Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Diodochos of Photike- On Grace and Human Strivings for Perfection

When people are baptized , grace hides her presence until the soul makes a decision.  When the whole person has turned to the Lord, then with an unspeakable tenderness she reveals her presence to the heart.  Then once again she awaits a movement of the soul while allowing the darts of the devil to reach even its inmost senses,  in order that the soul may seek God again with more fervour and humility. Then if that person begins to make progress by keeping the commandments and calling continually on the Lord Jesus, the fire of divine grace spreads also to the outward motions of the heart. As a result the arrows of the devil fall short and hardly  scratch the vulnerable part of the soul any ore.  Finally when  the fighter contains all the virtues, and especially the most complete renunciation, grace enlightens the whole person with the deepest  feeling, engendering an ardent love for God.  From then   on  the arrows of the devil are quenched without touching the bodily senses. For the wind of the Spirit that is blowing within the heart destroys  the darts of the devil while they are still in flight.  However, even one who has reached this stage is sometimes abandoned by God to the malice of the devil, and is left without any light for the spirit , so that this freedom of ours may not be entirely shackled by bonds if grace,...for the human being  ought to be able  still to progress in the spiritual life.  For what we regard  as perfection  is still imperfect in the presence of the richness of God, this God who with all the eagerness of his love longs to be our teacher. 

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