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This article is taken from PN Review 15, Volume 7 Number 1, September - October 1980.

Silence and Language: some reflections Michael Grant

But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
 Matt. 12:36

If he isn't edified by my silence, then he won't be edified by my words.
Abba Pambo

For the Christian a true knowledge of God is inseparable from an illumination by grace that transforms the intelligence. And since what is contemplated is a personal existence and presence, true knowledge (gnosis) implies encounter, reciprocity, faith as a personal adherence to the personal presence of God Who reveals Himself. In saying this I am not unaware of contemporary strictures on the metaphysics of 'presence' and of Derrida's avoidance of transcendance by endless substitution and displacement. However, what is missing from contemporary denials of God (a God who seems more the God of the philosophers than the living God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob) is any recognition of the transformation, of, one must say, the transfiguration, that is effected in the man who knows God, in the saint. The illumination by the uncreated energies of God constitutes, for the ascetics of the Church, the life of the life of prayer, a life in which knowledge is given by God to man whose weakness is thereby transformed in the unfolding of faith. That this mystery may be accomplished, the mind must become naked and thoughts be laid aside. Implied by this is a movement from dispersal to concentration, from ...


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