As at the rising of the sun over the horizon the shroud of darkness is removed from the face of the earth, so that it shows itself in all its beauty, so likewise when the love of Christ shines forth in the soul and the veil of the old nature is taken away, the light of Christ shines forth in it, and the hidden things that were not visible before are now seen by it. And as iron when placed in a fire has the fire pass into it to become one substance with it, the iron united with the fire assuming its likeness and colour, no longer appearing in its former aspect, but becoming like the fire, because they have become absorbed in each other and have become one, so it is when the love of Christ has come into the soul as a living fire which burns away the thorns of sin from the soul; it becomes one substance with him and he with it; then the soul which was old, becomes new; dead it comes alive; and the likeness of its own nature is changed into the likeness of God. And now everything it see appears to it as the likeness of God (for it is granted to created beings to behold the works of God spiritually), and it becomes absorbed in love for all humankind, so that if it could it would let itself perish, so that all humans might live.

St. John of Apamea

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