Unceasing Increase

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Wisdom discerns the union of beauty and glory in paradise, the paradise that transfigures the earth with the union of holiness.  Heaven and earth are conjoined as a visible union in the Holy of Holies, whilst the invisible is joined with the visible in the Holiest of Holies.  The holy heart of the Holiest conjoins creation with uncreated glory, which his wisdom unveils in her as the image of his uncreated glory.  Christ reveals her glory by unveiling her in uncreated wisdom in the image of his glory.  The five mediations of Saint Maximus actually unfold within the union of Christ and his Beloved.  They do, indeed, unfold in a spiralling increase of wisdom and glory but not abstractly, being modes of his love of her and her love of him.  The paradise of their union is not left behind but ascends through him to her, just as his earthly heaven unceasingly embraces and is embraced by her heavenly earth.  All quintessential unions, the Holy, the Holy of Holies and the Holiest of Holies, are conjoined in the union of the visible and the invisible, which is Saint Maximus’ fourth mediation, and the conjunction of the created and the uncreated, which is the fifth.  His Beloved is never ignored by the unveiling of Christ’s Apocalypse, because she dances with him in every heavenly realm, embracing them all by conjoining together in each. 

Of course, these different mediations are indivisible in him, so are inseparable in her.  They do not fall apart, nor are confused, when they are united.  At the same time, they are not held apart analytically but hold together by the union of their hearts in the revelatory Name.  They do not analyse these differences as if they were hardened conceptual divisions that the mind could grasp, but live them as wisdom’s love of glory and glory’s love of wisdom.  Saint Maximus spells them out for our benefit but does not suggest we should try to grasp them conceptually instead of living them as mysteries of glory, revelations of the heart of wisdom.  In fact, they are flames of love in wisdom’s fire, wisdom’s love burning in every uncreated flame.  All are experienced distinctly yet together in wisdom’s embrace of glory and glory’s embrace of wisdom, just as, in Christ, they are both one and distinct in his Beloved.

As flame, the Name unites the Beloved to Christ, glorifying her in the Spirit, restoring glory to the Father.  Her love bears witness with his as a conjoined witness to their reciprocal co-inherence, which embraces holiness with unceasing yet increasing love.  The living flame of love burns in different ways as living flames, increasing from glory to glory.  The increase of glory is an increase of love, but also an increase of wisdom’s love of glory.   There is no limit to love’s increase of glory, because there is no end to wisdom’s flame or glory’s uncreated fire.  Christ unveils this increase with his Beloved, witness to love’s mysteries in her gaze, discerning the glory of love’s presence in her kiss, united in his embrace of her and her embrace of him.  Wisdom holds steady in Christ’s embrace of his Beloved, never forsaking her loving embrace.  As uncreated Abba energies and created Amma energies, their mutual embrace gathers every union into the co-inherence of their communion, at once both uncreated and created.  She never usurps him and he never forsakes her, ensuring the unceasing increase of their love.  Love’s increase is unceasing in their mutual embrace, inseparable as their kiss of peace, unbroken in their bond of love.  Wisdom’s gaze beholds her in him and him in her, infused without confusion, interfused without division, increasing without ceasing his wisdom’s unceasing increase, united with the unceasing increase of her glory.