Wisdom of Emmaus

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The Eucharistic wisdom of Emmaus is the wisdom of the burning heart, the wisdom of recognition that awakens hearts to the living flame of the unifying Name  (Luke 24: 13-35).  Recognition burns away impurity to purify the heart through the remembrance of God, which is not to be confused with conventional formal memory because it is God’s remembrance of God, through God, Holy Trinity.  Wisdom illumines the heart with glory, which is uncreated flame of purifying fire, awakening mutual reciprocal recognition of God, God awakening us through God to God at the breaking of bread.  The wisdom of Emmaus is inseparable from the wisdom of Pentecost, because it was the same tongue of fire that burned in the hearts of patriarchs and prophets as burns in the hearts of apostles and martyrs at Pentecost, inspiring the same wisdom that awakens elders and saints to realms of glory in our own day.  Wisdom expounds the Scriptures in such a way that the Spirit that inspired them inspires recognition of God through his Name.  This spiritual hermeneutic is integral to the wisdom of Emmaus and grounds it in the Spirit’s witness to the remembrance of God.  God’s living flame of love cleanses the heart of all that obscures the remembrance of God in his Name.  For truly God is a consuming fire extinguishing confusion and curing division.  Burning hearts are not optional extras but are intrinsic to the wisdom that awakens glory imparting recognition of God, deifying recognition that soundly sustains the remembrance of God.

The wisdom of Emmaus also prevents the Eucharist from descending into shallow ritualism bereft of the remembrance of God, preserving the Spirit of the Liturgy from reductive traditionalism.  As Pentecost renews this wisdom, so the Spirit prays unceasingly in awakened hearts, renewing recognition of God through his Name as hallowing remembrance.  Emmaus is the moment when the Last Supper transfigures into an Eternal Eucharist, not the conceptual eternity of everlasting time but timeless communion of ‘I AM’ with ‘I AM,’ which is the timeless union of the Father and the Son.  The Spirit proceeds from the Father to abide in the Son, bearing witness to this timeless union at the heart of all eucharistic communion.  Every Eucharist repeats the sacred rites but this remembrance of God by God in God is timeless, so that there is no temporal separation of what God in his Name makes one.  The wisdom of Emmaus guarantees this timeless mystery as a mystery of many realms of glory.  Glory does not run dry nor the wine of this union run out.  Emmaus sustains it by restoring glory to God, undoing all forms of shortfall from glory.  Mount Tabor sustains it by restoring this glory through the Son to the Father, transfiguring all worlds through this timeless transfiguring Eucharist.  Hesychast Fathers like Saint Gregory Palamas remind us of what Saint Symeon the New Theologian recognised, that burning hearts see God when God’s flame of the Name unveils God, wisdom aware and present in the timeless realms of glory.

Emmaus is not therefore a place in space that recalls an event in time, but is the timeless mystery of recognition opening to the timeless remembrance of God.  The burning heart says it all, because uncreated light is burning presence, purifying the heart.  The heart is purified then illumined when glory begins to open the mysteries of glorification.  Realms of glory open when the Name is hallowed, not one realm only but many, because wisdom is always manifold.  ‘I AM’ is the Name of names opening to many realms of glory because divine names are innumerable and their hallowing combinations are without number in wisdom’s embrace.  Glory is manifold too when wisdom’s embrace includes countless divine names within her innumerable unions  and communions.  There is one awareness ever present and one presence ever aware but the wisdom that discerns glory in countless realms is manifold.  Realms of glory inter-penetrate because ‘I AM’ is at centre everywhere, one awareness, one presence revealing ineffable oneness manifesting as realms of glory beyond number.   God reveals God in his Name in theophanies of many names, aware and present at centre as many realms of glory in the midst.  But the objectifying mind cannot grasp the mind of Christ, and reifying notions of God cannot grasp the revelation of God’s Name.  Instead, the wisdom of Emmaus unveils recognition of God in burning hearts, beholding realms of glory manifest wherever wisdom turns and frees these realms to liberate, restoring glory to all God’s countless names as their unceasing release, unveiling many glorious modes of the remembrance of God.