What has affected me most about theosis is not that I might gain additional spiritual reward, but that my life might have additional meaning because of the additional quality of God I carry. I get excited thinking about the ways in which God’s own Spirit is transforming me into an imitation of Christ that is not only pious and affectionate, but also passionate and strong.
It would be a mistake, I think, to dismiss these feelings as boyhood fancy or the ticklings of a new thought; rather, I believe that the expression of faith in Christ for me, indeed the very process of my present sanctification as much as is able, has primarily to do with God’s mission of mercy and justice for the world. This is not to overplay my own importance, but to realize that any and all of us have this access to Christus Victor and the pathways of theosis to order and place our steps.
I am left without the option of disregard for ecology or justice issues or the plight of the poor. I am compelled by the example of Christ’s caustic sacrifice to emulate his critique of the dominant power systems and cultural representations of the world around me. But far from believing myself to be an adversary of the world, I believe that theosis causes me to engage the world with a kind of universal sanctification in mind – I find myself an idealist, believing that I can contribute in some measure to making the world a better place.
May God grant us all the wisdom to be counter-cultural without being abusive, to be engaged in critique without being hateful, and to be passionate about justice without neglecting neither love nor piety.