Then I Shall Know As I Am Known

“Man, inasmuch as he is a reasonable being, bears some resemblance to God, but the distance between his nature and that of God is no less than infinite. God therefore can only be seen at an immeasurable distance. ‘Every one beholdeth Him afar off.’ Creatures only see, as it were, the hem of His garment, the reflex of His glory in His great and glorious creation; He Himself, ‘the invisible King of Ages, whom no man hath seen nor can see, inhabiteth light inaccessible’ (1 Tm 6:16), says the Apostle. Even the Cherubim cover their faces and sink prostrate before Him, in the deepest reverence. God Himself alone can by His nature behold His being; only the ‘only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father,’ and is of the same nature with Him, beholds Him face to face; only the Holy Spirit, who is in God, penetrates and fathoms His innermost nature.”

“To behold God, we must either be God or participate in the Divine Nature. Thus, the spiritual sight of man must become in a sense Divine, and his soul partake of the Divine Nature, if he will see God face to face; and this the Holy Spirit effects in us when by grace He makes us partake of the Divine Nature. For what else is the meaning of these words: ‘Beholding the glory of the Lord with open face, we are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord’ (2 Cor 3:18)? St. John teaches likewise: ‘We shall be like to God, because we shall see Him as He is’ (1 Jn 3:2). Our Lord also at the Last Supper addressed His Father thus: ‘Father, the glory Thou hast given Me, which I had with Thee before the world was, I have given to them’ (Jn 17:22).”

“In heaven we shall, moreover, know God as He knows Himself, and as He knows us. ‘Then I shall know,’ exclaims the Apostle, ‘even as I am known’ (1 Cor 13:12). . . . Truly we are forced to exclaim with St. Peter: ‘God has called us into His marvellous light.’”

Quotations from Alice Lady Lovat, The Marvels of Divine Grace: Meditations Based on the “Glories of Divine Grace” (Original Treatise by Fr. Nieremberg, S.J., Entitled “Del Aprecio y Estima de la Divina Gracia”) (London: R. & T. Washbourne, Ltd., 1917).

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