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Divine Likeness

“The human person, created in the image of God and called to progress toward the divine likeness, is unique and of infinite value.” (Fr. John Breck)

“The Holy Spirit of God comes personally to men from the Father through Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God. He comes to those who believe in Christ and belong to Him through faith and repentance and baptism in His Church. He is the Spirit Who descended upon the disciples on Pentecost, who also is the One by whose power the world was created and continued to exist. He is the Spirit breathed into men by God to make them live according to His divine likeness.” (Fr. Thomas Hopko)

“He [God] loves us with a tenderness that we mere mortals cannot match. Our parenthood is mixed up with human passions, beginning from the conception of our children and continuing throughout our lives and theirs. The Father loves us to perfection. His love is not confused with ambition for us. We parents frequently attempt to live our lives again in our children, righting what we perceived as failures in our youth. Not so with God. He not only wants what’s best for us, He knows better than we just what that is—eternal life with Him in the Kingdom of Heaven. But He never imposes His will on us; rather, God the Holy Spirit abides in our souls and prays for our transformation into divine likeness.” (Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky)

“Regardless of our particular vocations in the Church or our life circumstances, we all share the common calling to unite ourselves to the God-Man in holiness and become “partakers of the divine nature.”  We are to display personally His fulfillment of the human person in the divine likeness.  We are to live in a way that brings light to a darkened world and inspires others to glorify God.  Our righteousness is to be of a different kind than the legalistic hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees as we “become perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect.”  There are many different callings in the Church and in our life in the world, but Christ calls us all to acquire the same spiritual character that He embodies.  It is the character He described in the Sermon on the Mount, including humility, mercy, forgiveness, longing for righteousness, and purity of heart.  St. Paul’s description of the ministry of true apostles is simply an application of this basic vision of the Christian life to that particular calling.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“We may say (as has been said before), “Kenosis is theosis.” That is, self-emptying is the path to divine likeness. It should also, I think, serve as a check on our every thought of God and our obedience to Him. The crucified love manifested in Christ is the revelation of who God is. St. John says, “The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him [lit. “exegeted” Him].” Christ is the interpretation of the Father. (John 1:18) In John’s gospel, to be “glorified,” is to be crucified. It makes for interesting reading if that meaning is held in mind when we read the word, “glory.” It also makes for interesting discipleship if we apply that same understanding in our lives. This “momentary trial” (whatever it may be), is the glory of God being worked out in my life. My forgiveness of my enemy is the glory of God. My generosity to the poor is the glory of God. My kindness, even to the evil, is the glory of God.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


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