September 26

The mystical and perfective stage pertains to those who have already passed through all things and have come to ‘the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ’ (Ephesians 4:13). It is characterized by the transcending of the sphere of demonic powers and of all sublunar things, by our attaining to the higher celestial ranks, approaching the primordial light and plumbing the depths of God through the Spirit. It involves immersing our contemplative intellect in the inner principles of providence, justice and truth, and also the interpretation of the arcane symbolism, parables and obscure passages in Holy Scripture.

Its final goal is our initiation into the hidden mysteries of God and our being filled with ineffable wisdom through union with the Holy Spirit, so that each becomes a wise theologian in the great Church of God, illuminating others with the inner meaning of theology.

He who has reached this point through the deepest humility and compunction has, like another Paul, been caught up into the third heaven of theology, and has heard indescribable things which he who is still dominated by the sense-world is not permitted to hear (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:4); and he experiences unutterable blessings, such as no eye has seen or ear heard (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:9).

He becomes a steward of God’s mysteries (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:1), for he is God’s mouthpiece, and through words he communicates these mysteries to other people; and in this he finds blessed repose. For he is now perfected in the perfect God, united in the company of other theologians with the supreme angelic powers of the Cherubim and Seraphim, in whom dwells the principle of wisdom and spiritual knowledge.

~Nikitas Stithatos

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