Listening to the Logos

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Desert elders listen to the Logos that names the Name, wisely agreeing that in the Name, glory unifies difference as hallowing union unveiling ineffable oneness.  Elders know that in difference there is no division and that in communion there is no confusion.  They know this in Christ, in whom there is difference but no division, communion but no confusion.  In the Logos, the uncreated is indivisibly united with the created, the created conjoined without confusion with the uncreated.  Desert elders do not go in search of the Logos out there among external phenomena or in here among psychic phenemona, but centre in the midst where the Logos is always ever-aware and ever-present.  They turn and see, beholding the glory of the Name named by the Logos, becoming assimilated to the Logos from within by the grace of deification, theosis.  Deified seers live in harmony with the Logos and are therefore in consonant concordance with the unrecognised symphonic resonance of the Logos in his ineffable logoi, all of which reciprocate wisdom with glory.  The uncreated and the created are in critical tension but harmonious connection with the Logos.  Desert wisdom holds contraries together as wholesome differences, sustaining glory as healthy union without confusion, difference without pathological division.

Listening in the Spirit to the Logos turns the attention round to wisdom discerning glory in the midst.  This opens the heart to the mysteries of Baptism communicating purification, Chrismation communicating illumination and the Eucharist communicating glorification.  Elders do not reify these states as exclusively temporal stages but move freely within them as the Spirit inspires, never forsaking any one of them or stressing one of them at the expense of the others.  Wisdom and glory are the timeless, uncreated energies of the Thrice Holy Trinity, endlessly purifying, illumining and glorifying the saints.  The desert treasures its tradition of graced stillness by imbibing the Spirit’s love of the Son and the Son’s co-inherence in the Father, ever aware that the presence of glory in the Name transfigures wisdom’s vision in the heart.  It is the Spirit’s prayer in the heart which unceasingly hallows the Name, ‘Abba, Father,’ revealing the mystical union of the Father with the Son. The Spirit’s unceasing prayer in the heart remains hidden and unrecognised until wisdom awakens to glory in the midst.

It is the Spirit’s joy to listen to the Logos in his revelation of the Name and to hallow the Name so mysteries of glory are unveiled in the Holy Trinity.  In stillness, elders hear the Logos utter the Name in the midst and listen to the Spirit hallowing the Name ‘Abba, Father,’ in the heart.  Holy stillness, hesychia, is the dwelling-place of wisdom, according to the tradition of Orthodox Christian Hesychasm.  Stillness abides in the place of grace which welcomes glory, discerned by wisdom in the Kingdom of God.  Orthodox seers decided long ago to continue to employ the ancient Temple symbols of the Holy of Holies and the Bridal Chamber or Holiest of Holies, to name this dwelling-place, not forgetting the mystical hermeneutics that preserved this symbolism from reification and profanation.  Elders hand on this revelatory symbolism, together with its hermeneutics of ‘mystical theology’ to this day.  Elders always knew that, strictly speaking, these mysteries of purification, illumination and deification are handed on by the Spirit through the Logos, not by human agency alone.  But when spiritual fathers and mothers point beyond themselves to Christ in the Spirit, this handing over from generation to generation remains healthy and strong, because it is no mere human initiative but the timeless life of Holy Trinity lived as way and truth through the Name.  What is received in the Logos by elders without self-interest, is safely handed on to the saints without reserve.  Listening to the Logos, elders know the Name is hallowed and the Kingdom comes when God’s mysteries are handed on and his will well done, as revealed in the Lord’s Prayer.