St. Gregory of Nyssa (335-394) wrote that blessedness does not lie in knowing something about God, but rather in possessing God within oneself.
This “possession” means that we share in the divine nature of God and that our glory now and in heaven is greater than we can imagine—if only we participate with God’s action in us!
Gregory adds: “The one who cleanses his heart of every created thing and every evil desire will see the image of the divine nature in the beauty of his own soul….You men have within you a desire to behold the supreme good. Now when you are told that the majesty of God is exalted above the heavens, that his glory is inexpressible, his beauty indescribable, and his nature transcendent, do not despair because you cannot behold the object of your desire.
“If by a diligent life of virtue you wash away the film of dirt that covers your heart, then the divine beauty will shine forth in you.”
This “diligent life of virtue” can have life only with daily prayer. Yes, it takes work to change habits. But without daily contact with God, our motive for doing good dims and our will to change old habits fades.
St. Gregory’s words spur us on to keep going in our spiritual life—to keep our eyes on the bright vision of our true destiny:
“Those who look at the sun in a mirror, even if they do not look directly at the sky, see its radiance in the reflection just as truly as do those who look directly at the sun’s orb. It is the same, says the Lord, with you.
“Even though you are unable to contemplate and see the inaccessible light, you will find what you seek within yourself, provided you return to the beauty and grace of that image which was originally placed in you. For God is purity; he is free from sin and a stranger to all evil. If this can be said of you, then God will surely be within you.
“If your mind is untainted by any evil, free from sin, and purified from all stain, then indeed are you blessed, because your sight is keen and clear. Once purified, you see things that others cannot see. When the mists of sin no longer cloud the eye of your soul, you see that blessed vision clearly in the peace and purity of your own heart.
“That vision is nothing else than the holiness, the purity, the simplicity and all the other glorious reflections of God’s nature, through which God himself is seen.”
I invite you to scroll down and share an example of something you did or saw that gave you a glimpse of God’s own purity and goodness!