on the street called Straight in Damascus.
THE ICON OF THE HOLY TRINITY
Two critical distinctions are implicit here: (a) between nature and person, and (b) between the Divine Nature (or Essence) and Energies.
(a) Icons, as St. Theodore the Studite teaches are representations, not of natures, but of persons existing in natures. Act 6 of the Seventh Ecumenical Council states: "An icon is not like the original with respect to essence, but with respect to hypostasis". Thus an icon of Christ is an image of a Divine Person in His human nature, which is visible to the bodily eye. The icons of the angels are images of the persons of the angels in their angelic nature, which is invisible to the bodily eye. Nevertheless, God has condescended to allow the prophets and the saints to see the angels in bodily form, and it is these visions that we depict in the icons of the angels.
(b) The distinction between the Divine Nature (or Essence) and Energies was clearly worked out by St. Gregory Palamas. Both the Nature and the Energies of God are common to all Three Persons. Only the Divine Nature is forever inaccessible to man (like the centre of the sun), while the Energies are God coming out of Himself, as it were, and making Himself communicable to men (like the rays of the sun).
The visions of God by the Old Testament Prophets are visions of the Divine Energies of God, not of His Essence. Thus St. Gregory Palamas, commenting on the Patriarch Jacob's words: "I have seen God face to face [or person to person], and my soul has been saved", writes: "Let [the cacodox] hear that Jacob saw the face of God, and not only was his life not taken away, but as he himself says, it was saved, in spite of the fact that God says: 'None shall see My face and live'. Are there then two Gods, one having His face accessible to the vision of the saints, and the other having His face beyond all vision? Perish the impiety! The face of God which is seen is the Energy and Grace of God condescending to appear to those who are worthy; while the face of God that is never seen, which is beyond all appearance and vision let us call the Nature of God."
Two times Light….hmmm?
WOW…the Ark and the New and Everlasting Covenant!
Sincerely yours in Jesus and Mary,
Mike Rizzio, SOLT
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* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for: Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas; St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael