Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite on divine power

by Pseudo-Dionysius

The distribution, then, of boundless power, from Almighty God, passes to all beings, and there is no single being which is utterly deprived of the possession of some power; but it has either intellectual, or rational, or sensible, or vital, or essential power; yea even, if one may say so, self-existent being has power to be from the superessential Power.


From It, are the godlike powers of the angelic ranks; from It, they have their immutability, and all their intellectual and immortal perpetual movements; and their equilibrium itself, and their undiminishable aspiration after good, they have received from the Power boundless in goodness; since It commits to them the power to be, and to be such, and to aspire always to be, and the power itself to aspire to have the power always.


But the gifts of the unfailing Power pass on, both to men and living creatures, and plants, and the entire nature of the universe; and It empowers things united for their mutual friendship and communion, and things divided for their being each within their own sphere and limit, without confusion, and without mingling; and preserves the order and good relations of the whole, for their own proper good, and guards the undying lives of the individual angels inviolate; and the heavenly and the life-giving and astral bodies 40 and orders without change: and makes the period of time possible to be; and disperses the revolutions of time by their progressions, and collects them together by their returns; and makes the powers of fire unquenchable, and the rills of water unfailing; and sets bounds to the aerial current, and establishes the earth upon nothing; and guards its life-giving throes from perishing; and preserves the mutual harmony and mingling of the elements without confusion, and without division; and holds together the bond of soul and body; and arouses the nourishing and growing powers of plants; and sustains the essential powers of the whole; and secures the continuance of the universe without dissolution, and bequeaths the deification Itself, by furnishing a power for this to those who are being deified. And in a word, there is absolutely no single thing which is deprived of the overruling surety and embrace of the Divine Power. For that which absolutely has no power, neither is, nor is anything, nor is there any sort of position of it whatever.

Taken from The Divine Names

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