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Spiritual Sight

“ ‘…now my eye sees You” [Job 42:5]: The gift of spiritual knowledge—that is, when we begin to perceive the hidden things of God—is conferred on us through repentance and the fear of God, which gives birth to a deeper faith. “This is called ‘the faith of divine vision.’ Until then, hearing, but now divine vision. But vision is more certain than hearing” (Orthodox Study Bible, Job 42:5, St. Isaac the Syrian).


“Our spiritual sight is what gives us the capacity to discern a path through the problems we encounter, but for most of us, this capacity has been clouded and diminished by everyday life in a tarnished world. St. Symeon the New Theologian, speaking of those who are spiritually blind, writes: “They all live in darkness and walk among shadows until they have shown a contrite heart. For contrition is the gate which leads from darkness into light, and those who have not yet passed worthily through the gate have not yet entered into the light.” If we are going to see God, our spiritual vision will require contrition on our part, and supernatural help from God.” (Douglas Cramer)


“[God] would not have shown Himself to His servant [Moses, see Exodus 33:12-23] if the sight were such as to bring the desire of the beholder to an end, since the true sight of God consists in this, that the one who looks up to God never ceases in that desire…Scripture does not indicate that this causes the death of those who look, for how would the face of life ever be the cause of death to those who approach it? On the contrary, the Divine is by its nature life-giving. Yet it is the characteristic of the Divine Nature to transcend all characteristics. Therefore he who thinks God is something to be known does not have life, because he has turned from true being to what he considers by sense perception to have being.” (Gregory of Nyssa)


“[Road to Emmaus Luke 24:12-35]…The Lord breaks bread in the same manner as at the Last Supper (22:19), imaging the Eucharist of the NT Church. All who commune with the Lord in His risen Body in faith have their eyes opened Luke 24:31) to know Him, for the Lord is known most perfectly in the breaking of bread (Luke 24:35).” (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 24:30-35)


“The soul’s vision is in the heart. From the heart and through the heart a spiritual person views and controls his whole soul. A pure heart means sound spiritual vision. By means of a pure heart a person sees not only his soul, but even God Himself. In the words of Christ: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God…The Bible warns repeatedly about the dangers of a hardened heart. Christ Himself emphasizes this danger. As the heart becomes hard, our sight becomes dim. Not the sight of our physical eyes but rather our spiritual sight, or our insight. When our hearts our too hard to draw close to God, we lose true perception and discernment. It is only through contrition and continual joyful repentance by which we maintain an openness and softness of heart that enables us to “see” God.” (St. Nikolai Velimerovic, Sacramental Living Ministries)



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