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Transcendence

“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)


#FatherStephenFreeman #LisaCoutras #HansUrsvonBalthasar #RevDrEmmanuelClapsis #FoundationStudyBible #VigenGuroian #RodDreher #StJohnDamascene #JamesKASmith #FrAlexanderSchmemann #FrBasil #FrTedBobosh #FrJohnBehr

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