Ai E To Face

Theo, referring to the rest nfthe i<jw of John l: LB ("h is God the only Sonn who is L.i^c to Father's heart, who has made him known71)* Augustine allows (hat some argue that iIlc Sun was the Person who .L|-fii..ti l-lI to Abraham, J,imk Moses, and Isaiah, and 1 ju> would refute certain adt>ptionist heretjt1 Llie I >h■ n„ 11 i,i]is i- who ign a begiii 11 ing Co the Son at the human birth from the \ irgin. However, he continu«^ the meaning of the line "no ont has seen God ' was not meant to distinguish the Persons of the Frinitybut to establish that no one can ^l-l- God in the ful] i less oF God1; divinity, and, mo re< i ve r, tli at which is11 ma de V, ni ïw n hy [he Son" h a vision nilin.- of 111mine than the eyes, "A form is seen, but a power is made known. . . . God is not soughi hy bodily eyest nor enveloped by sight, nor perceived hy im walk." And even ^lirisi is no Longer seen in the flesh, but only iin of the Spirit.

But, in .i modified fashion, Augustine .ar^LR's. the righteous ones oí old lJk! see God, to the extent that God willed m be seen. ClIíii^ Ambrose again, Augustine asserts that to ,issi$;n this appearance to the Son would be to accept [he (cachings of the Ariane, whn believe that the nature of the Father is invisible hut that of the Son is visible. Hence, one must ,is\LTt that all three Persons of the Trinity are equally invisible, and, the extent that they appear, they do in the form chosen hy their wilJ and not according to iheir nature—the 1 toly Spirit appearing as a doveh for example.1 Finally, Lhe distinction belween seeing with 111■_■ eye and comprehending with the mind is resolved in the end time, when the righteous will receive the grace lo see God as God is (1 John J:2), The unrighteous. howler, ■■ i 11 not be ible to ■.in so. even in resurrection, Only those who are 'clean of heart* (Matt 5:8) shLill receive this gift. All ^íIÍilts. including ihr I fevil, are l'^lIulÍí'lJ from such si^ht. 'without a doubt*"

Finally, speaking of humans' desire to tcc God, Augustine argues ih,ii, rightly understood, dm dc&ire is not to see .i particular aspect of i rM-J. but rather to perceive che Divine nature itself. Moses' petition to see God "openly' ■: Exod 33:11J was such a case. But, Augustine contin-

Lil'^, mil-h vision çan only ht1 obtained aftçr ihç çlçansing; ol thç lnurt and when the mind is drawn away from .ill carna senses which is why ihv- Scriptures testify that ILno one can see the face of God and live," Once I he mind is turned aw&y i mm any sensory kr)Owledgeh the person has a sort ofout-of body exper ience similar to death! which mayhap pen in a stale of advanced ccstasy, a condition attained by certain saints prior to death when they were granted the perfection of revelation, like that described in 1 lohn 3:2 ("when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is11 J. When humans rise toelernal ]ife,AugU£-line contends, their vision shall be like that of the angels, "for we shall then be equal to them'" and will be abli to see things that were in lili* litt- invisible .md inaccessible. And m language thai would ri&lly have upset the anthropomorphist Egyptian monks, Augustine asserts: "And

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