AD MAJOREM GLORIAM DEI: SOLI DEO GLORIA
The heavens declare the glory of God by revealing an eternal dance of love round the grace of love that draws everything into transcendence of time and space. This dance of love bears witness to the Spirit’s love of the Father through the Son, creatively creating and created in the glorious image of God. God’s uncreated dance is the image of the Father’s love of the Son and of the Spirit’s unceasing love of the Father in the Son, who is the begotten image of the unbegotten Father. All self-obsessed isolation dissolves in the timeless dance of Triune love, called a dance of gravity by science, but to the eye of the heart is still a dance of love. The unfathomable unselfishness of the Great Trust, called Holy Trinity by Christendom, is an ineffable self-emptying, practiced by glorified angels in heaven as glorification of God, practiced by glorified saints in Christ, who transmitted it in the Eucharist as the wisdom of the Cross of uncreated love. The dance of love is recognised, remembered and glorified by saints among whom there are elders who love as they are loved, know as they are known. Love is the centre of the dance in whom all centres co-inhere, reminding us that the dance is not a spectacle out there but a mystery in here within everything, a mystery within everyone, enveloping us as we come and go within its generous scope of ineffable openness, like a round dance at a timeless, cosmic, divine-human wedding.
The dance of love is unveiled in Christ’s wisdom shepherding discourse in John 17, in the ‘Orations’ of Saint Gregory the Theologian, in the ‘Questions’ and ‘Ambigua’ of Saint Maximus, in the ‘Orthodox Faith’ of Saint John of Damascus, through whom the dance became wisdom’s imageless vision of God in desert stillness. The wisdom of stillness was received in Hesychast circles in the wilderness with whom it was irradiating in the Holy City of Byzantium, becoming the wisdom of all who turn and see the dance of love weaving in and out, co-inhering in every possible manner, means or mode. The perfect rhythm of interweaving harmony sees divine-human synergy and synchronicity in love’s timeless dance, a mutual giving and receiving that weaves an unbroken reciprocity everywhere. Love interacts with deifying love as a mysterious unveiling of uncreated energy which encircles all but is present in each, revealing God as Holy Trinity in every divine-human, cosmic embrace. Obedient to the ineffable mystery of love, the dance of love embraces each and all without exception, though it is never forced upon anyone, because the dance of love is a dance of liberating grace and freedom.
If each of us partakes in the dance of love and freedom, even though we may once have resisted its presence in our midst, we begin to see that turning, metanoia, is universal, that seeing, theoria, is co-inherent, that deifying presence, theosis, is coherently complete despite our incoherent hesitation, that co-inherent completeness is merciful even in our broken incompleteness. The dance of love is indeed an Eternal Gospel of grace as it comes and goes around and within us as an eternal wisdom, encircling the beauty of an eternal glory. It is the dance of the Bridal Chamber concealed at the heart of the Holy of Holies, a dance of love that is the Spirit’s unceasing prayer in every heart. It is not peripheral but perichoretic in innumerable ways, coming and going, choreo, around, peri, with mutual co-encompassing. The dance of co-inherent circumincession circles round as it comes and goes, in and out in ways that reflect love’s co-incleaving synergy. The wisdom of the dance cleaves to the glory of the dance with a mutual, reciprocal co-irradiation. Whatever words are used is not the ultimate heart of the matter, because the words humbly serve the Word, Christ our Lord, who communicates the mysteries. It was for this that the Word was crucified, for this that the Word was resurrected, for this the Word ascended to glory and whose coming and going is revelatory in the dance. It was for this that the Spirit descended like a dove to reveal the dance of love as a communion of saints present in every person, present in the presence of everything personally, communing anew with each and all in every moment.
Wisdom welcomes the New Year, 2022, with a going that is also a coming, love’s coming and going enfolded into an unceasing, encircling dance that dances in and out in every person and every presence, love’s co-inherent dance of the grace of wisdom and glory, new in every moment.