Sunday, July 29, 2012

St Gregory of Palamas

Do you not perceive the grandeur of God's compassion? 

When we are disobedient He does not immediately condemn us, but He is longsuffering and allows us time for conversion. Throughout this period of longsuffering He gives us power to gain divine sonship if we so wish. Yet why do I say 'gain sonship'? He gives us power to be united with Him and to become one spirit with Him (cf. 1 Cor. 6:17). 

If, however, during this period of longsuffering we pursue the opposite path and choose death rather than true life, God does not take away the power that He gave us. And not only does He not take it away, but He reminds us of it again and again. From the dawn till the dusk of this life, He goes round, as in the parable of the vineyard, seeking us out and inviting us to engage in the works of life (cf. Matt. 20:7-15). 

And who is it that calls us in this way and would engage us in His service? It is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of all solace (cf. 2 Cor. 1:3).

And who is the vineyard into which He calls us to work? The Son of God, who said, 'I am the vine' (cf. John 15:1). For, indeed, no one can come to Christ, as He Himself said in the Gospels, unless the Father draws him (cf. John 6:44).

Who are the branches? We ourselves are.

For directly afterwards Christ says, 'You are the branches, My Father is the vine-dresser' (cf. John 15:1, 5). 

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