Saint Gregory Palamas (greek Γρηγόριος Παλαμᾶς)
Gregory Palamas (greek Γρηγόριος Παλαμᾶς)
Archbishop of Thessalonica, was a monk of Mount Athos in Greece, and later became Archbishop of Thessalonica. He was a preeminent theologian and a proponent of hesychastic theology. Orthodox Church celebrate his feast days in the November 14 and the second Sunday of Great Lent as the Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas.
Canonized in 1368 by Patriarch Philotheos of Constantinople.
Partakers of the Divine nature
And today we remember the name of Saint Gregory Palamas, one of the great Saints of Orthodoxy, who against heresy and doubt, proclaimed, from within the experience of the ascetics and of all believers, proclaimed that the grace of God is not a created Gift — it is God Himself, communicating Himself to us so that we are pervaded by His presence, that we gradually, if we only receive Him, open ourselves to Him, become transparent or at least translucent to His light, that we become incipiently and ever increasingly partakers of the Divine nature.
This is not simply a promise; this is a certainty which we have because this has happened to thousands and thousands of those men and women whom we venerate as the Saints of God: they have become partakers of the Divine nature, they are to us a revelation and certainty of what we are called to be and become.
Metropolitan Anthony Sourozh
Saint Gregory Palamas Sunday
11 March 1990
The vision of God
The vision of God, theoptia (θεοπτία), is a conversation with God.
Palamas, after he had reflected much on natural and theological theognosia, came to the conclusion that the achievements realised in the second way are far more notable than those realised in the first. But in the end he sees that another way opens up, a way that leads to immensely more precious benefits: the way to the vision of God, to θεοπτία. Theology is a discourse about God, while theoptia is in some way a conversation with God. There is a great difference between the two, as there is between knowledge of a thing and possession of it
[xlv]. Isaac Syrus, speaking about two psychical eyes, the one for seeing the wisdom of God and the other for seeing the glory of his nature
[xlvi], expresses with an image what Palamas describes analytically.