Anestis Keselopoulos on St Gregory Palamas: Unceasing Prayer

This aspect of the thought of St Gregory Palamas presented by Anestis Keselopoulos deals with a recherche topic, best presented without commentary:

‘…prayer is a state of communion with God that offers man the possibility to gain control over his unruly desires and to be cleansed of the passions…the theosis of man and his union with God are not the fruit of human activity or virtue, but the gift of divine grace. As a human activity, prayer is a virtue. If Palamas characterizes it as a “deifying virtue”, he does not do so because prayer is able to grant theosis on its own, but because it makes man receptive to divine grace…When St Gregory Palamas formulates the Orthodox understanding of prayer, he underlines that prayer is not some figment of the imagination, “a false idol set up in the heart.” The experience of prayer is not imaginary, but quite real. It involves the entire human person and manifests itself to man as a God-given possibility for infinite progress, even as God’s grace is infinite. Since spiritual experience is not static but dynamic, it is unthinkable that human progress could come to a  halt.’

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