John-of-Damascus_01December 4th is the Feast of St John Damascene.

All things are far apart from God, not in place but in nature.

In our case, thoughtfulness, and wisdom, and counsel come to pass and go away as states of being.

Not so in the case of God: for with Him there is no happening or ceasing to be; for He is invariable and unchangeable: and it would not be right to speak of contingency in connection with Him.

For goodness is concomitant with essence. He who longs always after God, he sees Him: for God is in all things.

Existing things are dependent on that which is, and nothing can be unless it is in that which is.

God then is mingled with everything, maintaining their nature: and in His holy flesh the God-Word is made one in subsistence and is mixed with our nature, yet without confusion.

No one sees the Father, save the Son and the Spirit (John 6:46).

The Son is the counsel and wisdom and power of the Father. For one may not speak of quality in connection with God, from fear of implying that He was a compound of essence and quality.

The Son is from the Father, and derives from Him all His properties: hence He cannot do ought of Himself. For He has not energy peculiar to Himself and distinct from the Father.

That God Who is invisible by nature is made visible by His energies, we perceive from the organisation and government of the world.

The Son is the Father’s image, and the Spirit the Son’s, through which Christ dwelling in man makes him after his own image.

The Holy Spirit is God, being between the unbegotten and the begotten, and united to the Father through the Son.

We speak of the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the mind of Christ, the Spirit of the Lord, the very Lord, the Spirit of adoption, of truth, of liberty, of wisdom (for He is the creator of all these): filling all things with essence, maintaining all things, filling the universe with essence, while yet the universe is not the measure of His power.

God is everlasting and unchangeable essence, creator of all that is, adored with pious consideration.

God is also Father, being ever unbegotten, for He was born of no one, but hath begotten His co-eternal Son.

God is likewise Son, being always with the Father, born of the Father timelessly, everlastingly, without flux or passion, or separation from Him.

God is also Holy Spirit, being sanctifying power, subsistential, proceeding from the Father without separation, and resting in the Son, identical in essence with Father and Son.

John Damascene (c.675-749): De Fide Orthodoxa 1, 13.

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