The prophetic practice of returning and listening answers the grace of illumination that generates glorification. Glorification is the hallowing of the Name, SHEM, that is cognate with SHEMA, meaning to hear or listen, as in the shema, ‘Hear, O Israel, ‘I AM’ is our God, ‘I AM’ is one’ (Deut 6:4). Prophecy reminds prayer: Turn and listen, return and hear God unveiling God in his Name, hallowing the Name by listening to God’s doxological HALLELU YAH, glorifying God right here in the midst. To listen is to become one by grace with resonant glory that is heard. To hear is to silence the deceptive din of fallen, reigning powers, in favour of the heavenly HALLELU YAH, prophetic doxologies of God’s glory to come. To listen is to be freed to become free, as in the Exodus emancipation from slavery. To be baptised into the Name is to hear God, inspired, as at Pentecost, by the flaming tongues of uncreated glory, anointed with the chrismating oil of Christ’s uncreated Chrism. To listen is to become by grace what Christ is by nature. True hearing is prophetic as well as apostolic participation in the grace of illumination and glorification. To listen is to take to heart what is heard, to awaken to what is mysteriously imparted by the revelatory Name. Wise hearing awakens the heart and unites the mind with the heart in the heard Name, the SHEM that awakens and illumines the heart with God’s own hearing of God through God. Awakened hearing is one by grace with awakened seeing, with awakened awareness that sees and hears light of glory through the Holy Name. Both seeing and hearing are expressions of Exodus emancipation, of liberating freedom, of freed openness that lives uncreated light as grace of uncreated glory. The Name remains formal, empty and vain unless it liberates and frees the suffering heart of the enslaved. It remains nominal rather than revelatory unless the Name is heard and seeing sees as it is seen and heard by God, through God.
Prophecy is renewed by prayer when seeing sees and the Name is heard. Prophecy awakens hearts to true hearing, listening to the wisdom and glory that abide secretly in the hidden Name. It is this hearing that liberates the heart to dance and sing its wisdom songs of the Spirit’s doxological emancipation. If the Name is only ‘spiritual,’ it is not yet wholly of the Spirit, not yet realised, radical, Paracletal liberation. Conventional belief is not to be confused with the burning confidence and trust of true hearing. A temporal gospel is not to be confused with glory’s timeless Gospel, nor is mere timelessness to be confused with the timely timeliness that completes time by liberating time from time. These are mysteries of glorification that plunge the heart into awestruck wonder. To listen to the Name is to be astonished and amazed at the unexpected presence of glory in the midst. It is suddenly to hear God’s many voices speaking through his manifold names, each glorifying God in different ways. It is to listen to creative difference and otherness in God as well as hearing answering difference and otherness in creation. It is to embrace otherness in such a way that the many in their differences are gathered without confusion into one. It is to meet God in everyone without exception, excluding no-one, even those who exclude themselves by serving reigning, worldly powers. To hear the Name is to listen to the Name’s revelatory openings into uncreated light at every turn, as wisdom expands into greater and profounder openness of glory through the Name.
The Name frees as uncreated light unveils, communicates as light reveals glory to wisdom with hallowing freedom. Hallowed listening and seeing include also illumined touch, taste and smell, five glorified sense partaking of the Name unveiled. Wisdom embraces all five senses with the glory of the Name, but the Name of the Holy Trinity is not three separate names dividing God, but God’s one and only Name unveiled in three hypostatic ways, by the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit. Holy Trinity is not three separate subjects competing with three separate objects but one awareness and one presence, unveiled in three inseparable persons. This revelation is heard when it is truly listened to, not merely when it is automatically repeated by rote in formal creeds and common confessions. The Name, SHEM, is itself the hearing, SHEMA, God’s wondrous hearing of God, through God in God, Holy Trinity unveiled to all, in all, for all, without exception. Those who exclude themselves are not excluded by God, as Zachaeas discovered when he was invited to come down from his tree and welcome Jesus into his home (Luke 19:1-10). As a tax-collector for Rome, he served the reigning, worldly powers of predatory Rome, but as a Jew he remained a son of Abraham, destined to transmit the saving Name to all. The Name unveils that all are created God-centred, in the image and likeness of God, but without the Name that saves, nobody acknowledges or recognises deliverance from fallen powers. Without the Name, all remain fallen from glory, subject to predatory, fallen powers, until they turn and listen, return and hear God at centre, so as to resound with the resonance of uncreated glory, glorifying God: HALLELU YAH.
The ear of the heart turns and listens to the glory of the Cross of uncreated love, fulfilled by love’s glory for the glorification of all. Listening to Christ’s seven words from the cross, glory is revealed in extreme abandonment, suffering and distress, in forgiveness and deliverance, in completion and communion. The ear of the heart hears glory voice costly forgiveness: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34). The ear of the Name hears the thief being assured that today he will be with Christ in paradise (Luke 23:43). The ear of costly love embraces Mary who beholds her son, now at the foot of the cross embraced as mother by the beloved disciple (John 19:26-27). The ear of the heart hears Christ’s cry of abandonment: ‘My God, my God’ (Eli, Eli) why hast thou forsaken me? (lema sabachthani). (Mt 27: 46; Mk15:34; Ps 22:1). The heart of holy hearing does not ignore the cry of distress: ‘I thirst’ (John 19:28) or the word of completion: ‘It is finished’ (John 19:30). The ear of the awakened heart hears unbroken communion in Christ’s final word: ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit’ (Luke 23:46; Ps 31:5). To hear unbroken glory, the heart must listen, not just the ears, for just as wisdom is not just visual perception so wise glorification is not mere repetition of what ears once heard. The awakened ear of radiant stillness is the listening ear of resonant glorification. To turn and listen is to hallow the Name of resounding glory, unveiled as seven sayings on Golgotha, piercing and transfixing the heart. To return is to turn to listen to the Name of glory transfixed on the cross of self-emptying love, crucified in the midst for the glorification of all.
Feast of the Annunciation March 25th 2021.