I have been reading Athanasius, that great defender of true Christian doctrine who lived in 4th century Alexandria. He addresses the separation of humanity from God when Adam and Eve were thrown out of the garden. In our disobedience, says Athanasius, humanity “turned away from the contemplation of God .”
Remember that God is spirit. So humanity was created, “as an embodied spirit,” according to Athanasius. When humanity no longer beheld God in contemplation, the spirit image faded but it was neither damaged nor was it lost.
The Father sent his Son in a human body so that humanity could once again contemplate God. Humanity is mortal but also bears the spirit likeness of God. Athanasius says, “Humanity preserves that likeness through constant contemplation.” The spirit likeness of God is restored in Christ through contemplation.
TAGS: Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Disciplines, Contemplative Prayer
Copyright 2007-2012 Calvin R. Wulf and Lisa Are Wulf