SYMEON THE NEW THEOLOGIAN (949–1022)
O grandeur of ineffable glory! O excess of love! The One who embraces all things makes his home within a mortal corruptible human being, the One by whose indwelling power all things are governed, and a man becomes as a woman heavy with child. O astonishing miracle and incomprehensible deeds and mysteries of the incomprehensible God! A human being carries God consciously within himself as light, carries him who has brought all things into being and created them, including the one who carries him now. He carries God within as a treasure inexpressible, unspeakable, without quality, quantity, or form, immaterial, shapeless, yet with form in beauty inexplicable, altogether simple, like light; he carries the One who transcends all light…. Who can adequately explain the joy of such a person? Will he not be more blessed and more glorious than any emperor? He is wealthier than anyone or any number of visible worlds. And in what shall such a one ever be lacking? Truly, in no way shall he lack anything.
God, you became visible…. You allowed me to see the outline of your form beyond shape. At that time, you took me out of the world -- I might even say, out of the body, but you did not allow me to know this exactly. You shone yet more brightly, and it seemed that I saw you clearly in your entirety. When I said, "O Master, who are you?" then, for the first time you allowed me, the prodigal, to hear your voice. I was beside myself in awe and trembling, and how gently you spoke to me.… You said, "I am God and I have become flesh for your sake.”
ST AUGUSTINE (354 – 430)
What do I love when I love my God?
It is a certain light that I love,
and melody and fragrance and embrace that I love when I love my God
- a light, melody, fragrance, food, embrace of the God-within;
Where, for my soul, that shines which space does not contain;
that sounds which time does not sweep away;
that is fragrant which the breeze does not dispel,
and that tastes sweet which fed upon is not diminished,
and that clings close which no satiety disparts -
this is what I love when I love my God.