John Damascene: He has deified our flesh forever, and we are sanctified through His Godhead and the union of His flesh with it Friday, Apr 24 2015 

John-of-Damascus_01St Basil says: “Honouring the image leads to the prototype”.

If you raise churches to the saints of God, raise also their trophies.

[…] From the time that God the Word became flesh He is as we are in everything except sin, and of our nature, without confusion.

He has deified our flesh forever, and we are in very deed sanctified through His Godhead and the union of His flesh with it.

And from the time that God, the Son of God, impassible by reason of His Godhead, chose to suffer voluntarily He wiped out our debt, also paying for us a most full and noble ransom.

We are truly free through the sacred blood of the Son pleading for us with the Father.

And we are indeed delivered from corruption since He descended into hell to the souls detained there through centuries and gave the captives their freedom, sight to the blind, and chaining the strong one.

He rose in the plenitude of His power, keeping the flesh of immortality which He had taken for us.

And since we have been born again of water and the Spirit, we are truly sons and heirs of God.

Hence St Paul calls the faithful holy; hence we do not grieve but rejoice over the death of the saints.

[…] We are not held by the letter of the law, nor do we serve as children, but, grown into the perfect estate of man, we are fed on solid food, not on that which conduces to idolatry.

The law is good as a light shining in a dark place until the day breaks. Your hearts have already been illuminated, the living water of God’s knowledge has run over the tempestuous seas of heathendom, and we may all know God.

The old creation has passed away, and all things are renovated.

[…] Of old they who did not know God, worshipped false gods. But now, knowing God, or rather being known by Him, how can we return to bare and naked rudiments?

I have looked upon the human form of God, and my soul has been saved. I gaze upon the image of God, as Jacob did, though in a different way.

Jacob sounded the note of the future, seeing with immaterial sight, whilst the image of Him who is visible to flesh is burnt into my soul.

The shadow and winding sheet and relics of the apostles cured sickness, and put demons to flight. How, then, shall not the shadow and the statues of the saints be glorified?

John Damascene (c.675-749): Against Those Who Deny Holy Images, pp 24-27.

John Damascene: The Saints are Heirs of God, Co-Heirs of Christ, and Partakers in the Divine Glory Friday, Nov 1 2013 

John-of-Damascus_01I live, says the Lord, and I will glorify those who glorify Me.

And the divine Apostle says: therefore now he is not a servant, but a son. And if a son, an heir also through God. Again, If we suffer with Him, that we also may be glorified….

St John, who rested on His breast, says, that we shall be like to Him.

Just as a man by contact with fire becomes fire, not by nature, but by contact and by burning and by participation, so is it, I apprehend, with the flesh of the Crucified Son of God.

That flesh, by participation through union (kath’ hypostasin) with the divine nature, was unchangeably God, not in virtue of grace from God as was the case with each of the prophets, but by the presence of the Fountain Head Himself.

God, the Scripture says, stood in the synagogue of the gods, so that the saints, too, are gods.

Holy Gregory takes the words God stands in the midst of the gods to mean that He discriminates their several merits.

The saints in their lifetime were filled with the Holy Spirit, and when they are no more, His grace abides with their spirits and with their bodies in their tombs, and also with their likenesses and holy images, not by nature, but by grace and divine power.

[…] We depict Christ as our King and Lord, and do not deprive Him of His army. The saints constitute the Lord’s army.

Let the earthly king dismiss his army before he gives up his King and Lord. Let him put off the purple before he takes honour away from his most valiant men who have conquered their passions.

For if the saints are heirs of God, and co-heirs of Christ, they will be also partakers of the divine glory of sovereignty.

If the friends of God have had a part in the sufferings of Christ, how shall they not receive a share of His glory even on earth?

I call you not servants, our Lord says, you are my friends. Should we then deprive them of the honour given to them by the Church?

[…] I worship the image of Christ as the Incarnate God; that of the Theotokos), the Mother of us all, as the Mother of God’s Son; that of the saints as the friends of God.

They have withstood sin unto blood, and followed Christ in shedding their blood for Him, who shed His blood for them.

I put on record the excellencies and the sufferings of those who have walked in His footsteps, that I may sanctify myself, and be fired with the zeal of imitation.

John Damascene (c.675-749): Against Those Who Deny Holy Images, pp 21-24.