Heart of Christ

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The consummation of Biblical prophecy in the Book of Revelation embraces the death, resurrection and ascension of the slaughtered Lamb at the heart of his glorifying union with the Father, putting to death, in the heart of Christ, the universal fall from grace.  Raising souls from death to eternal life in the resurrecting heart of Christ, saints are deified in the uncreated glory of grace.  Christ prescribes Baptism in the uncreated grace of his Name to save them, with participation in his death and resurrection to purify their hearts, Chrismation into his uncreated light to illumine them, and Eucharistic communion with his uncreated glory to deify them.  These three definitive mysteries of purification, illumination and glorification, spring directly out of the purifying, enlightening and deifying heart of Christ, but without the Spirit’s abiding in the heart of Christ, they would remain hidden and inaccessible to fallen humanity.  It is the Spirit who opens the unitive mysteries of purification, illumination and glorification in the heart of Christ, whose heart abides in the hidden glory of the Father.

The consummation of prophecy was lived as prayer of the Spirit in the heart, without which the radical openness of the wisdom of Christ and the ineffable glory of the Father’s  grace would not be revealed.  Prophecy was fulfilled by the apostles, who transmitted the Spirit’s insight to elders, who passed on the light of glory to the saints.  Grace was the glory of the slaughtered Lamb, with ineffable capacity to purify, illumine and deify the saints, which is the trustworthy revelation of the hidden mystery of the heart of Christ.  In short, the Book of Revelation revealed the capacity of the glory of grace to save and heal fallen humanity, summing up the capacity of the New Covenant to complete the Old.  This ineffable completeness is not only to be believed but heartily lived in illumination and glorification.  If it is only believed but not lived, it remains without power or glory to renew the Old in the New.  It was the desert’s task to keep faith with glorified life as well as the truth of the Way, ascribing glory in the Spirit to the Father through the Son, mysteriously unveiling the Father’s love that inspired the heart of the slaughtered Lamb.

The consummation of prophecy, therefore, was a holy life lived as the truth of the Way, with hallowing, Spirit-filled prayer uniting heart and mind.  The prayer of the Spirit in the heart completed the revelation of the heart of Christ in the unfolding of glorification.  Prophets, apostles, elders and saints all bore witness to purification, illumination and glorification and shared the fruits of these mysteries of glory with boundless generosity.  Wisdom discerned the glory of uncreated grace in them in ways that have been renewed in every generation since the resurrection of the slaughtered Lamb.  In our time, Saint Silouan the Athonite and Saint Sophrony the Hesychast shared the wisdom of this ineffable love in ways that have yet to be fully discovered and recognised, offering an inexhaustible spiritual resource for many generations to come.  The heart of Christ still draws on the Father’s heart in which the Spirit abides, so continues to inspire elders and saints in future generations, as in our own day.  It is the Spirit’s insight into the heart of Christ that continues to inform and transform the saints, giving wholesome coherence to the Orthodox Patristic tradition.  It is glorification that enlightens saints, as it enlightened prophets and apostles, inspiring elders to bear witness in the heart of the Father to the revelatory heart of Christ, the slaughtered, resurrected heart of the glorified Lamb.