Purification, Illumination and Glorification

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Glorification unites purification with Illumination as communion of wisdom and glory. From the perspective of purification, illumination lies in the future and glorification is concealed in eternity way beyond.  From the perspective of illumination, purification is due to the presence of uncreated light illumining the heart but glorification is perceived to belong to the reign of God that is not yet present.  Glorification welcomes God’s reign of glory already present but not yet complete, although the completeness of glory is already revealing wisdom’s discernment of glory even now.  The New Testament unveils to us the eschatological unevenness of this mysterious unfolding of the revelatory Name, for which purification bears witness to the uncreated light that purifies, whilst grace opens illumination to the uncreated glory that deifies the saints.  Among saints, some fulfil the function of elders, overseeing the uneven unfolding of mysteries of seeing as union of seer and seen.

The mysteries of self-emptying kenosis release what hinders purity of heart from seeing, by transmuting impurity into pure illumination through uncreated light.   Our uneven assimilation of wisdom’s unveilings of completeness in uncreated glory bear witness to glory in varied ways, for wisdom’s function is to discern how glory consummates glory’s communion with wisdom, uncovering the hidden mysteries of the Holy of Holies, which holy stillness still calls the Bridal Chamber.  Self-emptying actively and receptively releases in a variety of ways what hinders the light of wisdom from revealing uncreated glory, including the confusions and divisions that obscure the glories of the Bridal Chamber.  Elders interpreted the Song of Songs as Scripture that unveiled the Holy of Holies, although those who were ignorant of purification never understood how the Song of Songs could help unveil illumination or glorification.  The Odes of Solomon gave the first century Christian community in Jerusalem and Antioch its Song of Songs, its forty two psalms and spiritual hymns, but the Odes, too, were not understood by those who were later defining the scriptural canon and consequently, they were excluded and for almost two millennia, forgotten.  

After Constantine, there were never enough glorified saints to constitute a holy majority capable of interpreting the Song of Songs doxologically or welcoming the Odes of Solomon into the New Testament canon.  However, the voice of the Beloved Disciple in the Fourth Gospel and the Book of Revelation did impart the wisdom of glory capable of sustaining saints in every subsequent generation, including welcoming the Odes when they were rediscovered in 1909.  In the end, wisdom is always vindicated by the glory of completeness, glory that communicates wisdom in the light of glory’s consummate perfection.  The Holy of Holies was always a hidden Bridal Chamber, even when its mysteries were rarely lived or loved, scarcely ever, intimately known.  The generous wisdom of completeness is endlessly patient as she suffers the cross of martyrdom in generation after generation, bearing witness to the glory of love, without degenerating into fear’s confusion or division.  The unveiled face of wisdom reveals the unveiled face of glory, mirroring glory to glory face to face, communicating deifying communion to elders and saints through purification, illumination and glorification.