On the Soul and Union With God .....

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posted on Dec, 6 2003 @ 08:05 AM
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By Priest Paul Volmensky

The Holy King and Prophet David counselled his son, Solomon: And now, Solomon my son, may you know the God of your fathers, and serve Him with a perfect heart and a willing mind (I Chron. 28:9).

Centuries later, Bishop Theophan the Recluse wrote,

"The greatest and most perfect thing a man may desire to attain is to come near to God and dwell in union with Him." This is the main purpose, the main goal, of each individual soul.

In view of the importance of this task, a task that requires great effort, we offer here some thoughts about God, about the soul and its composition, and about the path to union with God.

GOD IN TRINITY

What is God like?
He is Inscrutable in essence,
but known to us through His attributes,
according to the measure of the purity of our soul. Sacred Scripture attests that God is Spirit (John 4:24).

However, we also know that God is one in essence and triple in Persons." The Hypostases of God have personal attributes: the Father is not born, the Son is born, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. Three Persons, yet one God, Trinity undivided.

This is a mystery not entirely comprehensible, but it does come clearer for us if we think about God's closeness to the world: "God is above us, God is with us, God is in us." Above us is God the Father, the ever-flowing Source, the Foundation of every existence.

We are His children by grace.
With us is God the Son, Who has revealed Himself as Man in a most perfect image, performing miracles and teaching with His words.
In us, by His power and grace, is God the Holy Spirit, Who fillest all things, Who is the Giver of Life, the Comforter.

The mystical, inner life of God concealed in the depths of Divinity has been revealed to the world in time "by the sending down of the Son of God from the Father into the world, and by the activity of the wonderworking, life-giving and saving power of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit."

God the Son is also called the Word.
The same Apostle begins his Gospel with the following: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made (John 1:1-3).

These verses are important not only because they shed light on the dogma of the oneness of essence and the equality of honor of God the Son with God the Father.
Understanding that the Word is the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity is essential when we study the nature of the human soul.

THE NATURE OF THE HUMAN SOUL

Let us make man in our image (Gen. 1:26). God as Trinity adorned human nature with His image and likeness.

The soul has three particular powers: mind, thought (or word), and spirit. Our mind, as the source, the beginning of both thought and spiritual feeling, is an image of the Father.
Our word (an unpronounced word is a thought) is an image of the Son, and our spirit, the capacity for spiritual feeling, is an image of the Holy Spirit.

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