Dr. Nos’hi Abdel-Shaheed
Part Forty One
The third stage: Christ Our Passover.
5- The Triumph of the Lamb (3rd continuation)
The Transfiguration (contd.)
Spirituality of “light” and spirituality of “love”:
What is the relationship between the spirituality of “light” and the spirituality of “love”? The same apostle who wrote “God is light” said that “God is love” (see 1 John 1:5, 1 John 4:8). Throughout the journey of our lives, Lord Jesus asks us the same question that saddened Peter, “do you love Me.” “Love” is moving strongly towards “vision.” “Love lives in the atmosphere of light.” Mary Magdalene at the tomb, Peter, James and John [at the Transfiguration] were given the privilege of “seeing” glory: because they loved more.
Every vision is a paschal vision, a vision of the risen Christ. The Lord Jesus always remains the center of the visions of the Christian spiritualists, and the Father and the Holy Spirit also act in every “vision.” St. Basil has expressed this truth in a marvelous way, saying that the Holy Spirit will show us with His light, God the Father in the Word. This is also elucidated in the words of the divine revelation: “In your light we see the light” (Psalm 36:9).
It is eternal life that will bring us the “full vision.” “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” (1 Cor. 13:12). But every Christian in this earthly life can have at least a peek of the “vision,” that is he or she can be given a ray of God’s glory. These swift peeks, these rays, are often given, much more than we think. Only because of these “gifts” from God, many of those who are troubled with many burdens are able to continue living. The face of Christ our Lord can be reflected, albeit dimly, on the mirror of the human heart. If the Lord called us saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Let our answer be, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened” (cf. Matt 20: 32, 33). There is a certain “vision” for every human being. Happy is the one who can say at the end of life’s journey on Earth: “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19). Then a person leaves this world, eagerly anticipating that he will see the glory of God face to face.
As the end of the Book of Revelation says about the believers: “They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. … The Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” (Rev 22:4,5)
The Lord Jesus says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! “(Rev. 22:20).
With this short and delightful section, the publication of Dr. Nos’hi Abdel-Shaheed’s book, “Orthodox Spirituality”, in English has been completed. We hope that all of our members have enjoyed following it with us as it was translated one section after another. To maximize the benefit, we are providing here all the sections that have been published previously. To read the full contents of each part, you may go to this page (and click on the links therein): http://smofonline.org/category/spiritual-books/orthodox-spirituality
By Dr. Nos’hi Abdel-Shaheed