Orthodoxy canonised Hesychasm during the Palamite Councils of Constantinople in 1341, 1347 and 1351, because it recognised Orthodox right-glorification at the heart of love of enemies and prayer for the whole world. Saint Silouan the Athonite taught that love of enemies was the criterion of Holy Orthodoxy and that such love prays for the whole world. Orthodox Hesychasts, inspired by love of enemies, forgave their orthodox persecutors in the same way that Christ forgave his persecutors, praying: ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34). Fear persecutes love but love’s glory forgives and prays for all, because right glory, ascribing all glory to God, undoes self-interested hatred of enemies at its roots.
The Hagiorite Tome of August 15th 1351, insisted that the light of glory unveiled in the turned and seeing heart of the Hesychast is the same uncreated light of glory that transfigured Christ on Mount Tabor. The Tome says that Christ truly is the beauty of the divine glory and that the uncreated light of his grace is his divine glory deifying his saints in his Name. Hesychast wisdom discerned this glory without self-interest in every age and hands it on without reserve, as Saint Silouan taught and Archimandrite Sophrony bore witness in our time. This glory inspires love of enemies and prayer for all as for oneself. It bears witness to the holy oneness of mankind in glory and to the Catholic wholeness of Orthodox Hesychasm and the wisdom of its Apostolic witness.
There have always been canonical orthodox who persecuted Orthodox Hesychasts in their life-time, only to canonise them later on when they were safely dead. This divided mind reflects a pious admiration for hesychast saints in the Church, combined with a state of mind that in practice persecutes the mysteries of the heart. Such ambivalence is cured when the divided heart is healed, but healing only happens when the heart turns and sees the uncreated light of Christ’s glory present in the midst. It is Orthodox Hesychasm that hands on this regenerative wisdom, inspiring love of enemies and prayer for orthodox persecutors. Love of enemies calls for a truly radical forgiveness because ‘they know not what they do.’ Love’s glory alone knows radical forgiveness, seeing God in all and all in God. It inspires prayer for all in the spirit of unconditional forgiveness, which is the grace of holy oneness in the Orthodox Church, Catholic and Apostolic.