There is in everything a general and unique mode of the obscure and intelligible unifying Spirit.
– St. Maximus
The progenitor of Byzantine contemplation, St. Maximus lived during the first half of the 7th century. Relying heavily on Evagrius and Pseudo-Dionysius, correcting them, he transcended them.
The love of Christ hides itself in the inner cosmos of all created things…fully and in plentitude…in its variances…lies one…simple…whole…from the beginning…without a beginning…visible…invisible.
It is this hidden wisdom of God in the Creation united with the wisdom of God that can bring about a resplendent inner clarity in our faith. Hence, people become a mirror of divine glory and in so doing God becomes glorified…yet the created world needs love in order to be fully apprehended and appreciated.
To immerse ourselves in the letter of scripture alone, or in the externals of life alone, or the externals of history alone, or science alone simultaneously starves our intelligence and our faith, and contemplative intimacy with God becomes a sham.
We can in fact say that the lack of the [love of Christ in created things] is one of the things that accounts for the stunting of spiritual growth among [Christians] today.
– Thomas Merton