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June 2013

2013, An-Nahar, Articles

The Splendid Writing / 15.06.2013

The splendid writing or the good word appears to the good, beautiful character in its acceptance of pain and its deflagration, and this is more than labor. It is a birth in truth and in splendor. Both are emanation from God, and if you are worried from this statement [it is possible to say that] they are the creation of God. The human being is not a creator who brings about things from nothing. The Creator improvises for you from whatever the Creator has received from the Creator’s own inspiration. Your Lord is alone the Creator and you receive whatever He inspires you in order that you might be perceived as new and the people think that they subsist on you, while the truth is that they receive from you whatever you have received from your Lord.

Is creativity about sharing as it is with giving birth to a baby? The baby comes from the meeting of the male and the female. Whence the fetus of thought and art comes? You would be called creative whenever you say things as no other person said, however, though we say that those things are yours or they are from you, nevertheless, you are the one entrusted for them. The human being adds nothing on creation which was once made. The human being orders the creation which he/[she] has received. It is ascribed to him/[her]since he/[she] has known how to receive and to hand it over.

To hand over a heritage is not an automatic recurrence. It requires embracement with love, namely a new birth. However you give birth from a seed which God has plated within you. The new (creation) in the good word is beautiful. The Word was in the beginning and whatever came after it were images of that Word, while God alone is the Creator of words. And based on this [new] creativity, which adds nothing to God, we say about the great people of art and word that they are creators.

We are encountering here a difficult question in relation to the nature of the word. You pronounce the word anew through the magnificent fusion between its meaning and its articulated form. However, we will not undertake this question since at the end we do not know how the words come. How is their form in us? And how they come to be articulated verbally? Of course, you cannot perceive the meaning without the word being articulated by your tongue or by your pen, since there is no thought without vesture. There is no word (meaning) without it being embodied. John said about Jesus: “And the Word became flesh and He pitched His tent in our neighborhood.” This is the meaning of the well known translation of the verse: “He dwelt among us” [John 1:14]. And the meaning is that we are scattered on earth and we settle down whenever He accompanies us and we adhere to Him pitching our tent next to His.

In the introduction of the fourth Gospel we read:  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” [John 1:1] The ‘Word’ appears in its masculine form [of the Arabic language] and we have translated it in this way in order to remain faithful to the Greek original, meaning that this is the Word of God, namely an independent divine existence, and not a mere incidental divine articulation.

God is revealed within you and then through you, in order that you might become God’s word. And you might become a word to the extent that you are christ [i.e. messiah or an anointed one], since Jesus the Nazarene brings forth chrsits [anointed ones]. And if we say that Christ, after resurrection, is alive forever it denotes that He is the source of life (the life-giver) within us, day by day and minute by minute. Christ is propagated, in the sense that from Him christs [anointed ones] are emanated, namely people who are anointed by the grace of His spirit.

No word of life would come forth from you unless it was the fruit of divine bestowal. The human being is not a creator who brings the things forth from nothing. After creation ‘nothing’ has no existence. God empowers you and that is why you have [inner] significance, and because, through God’s word, you truly become a transmitter of truth. Thus, there is no sense in the assumed philosophical search of the relationship between God and you. I understand the philosophical variation between these two existents; however the [fervent] lovers repudiate philosophy after the union [with God].

We are still the slaves of pure mind. In a dual mindset we search for that which is ours and that which is God’s. However, the [fervent] lovers do not argue about the relationship between that which is to the one and that which is the other’s. In love [as Eros] the search for what belongs to me and what belongs to the other has been repudiated. You cannot discern the mind that is enlightened by grace from grace. And if you live in it and through it, then, you do not search for articulations. I understand this insistence on the mind as the concerns of the medieval philosophies, which were the slaves of the Greeks. But those who have known the light of God through inspiration; those have been freed from the Greeks and have become of the Word of God, which is the life of God.

This does not mean that we abolish the mind; rather we enlighten it by the divine mind which is the inspiration. And whenever the word of God descends upon us we live through the light poured upon us, so that God might live in our words. And in this we are formed, that is to say that our words come to be on the image of the divine Word. The divine Word and the divine utterance are one for our ears and hearts, in order to hear what your God has put in these hearts.

And the Grace is the word of God, or they are one, in order that the created words, of our tongues, might pass away and we hear only whatever has been precipitated from the divine mind.

Translated by Sylvie Avakian-Maamarbashi

Original Text: “الكتابة البهيّة” –An Nahar- 15.06.2013

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2013, An-Nahar, Articles

Hope / 01.06.2013

For St. Paul, hope is a virtue which he places alongside with faith and love as if he insinuates that ‘when you believe, you hope in God and so you love’. Certainly, in Man’s depth, one experiences the virtues as being interrelated with each other. Yet revelation tells us that you start that experience with the virtue of faith since it speaks of God’s turning towards you. Faith starts you on the path to become a spiritual being and it accompanies you in your course towards it. And I dare say that God creates you in the Holy Spirit after He has wrought you in the body. That is your New being and your True life. And to say that ‘the dwelling of God is in you’, indicates that you believe and have faith that the Lord creates you through His Holy Spirit. And faith comes from trusting God and trusting comes from a security you find in the one trusted. I refer there to the spiritual meaning not the linguistic one. In your humanity you are not secure and settled. God in you is your resting place. When you behold God in Himself, His significance and His light, as also in yourself and in the brethren, then you would have perceived His dwelling which is also yours.

Yet between you and God there is a distance which you cross through faith so that you dwell in the Lord while you are still in the body. As such, faith is the dynamo; and while in this world, you are in a state of moving until the Lord keeps you to Himself through the vision. Faith does not make all the vision. That needs a move towards God in Hope since God would come to you every day. Faith is in need of love to be established in God. And He starts to bring you up on Love when He plants in you hope in Him.

The Divine Presence in you is established through faith which is the “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”(Hebrews 11: 1). What is hoped for, that is for the future, is present now through your faith. And your heart reaches out for them (the future matters) in hope since they are considered to be “present” in the word of God. Here we can say that Hope is a continuum of the faith that is in you now, to what it will be in the future, so that “the things to come” are like the “things that are now” because the word of God brings the two together; and because the word of God is not bound by time.

In your experience of God, there is no separation between the “now” and what comes after, because the Lord fills time with His presence. From this perspective, I can say that you see what you hope for and expect. You are above the expanse of time because God who is in you fills it. From this we can say that the virtue of faith conceives in it the virtue of hope which is the dynamism of faith. You do not hope except because you have believed; since hope is not an emotional kind of expectation. It is granted with faith as its fruit.

We have to perceive that faith is not a human virtue. It is a descent of the Divine to the human soul; a meeting between the soul and the Divine ‘depth’ in a profundity which is hard for us to encompass. God is dynamic in us and as such moves us to Himself. And our move towards Him is one of hope since we know Him only partly thorough faith. Faith is the beginning of our pleasure in Him, but our experience of Him is granted us by Him.

If faith is the resting of God in the heart, then hope is the movement of God; and God moves towards Himself and with that He moves us to Him.

And if words allow us to say something in that domain, we can say that the impression of the Lord in the heart is His presence; and our faith in Him is His move towards Him. In that follows His bringing us over to Himself thus removing the distance between the Creator and the creature and between the One who loves and the one loved. And after His move towards us comes our move towards Him; and that is hope. In the core of the Divine, there is no separation between hope and faith; both of them followed with love which is the crown of all what there is.

The word hope signifies of what comes in the future. And this is true since we believe today in what comes tomorrow and in all the goodness promised.

Hope sets off from the realities of faith to what the Lord reveals in us of His love. But to avoid any linguistic vagueness, I want to affirm that hope is a Divine gift which does not originate in our human feelings. Hope is not a dynamics of one’s soul only; it is a bending over of God which carries us to the good that is promised. It is a continuum of what God has poured down on us of His grace to what we hope for of His full grace till the day we die. Faith is a language that signifies what is present in us; and hope signifies what will be. They are inseparable when it comes to the grace that is poured down in us.

And because hope is towards God, its extent in us is to the time when we get to the full attainment of the vision. But in the spiritual fight we have to reinforce it with faith so that the believer does not think that he can bring about hope in the same way he does with his wishes. Hope is above all human expectations. It is a great grace. A Divine pouring down into us with which we seek God Himself. As such hope gets together with faith and ends up in love.

Translated by Riad Moufarrij

Original Text: “الرجاء” – An Nahar – 01.06.2013

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