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“…our age is haunted. On the one hand, we live under a brass heaven, ensconced in immanence. We live in the twilight of both gods and idols. But their ghosts have refused to depart, and every once in a while we might be surprised to find ourselves tempted by belief, by intimations of transcendence…Secularism is an essentially dualistic view of the world. It assigns transcendence to a place far away from the ordinary (empirical) world yet leaves room for individuals to experience the transcendent through a proliferating variety of personal spiritualities and mysticisms.” (James K.A. Smith, Vigen Guroian)

“Human beings were certainly created as embodied, that is, fleshly, beings, but in contrast to the irrational animals, human beings were also created with an ability to know God through his Word. Although such knowledge is only granted through transcending the senses (for the Word is not perceptible to the physical senses), there is no disparagement of the body itself: mind or soul is the faculty whose orientation effects this transcendence: it is by our mind that we can come to know the Word of God and live appropriately to this knowledge. As human beings were to transcend themselves, not being concerned about “their own things,” that is, the things of the body and this life, but rather occupying themselves with the Word of God, the body can even be said to be the locus of “the ‘selfness’ of being human.” With their souls directed towards the body, in, by, and for itself, the body is now the very point of human separation from God, not because of its materiality, but because it has become an idol.” (Fr. John Behr)

“Without the transcendent, eternal reality as foundation, humanity crashes inward on itself, a free-fall in which only power determines the passing meaning of anything. Meaning itself becomes a synonym for “power.” A hallmark of 20th and 21st century life, wherever the modern collapse has become dominant, is a constant drive to re-define language. If words only mean what we say they mean – then the “Say-ers” are the new masters.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“As long as people restrict themselves to worldly affairs, they can’t comprehend eternal, transcendent truths. They can be surprised, be puzzled or amazed. They can even expect magical solutions. But they remain locked into the perceptible world, bound by direct physical contact. They deal with routine, everyday problems. Their minds go no further than that. Their spiritual senses don’t function. Even if they hear about something that transcends direct sensation, something beyond the things of this world, they conceive of it in terms of the senses and in a worldly manner. They do, indeed, have questions, they experience surprises and receive revelations, but they still function within space and time. They think, comprehend and live in subjection to the law of death and corruption.” (George Mantzaridis)

“So many matters are incomprehensive and unknowable… There is a cloud of mental darkness hanging around them…This human condition has a remedy, however. The remedy is faith. By faith, man can transcend his lack of knowledge. By faith, he can transcend the divisiveness of his knowledge. By faith, he can transcend this mental darkness. Although faith is an incomplete and somewhat incomprehensible vision of God, its reward is tantamount to a perfect and clear vision. Faith actually prepares for vision. By faith, we receive here and now the power of the resurrection in which we will see God face to face: “…for we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face” (1 Corinthians 13: 12, 13) (Matthew-the-Poor)

“There is a generalized sense in our culture…that with the eclipse of the transcendent, something may have been lost…Divested of the transcendent, this world is invested with ultimacy and meaning in ways that couldn’t have been imagined before.” (James K.A. Smith)

“It seems thousands of years removed from us, but it was not so very long ago that life was marked out by religious feasts. Although everyone went to church, not everyone, of course, knew the exact contents of each celebration. For many, perhaps even the majority, the feast was above all an opportunity to get a good sleep, eat well, drink and relax. And nevertheless, I think that each person felt, if not fully consciously, that something transcendent and radiant broke into life with each feast, bringing an encounter with a world of different realities, a reminder of something forgotten, of something drowned out by the routine, emptiness and weariness of daily life.” (Fr. Alexander Schmemann)

“I believe that a common element within human experience can be suggested by the word “transcendent.” It is an experience of beauty, of goodness, of wonder, that goes beyond itself. It demands poetry and art, songs and symbols. And despite our love of technology and the giftedness of our machines, it is the transcendent that speaks most fluently to our lives. We get out of bed in the morning because of transcendence (or so I believe). The loss of transcendence is something akin to death. With the experience of transcendence comes our effort to express it. We reach for words, for images, for symbols, for anything that suggests what we want to say. And, strangely, transcendence wants expression. We can only suppose that early humans found animals to be filled with wonder. Animals live, breathe, eat, multiply, but they also supply food. Their strength and their skills provoke admiration.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“…Christianity is not merely a philosophy of moral virtue or a program of healthy living. It is founded on the revelation of the supernatural, the extraordinary acts of the transcendent God whose divine Word is continually at work in the world for our salvation whether people recognize it or not…God is not only transcendent but also imminent in our world, in our lives, in our hearts. And though all things are found in God, yet we sometimes experience God in certain things or in certain places or certain people.” (Fr. Basil, Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“Scripture is clear that God is not seen by human beings, for divinity is not subject to human perception. In the case of the revelation of God in Jesus Christ, what is beheld is the transcendent power of divinity manifested precisely in the things external to the divine nature—in flesh, in darkness, and in death—for here we contemplate the transcendent and transforming power of God.” (Fr. John Behr)

Holy, holy, holy. To say the word “holy” twice in Hebrew is to describe someone as “most holy.” To say the word three times intensifies the idea to the highest level. The whole earth is full of His glory. We know that the glory of God transcends the universe, yet this phrase emphasizes God’s closeness to His creation—His involvement with the earth and its people.” (Foundation Study Bible, Isaiah 6:3)

“By grace and not just chance are we sent forth into the world for fellowship and communion with others. Friendships even sound the call to a higher and transcendent communion with God.” (Vigen Guroian)

“Liturgy is not magic, of course, but if it is intended and received sacramentally, it awakens the sense that worshipers are communing with the eternal, transcendent realm through the ritual and its elements. The liturgy feeds the sacramental imagination, reweaving the connection between body and spirit.” (Rod Dreher)

“It is through the perception of reality, not by transcending reality that we attain to the transcendent.” (Saint John Damascene)

"The beauty of human myth reflects the transcendental beauty, while the Incarnation embodies this beauty, for Christ is the absolute Beauty of God." (Lisa Coutras)

“Too often today people think of the Transcendent as something other than a personal God. To experience the Transcendent is to experience God, a personal God, a Divine Person, who is beyond our comprehension, yet who relates to us and loves us personally in a way we can comprehend by experiencing Him our hearts; not some sort of impersonal, abstract being or phenomenon.” (Sacramental Living Podcast Episode 31)

"Because human beings were originally created for Eden, there remains in human nature an inexplicable longing and sense of dislocation, a yearning for a world in the wholeness of its original design. To encounter transcendental beauty awakens this longing, stirring an inborn “memory.” Through beauty, one experiences the transcendental reality that frames creation, drawing the human spirit toward the majesty of the Creator." (Lisa Coutras)

"Human persons, because they are free, have a potential to transcend the limitations of their nature and experience the fullness of their humanity in opening their existence to God and to others.” (Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Clapsis)

"The human spirit perceives the infinite within the finite precisely because the human spirit holds a relationship to the infinite. That is to say, the finite spirit is created in the image of God, who is the transcendental archetype that surpasses all creation, eluding human understanding by the very nature of His being." (Han Urs Von Balthasar and Lisa Coutras)

“It is simply the case that we cannot create our own transcendence. To do so would be to be a god, in which case transcendence would be unnecessary. To transcend the self requires that we be greater than ourselves. That requires that there be something (Someone) greater than ourselves. The fundamental position of classical Christianity is one of thanksgiving, the grateful reception of that which has been given to us. Thanksgiving is the primary response to the gift of transcendence.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

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