January 1st 2021
AD MAJOREM GLORIAM DEI. SOLI DEO GLORIA.
The glory of grace is unveiled by wisdom, not by curious scrutiny or clever analysis, but by wisdom’s discerning insight into the mysteries of grace, which purifies, illumines and glorifies the saints. Wisdom discerns the glory of the Father’s love that gives us the Son in the Holy Spirit, but also discerns the love the Father has for the Son, the love which seeks to share his Son with all, that all might be saved in his Name. This love precedes the foundation of the world, grounding our very existence in grace. If our very being is grace, then our well-being and timeless being are grace also, meaning that all is uncreated gift to which our primordial response is thanksgiving, which gives the Eucharistic mystery its name, revealing the quintessential heart of divine-human reciprocity, the union of grace and gratitude. Our origin and our destiny is love, love freely bestowed on all, that all may be saved. Love’s glory is to forgive all falls from grace by imparting boundless grace, discerned by wisdom in the hallowed Name. This wisdom fulfils time by unveiling past and future glory in the timeless present, whose ineffable presence unites heaven and earth. Wisdom reveals the glory of grace to be the destiny of all, glory that glorifies God and glorifies saints who ascribe all glory to God, because the glorification of the Son is the glorification of all who are in him by grace.
The Spirit seals all who are glorified in Christ, ensuring that glory completes what Christ began, grounding thanksgiving in God’s gift of grace. The Spirit prays for all in the hearts of all who hallow the Name, guaranteeing the trustworthiness of grace with the glory that completes it. The Spirit of wisdom and revelation is the gift of the Father through the Son, imparting God’s own knowledge of God through God the Holy Spirit, awakening the eye of the heart to the glory of grace (Eph 1:17-18}. It was this glory that raised Christ from the dead and it is this glory that raises us from the dead, so that we ascend with him into the glory that glorifies him. Each new year, we begin with this glory that glorifies God and glorifies the saints who glorify God, glorifying God alone, ‘SOLI DEO GLORIA,’ to the greater glory of God, ‘AD MAJOREM GLORIAM DEI.’ God’s God-glorifying glorification of God is the doxological life of God in Holy Orthodoxy, in which saints abide, to the greater glory of God. This glory transcends all earthly glory, all worldly celebrity, all temporal power and majesty, because timeless glory is unceasing as the Spirit’s prayer for the glorification of all is unceasing. Christ’s coronation and enthronement in glory is given by grace to all who abide in him, to all who hallow his Name and are thereby hallowed by his Name.
Glory is the completeness that completes the glorification of all who hallow the Holy Name of God, the ineffable Name above all names and all conditioned naming. Glory fills all in all when glory fulfils glory as the completion of all incompleteness in the completeness of glory discerned by wisdom. This is not the wisdom of the worldly-wise, cleverly serving some self-interest or another, but the holy wisdom of God, unselfishly serving God’s love that seeks the common good and timeless well-being of all. Falls from glory are in the air, so to speak, ensnaring self-centred awareness into self-centred vainglory. But the air itself is not contaminated, because in it, the Holy Spirit of God is unceasingly releasing self-interested self-obsession into God. When delusion confuses the body and mind with God at centre, division reigns, usurping God, but when the Name is revealed, confusion is blown away so that division dissolves into thin air. The Name is boundless mercy because it shows mercy to those who are deluded, saving them from confusion and division. Grace saves, but without hallowing, pride and vainglory continue to intervene, obscuring glory and extinguishing wisdom. So when we begin the new year, we renew our trust in the grace that saves and the wisdom that discerns the glory of that grace, affirming the primordial trust that sees by faith the timeless glory of grace, beholding glory with God’s single eye. The glory of grace crowns and enthrones the saints, purifying and illumining their hearts, awakening them to the experience of glorification and completing it beyond all reckoning. The glory of grace completes our incompleteness because God’s completeness in Christ is our’s by grace, giving thanks in the Spirit for grace given and received.