Gratitude rejoices in grace and in the Spirit that inspires wisdom to discern glory in the ineffable wonder of grace. Confusion gives way to wonder when presence of glory inspires wisdom to sing wisdom songs of inexpressible gratitude, infusing ineffable words of the Spirit giving thanks for the glory of grace. To see who sees here is to behold wisdom’s timeless awareness of glory’s presence, glory conjoined with the timeless presence of wisdom. Wisdom delights in the glory that loves to restore glory to wisdom. Gratitude rejoices in this wondrous revelation of God in his sovereign Name, hallowing the realms of glory that grant sovereignty to seers. When sought among created things, the sovereign Name is nowhere to be found, but once God’s no-thingness at centre is clearly seen, uncreated glory is suddenly unveiled. Wonder is child-like, not childish, when wisdom turns and sees, revealing what was hidden since before the beginning of time. Wisdom opens all doors into heaven when the temporal veil of past and future is removed, but gratitude knows that the veil remains when self-centred scrutiny tries to pry into divine mysteries. Gratitude recognises the priceless treasure of God’s presence when it sees it in uncreated light and gladly gives away all else to revere and guard it. It is this awareness of the pricelessness of grace which recognises the incalculable value of what is found, whereas a cluttered mind runs compulsively after this and that, forever devaluing and so losing what was found. The Name is a living flame, a tongue of fire, but without gratitude, it is lost among the infernal flames that appear to consume the uncreated flame of burning, boundless love. Actually, it is the flame of love that consumes hell, but deception inverts whatever it sees. Delusion thinks death kills life but wisdom knows that eternal life puts death to death through the Name of eternal glory.
Saint Thomas the Twin did not divulge the three ineffable words that reveal who Jesus is because he knew that without wisdom, they sound like blasphemy, the penalty for which is death (Gospel of Thomas 13). But desert elders treasured his significant silence in profound gratitude because it revealed the mysteries that words conceal. Ineffable mystery communicates directly from heart to heart what speech hides, a key insight of desert silence at the heart of Hesychast stillness. Wisdom discloses the Son in the Name, whilst the Son cleaves to the Father in that same Name, the Name being the Spirit’s open door to revelation of Holy Trinity. Saints stand on their own feet when they awaken to God in the midst, but when elders resent this, they reveal that they are not really elders but blind guides, who are afraid of losing control. True elders know that the place of origination is divine generation which imparts grace to the dying, giving eternal life in exchange for death, freeing saints from being controlled by blind terror. The blind often claim to see but when they meet the freedom of true seeing, they inevitably reveal the fact that they are blind. It is not the fact of spiritual blindness, but the blind delusion that blindness sees, that fatally closes the heart to wisdom. Gratitude for wisdom undergoes the experience of the body’s dying without tasting the deadly sting of death. Time cannot separate the Son from the Father in the midst, so death cannot impose its reign of terror where satan cannot separate and the devil cannot divide. Gratitude gives thanks that nothing can separate and nothing can divide wisdom from glory, keeping the Name safe from theft and glory free from infernal falls.
True wisdom rests in peace, grateful that the glory of grace has been revealed. Wisdom is single-eyed when it is sound and one when it is whole. But when sophistry usurps it, wholeness is lost. Sophistry thinks it is wise but its presumption shuts out light, whereas gratitude gives thanks for wisdom, knowing that claims to be wise are fatally unwise, betrayals of wisdom that shut out glory. Truly to turn and see is to stand sure and steadfast in wisdom. But if the blind are determined to lead the blind, both fall from glory into a ditch of confusion. The blind are often determined to deny to the blind any access to wisdom, but when the blind do humbly turn and see, they find nothing can separate wisdom from God. Wisdom guards glory by being as subtle as serpents and as innocent as doves, a saying often repeated in the desert, for wisdom knows how to sustain her own. Wisdom comes into being in the heart as vainglory passes away, like sunrise extinguishing morning mist as daylight warms the frosty air. The sin against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven because it disdains the forgiveness which the Spirit is offering, but the Spirit is always able to move mountains of resistance, acting as if those mountains were never there. Wisdom knows we are from glory and to glory we are returning. True elders do not lay claim to wisdom or usurp wisdom out of self-interested self-obsession. God’s sovereign grace is everywhere, but the blind cannot see it. Gratitude knows the glory of grace and welcomes wisdom home. Wisdom rests in peace precisely where the Spirit is moving and blowing where she wills. Gratitude rests where wisdom abides, centering in the glory that gives thanks for the wonder of grace.