When the Jesus Prayer is prayed three times, it becomes an invocation of the twelve letter Name, YHWH, YHWH, YHWH, as in the Priestly Name Blessing. ‘YHWH bless you and keep you. YHWH make his Face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. YHWH lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace’ (Number 6: 24-26). The four letter Name becomes the twelve letter Name when it is repeated three times, as in the Priestly Blessing, ‘YHWH, YHWH, YHWH.’ Both the four and the twelve letter Names articulate the Name, revealing what is happening in the Jesus Prayer. When the desert prays the Jesus Prayer, it first blesses the Name and is blessed by the Name and so is watched over and kept safe by the Name. This is the first blessing of the Name, the blessing that hallows those who hallow the Name. The second blessing happens when the Name makes God’s uncreated Face of glory shine upon those who pray the Jesus Prayer and is gracious unto them that are illumined. This is the blessing that the desert knows as illumination. The third blessing arises when the Name in person lifts up his countenance of glory upon them and gives them peace, peace that sustains glorification and deifying union. This is the blessing known as deification, but which desert prophecy calls glorification. The three blessings are all blessings granted through the Priestly blessing by the twelve letter Name, YHWH, YHWH, YHWH, given anew by Christ in God’s Name in the Jesus Prayer. The desert gradually became aware that the first blessing purifies the heart, the second blessing enlightens the heart, whilst the third blessing glorifies the heart but also deifies everyone and everything in the Kingdom of God, filling heaven and earth with Great Peace.
Desert seers not only live the Jesus Prayer as blessing in all three temporal dispensations, but become aware that when the Name is invoked three times, as in the case of the twelve letter Name, it is retracing the revelation of the Holy Trinity from the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is no mere linear trajectory, since the Spirit teaches the mysteries of glory by awakening the heart to the Son, who reveals the glory of the Father. Nevertheless, initially the first blessing is the Father’s blessing that keeps his beloved ones in the saving Name. The second blessing is the gift of the Son, who reveals the light of the glory of his Face, which is his gracious gaze of uncreated grace enlightening the eye of the heart. The third blessing is the gift of the Holy Spirit, who lifts seers up face to face with the glory of the uncreated Face, whether face to face or unveiled face to unveiled face, who can say? Unveiling both faces in one dazzling unveiling, wisdom glorifies the illumined and showers them with Great Peace. Within this initial unfolding, the co-inherence of the persons of the Holy Trinity is revealed but it may also begin with the Spirit awakening the heart, enlightening the heart by illumination, to raise it in glorification within the deifying glory of the Father, which looks like the three blessings in reverse, but is actually revelation of the mysteries of purification, illumination and glorification as they are experienced in the manifold co-inherence of the Holy Trinity.
The three blessings are three distinct blessings from the standpoint of created incompleteness but are one blessing in the one Name, from the standpoint of the uncreated glory of completeness. So the Jesus Prayer prayed once is enough from God’s side to open all the mysteries of glory in timeless presence. But since time is created and incompleteness arises with it, the three times of blessing arise too. The Name purifies and enlightens and glorifies as its blessing unfolds in time, although the Holy Trinity is not in time yet unveils the Name within as well as beyond time, always revealing its mysteries of glory in its timeless completeness. The intersection of the timeless with time is the Name, its glory and the wisdom that discerns this glory in the dispensations of God’s providential unfolding. Falls from glory appear to split the Name, plunging it into separation, dividing awareness from presence, subject from object, wisdom from glory. The Name unifies the timeless with time, once it is itself unified as the unification of wisdom and glory. Once the Name’s original, timeless unity is restored, it unites the uncreated and the created, the timeless with time, heaven and earth, unifying all the sound created opposites that are integrated through Christ in the Spirit. The threefold blessing seals the Name and the mysteries of glory enshrined by the Name. It grants blessing that watches over the purified, blessing that enlightens the illumined with the light of the glory of the unveiled Face, blessing that rises from light into the reciprocating glory of the unveiled Face, granting glorification and Great Peace. Peace is the unsealing of the mysteries of glorification, the consummation of the threefold blessing of purification, illumination and glorification, granting Great Peace in the hallowing presence of the Name of threefold blessing.