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|Ioannes Paulus PP. II|
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15. The monk's life is evidence of the unity that exists in the East between spirituality and theology: the Christian, and the monk in particular, more than seeking abstract truths, knows that his Lord alone is Truth and Life, but also knows that he is the Way, (cf. Jn 14:6) to reach both; knowledge and participation are thus a single reality: from the person to the God who is three Persons through the Incarnation of the Word of God.
The East helps us to express the Christian meaning of the human person with a wealth of elements. It is centered on the Incarnation, from which creation itself draws light. In Christ, true God and true man, the fullness of the human vocation is revealed. In order for man to become God, the Word took on humanity. Man, who constantly experiences the bitter taste of his limitations and sin, does not then abandon himself to recrimination or to anguish, because he knows that within himself the power of divinity is at work. Humanity was assumed by Christ without separation from his divine nature and without confusion,(33) and man is not left alone to attempt, in a thousand often frustrated ways, an impossible ascent to heaven. There is a tabernacle of glory, which is the most holy person of Jesus the Lord, where the divine and the human meet in an embrace that can never be separated. The Word became flesh, like us in everything except sin. He pours divinity into the sick heart of humanity, and imbuing it with the Father's Spirit enables it to become God through grace.
But if this has revealed the Son to us, then it is given us to approach the mystery of the Father, principle of communion in love. The Most Holy Trinity appears to us then as a community of love: to know such a God means to feel the urgent need for him to speak to the world, to communicate himself; and the history of salvation is nothing but the history of God's love for the creature he has loved and chosen, wanting it to be "according to the icon of the Icon" - as the insight of the Eastern Fathers expresses it(34) - that is, molded in the image of the Image, which is the Son, brought to perfect communion by the sanctifier, the Spirit of love. Even when man sins, this God seeks him and loves him, so that the relationship may not be broken off and love may continue to flow. And God loves man in the mystery of the Son, who let himself be put to death on the Cross by a world that did not recognize him, but has been raised up again by the Father as an eternal guarantee that no one can destroy love, for anyone who shares in it is touched by God's glory: it is this man transformed by love whom the disciples contemplated on Tabor, the man whom we are all called to be.
33 Cf. Symbolum Chalcedonense, DS 301 - 302.
34 Cf. Saint Irenaeus, Against Heresies V, 16, 2: SCh 153/2, 217; IV, 33, 4: SCh 100/2, 811; Saint Athanasius, Against the Gentiles, 2 - 3 and 34: PG 25, 5 - 8 and 68 - 69; The Incarnation of the Word, 12 - 13: SCh 18, 228 - 231.
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