The Roots of Christian Mysticism (Chapters 2 and 3)

Clement reminds us that, although creation reveals something about God’s glory, God is not limited by any category. God is not an object to be grasped within or outside the cosmos. God is not an object at all. He is the ground and desire of all beings. 

Clement insists on this point again and again because it affects how the spiritual life is lived out. We can only be seized by Him in trust. Prayer that creates the holy silence of reception like the Jesus Prayer can save us from the conceptual idols we often mistake for God.

The grand paradoxes of God are magnified in the Incarnation. God the Infinite, Transcendent One has a human face and every man is now His brother. Kenosis: God’s self-emptying love is revealed in God made man. Jesus Christ is the first man fully alive who reveals that man is not man without God. Jesus reveals that the glory of God is not power but humiliating radical love for creatures who have rebelled.

Christ is not plan B. He is the Creator Word, the matrix of all beings and in Him all creatures find their fulfillment. Christ is the final end of every being. They are all little words finding their meaning in the Word. Since the Nativity the great recreation has begun and Mary is the garden where all paradisal growth flourishes. 

Christ died to transfigure death and so reversed the Ferudian perversion of eros and thanatos; death has become a bridal chamber. He tabernacles in Hell and transfigures the place of the damned. Swallowing up human sin and agony he initiates the great Passover of humanity to divinity. It’s a bloody sacrifice to carry man into the Trinity. Through His humanity He swallowed all hatred into this abyss of His love. There is no escape: where man is, no matter how lost, God dwells. Just as the senses communicate sensation to the whole body so also the resurrected Christ brings life to all humanity. 

The Incarnation is a cosmic event. Christ transfigured the cosmos in his death, descent, and resurrection. The cosmos will be the body of Christ. And because of this cosmic transfiguration loving trust has replaced merit and fear. 

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