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Knowing God, Ourselves, and Others

“…the Essence (or Super-Essence) of God is utterly unknowable and incomprehensible, while at the same time, the actions, operations, or Energies of God, which are also uncreated and fully divine (such as the Divine Light), are communicated to people by divine grace and are open to human knowledge and experience. This is what is meant when Christians are said to become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet 1.4).” (Fr. Thomas Hopko)

“God, I finally realized, is not a thought I must think or a proposition I must know. God is the Lover and Maker, the Friend and Creator, and He makes himself known in the tastable, touchable wonder of His world. We know His healing in the fellowship of His people. His joy is what sings in the wind and spices the best wine and glimmers in the gold of sunset. In the savor of feasts, the cadence of seasons, in apples crunched and friends touched, God is known for the eternal beauty that He is.” (Sarah Clarkson)

“The only way to know God is personally: to meet Him in His uncreated energies and in His creation. And because each human being, made in the image of God, is a microcosm of God, this is true also for any real and meaningful relationship with another human being. We can only truly know anyone personally and interpersonally through encountering them: who they are, how they live out their being, how they relate, and what they create. We can never know another person objectively; this is just a euphemistic cover for objectification.” (Andrew Williams)

“The glory of God is a man fully alive, and the life of man consists in beholding God”…To be a human person is to bear the image of God with the calling to become more like Him in holiness. The more we do so, the more we become our true selves. The God-Man Jesus Christ came to restore and fulfill us as living icons of God. He enables us to become truly human as we participate personally in Him as the Second Adam.” (St. Irenaeus, Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“There is a deep connection between God and the self within Christian understanding. Obviously, they are not the same thing, but we do not know one without the other. It is possible to say that we only know God to the extent that we know ourselves and that we only know ourselves to the extent that we know God. To know yourself is an inner activity, made particularly difficult in an outer-directed culture. Though we live in the age of the “selfie,” we are, nonetheless, an age that is distracted from the true knowledge of the self. The “selfie” has nothing to do with self-knowledge and everything to do with an objectification of the self – how I would like myself to look if I were someone else. What the selfie never shows is how we truly perceive ourselves.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


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