“Love transforms existence into unlimited life”

The powers of nature do not suffice for our existence to make life pass beyond the threshold of death, to gain a footing elsewhere, beyond the precariousness of being. However much our will is trained by morality, however high a standard we set for our virtues, nature is incapable of transcending mortality. On the ladder of the moral “ascent,” we measure the illusion of natural self-transcendence, but below every rung gapes the implacable void of death.

Love transforms existence into relation: It is a different perception of life. Even in the antechamber of love, in the creation of a work of art, something resonates, like the first intimations of certainty. Poets, composers and artists, long since dead, yet their minds endure in the personal immediacy of the relation. The more you give yourself to the relation the more the personal otherness of their mind or soul arises within you. The more you give yourself to love, the more the nostalgic hope of immortality shines in your own soul too.

The Christian faith illuminates this nostalgic hope in ascending stages of expectation. Love transforms existence into unlimited life, because God exists as the fullness of Triadic erotic communion. “God is Love.” He assumed an individuality—Christ Jesus—subject to death, and transformed death into an obedience of relationship with the Father, into an event of sharing in immortal life. Mortality remained a weakness of nature, immortality a power granted to the relation. Our innermost self or “soul,” our true personal being, emerges as free from death, when in the space of the Other we recognize the personal summons which constitutes us as subjects: the Person of the Loving Father.

The word “God” defines a personal relation, not an objective concept. Like the name of the beloved in every love. It does not imply separation and distance. Hearing the beloved name is an immediate awareness, a dimensionless proximity of presence. It is our life wholly transformed into relation.

Christos Yannaras

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