Thrice Holy Turning

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When awareness turns, awareness becomes aware of awareness, but does not yet know love of knower as love known.   Turning is not yet illumination and so does not yet awaken to the uncreated light of love.  When love dawns, the uncreated light of love turns illumination round, which in turn is not yet glorification, because light is not yet fully turned, not yet complete as the ineffable glory of love.   So there are three turns to the mystery of turning, initial turning, which is purification, turning turned which is illumination, and co-inherent turning, which is turning turned and turning, which is the mystery of glorification.  Saint Clement of Alexandria was the first to call the three turns purification, illumination and union, each of which lays down its life for the beloved.  Love loves the beloved, by freely laying down the life of the lover for the beloved.  Love’s suffering for the beloved discovers the fire, the light, and the glory of the beloved.  Blessed Origen was later condemned and denounced but Saint Athanasiuss always acknowledged, with countless awakened saints, the holiness of his wisdom.  He, too, taught Alexandria the mysteries of purgation, illumination and deification, together with a hermeneutic of Scripture that purified, illumined and glorified saints.  

Poetic prophecy awakens prayer to all three kinds of turning, that turn through Christ in the Spirit, glorifying the Father of glory.  The Spirit chrismates those who turn in Christ to illumine them, deifying them with the Father’s glory.  Turning is ‘thrice-holy’ because it purifies, illumines and glorifies saints who bear each other’s burdens in likeness to the Holy Trinity.  The saints acknowledge the authority of the Church, not of course, because it usurps God, but because it recognises the co-inherent authority of the Holy Trinity, born out by the experience of numberless saints.  Scripture and tradition bear witness to wisdom, shepherding lovers with the authority of unutterable love.  Seers are not divisive individualists but co-inherent lovers who embrace the union of love without schism.  At no time was God not Holy Trinity, so at no time was the Son not the Son, or the Spirit not the Spirit.  Inspired by love, the co-equal Son freely subordinates himself to the Father and the co-equal Spirit to the Son.  Blessed Origen taught Saint Athanasius these mysteries of co-inherent love as unfolding mysteries of ineffable glory.

Love’s most holy loves all bear witness to the Holy Trinity, but not all at once, but in time, one at a time, as purification, illumination and union.  Nearly all saints in the Byzantine commonwealth embraced wisdom’s vision of the ultimate restitution and restoration of all things, together with love’s hope that all shall be saved, without for a moment denigrating free will.   Hearts remain free to prefer hell to love, but love does not, in the end, condemn love to hell.  What Origen held as hope, rationalistic Origenists turned into a definitive doctrine which was condemned, but love’s unceasing prayer could not be extinguished in hearts transfigured by love, vindicating the great Alexandrian sage.  Love freely lays down its life for the beloved, emptying hells of their victims, liberating the condemned.  If turning were not threefold, there would be no time for turning, being turned or being returned and restored to glory by glory.  Thrice-holy turning embraces timeless glory in time, enabling love to die for the beloved in three co-inherent ways, co-inhering fire, co-inherent light and co-communing glory.