Desert wisdom beholds the glory of grace which sustains the incomprehensible mysteries of revelation. It understands the dogmas of the Church to be mysteries of grace which wisdom embraces as glory without confusion or division, beyond delusion and separation. The way of doxological negation does not fixate on itself as destructive nihilism but negates negation and so releases nihilism as well as reification into a healthy realm of wholesome healing. Patristic wisdom is not sophisticated gnostic speculation but simple, humble contemplation. It does not get trapped in conceptual idolatry but unfailingly opens dogma into uncreated light and glory. Knowing in holy unknowing is not agnosticism but deification, which the desert, following the prophets and apostles, continues also to call glorification. The foundation of glorification is not self-centred ascetic effort but God-centred, God-glorifying grace, freely assimilated with our grace-inspired co-operation, which the desert calls liberating synergy. Holy Trinity is grace whose glory wisdom beholds as awareness of saving presence. Seeing God through God in God, Holy Trinity, is sheer grace, never something we do, on our own, as a struggle to merit grace. When the desert loses its wisdom, it loses its sense of the glory of grace, with the result that glorification is distanced, then lost. Wisdom transforms heart and mind. It does not leave self-centred delusion intact but imparts God-centred glorification of God through God in Holy Trinity.
Wisdom hides with Christ in God, waiting to awaken the heart to the mysteries of grace, mysteries which wisdom beholds as glory communicating Holy Trinity. When turning turns and seeing sees, the eye of the heart awakens. Holy Trinity is ineffable radiance of uncreated light, opening to ineffable illumination in uncreated glory. The threefold radiance of the One is neither three nor one, being a mystery of glory radically transcending number and concept. Transcending both monism and dualism, Holy Trinity communicates completeness, completeness that fulfils grace by discerning its glory. Dualism is separation derived from monistic confusion, which is delusion that Holy Trinity cures by being what Holy Trinity always was, is, and shall ever be: saving, healing grace. Trinity is grace and grace is Holy Trinity, which wisdom beholds as glory opening to glorification. ‘I AM’ is God revealing God, through God, grace of Holy Trinity from first to last, from beginning to end. The grace of Holy Trinity calls for a profound turning right round in the depths, here in the midst, which the desert calls metanoia, without which seeing is neither seer nor seen. The wisdom of unknowing, agnosia, is for the desert wise ignorantia, not shallow ignorance. The mysteries of the unbegotten Father, the generated Son and the proceeding Spirit are incomprehensible and ineffable as is the Father’s indivisible Godhead in the Holy of Holies, which he shares with the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Wisdom discerns the glory of grace pouring forth from the Father through the Son, received in the Spirit as the gift of deification. Grace opens to these mysteries of glorification, which the New Testament calls ‘participation in the divine nature’ (2 Peter 1:4). There is no other foundation of glorification than grace, than the gift of Christ’s saving death, resurrection, ascension and glorification. God alone is God and his glory belongs to God alone, yet glorification by grace is true participation in God’s uncreated energy of light and glory. These antinomies are radical and irreducible. They are not reducible to clever dialectics or resolvable by rational means. Uncreated grace descends as wisdom embracing glory, revealed as glory renewing wisdom. The glory of grace is eternal, that is, timeless, although the assimilation of grace takes time, gathering time into eternity in wisdom’s embrace. Glorification is revelation of grace sustaining the grace of revelation, restoring glory to God. The Father of glory generates Christ, the wisdom of glory, communicated by the Spirit of glory as glorification. The death, resurrection, ascension and glorification of Christ are each opened by the Spirit’s ineffable Pentecost, revealed in the illumined heart. This is the wisdom of the desert communicating glorification to the saints, whose sole foundation is uncreated grace, grace made ours through holy synergy. The glory of grace is wisdom’s joy and delight, inspiring her glorification of her beloved, glorification that consummates wisdom’s awareness of the presence of her beloved, the incomprehensible mystery of his glory.