All Eye, All Light, All Glory

From Spiritual Homilies, Alphabetical Collection, H, 1 & 2 (ca. 500-534)

When the soul is counted worthy to enjoy communion with the Spirit of the light of God, and when God shines upon the soul with the beauty of his ineffable glory, preparing her as a throne and dwelling for himself, she becomes all light, all face, all eye. Then there is no part of her that is not full of the spiritual eyes of light. There is no part of her that is in darkness, but she is transfigured wholly and in every part with light and spirit.

Just as the sun is the same throughout, having neither back nor anything irregular, but is wholly glorified with light and is all light, being transformed in every part; or as fire, with its burning sheath of flame, is constant throughout, having neither beginning nor an end, being neither larger nor smaller in any part, so also when the soul is perfectly illumined with the ineffable beauty and glory of the light of Christ’s countenance, and granted perfect communion with the Holy Spirit and counted worthy to become the dwelling place and throne of God, then soul becomes all eye, all light, all face, all glory, all spirit.

The Fifty Spiritual Homilies are Eastern Christian mystical texts, traditionally attributed to Macarius, an influential fourth century Egyptian ascetic, but probably the work of a monk from northern Mesopotamia. The texts closely associate union with Christ with the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, and have influenced Eastern monastic piety, as well as pietism and the modern charismatic movement.


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