Dr. M. John Panicker

Features of Orthodox Spirituality

In short, we may narrate the following features of Orthodox Spirituality:

1. The culminating state of the spiritual life is a union of the soul with God, lived or experienced.

2. This union is realized by the working of the Holy Spirit, but until it is reached, man is involved in a prolonged effort of purification.

3. It takes place when man reaches the ‘likeness of God’. It is at the same time knowledge and love.

4. Among other things, the effect of this union consists of a considerable intensification of spiritual energies in man, accompanied by all kinds of charisma.

The Orthodox uses the word ‘deification’ or participation in the divinity to characterize the union with God. It, however, does not mean that here there is a pantheistic identification of man with God. But it asserts with courage the possibility of a ‘union’ of man with God, of a direct ‘vision’ of Him, of a ‘participation’ in Him, through grace.

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