Grace? or God’s Uncreated Energy?

Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky explains:

“[The] theology of the Eastern Church distinguishes in God the three hypostases, the nature or essence, and the energies. The Son and the Holy Spirit are, so to say, personal processions, the energies, natural processions. The energies are inseparable from the nature, and the nature is inseparable from the three Persons….The distinction between the essence and the energies, which is fundamental for the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4].”

What I have been gathering from researching Uncreated Energy is that the Orthodox understanding of the nature of Grace is that it is the very energies of God Himself.

Through the Trinitarian ministry of the Holy Spirit—a ministry involving both general and special activities—these energies are mediated to mankind. This stands in contrast to the Latin view flowing mainly from the anti- Pelagian writings of Saint Augustine. For Roman Catholics, Grace is a created intermediary between God and man.

We cannot know the essence of God , but we can experience his energies and be united with the uncreated light of God and through Grace be made like Him. This is the path to Theosis which is a fundamental teaching of the Orthodox Church.

We see the reference to light and the equivalence to God himself:

Saint Maximos the Confessor says, that “God has created us in order that we may become partakers of the Divine Nature, that we may enter into eternity, that we may resemble Him, that is, being deified by His grace through which all things were made. The Divine uncreated light has the purpose of uniting the creation with God.”

There are countless Scriptural references to Light: “God is Light” (1John 1:5); “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12); “the righteous shall shine as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father” (Matt 13:43).

As someone who has been influenced by many of those secular demons of our society, it was quite refreshing to learn more about the properties of God’s Uncreated Energies. In the past when I felt Gods presence I would often explain it as a graceful relief. Now being able to understand that was God’s Energy providing the closeness. Being the light of the world metaphorically and physically is a pretty comforting notion to me.