It is very daring for someone to speak of deification (gr. theosis) while not having tasted it himself. But, by the mercy of our Almighty God and Saviour Jesus Christ, we have dared that which is beyond our power:
So as not to hide from our Orthodox Christian brethren the highest and final purpose of our life, that for which we were created.
So that it will become explicitly clear that the only Orthodox pastoral treaching is that of deification (gr. theosis), not, as with Western models, the moral perfection of man without God's Grace.
So that we will all desire the best, in order to struggle for the highest, and the only thing that can deeply quench our psyche's thirst for the Absolute, the Triune God.
So that we will overflow with gratitude towards our Maker and Creator for His great gift to us, our theosis by Grace.
So that we can understand the irreplaceable nature of our Holy Church as the only community of theosis on earth.
So that the magnificence and truth of our Orthodox Faith will be revealed, as the one which alone teaches and provides theosis to its members.
So that our souls (gr. psyche) should be consoled, for regardless of how much they have been poisoned and darkened by sin, they yearn for the light of Christ's face.
Merciful Lord, in Thy infinite love, be pleased to make us worthy to enter the path of theosis before we depart from the present, impermanent world.
Merciful Lord, guide our Orthodox brethren towards the quest for theosis, as they do not rejoice because they are unaware of the magnificence of their vocation as ‘called to be gods’.
Merciful Lord, also guide the steps of heterodox Christians towards awareness of Thy Truth, so that they are not left outside Thy Bridechamber, deprived of the Grace of theosis.
Merciful Lord, have mercy on us and on Thy world! Amen.
The Abbot of the Holy Monastery of St Gregoriou at Agion Oros
+ Archimandrite George
This text constitutes an elaboration of talks, which I gave at different times in various cities in Greece, at the request of the local Most Reverend Metropolitans.
Thus, the style of the work can be recognized as containing taped excerpts of the talks.
It is worth noting that I developed this subject wherever I delivered a talk for the first time, as I considered this to be the most fundamental one for spiritual life.
Original English translation (2005), annotation and glossary by Photius Coutsoukis. A subsequent translation, with extensive footnotes, but containing errors, by Robin Amis, was published in book and pdf format: (2006). Theosis: The True Purpose of Human Life (PDF) (4th ed.). Mount Athos, Greece: Holy Monastery of St. Gregorios. ISBN 960-7553-26-8.
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