Quote for the Day

One of the greatest favors bestowed on the soul transiently in this life is to enable it to see so distinctly and feel so profoundly that it cannot comprehend God at all. …They who know God most perfectly perceive that God is infinitely incomprehensible.
Those who have less clear vision do not perceive so clearly how greatly God transcends their vision.

— John of the Cross
quoted by Aldous Huxley
in The Perennial Philosophy

  • Ann

    I love this quotation – a beautiful expression of apohpatic spirituality. On the one hand it seems to me that God must be so utterly Beyond anything we can conceive that anything we say about him must be untrue. On the other hand, however, this raises the problem of how we can relate to a being without any characteristics. When we pray, we pray to a personal God with personal characteristics. Maybe God chose to share our limitations and vulnerability by becoming man, for that very reason, so that we may relate to him.

  • http://galateacoolcat.wordpress.com galateacoolcat

    I agree with Ann. A God who is so completely incomprehensible surely must be willing to give us some familiar frame of reference to allow us to know Him, otherwise God would simply be alien to us.
    It must have always been so, even before the Incarnation (even though that’s certainly a big part of it), otherwise no one would have had any way of having any kind of relationship with God beforehand.

  • Al Jordan

    My experience (such that it is) tells me that there is that of God that can be known (kataphatic) and that of God beyond knowing (apophatic). These two realities are held in tension so that on the one hand, it pushes me to discover more of the Divine’s attributes while giving myself to the ultimate mystery of that which is beyond knowing. I think we can experience much of God by embracing our own inner divinity, knowing that we live, move and have being in a reality that is both encompassing, apparent, here and now and transcendent at the same time, albeit God in God’s esssentialness is unknowable by mind alone. For me, this is the mystic’s path, to enter deeper and deeper into the mystery so that the reality of that mystery, while unknowable, is transforming and we become, to use Don Scrooby’s term, “bearers of Divinity.”


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