Christ prays: ‘Father, glorify thy Name. The Father, in a peal of thunder, answers: I have glorified it and will glorify it again’ ( John 12: 28). The hour of glorification casts out the ruler of this world and his demon minions, lifting up the Son of Man. Christ is glorified in his Name, which is the seed of the Kingdom that dying, puts down roots and rises into glory. Blind eyes harden the heart until hearts turn and see God’s reign of glory in the midst. Christ is the uncreated light that by grace saves the world, restoring glory to the Father, but we prefer to struggle, strain and stress to save ourselves, because we are far too proud to trust grace to save us. The ethos of struggle is very strong in negative ascetic circles, far too strong to give way to grace, so elders are obliged to work within it until we come to the end of ourselves, until we begin to trust the grace of Christ to save us.
Pride resists trust, despising grace, so grace must first condemn pride to hell in order to begin to trust grace. Pride’s next move is to be proud of self-condemnation to hell so as to push grace away once again. In the end, grace humbly saves the world from pride, unseating the prince of this world. There is nothing left of pride when pride is put to death by death on the Cross of inexplicably love, which is why pride fears the Cross above everything else. When struggle, strain and stress surrender to grace, they give way to trust, to peace, to joy in the saving Name. The culture of negative asceticism turns right round when wisdom dawns, becoming the culture of trust, of peace, of joy in the Holy Name, praying with Christ: ‘Father, glorify thy Name.’
The Father always answers the Son by glorifying the Name, again and again. Every present moment is the hour of glorification. Every present instant is the revelation of glory. The presence of ever-present glory is timeless, for the age to come is timeless. The glory of grace is the glory of the Cross, emptying hell of pride and despair. Wholesome Orthodoxy is holy because it lives in the light of the Cross of Glory, dying to pride on Golgotha, rising from pride into the humble glory of Holy Pascha. ‘Father, glorify thy Name.’ Struggle ceases to strain and stress when tears cleanse the heart of pride, melting the sclerosis that freezes the hardened heart. Hell is emptied of pride when Christ descends into hell, resurrecting condemned pride to resplendent glory. ‘Father, glorify thy Name!’