St. Maximos Confessor: from Ambiguum 7

It is evident that every person who participates in virtue as a matter of habit unquestionably participates in God, the subtance of the virtues. Whoever by his choices cultivates the good natural seed shows the end to be the same as the beginning and the beginning to be the same as the end. Indeed the beginning and the end are one. As a result he is in genuine harmony with God, since the goal of everything is given in its ultimate goal. As to the beginning, in addition to receiving being itself, one receives the natural good by participation: as to the end, one zealously traverses one’s course toward the beginning and source without deviation by means of one’s good will and choice. And through this course one becomes God, being made God by God. To the inherent goodness of the image is added the likeness (cf. Gen 1:26) acquired by the practice of virtue and the exercise of the will. The inclination to ascend and to see one’s proper beginning was implanted in man by nature.

In such a person the apostolic word is fulfilled: In him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). For whoever does not violate the logos of his own existence that pre-existed in God is in God through diligence; and he moves in God according to the logos of his well-being that pre-existed in God when he lives virtuously; and he lives in God according to the logos of his eternal being that pre-existed in God. On the one hand, insofar as he is already irrevocably one with himself in his dispositions, he is free of unruly passions. But in the future age when graced with divinization, he will affectionately love and cleave to the logoi already mentioned that pre-existed in God, or rather, he will love God himself, in whom the logoi of beautiful things are securely grounded. In this way he becomes a “portion of God,” insofar as he exists through the logos of his being which is in God and insofar as he is good through the logos of his well-being which is in God; and insofar as he is God through the logos of his eternal being which is in God, he prizes the logoi and acts according to them. Through them he places himself wholly in God alone, wholly imprinting and forming God alone in himself, so that by grace he himself is God and is called God. By his gracious condescension God became man and is called man for the sake of man and by exchanging his condition for ours revealed the power that elevates man to God through his love for God and brings God down to man because of his love for man. By this blessed inversion, man is made God by divinization and God is made man by hominization. For the Word of God and God wills always and in all things to accomplish the mystery of his embodiment.

(in Paul M. Blowers and Robert Louis Wilken, trs., On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ, pp 58-60)

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